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Katie Davis



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Coney Feud–Part 2

Monday, April 9, 2012 @ 09:04 AM

You all still with me? Well if you’ve been waiting for the results of our favorite Detroit Coney with bated breath, today is your day. However, if you are just joining us, two weeks ago we began with part one of a two part review of these famed D-Town dogs in competition where the focus was on one of the much loved originators of this dish, Lafayette Coney Island. While I won’t go into great detail about the history, since we have already discussed it in part one, I will mention again just how unique these restaurants are. Both owned by the same family who decided to go their separate Coney ways back in the day, literally just splitting the restaurant down the middle and birthing two very well loved Coney spots, literally right next door to one another; and while I mentioned last week that they are both beloved and each have their own set of fans, I thought it would be fun for you to see a clip of just what we mean…




You don’t have to watch the entire clip to see just how crazy each spots fans are for their signature dish, and with that love comes great competition and heated discussion. So we figured that being right in the heart of Detroit for a weekend last summer, what better way crown our favorite than to taste-test them both…back to back!

You can read all about what we thought of Lafayette. But after that initial Detroit City Coney experience, it was off for round 2 at American Coney Island…the originator of the dish. Of course it didn’t take us long to arrive at the next destination, being that it was literally right smack dab next door; and I must admit I felt a little silly eating a hot dog at one spot and then just picking up and walking a few feet to order another….silly but fun.



The first thing I noticed different was how immediately more welcomed I felt upon entering. It was clear that in the past decade American had made not only huge décor changes and updates, but their staff seemed significantly younger and…well I hate to say it…more friendly. It was clear that American, unlike their counterpart, had grown over time…in all sense of the word… and embrace some of the more modern customer appeasing touches.




We ordered immediately after being seated…2 traditional Coneys…dog, coney sauce, onions & yellow mustard. My mouth just begins to water listing off the ingredients!




Now this being our 2nd Coney experience of the day, I was really trying to take each bite in and make sure I really examined the difference in flavor. It was pretty hard to discern a huge difference, but American’s chili was a bit sweeter, something I really enjoy in a Coney. Well, we gobbled those suckers down and at this point I knew I was Coneyed out for the day…, Adam on the other hand was still looking for possibly one more at the game. Smile

Because I’ll be the first to admit that first impressions are almost a make or break in the whole experience for me and that I can get pretty turned off pretty quick by a place that isn’t really trying very hard to win me over, I knew I already had a different feeling about the whole Coney situation when we walked into American. However, trying my best to keep all that aside, this is really about the food, so I made sure to keep an open mind…which I’ll share shortly.

SIGNATURE DISH: Coney’s are still the name of this game and if you stuck around from last week you know we are going to share which was actually our favorite at the end of the day!

TASTE: First and foremost, very good! Detroit Coney’s are an easy 2 for 2 after this. On the taste, however, American’s Coney sauce is distinctly sweeter…very much like a Greek-style chili. All the flavors come together very well and it is a very crisp taste.

AMBIANCE: I liked the modern updates American Coney Island had to offer and it is definitely bigger than its neighbor. Also, another thing I liked was the natural light with all the windows…great in the city.

PRICE: Possibly a few cents different, but still not a bank breaker…definitely worth it!

SERVICE: This was where American stood out. They were friendly, helpful and downright chatty…interested in where we were from, what we were doing, etc. It was clear they took customer service seriously and didn’t just stand on their popularity to keep people coming back.

I give American Coney Island 4 ½ ‘Little Piggies’



Alert the critic authorities…we have a split decision in the way of differing opinions in the PCC family! When it was all said and done, Adam was a fan of Lafayette Coney Island while my favorite was American Coney Island far and away. The deciding factor for him was that he felt the sweeter Spanish onions and vinegar mustard worked better for the overall taste of the Coney. Also, he liked that it still had that same early 20th century appeal.

I, on the other hand, much preferred the sweeter Greek-style chili. Also, I just enjoyed my entire experience there a whole lot more, which may or may not have made that Coney taste a whole lot better…you be the judge. Smile

In the end, I guess you will have to try both (in one day if you are daring) of these spots to make your own decision. For me it will always be American when I return (I guess Adam will have to go next door!), but I really enjoyed the entire experience of visiting both back to back and so glad we were able to experience this almost century old feud first hand.

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