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January 27, 2011 - Image 42

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2011-01-27

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Arts & Entertainment


Coney Cravings

Our favorite onion-laden, chili-slathered hot dog dates back 97 years.


here at American, opened next
Flint Style Coney Island
The ongoing controversy on
door a few years later, naming
with their dry sauce is what
where the good ol' Coney Island
it Lafayette Coney Island.
Philly Cheesesteaks are
Hot Dog got started will probably con-
They may have had small
to Philadelphia and what
tinue, even with knowledge of who was
menus but big national reputa-
Chicago Deep Dish Pizzas
first with the name ... Contrary to much
tions ... It was regular occur-
are to numerous Chicagoans,
belief, it wasn't a Detroit restaurant as sup-
rences for entertainers galore,
with a relish based sauce on
posed by so many ...
sports stars,
their doggies ... Many places
Answering numerous
in New York state also call
e-mail messages as to
their Coneys a "Michigan" or
who had the first Coney
"Red Hot" and in some areas,
Island, according to
people, etc., to
just plain Coney dogs ... At
legend it was conceived
be found at the
Baltimore's G&A restaurant,
in 1914 at Todoroff's
counters of both with closed along with a Coney Island Hot Dog is a
Original Coney Island in
eyes as they savored the lus- Coney Island Hamburger topped with chili
Jackson, Mich.
ciousness of their Coneys.
and fried onions ... In Cincinnati, the
Detroit's American
The ground beef was not
"Cheese Coney," a takeoff of the Detroit
Coney Island that opened Dig in to a couple of Coneys! hammered into a patty and
Coney Island, is topped with chili, onions
three years later in 1917
flopped on a greasy grill
and shredded cheese which nearly hides
grew to be of greater note, with folks from
... It was gently stirred loosely in a large pot
its smaller size hot dog.
all over America who came to Detroit
until cooked into numerous crumbly pieces
At American Coney Island, Grace Keros, a
looking for the place to have that delicious
of tasty offerings ... This was spooned out
third-generation Keros and daughter of one
Coney hot dog so many people talk about.
with a wooden spoon over the hot dog ...
of Gus' five sons, Charles "Chuck" Keros, has
Nathan's Famous opened a little hot
Many customers, however, had the cook ladle been managing the fine operation for about
dog stand on Coney Island in 1916, but
out some of the slightly creamy and heavier
20 years, continuing the wonderful tradi-
it wasn't a Coney Island dog with the
sauce with cumin powders on open hot
tion that has made it such a great favorite
yummy ingredients ... The fact that
dog buns without the hotdog, enjoyed with
... The high quality natural casing hot dogs
George Todoroff, owner of Todoroff's
chopped onions, relish, mustard or catsup.
that have always been used at American is
Original Coney Island, never registered a
But hot dogs were the thing ... fried
among big reasons for it being so popular
trademark on the name, allowed an untold (never steamed or boiled) golden and suc-
... Also the chili sauce developed years ago
amount of restaurants that followed to
culent on the griddle
along with ingre-
use the "Coney Island" title for their hot
and topped with the
dients that give
dogs with all-meat, beanless and dry chili,
chili, chopped onions
it a luscious taste
chopped onions and mustard on a bun ...
and mustard.
served in a warm,
The Detroit style of chili with its cumin
There are many
steamed bun.
powders is slightly more soupy and heavy.
self-styled varia-
At Lafayette, the
For years, among Detroit's busiest and
tions of Coney
thick and flavor-
tastiest dining spots were the gleaming
Island Hot Dogs,
ful chili is also
stainless steel and tile American Coney
including the name
available in frozen
Island on Lafayette and next door, the
... In Flint, they
bricks, but the taste
Lafayette Coney Island ... Gus Keros
are called Flintoids,
to me is sure not
opened the American and brother Bill,
slang by people
Downtown Detroit next-door neighbors:
like the fresh sauce
whom he sent for from Greece and trained from Flint whose
Lafayette and American Coney Islands.
served across its

hot dogs or by itself.
American and Lafayette are both open 7
days a week.
taurant of Downtown Detroit will open
again with the same name and dishes
plus a portion of the decor to look some-
what as it did before ... It follows word
of the London Chop House expected
to open at its previous location ... The
returning of former wonderful restau-
rants endeared by localites says a lot for
the economic resurgence again of the
restaurant business.
Martin and Tony Brooks at Stage Deli,
Orchard Lake Road, West Bloomfield ...
Both favorites with efficient and custom-
er-satisfaction personalities to go with the
newly designed Stage.
JANUARY BRINGS back the inter-
esting memory of how Dr. Stuart
Kirschenbaum named his and wife
Janice's son ... Jan. 28, 1978, saw one
of the worst blizzards in the history of
this region ... with plenty of skidding to
Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak ... And
the birth of a name so their new little
guy would never forget the kind of day he
arrived on ... Thus Storm Kirschenbaum,
who follows in his dad's world of sports
footsteps ... Stuart is former State of
Michigan Boxing Commissioner (1981-
1992) and son Storm is a sports agent
and head of Metis Sports Management.
CONGRATS ... To Dr. Stuart
Kirschenbaum on his 66th birthday ... To
Stuart Kirschenbaum on his 33rd birthday
... To Jack and Shirley Freed on their 50th
anniversary ... To Jay and Marion Grant
on their 68th anniversary. I I

Danny's e-mail is dannyraskin@sbcglobal.net.


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January 27 2011

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