“Chiliiiiiiiiiii dogggggggggsssssss wooooooo”.
That’s the text I got from my brother the morning of our planned trip to Coney Dog, the new “Detroit Style” chili dog mecca on the Sunset Strip. Being long-time chili dog devotees, we were excited to say the least. So excited that we were willing to venture into the vicinity of the Viper Room, so you know this was serious.
Coney Dog takes its cue from the traditional Coney Island, a popular type of restaurant in Michigan. Coney Islands are ubiquitous in Michigan, in the same way that char-broiled joints are to LA. They’re usually owned by Greek families, and in addition to Coney Islands (chili dogs with mustard and onions) you’ll find gyros, Greek salads, burgers and, of course, Faygo soda on their menus.
A few liberties are taken by Coney Dog, who’ve Los Angeles-ed it up a bit with options like vegan chili, sweet potato fries and a bacon-wrapped LA Street Dog with chopped jalapenos. However, to boost authenticity they do import their hotdogs from Eastpointe, Michigan. And instead of making it in-house, they brag that they ship their chili in from Detroit–kind of like how Mulberry Street Pizzeria gets their water from New York. They also offer 6 Faygo flavors.
As is our tendency, my bro and I went for it. We both ordered Coney Islands and shared a burger, fries, and onion rings. The chili dog was all we hoped for, easily putting Pink’s to shame. The 80% beef/20% “clean” pork dog had satisfying snap and was smothered in thick, meaty chili with a slight tang. Served on a salad plate, the dog was relatively small with a standard grocery-store size bun, but that’s fine by me since I hate oppressively huge portions, and I had a lot more food to conquer. Plus, it only costs $2.95.
The burger, thankfully also not a gargantuan affair, was seasoned perfectly and obviously hand packed. The grilled onions and dill pickles completed the experience. The onion rings, cut thick and battered like a funnel cake, were a standout, but the fries were just fries…crispy and tasty but not monumental.
To my Michigander husband’s dismay, I washed the meal down with a Faygo Root Beer, not a Rock & Rye. And when I reported that the bottled soda cost $3, he had a pretty good laugh. Personally, I just accept it as one of the casualties of bringing Detroit to LA.
Let’s hope Coney Dog’s Loose Burger makes up for the faux pas.