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Though reasonably healthy and fit, my brother and I have fat kids inside us, and they are partners in crime. I’ve evidence this phenomenon before on this blog, during a certain chili dog outing that took us all the way to West Hollywood. This time, our carnal food desires lured us to Nick’s Cafe, an LA institution and cop hangout since 1948. And, oh, was there gluttony.
Pure and unadulterated.
“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.
Sometimes nostalgia makes food taste better—and Mid-Century Modern décor doesn’t hurt either. My friend Yolanda had been gunning for lunch at Rae’s Restaurant on Pico Blvd. for months now, and on a rainy Friday, I finally obliged. It’s a good thing I had my camera because Rae’s is the real deal. Plus, it was featured in the coolest movie ever, True Romance.
Like the décor, the menu at Rae’s is very 1950s greasy spoon. Breakfast is served all day with options like Bacon Tid Bit Waffles (bacon is crumbled into the batter) and the Hobo Breakfast, perhaps designed to soothe some scruffy tramp’s hangover with a meal of tomato juice, hotcakes, eggs, ham, bacon and sausage. You can also get old-timey sides like prunes, Bartlett pears, and applesauce with cinnamon and sugar.