Want to know our dirtiest secret (or at least the dirtiest secret we’re going to put on a website)? We weren’t actually born in Boston. We were born (gasp!) in the Midwest. To be more precise, we were born in the suburbs of Detroit where we lived until we were about two years old. We don’t remember anything from the days before we were a Bostonian, but both our parents grew up in Michigan and our grandparents still live there and you know what? It’s sort of nice there, albeit somehow even colder than it is in Boston. Today, of course, Michigan will be holding its presidential primary. In tribute, we thought we’d try to track down one of the state’s native foods: the Coney Island hot dog.
The Coney Island dog is somewhat misleadingly named as it is a treat rarely available outside of Michigan. According to Wikipedia, the Coney Island dog is so named because hot dogs were invented in Coney Island. Fair enough, but that doesn’t explain why Michiganders have given the name to a type of dog that is definitely not available in Brooklyn. The Coney Island dog is a beef hot dog topped with chili, diced yellow onion, and plain yellow mustard. It is extraordinarily messy to eat, inarguably gluttonous, and rather delicious.
In Michigan, it’s hard to drive a mile without passing several restaurants with Coney Island in the name, but the dogs are extremely difficult to find on the East Coast. The closest approximation of a Coney Island dog we’ve found in the Boston area is from Spike’s Junkyard Dogs: order a Sinatra dog and ask for it to be topped with onions, mustard, and their chili. If you’d rather try to cook yours at home, we recommend using this recipe rather than the inferior Sandra Lee version. Go ahead! Rock out with a Coney Island dog while you watch tonight’s election results on CNN. Your tummy will thank us tonight (although maybe not tomorrow morning).