No, this is not the Jets and Sharks duking it out on the mean streets of New York City. This fight goes on in the quiet downtown of Detroit. The birthplace and home of the Coney Island hotdog. Founded by brothers two Detroit icons boast the city's, nay planet’s best Coneys. The rivalry is as intense as one could imagine between siblings. Customer loyalty is solid as the bricks and mortar from which the restaurants are made. If you’re a diehard fan of one, you do not set foot in the other.
In this corner we have Lafayette Coney Island. The smallish cafeteria feeling restaurant keeps it’s vintage look. The hardworking blue collar town is mirrored in this blue collar setting. The walls are covered in awards and celebrities. Lord Stanley’s Cup has paid several visits.
Layfayette’s claim to the best Coneys in town is bolstered by Detroit Free Press and Click On Detroit polls. Runaway victories in both.
In the other corner we have American Coney Island. The older, bigger brother that seems to get more attention. Star of television it has more seating and much more square footage. The brighter, more modern interior reminds one of a carnival.
Padding their resume is national TV victories on Travel Channel’s Food Wars and FTV’s Food Feuds.
Both establishments serve Vienna style, natural casing dogs, done up on a flat top and served on steamed buns. Topped with chili and a host of garnishes.
So in my best Michael Buffer, LLLLLET’S GET READY TO RUUUUUMBLLLLLLE!!
The rules were simple. Both dogs were ordered identically, “With everything.” That means the dog on a bun with chili, onion and mustard.
The Lafayette dog seemed to spend a little bit more time on the flat top and as such the skin developed a little more taste.
The ACI dog seems to have had a slight bit more chili and a little more snap.
All in all, I really couldn’t tell a difference. It’s not surprising really. The two establishments were, after all, founded by brothers. Brothers who once worked together. To suggest that the chili recipe is the same is not at all a stretch.
Mrs. Sippi gave the nod to Lafayette since they serve Coke products and ACI serves Pepsi. I’ll give the nod to ACI with it’s more airy interior. Not exactly a way to judge a Coney contest but IMHO in the end, everyone’s a winner here. You just can’t go wrong with either.
You can find the Coney Island battle ground on W. Lafayette Blvd at the intersection of Griswold Ave. in downtown Detroit, Michigan.
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Visit American on the web or on facebook here and Lafayette here.
Well that’s all for now fight fans. See you next time in the food court.