I think about a world to come where the books were found by the golden ones, written in pain, written in awe by a puzzled man who questioned, "What are we here for?" All the strangers came today and it looks as though they're here to stay.

-David Bowie "Oh! You Pretty Things"

Friday, August 13, 2010

American Coney Island

As soon as I realized that the food at American Coney Island in Detroit was blog-worthy, I began questioning what the purpose of such a blog post would be. (Yes, I use the word blog-worthy in conversation, and no, I don't think it makes me a loser.) American Coney Island and it's next-door neighbor Lafayette Coney Island have already been rated by just about everyone on the Food Network and the Travel Channel as a couple of the best restaurants in the nation. One blog post isn't going to do much good for this place compared to national television coverage.

But then I realized that there is a possibility that people exist who are loyal to this blog and not to the Food Network or the Travel Channel, people who would never have heard of this place without this very post, and I felt justified. It's like one of those episodes of Spider-Man where he's just about to hang up the mask until he meets a little girl who restores his faith in humanity and reminds him of why he's fighting the good fight. This blog post is me returning to the good fight.

If you're going to Detroit, put American Coney Island on your itinerary. I'm sure Lafayette is good for completely different reasons, but after a filling meal at American I wasn't about to wander next door and make myself sick. As I learned on the recent season of the hit television program Community, it's possible that too much of a good thing is a bad thing. Amy and I had what the waiter called "The Special." It wasn't on the menu, but it's possible that it's the same as the Coney Island Hot Dog. It's a hot dog topped with ground beef, Coney Island chili sauce, onions and mustard. The dogs here have a slightly tougher outside than at most hotdog places, making them snap when you bite into them. It's a great taste.

The waiter also suckered us into ordering some Chili Cheese Fries to split. We were very happy with this subtle coercion, because they tasted amazing.

On the way out I was struck with the quality of food at this simple hot dog restaurant. How is it possible that food like this could taste so good? That's when it came to me. Like a sign.

I guess it wasn't like a sign. It was a sign. American Coney Island is Preferred By the Gods. Now, whether it's preferred by the gods because it's so good or it's so good because it's preferred by the gods is another matter. We'll leave that one to Euthyphro. Am I right? (Funny. Ancient Greek jokes never seem to go over very well. Maybe that's why I always feel so sick standing at the mic at amateur comedy night.) It's our job to find and devour good food.

I've found it. It's your turn to devour it.

American Coney Island
114 W. Lafayette
Detroit, MI 48226

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