Our local coney contest draws a travel correspondent

Dec 17, 2014 at 11:35 am

Detroit's contributions to the culinary world are humble and few. The Boston Cooler. The Bullshot. The Hummer. Detroit-style pizza. And, of course, the coney dog.

We've long felt that the coney dog deserved greater celebrity. For at least 15 years, TV chow hounds have prowled the country in searching out every genus of regional frankfurter, arguably beginning with Rick Sebak's 1999 TV documentary, A Hot Dog Program. We've seen celebrations of Southwestern Sonorans, Hawaiian Puka Dogs, Texas wieners, Maine "red snappers," Seattle's split hot dogs with cream cheese, and many more, but longed to see our frank enter that pantheon of American dogs.

That may have changed, since AP travel editor Beth J. Harpaz came to town to experience our two coney palaces downtown: Lafayette and American. Not only did Harpaz get to enjoy the taste test, she hit Lafayette first and then fell into the clutches of the inimitable Grace Keros, who's not known for her shyness. The piece also poked a bit of good-natured fun at our fair city's characters.

When travel writers come to town to write about it, has the coney finally arrived? If so, it's about the right time for it: The coney island hot dog is about to turn 100.