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Lafayette Coney Island

November 7, 2014

  • Lafayette Coney Island118 W. Lafayette Boulevard
  • Detroit, MI 48226
  • (313) 964-8198
  • Website
  • Menu

It’s 1:30 AM and you’re awake and hungry in downtown Detroit.  Where do you go?  Duh.  Do I even need to spell it out.

That’s the situation I found myself in the other night.  After a long day of work, I headed to the Holiday Day Express in Downtown Detroit where my company was putting me up for the night.  I handed  my keys off to the valet and checked in to my room first, but the whole time I was thinking about dinner.  There was a bar right next to the hotel, but seriously, downtown Detroit at night means only one thing.  Coney Island.

My hotel was about two blocks from the famous corner Coney Island restaurants…Lafayette Coney Island and American Coney Island.  I dropped my bags off in my 14th floor room then headed back down to street level to make the two block walk.

I chose to go in to Lafayette Coney Island because that was the one I thought I remembered as native Detroiters telling me was better.  In all honesty, I had no idea.  Lafayette just looked more authentic to me.  It was smaller, dingy, and quite full for being well after midnight.  

The story of Lafayette Coney Island is pretty well known to most Michiganders.  The two brothers that owned American Coney Island butted heads and one of them opened a competing business right next door to American.

I walked in and noticed a lunch counter with a couple of open seats, so that where I headed.  A waiter in a stark white, short sleeve shirt and white apron followed me and asked what I wanted as I was sitting down.  I asked for a Coney Island Dog with no onions and an order of fries.  I didn’t realize it at the time, but they actually had cans of beer, but I didn’t notice it and just asked for a water.

The waiter grabbed a small glass and filled it with tap water as he called out my small order in short hand to the cook standing in front of the grill.  By the time the tap filled the glass full of water, my hot dog was plated and waited for me.  The fries took a couple more minutes because they were dropped fresh, but I got started on my dog while I was waiting on the fries.

I’ve made no secret about it in the past, I’m not really a fan of hot dogs.  I’ve always liked Corn Dogs, but I could never eat a hot dog on a bun.  Knowing that, it makes about no sense that I willingly ordered a Coney Dog, but I wanted to give it a chance.  When in Rome, right?

I picked up the dog that was overflowing with a delicious, meaty chili and a couple lines of mustard.  I surprised myself when I bit in to the dog and….actually really liked it.  Of course, the chili will make just about anything taste better, but the dog was actually pretty good as well.  The natural casing frank had a really good snap to it when I bit down.  I’ve always had to have mustard on my corn dogs, so it was only natural for a hot dog that I really liked to have mustard on it.

When I was about halfway done with the dog, a small plate of fries were tossed in front of me.  They weren’t anything more than out of the bag food service fries, but with a little salt, they were the perfect compliment to the dog.

Once I was done, the waiter came over and asked if I wanted another.  I did, but I figured I should get to bed since I had to get up in just a little over 4 hours anyway to go back to work.  He rang up my bill on a cash register that is probably as old as the restaurant itself.  The dog and fries came to just a little under $5 which is only payable with cash (no credit although they do have an ATM).

Lafayette Coney Island is one of those places you MUST stop at if you’re in Detroit.  They’re open late and damn are they cheap.  The Coney Island Dog was invented in this part of the world and it’s the type of foods that Detroiters will miss once they’re gone. Remember, I don’t like hot dogs…but I really enjoyed Lafayette’s Coney Dogs.

Lafayette Coney Island

Lafaytte Coney Island

Coney Island Dog

Lafayette Coney Island on Urbanspoon

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Mary ann permalink
    November 7, 2014 4:23 pm

    Buddy’s pizza and coneys….what I miss most!

    • SW Michigan Dining permalink*
      November 7, 2014 4:48 pm

      And two of my favorite things about Detroit

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