In countless books and blog posts on community building and engagement, we are told that we must share knowledge and information; create posts that others will find useful — things you need to know as a writer and such. Unfortunately I have little of use to offer you that satisfies two conditions: one, something you will find useful, and two, something I will find fun to write.
Fortunately, I found something that satisfies both criteria: the difference between Coney Dogs and Chili Dogs.
A Coney Dog (which comes from Michigan, not Coney Island) is a variety of Chili Dog, the relative medium of tubular meat expression to the broader Chili Dog medium. Of the Coney Dogs, there are multiple varieties: the Detroit Coney, which is more of a sauce, sans ground meat (and of course, beanless); the “Flint” Coney, possessed of more ground beef than actual chili sauce (again, beanless); lastly, the “Cincinnati” Coney,a tinier, angrier midget version of the Coney, whose tubular meat is almost always ensconced and hidden by the slathering of beanless chili, onions, and copious amounts of shredded cheese. Unlike its parent medium, the Coney Dog is almost always served with yellow mustard while the Chili Dog derives its spice from the luscious chili slathered… nomdroolohmygodherggghhhh…
My personal preference is the Guerne Heights Drive-In Coney Dog (and of the Detroit Coney variety), hailed in their menu as:
“This is what made Guerne famous for Coney Dogs…a recipe that hasn’t changed in over 30 years! A grilled, New England style bun, our one-of-a-kind hot dog and our deliciously sweet Coney sauce topped off with fresh cut onions. Have one and you’ll know why so many people drive miles for our Coney Dogs!”
When I moved to Boston, I went almost ten years without one of these pieces of awesome. I had a wild ride in my twenties, but had I more Guerne Coneys in my life (with cheese, though I’m never sure how to order it – do I order a cheese dog with coney sauce or a coney dog with cheese? How do I differentiate between the shredded cheese and melted cheese? These are issues I face at least once every six weeks), I’ve no doubt that my life would have turned out differently (and likely a hundred pounds heavier).
So I hope you, my community, has found this of use. Remember: the Coney Dog is a relative tubular meat medium to the more broad Chili Dog. If you visit NYC hoping to have the original, authentic Coney Dog, you’re an asshole. And with the rampant usefulness of this post, I hope you won’t be an asshole.