As a native Detroiter (Rochester Hills, MI) who is now relocated to a different state, I look forward to each trip back home. And no trip is complete without a stop at American Coney Island. Ok, three or four stops. American Coney isn't just a place to get a coney or just another restaurant; it's a tradition, a Detroit icon. I walk in and memories flood back: my years at Wayne State University, midnight meals during decades of attending Techno Fest’s (a three day music event & home of Techno Music) in Hart Plaza, grabbing a coney & Vernors pop before a Tigers or Red Wings game, and now returning with my own family. And it's not just me. My last visit back, I sat next to a family that now lives in Pittsburgh, but they have to stop into American Coney whenever they're back in the city.
So, when I was offered the chance to try American Coney Island Coney Kit, I was a little skeptical. I could not see how they could package up their coneys, have me put it all together, and it taste like a legit American Coney. The box came by UPS, on dry ice. Inside were coneys, buns, sauce, & an onion. Getting excited, but still not sure how this was going to go. Then, I smelled the sauce heating up. It was definitely American Coney. Steamed the buns, chopped the onions, here we go. I took a bite and was instantly back in Detroit! I had the coney and a can of Vernor's; I was just missing the fries. I ate three that evening & went to bed looking forward to coneys for lunch the next day.
While having American Coney delivered to my house turned out to be delicious, it doesn't replace the real thing. I'll keep going back to the original because it's just not the food, it's the tradition, the memories. It's Detroit.
Thank you much American Coney, for offering this opportunity to me via Twitter and now I’m an in-house and online customer! I wish my tee shirt made the trip.
UPDATE: The awesome tee shirt arrived on May 25th
So what’s with this Vernors Pop?
Just prior to the onset of World War II, Vernors built a 230,000 sq. ft bottling plant and headquarters, encompassing an entire city block on Woodward Avenue, one block from the Detroit River in Downtown. In the late 1950s, when the City of Detroit proposed construction of Cobo Hall and other riverfront projects, a land-swap was negotiated, and Vernors moved its bottling plant and headquarters to the location just up Woodward Ave. to the old civic exhibition hall at 4501 Woodward Avenue, incorporating many of the popular features of the old plant. Tours of the Vernors plant old and new were major tourist attractions. This Woodward Avenue plant was later demolished and replaced by a parking structure on the campus of Wayne State University.