Coney Island Sauce
Wow! This is great. I just finished eating a couple of hot dogs at home (Southern California now days) and I put some canned Hot Dog Chili Sauce on them. What a disappointment. I immediately got on the internet and started looking for Coney Island Sauce. And found this site.
I grew up in Kalamazoo and we had the Coney Island Restaurant (I think that is the name) on Main St. just east of Portage Ave. I remember it from the sixties and my older brothers and sisters remember it from the forties and fifties. (Coney Island Dog and a Pepsi for a quarter) It's still there and with the same owners, and three years ago, one of the sons told me they are now working on the fourth generation.
The place hasn't changed all that much over the years. A big, flat grill in the front window, facing the sidewalk, filled with hot dogs, old dingy booths and a long diner bar along one wall. The only way I can remember the Coney's being served is with (for sure, onions) and maybe some mustard.
Now days, through the week, the place has a waiting line for the Coney's during the lunch time. Business men, doctors, secretaries, construction people, sales clerks, law enforcement folks and, even folks that had left Kalamazoo years ago, coming back for a visit.
But, come this weekend, I'll be busy trying this new recipe. And then to the VFW Post 2323, Granada Hills for sharing of the new Coney's.
Do let me know how they like your Coney's at the VFW.
Good to hear from you and thanks for your comments.
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I ran across your page with the coney sauce.....yum! There is nothing on earth like a coney. I moved from Jackson, where I was born and raised about 9 years ago and am now living in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Everytime I come home or someone comes here I get a couple Virginia Lunch Coney dogs — heavy on the onion. It is so hard to believe no one has ever had them — a crime I say! I do not miss much from Jackson but coney dogs and Whites Chicken! So sad!
Las Vegas, NV
I was in Las Vegas just last month. It's hard to understand why anyone would move there on purpose, but even Las Vegas is better than Jackson, MI. We drove down to the Hoover Dam while we were there. It was a long hot trip.
I simply couldn't believe it either — that no one around here had heard of, let alone tried a coney dog. There should be a law against that. Sure a chili dog will do if you are starving but should anyone have to settle for a poor substitute? People on the West coast just don't know what they are missing out on. That's a fact!
Years ago I worked at the Jackson Coney Island and would often pop in for a bite at Virginia Coney (located at: 649 E. Michigan Ave, Jackson, MI 49201), gotta love all that wonderful grease and the waitresses are nice and friendly.
Glad to hear from you Michelle, thanks for your comments.
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At last!!! Somebody that knows about THE Coney Hot Dog of Jackson! I grew up in Jackson and have the same memories of The Cascades, Loud & Jacksons, Jackson High, Ella Sharp Park, Pleasant Lake, the list goes on.
Anyone Remember HoJo's?
I am a little long in the tooth now, retired and live in the Tennessee Smokies. Whenever I used to go to Jackson I would load up on Todoroff's sauce. I don't get to Michigan anymore so, no coney's. Until now! I can't wait to cook up some sauce with your recipe. Thank you so much!
Happy Father's Day! Thanks for sharing your Jackson memories!
I have many fond memories of trips to The Lost Shoe Tavern that I had forgotten about. My uncle use to bartend there, so we would visit there occasionally. We took great pleasure in cracking open those peanuts and tossing the shells on the floor — it was great fun back in the day...
Hope you enjoy those Coney's!
I Mikayla tried Annette Hall's recipe.
The resapes name is coney dogs.
It is the best resape ever.
Mikayla S., 10-years-old
Thank you for testing G-ma's recipe. I'm so glad you like it.
I still have lots of family in the Jackson area, so I sent links to several family members and asked them to try it out.
Little Miss Mikayla liked it so much that when she was given two coney dogs and was unable to eat them both, she wrapped the second one up, put it in the fridge and threatened other family members with bodily harm if they ate it — now that's love.
I am from Detroit, Michigan, living in New Hampshire. I also get that glazed look when trying to explain how a Lafayette Coney Island, or Gus Keros Coney Dog tastes. On every trip back to Michigan, I eat many Coney's, and drink Vernor's Ginger Ale.
I am going to try your recipe, and, if it hits the mark I won't have any more reasons to travel to Michigan.
Also, please do something about the picture of the coney dog with ketchup. I never saw anyone who dared to eat one this way -- only mustard, with or without onions.
Thanks for the recipe. I will let you know how it turns out.
Do let me know how you like this recipe and if you have any recommended changes — if you decide you don't like it.
As for the picture with the ketsup, sorry mikie, it stays. That coney dog was mine and it was delicious. Mustard is for bologna, not hot dogs and I would certainly never spoil a perfectly good coney dog with mustard.
Thanks for your comments!
~Annette M. Hall
Hi, I loved your story/recipe on coney island sauce, and the Michigan style coney. But you forgot the most important thing... to serve it over a real Koegel's Viennas hot dogs, they make the Michigan coney!!!
Glad you enjoyed the recipe and the story. To be honest I've never tried a Koegel's Viennas hot dog -- isn't that more of a New York thing? My absolute favorite hot dog is Hebrew National all Beef, which makes eating coney dogs a real experience.
~Annette M. Hall
I can't wait to try this recipe for Super Bowl Sunday. I already have the Vernors on ice. What a combo!
We have been craving a Coney dog for many years in the Florida area and after searching the web over and over our trust is with a true Michigan native. When ever we returned to eastern Michigan we always returned with a to-go cooler full of Coney Dogs but they were never the same as a real live Coney on a steamed bun.
I hope you start cooking today. Coney Sauce is always better after it's simmered for a while, which is why I make mine up ahead of time. The longer the sauce cooks, the better it is.
Do let me know how you like it.
~Annette M. Hall
I am from Jackson but live in Moultrie, Georgia. My family owned the Dairy Bar on M-50 outside of Jackson going towards Napoleon. We had the best Coney Dogs around. The recipe has been lost as most of my family has passed away.
One thing I do remember about our sauce is it was made with equal amounts of Beef Heart and Ground Beef. I can not find any Beef Heart here in south Georgia. I will try your recipe.
Thanks for the tip. Why not try your local butcher shop? I'll bet they can hook you up. Meat markets are a lot harder to find these days but they are around. Please let me know what you think if you try my recipe and I'll see if I can find some beef heart too and try it out.
Try the following meat markets in your area:
I believe I've been to the Dairy Bar on M-50, those are my old stomping grounds. It's just been so many years ago... A mind is a terrible thing to waste.
Thanks for writing.
~Annette M. Hall
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Thanks for your post, it may have been from years ago, but I just came upon it today. I am badly craving a Michigan Coney Dog. This time of year I always miss Michigan. I miss Cider Mills. I miss Meijers and Saunders, and Pasties, and Traverse City, and fresh fish, and my list goes on and on.
Will try your sauce recipe this weekend. Do you have any other Michigan recipes?
Hi Annette, I live in Belleville and I love Coney Dogs. I will make this sauce for our regional Ford Falcon Club get-together it will be held in Southgate, Mi. last weekend in August.
Of course I will have to make it for about 100 Hot Dogs and my favorite is the one from Dearborn Sausage with the skin on. I do get to Battle Creek about 3 times a year and will try your favorite next time I am there.
Thanks for the recipe I can't wait to try it. I lived in Jackson, MI until I was 32 then we moved to Colorado where they also do not know about Coney Island hot dogs even though we do have a giant Coney dog shaped restaurant on a highway leading into the mountains.
I too had been told by the guy that ran the Coney Island out by Paka Plaza (where I used to work) that they also used beef heart. Not me.
Anyway. Here in Colorado, I eat bison instead of beef because it is much lower in fat and better for you. I can't wait to try this recipe. It sounds right based on what I remember.
I really love your web site and the other Jackson pictures etc.
I'll bet bison is a terrific alternative to beef, please let me know how it turns out. I think I'd like to try it. Health conscious cooks can also try using ground turkey, ground elk or ground deer meat.
We drove to Modesto the other day, and stopped in Oakdale on the way home at the A&W Root Beer Stand, where they had "Coney Dogs" on the menu. I of course had to ask if those were "coney dogs" or "chili dogs," naturally they were chili dogs.
I am always surprised to find that people don't know the difference, the young lady behind the counter was no exception. My husband decided to try one and immediately said they were "okay" but couldn't hold a candle to my coney dogs. He was even surprised to find a taste difference in the hot dog. (He prefers chicken/turkey hot dogs, while I, on the other hand, prefer beef.
Thanks for writing Kathi, I look forward to hearing how your bison coney sauce turns out.
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