Coney dogs continue to transplant themselves from Michigan to all parts of the country.
The latest we've heard about are Flint-style Coney Dogs showing up in Arizona.
Jim Cummer, of Joan's Kitchen at 1857 N. Scottsdale Road in Tempe, reports that the Coneys that he and his wife Solange are serving at their restaurant are so popular they outsell the traditional favorites.
He writes, "our experiment with bringing Flint-style Coneys to Arizona a winner. The first Saturday we sold 48 in two hours ... quite a successful debut. (On March 29), despite our wonderful home-cooked menu, we sold nothing but Coneys. It may soon be time to offer them each day.
"Our customers who never had this style of Coney have shared with us their pleasure: most expected a cheap, tired, old hot dog drenched in canned chile on a stale bun. Our Flint style Coney is a genuine Koegel's casing hot dog, imported from their Flint factory, housed in a steamed bun, covered with our own fresh homemade Flint style Coney sauce, topped with mustard and crowned with fresh sweet onions. This is a Coney symphony!"
Whoa, Jim! You're getting carried away!
He explains what makes the Flint version special.
"A true Flint-style Coney is a (Flint made) Koegel's natural casing hot dog served on a steamed bun with Coney sauce, onions and mustard only. What makes Flint-style unique is the dry, loose meat Coney sauce ... NOT a red sauce or chili sauce and NO beans or sauerkraut.
"For the better part of four months, I researched and created various Coney sauce recipes found on the internet and other places. None of them were correct. (For example, any Flint Coney sauce recipe that says to add tomato sauce or paste is wrong!). It was only after visiting a Flint butcher that I was able to put the pieces of the puzzle together. So while I have to import the Koegel's, the Coney sauce is made fresh each Saturday."
Then, Jim makes a statement that will not go down well in Detroit.
"Koegel’s Vienna' are made with beef and pork, and are made with natural casings. That is what gives the Flint Coney its snap when you bite into it. Koegel's makes a special Coney version of Vienna's only available to restaurants. This variety of Vienna sausageis made to be on a grill for an extended period of time."
There you have it. If you ever have the good fortune to be n Tempe, take in a Flint Coney dog.