Your Guide to Authentic Regional Eats
Sign In | Register for Free!
Restaurants Recipes Forums Eating Tours Merchandise FAQ Maps Insider

Lafayette Coney Island

118 W. Lafayette Blvd, Detroit, MI - (313) 964-8198
Posted By Michael Stern on 4/22/2009 1:01:00 PM
No place is more passionate about Coney Island hot dogs than Detroit. Coneys are everywhere, but the most conspicuous evidence of the Motor City's obsession is a pair of rival restaurants that are right next to each other: American Coney Island and Lafayette Coney Island. To the casual observer, the two stores' Coneys are pretty much alike, but each has fanatical devotees. Cliff Strutz (buffetbuster) recently observed a scene on Lafayette Boulevard that showed just how faithful people can be to their favorite. Cliff wrote, "I had one of my all-time favorite Roadfood moments while I was in Detroit last weekend. After finishing a couple of Coneys, I was standing in the middle of the street taking photos of Lafayette and American Coney Islands. A car pulled up with two guys dressed in Red Wings clothing, obviously going to the game. One headed for the door at Lafayette and one for American, both ribbing each other for their poor taste in hot dogs. I find it very amusing that one just didn't say 'whatever,' and eat with his friend. But Coney loyalty is apparently more important." Cliff's accompanying photograph shows the two dog hounds each going to his favorite place.

Lafayette's beefy, crisp-cased hot dogs are not aristocratic. A naked one would be a bore. But nobody eats a Coney undressed. It is perforce a package, and it is in the packaging that diabolical harmony is attained. Spicy dog, soft white bun, smooth chili, bright yellow mustard and crisp onions (and maybe shredded cheese, too) all come together in a form of hash-house alchemy. When the craving for one (or more likely, four) of them strikes, the primest filet mignon could not scratch that itch. It is possible to order one with "heavy chili," but we believe the extra measure throws the precious balance off. Better to have your additional chili blanketing French fries or cheese fries. Or if you really like the chili, you can get a dogless bun filled with it.

Lafayette is open until 4am Sunday through Thursday, 5am Friday and Saturday nights, making it a choice destination after a long night of revelry. It opens at 7:30am (9:30 on Sunday) for gastronomic maniacs who need a brace of Coneys to start the day.

12 out of 12 people found the review helpful. Was it helpful to you?

No Yes

Scorecard

4 - Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
Chili Dog
Chili Cheese Fries
Vernor's Ginger Ale
Rate this place

Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

Vienna-style, natural casing dogs, are done up on a flat top and served on steamed buns, topped with chili and a host of garnishes. They achieve a nice crust from the flat top. This is one good-tasting dog.
"Vienna-style, natural casing dogs, are done up on a flat top and served on steamed buns, topped with chili and a host of garnishes. They achieve a nice crust from the flat top. This is one good-tasting dog."
Dave O'Ball





Rule of thumb: If food is being prepared in the front window, it's bound to be great.
"Rule of thumb: If food is being prepared in the front window, it's bound to be great."
Dave O'Ball


Anything the chili touches is spectacular
"Anything the chili touches is spectacular"
Stephen Rushmore


Two of these chili dogs with finely ground meat should keep your stomach happy.
"Two of these chili dogs with finely ground meat should keep your stomach happy."
Stephen Rushmore


Here is a pair to reckon with: classic Coney Island dogs as served at Lafayette. (buffetbuster photo)
"Here is a pair to reckon with: classic Coney Island dogs as served at Lafayette. (buffetbuster photo)"
Michael Stern


Spicy, locally made Vernor's ginger ale is our drink of choice with almost any meal in the Detroit area; but it must also be noted that the staff at Lafayette are great showmen when it comes to pouring glasses of white or chocolate milk. (buffetbuster photo)
"Spicy, locally made Vernor's ginger ale is our drink of choice with almost any meal in the Detroit area; but it must also be noted that the staff at Lafayette are great showmen when it comes to pouring glasses of white or chocolate milk. (buffetbuster photo)"
Michael Stern


Here you see all the elements essential to the construction of a Coney: The chef is fetching chili from the pot in the window. Behind him are bowls full of bright yellow mustard and diced raw onions. (buffetbuster photo)
"Here you see all the elements essential to the construction of a Coney: The chef is fetching chili from the pot in the window. Behind him are bowls full of bright yellow mustard and diced raw onions. (buffetbuster photo)"
Michael Stern


The decor is no-frills plebeian diner, but the cuisine is street food royalty. (buffetbuster photo)
"The decor is no-frills plebeian diner, but the cuisine is street food royalty. (buffetbuster photo)"
Michael Stern


You must arrive early to see the counters this empty.
"You must arrive early to see the counters this empty."
Stephen Rushmore


A view of Lafayette's interior
"A view of Lafayette's interior"
Dave O'Ball


This is the photograph buffetbuster took of two guys who arrived in the same car, but went to different Coney places, ribbing each other on the way in about which one had poor taste in hot dogs!
"This is the photograph buffetbuster took of two guys who arrived in the same car, but went to different Coney places, ribbing each other on the way in about which one had poor taste in hot dogs!"
Michael Stern


There are a couple chili dog places on this block - be sure to visit this one.
"There are a couple chili dog places on this block - be sure to visit this one."
Stephen Rushmore



What is Roadfood?  |   Submit Content  |   Privacy Policy  |   Contact Roadfood.com   Copyright - Roadfood.com