A quick drive up I-75, on M-24 past the Palace in Auburn Hills,  east on Burdick in Oxford.  Sunday morning worship with a couple hundred teens, young adults, leaders at Echo Grove Camp.  Morning over.  But lunch before the travel home to Chicago.

I was going to order the broiled salmon.  Vegetables.  Healthy.  I do like salmon.

But when Gail ordered a hamburger for lunch, I crumbled.  I looked with pleading eyes to the waitress.  Two coneys?  Yes, with onions.  How can you eat a coney without onions.  I was totally reckless.  You want fries with that?  My better self intervened.  Vegetable soup.

The soup was great.

Then came the coneys.

I am certain the frankfurters are Michigan's best, Koegel's. Just remembering is making my mouth water. I can't stand it.

I am certain the frankfurters are Michigan’s best, Koegel’s. Just remembering is making my mouth water. I can’t stand it.

You see, don’t you, how Gail’s cheeseburger pales in comparison to the coney dog’s mouth-watering construction.  The crisp snap of the frankfurter skin.  Slightly toasted inner surface of the bun.  Finely chopped white onion that has just a tad of fire to it.  Coney sauce ala Detroit, not the version served in nearby Flint.  My friend Jeff would question why Detroit style coney islands are served just miles from Flint which in his estimation is superior.  But Jeff is a fanatic of anything Flint.  GM and so on.  Who can say?

You can also see my preference.  A modest run of mustard beading the top of the sauce.  I was very pleased that my coneys were served HOT.

On the way out of Honeytree I grabbed a peppermint.  It was a long drive home.  The peppermint mitigated what you might expect from anything served with onions.

My hometown, Duluth MN, has it’s own coney version.  Detroit?  Flint?  Duluth?  Hard to say which I would prefer.  I take this as a sure sign of my sophisticated cosmopolitan ways.

For sure, coney dogs are comfort food.  Comfort food for gritty urban life.  Granted, one needs to guard from excess to keep it in the comfort range.

Chicago’s equivalent?  Nah, not the pizza.

Jim’s on Maxwell Street.  Grilled polish sausage.  And for our family what was a special Sunday night treat after a late choir rehearsal:  the grilled pork chop sandwich.  Sizzling hot with a bone you had to eat around.  Plenty of grilled rings of onions slathered on top the chop between two barely holding together slices of white bread.  A sloppy satisfying mess on a Chicago winter’s night.

Jim’s.  The place where sheets of plastic visqueen hung down to keep the wind out.  Guys from off the street.  Bulls players from the nearby Chicago Stadium.  Anybody could and would be there.  Pork chop sandwiches.  Polish.  Community?  Uh, yeah.  More like a gathering of people late on a cold night who had no better place to go for some sign that humanity existed.

Jim’s no longer is on Maxwell Street.  Something to do with an expanded University of Illinois at Chicago.  Sad.

Additional note:  our oldest grandson shares my enthusiasm for coneys.  Though he does prefer cheese on his.  He’s young.

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