Friday, June 4, 2010

Field Report: Detroit

Someone needs a salad. And, that someone is me. Tried to make the most of some eating while up in Detroit for work, but...... I really need some exercise and some healthier food for a change after this visit.

Detroit surely needs no sympathy from me. It is sad, though, how much the city continues to shrink and suffer economically. This is just a small thing, but... this city must have been something just after WW2.... so many great older buildings. This was from my hotel. Hope things can turn around up there before long.

A reader commented on the side-by-side coney island restaurants. Happens that they're around the corner from our office. So, even though one time while in Philly I did eat at both Pat's and Geno's back to back on a cheesesteak comparison, I did wait a day between trying out Lafayette Coney Island and American Coney Island. You can learn about them in this truncated youtube video.

It is pretty odd to have such similar businesses set up shop right next to one another. I mean, you'd never see a Walgreens near a CVS.... uh.... scratch that.....

Anyhow, I've now had like 5 hot dogs in the span of 3 days. I really need a good long bike ride.

First, on Thursday, I went to Lafayette. Tasty. I was really looking forward to the lunch, and it didn't disappoint. I'd have liked some hot sauce, but the dogs had a good snap when you bit them, the chili sauce was tasty, there were plenty of onions, and the mustard give a bit of punch to the taste. Overall, it was $6 for the two dogs and a coke. Pretty solid value, and I was full enough. I coulda likely fit in some fries, but I surely didn't need to.

On Friday, I zipped over to American for the taste test. I also added some fries this time, apparently feeling my system needed to be tested by more than just the nitrates and saturated fat from the dogs (fries were very pedestrian, from a bay variety). Again, tasty, good snap, woulda liked some hot sauce (there was some at the counter, guess I shoulda asked for some).

So, the comparison? I don't know. They're hot dogs and chili sauce with mustard and onions. I enjoyed Lafayette more, but mostly cause I was just looking forward to it. I likely will disappoint native Detroiters, but I felt they were incredibly similar. American serves Pepsi, Lafayette serves Coke, for what that matters (and, I know it does to some). Oddly, the thing that puts Lafayette on top for me is that they are... more dilapidated.... American has actually tried to decorate more, and to have a noticeable theme. Lafayette kind of charms me by being unadorned.

Luckily the folks I travelled with were not feeling very ambitious or interested in heading over to Greek Town, so we just ate at the hotel, and I did get a salad. But... um.... I don't think I should do the 5 dogs in 3 days thing again any time soon.

The verdict: 4 belly rubs (out of 5). Tasty cheap eats, keep the breath mints and defibrillator close by.

Recommendation: For the drive home, I listened to several installments of the podcast A History of the World in 100 objects. Fantastic. Really interesting stuff.

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