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This Week In Moneypenny: Who's Your Coney?

Detroit is passionate about their coney dogs. It seems we are also passionate about being on television. And not just the evening news! The Travel Channel has a show called Food Wars that aims to find the best of the best out of many common menu items that have been done to death. Much to our delight, Detroit was asked to pit beloved restaurants American Coney Island VS Lafayette Coney Island in a battle to see who claims best Coney dog in all the land. Now, as locals, we all know that you can get a Coney dog at a bazillion places. But then, most of us also know the magic that surrounds these two landmarks, even if they butt up against each other.

Our tranquil ride to the event on the Night Move was not foreshadowing for the booming, frothy mob of hot dog enthusiasts that we encountered when we hit the scene. With signs held high and colors blazing, a noisy herd of excited Detroiters crammed themselves like cocktail wieners into a small downtown bar with a full Travel Channel crew, complete with cute host Camille Ford. Lucky for her, she has the whistle of a cattle driver and barely managed to settle the unruly mob long enough to do her job.

Sides were clearly taken. The theme was light hearted, but the debate was heated. Families of multiple generations clad in matching t-shirts branded with their 'dog of preference took stance on one side of the room, while their friends, family and neighbors faced off on the other side, equally as staunch. The TV process was slow at first, but once the food judges arrived, exuberance hit an all time high. The five person panel included Channel 4's Carmen Harlan (a Lafayette supporter), a superfan for American, a superfan for Lafayette, an undecided Detroiter and an out-of-towner. Fortunately, the blindfolded taste test didn't take much time as the crowd held their breath and scrutinized every bite. After drawing it out as long as possible, it came down to the very last vote and the verdict sent the room into a frenzy of cheers and boos that rivaled a major sports event. It's supposed to be a secret until the show airs, but it's pretty evident who won if you look closely enough at the photos. Along with my photos, fellow MCB contributor Paul Hitz was also there to witness and capture the pandemonium for your viewing enjoyment.

Good times were had by all, but only the judges were lucky enough to score Coney dogs at this event. A historical debate over Coney dogs can never truly be solved by five people in a dingy bar, no matter how many onlookers holler while they try. After the festivities, we climbed back onto the Night Move with a ravenous craving for chili-dogs. The real winner of the evening turned out to be National Coney Island. Because after a long night of drunken adventure, it doesn't matter where you grab your Coney from. I defy you to notice the difference at 2am.

Go get you some! You know you want to.