Well, August 25 was a red letter day in burgerdom for me. I had to be in Detroit on business and I knew I’d have a couple of hours, post-meeting, before I caught my plane.
On my way from the airport, I had to make a U-turn when I missed my turn due to a road closing. While I’m sitting at the light waiting to get back on M-39, I see Carter’s Hamburgers out my window, on the access road.
Talking with the waitress, which is an experience until itself, I find out that Carter’s has been open for forty-nine years and she’s been working there twenty-seven years, although they are not contiguous. She has, by her own admission, “left a couple of times for greener pastures,” but she’s “always come back.”
The burger was good, crisp edge with a moist bun. The two things I noticed about Michigan burger joints: they love Spanish onions (every place I went had grilled onions for the burgers and assumed you wanted them) and they’re Pepsi people. The latter would ultimately lead to a problem for me, and one more reason to not live in a place where it gets that cold in the winter.
I asked the waitress what, exactly, makes it a “Coney Dog”.
“It’s the chili.”
What makes Coney chili different from regular chili?
“Regular chili has beans. Coney chili has no beans.”