Zagat: Ed & Bev's Spicy Spin on Detroit-Style Coney Dog

Could Detroit's Coney Dog be a hit in the Big Apple? Zagat editor Kelly Dobkin stopped by Ed & Bev's at Berg’n to find out. She filed the following report for NY1.

Chef brothers Eli and Max Sussman recently opened Ed & Bev’s, a Detroit-inspired Coney Island Diner boasting homages to their childhood favorites.

"It just seemed natural that if we had the opportunity to do another project we would want to do a Coney, a Detroit-style diner,” Eli Sussman says. “It has all the normal greasy spoon, diner stuff. You can get hamburgers, French fries. Then there’s all the Michigan specific specialties which is the Coney Dog."

So what exactly is a Coney Dog?

"The Coney Dog in Detroit is a Koegel-brand hot dog and then it’s gonna be chili, white onions and mustard," Eli says.

I visited Detroit, my hometown, last fall to taste some of the city’s finest.

The chili sauce is actually really complex, it has a lot of spices going on. It's not like a typical chili you get in a diner. It's got a little dimension to it, and it doesn't have beans in it which is what makes a Coney sauce a Coney sauce.

"Ours has elements of the original but is not supposed to be, in any way, a direct copy," Eli Sussman says.

"We take the brisket and basically braise it in all the chili spices and once it’s falling apart and melting, then we add seared ground beef," Max Sussman says.

"It has a little bit of a kick to it, which is not the traditional way,” Eli says. “We still do the white onions and just plain old yellow mustard on top."

In addition to Coneys, Ed & Bev’s does takes on other hometown favorites like saganaki, a flaming Greek cheese, and a Greek salad, paired of course with a can of Vernors soda. However, will New Yorkers embrace these Detroit cult favorites?

"This stuff can pretty much work anywhere,” Eli says. “Obviously if you are having a beer, a hot dog or a burger is a pretty good thing to eat along with it."

Growing up in Detroit, I’ve tasted my fair share of Coney Dogs, so I had to see how this one stacked up.

It is really snappy. The chili, he was saying it's a little spicy, it definitely is. It's nice that it has a little kick, a little more flavor than a Coney you'd find at home.

For more restaurant and food videos, visit youtube.com/zagat.

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