There’s no pretense in hot dogs: they’re the everyman of the food world. They are what they are. Hot dogs aren’t the most elegant of foods, yet they carry a charm that has universal appeal. We’re able to overlook what they’re made of and consume them with relish (pun intended). From baseball parks to street food vendors, hot dogs have become a mainstay on our cultural table.
I like Village Coney because it’s unpretentious; they serve good food at pretty amazing prices and do it well. Located in Schumacher Place at 418 E. Whittier St. (right next to Skillet), Village Coney serves up a variety of hot dogs, burgers, and sandwiches to 80s tunes piped in overhead. While you can top a hot dog with pretty much anything, a lot of things don’t work well. Village Coney has several offerings that do work.
My favorite is their Cleveland Dog: they take a Polish sausage and top it with BBQ sauce, French fries, and cole slaw. A little messy, but well worth it. While the BBQ sauce’s sweetness balances out the slight spiciness of the Polish sausage, the cole slaw and French fries add a nice texture variation to this wonderful dog. The toppings aren’t fancy, but work well together and create a wonderful combination when you bite into it.
The New York Dog is a lesson in simplicity: a hot dog with mustard, covered with onions and sauerkraut. That’s it. But the sauerkraut and onions are grilled which adds a crispiness to each bite. With minimal amount of ingredients, this dog has a complex flavor profile encompassing sweet, sour, and salty.
And of course there’s the Village Coney—my favorite Coney in Columbus. Again, nothing fancy, just straightforward: a hot dog with mustard, onions, Coney sauce, and cheese. It’s a classic and a one of those meals you always go back to because it’s familiar, like home. And all meals at Village Coney end with a complimentary oatmeal cream cookie.
Modest and unassuming, hot dogs have endured the many food trends that have come and gone over the years. Sometimes themselves ranging from cult status to chic to Kitsch, the hot dog has been with most of us since childhood and serves as a reminder of the simple things in life. To borrow a phrase, hot dogs abide.