My Detroit Coney War: American vs. Lafayette

This past weekend I was thinking coffee house and Detroit to get some things done. I went looking for a coffee house when Food Wars and the American vs. Lafayette Coney Island episode came into my head. Detroit is known as the home of the coney island hot dog and Lafayette and American are the creme of the creme.

On the spur of the moment, I decided to have my own version of Food Wars, going to each place, with a lot of things being equal and seeing who would emerge as my favorite.
American Coney Island - Detroit

I went to Lafayette first (and would do a lot of the same things at American). I ordered two Coney Islands with everything on them of course, onions, yellow mustard, and a meat based chili. Some people were putting ketchup on them. How can they do that I said. They were exactly the same cost (2 for $5) and I would leave a $5 tip with each as well, slightly before I was finished. I settled for water over coffee and caffeine but not for long.

Both sets of hot dogs were delicious (yes I ate four in a short period of time). I had been to Lafayette several times before, yet this was my first time at American. I always went to Lafayette because it was the Coney Island most people talked about. After today I will continue to go to Lafayette more.

I liked their coneys slightly better. The mustard, dogs and buns seemed relatively the same too me at both, the onions slightly sweeter at American. Why have I always liked Lafayette’s chili and why did I like it better than American’s on this day? Lafayette’s chili reminded me more of the homemade chili that I had growing up and what I make at home now.
Lafayette Coney Island - Detroit

Lafayette inside reminded me of a local slider joint and American reminded me of a typical 1950’s cafe. What really swayed my opinion though was the customer service. At American they were nice but I didn’t see anyone again after I placed my order and got my coneys. Both places served the coneys within 2 minutes of my ordering which was great. At Lafayette they kept asking me how things were going, if there was anything else they could do for me. They gave me a can of Coke on the house too. Caffeine will always win me over!

I only had my debit card at Lafayette, forgetting they only take cash. Several workers said that’s ok just go next store they have one there and go after your meal. They trusted that I would come back, which of course I would. I’m sure American would have let me do the same thing. Everyone at Lafayette said goodbye to me as I left where they didn’t at American.

I would definitely recommend people try both Lafayette and American Coney Island to make their own decision. Who knows, maybe the scenarios I painted above would be completely in reverse for some one else or if I did this comparison thirty minutes later. In the future I’ll go to American again, but probably Lafayette a little more often. Who wants to join me (at one or both) next time?!

3 responses to “My Detroit Coney War: American vs. Lafayette

  1. Thanks for the breakdown! I’ve never had either one yet, need to do an Aaron-style compare someday soon.

    • It was great doing a side-by-side comparison. Didn’t think to check the restrooms. They are definitely important to any establishment.

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