I’ve gotten a lot of suggestions of places to go for battles in Peoria’s Hot Dog Wars and I appreciate that. I probably won’t get to them all, since this ends on Labor Day, but I’m going to try. One place I keep getting requests to go try is Coneys, a hot dog/ice cream stand right down the street from where I live. I’ve got a lot of things to do today, so I thought this would be a handy spot to have this week’s war of the wieners. Ringo, sound the battle drum!
Like I said in the introduction, Coneys is right down the street from where I live. All you have to do is start your car, aim it down Willow Knolls Drive, blink once and click your heels three times and...
Baboom...you're pulling into the parking lot of Coneys.
It sure is a festive little place here, I love the dancing ice cream cone and hot dog in the logo above the building.
There's the menu...
They have two kinds of hot dogs here, a regular dog and a Coney dog, so we'll sample them both!
Let's go up to the window and order.
Samantha is waiting behind the screen to take our order, what a great smile! Everyone here is very friendly.
The order is taken and Samantha said it would just be a few minutes so let's take a look around here.
Here's some of the different specialties they offer hanging in the side window.
Okay, the dogs have been served up and I threw a buck into the tip jar.
There's picnic tables to sit at outside, but it's really humid out here and since we're so close to MBIP Headquarters, I have a different plan for today's sampling of the hot dogs...
I put the food in the car...
Point my car in the opposite way we came, blink once and click my heels three times and...
Baboom...here we are at MBIP Headquarters. I figured we could take the dogs back here and eat them at my kitchen table. Then I realized I don't have a kitchen table, I barely have a kitchen, so...
We'll eat them where I eat all of my meals, on my coffee table.
Gumby sits close by and while I'd like to include him in the judging, he can't eat because his mouth isn't real...what a little freak!
And since we're here, I thought I'd take the time to plate this up special. The two dogs flank today's palette cleanser, a soft pretzel with melted cheddar cheese for a dipping sauce.
Yet another bonus of eating the dogs here at MBIP Headquarters is we get to have beer with the meal. Cheers!
First let's sample the Coney Dog. I read where Janice Gomes, the owner of this fine establishment claims she's using the original recipe that they used at Emo's, which got bought out a couple of years ago.
Wow, I don't know if it's the original Emo's recipe, but it's really good. Tangy and tasty just like a Coney Dog should be. Delicious!
I got the soft pretzel as a palette cleanser and it was great! You can get them unsalted, which I did and the cheddar cheese sauce was excellent. So far, this is the only hot dog emporium that serves up soft pretzels, they'd be good with ice cream too.
Okay, on to the mustard dog. One thing I realized while eating this is that it seems all hot dog huts use generic yellow mustard. This isn't just Coneys, but every place I've been to on the Hot Dog Wars has been generic, bland mustard. Except for one place, the current king of the weenie wars, The Hofbrau House, which offers up spicy German mustard to take their dogs to the winning level. Could this cost Coney's the win? Read on and find out.
The best thing about eating hot dogs at the MBIP Headquarters is that we have all this beer for dessert! Hot dog! We'll see you all tomorrow.
Hot Dog War Status
Coneys certainly lives up to its name by serving up a top-notch Coney Dog and it does taste more like an Emo’s Coney Dog than Emo’s does these days, so you should certainly stop by and try that and some of their tasty ice cream creations. Having said that, the mustard they use is generic yellow mustard and they weren’t quite up to the lofty taste of the Hofbrau House hot dogs, so once again, The Hofbrau House is victorious in this week’s Hot Dog Wars. Stay tuned to see how they do next week.
Bonus Rod The Mod Drawing Via Jim Schwindenhammer, Via Lee Ann And Andy Wittenborn...Via Las Vegas!
If you live in Peoria, the odds are you know a Schwindenhammer. There’s 49 of them in their immediate family and roughly 7,897 of them when you start counting cousins, aunts, uncles and sheep. Personally I know and have had various stages of friendship with several Schwindenhammers: Mark, Dave, Jim, Tito and I think I briefly knew a Fredo Schwindenhammer before he disappeared and I know better than to ask questions. I don’t really feel like sleeping with the fishes today, tomorrow or even a week from Thursday.
Anyhoo, my favorite Schwindenhammer (Note to self: Pitch that title as a reality show!) was always Lee Ann Schwindenhammer. Lee Ann and I were friends in grade school, high school and after high school. But as time moved on, everyone got married and kind of went their own ways, much in the way that Lindsey Buckingham made that musical suggestion to Stevie Nicks.
Lee Ann married Andy Wittenborn and became Lee Ann Wittenborn. We haven’t spoken in decades, but I mentioned her in my Bergan Revisted post and got an email from Jim Shwindenhammer saying he was going to go visit Lee Ann and Andy and he’d send me a picture of something. Well that fateful day arrived yesterday when I got an email from Schwindy (Schwindy, by the way is the universal nickname for all things named, Schwindenhammer. If you walk into a room crowded with Schwindenhammers, and who hasn’t, and say, “Hey Schwindy?” They’ll all turn and look at you kind of like if you walk into the dog pound with seven pounds of liverwurst under your arm. And again, who hasn’t done that? Sheesh!
Anyway...where was I? Oh yeah, the email from Schwindy, it read:
“At West Lafayette, In Monical's not bad!!!”
Attached was this drawing hanging in the aforementioned Monicals:
That was drawn by me for Lee Ann back in the late ‘70’s. She was a huge Rod the Mod fan back in the day, so I drew her this picture years ago. And it’s now hanging in one of the Monicals pizza parlor that she and Andy own. If you’re ever in West Lafayette, Indiana, it’s located right here. I may have to take a road trip just to go see it myself! Mucho thanks to Jim Schwindy for taking the photo and sending it to me. I owe you a beer or eleven!
I really want to thank Lee Ann and Andy for hanging that in their restaurant, it was such a nice surprise and it really touched me that Lee Ann hung on to that for all those years. Very cool, cheers to Lee Ann, Andy and all the Schwindenhammers out there right now, especially to you Fredo, Jesus loves you more than you will know.
Wo, wo, wo.