At Duly’s Place, a narrow Southwest Detroit diner that’s been spreading the Coney gospel for nearly 100 years, the chili also comes first, but owner Joe Gojcaj acknowledges that there isn't one recipe that dictates the Coney canon.
“There are lots of variations out there,” Duly’s says. "For example, our chili has the right amount of thickness, the right amount of juice and the right amount of spice, so that it stands up on the dog, but doesn't overpower it."
Gojcaj believes in a meat-first approach for his dogs. "A great Coney dog in Detroit comes first and foremost from Detroit meat suppliers," he says. "It's also the bun: Our buns come right across the street from us, Brown's Bakery on Vernor Highway, a Detroit company. This is about Detroiters supporting Detroiters.”
Yes, an important ingredient in a Detroit Coney is Detroit itself.
“We don't try to be what we are not: we serve everyone from the senior executives to priests and rabbis; college kids, factory workers, so-called hipsters, neighborhood residents, teachers,” Gojcaj says. "We are proud that everyone sits at a stool in our place. You rub elbows with whoever you sit next to: there’s no real personal space and you eat quality food at an affordable price."