What else sets Detroit’s Coneys apart from the dogs of elsewhere? Harlan says in other towns, they may use a dry sauce, or other toppings such as tomatoes or sauerkraut. Which, gross.
“From what my customers tell me, when people hear Coney dog with mustard, chili, and onions, folks automatically know that's a Detroit dog,” he says.
Sitting one block away from the now defunct Highland Park Ford Plant, where the moving assembly line was first utilized to build the Model-T, Red Hots perfected its ability to serve up a hot meal to hurried autoworkers.
"Those folks would rush from the factory and eat a meal that was made quickly, then back to work," Harlan says. "The blue collar work culture and food culture go hand in hand. Work hard, grab a quick meal, then get back at it. Red Hots was able to do that with a quality product and we still I laugh sometimes when a customer says when they get their food, 'Boy, that was fast.' I tell them we are the original fast food."
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