Warning this is an article that has nothing to do with film and TV, and everything to do with going zonko during this virus crisis. I just heard (on TV) that it was “National Eat Anything you want Day.” And while it sounds kinda hokie to me, it did inspire me to think about the foods that I would eat (if) given the chance to eat anything I wanted (without) the side effects. In other words — what if God or Super Cool Aliens from Planet Wonko gave me the power to eat anything I liked with no concerns about salt, sugar, fat, or cholesterol?

So here goes, my list of foods that I would eat if given the chance at total immunity.

A Detroit coney island dog, with onions and mustard. In Detroit, the most infamous local coney restaurants are Lafayette and American — and they sit right next to each other in downtown Detroit, in our reborn city which at one time housed Onassis Coney, Vernors Ginger Ale, and J.L. Hudson’s Maurice salad. If you’re from the D, then you know the history of the Greek family who started a restaurant, and then decided to open rival Coney Island restaurants right next door to each other.

Their hot dog is similar to the East sides most famous chain of Coney restaurants, National Coney island, and the West sides Kerby Coney. These chains use dogs made of beef and pork. It’s a European-style Vienna sausage with a beef, pork, and sometimes lamb or sheep casing.

This is not to be confused with the New York style hot deli dog, which I love when it’s a Sabrett or a Hebrew National. These brands are available with a casing similar to the D’s recipe but with a different sauce. The NY sauce is called a “chili” but it’s not a Texas style chili. The NY chili is a relish sauce made with tomato, and regular or sweet Vidalia onions. You’ll find this kind of topping in Erie, PA and other places too.

When you bite into any kind of a top-quality Coney or “deli-dog” it “SNAPS.” The texture is wonderful and the flavor is just out of this world. There are other styles of dogs that I would put on my virtual plate of must eat comfort food, including coney’s from “Johnny’s Lunch” in Jamestown, NY and the “Varsity” in Atlanta, GA. Perhaps you have your favorite? Like the Cincinatti Chili dog?

Cincinatti is known for a breed of Chili unlike any other in the U.S or Canada. It’s beef without beans, and sometimes cinnamon, and always a bit of chocolate — and it’s NOT SWEET. You can get it at Skyline chili and other restaurants. Below is 4-way Cincinnati_chili. That means, a base of noodles, topped with Chili, onions, beans, and cheese.

If you’d like to experiment with ingredients from the traditional recipe made without beans try the following. 2 pounds lean ground beef. 1 quart water, or amount to cover 2 onions, finely chopped. 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce. 2 tablespoons vinegar and 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce. 4 cloves garlic, minced. ½ (1 ounce) square unsweetened chocolate. ¼ cup chili powder. 1 ½ teaspoons salt. 1 teaspoon ground cumin, and 1 tsp. ground cinnamon. ½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper. 5 whole cloves. 5 whole allspice-berries. 1 bay leaf.

Virtually traveling around the Mid-East via my taste-buds reminds me of another New York favorite of mine, the Giant Salted street vendor Pretzel.

This is a unique animal. It’s not any old warm pretzel. The trick to finding the best pretzel is this: Look for a seasoned, experienced pretzel vendor, you can tell they know their business by their age, and they’ll likely be missing a leg or a few digits. (Weird but true!)

Secondly, make sure the vendor is selling roasted Chestnuts too. Not because you are required to order the nuts — no, it’s a seasoning thing. The nuts flavor the salt. So, when you order your Pretzel, ask him to grind the pretzel into the salt on the bottom of the nut/pretzel steamer. Now you can add mustard, and enjoy your carbs 😉

Okay, the next food that I’ll eat if I ever get into the situation where I can eat anything I want without regret is from down South.

The Carolina pulled pork sandwich. The trick here is to order a genuine southern style pit-roasted pork topped with homemade slaw and dressing. The slaw is unique and it is paired with a dressing that is important. It’s a vinegar based dressing — not a tomato/barbecue sauce topping.

A quick recipe for Carolina style pulled pork sauce…

  • 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 teaspoons (packed) dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

My next choice is related to this, it’s the Kansas City style BBQ roast or sandwich. It’s made with KC/St. Louis style sauce, and this is what I find in my grocery store. I wish that I had my choice of Carolina dressing — but it’s just not available at local retailers. KC sauce is a sweet and delicious sauce that can be found in many different taste-combinations from Bourbon to Hot to Honey. I love barbecue, so I’d love to have a healthy heaping of Beef and Pork Ribs too. As long as I’m dreaming — pile it on!

On the side ,let’s go with some seasoned French fries, with some tater-tots, and a few onion rings and fried cheese sticks.

Ohh, let’s not forget my favorite, Buffalo style wing dings. I’ve sampled them from hundreds of restaurants and bars, and I have to tell you that they really are served best from Buffalo, NY area establishments. If you’re vacationing around Erie PA or Buffalo, NY — then visit Chautauqua County where you’ll find the Casino in Bemus Point, NY or my absolute favorite, BJ’s bar in Fredonia. BJ’s bar has a distinctive recipe — and it’s worth the 45 minute wait.

Why on earth would it take over a half hour to make a batch of wing dings…don’t they just fry ’em and coat them with sauce?

I’ve watched BJ’s cook their wings, and I can tell you what makes the difference is their (2) step cooking process. First, they fry the wings, then they baste/toss the wings with sauce just like any other place. But they’re not done yet. They then put the wings into the broiler, and zorch the sauce into the wings. Delicious!

And let’s not forget the most important part of any Wing Ding — right this down if you have to because this is the testament baby. BLUE CHEESE DRESSING. That’s right, you can dip your wings into Ranch dressing like most restaurants do, or you can do it the way the original Buffalo style Wing Ding was served. With chunky blue cheese dressing and a side of carrots and celery. Ahhh, Buffalo style wings are paradise! 😉

Lastly, I’d like to indulge in a slice of Chicago style pizza.

It’s similar to our Detroit style pizza, which is a thick square pizza made famous by Buddys Pizzeria, the Cloverleaf restaurant, and Mr. C’s deli on the East side of Detroit.

(Hey, if you’re shopping at Mr. C’s – grab an E&B tall-boy beer and have a swig of history ehh? — Kidding!) But speaking of beverages, I really would like an ice cold Faygo Red pop or their Cream Soda.

Aww, geez, it never ends — if I have a soda, then I need a bag of Ketchup flavored potato chips from Canada. Dill pickle chips are okay, and Chicken flavored are weird, but Ketchup or “catsup” is divine. I’m getting hungry for lunch – time to go… (c) Dean Lachiusa

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