Coney 2014: Detroit’s Top Dog

Two Big Chiefs from Bob E.'s Super Chief in Pontiac.

Two Big Chiefs from Bob E.’s Super Chief in Pontiac.

Texas has it’s brisket, Chicago is known for deep dish, and in Detroit we have our Coney Dogs. Brought to Michigan in the early 1900’s by Greek immigrants—you know what, forget the history lesson. Hot dog, onions, mustard, and a meaty (typically beanless) chili sauce—experienced veterans go “heavy, heavy.” They’re cheap, never keep you waiting, and a traditional classic—making it the ideal food for the blue-collar Detroiter. Just like any city you may find yourself in, the food is a reflection of its people—and people in Detroit aren’t afraid to roll up their sleeves. Like the city, Coney Dogs are simple, disheveled, and the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Downtown, there are two famous Coney powerhouses, Lafayette and American Coney Island. Next-door neighbors creating a debate among Detroiters that has stretched several generations: who makes the best Coney Dog? It’s a pretty big deal here. The wrong loyalty has been known to end relationships and divide the happiest of homes. Personally, I come from a family with a strong allegiance to Lafayette. If you ever visit, make sure to check out their bathroom—it’s worth the trip. Lafayette and American Coney Island get all the national attention when it comes to Detroit Coney Dogs, but they face a lot of competition. Chains like National Coney Island and Leo’s Coney Island can be found in just about every strip mall in the state. Then, there are the small unheard of Coney joints. The hole in the walls, and well-kept secrets; the types of places even Guy Fieri hasn’t heard of—and it was inside a place like this, about twenty-five minutes outside of the city, that I found Detroit’s best Coney.

Pontiac’s ‘Bob E.’s Super Chief’ holds a special place in my heart. It’s like that indie song you found a year before it started getting plays on the radio. I’m torn between wanting to tell the world about it, and wanting it all for myself. But enough is enough; people have to know about this place. It’s small, fitting maybe fifty people at its maximum capacity. The ambiance is rustic and old fashion—a very nostalgic feel, how it would look if your Grandma were to open her own diner. It feels a lot like home, and the staff always goes out of their way to make you feel like family. However, it’s not the outstanding service or feng shui that makes Super Chief the Top Dog—it’s their Coney. That Coney and its delicious, grilled, buttery bun. Food Porn is an appropriate name. Hold photographs of their buns next to Nikki’s and see which set really make you salivate. The grilled bun adds a satisfying crunch to start and end each bite in ecstasy.

What else separates Super Chief from its competitors? About six inches. Super Chief specializes in footlongs—the perfect solution to their problem of people devouring their product so quickly. I went today and ordered two. After I finished, another pair didn’t sound too bad. They’re so good they always leave you wanting more. Well, except for that time, inspired by Adam Richman, I boldly proclaimed that I could eat six footlongs in a sitting—so my dad took me up on it. Turns out once you get around four, they lose a lot of appeal.

You can never have just one...

You can never have just one…

If you’re in Detroit and looking for a quick and easy fix, it won’t be hard to find somewhere to chowdown. But if you’re looking for the best Coney around, take the trip to Bob E.’s Super Chief on Walton Road in Pontiac. Make a day of it; turn it into a Harold and Kumar type road trip—a journey to get Super Chief’d.

Bob E.'s Super Chief on Walton Rd. in Pontiac

Bob E.’s Super Chief on Walton Rd. in Pontiac

The Mystery of True Detective

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Between sleeping-in until noon, working nights, catching the flu from an eating contest for an episode of Campus Chowdown, and finally getting around to watching The Office (UK)—I haven’t had the time to check out True Detective, until this week (alright, alright, alright).  I saw all of the buzz it was generating on Twitter and was anxious to see if it was worth the hype.

From peoples Tweets I sort of understood what it was all about beforehand. My feed was practically drowning in piss-poor Yellow King memes and “jokes”, so going into it I knew there was some sort of mystery on who this “Yellow King” is.  I decided to make a night of the on-demand experience seeing how every episode garnered the Twitter attention of the Breaking Bad finale. I cleared all the plans I didn’t have, ordered pizza, hit the lights & lit candles to provide the optimal viewing experience. I was ready.  Within the first five-minutes, however, I was quite confused. They showed and referenced the Yellow King?! How was everybody wondering who he is the whole time when they blatantly said it within the first five minutes of the very first episode? As the episode progressed I grew more and more confused. Much of the plot was unexplained and dialogue referenced things that the viewer was supposed to know but had no way of knowing, nor ever explained.  The two detectives seemed to have a strange relationship and a lot of background that never was shown—I was completely lost. Thinking maybe I was too dazed during that episode, I decided to make a more cognitive effort to focus during the second.  I didn’t touch my phone, I was in the zone.  Yet, it still made no sense, what so ever. For the life of me I could not understand how the masses followed the show or enjoyed it because it made zero sense.

It took me three episodes…THREE EPISODES…to realize I was watching the show from end to finish, and now I can’t go back because I know how it ends.  I bought the book and went straight to the last page.  Here I was thinking everybody was an idiot for liking this show, when I was the fool. I bet I would have actually enjoyed it had I not dyslexicly viewed it.  Hopefully I’ll learn how to read by the time season two rolls around.

Pranksta Rap

Making music is fun. Although, I admit I’m far from a “musician”, I’ve always enjoyed making “Pranksta Raps”. This is a funny number we made called That Guy (At The Party) and it’s about…that guy at that party.  We all have seen him (or her) doing outlandish things to bring themselves attention at the party. The song features John Eldon, Matt Elliott, and Joe, production/original beat by Nick Bognar; it’s from the perspective of those douchebags who don’t see a problem with their behavior. I just ordered a new microphone so I’m going to start making some more little jingles like this to share.  Enjoy.

For The Vets

There’s a Veteran connection to every person and around the nation today we are showing our gratitude for everything our Veterans have done for us.

Americans are commemorating Veterans Day with parades, monument dedications, and other special  events.  Even businesses across the country are offering discounts and deals to show their support.

Starbucks is brewing free cups of G.I. Joe (thank you, here all week) for Vets along with active duty personnel and their spouses.  Veterans can, also, enjoy all-you-can-eat stacks of buttermilk pancakes for free at participating Denny’s.

More can always be done to help Veterans–whether it’s a donation, or simply lending an ear.  Today, find your own way to honor the Vets.  You could give your grandpa a call, just don’t get confused and thank your Veterinarian, not today.

 

Watch this piece air on Ch. 9& 10 in Northern Michigan tonight at 5!

Help! I’m Becoming Larry David.

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(Editor’s Note: this is a satire piece and is not intended to be taken seriously. Just have to throw that out there)

I have always considered myself to be a “people person”.  There’s something beautiful about camaraderie and interacting that brings out one’s best.  However, having now gone through high school and graduated from college, I would now edit that label and consider myself to be a “people person (who hates people)”.  It’s so hard to be a people person when people suck so damn bad.  I can completely understand why dog–not man–is man’s best friend.  We are an annoying species.  An arrogant species.  An ignorant species.  If you are a “people person”, you, my friend, are a “liar”.  At a glance, you would think being a people person would be the easiest thing in the world–but, oh, how false that is.  If you can endure a 15 minute conversation pretending to care about how your friends son is doing in his tee-ball league, you deserve a purple heart, in my opinion.  To be social, you have to lie.  You have to go with the social norms society has set in place for us to interact.  When your phone rings, you have to answer it.  You have to talk with that person for long enough to hear what they have to say, or until it’s been enough time where you can utilize a planned excuse to get out of there without coming off as rude.  When you see somebody you know in public, you’re expected to be overjoyed to see them and catch-up, as if you were hoping to run into them while out and about running your errands. This interaction has been dubbed the “stop and chat”, and my dislike for it has led to a dark, sad epiphany…every day I am becoming more and more like Larry David.

When I first started watching Larry, in Curb Your Enthusiasm, I found it funny how much of an ass he was.  As I watched the show more and gained a better understanding of who he is, I began to idolize him.  He’s not an ass, he’s got it right.  The things he says are the things that we all think–but don’t have the guts to actually say.  We stick to our lines and what we’re supposed to say so we don’t upset the other person, while he just comes right out with it.  Who would whole-heartedly want to give one of their kidneys to a friend, when somebody else could do it?  Who doesn’t want to call out the sample-abuser while you’re waiting in line?  Who can honestly say they have never used the handicap stall in the bathroom?  I truly believe, our world would be a better place if we all lived by The Rules of Larry.

Around the same time, I began to identify and relate to another TV anti-hero–Karl Pilkington.  It genuinely upsets me that majority of my friends and acquaintances have no idea who Karl is.  Dubbed by good friend and co-worker, Ricky Gervais as “the funniest man alive” whom he goes on to describe as a “round headed buffoon”, Karl is quietly becoming a household name, to those who value good TV and laughs.  You may have seen him on The Ricky Gervais Show or An Idiot Abroad, speaking his mind and releasing the absurd thoughts stored in his globe-shaped head.  An Idiot Abroad follows Karl as he explores the world, sent by Gervais and partner Stephen Merchant.  Karl is the perfect person to send abroad because he’s no Anthony Bourdain.  He is miserable everywhere he goes.  He does not like leaving his comfort zone, knowing this Ricky and Stephen send him to places like India and the desert, where he is sure to hate it.  He doesn’t hide his displeasure, either–which I love.  When his hosts offer him food, he has no shame denying it and refusing to sample it–he’ll be just get by on the Crisps he brought along with him.  I gained a new respect for the humor of Ricky Gervais for the way he handles and exploits Karl, it truly is hilarious.  Ricky and Stephen know exactly how to press Karl’s buttons, which ultimately brings out the best of Karl.  Most of the conversations between the three mates is making fun of Karl for his absurd opinions, and as absurd as they may be…they actually make a lot of sense to me.  I can, in fact, see a lot of myself in Karl.  He has such grand insights into traveling.  In one interview, with Ricky and Stephen, he discusses how traveling is often best when you just close your eyes and imagine you’re doing it, because that way you get all the good, and none of the boring, draining, things you don’t think about when daydreaming about your trip.  While talking about one trip into the mountainous jungle to watch gorillas (something beautiful, that most of us would love to do) Karl gives a unique perspective, “I came face-to-face with a gorilla which was quite good, but it was a 10-hour trek in bad weather, up hills, covered in mud, with mosquitoes everywhere and when we got there the gorilla’s just sat there doing nowt”.  Another interesting quote Karl says to describe his feelings for travel: “Neil Armstrong, that spaceman, he went to the moon but he ain’t been back. It can’t have been that good”. Brilliant.  Karl brings that same insight to more than just traveling.  He, like Larry and I, has a lot of problems with the social aspect of life.  He describes it “People who live in a glass house have to answer the door”.  Sums Karl up in one sentence.  It seems so dumb to say, but it is genius!

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So, there’s that.  At 22 I have become a combination of Larry David and Karl Pilkington.  Can’t wait to see what’s next…

With Love and Laughter,

Cort

Sources:

http://www.pilkipedia.co.uk/wiki/index.php?title=Karl_Pilkington_Quotes_By_Topic

http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/k/karl_pilkington.html

Blah Blah Blog.

I suppose I should start things off by introducing myself (hi, Cort Freeman) and thanking you for being bored enough that you decided to check out my site.  I welcome you to my private journal made public, a direct flight to my mind, video curation, and more.  It’s pretty much a storage bin for narcissism.  My last site/blog, Tainted Hero Comedy, was a lot of fun; however, I felt it was, like most blogs, too focused on criticism and negative feelings.  This go-round is going to be concentrated, instead, on expression.  I don’t want to call this a “blog” because of the negative stigma attached to blogs and bloggers (the blog-o-sphere is polluted with critics).  Instead of complaining and critiquing, I want to entertain, inform, and express.  Hence, I’ll be calling this a journal (I would say diary, but a journal is the same thing as a diary–only injected with testosterone).  

Twitter can be great for expressing humor and opinions, but it really constricts your thought process limiting yourself to 140 characters.  Always writing in short-term, I’m starting to realize, does indeed change the way you think.  Here, I can dive into subjects and get all of my thoughts out into the air.  I can be talk serious matters and be funny at the same time.  It’s a great medium to better understand the world and more importantly, myself.  So, thanks for stopping by and stay tuned for more posts/videos/laughs in my blog diary journal.