Yay, a Detroit Coney. The last I had was too many years ago, long before starting the blog or regularly taking photos of my meals. I somehow thought the first I had was at Lafayette (the name had rung a close note) but after some quick searching doesn't seem likely. I remember it being a larger chain and so may in fact have been another National Coney Island elsewhere.
There are at least three in the Detroit Metro Airport but the one I visited was the sit down in Concourse A. My blogger friend Kaszeta of Offbeat Eats does a great job explaining the somewhat confusing nomenclature of "Coney Island." The name to most is commonly familiar as that peninsula in New York with the famous amusement park (that by definition any hot dog served there is technically a 'Coney Island Hot Dog'...).
In other cities in the country however such as Detroit, it's synonymous to a type of regional hot dog served with beanless chili, yellow mustard and onions. Cincinnati has their own variant called the Cheese Coney that is smaller in size and served with their own indigenous Cinnamon spiked meat chili and mound of finely shredded cheese (that I experienced in spaghetti form at Skyline in Cleveland).
National seems to use their own self name branded all-beef natural casing dog (that I've read are similar to Koegel's used elsewhere in the city). The steamed buns were perfectly soft and the all important chili made often with lean heart meat that is seasoned and spiced just so. I'm convinced that once people taste these, they'd feel the ones served at mega-chains (particularly the one that rhymes with Wonder-schnitzel) seem like a cruel joke. My only regret the day was that I didn't order two.
National Coney Island (DTW), 1 Detroit Metro Airport Detroit, MI 48242