I have to say this at the beginning: I really don’t like basketball. I’m a computer geek, have been since 1976, a hardware geek since 1983, and a food geek since I last saw my 34-inch waist in 1989. I’d go to basketball games to watch my daughter and her team cheer when she was in high school, but the last time I saw a basketball game myself George “Meadowlark” Lemon had probably just turned 40. (He was born in 1932, so you get the idea.) It started as an embarrassing moment at Flint’s former IMA Auditorium. Meadow was yelling things at the crowd, and suddenly dad harassed the man right back just as loudly. I was shocked when the Clown Prince got right into it, and he and dad were yelling back-and-forth off-and-on for the remainder of the game. I haven’t had that much fun at a basketball game since.
Flint Coney Sauce made with Marty’s spice mix and techniques is on the left. The sauce on the right is Angelo’s Original Sauce. At first glance there’s a serious difference in color. Having made Flint Coney Sauce with heart and kidney included, and having tasted the Angelo’s sauce this afternoon, I can unequivocally state the color diffence is because most people using Marty’s spice mix will use only ground beef like I did this afternoon, while the Angelo’s sauce obviously contains the same organ meats I used in an earlier recipe. In those earlier experiments I found this same color difference.
In the above image it’s easy to see the textures of the two sauces are almost the same. Marty’s trick of adding water and mixing to milkshake consistency is, as I said, quite accurate.
8 thoughts on “A Flint Coney Matchup: Chef Marty Embry vs. Angelo’s Original”
My favorite coney was at the Original on Saginaw by the river. The was another coney next door that also served burgers. When working at Buick we would slip out to Angelo’s. Not big on Detroit style. There used to be a Westside Coney on Corunna Rd. and a Detour Drive In on US 23 south of the US 23 drive in theater. My favorite from coney’s that only should coney’s and chili as basics is still the Flint Original Coney, the go to after a movie.
You didn’t mention this so not sure if you do it… kidneys have to be cooked twice… drained the first time and then cooked again in ‘fresh’ water… there should be no ‘organ’ taste – it’s more of a ‘texture’ reason to use organ meats…I believe the Original had no kidneys but did use heart. 🙂
Hi Lynnette … The original recipe for Flint Coney sauce using beef heart was apparently based on a Macedonian “goulash” from the 1800s which likely would have included kidney. As original “nose-to-tail” eaters the Macedonians wouldn’t have minded the minerally organ flavor, and probably wouldn’t have cooked it twice. It’s only the later western civilations, who’ve become rather squeamish, who would have looked for that technique.
How or where do I order your coney seasoning.
Hi Glen… My apologies, it looks as though I hadn’t updated the links on this page after Marty moved his site. You can order directly from him at:
Besides growing up on Angelos- (as my father worked on Ballenger), I also had three more Flint Coney Cravings:
Capitol Coney Island was on Fenton Rd
Venus Coney Island, and
Palace Coney Island
You aren’t a real Flint Coney connoisseur unless you’ve tried all 4. And maybe added the Coney Restaurant (I can’t remember the name) that was located inside Genesee Valley Mall. All of them used genuine Koegels dogs.
Hi Jin… The one in Genesee Valley is also Palace Coney Island, there are two with that name. There’s a photo of it at the top of the Restaurants page. That one’s been my go-to since it opened on the fist floor in 1970.
Thank you again, Dave, for preserving what true coneys and irs history, is truly about! Thank you for your stamp of approval for my Coney spice as well. You are greatly appreciated!