Where a Hot Dog’s Not Just a Hot Dog: Detroit-Style Coneys Come to Shreveport

Featured photo: A Detroit-style Coney from Top Dawg Hot Dawg. These hot dogs are decidedly more delicious than they are photogenic. 

Anthony Fodale’s Top Dawg Hot Dawg is a new hot dog cart serving Detroit-style Coneys around Shreveport. For those who may be asking “There’s a Detroit style of hot dog?” – the answer is a resounding “yes.” In fact, many food writers and historians believe that the Coney Island hot dog originated in Detroit – there’s even a book on this topic, Coney Detroit. Exchange a few words with Fodale and it becomes apparent from his thick accent that he’s a Michigan native. He sources his all-beef, natural casing sausages from Michigan and cooks the chili based on an old family recipe from – you guessed it – Detroit. The bun is a sourdough Italian roll that is steamed for a moment before the dog is prepped. 

“I’ve been down here five years now, and I couldn’t find a hot dog that I liked,” Fodale told me. “Everybody thinks that a hot dog’s just a hot dog, but it’s not.”

So what makes a Detroit-style Coney great? The sausage is uncommonly good, but Fodale’s homemade chili knocked my socks off.

“The chili is more of a sauce, almost,” Fodale said. “There’s no beans, and it’s not a meaty chili. It just takes about an hour to cook, but then I let each batch sit for a day or two, so all of those flavors can mingle.” 

Fodale’s goal is to open a brick-and-mortar location in the near future. 

“We’re just looking for the perfect spot,” he said. “Our goal is to bring the atmosphere of a Coney island from Detroit to Louisiana.” 

Top Dawg Hot Dawg can be reached at 318-218-3095 or topdawghotdawg@gmail.com. 

Like Top Dawg Hot Dawg on Facebook to keep up with where they’ll be popping up.

If you’re into this kind of local eats, download Eat Here: A Food Lover’s Guide to Shreveport-Bossier.

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