The life of a restaurant reviewer isn’t all about fine dining and ginormous checks at the end of the evening. Even those of us who make eating out our livelihood have our cache of places that we go to regularly on the cheap, to buy comfort food that isn’t fancy, but is just *good*.
Village Coney is one of those places for me. I have an unnatural affinity for hot dogs, those little packages of mystery meat mixed with spices that have sustained me since childhood. The fact that there’s a restaurant that’s centered around hot dogs? All kinds of awesome.
Their “signature” dog is the Village Coney ($2 with cheese), a nice spicy dog smothered in mustard, onions, chili and lots of cheddar cheese. These are among the best coneys I’ve had locally, and are my “go to” place for coneys (don’t get me wrong – Johnnie’s are probably my favorite in town – but are only available for about 2 hours a week – you don’t have to deal with that kind of limitation here).
If dogs aren’t your thing, you can also opt to have some of their flavorful chili all by itself, in the form of a bowl or cup. We opted for a large ($3.50 with cheese and onions).
My personal favorite item on their menu is the Cleveland Dog ($3.25), which is a Polish sausage topped with French fries, BBQ sauce and cole slaw. I know, sounds absolutely disgusting. I thought so too until I tried it. The flavors just work together, really they do. Now it’s something that I order every time I go.
And speaking of their fries – just typical fries ($2 for a large), but cooked perfectly and absolutely just the right thing to pair with a dog or two (I prefer my fries sprinkled with seasoned salt, thus the spices on them).
My husband opted for a double cheeseburger ($5), which I thought was just OK, because I wasn’t so hot about the soggy veggies, the overabundance of condiments, and the bun that didn’t have a prayer of holding up to all of the above. It’s probably much better fresh than it is for takeout.
His favorite sandwich, by far, is the Italian Sausage ($3.25), which is a unbelievably tender piece of sausage split, and then topped with marinara, grilled onions, and lots of melted mozzarella. Delicious, and so filling for the price.
Needless to say, it’s a friendly little neighborhood joint in German Village (right next to Banana Bean on Whittier) with fairly easy to find parking, great service, and excellent prices (we got all of the above for under $20). The only drawback is their short hours – they’re closed on Sundays, and are only open from 11am until 6pm the rest of the week. But if you can find your way there on your way home from work, I can’t think of a better way to fill yourself up while not breaking the budget. Keep an eye out for daily specials that will offer additional savings.
If you’d like to go: Village Coney, 418 E. Whittier St (Between High Street and Parsons Ave), Columbus, 614.445.9633.