Coney Island Café, Middletown
Best place to eat on the cheap in 2012: Coney Island Café, Middletown
What’s the connection between the famous Brooklyn landmark and Middletown? In the 1920s, two Brooklyn brothers created the savory chili sauce topping that became the key element in Coney Island-style hot dogs. After a few years, they moved north and sold their famous franks from a storefront in the upstate town. The following decades brought a fire, a rebuild, and an eventual sale to a new family, but today the Coney Island Café still offers its notorious Coney chili dogs. Try them solo ($2.13) or accompanied by fries, cole slaw, and a pickle ($4.23). If you’re going with the amusement-park theme, follow your main dish with a chocolate sundae ($3.42), and you’re still looking at a full meal for under $10. Good dog.