Jan Norris: Food and Florida

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Summertime Eats: Coney Island – and Nathan’s Hot Dogs

September 8th, 2009 · No Comments

Editor’s note: This is one in a series of guest columns about summertime food memories. If you have one to submit, contact me through the Contact button at the top of the page. 


Susan Brustman

Susan Brustman

By Susan Brustman, Guest Columnist

 When you live in New York, pretty much everything tastes better in the summer.

I remember my dad giving me $5 to get whatever I wanted at Nathan’s in Coney Island. That was a helluva lot of money back in the day.

Nathan's in Coney Island, 1949

Nathan's in Coney Island, 1949

I’d go first for the hot dog — popped off a sizzling grill and served in really fresh, warm, soft bun with onions, slightly sweet sauerkraut and Gulden’s mustard — incredibly crisp French fries, cut with a serrated edge to hold the salt and ketchup and served overflowing in a paper cone –  a flat little hamburger with a delicious beefy bite, buried in an avalanche of griddled onions with a touch of sweet pickle relish on a smushy slightly toasted hamburger bun – and, of course, a humongous icy purple grape drink to wash it all down.

A family dinner

It helped that this was a family affair, with my mother, father, sister and I scurrying off in different directions to get our food then meeting in the middle to savor it all together.

The night air — fragrant with cotton candy, steamed corn and frying onions, and the distant sound of a calliope in the background — did much to enhance the experience.

 * * *

Susan Brustman is president of Brustman Carrino Public Relations in Miami, Fl.


Tags: Food and Family Intertwine

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