Yesterday’s Brooklyn Half-Marathon ended on the Coney Island boardwalk. My parents and Dave came to cheer me on. This was my father’s first trip to Coney Island since he was seven years old and the first time for the rest of us. My dad and Dave had, in the days leading up to the race, decided that they had to have some Nathan’s hot dogs; when in Coney Island…
The Nathan’s Famous outpost on the boardwalk had a huge line outside (mostly runners), so we decided to head away from the shore to the larger one–the original Nathan’s–that is right by the Coney Island subway station.
It was crowded there too, but with many more counters from which to order, we didn’t have to wait too long. Added bonus: they also serve seafood.
My dad and Dave had two hot dogs each, and Dave and I split some cheese fries. They were my first cheese fries since the snack bar in college, though not quite as good (or maybe my tastes have changed). I don’t know if it was the heat or the post-race adrenaline, or maybe the über-processed cheese, but I wasn’t able to eat that many.
Dave described his hot dog as, “pretty standard, nothing spectacular, but nice and salty on the inside.” He eats his hot dogs with ketchup and mustard while my dad prefers mustard and sauerkraut.
My mother went upscale, with a fried clam sandwich and corn on the cob. I stole a few of the stray clams, and I must say (for a fast food join by the beach), her sandwich was the afternoon’s winner. By contrast, the corn was inedible, and she gave up after one bite.
Right next to the flagship restaurant is a large billboard with a count down to Nathan’s Fourth of July hot dog eating contest. The current record holder (66 hot dogs in 12 minutes) and reigning champion is Joey Chestnut who won the contest in 2007 and 2008. He will no doubt be challenged by six-time winner Takeru Kobayashi of Japan, who was the champion from 2001-2006.
After lunch, we went back to the boardwalk and enjoyed the sunshine for a little while longer. It was a beautiful day at the beach, though my (tired) feet never touched the sand.