Monday, June 8, 2009

Coney Island

On the first Saturday of every month, Home Depot has their Kids' Workshop. We took the boys last month, and they had a blast, so this time Shawn and Amber met us there with their kiddos. The Workshop is supposed to be for kids ages 5-12, but there were several 3- and 4-year-olds there, too. It's free, so if you have young kids, I recommend trying it out. In Grand Island, the workshop is open from 9-12, and we like to get there as close to 9 as possible. By the time we're done, the crowds are starting to show up.

Mom and I took the boys and Natalie to Hobby Lobby with us, and found some great deals, while we waited for Shawn to get his hair cut. Then we went to this adorable little place to eat. The only thing that disappointed me was the fact that this place is only 2-3 blocks from where I went to college (Grand Island College - it closed in December 1999), and I never knew it was there!

There is so much I enjoyed about this little sliver of deliciousness that I don't know where to start! I guess the beginning is as good a place as any. Back in 1923...okay, I won't go back that far...besides, all I really know is that it opened in 1923 and that the Katrouzos family has been running it since 1933!

Across the street, on the corner of 3rd & Pine, is the parking lot where Shawn told us to meet. I pulled into a parking spot facing 3rd Street, and am looking for this Coney Island. I see the travel agency on the corner and the building with a HUGE red awning. Sandwiched between the two is a door and window surrounded by old glass blocks and green tiles.

We walk in, and the sight is absolutely thrilling for me! On my left is the cash register, and just beyond that is a counter lined with stools. Behind the counter is where all the yummy food is prepared. To my right is a long row of red booths - the good kind of booths with high backs so you don't accidentally smack the person behind you if you throw your head back during a good laugh. Beyond the booths is what I am assuming is the storage room.

Whenever somebody ordered a shake, an adorable little old man (I think his name is Gus) comes out of that back room to make them.

Do you see that menu above Gus's head? That's the menu from 1933 when the Katrouzos family took over. T-Bone steak for 35 cents!

We arrived at Coney Island Lunch Room around 11:30-ish, and I'm glad we did. We were only about half way through our meal when the crowds really started showing up. After the booths and counter stools were filled, people just stood by the door (some for 20 minutes or more!) waiting for a seat to open up. That's how good this place is.

My mom, Natalie, and I had cheeseburgers (mine and Natalie's were regular, mom's was deluxe), Taylor and Ali had hamburgers, Landon and Brody each had a hot dog, Amber had a coney, and Shawn had 2. We also had 3 orders of fries (and these are real, homemade fries that are served overflowing on desert plates), and 3 shakes. The total - just over $45. We just had water to drink, but they do offer soda and other drinks.

The hamburgers were also real, homemade patties. Nothing from a box. The coneys (Shawn made my mom and I each try his) are exceptional. Yummy and delicious don't describe them well enough. You can also buy just the coney sauce to enjoy at home! Next time I go, I will definitely be picking some up, and maybe I'll even buy me a t-shirt!

If you're ever in or near Grand Island, Nebraska, you should definitely make a stop here. Just take Hwy 281 to Hwy 30/2nd Street on the south side of Grand Island. Follow 2nd street all the way to Pine Street and turn left. (2nd street actually turns into a 1-way street, so you'll actually follow a turn over to 1st street where you'll end up turning onto Pine.) Take Pine to the parking lot on the Southeast corner of 3rd & Pine.

If you've been reading my blog for any amount of time, you probably know that family history is a big interest of mine. While looking for some pictures of the inside of Coney Island, I came across this old picture, above, of the building (found here). There was a little blurb about how in 1885, the building looked more like a bank and it "was an office for Grand Island attorneys Thomas Oliver Cromwell Harrison and Charles Rief." Charles Rief is a distant relative!

1 comment:

  1. Next time I go that way, I'm getting off the Interstate and checking that place out!!


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