You probably know Rock City Sliders and Coneys (405 N. Union Blvd., 694-8344) owner Aaron Seller better by his 92.9 Peak FM radio name, Goose. The morning-show personality, who's worked in "a ton" of restaurants, recently took over the former Icheeban space to launch the first place of his own, modeled after his Michigan roots.
"I'm making my favorite food because no one else had it around here, I missed it," he says, noting how at least 150 Detroit natives have stopped by thus far to pay homage and weigh in on the authenticity. The verdict: "They loved it."
Starting with a Nathan's hot dog, Goose turns it Detroit-style with the addition of Coney Sauce, which has somewhat of a chile consistency, versus Flint, Michigan-style, which Goose says is drier and also uses beef heart in the recipe. His wife Jessica left it out when she made a "dead-on" version at home, which inspired Goose to envision a restaurant. Their version starts with a chicken-stock base and flour (like a roux, almost), into which beef is browned and blended and to which an array of spices is added.
Customers can bacon-wrap a dog, too, or go for sliders — regular or "P.O.W. style," with bacon added to the antibiotic- and hormone-free Aspen Ridge natural beef. Order with fries, onion rings, or classic Detroit sodas like Faygo Red Pop and Rock & Rye or Vernors ginger ale.
Health food it is not: "I just wanted good old greasy — old school," says Goose.
A Boo for Manitou
PJ's Bistro (819 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs) was among the recent spate of closures locally, but a new lease with a 21-year option has already been signed for BooDad's Louisiana Café (boodadsbeachhouse.com), an extension of BooDad's Beach House Grill (5910 Omaha Blvd.).
Rick Good, the general manager of both stores, anticipates opening after extensive remodeling around Feb. 8, just before Carnivale. In coming years there could be additional stores, both locally and out of state. He says the challenge currently is fighting a perception that BooDad's is just a bar: "We run a scratch kitchen," he says. "... no microwaves ... Manitou Springs is a great opportunity to jump onto to showcase our food."
Nearly 100 guests can fit in the new space, and a new menu will serve both locations. Good mentions items like Cajun pastas and classic items like étouffée and jambalaya, as well as traditional New Orleans cocktails like a Sazerac.
Smiley's to Coquette
Visit csindy.com for more on the announcement that Coquette's Bistro & Bakery (321 N. Tejon St., coquettesbistroandbakery.com) will take over the former Smiley's Bakery spot (323-325 N. Tejon St.) by March 1, relocating its production kitchen and adding cafe seating.