James Coney Island Unveils Line of Chef-Designed Hot Dogs on June 1

Categories: Restaurant News

Photo by Adam Yang
James Coney Island is one of the oldest restaurants in Houston, founded in 1923 by Greek immigrant brothers James and Tom Papadakis (this explains the Greek-influenced chili that remains on the menu to this day). But although the chain is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year, the food is anything but old-fashioned.

In just the last few years, James Coney has started using local baker Slow Dough for its buns and introduced new twists on its classic coneys, such as the Lone Star Dog (topped with barbecue sauce and battered slices of onion rings) and the Baja dog, which sports avocado, chipotle mayonnaise and red onions.

Starting June 1, the chain will be featuring an even more intriguing take on Houston's favorite tubed meat in a bun: custom-designed hot dogs from some of the city's best chefs.

Each month for the next six months, James Coney Island will feature a different custom-made hot dog from Monica Pope of Sparrow, Hugo Ortega of Hugo's, Manabu Horiuchi of Kata Robata, Matt Marcus of the Eatsie Boys and John Sheeley of Mockingbird Bistro. Up first in the rotation, however, is Randy Evans of Haven.

Evans's creation is called the "Huntin' Dog," which will replace the standard Hebrew National all-beef frank with an Angus beef hot dog from 44 Farms, an independent cattle ranch near Cameron, Texas. The custom-baked jalapeno-cheese bun will still come from Slow Dough, and the dog itself will be topped with Haven's signature wild boar chili along with diced onions, cilantro and pickled jalapeño.

The Evans-designed Huntin' Dog will be available throughout June at all James Coney Island locations for $6.29. A new chef's creation will replace it on July 1, although JCI is staying mum about which chef will come next in the rotation and what his or her hot dog recipe will be. In addition to featuring the chef's creation for 30 days, James Coney Island is also donating $1,000 to that chef's favorite charity each month.

And if old-fashioned is your thing? Don't worry; the classic coneys at JCI are still as great as ever, and they'll always be on the menu.

Follow Eating Our Words on Facebook and on Twitter @EatingOurWords

Location Info

James Coney Island

701 Town and Country, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help

What a great idea!  I love the wild boar chili at Haven.  I wonder if JCI will sell a bowl of just this chili?? 

Here's a crazy idea; they should develop a vegetarian/vegan chili dog, that'd be awesome.


If only they would come back Downtown.....


I've never eaten any of their hot dogs beyond the original Coney. I have had their tamale plate (yum) and I think a turkey sandwich one time as well as countless Frito Pies. I don't think I will ever eat one of the gourmet hot dogs there. 


Rather smart of JCI, gotta admit. When some restaurants fear and loathe their industry brethren, JCI is accomodating them and reaping the rewards. Reminds me of Monica Popes answering machine at Boulevard Bistrot, where if she were closed that evening, she left a few suggestions about decent nearby alternatives. 

MadMac topcommenter

"Starting June 1, the chain will be featuring an even more intriguing take on Houston's favorite tubed meat in a bun:"

You're just having fun now, ain't ya?


This is great! Good on them for thinking creatively and making charitable donations!

FattyFatBastard topcommenter

Chefs of Houston:  I want a carb-free hot dog.  Make it so.


I miss the green chile dog on a Slow Dough bun they used to have, but will have to try this new one. JCI gets props from me for reinventing itself right about the time I would get bored with them. It's nothing like it was when I first moved here, which is a good thing, even if they still put cheap coneys on special from time to time.

Now Trending

From the Vault