I am seeing more vegetarian and vegan options in the Detroit food scene and couldn’t be happier. Adding another place to the list: Detroit’s first vegan coney island (who wudda thought??), opened its doors August 1, 2018. Hats off to owner, Pete LaCombe for pushing the limits and taking a big risk with a vegan coney spot. The menu consists of the classics: coneys, burgers, chili cheese fries with a few other options (Italian Chicken Parm Sub and Gyro), soft serve ice cream, and desserts (everything vegan). I have been meaning to check em out ever since, and finally paid a visit this weekend.
Big Mock with a side of chili cheese fries: Two no-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, (vegan) cheese, pickles, and onions on a sesame seed bun. This was better than a Big Mac! The special sauce was killer and the no beef patties are flavorful and closely resembled meat. Chili Mustard Onion uses Follow Your Heart cheese which is one of the better vegan cheeses. It tastes much like the real thing and has a great melt factor. I immediately wanted a second Big Mock after I took my last bite. The fries were perfectly crispy with the occasional soft, slightly soggy fry blanketed with melty cheese and rich chili. The chili wasn’t spicy, but flavorful and packed with chili spices.
Chickun Parmesan Sub: Breaded “chicken” patty topped with marinara, shredded Mozarella cheese, cashew Parmesan cheese, on a fresh sub bun. . Wow! This sandwich tasted just like actual chicken, only without the occasional chewy muscle bites (sooo gross). The marinara was seasoned well and generously poured over the whole sub. The loaded waffle fries were not as good as the classic chili cheese fries, but still decent. Liberal portions of sour cream, cheese sauce, green onion, and bacon cover the waffle fries. I prefer my fries well done and these were slightly uncooked. That and the absence of the chili caused these fries to be average.
Coney Dog: Vegan dog topped with chili, mustard, and onion. The chili is dark, rich, not too thick or spicy, and flavored with chili powder and classic chili spices. Exactly how I like it! The dog itself was not my favorite. Chili Mustard Onion initially used Lightlife smart dogs, but word on the street is that the dogs would eventually be made in house. I am not sure which dogs these were, but they tasted different than a classic chili dog.
The inside of Chili Mustard Onion is small (seats 30), but welcoming. Exposed brick, rich interior wood, and a rock & roll theme make up the dining room. We were seated right away at around 2 on a Saturday and our food came out quickly. Chili Mustard Onion is one of the few almost all organic and all non GMO restaurants in the city.
I like that I could enjoy a refreshing Fat Tire ale (New Belgium Brewing) with a simply delicious burger. Chili Mustard Onion Diners can expect to find Stroh’s, Bell’s, Short’s, among other beers on the menu (including vegan beer and wine), as well as cocktails (Chili Mustard Onion sells shots and mixers and diners mix their own cocktails). It’s exactly what I would expect from a Detroit Vegan Coney place. Nothing fancy, just good, quality food at a decent price. I will definitely be back.
Chili Mustard Onion•3411 Brush St, Detroit, MI 48201•(313) 462-4949