Little Coney's Fish & Ships"/>
For most people, any restaurant with the name "Coney" in it is going to evoke one place: Coney Island. But most people aren't Michiganders, whose commonwealth should really consider adopting the marketing slogan "Take a Michigander." Most Detroit residents would welcome such a kidnapping, although upstate, it's more applicable to the spectacular scenery.
Lil Scoop Location, location, location.
In Michigan, when you visit a restaurant called Leo's Coney Island, there'll be hot dogs 'n shit on the menu, for sure. But there'll also be gyros and a smorgasbord of short-order Grecian delicacies. It's as though the Brooklyn carnival up and moved to the Mediterranean.
But that's a digression, a single-state anomaly that's only marginally infiltrated other parts of the upper Midwest. In Seattle, Coney means New York--especially in West Seattle, which boasts a mini Statue of Liberty and a micro-neighborhood (and namesake diner) known as Luna Park. Across the bay, another bite of the Apple gets taken at Little Coney, a small, durable fried food and ice cream purveyor which neighbors Golden Gardens Beach, the Shilshole Marina and the Corinthian Yacht Club, whose salt of the earth members are the case of Old Milwaukee to Seattle Yacht Club's limited edition Dom.Seaview Avenue is what becomes of Market Street once Ballard's main thoroughfare snakes through the Locks, leaving in its wake three fine fish 'n chipperies: The Sloop, The Lock Spot, and the Totem House. There used to be a fourth, Gordo's, located across from Ray's Boathouse, but it recently became the second Paseo, thus bringing a little Havana to the shores of Shilshole. Gordo's was (much) more of a fried fish shack than a proper restaurant. Hence, it was Little Coney's most direct rival, both in terms of proximity and ethos.
The fish 'n chips were better at Gordo's, and you got more bang for your buck. Which isn't to say that Little Coney's are bad; in fact, they're perfectly respectable, even if the portion (two filets) isn't quite what you'd like to receive for $8. But fish 'n chips isn't really what Little Coney's known for. What they've got over everyone else is location (closest restaurant to the summer hordes of Golden Gardens) and soft serve ice cream cones so big that when Ronald McDonald caught sight of one, he took off his wig, wiped the red smile off his face, and leapt into a bonfire.
Little Coney, 8001 Seaview Ave NW, 782-6598 SHILSHOLE