Sun's out, (Hot Dog) Buns out on Coney Island!

Looking for the ultimate 4th of July weekend? Book a trip to Brooklyn for a once in a lifetime experience!

Q+A with Jon Hein, fast food/pop culture expert & TV/radio personality
Q- In your book, Fast Food Maniac, you talk about how special Coney Island is to you and your family. What makes it such a great summer destination?

A- Coney Island has everything you could want out of a summer trip. The beach, the boardwalk, some nostalgia, and of course the Original Nathan's. You can even catch a Cyclones game, ride the Cyclone, or go on a host of other amusement park rides. The place bleeds nostalgia and it's fun. If you want to capture the essence of a summer day in New York, Coney Island is the place to be.

Q- Easy transition here... 4th of July + Coney Island = Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest! You have been to the event so tell us a little about that, and similar to "Times Square for New Year's Eve" or "New Orleans for Mardi Gras", should Coney Island for 4th of July be a "Bucket List" event for travelers? 
Photo from "Fast Food Maniac"

A- Everyone should experience the Hot Dog Eating Contest at some point in their lives. Forget about the contestants gorging themselves on way too many frankfurters. All the people down on the boardwalk are there to celebrate and have fun --- and it is a sight to see! Is it cheesy? Absolutely! And that's just part of the fun. When it's all over, you get fireworks, and a beach front boardwalk stroll, topped off by the best hot dogs and fries on the planet.
Q- What is the craziest hot dog you have ever eaten and is there any dog that rivals Nathan's?

A- I'm a purist. The Coney Island Nathan's Hot Dog is so good that you don't even need to put mustard, sauerkraut, or any other topping on it. There's definitely something in that Coney Island water, because a hot dog from that spot in Brooklyn tastes better than a Nathan's Hot Dog from anywhere else. Nothing comes close.

Q- For those people opting for a 4th of July stay-cation, can you offer up any grilling tips?

A- A grill is a requirement on the Fourth. You can barbecue practically anything these days, but on the Fourth, burgers and hot dogs are a must. I like throwing some corn on there in addition to some skirt steak and chicken kabobs. I'll even put a veggie burger on for non-meat eaters, but the basics are a must to honor the birthday of the greatest Nation in the world.

For more of Jon's grilling tips check out this video
Follow Jon @jonhein on Twitter!

Hope to see you on the boardwalk to celebrate the 4th of July and the 100th Anniversary of Nathan's Famous

Questions about Coney Island? Hit us up below!

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