One of the highlights in quiet Commack, LI, NY was the presence of the Coney Island fast-food icon, Nathan's Famous, known for it's excellent hot dogs. The site, at 6137 Jericho Turnpike, used to be home to Chuck E. Cheese's, but changed over sometime in the late 80s to a large video arcade, The Emporium with a Nathan's attached. My sister and I had birthday parties there, where I mastered the arts of Rampage and Pit-Fighter. I frequented it through high school, and occasionally while home from college, and was sad to see it's recent closure and conversion to an all-you-can-eat sushi buffet.
However, my sister, through her cunning, discovered an arcade/Nathan's site in Farmingdale, and you know TAKOTRON made an effort to check it out while home for the holidays. It's called the "Fun Zone," which, based on appearance, seems an exaggeration. But once inside, beyond the games and shoddy rides, it felt great to have that Nathan's hot dog again. The New York hot dog is a different animal from its Chicago cousin. There are a few topping combinations, like peppers and onions, sauerkraut and ketchup, relish and mustard, etc. Chicagoans can be dogmatic about what gets involved, like ketchup being explicitly prohibited from a "Chicago Style" dog, or a bun being steamed but not toasted. Chicago is the historic king of meat processing, the American mecca of tubular meats, so its people are the experts. But there's also something nice about New York's more cosmopolitan interpretation, pairing the hot dog with papaya juice, or kraut, or grilling it, broiling it, boiling it in dirty water on a street corner--and it's all good.
Nathan's/The Fun Zone
229 Rte. 110
Other New York Hot Dog Specialists