The Story of Two Nathan’s

Alissa & Chris at the Ford Amphitheater at Coney Island in Brooklyn, NY in August 2017.

After going to the Nashville concert tour (as in CMT’s Nashville) at the Ford Amphitheatre at Coney Island, the Kissing Cooks took a walk down the boardwalk. If you’ve never walked down the Coney Island Boardwalk at 10:30 p.m. on a Saturday night, it is quite the experience. 

As we walked toward Luna Park, to our right was the beach, and on the edge of the boardwalk were people playing music and dancing. They brought such life to the boardwalk. 

On the other side was the amusement park, roller coasters and other rides clicked and clacked well into the night, accompanied by the howls and screams of riders. 

Our goal was simple as we strolled down this boardwalk under the moon’s light: to enjoy ourselves and hopefully grab a Nathan’s Famous hot dog. Wherever you are, you hopefully know about Nathan’s. You’ve probably seen them at the grocery store, or stands at the airport or your local mall, or maybe you are lucky enough to have a Nathan’s restaurant near you. 

Growing up in New York comes with many advantages, and having family in Brooklyn comes with some legends and lore. There is no greater legend is than that of the Nathan’s hot dog. 

Without giving too extensive of a history lesson, Nathan’s was started by Nathan Handwerker in 1916 on Surf Avenue, only a block away from the boardwalk at Coney Island. What you might not know is that Nathan was a Polish immigrant who started this hot dog empire with a mere $400. 

While Alissa and I found Nathan’s on the boardwalk, we knew that first Nathan’s has stood proud for over 100 years now. Once arriving to this bustling establishment at 11:00 p.m., we ordered two hot dogs, an order of fries, and a Sprite. It’s convenient that Alissa and I both like Sprite. Splitting a soda on the boardwalk at Coney Island is pretty romantic in itself. Anyway, I inquired about gluten free buns to which I was told, “Sorry, but no.” Then I asked about the gluten status of the fries. The manager told me that “they cut their fries from fresh potatoes. There’s no wheat in them, only potatoes.” That was great to hear. 

Alissa & Chris at Nathan’s on the Coney Island Baordwalk in Brooklyn, NY in August 2017.

Upon receiving our food, we then had to find somewhere to sit and eat. Like I have already mentioned, this boardwalk was pretty busy. We found a bench and started to chow down on our hot dogs and fries. We passed the Sprite back and forth, and dug our little red forks into the salty, crinkle cut fries. 

Once we finished, we made our way back to the car, which was parked conveniently close to the boardwalk. Upon pulling out, we saw Charles Esten (who plays the brooding crooner Deacon Claybourne on Nashville) signing autographs and taking pictures with loyal fans.

When we started on our way to head back home, we turned onto Surf Avenue, passing the real Nathan’s, the very first Nathan’s restaurant where it all started. It was quite a sight, like the Las Vegas strip with bright lights and sparkling signs. It was more impressive than Vegas though because this, this was history. And not just any history, New York history!

As always… stay kissing and stay cooking!

Alissa & Chris at Coney Island in Brooklyn, NY in August 2017.

 

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