coney i-lander

Coney I-Lander
5219 East 41st Street, Tulsa, OK, USA

New in town and not knowing my way around, I went out in search of a place to try Tulsa's not-exactly-famous coney dog. More or less just a shrunken Detroit-style chili-cheese dog, it's nonetheless as close as Tulsa gets to an iconic regional specialty.

Out near Southroads Mall, I spotted a Coney I-Lander. Though this chain has many other locations, you kind of can't beat the uniquely Tulsan juxtaposition of a junk food joint sitting right next to a Weight Watchers. I almost should have taken time-lapse footage just to see how many times a day people go out of one and into the other.

coney i-lander

I kind of figured, given that it's more of a fast-food franchise than a diner or whatever, that Coney I-Lander wouldn't necessarily have the definitive coney, and I was right about that. But as a starting point, you could do worse. What I didn't figure on, as I neared the front of the line, was the SUPER WEIRD EYE of the employee who took my order.

Now that's a Coney Eye-Lander!

That's not an actual photo of it, but you get the idea. In Tulsa, you learn to deal with this sort of encounter calmly. You go to the bank, there's a guy with a bloody arm. You go to the park, there's a guy shitting out in the open. Different guy, at least.

coney i-lander

Anyway, Weird Eye was able to make me a coney with cheese promptly and accurately. I won't say I didn't once think that there might be infectious disease involved, but this didn't stop me from promptly stuffing the coney into my face. Didn't catch the eye thing, for what it's worth.

I didn't find the coney at Coney I-Lander to be great, and also wondered why they're so dang small—the server seemed either confused or perturbed that I wasn't getting at least three of 'em like everybody else. But I was just taking up the challenge of the "Coney I-Lander Highlander," who mockingly taunts you to "eat only one, or only one 'I' shall remain."

Ahhhhhhh … now I get it! Man, this town is tough!

Review by Jambone Jarmy, May 2018