Monday, June 13, 2011

Local Flavor

With all the wieners in the news this past week, it made me think of a place in Springfield, Missouri where my first love affair with the CONEY began! Springfield’s oldest restaurant, Casper’s is celebrating it’s 102nd year. The famous chili restaurant is housed in a Quonset hut, seating for 29 lucky diners, it's cramped but the customers don’t mind. My Dad was a friend of former owner Casper Lederer who started the business in 1909 as a fruit stand. Over the years it evolved into a chili house and changed locations from the old one out on Glenstone to the current one in the downtown area on Walnut. Daddy used to bring those delicious coney's home and they were so good!

Springfield also had a Dog and Suds Drive-In that served great coney's. Like Sonic, you'd set in your car and they would bring your order on skates.

After we married we moved to Sacramento, California and for 15 cents at Der Wienerschnitzel you could have the best chili cheese dog, kraut dog, or polish! Our daughter Stephanie was a toddler and loved the kraut dog, her Daddy would hold his nose while she ate it in the car!

Last week while we were at Tulsa, we ate at The Coney I-Lander, a regional chain with the best slow-grilled hot dogs you ever put in your mouth! Topped with chili, shredded cheese, onions and mustard and nestled in a steamed bun, the coneys are much smaller than a typical hot dog. When you enter, there's a line where you place your order "Soup Nazi Style," order wrong and everyone turns and stares at you like you are an Alien from Outer Space! We were the Aliens at the Coney I-Lander on Peoria Tuesday! The chain dates back to 1926, when Greek immigrant Christ Economou opened his first location in downtown Tulsa. The restaurants survived the Great Depression to become a part of Tulsa's history. Loyal customers enjoy their food while unscrambling posted "jumbled" sentences. We saw the jumble but until I came home and Googled it, I didn't have a clue what it was!

Don't forget to visit the Mom and Pop places where you live for that great "local flavor."


  1. Baseball and Hotdogs...
    nothing more American then that...
    except throwing in a beer!

    Love a good wiener!!!
    xoxo~Kathy @
    Sweet Up-North Mornings...

  2. I know all those places except Casper's. Next time we're in Springfield we'll have to stop by for a treat.

  3. Casper's looks like a great coney place. Yum!!
    We love Coney Island in Tulsa - actually my hub craves their coneys from time to time.

  4. "Weiners in the news", your killing me!! HA!
    Oh, but I am wishing for a hot dog in a bun for my dinner now. I only eat them a few times a year, but these look so tasty, I may send hubby to the grocers for the makins.

  5. Oh my gosh... I lived near a Der Wienerschnitzel, many, many years ago. I loved the kraut dog!

  6. The last thing I would ever order but you make them look so yummy. I guess I just haven't had the good ones yet.
    I only like mine small and grilled till leathery on the outside. Sad, I know.

  7. Love the old photos! Casper's looks like my kind of place!
    We used to have a Der Weinershcnitzel too! Wonder if they are still in business?

  8. we love the little dogs at Skyline Chili! Now you are making me hanker for one!
    xo, Cheryl

  9. Love this post! Hot dogs are wonderful. Thanks for sharing the photos. That last picture looks so yummy!


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