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Jul 29, 2003 12:41 PM

Coney Island Texas Weiners as they used to be (and recipe for the real sauce!)....

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Does anyone around Scranton remember how good Coney Island Texas Weiners used to be? The man who owned that restaurant made great hot dogs! After he passed away, his kids wound up fighting over the restaurant. Now there are two Coney Islands in Scranton, and neither one serves hot dogs with that same great sauce the father made.

Yankee Lunch on Pittston Avenue still makes a good Texas Weiner.

To shorten a long story, my father worked with a man who knew the father at Coney Island. It took YEARS to get the recipe for the sauce, but here it is. It's amazingly simple, and there really aren't any set measurements. You just have to adjust things to taste.

Place about 1 and a half pounds of LEAN ground beef in a sauce pot. Add about 5 or 6 tablespoons of brown deli-style mustard, 3 or 4 tablespoons of chili powder, one finely chopped small to medium onion, and a little water. Don't add too much water, or the sauce will be too soupy. Mix all ingredients well while slowly heating the sauce. Continue to slowly heat, stirring every few minutes, until the sauce reaches a boil. Add water a little at a time if too thick.

I like mine served on a butterflied, fried Gutheinz frankfurter, with brown deli musterd and chopped Vidalia onion, served on a National Bakery bun.

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  1. Sounds great Ed! Looking forward to trying it. I hate onions, though. I was wondering if it would make a big difference if I left them out, or if I substituted something else; celery maybe?

    1. I grew up in Scranton and Peter's lunch on Lackawanna Ave, at the bus transfer point was where I went for a good texas wiener. Whenever I visit Scranton I search out the wiener places. The Glider, Liberty lunch on Main ave., Coney Island on Lackawanna ave., and under the railroad trestle off Lackawanna ave.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Jerry Toomey

        I stumbled upon this post from a few years ago and I had to chime in! My grandfather was Peter Savas, the "Peter" in Peter's Lunch. The restaurant is long gone and I now live in Wisconsin but when I'm back in Scranton and I crave the sauce I usually visit the old Coney Island. It reminds me so much of our old place with the grill in the front window. Thanks for giving our old place a shout out!

      2. Hey Ed,

        YOUDAMAN!! I just happened to google this site and found your commentary. I was raised in Scranton during the halcyon years of the great texas weiners to he had there. Mainly we went to the Liberty Lunch in West Scranton. But it really didn't matter which of the "Lunch places" you went they were always the best anywhere and I've had the same so-called product in a lot of other cities to compare with. But as you said, a time came when they just weren't as good. And now I know why. Its been many years since I've been back to Scranton but their texas weiners is one of my favorite memories. Thanks so much for sharing the recipe. Now I'll have to try it.

        3 Replies
        1. re: attaboy

          I pedaled the Scranton Tribune (blue streak) on the corner of main and hyde park at night for several years. ('62-66) The exhaust for the liberty lunch came right out onto the street and my corner. When the chilly winds started blowing (and the did) it was impossible to deny. The smell and taste stills lingers after all these years. There was nothing like a liberty lunch, texas weiner (5 for 1 dollar)and 10 cent coffee. Nick the cook, Mrs. Namlik, the waitress. what a memory. Back when times were simple and hard.

          Peter Jurbala
          Palm Harbor, Florida via Ithaca, N.Y. via 1305 Preston Place, Scranton, Pa.

          1. re: jurbalap

            I also pedaled the Tribune ('45-50). Hyde Park av, between Oram and Pettibone, were part of my route. I was back in the Scranton area six weeks ago for a high school class reunion. That was kinda sad, for the same small minds were unchanged after 60 years. But a bright spot was the weiners. I was also there in 2012 and tried the Keystone, Yankee and the two Coney Island Lunches. Sadly, the Liberty was gone and I didn't make it to the Glider diner. I thought the Coney on Cedar was better than either the other Coney or Keystone, but not by much. Yankee brought up the rear but was also tasty. Somehow I didn't think any of it was as good as long ago back in the day.

            1. re: attaboy

              We lived on Liberty Lunch Texas Weiners in the 50s. We held contests. My best was nine Weiners. But I had a big Navy man uncle who could put away 15 with no trouble. Never found anything like them anywhere else in my travels. Miss those days ....

        2. Ed: Thanks for the recipe. It's so simple that it makes sense. All the other recipes I found needed a long list of spices. The brown mustard has those spices in it already! I grew up in West Scranton (50-60s) and the Liberty Lunch on Main St. was THE place for the best Texas Wieners in town. Visited Scranton recently and had thee TW at the original Coney Island downtown. Good ... but drier than how I remember them. I'm anxious to try your recipe. PS/Where can one in FL find those buns and hot dogs????

          Main St Bar & Restaurant
          1130 W Main St, Valley View, PA 17983

          Liberty Lunch
          450 N 7th St Ste Frnt, Allentown, PA 18102

          Texas Wiener
          3963 Lancaster Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19104

          1. Thanks Ed! I'm making this tomorrow! I have a pretty good recipe, but it's pretty complicated. This sounds great.