The Short Course
1. Kid-friendly: Yes
2. To avoid wait: Try lunch or dinner to avoid the brunch crowd on weekends
3. Noise level: Moderate
4. Bathroom amenities: “There’s no changing table, but it’s a nice bathroom,” said my 10-year-old.
5. High chairs? Yes
6. Got milk? Yes, plus apple juice, orange juice, pop, horchata, jamaica and tamarindo.
7. Kids’ menu? For the Coney Island cuisine only
8. Anything healthy for kids? Look for fresh fruit and stay away from fried items.
9. Food allergy concerns? Speak with your server. They can cook food separately and help identify ingredients.
In an unassuming strip mall on Washtenaw Avenue in Ypsilanti sits Antonio’s Coney Island. Equally inconspicuous are the tables you see once inside, reminiscent of most diners across America.
Antonio’s Coney Island is no ordinary diner, though. That’s because in addition to Coney dogs, burgers and fries they serve Central American cuisine as well.
My family of four picked a table in the back room one Sunday morning as the three tables in the front room were occupied. The atmosphere at Antonio’s is casual and relaxed, energized by the Latin American music playing overhead.
From pancakes to enchiladas
Antonio’s has two menus. The Coney Island menu offers standard breakfast items like omelettes and lunch selections such as sandwiches and salads. The Central American menu, though, is anything but typical, offering authentic Honduran and Guatemalan food.
How about a stuffed plantain deep-fried and filled with red beans and cream? Or steamed yucca root topped with Honduran cabbage slaw, pork rinds and special sauce? Maybe an entire Tilapia fish with fried green bananas and tortillas is more your style.
I picked the Special Platter with grilled steak and onions, one egg, red beans, avocado, fried plantains, Honduran cabbage slaw, cream and corn tortillas ($10.99). My husband chose the Huevos Rancheros ($7.95) and a bowl of Seafood soup ($6.50), a specialty only served on Sundays. We both added dark Honduran coffee plus an order of chips and guacamole to start ($5.99).
My son, 14, picked the California burger with bacon, avocado and cheese plus a side of fries ($8). He added a Jarritos Mexican soda. My daughter, 10, did not fancy anything from the kids’ menus only offering Coney Island choices. Instead, she selected the Typical Platter ($7.50) with scrambled eggs, bacon, red beans, avocado, fried plantains, cream and corn tortillas. She added horchata to drink, a sweet beverage made with rice and cinnamon.
Different is good
We barely had time to finish our chips, crisp and salty, with creamy guacamole before the main meal arrived and filled our table. My husband’s Huevos Rancheros and Seafood soup took up most of the room.
“I guess he’s having the buffet,” quipped my daughter.
The soup was lukewarm, but a quick trip to the microwave heated it nicely. It was creamy with coconut milk and full of shrimp, mussels, crab, yucca and even octopus. His eggs were served with tostadas, avocado, rice and an agreeable mole sauce.
My steak had a pleasant grilled taste, although, as might be expected for the price, it was not the choicest cut. The Honduran slaw was bright, the beans and cream flavorful. I enjoyed loading them and avocado into the corn tortillas. The fried plantains were sweet and doughy.
My son demolished his burger with no complaints. My daughter gobbled up her eggs, liked the beans, and passed me her avocado and plantains. All of us were too stuffed to try dessert, advertised as homemade carrot cake or flan.
Sometimes you want a burger and fries. Other times you want pescado frito with Honduran cabbage slaw. At Antonio’s Coney Island, you can have both, and that type of variety is perfect for pleasing the appetites of both children and adults.
Antonio’s Coney Island
2896 Washtenaw Avenuu | Ypsilanti, MI 48197
Phone: (734) 905-7321
Hours: Mon 9am-4pm; Tue-Fri 9am-9pm
Sat 8am-9pm; Sun 8am-7pm
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