While that whiff of fried food is as indelible to the aura of Coney Island as the roller coaster, sometimes you just don’t want hot dogs, fried clams, onions rings, or elephant ears. The only fresh fruit option we’d ever found were from the nice ladies that stroll around with the cut up mangoes on a stick. But there are only so many of those things you can suck back before the real hunger pangs start.
So if you’re starved, but want to keep things moderately healthy, we’ve found a great place to start. Just to the west of the Nathan’s stand on the boardwalk is the Grill Works, a collection of more fried food, an ice cream stand, and then finally a little Mexican stand. You can pick up little containers of freshly cut fruit or smoothies. The better bet, however, is the vegetable laden tacos, with radishes, cilantro, and lettuce. They also have huge tortas, slathered with black beans and stacked with cheese, lettuce, tomato and chicken, pork, or beef. Everything is cooked to order, meaning it’s fresh and delicious, but it also takes some time.
Tacos are $2.50, and the massive tortas are $5, making this relatively healthy excursion also practical on the wallet. You might even have enough money left over to take the Cyclone one more time.