In Detroit, where I was a kid, they have "Coney Islands", which are hot dogs in steamed buns with some really bad chili on them, topped with plenty of onions and some mustard. You get a few of them to go. Many years ago there was a Greek immigrant who stopped in Brooklyn on his way to Detroit, saw the island, and when he got to Detroit he named his creation after it. You "greeze" on some of those. Next morning you can bottle the gas. Used to be you had to go downtown to get them, but now they're all over the Detroit area.
And they have Buddy's Pizza, which has now become a thing. Back in the 1940s, Buddy's was a neighborhood bar in a blue collar area of the City, destined to become a really rough area a few decades later. The owner was a guy named Gus. He wanted to have snacks for the guys who came in but didn't have a lot of money for equipment and such. A buddy, literally, worked in one of the auto plants and brought him a bunch of metal trays. They're made from heavy steel and they were used to store screws, nuts, etc. Very heavy duty and thick steel.
He didn't know much about pizza because at the time, pizza was just an east coast thing you only found in Italian neighborhoods, but being Italian, he did know about focaccia and tomatoes and cheese. So he kind of put them together. He made it up himself, putting some dough into one of those heavy pans, loading up the toppings, laying on the cheese, and finally pouring on some tomato sauce. Pretty much exactly the opposite of the way they put toppings on in NYC and elsewhere. He didn't worry about mozzarella or pretend that pizza was actually originated in Naples and used mozzarella and basil because those myths hadn't been established yet. So he used some cheese from Wisconsin that was similar to a Monterey Jack. He loaded the pizza with cheese right to the edges of the pan.
The crust isn't anything like you get in a Neapolitan or NY pizza place either. It's not chewy at all. When it's baked, the grease from the cheese overflows into the pan, which makes the dough extra crispy on the edges. People liked the stuff and a competitor, running a bar named Shield's, noticed so he started offering the same thing. Those two founded what is now considered "Detroit" style pizza. It's not like a Chicago pizza or Sicilian pizza because it's greasier, the crust is crispy and not doughy, and the layering of the toppings is reversed. When I was younger we'd drive to the originals for the stuff but usually went to Shields because it was cleaner and closer than Buddy's.
Much later, in the 1960s, a Yugoslavian guy named Mike Ilitch opened a pizza place, thinking that pizza might be a new take-out to compete with hamburgers and the ubiquitous "broasted chicken" places. His place did OK and he wanted to open another few places, but his partner didn't want to expand. So the partner kept the original and Ilitch went out on his own. He came up with a new name: Little Caesar's. The first shop was pretty near our house and I remember the first time my Dad ordered one of those. A bunch of neighbors came by to check it out. They thought this pizza thing was pretty cool. And truth is, the original Little Caesar's actually used real ingredients. It wasn't far from the first K-Mart either, which was an experiment that Kresge's wanted to try out.
Last thing is something I know nobody else has. In fact, Detroit doesn't have it any more either, but they did. And it doesn't get more hometown.
Used to be if you were Catholic you didn't eat meat on Friday. But a few enterprising souls liked their meat and over a few beers and detailed analysis of canonical law, came up with a work-around. There was a place called the Polish Yacht Club, which was in an area called Delray, which ironically, was mostly Hungarian. Anyhow they figured out that since muskrats live in and around water, arguably they could be considered fish.
So they went on the menu on Fridays.
For $2.50 you got half a roasted muskrat, an order of fries, and a scoop of cole slaw. Beer was an extra buck. Of course I had to head over with some friends to try this delicacy. The guys would trap, catch, and clean the muskrats during the week and the ladies in the kitchen would parboil them in the morning on Friday and then slow roast them. They came on your plate looking pretty much like half a rat cut lengthwise down the middle. This became a kind of underground thing for those "in the know".
But eventually word got to the health authorities, who said you couldn't just go out and catch muskrats in the ditch and serve them up. Even though they were parboiled and roasted, they didn't meet all the proper requirements. A shame.