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America's 10 Best Chili Places

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout' started by GRENDEL, Feb 9, 2011.


    GRENDEL Contributing Member

    Nov 21, 2002
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    By Andrew Knowlton, Bon Appetit

    Beans versus no beans, mild versus tongue-searing, ground beef versus chunks of chuck roast--let's agree to disagree that there's no one perfect bowl of chili. (Yes, we know: except, of course, for your own.) Here are our top ten chili joints with a range of styles from coast to coast.

    1. Ben's Chili Bowl
    Washington, D.C.

    No reasonable discussion of great chili joints can take place without mention of this U Street institution, open since 1958. Try the Bill Cosby's Original Chili Half-Smoke hot dog and the beef-filled house-made chili sauce, a decadent french-fry topping.
    1213 U Street NW; 202-667-0909

    2. Joe Rogers' Original Recipe Chili Parlor
    Springfield, Illinois

    Bon Appétit features editor Hugh Garvey was weaned on the chili at the Den, as locals call this 63-year-old no-frills legend. The chili comes with or without beans and in a range of heat—from mild to the scorching J.R. Special.
    820 South Ninth Street; 217-522-3722

    3. Chili My Soul
    Encino, California

    No single chili style rules at this mostly take-out spot in the Los Angeles area. In fact, every day a dozen or so chilies from a roster of more than 30 varieties are featured. Each type—from Blanco y Verde (tomatillos, Great Northern beans, chicken) to Gunslinger (ground beef, bacon bits, baby pinto beans)—is numbered. (1 has no heat; 10 is blazing!)
    4928 Balboa Boulevard; 818-981-7685

    4. Slim's Last Chance

    Part chili shack, part music venue, this Georgetown-neighborhood hangout serves four chilies (Texas red, brisket and bean, chile verde, and turkey and white bean), with optional white-cheddar grits or jalapeño mac and cheese.
    5606 First Avenue South; 206-762-7900

    5. Daisy May's BBQ USA
    New York

    At the best barbecue joint in the Big Apple, chef Adam Perry Lang's chili is thick with braised cubes of beef and served with house-made chipotle sauce, cheddar cheese, onions, sour cream, and a warm tortilla.
    623 11th Avenue; 212-977-1500

    6. Camp Washington Chili

    You either love Cincinnati-style chili or you despise it—there is no middle ground. Order this mild, somewhat sweet, fine-ground beef sauce thusly: 3-Way (spaghetti topped with cheese and chili), 4-Way (spaghetti, cheese, chili, and onions or beans), or 5-Way (the works).
    3005 Colerain Avenue; 513-541-0061

    7. All Star Sandwich Bar
    Cambridge, Massachusetts

    Fiery-hot Texas State Pen Chili (made with brisket and no beans) is a best seller. Cornbread, sour cream, Jack cheese, lime, and cilantro (served on the side) help tame the flames.
    1245 Cambridge Street; 617-868-3065

    8. Tomasita's
    Sante Fe, New Mexico

    This is one of the best places to try stew-like New Mexican green chili (named after its green Hatch chiles), filled with your choice of pinto beans, posole, beef, chicken, or cheese. A crispy sopaipilla (puffy fry bread) comes on the side.
    500 South Guadalupe Street; 505-983-5721

    9. Tolbert's Restaurant
    Grapevine, Texas

    From the Chili Queens of San Antonio to the annual cook-offs, no state takes its chili as seriously as Texas. Halfway between Dallas and Fort Worth, Tolbert's serves a classic bowl of Texas red, bean-free and super-thick with beef chunks.
    423 South Main Street; 817-421-4888

    10. Big Bad Breakfast
    Oxford, Mississippi

    At chef John Currence's new breakfast-and-lunch-only diner-like spot, you can have the house-made chili on a griddle-fried hot dog atop a sweet waffle, in a two-egg omelet, or simply in a bowl.
    719 North Lamar Boulevard; 662-236-2666

  2. Dr of Dunk

    Dr of Dunk Clutch Crew

    Aug 27, 1999
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    Hmm... looks like I need to take a quick trip to Grapevine.
  3. yo

    yo Contributing Member

    May 20, 2001
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    Ben's Chili Bowl is indeed amazing. If I didn't have to walk a mile to get there, I'd be there everyday.
  4. Joshfast

    Joshfast "We're all gonna die" - Billy Sole
    Supporting Member

    Dec 9, 2001
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    Hell yeah. And so it begins again....
  5. Ubiquitin

    Ubiquitin Multi-media Personality
    Supporting Member

    Jul 7, 2001
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    I will have to try Ben's Chili Bowl. I usually eat yuppie upscale food when I am in DC.
  6. Rox_fan_here

    Rox_fan_here Contributing Member

    Jun 2, 2003
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    Went to Ben's when I was in DC a few months ago. I have to say it was tasty but too label it the greatest, really? I think it never fails that when something is labeled "the greatest" in anything its almost impossible to live up to the lofty expectations that are set.
  7. vinsensual

    vinsensual Member

    Nov 2, 2008
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    New York City?!
  8. weslinder

    weslinder Contributing Member

    Jun 27, 2006
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    Good chili can't come from a restaurant. It needs more love than can come from a cook in the back.

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