Last weekend we headed down to the Chili Cook Off at Jo's on South Congress. It was a beautiful day to sit in the nice temperatures and try some chili. I didn't know much about it before we headed there, just the time, date, location, and who it benefited. That is my minor gripe- it would have been nice to know that it cost $2 per chili try (or $25 to try all 16 competitors). I brought cash with me, so we were fine. It would have also been nice to know who the competitors were and what they were serving (ground beef, turkey, lamb, bean, etc) before hand so we could have come up with a game plan on who we wanted to try first :)
We arrived around 1:30 and found that about 6 of the 16 booths had run out of chili already :( BOOOO! We tried to get there earlier but we wanted to finish cleaning the house before we had fun on Saturday.
After we waited 20 minutes in the line to purchase chili tickets and beers, we headed to the booths to eat some chili. Our first stop was La Condessa, and they were out so we went to the next booth, Bubblin' Red.
This chili has a nice subtle flavor, nothing that wow'ed us but it was a tasty chili. Next up was the Hyde Park Bar and Grill. They were dressed up as Smokey and the Bandit characters. They were pretty hilarious!
Their chili however was really bad. Like after a taste we were done with it. It was very soupy and the meat (?) was soooo small like little pebbles. Texturally it was off, but the flavor was also off. I couldn't figure it out, but it was almost like there was a vinegar in there. But I wasn't willing to take another bite to figure it out. Unfortunately that little cup went directly into the trash.
While washing the Hyde Park chili out of our mouth with beer, we headed to Lili Chili. We got the very last bit of their chili and it was really good. I believe they used beef and lamb. There was a slight smoky taste and the texture was excellent. I wish we had gotten to them sooner and got a full cup of chili
I remember reading that 24 Diner won last year, so we headed over to that booth to make sure we got a taste.
Their chili was damn good. They didn't use beans (yay for me!), they had chunks of beef (honestly I couldn't tell if it was beef or pork, but it wasn't ground beef), with great seasoning. They added their own onions, cilantro and corn bread to the cups, where other booths let you pick and choose what you wanted. Honestly, I like the idea of being able to pick and chose, and trying a bite before all of the extras. But this worked for 24 Diner and I still loved their chili.
They were even giving away free Tito's Bloody Marys. Yes Please!
These guys ran out of chili before we got there, but they said I could take a photo of them :) Thank you guys, you get to be on my blog that is read by all of 6 people :)