Posts tagged chili

Tio Wally Eats America: Skyline Chili

I’m happy to have Tio Wally (long-time Me So Hungry reader) aboard to send in his eating adventures from across America. Here he is in Troy, Ohio.

Greetings from Troy, Ohio
N 40° 3.3005’ W 084° 14.1008 Elev. 888 ft.

I was initially kind of skeptical of Skyline Chili. A globe-trotting conductor friend had told me I should try it. “It’s pretty good,” he said. “I think it has cinnamon in it.”

Because I’m not the world’s biggest cinnamon fan, I thought that sounded a bit weird. Then I did a little research and read that Skyline Chili fans said it contained not only cinnamon but chocolate, as well. By then I was thinking it’s not chili — it’s mole!

Still I really wanted to go there because I knew they served Cincinnati Chili, a creation of Macedonian immigrants that first appeared in the 1922. Cincinnati Chili is markedly different from conventional chili in that it’s really a thin, meatless, sauce, contains no beans, and has none of the spices usually associated with chili or, more precisely, chili con carne.

Although its often served as a topping for Coney Dogs, what really makes it “Cincinnati” to me is that it’s used as a “topping” for spaghetti. There are a number of ways you can get it: Two-way (chili and spaghetti), Three-way (chili, spaghetti and cheese), Four-way (chili, spaghetti, cheese and onions); and Five-way (chili, spaghetti, cheese, onions and beans).

I had to have some Five-way chili and, after seeing you can get a Cheese Coney (“Specially-made hot dog in a steamed bun, with mustard, covered with original, secret recipe Skyline Chili, diced onions and a mound of shredded cheddar cheese) for $1.75, I was on my way in.

I was immediately greeted by the lovely “team leader” Taylor who asked if I was ordering “for here or to go?” To go, I said. As we chatted she discovered that it was my first visit to Skyline Chili. “If you eat it here I’ll pay for your meal,” she said. Huh? It turns out that your first visit to (the Troy?) Skyline Chili is on the house, you just can’t take any leftovers with you.

I ordered a Cheese Coney, a small Five-way Chili ($4.59), and a Sweet Tea ($1.79). When I took the first bite of the Coney my fears of it being a weird-tasting sauce were quickly alleviated. In fact, the Skyline Chili chili is really mild spice-wise, almost bland compared to what I thought it would be. It wasn’t that it was bad — it’s actually pretty good — just that it wasn’t bursting with flavor like I was expecting.

Likewise the Five-way Chili wasn’t as flavorful as I was hoping. I’ve made this at home using homemade chili con carne and I think that’s a lot more fun and fulfilling. Then again, if you’re a kitchen-less vagabond Skyline Chili’s Five-way is a pretty good substitution when you’re craving chili-topped spaghetti.

While I was eating I looked at the menu and saw that you can “Make any Favorite Extreme with Habanero Cheese.” I think next time I go I’ll try that on a Coney and see if it takes it over the top. I’ll also order more food; I wasn’t completely sated when I left and, by then, wanted something different.

This is an inexpensive place and the staff is really friendly. In fact, not only did Taylor tie a bib on me, she gave me a short course on how to eat the food to get the “total Skyline Chili experience”; place the serving dishes vertically to your body so you get all the ingredients in every bite.

Before I left Taylor gave me a card for a free Cheese Coney on my next three visits and the manager, Mark, handed be a goody bag containing his and the General Manager’s business cards, a to-go menu, a Skyline Chili bib, a sample packet of Skyline Chili Hot Sauce, a bag of Skyline Chili Oyster Crackers and (a particularly nice touch) a York Peppermint Pattie.

Total cost for my Skyline Chili experience would’ve been $7.99 … but the first one is free.

And so we roll.

Skyline Chili, 1775 W. Main St., Troy, Ohio,
with locations in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and Florida

Tio Wally pilots the 75-foot, 40-ton(max) land yacht SS Me So Hungry. He reports on road food from around the country whenever parking and InterTube connections permit.


Teddy’s Chili

We had a show with Desert Stars at Teddy’s Bar and Grill in Williamsburg. It was also Sam’s birthday. I don’t think he knew it was his birthday though. He didn’t tell anyone. I figure it’d be a good surprise to surprise him during our set. So I ripped off my clothes and turned into Elvis (young Tuxedo Elvis) which got the crowd excited. Then I started to speak in Chinese and got heckled. It went downhill from there. I was trying some Chinese standup and the birthday cake didn’t come out in time. But in the end, the Elvis song was pretty good and so was singing Happy Birthday in Chinese. Everyone joined along on the third time when the cake came out.

I ate this chili there. Pretty good stuff. Good for a cold night in Brooklyn.

01 Teddy's Chili

Teddy’s Bar and Grill – 96 Berry St (@ N 8th St) Brooklyn, NY 11211

I’m available for private appearances. CALL (347) 948-6479 TO BOOK NOW!!

Tio Wally Eats America: Home Plate

I’m happy to have Tio Wally (long-time Me So Hungry reader) aboard to send in his eating adventures from across America. Here he is in Morgan, Colorado.

Greetings from Fort Morgan, Colorado

N 40° 15.144’  W 103° 46.4839’  Elev. 4,312 ft.

We’re having issues out here.

The Home Plate 2 restaurant is a great place to park the power unit while the crew of the SS Me So Hungry waits, and waits, and waits … and waits a little longer for the gentle folks across the way to mercilessly kill a bunch of (hopefully) blissfully unsuspecting cattle, dress them out with industrial methodicalness, and load boxes of pieces — many, many pieces; 43,000 pounds (21.5 tons) of pieces — of their former carcasses into a bigger box, this one with wheels, refrigerated to a brisk 29 degrees.

Still, it’s not that much fun.

I’ve eaten at the Home Plate 2 many times, usually ordering a #19: Crispy Chili Rellenos (Smothered). At $7.50 for two rellenos, rice, beans, chips and salsa, and tortillas (on request), it’s a great deal. The green chili on top is great, too.

The chiles are the delightfully picante Anaheims that are ubiquitous to the Southwest. Lightly battered and fried to the perfect crispness, they come smothered in an awesome green chili, one that is every bit as worthy as the green chili served at the famed Gray’s Coors Tavern in Pueblo.

The last time I was here, after having the Rellenos, I took a nap and went back in just before they closed and ordered a Prime Rib Sandwich to go. It was on the Specials board for (I think) $7.95. Served with fries, I figured I’d scored.

My plan was to eat the sandwich and, since I would be waiting for awhile, go back to sleep. Life would be grand. Then I got back to the yacht and opened the box.

While the portion of prime rib was generous, it was so well-done that it didn’t taste like prime rib anymore. I don’t know why but once prime rib is cooked anything beyond medium it ceases to taste like prime rib. It’s a mystery only Alton Brown could solve.

This time I went in wanting breakfast. Knowing how much I loved the green chili served on the rellenos I ordered a Hamburger Patty & Two Eggs ($5.15) and got it smothered for an extra 95¢. How could I lose? It says right on the menu: It’s Fabulous Smothered for 95¢ Extra. Served with hashbrowns and (as I selected) a biscuit and gravy, I knew I couldn’t possibly go wrong. I was going to get a Slopper with my eggs! Yum.

I don’t know what happened during the wait, but the chili I was served was not green, or remotely fabulous. I even asked the waitress, “Is this green?” Despite her assurance to the contrary, it was indeed red. Look at the picture! And it sucked.

The predominate flavor in the “green” chili was red chili powder that tasted like it came from The Dollar Store; 24 ounces for only $1! And it had very few chunks of pork in it, though the ones that were there were tender. Still, I can’t believe she claimed it was green. Sheesh. Talk about time for an Ishihara Color Blindness test.

When sailing the vast Sea of Streets it’s sometimes very, very difficult to find food that’ll make you feel good, sate you. And it seems to run in stages, like a bad cold or the flu, or grief. When it happens it sucks. It really, really sucks.

There is a meme going around on Facebook lately where people are listing what they’re grateful for. Well, I’m grateful I’m not a hapless bovine being industrially processed into my component parts to grace your dinner table. Or worse, your hamburger bun.

And so we roll.

Home Plate 2, 19719 Highway 34, Fort Morgan, Colorado

and Home Plate 1, 306 Edmunds Street, Brush, Colorado.

Tio Wally pilots the 75-foot, 40-ton(max) land yacht SS Me So Hungry. He reports on road food from around the country whenever parking and InterTube connections permit.

Chili Cook-Off 2012

We had our fifth annual Justice of the Unicorns Chili Cook-Off this past weekend. So much fun and a lot of great food. Among my favorites were Alfonso’s Brooklyn Chili, John’s Venison chili and Brett & Janet’s “Mummies on the Loose” Mac & Cheese with Pigs in a Blanket. Check it out.

Thanks for everyone for making this party so awesome. Darren Hanlon, Shelley Short, Marcellus Hall and This Frontier Needs Heroes on music and everyone for bring the tasty food.

Chili Cook-Off in a Couple Hours

Dang. Maybe I didn’t give enough notice, but we are having our Fifth Annual Chili Cook-off today (Saturday Oct 27, 2012) in a few hours. 4:30pm at Good Co. bar in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Come out and party!

Daisy May’s BBQ USA’s Texas Style Chili

This one’s from several months back when I took a Skillshare class about Youtube Strategies at the ad offices of Ogilvy & Mather (on the West side). It was cool. I was hoping to see a few Don Drapers.

I was hungry after and Daisy May’s was right across the street. I had ribs from them at a BBQ fest a long time ago and they were pretty good. I thought this place would be a sit-down restaurant, but it’s a counter and then a dining room.

I got one of the cheapest things – “Bowl O’ Red” Texas Style Chili ($10.50). It looks small, but it’s all meat –12 ounces of meat and some gravy. The first few bites were great. Tender beef chunks. But after a while, it’s just too much meat and the chili gravy gets too salty. It comes with a tortilla, onions, cheese and sour cream.

This day was sort of memorable since it marked when I really got interested in learning again and bettering myself. Since then, I’ve taken acting and improv classes and just today I signed up for a class on Body Language. Pretty good deal too. $29 on LivingSocial. I can’t wait to find out who the fuck’s been lying to me.

Daisy May’s BBQ USA – 623 11th Ave (btwn 45th & 46th St) New York, NY 10036

Tio Wally Eats America: Make Your Own Wendy’s Chili Dog

I’m happy to have Tio Wally (long-time Me So Hungry reader) aboard to send in his eating adventures from across America. Here he is in Decatur, Alabama.

Greetings from Decatur, Alabama
N 34° 32.342’  W 086° 54.687’  Elev. 637 ft.

If you sail the Interstates for a living, eating fast food is an inevitability. Eventually you will be tired enough or hungry enough or it will be the only thing available or whatever. It’s going to happen. While I avoid fast food as much as possible, sometimes there are actually good things to be had, occasionally at a reasonable price.

Here’s yet another example:

Ah, Dave Thomas, the adopted kid who grew up to build a hamburger empire named after his daughter, and then go on to do so much for so many through his generous philanthropy. Along the way he also inadvertently created a damn good chili dog without purveying a single sausage during his long, industrious career. Neat trick.

I always liked Dave. But how did Dave create a great on-the-road chili dog without handling a single wiener? He made Wendy’s Chili, then located his restaurants in a bunch of truck stops across America.

I’m not waving a limp frank here, Furter. I’ve mentioned the quality of Wendy’s chili in the comment section of this blog previously. But now I’m going full frontal — with pictures and everything!

Though mildly spiced, Wendy’s chili is a nice mix of ground beef, white and kidney beans, bell pepper and tomato, in a really flavorful, slightly sweet sauce. Even better, many of the Wendy’s has chopped red onion which they will generously add on request. If you want, you can add cheese for an additional cost (30-50¢?). It’s also served with Wendy’s Chili Sauce, which I don’t like, and saltine crackers.

But you won’t need crackers, Polly, because you’re doing chili dogs. So here’s the drill:

1) Find a truck stop with a Wendy’s and buy a small chili with onion ($1.49). Have them drain the chili so it’s not so “soupy”; they’ll do this with alacrity if you ask. Then have them heap on the onions.

2) Go into the truck stop section of the building and find the weenie roller. Being careful not to let the glistening, rolling wieners hypnotize you, get a couple of the quarter-pound hot dogs. (For years the dogs were “2 for $2.22” virtually everywhere but now they’ve upped the price at most places to Two for $3.)

3) Put your dogs in one of those paper nacho trays and nuke — all truck stops have Nuke-Ro-Waves™ — your weenies for a minute to make sure they’re fully cooked. Always — Always! — avoid the ones that look like they’ve been there for awhile … because they have. Pull a couple of buns out of the invariably cold “bun warmer” located beneath the weenie roller and nuke them for about 10 seconds before sliding your wieners in.

4) Fix your dogs; I do mustard and ketchup. And don’t forget to double the little paper trays. You’ll thank me later for this prescient tip.

5) Take your booty back to your table/yacht/car and dump Wendy’s chili on your wieners and enjoy some of the best chili dogs a hungry traveler can reliably find. Seriously.

For those of you who don’t want a weenie ‘neath your chili Wendy’s also has baked potatoes ($1.29). I don’t know how many people have put chili on a baked potato but it’s actually a great combination, one that rates right up there with chili on spaghetti.

And here’s another Tip for the Traveler: While at Wendy’s stock up on disposable cutlery. They have the best, most durable, seemingly indestructible plastic knives, forks and spoons on the planet. They will prove to be invaluable. And Wendy’s gives ‘em away!

Dave. Always giving back, bless him.

And so we roll.

Wendy’s, nationwide

Tio Wally pilots the 75-foot, 40-ton(max) land yacht SS Me So Hungry. He reports on road food from around the country whenever parking and InterTube connections permit.

$24 for Endless Chili at Lucky 777

I got this Thrillist deal in my email for endless chili at $24. The picture of the bread bowl looked great. But at first I didn’t think it sounded like a great deal, because I’m not sure how much chili I could eat in one sitting. It turns out it’s NOT just one sitting of chili. It’s a pass for multiple visits of chili from now until Labor Day (September 3, 2012). You can only get one item per day, but you potentially have 96 days of chili left …if my counting is correct. The chili retails at $9 for the large. That’s an amazing deal, if you’re committed to get your money’s worth and more.

I think they give me $10 if you sign up through here. I don’t care if you use this link or not. I’m not trying to make money. I just think this could be an amazing deal if you try to get every single chili you could get out of it. But why don’t you want to use my referral link? Now no one gets the $10.