by Steven Doyle
A true bowl of Texas red is near and dear to me, and I am always willing to order a bowl if found on any menu I stumble across. I am pleased to report that there are more chili offerings this year than last, and many have upped the ante in developing a perfect bowl. With temperatures dipping into below freezing ranges in the coming days, what a perfect opportunity to go out and taste a bowl for yourself. We have a list of some of the best in Dallas, and even one from Fort Worth that you will want to sample.
If you are curious how the chili cook off in Terlingua came to be, you might want to check out this link: The Colorful History of the Chili Cook Off.
Sounds highfalutin, but any chili list in the DFW area must include chili created by chef Graham Dodds. He is offering his special recipe at his new digs at Hibiscus, and that is good news for those wanting a soothing bowl of rich and meaty chili. Graham’s chili borders on the spicy side, but can easily be tempered with his perfect cornbread.
Stephan Pyles makes great chili, and it stands to reason that this West Texas raised knows a thing or two about a perfect bowl of red. You can enjoy the Stampede chili solo, served straight from his can that looks suspiciously like Wolf Brand, or as Frito Pie. Actually, it is “Freeto” pie since he makes his own corn chips in house.
Charlie Pap can concoct a perfect Sazerac just as well as he can make a mean bowl of chili. What a happy way to stay warm that with this amazing chili. Charlie hails from New York, but he will tell you that he gained his chili making skills in Texas by studying past winners of the Terlingua chili cook off. This chili is great solo or dressed up with sour cream and diced onions. By the way, Charlie is now offering the Peticolas Velvet Hammer on tap for a one-two punch of chili and beer.
New to the Dallas culinary landscape, offering such illustrious fare such as a pig face (oh so good) CBD is definitely one of the top go to restaurants currently in Dallas. They also make an awesome bowl of chili. This chili is very thick with tender meat topped with an egg, and a bit on the caustic side of heat . Delicious with a side of chicharones.
Try hunting down chili on the menu at Ellen’s and you might have a difficult time. This item is actually found on the breakfast side and is served with a few eggs for good measure. This chili is a bit on the sweeter side, but packed with meat and a rich chili gravy. While at Ellen’s, try the BLTEA, which is a kicked up BLT with thick cut Texas hickory smoked bacon, crispy lettuce, tomatoes, a fried egg and avocado on multi-grain toast. This pairs very well with chili.
All Good is as the name suggests, all very good. This is home to our favorite chicken fried steak in Dallas, and they also make a fantastic bowl of chili. You can order this as a straight bowl of red, Frito pie, or as a powerful omelet ingredient.
Home to some very delicious burgers, beer and, of course, chili. Pull up a bar stool, apply the napkin and dig into this brick red bowl of delicious beefy chili.
Rodeo Goat prides itself on making outrageous burgers that include the Whiskey Burger hat is topped with Irish Whiskey Cheddar, Bourbon Candied Bacon, and a Blackberry Compote. But they also make this wonderful chili that makes it all worth the drive. We do not need much motivation to enjoy Rodeo Goat.
Both Holy Grail and FM Smokehouse are owned by Brian and Christi Rudolph. Besides having one amazing beer program at both locations, they can cook. The chili they offer is pretty straight forward and very good. But you may also order the ghost pepper version, which is the one we recommend. The ghost peppers in this chili are tempered down quite a bit, but you still get a little of that “bite of a rattlesnake” numbness on your tongue, but it is not searingly hot where you cannot enjoy the bowl.
This is a bit of a cheat since Haystack does not officially have chili on the menu in bowl form, but you may still order the burger topping that is house made and quite good.