Tag Archives: Frank X. Tolbert

Beans or No Beans Chili Brouhaha

chiliby Steven Doyle

Temperatures are dropping this week and many of you will be seeking out  great bowl of chili. We have some to recommend. We also have the tale of the original chili cook off in Terlingua if you are interested in any more history today. This article was read last week on the main stage of The Original International Chili Cook Off held in Terlingua each year, which we are honored. That cook off is always held in Terlingua the first week of November.

In the past few week we have been discussing the perfect bowl of red, as we do each year about this time. It is certainly something we enjoy and take to heart as a true Texas original. However, it has been disturbing as each one of these conversations always ends with a debate on “beans or no beans”.  Our stance stays true to the no beans camp. We have a few original chili recipes to prove that this is the way God intended chili to be served. Beans may join the table as a condiment, just as you might add fresh brunoise of onions, or even Fritos to make your own pie.     Continue reading

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The Hunt For A Bowl Of Red: Tolbert’s Restaurant

tolbertsby Steven Doyle

Last week we began a short series that explored chili in the DFW area. We began with Jack’s Southern Comfort Food located on lowest Greenville Avenue where we found some pretty tremendous chili. We are hoping to uncover more bowls as we continue our search. We have had many really interesting suggestions, and we plan to hit them all up to see if Dallas is really a chili town.

That being said, we loaded up the crave wagon and aimed it towards Grapevine where the legacy of chili resides. Tolbert’s Restaurant is now owned by Frank X. Tolbert’s daughter, Kathleen Tolbert Ryan who also runs the big chili festival in Terlingua, which I am mighty happy to make that pilgrimage each year in November. Continue reading

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Filed under Chili, fun with food, Hunt for a Bowl of red, Steven Doyle

The Hunt For A Bowl Of Red: Jack’s Southern Comfort Food

DSC05088by Steven Doyle

There was a time when Dallas was ripe with bowls of chili. I’m not talking the bean-ridden nonsense infiltrated by our neighbors to the north. I refer to the perfect bowl of red that has somehow escaped our dining landscape.

Back in the 1880’s the San Antonio chili queens dominated the Plaza, hawking their home-made chili that was often made with just meat, tomatoes and chiles, served with a side of beans and tortillas. The queens would offer chili to the soldiers and just about anyone that happened by as they kept the pots waed over a mesquite fire. In 1937 with a concern for public health, the chili queens were banned from the Plaza, and some of them took to brick and mortar restaurants. Consider these dames the early pioneers of the modern day food truck.    Continue reading

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The Colorful History Of The Chili Cook Off

by Steven Doyle

The first weekend in November over 10,000 people, fondly referred to as chili-heads, converge onto the tiny former mining town in the Texas desert called Terlingua. Each year at this time the town with a population of no more than a few dozen play host to two of the largest chili cook-offs in the world. That’s right, two.

What first began in 1967 and organized by Texas historian and chili aficionado Wick Fowler and car manufacturer Carroll Shelby as a means to settle a storied feud between two journalists; namely Frank X. Tolbert who wrote for the Dallas Morning News, and a gentleman by the name of   H. Allen Smith who wrote a scathing article in Holiday Magazine entitled “Nobody Knows More About Chili Than I Do”.    Continue reading

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Filed under Chili, Steven Doyle, Terlingua, Texas