From the 1860s until the late 1930s, one of the primary amusements of both visitors and locals was the food and entertainment offered in the plazas of San Antonio by the Chili Queens.
These women served chili con carne and other Mexican American delicacies from dusk until dawn at various San Antonio plazas over the years — setting up tables and benches and bringing pots of food to cook or reheat over their flickering mesquite fires and to serve by the light of their oil lanterns. As morning came, their families helped them cart everything away. Wandering musicians and singers provided a festive air to the unique proceedings—unique, that is, outside Mexico. In Mexico, the open-air plaza restaurants were not celebrated for their charming food-servers. Only San Antonio had Chili Queens—and while they liked to joke, banter, and flirt with customers, they were well chaperoned by family members who guarded their virtue.
At first, only a few women — such as Sadie and Martha, sometimes pictured in old books about San Antonio — were called Chili Queens. Sadie was called “Anglo-Celtic;” Martha was Hispanic. Eventually, the royal title was applied to all the women—most of them young and virtually all of them Hispanic. Continue reading
by Steven Doyle
We have written about the history of chili, and Dallas is definitely a large part of that. The original Tolbert’s downtown served some of the best chili that could be found on the planet. Also the original Chilis’, the chain that can be found just about anywhere, opened over 40 years ago by Larry Lavine at the now-defunct Greenville Avenue and Meadow location served fantastic chili back in the day, with a recipe inspired by the first chili cook-off in Terlingua.
As we do each year, we bring you our favorite bowls of chili in the DFW area. Please note there is not a bean to be found on this list. If you do njoy beans with your chili, we invite you to check out another article we wrote some time ago on the subject. Continue reading
by Steven Doyle
It is National Chili Day and National Margarita Day for those keeping score at home home. We seriously need to motivation to drink ritas and eat chili, this is a daily habit. But for those looking for a way to cut the edge off the chilly and wet day we have a deal for you!
One90 Smoked Meats is serving up bowls of their homemade chili for just $5. The chili is loaded with brisket, pulled pork and sausage for a hearty, protein-packed meal.
It is not fall in Texas until you have had a great bowl of chili! To welcome the season, mark your calendar for Comet Fest, a chili and craft beer festival happening Saturday, October 28, 2017. Grab a friend and enjoy all the variations of the classic fall staple at the chili cook-off sponsored by the Texas Chef Association Dallas Chapter.
Pair your chili with one of the many refreshing craft beers available and enjoy live music performed by local talent. You won’t want to miss the live Mystery Basket Cooking Showdown between Beat Bobby Flay contestant Jennifer Bajsel and Tara O’Donnell, winner of Chopped Junior. The event will also feature an array of vendors, plenty of chances to win great prizes and other food and beverages. Continue reading
by Steven Doyle
The second location for the local burger maker, Haystack Burgers and Barley opened in Dallas on Oak Lawn. You may recall our rave review of the Richardson location back in 2013. We were infatuated by the burgers, especially the chili burger and the chicken fried version. That chili on the burger makes our best of list each year, it is that good. Burger making at its finest and a great beer selection.
This is the second outpost of the popular eatery from Jenny and Kevin Galvan which debuted the original Haystack in their Richardson. Continue reading
by Steven Doyle
Plenty can be written about Khanh Nguyen at DaLat. He is definitely the king of the late night menu, serving pho and plenty of other interesting Vietnamese items on into the night. Arrive at 1:59 and you will be welcome to order, whereas any other establishment would be sweeping and shaking you off to find bad waffles for your 2am fix. Many of the late night patrons are waiters, bartenders and chefs. Others arrive directly from the bars that surround the neighborhood. All are welcomed with a steaming bowl of pho, or one of the many other items that will definitely sooth your soul.
And damn those delicious little DaLat shooters which are Vietnamese meatballs seared and sunk into a spicy broth of sake, coconut and cream. Toss your head back for a moment of bliss. Continue reading