Tag Archives: chili

Texas Chili Restaurant: New Chili on the Block

See that shimmering, orange liquid floating at the top of the chili?  That’s grease. I took this container and drained it for a good minute.  Then I drained it some more.

The chili’s from Texas Chili Restaurant in Port Chester, recently opened by a former Pat’s Hubba Hubba employee and located — cue dramatic music — right down the street from Pat’s.   I’m guessing there’s going to be some tension between the two, since the menus and chili recipes appear to be almost identical.

The chili is fiery hot (I coughed with surprise after taking the first bite).  It was good, but after a while it started to feel one-note; I missed the chunkiness of beans and bell pepper.  And the grease, oh the grease.

I reminded myself that some chilis are meant to be eaten on their own, and some are meant to go on top of a hot dog.  This is one of them.  So that’s what I’d recommend — get it on a dog and you’ll be very satisfied.  Then walk down the street to Pat’s and compare the two.

Texas Chili Restaurant
8 S. Main St.
Port Chester, NY

The Pat’s Hubba Hubba Chili Dog

My internet’s down at home and the Verizon guy isn’t coming until tomorrow.  I’m going nuts.  It’s shocking (and a little scary) how reliant we all are on our computers and the net.  I feel completely disconnected from the world (How am I supposed to update my Facebook status?  Kidding.).  Thank god for Starbucks. There’s a guy here curled up on one of the plush chairs with his shoes and SOCKS off.  Where exactly does he think he is??  70 years ago fans wore their Sunday best to baseball games; now it’s acceptable for a man to put his nasty bare feet all over a coffeehouse chair.  How far we’ve fallen. I’m giving this guy the stare of death.

Anyhow, let’s talk about hot dogs.  A few months ago my friend Jose shared his thoughts on Pat’s Hubba Hubba.  He talks about Pat’s all the time now, so I needed to find out if the dogs were as good as he claimed.

After a recent happy hour, a few of us headed to Pat’s to grab a dog for the road.  John’s excitement was palpable.

There’s nothing fancy about Pat’s — it’s a casual greasy spoon — which is pretty much ideal after a happy hour.  A burger sounded good.  So did a milkshake.  But I stuck to the plan of sampling Pat’s famous chili dog.

Like Jose mentioned, there’s an enjoyable simplicity to the Pat’s hot dog: split grilled dog, grilled bun, a smattering of chili and fresh chopped onions (bring your Altoids and Listerine strips). The dog itself isn’t anything special — I’d prefer more bite — but it all works really well together.

The chili has an interesting consistency, almost pasty.  I’m not sure it’d make a good bowl on its own, but it goes great on top of the hot dog.  I find it preferable to a wet, drippy chili dog. And hey, look at that, chili with a kick to it!  (Ahem, I’m talking to you, Smokehouse Chili-Grill…)

When it comes to hot dogs I’ll always be a sauerkraut man, but sometimes you’ve got to mix it up. Pat’s chili dog: Recommended.

Pat’s Hubba Hubba
820 Cove Rd.
Stamford, CT 06902

No Fire at SmokeHouse Chili-Grill

I have three opinions about chili:

1) Beef chili trumps turkey chili
2) Ground beef is preferable to cubed beef
3) Chili should be SPICY

#1 and #2 are less important to me than #3.  #3’s a big one — and that was my problem with SmokeHouse Chili-Grill in New Rochelle.

I went with Jose, who’s pretty much game for anything, although he didn’t mention until we got there that he wasn’t much of a chili person.  That worried me since this was a chili joint and I didn’t know much else about the menu.  Luckily, the restaurant’s also a “grill”, with a full selection of burgers, sandwiches, ribs and hot dogs.

Jose sampled the house blend chili in a tiny cup (I didn’t know you could sample chili like you’d sample an ice cream at Main Street Sweets) and proclaimed it very tasty and very spicy. Then he ordered the boneless BBQ wedge, a boneless rib patty smothered in BBQ sauce:

“Isn’t that like the McRib sandwich McDonald’s used to serve?” I asked.

“Yeah, but this looks healthier,” Jose declared, as we admired his serving of french fries.

I was going chili all the way, and debated between the house blend and the Philly chili, made with sliced steak, onions, peppers and cheese.  I’ve been thinking about Philadelphia recently and how I’d like to take another day trip down there, so in the spirit of the city, I ordered a bread bowl of Philly chili.

That’s a lot of cheese, isn’t it?  I thought so too, and pushed most of it to the side.  A little indulgence is good, but yikes.

Jose enjoyed his McRib, er, boneless BBQ wedge.   I was disappointed with my chili — there was just nothing much going on flavor-wise and I found the sliced steak pieces odd.  I guess I really do prefer my beef to be ground.

I could have looked past all that had the chili at least been spicy, but it wasn’t.  Not even a bit.  I want the burn with my chili — maybe not an “I just bit directly into a jalapeno at Caracas Arepa Bar” burn — but enough to make me sweat.

I’ll give SmokeHouse another shot, but in the future if I eat anything named “Philly”, it’s going to be a cheesesteak, not chili.

SmokeHouse Chili-Grill
606 North Ave.
New Rochelle, NY 10801