Chicago chili?

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danimal15
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2004/04/12 17:47:25 (permalink)

Chicago chili?

Does anyone know where to get good chili in Chicago? I know this isn't a chili town, but sometimes the craving strikes. I've been partially satisfying it with the chicken basil chili sold by the Briazz chain. It's actually quite good. Any other suggestions?
#1

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    danimal15
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    RE: Chicago chili? 2004/04/15 14:34:13 (permalink)
    Doesn't anybody have a suggestion?
    #2
    efuery
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    RE: Chicago chili? 2004/04/15 14:44:23 (permalink)
    Unfortanately, I am not very familiar with Chicago. However, on a cold winter day I don't mind a cup of chili from Wendy's. Granted I like my homemade chili the best but in a pinch Wendy's will do. It's really pretty good for fast food. I know that wasn't what you were looking for but it's better than nothing.
    #3
    saps
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    RE: Chicago chili? 2004/04/15 14:59:11 (permalink)
    I like the "bowl of red" at the Twisted Spoke, not far from the United Center at Grand and Ogden. It has chunks of steak in it. They also have good fresh cut fries, burgers, and a killer Bloody Mary. On Saturday nights from 11:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m., they have "Smut and Eggs", where they serve breakfast and show old porno movies from the 1970's.

    If they're still around, Bishops Chili makes a good bowl of chili, although some really don't care for it.

    Saps

    #4
    Michael Stern
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    RE: Chicago chili? 2004/04/15 16:33:01 (permalink)
    The ONLY place I know you can count on for true, old-fashioned Chicago-style chili mac is Bishop's, now located out in Westmont. It's the real deal. I've been told that Lindy's on the South Side is good, but have never tried it.
    #5
    danimal15
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    RE: Chicago chili? 2004/04/20 17:18:59 (permalink)
    Thanks, everyone. I'll try to get out to Westmont, but that's a long drive from my home in Highland Park. Maybe I can convince the wife and kids to come with me some weekend...
    #6
    Jim Ross
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    RE: Chicago chili? 2004/04/20 23:16:32 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Michael Stern

    The ONLY place I know you can count on for true, old-fashioned Chicago-style chili mac is Bishop's, now located out in Westmont. It's the real deal. I've been told that Lindy's on the South Side is good, but have never tried it.
    I hate to say it, but Bishop's is the only place I've ever disagreed with the Stern's. I live within a mile of Bishops. I tried it 27 years ago when I first moved into the area and wasn't impressed. When I saw the article a few months ago about 10 best chili places with Bishops listed, I decided I must have missed something so gave it another try. Bishops is a very dingy neighborhood bar. Most of the room is taken up with a large horseshoe bar and a few tables around the edge. The cigarette smoke was so thick you could cut it with a knife. I almost didn't stay, but decided I should at least try the chili. It's served out of a pot at the bar and had obviously been cooking all day. The beans were completely mush and I didn't even finish the bowl. I would have much preferred a cup of Wendy's chili. I can't recommend it.
    #7
    danimal15
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    RE: Chicago chili? 2004/04/27 12:18:40 (permalink)
    Jim:

    Thanks for the note on Bishop's. From your description, it sounds terrible.

    Michael, do you have a rebuttal?

    Dan
    #8
    labart
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    RE: Chicago chili? 2004/04/27 13:14:44 (permalink)
    Danimal -

    why not stop at our house in Highland Park - my wife makes a mean pot
    #9
    Vital Information
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    RE: Chicago chili? 2004/04/28 10:08:47 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Michael Stern

    The ONLY place I know you can count on for true, old-fashioned Chicago-style chili mac is Bishop's, now located out in Westmont. It's the real deal. I've been told that Lindy's on the South Side is good, but have never tried it.


    I cannot believe you have not been to Ramova Grill in Bridgeport (3510 S. Halsted St). There is nothing particularly "Chicago" about the chili, but Ramova itself is so expertly time-worn and original that is high worth a stop on any chow-tour of Chicago. Fine chili and finer fresh cut fries are part of the menu at this classic lunch counter.
    #10
    tsores
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    RE: Chicago chili? 2004/04/28 10:45:13 (permalink)
    I think Bishop's is way over rated. This Chicago native knows of no decent chili in Chicago. When I get a hankering, I make it myself.
    #11
    hawkeyejohn
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    RE: Chicago chili? 2004/04/28 11:28:12 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by tsores

    I think Bishop's is way over rated. This Chicago native knows of no decent chili in Chicago. When I get a hankering, I make it myself.


    Ditto
    #12
    Michael Stern
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    RE: Chicago chili? 2004/04/28 11:32:25 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by danimal15

    Jim:

    Thanks for the note on Bishop's. From your description, it sounds terrible.

    Michael, do you have a rebuttal?

    Dan


    Not really. Bishop's chili would not be the hill I want to die on.
    #13
    danimal15
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    RE: Chicago chili? 2004/04/28 17:04:39 (permalink)
    Labart:

    Thanks for the invite - I'll be there with the wife and two kids tonight, so have a pot of chili waiting for us! (LOL)
    #14
    Jim Ross
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    RE: Chicago chili? 2004/04/29 15:16:47 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by danimal15

    Jim:

    Thanks for the note on Bishop's. From your description, it sounds terrible.

    Michael, do you have a rebuttal?

    Dan


    I know my remarks are pretty harsh and it really bothers me that my opinion diverged so from Michael's. I have every book published by the Sterns over the last 20 years and buy extra copies to give as gifts. I have surely eaten at over a hundred restuarants they recommended. If not in total agreement, at least I always understood the various places appeal.

    It bothered me enough that I went back to Bishop's again yesterday. This time I went at noon, my previous visit had been around 8:30 in the evening. I stand by my remarks on the previous visit, but yesterdays lunch couldn't have been more different. There were only a few people there, and none of them were smoking. The sun was shining through the windows and the bartender /server couldn't have been more pleasant. He even gave me a menu with different chili options listed, something I didn't get on the previous visit. I tried the chili mac, and while I don't consider it exceptional, it was obviously freshly made and much better than my previous bowl.
    The difference in experiences was a real eye opener.

    In summary, if you're going, go for lunch. The chili wasn't bad, but I still wouldn't go out of my way for it.
    #15
    Big Ugly Mich
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    RE: Chicago chili? 2004/06/15 11:51:30 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by danimal15

    Does anyone know where to get good chili in Chicago? I know this isn't a chili town, but sometimes the craving strikes. I've been partially satisfying it with the chicken basil chili sold by the Briazz chain. It's actually quite good. Any other suggestions?


    Unfortunately, not in Chicago, but George Webb's (Milwaukee, WI based, has an shop in Kenosha, which is just north of the state line) makes a killer bowl. It's a great redneck place, in the GOOD sense of the word redneck (working stiff who may not have on his sunday-go-to-meetin' clothes, but no one cares).

    The Kenosha location is off Lewis Road (in the sticks of Lake County, not Chicago) about six miles from the state line at 7519 45th Ave,
    Kenosha, WI 53142. Take Lewis Road and turn left on State Highway 50. Look hard for it, because you CAN miss it if you're not careful.

    One of my favorite chain stunts is buy a baked potato and a bowl of chili at Wendy's ($1 each) and mix them together. I'll save a bit and make what I call an Irish burrito using the skin.
    #16
    Alexander
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    RE: Chicago chili? 2004/06/16 09:46:32 (permalink)
    Enlighten a Southerner (who happens to be addicted to Cincinnati Chili from Camp Washington, but who thinks Chicago is the world's best place to eat) - What is Chili Mac?

    #17
    danimal15
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    RE: Chicago chili? 2004/06/16 11:07:12 (permalink)
    Chili Mac, I believe, is chili served over macaroni. I'm a Chicago native, and it's the only way I've ever eaten chili - my mom made it that way and that's how I make it now.

    People will laugh, but I can make pretty decent chili out of ground turkey and a McCormick spice packet. Just add lots of garlic and basil, and also use tomato sauce with added flavors such as garlic and oregano. Very quick, easy dinner. Obviously, it would be better with beef, but my wife won't eat beef and I'm squeamish on ground beef due to e-coli.
    #18
    michaelgemmell
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    RE: Chicago chili? 2004/06/16 17:54:36 (permalink)
    Steak 'n Shake restaurants serve a delicious chili that hasn't changed in many years. They also serve various Chili Mac preparations. There's a location in Evanston juast east of the Sanitary Canal at the edge of a Home Depot store parking lot, and probably others closer to you. Please also try the "steakburgers" and the shakes. This is a chain, but makes an effort to stay consistent. Most of you already know it's part of my childhood memories.
    #19
    Bloozman
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    RE: Chicago chili? 2006/03/06 03:27:08 (permalink)
    Great Chili is at..."The Ramova Grill"...address is app 3520 S Halstead St...their only open during the day...not fanct at all, but good chili!!
    #20
    Bloozman
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    RE: Chicago chili? 2006/03/06 03:28:58 (permalink)
    "Halsted"...typo
    #21
    jeepguy
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    RE: Chicago chili? 2006/03/06 04:22:38 (permalink)
    I love Lindy's chili (no beans).Bishop's is really different.Reminds me of Minestrone.
    #22
    Tastytoo
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    RE: Chicago chili? 2006/03/06 08:05:05 (permalink)
    Chili Mac's 5-Way Chili. I think there are/were two Chicago locations. And although not on the menu, if you ask at IHOP you can get chili mac. I haven't tried it myself.
    #23
    Tastytoo
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    RE: Chicago chili? 2006/03/06 13:41:56 (permalink)
    I haven't been but have heard of Texan Barbecue and Chili House which is in Algonquin and Lombard. They've been mentioned on this site but not specifically for chili.
    #24
    danimal15
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    RE: Chicago chili? 2006/07/24 13:56:26 (permalink)
    I ordered chili at The Silo restaurant in Lake Bluff last night. The menu said it's award-winning (I think Chicago Magazine rated it). Anyway, I was quite satisfied with my bowl. Nice and meaty, great smoky flavor, and just the right amount of beans. The other food we had was decidedly mediocre, so if you're ever there, you could do a lot worse than to order the chili.

    Has anyone else tried this place?
    #25
    lilbuddypizza
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    RE: Chicago chili? 2006/07/24 14:13:03 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by tsores

    I think Bishop's is way over rated. This Chicago native knows of no decent chili in Chicago. When I get a hankering, I make it myself.

    I tried Bishop's before the original closed down. I think it was more of an experience than anything. After a Blackhawk game, get drunk in a swillery and grab some chili. Probably just good memories.
    Chicago is sadly not a chili town. Maybe it should be. I make a good chili, but I know there are many better ones out there.SOMEONE OPEN A CHILI JOINT HERE,PLEASE!
    #26
    GinnyNoodle
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    RE: Chicago chili? 2006/07/26 15:09:22 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Vital Information

    quote:
    Originally posted by Michael Stern

    The ONLY place I know you can count on for true, old-fashioned Chicago-style chili mac is Bishop's, now located out in Westmont. It's the real deal. I've been told that Lindy's on the South Side is good, but have never tried it.


    I cannot believe you have not been to Ramova Grill in Bridgeport (3510 S. Halsted St). There is nothing particularly "Chicago" about the chili, but Ramova itself is so expertly time-worn and original that is high worth a stop on any chow-tour of Chicago. Fine chili and finer fresh cut fries are part of the menu at this classic lunch counter.




    I couldn't agree with you more! Ramova's Grill has GREAT homemade chili! Their fresh cut fries & cheeseburgers are good too. I have not had anything that I was unhappy with there. I grew up near there & now live out in the burbs. I stop in & get a couple of quarts to take home every time I visit my Mom.

    I also didn't like Bishops chili very much. But I am a bit finiky about my chili. My Moms is the best.
    #27
    denmark116
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    RE: Chicago chili? 2006/09/11 23:04:36 (permalink)
    Hello there, I have never posted on this board. However, the discussion of Chicago Chili has truly peaked my interest. I am a life long Chicago dweller, and I am also a big fan of Chili.

    I have a small, completely unknown for the most part, Chili place in the city on the north side by the old Brickyard Mall off of Narragansett.

    Mr D's Shish-Kabob's
    (773) 637-0042
    6656 W Diversey Ave
    Chicago, IL Map


    I know that it is a shish-kabob joint by title, and the shish-kabob is good you should really try it. But the Chili is outstanding. I used to bring it back to college with me by the gallon. It is his own recipe and it is made with steak (good steak).

    His burgers are top notch! Meat fresh daily, the owner takes true pride in his food. French Fires are cut fresh from potatos onsite and go straight into the fryer (like at Gene and Jude's on River Road which is another story altogether).

    So go try it, what do you have to loose?

    Denmark116


    #28
    alewek
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    RE: Chicago chili? 2006/11/09 18:53:42 (permalink)
    Bishop's chili is terrible - like over-cooked mud. Wendy's is good, a little watery but cheap. Try Portillo's Home style Chilli, best I've had from a chain outfit. Not cheap but consistent. Alewek
    #29
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