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Jan 1, 2008 09:55 PM

Chili con o sin Carne?

As the New Year starts off I was reminiscing about comfort foods that are no longer around and apart from their great bugers, the Royal Castles throughout Fla used to serve a great bowl of chili. We are also being hit with our coldest weather since '03 and the warmth from a good bowl is a great treat.

My friend swears by Wendy's version and while I like it, I still think there must be better out there. Where are you favorites today with/without meat and/or beans?

Thanks for sharing!

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  1. Big Pink chili doesn't stink...sobe.

    1 Reply
    1. eatnbmerry,

      Remember from Spanish 101 "carne" is meat, as in carne asada. Chili is a plant as in serano chili. So chili sin carne might mean stewed habaneros. I think you mean chili con carne y frijoles as in frijoles colorado (red beans). But most chili affectionados simply say "chili" not "chili con carne".

      Chili is basically meat stewed or braised in a gravy containing chilis and other spices. The addition of beans, caraway seeds, diced bell peppers, pimentos, whole tomatoes, diced onions, cheese on top, etc. is simply toning it down for the American palate.

      Personally I've yet to find a restaurant chili in North Florida/South Georgia that comes even close to what gets served up in Texas or New Mexico. And conversely if you try to enter a true southwestern chili--from a winning National Chili cook-off recipe, no less--in a chili contest around here, you'd lose big time to the tofu/vegetarian version with barely a teaspoon of cayenne or commerical light brown chili powder. different country/different tastes.

      That said, you can sometimes find Wolf Brand Chili at Publix or Walmart. It's made in Texas and is about as good as you'll get commerically. And it'll beat Wendy's straight up every time.

      1 Reply
      1. re: crewsweeper

        Ty crews,

        When I said sin carne I meant without meat as in only beans/frijoles which some places do and some people prefer. Then again, like you I think, others prefer only con carne and sin frijoles. I like con both.

        But you're right in our apparent lack of good, let alone great chili of any variety. In light of this, I for one have resorted to Wendy's for my quick local chili fix. BTW, did you try to enter a a winning recipe and lose to tofu ? If so, Ouchle (to borrow from the net) and in anycase I appreciate the Wolf rec.

      2. 'Chili con o sin Carne?' means: Chili with or without meat?

        Con means 'with', and sin means 'without' in spanish...

        Habañeros and poblanos are 'chiles', not chilis...

        ------and I'm definitely a 'con' man!

        1 Reply
        1. re: Mild Bill

          Yes Bill,

          You got my meaning and I definitely am a con man too (although will settle for sin if the taste/bite is worth it) in search of alternatives to Wendy's.

        2. It's been a looongg time, but I seem to remember Allen's Drugstore on corner of Red and Bird having a decent bowl of red. Is that place still around?

          6 Replies
          1. re: Frodnesor

            I think so but maybe it was net who mentioned it changing ownership?

            1. re: eatnbmerry

              I "heard" S&S is taking over at Allens? Anyone who can confirm said rumour should do so...I do not get out that way very often. I cannot even remember exactly who it was who told let's try to get some confirmation. As for S&S Chili...not to my knowledge!

              You make a good point ENBM, "where's the beef?", chili that is! It's a great dish that seems to have gone by the wayside down here. I do order it delivery from the Big Stink and can assure you it's better than Wendy's. Most places that feature "bar food" have it. I think Mike's at the Venetian has it if my memory serves me correctly? I have yet to see a good one down here with chunks of carne as opposed to ground carne. Let's face it, when it's hot as hell down here (as it is much of the year), not many people want chili! Could that be why we don't see it very often, or is it just too foreign for the foreigners?

              I would be surprised if most of the chili here in the MIA doesn't come from a can!

              Texas we are NOT!

              Our chili is Black Beans may want to get some delivered via the net. :-)

              1. re: netmover

                A comic disguised as a foodie what a combo Net!

                It gets pretty hot in Cowboy land too not to mention South of the Border country. So my guess is that our cubano friends don't much like spicy food stuff and the prior My-Amah relatives of Jimbo's and Bubba's didn't either.

                BTW, I'm more partial to Red Beans Honey.... and like mine delivered hot and steamy so I guess the "net is out" and will have to continue picking up my own :).

                1. re: eatnbmerry

                  Funny I was thinking of trying out for the Comedy Fest Contest this month!

                  Agreed, it is hot down in Tejas. Disagree about the South of the Border thing. I never saw chili in Mexico once...granted I never "hung out" around the border.

                  I dig Red Beans better too, it just seems our national dish here in Dade is the double B.

                  I actually did a quick google search for chili delivery for you, let's just say it's a good thing you like yours delivered hot and steamy because I didn't find much off the bat.

                  Big Pink wins by default!

                  1. re: netmover

                    Yeah, you'r right, I associate chili with a chuck wagon type thing and so the border towns would be where you would see more of it since thats their vaquero land.

                    The last time I had the real deal with those chunks of braised meat you mention was a while back in SF. Interesting that I've never heard of black beans with meat of any kind i wonder why? Have you?

                    1. re: netmover

                      BTW, almost forgot, Texas was mejico not too far back and some would argue that it will be again soon not too far forward Bush fence or not.

            2. Add the Georgia Pig off of Davie and 441 in Ftlaud as a spot for some down country homemade chili con carne y frijoles!