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Jun 13, 2008 01:04 PM

Chili in MSP

Does anyone have any opinions about the best chili in town? I have a friend coming in from Texas this weekend and I'd love to show her a great TC version of cowboy food (and we're pit roasting ribs at home). She thinks we eat flour and wild rice.

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  1. Good luck. I've lived here for almost 30 years and never found anything worthwhile. This coming from a guy who grew up in Cincinnati and knows chili. Wild rice soup might as well be our state chili.

    1. The Loon Cafe on 1st Avenue serves a wide variety of chilis - 5 varieties in in including a Pecos River Red classic Texas style chile in three hotness levels.

      It has been years since I have tried them so can make no judgments about them.

      Cincinnati chili is a specialty that is Greek based. I doubt it would satisfy a Texan. I doubt you would find a Cincinnati style chili in the Twin Cities.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Davydd

        I had the green chili at the Loon a couple weeks ago. Very good. But I've never had chili in texas before, so I don't know if it is comparable.

        1. re: churchka

          Personally, I have not seen a lot of green chili in Texas. Green chili is *generally* associated with New Mexico cuisine.

      2. Not to discourage you, but I've yet to find a transcendent bowl of chili (Texas, New Mexican, or Cincinnati) in the Twin Cities. I'd be as hesitant to take a Texan for chili as I would be to take a person from Maine out for lobster here.

        Having said that, I'd suggest Tejas. I think I've gotten decent chili there in the past.


        p.s. - didn't know there were other former Cincinnatians (sp?) who are MSP chowhounds. I still get Skyline shipped up from my family every so often...

        1. what-- we *don't* eat wild rice? why not take the friend out for a local specialty instead of a stew they can easily get at home? i'd be ticked if i traveled to visit a friend in texas and they were like: "let's go to my favorite place for wild rice soup." :)

          3 Replies
          1. re: soupkitten

            I'm in sort of the same camp as you and Bob S: I wouldn't try to convince a visitor that we have a food scene by trying to feed them their home area's specialty.

            We certainly aren't limited to wild rice, but neither do we get into chili like other regions do. Better to show them what we do well here than to set the whole experience up for failure.

            Of course, if the diner's perspective really does come down to "no chili = no cuisine" then it doesn't much matter what a region offers, does it? It's a great big world out here, chock full of new experiences to broaden one's horizons. Food is a great place to start.

            1. re: soupkitten

              Oh, I'm with you. It's more for the fact that she's going to say, "Can we just pop in some where for a quick drink and some cowboy food" and I want to be prepared. She's not a big snob, just likes to see how her world is interpreted by others. She thinks chili in The Nati is a funny way to eat dessert. :) And she's uber excited to eat at Heartland.

              1. re: sporkgirl

                A lot of people like to try their home specialty elsewhere just to compare out of curiosity.