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Best Frito Pie in Texas


Stumbled across this article and it got me to thinking.What is the best Frito Pie in Texas. Extra points for incorporation of brisket and chopped 1015's.

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  1. The best frito pie is sold at any Pop Warner fall football consession stand in Texas. The original is always the best...

    2 Replies
    1. re: SAguy

      came in to say the same thing. the best frito pie is what you buy from the boosters on a friday night in October.

    2. Tolbert's in Grapevine is pretty great.

      1. Wow. Awesome topic. I think the last one I had was 20 years ago at Pottsboro or Sherman High School watching the Von Erichs.

        2 Replies
        1. re: jgradieoakes

          kelleys country cooking has a good frito pie five locations in the houston area

          1. re: joedontexan

            I've never tried Kelley's frito pie. I tried their chili cheese fries and didn't really care for the chili so much. I almost always get their fried catfish or their fried shrimp. They have an awesome deal on fried shrimp and they are Gulf shrimp. Very good and a dozen shrimp plus sides for $10. It's more than I can eat, a lot more.

        2. Chapman Chile Parlor in East Dallas make chilli from scratch with no beans and no tomatoes and with bison. Get the HOT and you will love it!

          1. For my money, the best Frito pie is the plainest most corn-pone Frito pie. And the way to get that is simply dump a sack of Fritos in a large baking dish, heat up a pan of Wolf Brand Chili (Hot and no beans, needless to say), pour that evenly over your Fritos, and then cover with copious quantities of extra sharp cheddar and diced raw yellow or white onions. Bake in a 375 oven until cheese is melted, pour yourself a tall glass of iced tea and you've got as good a downhome Texas dinner as you could possibly want.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Perilagu Khan

              Perilagu Khan
              I'll be over around 8 tonight.Please have lots of Pearl iced down.I'll bring my Von Erich's dvd boxset.

              1. re: scrumptiouschef

                By all means drop by for a spell. Hope you don't mind Buddy Holly, The Flatlanders and old ZZ Top.

            2. I hate to be sacrilegious but isn't the invention of the Frito Pie attributed to the drug store on the plaza in Sante Fe, New Mexico? Yes, I know that Texas claimed the land all the way to Sante Fe and took El Paso (Ya'll can keep it.), but Sante Fe is not in Texas.

              Go Lobos!

              ps If it ain't served in the Frito bag, is it still a Frito pie?

              4 Replies
              1. re: Passadumkeg

                Right, to me a Frito pie is served in a Frito bag. I'm not sure if El Paso shouldn't be its own state, it's so far from the rest of Texas. What drug store in Santa Fe and what kind of chili did they use, Texas red, no bean, or some knock off with foreign New Mexico chiles?

                1. re: Passadumkeg

                  Did the Sante Fe drug store use fritos in from the bag or did they fry their own?

                  It is a Frito pie if is served out of the bag, so long as it is a bag of Fritos and not a bag of "corn chips".

                  1. re: SAguy

                    Here's a link from the Southwest board:

                    Remember The Battle of Glorieta Pass!

                    1. re: Passadumkeg

                      ps can anyone recommend the best Frito Pie in the hill country ?

                2. Vitek's barbecue in Waco. It's called a Gut Pack, and both smoked brisket and sausage are included.

                  1. Sonny Bryan's BBQ (Dallas, +) Frito Pie. Chopped brisket, BBQ sauce, cheese, onions.

                    1. This may garner some ridicule from those of you that are fans of frito pies served in frito bags*, but I love the frito pie at James Coney Island. The chili is made from chuck steak and is very meaty - you do have to ask for the no beans version as they serve both. The onions are finely minced and very good on the pie. But my favorite thing to do is get a large chili to go, bring it home and make it myself so I can get the perfect balance of chili to frito to cheese. I usually skip the onion because of the DH (who hates onion breath ;), but I suppose they would give you a large serving of the chili w/onion. Those onion are really good! Now if I eat it at the JCI location, then I get a large pie w/onions, and if there isn't enough chili or cheese I just trot back up there and get them to fix it. The location we go to is pretty good about that, but not al are. Then I come home, brush teeth, scrape tongue, gargle and hope the DH doesn't grip about my breath. LOL!

                      *Disclaimer - I have never had frito pie in a bag as I have never hung out in places that would serve it that way. I can't imagine there would be a bag large enough to hold the amount of chili I like though! But I'm not knocking it since I never tried it!

                      9 Replies
                      1. re: danhole

                        I'm with you danhole. James Coney Island's frito pie is excellent. I get it without the beans. They've always made it just right for me. I get a small one and add a chili cheese coney or a small chili cheese fries on the side with it. Their onions are the best!! If you want a frito pie in a bag I think Sonic offers that. My grandson likes them. I don't see the attraction myself but different strokes and all that.

                        1. re: texasredtop

                          I used to know someone who worked with JCI and they said the onions were so good because they chopped them, and then rinsed them twice. They are also a small size so you can get a bit with each bite! Yes, a small pie with a chili cheese coney hits the spot! Now I am craving it!

                          1. re: danhole

                            I wish they had more JCI's. I have to drive almost 10 miles to get to one. But it's worth it.

                          2. re: texasredtop

                            Woefully, Sonic is no longer what it once was in years past. Other than frito and onion flavor, expect nothing.

                            1. re: CocoaNut

                              Someone once told me that Burger Street has a pretty good frito pie but I have never tried one. Can anyone cosign on that? There isnt a Burger Street close enough for me to try it.

                              1. re: down73

                                I had to think on this question for a few min. and it hit me K-N Root Beer Drive-In (3900 Olsen Boulevard, Amarillo) I stopped there one day cause someone told me about their root beer floats OMG Addicting

                          3. re: danhole

                            The JCI pie is a good one like you said because they get the right mix of chili, cheese, onions, and beans and because they make their own chili from scratch. It's not very impressive chili but that's not the point of a chili pie. I'll take it with the beans - just fine with me. Now if I've got some great chili, say the venison chili at Armadillo Palace, I don't want it adulterated with beans, oyster crackers, Fritos or cheese, maybe just some chopped onions and that's all. And I better not have to add hot sauce or jalapenos to get it hot enough.

                            Do others make a distinction between chili pie and frito pie? JCI calls theirs a chili pie. I think of Frito pie as just fritos and chili, preferably in a Fritos bag.

                            I've had others around town; common problems are use of canned chili and too many Fritos versus the chili itself but Spec's Deli downtown makes a pretty good chili, chili-grind beef, a more potent concoction than JCI's with more chile and more cumin, and they make a chili pie with it but tend to have too many Fritos in it.

                            Those are the best I've had in Houston. I'd like to sample the one at Tolbert's.

                            1. re: dexmat

                              I never really thought about the fact that JCI calls it a chili pie vs a frito pie. I will say that if I ordered a frito pie and just got chili and fritos I would be disappointed!

                              I cannot tolerate canned chili! I used to think Wolf brand was great, but not anymore. And do NOT load it with fritos! I'm curious though, does Spec's chili have beans? Have you ever asked them to add more chili? I've never had the venison chili at Armadillo. Is it real spicy? I can't eat spicy because of a bum stomach. A bit spicy is fine but not too much.

                              My DH brought me a large chili from JCI last night. Made my chili pie the way I like it and it was so good. I actually found a recipe for JCI chili on the internet. I wouldn't believe it was the right one, if it hadn't been for the fact that I saw it on more than one website and it was the same each time. When I try it I probably will add some cumin and a bit spicier - not that JCI is spicy at all! Just darn good.

                              1. re: danhole

                                No beans in either Specs or Armadillo. Both are only medium spicy. I've only had the pie at Spec's once; I just get the chili with onions, to go.

                          4. I've had many a frito pie in Santa Fe as my kid sister lives there. It's just really hard to smuggle a Gold Rita out of the Ore House to enjoy with the pie without getting caught. ;)

                            1. I have read this thread a few times, so excuse me if redundant. It would just be my lousy memory. But the Frito Pie at Tolberts in Grapevine is quite delicious. I have met her on numerous occasions and she is a dear, sweet woman. Kathleen puts on a helluva show in Terlingua and raises a ton of cash for a good charity at the event (ALS).

                              Disclosure: I am not a friend, just a patron that tries to introduce myself to any restaurantuer I can.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: DallasDude

                                I have to say - in spite of not liking much else on their menu - Tolbert's does a jamb up job on their signature Chili dish - thick and rich, toothsome with cooked down beef, rather than oft-used hamburger meat.

                                Read all about the Tolbert legend and legacy: http://www.americanwaymag.com/chili-p...

                                423 S Main St, Grapevine, TX 76051

                              2. Off topic - but there's a CASI cookoff at Rahr's in FW coming up the end of Jan. I don't see anything on Rahr's website, but here's the reference at the CASI website:


                                1 Reply
                                1. re: CocoaNut

                                  CASI (Chili Appreciation Society International) is the youngest of the two simultaneous chili cook-offs in Terlingua. I went to both. CASI is the bad boy of the two, sporting their own temporary hospital and police force and wet t-shirt contests. Rahr had an old guy representing them at the original cook-off (run by Kathleen) and it is the more serious of the two (The Original Terlingua International Championship Chili Cook-Off).

                                  I would be interested in hitting the cook-off, if for no other reason than check out Rahr.

                                2. Bohanan's Prime Steaks-seafood in san antonio...has a pretty damn good one....but in my opinion you have to be a really bad cook to mess up chillie....i love all chillie...no beans, beans, too much tomatoe, not enough tomatoe....i love them all and fritos, cheese some onions and louisiana hot sauce just make it taste better.