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Looking for good CHILI in Dallas area

Once the temperature drops, I get a craving for good chili. Anyone have any suggestions?

I can only recall seeing it at Plucker's on Greenville, Steak & Shake and Central Market.

I'd prefer if it had beans and not meat only.

Thanks

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  1. Oh, I know I'll get letters for this but, I actually like (the ONLY thing I like) the chili at Chili's. No beans with extra onions and shredded cheddar. Very comforting to have when you crave it.

    13 Replies
    1. re: twinwillow

      I agree. I have a lunch occasionally with a group of women and one of them loves Chilis. Go figure. Last winter, I thought I'd try their chili as nothing else on the menu appealed to me. I don't know that I'd recommend it, but it'll be my choice in the future when being summoned to Chili's.

      Outside of making my own, I like Tolberts in Grapevine. It helps that they are only 10 minutes away. With beans, (tsk, tsk) ask for North of the Border.

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      Tolbert's
      423 S Main St, Grapevine, TX 76051

      1. re: twinwillow

        Is their classic chili back? Last time I went (couple years ago) it was a weird bean soup! I vowed never to go back to a Chili's to the manager!

        1. re: twinwillow

          I was forced to eat at a Chili's recently in a small town. I've been before and had a great deal of trouble finding something I liked. Tried the chili this time. Strangely, it wasn't too bad, give where I was eating. God knows, I've had a lot better chili, but I've had worse, too. I'd be ashamed to server it at home as homemade, but in a pinch, it'll do.

          1. re: Mike C. Miller

            Pretty much my situation as well. You're right about having better and, having worse chili. But, when you're stuck at an airport and the only thing around to eat is a Chili's restaurant, it works! Especially after experiencing Chili's HORRID burgers. And, it sure beats me having to drive From "Uptown" to Tolbert's in Grapevine for what I've been reliably told is, mediocre chili. I'm one who remembers when Frank X. Tolbert was alive and ran his chili restaurant on Mckinney Avenue just off Knox. THAT was good chili!
            As I said, I like the chili at Chili's. And if it's the nearest option, I'll take it.

            1. re: twinwillow

              "...one who remembers when Frank X. Tolbert was alive and ran his chili restaurant on Mckinney Avenue just off Knox."

              Curious memory.....

              Tolbert's was at 3802 Cedar Springs @ Oak Lawn and his second location was downtown at 802 Main St.

              BTW. McKinney and Knox run parallel. So how could a place on McKinney be just....

              Oh... Never mind.

              Enjoy Chili's. I hear they just get better all the time.

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              Main St Cafe
              231 E Main St, Lewisville, TX 75057

              Tolbert's
              423 S Main St, Grapevine, TX 76051

              1. re: CharlieKilo

                Yep.... CS @ OL next to the firehouse, then in West End, THEN at the MAin St. loc. But, fyi, McKinney and Knox cross in the area near Weir's furniture.

                And twin, make the drive to GV and decide for yourself..... ;) I've been eating Tolberts chili for many years and it's just the same now as it was back when.

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                Tolbert's
                423 S Main St, Grapevine, TX 76051

                1. re: CocoaNut

                  @CocoaNut: I haven't been to Grapevine since, forever.
                  But, when I do go, and I want to. I will try Tolbert's for sure. I promise.
                  And just for the record Charlie, I'm not a big fan of Chili's. I was, along time ago when Larry Lavine opened the first one at Meadow Lane and Greenville Avenue. But my late buddy, Norman Brinker bought it, expanded it, and then ruined it. I can say that now only because he's not among us anymore.

                  1. re: twinwillow

                    Do you know/remember the name of the pizza place across Greenville (tiny little strip shopping center that ran east/west, next to the liquor store). I guess it was actually a Greek restaurant - they had the vertical spit of lamb roasting for gyros and was where I ate my first gyro. It came up in conversation last week, but no one could remember the name.

                    1. re: CocoaNut

                      Olympic Pizza I believe. They've been gone at least 10 years, maybe 15. There used to be a sushi Japanese place on that intersection too.

                      1. re: el_matarife

                        I remember it well. Olympic had great pizza. Also, there was a terrific little Chinese restaurant in that same strip. I don't remember their name (despite eating there often). They were the only Chinese restaurant in Dallas that served true NYC style Cantonese food at that time. They started out before Olympic opened. Olympic Pizza expanded to their space after they closed.
                        Across the street on Greenville just to the south of Chili's, was the Japanese restaurant you mean. Royal Tokyo.

                        1. re: el_matarife

                          That's the name! Thanks! (no chilii but) memory or maybe just nostalgia, remembers great pizza and gyro's.

                  2. re: CharlieKilo

                    Charlie, Tolbert did move his Cedar Springs restaurant to the McKinney Avenue location (just a door south of Chuy's). But, it was not open for very long. I believe it closed after he died. And just for a fact, McKinney Avenue and Knox Street do not run parallel. They cross a block west of 75.

                    http://maps.google.com/maps?client=sa...

                    1. re: CharlieKilo

                      Frank X. Tolbert's at Cedar Springs and Oak Lawn was a wonderful place to eat back in the day. Right by the door they had a stuffed moose head with a Shiner Beer gimme cap. We used to ask for the table just under the moose. Very, very good chili. Really good burgers, too.

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                      Tolbert's
                      423 S Main St, Grapevine, TX 76051

              2. Anyone who has lived here for any length of time will direct you, and rightfully so, to Tolbert's. (And by any length of time I mean born here.) Unfortunately since the passing of Frank X. Tolbert, his legacy can only be had at the Grapevine locale. Well worth the drive, though.

                If you happen to be from New York, or similar lands, then by all means head to your nearest Chili's.

                And may God forgive you.

                -----
                Tolbert's
                423 S Main St, Grapevine, TX 76051

                2 Replies
                1. re: CharlieKilo

                  Tolberts can't be beat!

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                  Tolbert's
                  423 S Main St, Grapevine, TX 76051

                  1. re: OCNC

                    JC's Burger House at Preston & 121 has pretty decent chili. I'll add another vote for the chili at Chili's.

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                    Burger House
                    6248 E Mockingbird Ln, Dallas, TX 75214

                2. Interesting that Chili's has come up. Dallas Observer did a blog comparing chili from Tolberts and Chili's. "With heavy heart", he gave the win to Chili's. http://blogs.dallasobserver.com/cityo...

                  For easy grab-and-go, Whole Foods has a decent chili with beans. In my experience, it's available every day in the "hearty soups" bar near the meat section, not the soups next to the salad bar. It's a little bland, but ok if you doctor it up.

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                  Tolbert's
                  423 S Main St, Grapevine, TX 76051

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: Christnp

                    This is Texas. NO BEANS, please. Wholefoods should know better.

                    1. re: Christnp

                      Amen!! Chili with beans is a Yankee heresy. Sort of like catchup on a hamburger or sugar in corn bread. Bleech!!!

                      1. re: Mike C. Miller

                        My own mother prefers her chili with beans and (shudder) spaghetti in the New Mexico style. Terrifying.

                          1. re: twinwillow

                            Hah, good guess but she's actually from Chicago. I assume it bleeds over the whole Midwest. But I did receive a can of Skyline Chili from Cinci once. Wasn't all that impressed. I prefer my chili thick over watery.

                            I saw an Tolbert quote in December's Texas Monthly today that "You can't make proper chili with beans, the chemistry is wrong." And when Googling the quote, I found a great 1978 article in Texas Monthly where they denounce tomatoes as part of a Yankee plot to make chili taste like spaghetti sauce.

                            -----
                            Tolbert's
                            423 S Main St, Grapevine, TX 76051

                      2. re: Christnp

                        Chili does not have beans. Now they could call it chili beans which is not Chili. Chili = no beans meat only.

                      3. While staying on topic, I thought y'all might find this interesting.
                        From 2005.....

                        http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/Dallas...

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: twinwillow

                          I lived down the street (on Pineland) from the Greenville Chilis, but much preferred Judge Bean's in the opposite direction. Always ordered the chili cheese burger - still my favorite kind of burger when the chili is thick and flavorful. Loved that area, back in the day - too bad its gone ghetto.

                          -----
                          Judge Bean's
                          314 N Main St, Keller, TX 76248

                        2. Stan's Blue Note, on Greenville Avenue, has excellent chili. Delicious.

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                          Stan's Blue Note
                          2908 Greenville Ave, Dallas, TX 75206

                          1. main street in grapevine a place called tolberts there famous for chili and they v won hella competitions....as a chef and foodie in the area its the jam

                            3 Replies
                              1. re: CharlieKilo

                                If you don't like that place, try Tolbert's in Grapevine.

                                -----
                                Tolbert's
                                423 S Main St, Grapevine, TX 76051

                              2. re: a cuisiner

                                Frank X Tolbert won chili cook offs (founder of Terlingua Cookoff in '67). He passed some years back. Tolbert's is run by his daughter and I find the chili off-putting.

                                -----
                                Tolbert's
                                423 S Main St, Grapevine, TX 76051

                              3. Had the chili tonight at The Angry Dog. It was very good. One complaint was that it did have beans. One redeeming feature was that the beans were few and far between. But it was meaty and spicy without the spice being overwhelming. If they'd just get rid of the handful of beans, it would be great.

                                Also open late, so that's a bonus.

                                -----
                                Angry Dog
                                2726 Commerce St, Dallas, TX 75226

                                1. Good suggestions, everyone. I could go with or without beans...just checking my options for something on the healthier side.

                                  1. One note on where not to get good chili, or at least chili that's not to my taste -- St. Pete's Dancing Marlin, in Deep Ellum. No beans, nice meaty taste, but not spicy enough. Fair at best. The grilled tuna sandwich, however, was very good.

                                    1. OK. I found it. Great chili that is meaty, spicy and has a perfect 'gravy'. No beans, just good chili. Visit Charlie at the Windmill on Maple. You may thank me later. He also happens to be one of the better bartenders in Dallas.

                                      1 Reply