Best (I’ll even take decent at this point) Chili in Dallas?

A while back I asked Nancy where I could find a good bowl of red. She pointed me to Tolbert’s in Grapevine. I got as far as signing up for their newsletter (and they even sent some coupons enticing me to try a bowl), but I haven’t had a chance to make it out there. I have however, been trying chili wherever I can find it.

Round One: My first try was Ozona’s, which makes a Chicken Fried Steak that you might have heard of. The bowl came topped with too many red onions (which I asked to be held off on a later visit), that overpowered the red below. It didn’t really matter, as the chili was cold. Not lukewarm, but cold. Don’t know what happened there. On the return visit, it was the right temp, but not much flavor to speak of.

Round Two: Adam and I just got back from Breadwinner’s where we both tried the turkey chili. While anything other than tri-tip might make the hardcore chili-heads wince, it was cold — and I didn’t care. Wish I had, the beans were undercooked (re: crunchy, think packet mix) and the liquid was lukewarm at best. No sight of said turkey. Things aren’t looking good so far…

Round Three: For a quick sammich, I love me some Potbelly. (The peppers are what make the sub in my book.) Didn’t realize they even had chili, ’till someone in front of me got a cup. I took the lead and went for it. It was good, real good. Right price, too. I had mine with cheese and oyster crackers. So far a sub-shop is in the lead.

Round Four: I didn’t want to drive out to Grapevine, so I decided to cook up my own. My salsa/mojito garden (think tomatoes, mint, three types of peppers) needed a final picking. I found Tyler Florence’s recipe on FoodTv.com and went to work. A few hours later, I made what I hoped would be greatness. The flavor was, but the heat was beyond anything I had experienced before. The girlfriend fiancée took a bite, pushed back the bowl, and called it quits. I manned up and made it through an entire serving, although I’m just getting my taste buds back. After I finished, the dog sneaked a lick off the bowl and still hasn’t recovered.

So, I still need to try Tolbert’s and I’ve heard Houston’s serves red on Saturday only. Any more suggestions? For now I’ll be sticking to Potbelly when I’ve gotta have a fix.

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