It would be rude to come all the way to Texas and not sample their great Chili. We’d had permission from @lilmiznutcase so I wasted no time in acting on her advice whilst we waited in line for LA Barbecue.
Bill was there with his Pick-a-Chili food truck concept and he had plenty for me to choose from. With 5 different Texan chili options I was stuck in a quandary… I tasted the ‘Zesty Blonde’ first because it intrigued me most. A white sauce based chili with chicken and white wine. It still had a fiery heat from the jalapeños but was deliciously creamy.
Then I figured it made sense to try the classic Texan chili, which Bill called the Red River Red and explained should never have beans in it if being traditional. It was delicious… hot, rich, meaty but not heavy or over powering. I was sweating already from the sun, but the chilli had a comfortable spice level.
I didn’t see much point in trying others as I was sold on the classic. But then came the surprise… Bill insisted that to try it the proper Austin way, I had to have it as a Frito Pie! That means a bag of crispy Fritos tipped into a bowl, a little jack cheese on top, then a ladle of steaming hot chili and finished with a raw dice of red onion and flecks of cilantro.
It looked great, smelt great and when I got it back to Mike (waiting patiently in the BBQ line) we both agreed it tasted pretty decent too. The added texture and salty crunch of the Fritos was a level up from rice. In my head it felt like the merge of a nachos bowl and chili con carne… Couldn’t fault it!
Bill had only had his truck in operation for 6 weeks… But I see this one going far! It may not have had the queue that the craze for BBQ brisket attracts right now… But it won’t be long.
I later heard, from Sam at our meet up, that even more common at college sports games is for the chilli to be ladled straight into an open and rolled-down bag of Fritos with the cheese and onion. That way it comes in its own handy disposable food container… Perfect stadium food.