As a lifelong chili connoisseur, I find this to be sacrilegious.  Good chili should come either come in a bowl, or be so thick, you can serve it on a plate.

Full disclosure, my father was a state champion chili cook-off winner, so I have bonafide credentials when it comes to judging chili.

There are two things my dad believed in:

1) Real chili didn't have beans.

2) The chili put on hot dogs was a condiment, not an actual chili.

That doesn't mean that the chili spread on Lafayette Coney Island hot dogs isn't good, is just isn't real chili.

So why the web site 'Eat This, Not That' judged the Lafayette Coney dog chili the best in Michigan is beyond me. Perhaps they haven't been to Dr. Rolf's Barbeque in Muskegon and had a real bowl of thick chili.

I would like to send the writer a complimentary bowl of four-alarm chili from the Cottage Bar to get his taste buds right.

But good Lord almighty, the topping on a gosh darn hot dog is NOT true chili.

And yes, I realize you CAN order Lafayette chili in a bowl, BUT it is still made to be put on hot dogs first and foremost, so it's a little like ordering a bowl of mustard. And when the Cottage Bar is throwing slabs of sirloin into their chili, they are at least making an effort to keep the chili true to its original form.

Chili, or chili con carne, is by its definition a meat stew originated by the Aztecs in Mexico, and it origins go back to the middle ages. Beef is its prime ingredient, and while ground beef or hamburger meat does work well, a real good chili should have chunks of steak, brisket or tenderloin in it. At least as far as I'm concerned.

Casey Daniels shared some of her choices for the best chili here in Grand Rapids recently, and while she included some white chicken concoctions (again, delicious, but not real chili), her list is a great starting point if you want to sample the area's finest.

This is what chili should look like: thick beef, seasoned to perfection, and served with some bread. BAM!

Yes, I am a chili snob.


Winter in Holland, MI



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