Calling all my chili lovers? What is “good chili” to you? North Capitol Main Street’s Second Annual Chili Challenge was held on Saturday, November 4th, showcasing nine restaurants serving their best chili. On this day, I had the pleasure of tasting delicious samples of chili from our local restaurants.
This food event was right up my alley. I am a chili lover of all kinds: vegetarian and all! Upon arrival, I made the mistake of trying the first chili in the lineup. DCity Smokehouse presented their brisket chili with all the fixings. I loaded it up and even asked “where’s the sour cream?” The chili was seasoned perfectly and it had just enough heat to keep me going for more. The brisket was definitely present in this dish and Chef Shawn did no shy away from it. Although he could hold the garlic chunks I kept biting into however, it was tasty enough for me to return countless times. And Chef Shawn was generous enough to share the remaining chili for me to take home . . . I WON!! 😎🤘🏾
Next, The Pub & The People presented their corn & mushroom chili. This definitely had an acquired taste. It had heat to it when you first tasted it, but the lime hints came through tremendously once the heat subsided. The lime flavor is included in the chili and if you wanted more, a lime wedge was given to you as a bonus to top it off. The corn was crunchy and the broth I loved, but I wanted a protein aside from beans to help give it some umph! For all my vegetarian chili lovers – if you like hot and tangy this chili is for you! 😀
Boundary Stone chili was VERY, VERY, GOOD!😋 Meaty and cheesy…just how I like it. It was also topped with fresh herbs and chives to brighten the dish. I heard this chef was in the top 3 last year, so I can only imagine what he will bring next year! I really wish I had all the fixings for this chili and then I can deem Boundary Stone to be the winners in my book! The spices along with the sirloin and ground brisket made me want to kiss the chef . . . ha! This is what chili is suppose to be. It reminded me of home as if I got it out of my grandmother’s kitchen.
As a foodie, Jamaican cuisine is typically not in my rotation; however, I gave it a try on this day. Who would have thought that you can make “Jerk Chicken Chili.” Sounds crazy right? I know! Jam Doung Style Cuisine sure proved me wrong! I couldn’t even properly assess the chili, because I don’t eat “jerk” anything. I told my Jamaican girlfriend about it and she even said “really” . . . yes girl . . . REALLY! Let’s just say that this too had an acquired taste too! I kept eating it and I couldn’t get past the jerk flavoring. Needless to say, this was a hit at the challenge! When it came time to go to the voting table, those attendees who were voting with me raved about Jam Doung Style Cuisine!! I’m like “who?” I went back for a second serving and still wanted to enjoy like everyone else. It was flavorful, but not traditional “chili” as I am known to eat.
The Chili Challenge was an event for all. It was a sunny fall day to enjoy chili, music, dancing, and entertainment. The kids loved the moon bounce and face painting while the adults enjoyed the wine, bourbon, and chili! I must say the hot pepper eating contest was quite funny. Three contestants stepped forward; 2 men and 1 woman. One of which was an older gentleman. I’m cracking up as I type this sentence because the younger gentleman was so funny, trying to keep his composure or acting “G” like . . . he failed tremendously! The young lady was first to go, then the young “G.” Congratulations to the 2017 Hot Pepper 2017 Champion Mr. Raymond! No PAIN No Gain for this young man. Mr. Raymond didn’t flinch or pop a sweat while eating the peppers! 😅😅😅
As the chili challenge comes to an end, it’s time to announce the winners:
- Jam Doung Style Cuisine
- DCity Smokehouse
- Boundary Stone
Congratulations to all winners and all participating restaurants. It would be great to see more restaurants showcased from the DMV and not just the Bloomingdale neighborhood except for Cultivate the City, which is off the beaten path from this neighborhood. All I kept thinking about was eating rice and tortilla chips with all the toppings with my chili!! Some people got creative and made chili cheese hot dogs and nachos with chili & cheese, but I wasn’t there for that level of fatness . . .
Until next year! ✌🏾