Serving Chili

These last few years I haven’t been in many small-town diners or cafes and I was wondering if they still serve chili like they used to. I’m asking because what I’ve seen lately in these plastic franchise eating places makes me wonder. Have we lost the art of serving chili or do those small-town folks still do it right? I’ll tell you how it used to be done and you can keep your eyes open and make sure it’s done right.

I’d go into the 7th Street Café, by Fowler’s Mobil Station, and sit down at the counter. The waitress would ask me “what’ll you have?” I’d say “chili” and she’d go turn the order in to the cook. Then she would come back and make sure I had everything I would need. First, she would come up with that little jug of vinegar. Next, she would make sure the catsup and mustard was at hand. Then, she’d go away and come back with one of those white bowls full of oyster crackers and set it right close. By now, the cook has got the chili up and she brings it to me with one of those big, round spoons. There it is…its perfect! Can you name a place today that will set you up with the fixin’s like that?

Dave Thomas
December 7, 2014


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