Posts Tagged ‘Chili Cookoff’

Maybe I’m getting old and crotchety but I think I’m no longer a fan of the Chili  Cook Off.  The cook off itself is a great idea, and there are some excellent chilis showcased each year.  Very few foods are better than a really good chili.

That said, I’m beginning to be a little irritated by the atmosphere surrounding the event.  I’ve got nothing against bikers as individuals, but I’m not a fan of the biker culture.  There’s a gang or pack mentality that just doesn’t sit well with me.

When I walked around the event today, I saw bikers seemed to kind of go where they wanted to go, stand wherever they wanted to stand, without regard for others.  More than that, I was at a stop sign and one female biker parked her bike directly in front of mine so that I could not move, allowing at least 100 bikes, maybe more, to turn in front of me.  I don’t know why they’re allowed to be directing traffic in a congested downtown area.

This will come off a bit judgmentally, I regret.  I normally give people a fair amount of grace.  But I don’t really like that I didn’t feel like I could be comfortable with my daughter and her friends at the event because of some of the trashy shirts and clothing bikers and their women wear.  Grow up already.  You’re 50 years old plus.  Do you think curse words are still funny?  I’m more surprised than offended.

If those relatively minor complaints weren’t enough, 3 motorcycles were stolen today.  2 were stolen at last year’s event.

I recognize these are my hang-ups.

Read Full Post »

plymouth_chili_cookoffOur family was able to attend the Chili Cookoff today.  My in-laws came in for the afternoon from out of town, my daughter had a new friend to hang out with and we spent a pretty nice day — except for 10 minutes of rain — downtown.  It was a really nice day and, as usual for the Chili Cookoff, we had some great food.

I have to admit, though, that the private entry portion of the Chili Cookoff was poorly set up, at least as far as I was concerned.  The chilis available at “The Gathering” were only available in stages, some at 1:00, others at 3:00.  We passed more unavailable chilis than available ones.

To be honest, there wasn’t a single private entry chili that really blew me away.  One green chili we had was pretty good.  Another entry was downright awful.  I couldn’t even tell what the meat was and the cooks/participants would only tell me it’s a “secret.”  There’s nothing worse (at an event like this) than eating very gamey “secret” meat.  The cook joked that it was “squirrel meat” and it certainly tasted like what I would imagine squirrel to be.

The restaurant entries, like last year, were pretty good.  I did not have the Picnic Basket’s entry because I eat that chili once every few weeks.  It is part of their daily menu.  The two chilis I enjoyed the most were from the Penn Grill (more known for its partying than chili) and from the 1999 Tavern.  In fact, 1999 Tavern’s recipe got my “people’s choice” vote (all 3) and I purchased a bowl of it.  But Penn Grill’s recipe was a close second.  My family members voted for that.

I do not know if either the Penn Grill or 1999 Tavern carry chili as a regular menu item. If they do, and you like chili, I recommend you give theirs a try. Don’t forget that the Picnic Basket’s chili won an award last year. You can’t go wrong with it’s recipe, which is available daily.

Read Full Post »

Next Sunday is, yet another great Plymouth event, the Great Lakes Regional Chili Cookoff.   Set to take place on October 4 downtown Plymouth, this is the 14th annual event.

There are two categories of cook-offs.   Private cooks bring their own recipes and compete head-to-head to see who makes the best red chili, green chili and salsa.  Samplers will be able to participate in the “People’s Choice” voting.  Judges will also select their favorites.

Additionally, there is a “Restaurant Chili Challenge” set to take place that day from 11 am to 5 pm in Kellogg Park.  Last year’s “People’s Choice” winner was 1999 Tavern and the “Best Judged” chili was made by The Picnic Basket.  I remember them both and they are excellent chilis.  In fact, The Picnic Basket still sells their award-winning chili (you can get it by the gallon.)

For those of you that are interested in motorcycles, there is also a bike show taking place downtown simultaneously.

For more information, check out the event’s official website.


Read Full Post »

At Sunday’s Great Lakes Region Chili Cookoff downtown, we had a chance to sample the chili of a number Plymouth restaurants that participated in the event.  My wife, our two friends and I all agreed that Mariachi’s was the best, hands down.

Unfortunately, the chili is not a menu item at the restaurant.  This really needs to change.  I went in there for lunch yesterday specifically for the chili but had to settle for some other dish (that was pretty good) because the chili is only made for the Cookoff.

I think I need to start a petition or letter-writing campaign to get the chili on the menu at Mariachi’s.  If the restaurant will do that, it will gain at least me as a regular customer.

Read Full Post »