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Cutting-edge chili


Carol Smaglinski January 11th, 2011

Most cooks follow the basic recipe when making chili, but some metro chefs diverge and experiment with flavors. Dive into any of these seven, and you might think you’ve arrived at perfection.


 Coney Island

240 S.W. 25th 232-8734

Coney Island doesn’t have anything to worry about. People have been coming from all over town just to eat here for decades. The Greek spaghetti topped with chili, onions and cheese splashed on the top is a hit, and the flavors are in Technicolor. A server will quickly take your order for a hot dog, chili dog, Frito pie, plus a beer and a slice of baklava.

$$ Chili and hot dogs



The Red Cup

3122 N. Classen 525-3430

Aaron White, The Red Cup guy who is the line cook and rotates around in the place, said there is good chili at The Red Cup. “It is entirely vegan, which is an option that most restaurants don’t offer.” The Red Cup also has a honey and peanut butter sandwich (you just gotta ask for it) served with a slice of banana. For breakfast, get granola, oatmeal or eggs.

$$ Healthy food



Johnnie’s Grill

301 S. Rock Island, El Reno 262-4721

Sure ’nuff, the chili is homemade here, just like everything else on the menu at Johnnie’s Grill. It serves a different style of chili that is plopped on hot dogs, but if you want a bowl, this is the home-style stuff that brings people in from the cold. Finish with the coconut cream pie that comes in from a local baker. Imagine! This place has been around since 1946.

$$ Onion burgers and hot dogs



VZD’s Restaurant & Club

4200 N. Western 524-4203

Chef Debbi Johnson said the same ground premium beef that is used for VZD’s burgers is also used in the chili. Plus, the cooks mix their own chili spices, but they aren’t telling what they are, so don’t bother asking. The hearty chili is made fresh daily and covered with a nice portion of Monterey Jack and Cheddar on top and served with two freshly baked corn muffins.

$$ Chili and lots more



Okie’s Cafe
6072 S. Western 631-8300

A few years ago, this was Favorites Cafe. Located in the inner-city southside, Okie’s chili comes in a big bowl. According to the management, “It’s pretty good and has just enough spice; not too hot and not too greasy.” Onions can be added, and it comes with cornbread or crackers. Each day, a homemade dessert, such as chocolate cream pie or peanut butter pie, might be offered.

$$ Chili and more



Red Horse Grill

2205 W. Main, Norman 360-3287

Servers say that people just don’t get this much flavor in chili (by the cup or bowl) like they do at the Red Horse. This Norman restaurant has been pleasing folks for more than 16 years. It also makes good burgers, onions rings and, of course, hot dogs with chili on the top, plus chili-cheese fries and Frito chili pies. For dessert, stick around for the custard.

$$ Chili and more


Pickles

2713 N. Service Road, Moore 790-0009

All right, you chili junkies, get your chili fix right at Pickles. Regulars seem to repeat, due to the unique taste of the chili that is made fresh daily. Most customers choose between a cup or a bowl of the red stuff and usually add onions and cheese for additional flavoring. Another thing that makes a visit worth your while is the apple pie or cheesecake.

$$ Chili and more


—Carol Smaglinski, photos by Mark Hancock and Shannon Cornman

$$: Up to $15 

$$$: $15-$30 

$$$$: Above $30

 
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