Chili Mac's 5-Way Chili isn't for the indecisive. With a bevy of choices to be made before you can sink your fork into this phenomenal dish, those more accustomed to the one-size-fits-all variety of chili may feel overwhelmed. First to consider is the actual chili; there are four varieties on the menu here. The Cincinnati chili is both savory and sweet, made with ground beef, tomato sauce and fifteen spices, including cinnamon and chocolate. Texas Jailhouse chili is spicy, with serrano, poblano and jalapeno peppers, while the turkey chili is standard health-conscious fare. And last but not least, the vegetarian chili is refreshingly delicious, with crushed tomatoes, tofu and a slew of veggies.
Now that you've got your chili picked out, the real fun begins, with five ways to serve it up and three sizes of each. Order 1-way and your chili flies solo; 2-way will get your chili a bed of thin spaghetti, and 3-way will top that chili and spaghetti with grated Wisconsin cheddar. Four-way lets you opt for either kidney beans or sweet onions, while 5-way includes both beans and onions atop the cheese, spaghetti and chili. Or, if you're not a fan of noodles, you can opt for the Frito Pie, which replaces the spaghetti in the 5-way with a bed of Fritos and tops it all with sour cream.
Head spinning yet? Drop into a seat at one of the tables at this small corner spot and calm your mind with a margarita. At least you can rest assured that the chili you order comes with "no kickback," as the fat is drained from the ground beef before the chili is made, making this a date-safe spot.
Though the chili servings run toward generous, try to make room for a hunk of Texas jalapeno cornbread, which is baked up daily from scratch. Pizza can be ordered from the adjoining spot next door, with hamburgers, gyros and hot dogs rounding out the menu. Chili, depending on size and ways, runs $2.45-$7.25, with most grill options coming in under $5.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Kate Rockwood