This past weekend, we was propitious adequate to attend a 18th Annual Great Downtown Ithaca Chili Cook-off and eat some truly noted chili. Of the 39 competitors opposed for a pretension of best chili, some submitted both vegetarian and beef options and some even provided drinks or candy as ambience cleansers. Though I wasn’t means to check out all 39 stands, I’ve enclosed thoughts on a 11 stands we did sample.
Luna Inspired Street Food
The initial chili we attempted was flattering memorable. Luna served a chili with chocolate surfaced pig belly, Monterey Jack cheese, pig shoulder, black beans and chunks of tomatoes. This chili was unapologetically offered itself to beef lovers everywhere. The pointed sourness of a chocolate unequivocally brought out a season of a pig and done me consider of a Mexican mole sauce. Even yet we desired it, a small bit some-more piquancy would have done a flavors unequivocally pop.
CTB was portion adult both beef and vegetarian chili, and given we had come to Chilifest with a friend, we got to try both! The beef accumulation featured barbacoa pork, that for those who see a word during Chipotle yet don’t know what it means, is a form of barbecue. The beef done me consider of pulled BBQ pig that we competence find during a nation fair. The beef itself was a good kind of stringy, a chili was hearty, and a ornament of blue and red tortilla chips added a good texture.
The vegetarian chili could be described as a reduction of lentils and beans with a charming wheeze of lime. After a initial bite, we stopped, thought, and took another bite, thinking, “I suffer a spirit of orange that this chili is presenting me with. Yes.” It done me consider of those Tostitos orange chips, that we positively love. But even yet a vegetarian chili was amazing, a beef chronicle still managed to benefaction a coexisting brew of nostalgia and novelty.
Leadership Tompkins’ chili could be described as a retreat Sour Patch Kid: It started out honeyed and ease until a piquancy solemnly crept in and shockd me behind to reality. It was a good kind of kick-in-the-face piquancy that privileged my sinuses in usually a many inexhaustible of ways.
The chili tasted some-more like marinara salsa than chili, that creates sense, given D.P. Dough is famous for a calzones. There was a unequivocally clever hazed season that didn’t work too good with a astringency of a marinara. Unfortunately, it was also impossibly soupy, that isn’t a best thing for a chili to be.
Life’s So Sweet Chocolates
I took a mangle from chili to revisit LSSC’s stand, that was charity bite-sized maple bacon jalapeño truffle fudge pieces. Even yet we adore sharp foods, this held me off ensure with a bold kind of spiciness. I detected some maple undertones, yet couldn’t ambience too most of a bacon. The emporium was also charity giveaway samples of chocolate — I got a square of dim chocolate lonesome caramel.
Cayuga Medical Center
Cayuga Med had a smoked pig shoulder (pork seemed to be a thesis of a day) with chorizo and lots of beans. It was unequivocally hearty, and even yet it was light on a spice, it didn’t even it all that much. Eating a chili done me kind of friendly that my crony described as “wearing a fur hat.”
This was my favorite chili of a day. Banfi prepared a brief rib, pig shoulder, black bean and chicharrón chili, surfaced with a habanero green cream. The beef was so tender, and a green cream delivered a piquancy we had been longing via a day, enhancing a season of a chili.
Max’s Classic American Grill
Max’s served a buffalo chicken-inspired chili with a celery stalk garnish. The astringency of a prohibited salsa and buffalo salsa was unequivocally overpowering, and could have used some green cream or celery slices to change it out.
My crony described a vegetarian chili as “spice for a piquancy intolerant,” yet a vegetables weren’t utterly entirely cooked. The beef choice was flattering most a same, yet somewhat soupier.
Viva Taqueria Cantina
The vegetarian choice enclosed mushroom, that unequivocally set it detached from a other vegetarian chilis. The beef choice featured a bit of lime, yet wasn’t utterly as alluring as CTB’s orange chili. What unequivocally done Viva’s chili shine, though, were a tortilla chips it was served with. Not usually did they supplement a good hardness to a chili, yet it also supposing a ideal volume of salt.
Moosewood’s vegetarian chili tasted how we would report a crony who laughs when we sneeze in her face: down to earth. The chili featured so many opposite spices and vegetables that, after sampling it, I felt as yet we had gained a few some-more years on my life. A multiple of chocolate and coffee gave a chili a slight sourness that extended a “fresh green” feel. White beans combined piece that grounded this robust chili.
Overall, a eventuality was a success. we rarely suggest attending, as this is an knowledge we can’t forget. The best partial is saying all opposite forms of cuisines represented by one classical dish.
Cameron Pollack / Sun Senior Photographer