This week, I was invited by my friend Billy Dec (co-owner of Rockit Bar & Grill and all-around wonderful guy) to a chili tasting in anticipation of Chicago’s Rockit Bar & Grill’s Third Annual Chilifest, Jan. 17 – 21. Two words: GO. EAT! If this doesn’t tempt you, I don’t trust you:
Yeah – good stuff. So my friend Melinda and I settled in on a chilly Tuesday night, me with a glass of Goose Island’s Matilda , she with a glass of Cabernet. And the chili parade commenced! First up: Chili Cheese Fries (Rockit’s incomparable French fries topped with their signature turkey chili and cheddar and jack cheeses; $9) and Chili Mac (Rockit’s turkey chili atop their signature Four Cheese Mac and Cheese; $12).
Oh, boy. Clearly we need to pace ourselves here. Because here comes our delightful server again, laden with two more bowls of red: Three Wild Hogs Chili. It was amazing: hearty chili with an appealing, but not nuclear, spicy kick studded with tender shreds of braised wild boar (it was almost like pot-roast style meat), bacon and pork cracklings (which normally make me go, “eww”, but for Billy, I tried them. And guess what? They were GOOD – really good: thin-cut, crispy, greaseless, and full of smoky, pork flavor. Some creamy, white gigante beans added great texture to the whole dish. Uh huh. Really good. For $10, this is one amazing dish.
Next up: Chicken Enchilada Chili (shredded white-meat chicken, pinto beans, queso fresco, cilantro and enchilada sauce; $10). THIS was our overall favorite – a nice spicy kick, amazing fresh flavor. They need to either serve this all year, or bring it to me on demand whenver I ask for it (deal?).
- But wait, there’s more! Aside from what we tasted, Rockit will offer a different chili each day of the Fest – here’s the schedge:
- * Mon., Jan. 17: Bison Chili (ground buffalo, buffalo sausage, pinto beans, apples; $10)
- * Tue., Jan. 18: Three Wild Hogs Chili (see above)
- * Wed., Jan. 19: The Locavore – featuring ingredients supplied by Chicago’s Green City Market farmers and vendors; $10)
- * Thurs., Jan. 20: Ghost Chili (hotter than the Guatemalan insanity pepper, featuring black angus beef, red kidney beans, horseradish cheddar and chili threads; $10)
- * Fri., Jan. 21: Chicken Enchilada Chili (see above)
- It’s fun – and it’s winter. And winter in Chicago is every excuse you ever needed to eat whatever you want, as long as it’s delicious. Chili Cheese Fries? Eat ’em. Chili Mac? Eat it. And enjoy your own trip to Rockit’s Red Planet this month. (Maybe squeeze in an extra run or a yoga class to combat the effects.)
- Thank you, Billy and the entire staff of Rockit Bar & Grill, for the deliciousness, awesome service and all-around fabulousness!
- (Full disclosure: all food and beverages were comped by Rockit, but this post reflects my own opinions, regardless.)