Last night the IBEW Union Hall off Poe Avenue was packed with folks supporting the 32nd annual Ambucs Chili Cookoff! This charitable evening raises funds to serve handicapped individuals with mobility equipment. Organizer Paul Jankovich has chaired this event as a volunteer for years and he spends months recruiting chili makers, coordinating the auction and gambling games that make this event such a success. The $20 ticket that covers all the chili, hot dogs, beer and wine you can consume also make it a true bargain to attend!
We had a chance to taste a dozen different bowls of chili and here’s how I rank them:`
Dayton Dining’s Favorite: Meadowlark– a hardy flavor, with big chunks of beef and garnished with a green onion sauce and we loved that they shared the ingredient list!
Meatiest: Rivertown’s Joe Cooper Chili– named after the author of the best book ever written about chili, included his own recipe in With or Without Beans, and it doesn’t have beans in it. They also offered a 2nd option- John Dayton’s Chili, which they explained to me was most like the chili your mom made if you grew up here, and yes, this one had beans.While Rivertown’s Chili closed it’s Miamisburg restaurant they are still doing catering and special events!
Biggest Kick– Los Reyes chili was soupier in style with a hot spice flavor that left you with true heat in your mouth!
Sweetest- The Brunch Club served up a chili that was on the sweet side with low heat and a cinnamon finish, served up by the same smiling faces that greet you each morning a the downtown eatery.
Best Garnish- Christopher’s Restaurant served up a solid chili, but what put them over the top for me was their garnish buffet of cheese, onions, sour cream, crackers, nuts and the most yummy Garlic Cheddar Jalapeno biscuits!
Eaton Kennedy’s served up a hearty chunky chili that had a pretty good flavor as well. Other participating competitors included: Slyders, George’s Restaurant, Bullwinkle’s, Atrium Grill, Harrigan’s and Chef Daddy’s. And shame on those restaurants that signed up but didn’t show up.
All the guests got to vote and the People’s Choice Awards for Best Chili ? were:
1st Place: Christopher’s
2nd Place: Meadowlark
3rd Place: Brunch Club
Congrats to all and mostly to AMBUCS and all the specially built tricycles they will be able to provide to facilitate therapy for disabled children and adult as well as ramps for families in need of mobility help.