Andy's Rest. Scorecard: Best Chili Cook-Off! - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Andy's Rest. Scorecard: Best Chili Cook-Off!

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By Andy Wise - bio | email | Facebook

MEMPHIS (WMC TV) - Locked inside a sound-proof room, Chefs Luahn Thomas, Jerri Myers and Kim Gauger of L'Ecole Culinaire culinary school (http://www.lecoleculinaire.com/memphis/about.asp) tally their score sheets after judging the color, aroma, consistency, flavor and after-taste of the five restaurants our Scorecard viewers nominated for Best Chili recipes.

Our finalists, in no particular order:

* BUTTS SWEET SHOP, 3174 THOMAS ST., MEMPHIS (FRAYSER), (901) 433-9698.  Linda Butts won't reveal the secrets of her chili, but the popping combination of cumin, green chilies and chunks of tomato make hers a homemade chili that puts her tiny diner on the map!

* BARDOG TAVERN, DOWNTOWN MEMPHIS, http://www.bardogtavern.com/. A former High Score of the Week, Chef of the Week (Demitrie Phillips) and Server of the Week (Jean Pruett), Bardog Tavern continues to re-define "pub grub" with a dark, subtle chili that looks as good as it tastes -- garnished with tortilla chips, onions, tomatoes and cool sour cream.

* BLUES CITY CAFE, BEALE ST. DOWNTOWN, http://www.bluescitycafe.com/. Chef Larry Crawford changed his chili recipe two years ago to better complement Blues City Cafe's malt vinegar hot sauce and its firm, tasty tamales that are light-years beyond most Mexican restaurants' tamales. Incredible!

* HUEY'S (ALL LOCATIONS), http://hueyburger.com/.  Huey's chili & tamales are neck-and-neck with Blues City Cafe, except Huey's douses its rich and hearty chili right on its double-thick tamales instead of serving the chili on the side. The dish is dressed with pepperoncini, whose pickled flavor adds another dimension to this chili-tamale combo.

* BAYOU BAR & GRILL, MIDTOWN, http://www.bayoumemphis.com/. Bayou's 24-year old Gator Chili recipe is almost like a chili gumbo. Sweet alligator meat with the Cajun-Creole Holy Trinity of celery, peppers and onions, the Gator Chili includes red beans and rice as carbs to take some of the heat off the Louisiana spices.

Andy will surprise our Best Chili winner next week on the Restaurant Scorecard. Come back to the Scorecard web page next Thursday, Feb. 24. 

Also, Bon Appetit' magazine just named Big Bad Breakfast, 719 North Lamar Boulevard in Oxford, MS, as one of the 9 best chili places in the country:  http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/food/americas-9-best-chili-places-2442525/.  We'll pay them a visit very soon on the Scorecard!

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