IMG_3195Glancing at my watch I just had a minute to wrap up a project.  Then, I would have to dash to a meeting in the Houston Heights.  If traffic was not too much of an issue then I would arrive in time for my lunch gathering.

This would be a new eatery for me.  New friends would be gathering.  They are a delightful bunch.  We serve together at our church and have fun doing what we do.

The five of us were enjoying our visit.  Sometimes we laughed, other times we caught up on each other’s happenings and of course we had some serious conversations about studying the Scriptures.  The brainpower of my colleagues is very stimulating.

Our fellowship was interrupted by waiter.  He announced that there were several options that were not listed on the menu.  Then, he recited about five dishes.

Politely I listened but that courtesy stopped when he described their Texas chili.  My ears perked up.  When he asked me about my order, I asked him if their Texas chili was made without beans.

His smile erupted like a spontaneous dancer who just got caught up with the music.  Affirming my inquiry, I filled him in on my interest.  “I have been in Texas for a year and a half and have not found a place to try real Texas chili with out beans.”

Continuing his animated conversation, he assured me that their Texas chili was one of the best in town.  I confirmed my order.  This was going to be a check off the list of to-dos in Houston.

My lunch order arrived piping hot.  They often refer to Texas chili simply as “Red”.  It is not that it is so hot that it burns.

Rather, Texas chili made commonly on the ranch or on the trail, always simmered a long time.  The natural spices and herbs were allowed to cook in and blend with the beef.  Any flavor of raw spices was melted away over time.

Ground beef or chunks of beef are a toss-up depending on personal tastes.  Texans appreciate tradition but as aficionados of this Tex-Mex food staple they also without apology act through their individual independence.  If they want to substitute another kind of meat in their Texas chili no one is going to tell them otherwise.

Texas Red is wonderful in flavor and individuality.  Chili competitions have rotated around many offerings.  What counts is that you try it, love it and pass it on.

photo credit: brucefong cellphone photography