These days are just made for Chili Daddy. There’s nothing quite like a bowl of good chili on a cold day. And good chili is all that Chili Daddy has. I mean that both ways -- chili is all they serve, and it's all good.
I stopped by CD, an almost literal hole in the wall at the rear of a small building on South Street, and ordered a cup of classic Texas style red. it’s not the only chili that dad serves. There are also black bean, mango chicken, Thai basil (chicken or pork), smoked chicken wing, Mongolian pork and other varieties. But I just wanted the basic on this particular frigid day.
I placed my order at the walk-up window while the customer in front of me was trying to figure out which style to order. The owner was patiently offering sample cups to the man to help him come to a decision. I don’t know if he had tasted the classic red yet, though I can’t imagine he would have tried anything else if he had.
It was just a little bowl of wonderfulness. It was made with ground beef and had a thick texture with just a bit of grit. The seasonings were spot on (Chili Daddy makes their own chili powder), not flabby but not in-your-face, either. The owner had been careful to ask if I wanted beans or not. (I did, but don’t tell my Texas friends.)
You’re probably going to want to get your chili to go, at least these days. That’s because Chili Daddy’s only seating area is a patio next to the order window. I don’t care how hot the chili is, it’s too damn cold to sit outside and eat it. Especially with one of the beers that Chili Daddy offers. (Those you can’t get to go.)
As the temperatures get more moderate, I can see enjoying some chili on the patio. As to what Chili Daddy will do in the summer, I can’t say. Maybe another line -- Gazpacho Mama?
Chili Daddy is at 2603 E. South St. (around back), Orlando. The window is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. On Sundays, CD sells at the Orlando Farmers Market at Lake Eola. The phone number is 407-894-0430. You can check out the Web site at chilidaddy.com.