For the fourth year in a row Rockit Bar & Grill is hosting ChileFest. Each day they feature a different twist on that most American of stews. This year’s fest runs the week of January 23 and they’ll be serving pork, lamb, bison, chicken, and beef chilis. Vegan? They’ll have an option for you, as well as turkey chili.
I was invited to get a preview of what they’ll be serving with a guest and we tasted pork, bison, and chicken. While all of them had distinct flavors, the one thing they had in common was the quality of the meat. It was so tender and tasty that I found myself searching for big chunks of it and almost – almost – wishing that each dish was less of a stew and more of a plate with the “chili” as a sauce. (Chef Amanda Downing let me know that they get them from Meats By Linz and JDY Gourmet.)
Green chili rubbed pork shoulder, white beans, queso fresco and tomatillo sauce
Heat rating: handshake
Jerk braised chicken, pinto beans, habanero peppers, jack cheese, cilantro and lime
Heat rating: high five
Ground buffalo, chorizo sausage, black beans, chipotle peppers and cheddar cheese
Heat rating: IN YOUR FACE!
Which was my favorite? It was a close call, but the bowl I wanted to lick (if it wouldn’t burn my tongue off) was the bison chili. With the fresh chorizo sausage added to the tender bison it was definitely the hottest, and the chipotle peppers gave it a nice smokiness.
Visit rockitbarandgrill.com to see all five chilis and then make your reservations! Chilifest will be Rockit Bar & Grill (22 W Hubbard) from January 23 through January 27, and at Rockit Wrigley (3700 N Clark) from January 26 through the 29th.