On the 26th Annual Atlanta Chili Cookoff

I finally made it out to the Stone Mountain chili cookoff this past Saturday. It was grand. As with any function at Stone Mountain, getting your car in and parked can be … challenging … but once we were in, things went pretty smoothly. Despite the fact that we talked about it before heading to the park, we forgot to stop and get cash. As such, I was impressed to see two ATM machines set up in front of the entrance gate. I shuddered at the $3.50 ATM fee, but I really had no choice, and hey, $3.50 is not nearly as bad as a strip club ATM.

The entrance was choked with sponsors and advertisers hocking their plastic freebies, which was to be expected and was duly ignored. We blazed past them and got started on the chili right away, opting not to make any sort of observational lap. There were some very impressive entries, and several that were less than impressive. Actually, the first few we tried were pretty great, and it all went downhill from there. Several booths were more concerned with their booth decorations than they were with making shili that didn’t suck. There was also a trend of chilis with titles like Assblaster, and Fireball, and You Can’t Eat This Because It Will Melt Your Face Off Before You Can Get It In Your Mouth, that, in reality, were about as spicy as warm Grape Nuts. (There was, however, one towards the end that I would rate just North of Wild Wing’s Braveheart sauce, which, if you’ve ever had it, you know is pretty dern spicy. Color me impressed.)

Not surprisingly, we tried almost everything we came across at the beginning and became full after about a dozen samples, so the remainder of the event was spent walking and people-watching and enjoying the warm fall weather. We were there during the Aerosmith and Van Halen cover-bands. The Van Halen guys were startlingly authentic. The singer had all the David Lee Roth chirps and squeaks down pat and the vocal harmonies were dead on. Even the drum part to Hot For Teacher was spot on. Nice work.

If you like chili, I heartily recommend getting out to Stone Mountain at least once. From here on out, however, I will probably stick to Chomp and Stomp, if for no other reason than the price, the beer, and the fact that Cabbagetown is a helluva lot closer than Yee-Haw Mountain.

Stone Mountain: $8 to park, $10 admission, $4 for Miller Lite.
Chomp and Stomp: Free to park, $5 admission, $3 Sweetwater.


1 Comment so far

  1. Daniel (unregistered) on October 3rd, 2005 @ 4:29 pm

    I’m pretty jealous. Chili Cookoff is one of my favorite Atlanta events and here I was out of town for it… sigh…

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