Deciding to take on a challenge and actually getting to the task at hand are two very different things. My first step to launch this blog was easy and now I had the difficult task of deciding what thing I should conquer first in my quest to earn the title of a true Dallas local. True there were a few that I had already completed, but it would be too easy to relive those experiences this early on. I could just go in order, but what’s the fun in that? But on a recent trip to Grapevine with my son to ride the historic train, I walked right by my first mission – #48 Eat chili at Tolbert’s in Grapevine.
It wasn’t our first trip on the Grapevine Train, but like many boys, my boy loved him some trains so we had been looking forward to this trip as the train took on the face of the most famous train, Thomas. We had visited the train back in December when the depot becomes a holiday fantasyland and the Polar Express. Anyhow, after our trip on the tracks and our photo moment with the big blue engine, we were hungry and we weren’t ready to go home, so we moseyed on down to downtown Grapevine. Home of many of my favorite places to eat, but since a $50 pitcher of margaritas wasn’t on the agenda, we needed another option. Then I looked up to find Tolbert’s right in front of me.
The place wasn’t fantasy or memorable – just a good ole place to eat. I took a look at the menu and began to browse for what I was going to order. Then I remembered that I was in here for one thing only – a bowl of Texas Red – so I ordered it up with all the fixins and returned the menu to the waitress. Shortly after a small bowl of chili arrived at the table surrounded by some tortilla chips and heaped with cheese and onions. There was nothing left to do, but dive in (and to request some crackers to doctor things up after I swallowed the first bite just the way it was.)
…I enjoyed my first bite. It had some spice to it, but I didn’t have to reach for a glass a water to make it through the next one. The consistency was ideal with the mahogany soup and flavorful chunks of meat and best of all, there were no beans (which some many people thing makes chili, but doesn’t). I ate it up quickly and that was that. I will admit I am not a huge fan of chili, but since this was the place that put Dallas on the map for chili , I respected their recipe and enjoyed it. Just like my day, it was nice and I would be likely to recommend the whole experience. But not just to Tolbert’s for chili AND to ride the train at Grapevine.
So #48 thanks for my first time. And let’s add one more to the list with #53 – Ride the Grapevine train.