The main thing you need to know about Petro’s Chili and Chips, aka Petro’s Frito Pie, is that it lives up to its name. It does, in fact, serve Frito pie.
Your feelings toward this particular genre of food will greatly affect your experience at this hot new fast-food spot in Bedford. Just about everything on the menu, you see, involves Frito pie in some fashion or another.
You can get a Frito-pie baked potato. Or a Frito-pie hot dog. Or just Frito pie. You can have your Frito pie topped with chicken and sour cream and guacamole and cheese and jalapeños and diced tomatoes, or you can have it without any of that stuff. You can also have it without meat.
I almost forgot: Petro’s also serves marinated cucumbers, because if you die there, they can say, “You shoulda got the cucumbers.”
Petro’s originated in Knoxville in the early 1980s. This is the first Texas location. It features a drive-through window, which appeared to be opening and closing with ease, and a small dining room. Food was served in plastic-foam containers and paper dishes by fast and friendly employees.
Unfortunately, I had to dine alone, as I was not able to find what restaurant reviewers often refer to as “dining companions.” When word spread of my latest assignment, my wife suddenly wasn’t “feeling well.” Strangely, all my friends “had the flu” or were “out of town” or blocked my calls, texts, emails, Facebook messages, tweets, IMs and telegrams. My stepson, usually game for burgers and pizza and other foods that keep cardiologists in business, claimed he had “school the next day.”
Luckily I scored a seat right next to a nice lady who shared part of her meal with me. It was that kind of place, where Bedfordites came together, laughing and joking and sharing anecdotes and their Frito pie. It was so packed and loud and rambunctious, co-owner Sherri Hill addressed diners all at once, making announcements from the front of the restaurant like a teacher in front of rowdy students.
I had the Frito pie ($3.99/$6.79). For those unacquainted, it consisted of chili with ground meat, Fritos, diced onions and grated cheddar cheese. Perhaps to dissuade fistfights, Petro’s serves its chili with or without beans. I will always subscribe to the philosophy that chili should not have beans, but for the sake of this review, I ordered it with beans in a heroic effort to bring to you the most accurate review possible.
It tasted just like Frito pie, like I used to get at roller rinks and go-kart tracks. And then I had some more Frito pie, this time on top of a hot dog ($3), which tasted identical to Frito pie on top of a hot dog. The dog portion was supposed to be Black Angus beef. I can’t say that I could tell the difference between an Angus and non-Angus weenie, though; my palate is far from that level of advanced sophistication.
The lady next to me let me try her Frito pie baked potato, consisting of Frito pie on top of a baked potato. I found it to be of the same quality as the Frito-pie hot dog, only with a potato instead of a hot dog. I would have liked to see some bacon bits on the potato, but that’s just me.
I ended my meal with a chocolate chip cookie, one of the few items that did not come with Frito pie. I kinda missed it.
Petro’s Chili & Chips
2128 Harwood Road
Hours: 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 10:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday