This past weekend, I was lucky enough to attend the 18th Annual Great Downtown Ithaca Chili Cook-off and eat some truly memorable chili. Of the 39 competitors vying for the title of best chili, some submitted both vegetarian and meat options and some even provided drinks or sweets as palate cleansers. Though I wasn’t able to check out all 39 stands, I’ve included thoughts on the 11 stands I did sample.
On Saturday afternoon, people enticed by the aroma of thirty different types of chili filed into the Commons in Ithaca. The eleventh annual Ithaca Chili Cook-off and WinterFest, sponsored by The Cayuga Radio Group and Maines Paper and Food Service, Inc., was held in downtown Ithaca. Among the 30 restaurants competing for the titles of Best Chili and Wings in the People’s Choice, Vegetarian and Meat and the Official Judging competition, were the East Shore Café, That Burrito Place, and the Statler’s Taverna Banfi.