My old pal Jake meandered his broke ass all the way out to the Pacific Northwest to visit yours truly. I talked a big game about the various Seattle delicacies that we had to try, but unfortunately we spent the entire weekend getting shit can drunk and meeting new buddies.
The one place we managed to drag our polluted, beer soaked asses to was Mike's Chili Parlor. This place was recommended to me from a few locals, so I figured we should give it the old college try. It was amazing, and this is our story.
Mike's has been owned and operated for 4 generations of the Semandris family. A friendly bunch, with a distinct family secret chili recipe. Located right off the locks in the Ballard community, Mike's has been feeding cold and rained on fishermen for eons. They received some recognition when they were featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives a while back, but don't worry, it hasn't turned them into Hollywood pussies.
The owner, Mike (the 4th generation one), was nice enough to introduce himself. Maybe one of the coolest guys I've met, and he still makes all the chili everyday.
Mike's is your classic dive bar, complete with characters like Red, a wispy white haired jokester that finds his-rear end glued to a stool at this joint everyday. The bartender was a younger gal with a gift of gab. We alerted her early that we were the men behind the "world famous" Buddies and Hotdogs blog. She gave us her delicious recommends: a chili dog with all the fixings, and a small bowl of chili and a couple of ice cold PBR's. Game on buddies!
This is the famous Mike's Chili Dog, an all beef frank split down the center and grilled on a flat top. This monster features grated cheddar cheese, a heaping mound of bean chili, jalapenos, and fresh diced onions. The fixings are additional, but they're only like 50 cents each. The white bread bun is there simply to soak up the cheesy chili goodness. The chili is spicy enough to tickle your tonsils, but the onions and jalapenos do well to bring the zing.
Here's an overhead view of Jake's chili dog, and a bowl of Mike's finest. The chili is ground beef based with no beans. It has a nice kick and smooth and light consistency. It's greasy enough to keep out the wimps, and delicious enough send this buddy back for more. It's just a really good bowl of chili. Nothing fancy, but perfect for a rainy hungover day in Seattle.
Here's a cross section of the chili dog. Witness the layers of bowel crushing goodness. Boom!
Jake is a big fan of Mike's Chili, he also wore that silly ass Steve Zissou shit all weekend. He fit in nicely in this fishing community. A real swashbuckler, a regular ship hand.
Thumbs up from this Superbeast. I look pretty handsome considering we were up until 5 am the night before pounding Rainier (cool fuckers and the French pronounce it "RonYay").
The chili and the damage done.
This just might be the best hangover cure in Seattle. I walked into this place burping up acid, and I walked out feeling like a million bucks.
*Jake and I writing this one together. It's like a long distance relationship, with an enduring interest in hot dogs.