Chili John’s

Best Chili, August 2012

The chili world is populated by factions who might come to fisticuffs over whether the dish should include beans, tomatoes, or cinnamon. At Burbank’s family-run Chili John’s, the generous bowls of red are of the most elemental Texas variety: nothin’ but high-quality beef suet, garlic, and a proprietary spice blend that favors cayenne’s stiff kick. The owners tout the medicinal benefits of their recipe, which is largely unchanged from the days when the hearty stew accompanied cowboys on the trail for up to a month, preserved only by spices. We’re inclined to believe them—at the very least, you’ll sweat out a cold.  » 2018 W. Burbank Blvd., Burbank.