At George The Chili King, the wicked alchemy they practice starts with a simple bowl of the brown stuff, a style of chili sauce generally served on hot dogs that traces its roots to Greek immigrants turned restauranteurs. Indeed, the Midwest is peppered with local chili dog houses, sometimes referred to as Coney Islands – such as both Ted’s and Jim’s Coney Islands here in Des Moines, and the famous rivalry of Lafayette and American Coney Islands in Detroit.
The chili at George’s pretty much fits the standard of such stews – a brown-hued gravy thats flavored more of spices like allspice, oregano and bay leaf than of chili powder. Nonetheless, George’s family recipe is a secret so I can only venture a guess of its true composition.
Of course the most popular application of George’s chili is atop a wiener on bun, ideally with a slather of mustard, a sprinkle of chopped onion, and a sliver of pickle.
Its not all chili and coneys at George’s. They also offer French fries, handmade onion rings, burgers, and sizable pork tenderloins. The onion rings - thinly-sliced and lightly breaded - are pretty darn good. Dipping them in ketchup makes me weep.
The French fries are unique in that they're thin like shoestring fries, but are also crinkle-cut. Its a perfect combination for a crisper and more thoroughly cooked fry, IMHO. There’d be no room for improvement if not for a sprinkle of finely shredded cheddar and a ladle of chili atop. Poutine lovers that notice! George’s Chili Cheese Fries are a shameful delight.
Hot dogs and French fries aren't the only things lurking beneath the surface of George’s chili. There’s macaroni for starters. I can hear its pitiful cry as I bring it up from the bowl’s depths, “Help me! Help me! I can’t swim!” Its pleas are short-lived as I bring the fork up to my mouth and… GULP!
A sandwich that benefits from a douse in sauce is the Beefburger. The meat is highly spiced and a ladle of chili helps to temper its zest.