Many years ago I worked for a man who was from San Antonio. He insisted chili does not contain beans. Now, I have never had "real Texas" chili, but I truly love Steak ‘n Shake’s chili. I’m from Galesburg IL, the site of the first S ‘n S outside the Bloomington IL area–where it originated. Yes, it’s a taste from my childhood I still enjoy when I’m in the Midwest (usually the first one I encounter is in Joplin MO, right off the freeway) and from a can at home here in San Francisco. The canned product includes beans but you can get "Chili Mac" without beans in the restaurant. Why not split a double Steakburger and one order of fries with your dining companion, and go ahead and have the Chili 3,4 or 5-way. You MUST MUST MUST have a shake! You will be glad you did. The chili has plenty of cumin, but IMHO S ‘n S’s secret is the paprika they also use.
You might not like one region’s chili, but aren’t we lucky to live in a country where there are so many different versions of this wonderful dish?