Joe Rogers Original Recipe Chili Parlor

Review by: Michael Stern

Perhaps the strangest thing about Joe Rogers is that it spells chili the normal way. In Springfield, Illinois, at least as far as chili is concerned, normal is abnormal. In 1993, when the state legislature formally declared the downstate Capital to be the “Chilli Capitol of the Civilized Universe,” it purposely used the rare double-L spelling of the word, which was ordained by force of Senate resolution.

Matters of style aside, Springfield chili, as made at Joe Rogers, is pretty wild stuff, definitely not for the fastidious epicure. The cooked ground beef, which resembles loosemeats, comes swimming in grease — known slightly more politely as hot oil — and is almost always accompanied by beans. It is possible to ask for the oil to be skimmed off when you order a bowl, but that would negate the purpose of the little oyster crackers that come alongside. They are a nice sponge for the oil, sopping up its chili pepper zest.

Speaking of zest, Joe Rogers chili comes in six different degrees of it: Mild, Medium, Medium-Touch, Medium-Hot, Hot, and Firebrand, that last one known as the J.R. Special. If you eat a bowl of Firebrand, your name will be inscribed on the Joe Rogers honor roll, posted on the restaurant wall, so that your survivors can come and salute your daredevil spirit. Frankly, I never have tried Firebrand, but Hot was plenty, plenty spicy for me. Too spicy, I dare say.

Directions & Hours

11am - 4pm
  • Monday: 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM
  • Tuesday: 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM
  • Wednesday: 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM
  • Thursday: 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM
  • Friday: 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM
  • Saturday: 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM
  • Sunday: Closed

What To Eat

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Chili

DISH
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Chili Dog

DISH

Joe Rogers Original Recipe Chili Parlor Recipes

Discuss

What do you think of Joe Rogers Original Recipe Chili Parlor?

One Response to “Joe Rogers Original Recipe Chili Parlor”

Jane & Michael Stern
Jane & Michael Stern

February 19th, 2015

Springfield (tavern-style) chili has suet/grease, or ‘oil’ as the locals politely call it. The recipes are decades old, harkening back to a place and time when the word cholesterol was not in the dictionary.
So, if your idea of chili is Grandma’s hamburger tomato soup with canned kidney beans and grocery store packaged chili powder…keep driving.

But, if you don’t mind a little ‘oil’, and like some spice/heat, order my favorite…”medium hot, extra meat, light on the oil”. Be sure to get a tamale “on the side”, extra crackers, and a large glass of buttermilk. The meat and red beans are prepared separately, and then mixed to order in any of a dozen combinations to suit your heat tolerance and taste.

Now, your “eatin’ like the locals” who, for decades, have gobbled up Joe Rogers Chilli (Two ‘L’s for Illinois). Marianne Rogers, Joe’s daughter, is back in charge these days, ask for her when you visit. She is a wonderful, enthusiastic person, with a wealth of info on the history of Springfield’s favorite “Bowl of Red”.

Reply

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