Culinary Contrarian Colin Stokes has braved the dark corners of the Columbia food scene to dazzle, startle, and entertain us. This time, he ventures into the world of red meat on campus — and it’s not a JJ’s place burger. Read on for the most unexpected of chili sources.
When you are pulling an all-dayer at Butler and have decided to take a break from what feels like a huge, boring party where everyone is quietly losing their shit, you might be interested in consuming some non-caffeinated item, also known as food. Food is like coffee, in that it goes in your mouth, but unlike coffee in that it is solid.
The Culinary Contrarian is no fan of fussy food. So when I step out of my study den, and ask the person next to me to watch my laptop (really just giving myself enough time to develop an accurate description in case I need to make a police report), I want something a little out of the ordinary. This is where I shall embark on my true topic: Chili. (If this were the paper I should be writing instead of this article, then my intro would end here.)
Chili is confusing in some senses. For chili is eaten hot, and not chilly. I suppose respite can be found in the idea that one eats hot chili when it is chilly outside, and then one consumes enough chili so as not to feel chilly, as a result of being filled with chili. But enough with the wordplay, let’s talk about the meat, as my illiterate, carnivorous, and sexually aggressive ex-girlfriend would say.
Dodge Café, a Blue Java institution, is, in fact, known for something other than having an acronym that describes receiving oral sex in the White House. DCBJ also serves Angus Steak Chili over White Rice. I ordered one such dish, slightly nervous about its contents, mainly because I was unsure whether the “g” in Angus was a typo. I steadied myself, and decided to take the plunge, handing over a crisp $6.28 to the nice woman who was working at the till.
The chili was quite hot and warmed my hands as I walked back to my dorm. Not so chilly now eh? Upon eating, I was surprised by the powerful aroma of the Dodge chili. The warmth was enjoyable though, always nice in these wintry months. As I continued to eat, I was impressed by the relatively complex flavor palette, and texture of the chili. Peppers, soft beef chunks and beans filled my essence.
It was definitely not bad. The rice was a bit dry, and there wasn’t all that much beef, and after a few bites, I realized I just had a massive bowl of stuff that was going to taste the same all the way through my consumption. However, considering its provenance, I was pleasantly surprised. Adequately spicy, and comforting in its sauce like texture, Dodge Café’s chili gets a sort of endorsement from the Culinary Contrarian as a study food.