Allee Willis’ Kitsch ‘O The Day – Chili-ing At Chili John’s

It’s rare I have a weekday that’s not stuffed with work, a mish-mash of songwriting, blogging, curating, working on my next live Super Ball Bounce Back show, etc., etc., etc.  But last Friday was one such day and I spent most of it at one of my favorite still-standing places in Burbank, Chili John’s. This is such a serious chili pad I even took the Wienermobile there a few weeks ago:

Chili John’s started in 1900 and is still going strong in Green Bay, Wis.

Chili John’s Burbank, the only offspring, was erected in 1946. All they serve are dishes topped with SERIOUS chili.

The prices are a little different than back in the ’60′s:

As usual, Mark Blackwell documented my culinary experience:

I spent a lot of time documenting the decor:

The entire restaurant is a U-shaped array of formica and bright orange vinyl:

Even the light switches go way back:

In the center of the counter there are vats of different strength chili:

The neon clock over the entrance to the kitchen is classic:

LOVE the fake flower pots and the ‘Chili John’s’ that rim the walls as they meet the ceiling all the way around the restaurant:

But nothing kills me more than the wall mural that runs along the entire east side of the restaurant:

As photogenic as the decor is, I spent most of my time photographing the food:

And what food it is! The chili dogs, with varying-degrees-of -spiciness-chili are INSANE…::

…as are the Sloppy Johns:

The chopped onions add a crispiness to make for a cornucopia of textural wonderness.

You can get a glimpse  of other dishes here. All the foodstuffs are definitely a two-fisted job:

Mark and I started with the excessively wonderful and creamy lemon pie, pictured below but solo-photo-of-which I forgot to take, and then dove backwards into the main course. As you can see, the take home cartons were already poised to be loaded:

Here I am in the kitchen to check out how the secret seasonings are brewed:

Owner Alec  Loguercio pours the fixin’s into a giant grinder:

Then it’s all tossed into a pot that’s so big it’s stirred with an oar:

Chili John’s is a family run joint. Alec…,

…and his mom, Debbie,…

…who was there the day we pulled up in the Wienermobile.:

Sue Mell, family friend, also pitches in:

It’s no secret that I love hot dogs. I don’t care what’s in them (though Chili John’s offers a choice of beef, chicken or vegetarian dogs).  They’re health food for the soul.

Put that hot dog under a bed of homemade chili and then put that chili dog in a setting like Chili John’s with a seriously friendly staff and the smell of simmering garlic tickling your membranes and you’ve got one happy chilin’ Allee Willis!

 

Share this page.   Subscribe to the blog.
Bookmark and Share
 


Categories: Food, Kitchen, Kitsch, Place

Creative Commons License
Protected under a Creative Commons license

Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Out with Lily Tomlin and RuPaul!

Me and Lily are planning our trip to Detroit in April to see the first high school production of my musical, The Color Purple, at her high school, Cass, and my conducting the glee club and marching band at my high school, Mumford. We’re also going to be taking a lot of meetings to figure out something to do in Detroit together permanently.


READ MORE »


Categories: Celebrity, Detroit, Food, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Music, People, School

Creative Commons License
Protected under a Creative Commons license

Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Cake Sponges

I don’t know about you but anytime I’ve tried to use a sponge made out of this kind of super-aerated foam I may as well be dragging a Kleenex over what I’m trying to clean. In other words, this never would have made it home with me had  the three sponges that comprise it arranged into anything other than a piece of cake. Although it’s a little generous to call sponge #3, the strawberry, a sponge:

READ MORE »


Categories: Accessories, Food, Kitchen, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day

Creative Commons License
Protected under a Creative Commons license

Allee Willis’ Trip O’ The Day – Koffee Klatch In Monterey

A few weeks ago, on the dawn of Hanukah, me, Snappy P a.k.a. Prudence Fenton, and Wendy Goldman-Rohm hopped into the mustache van and headed north to Snappy’s family pad in Monterey. We stopped at my favorite place on earth, The Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo, for a little Christmas shopping on the way.

READ MORE »


Categories: Animals, Fashion, Food, Hats, Kitchen, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Nature, People, Place, Transportation, Travel

Creative Commons License
Protected under a Creative Commons license

Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – All Aboard THE WIENERMOBILE!!! – Part 2

If you’re just jumping aboard The Wienermobile, please exit through the rear and check out Part 1 of my adventure with Susan Olsen,a.k.a. Cindy Brady, and Charles Phoenix, without which Part 2 lacks context. Wagging the tail without the (hot) dog as it were.

READ MORE »


Categories: Advertising/ Promotion, Art, Brands, Celebrity, Clothes, Fashion, Food, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Los Angeles, People, Place, Sculpture, Self expression, Sign, Toy, Transportation, Travel

Creative Commons License
Protected under a Creative Commons license

Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – All Aboard THE WIENERMOBILE!!! – Part 1

I’ve only waited a lifetime for a ride in the famed Oscar Mayer Wienermobile and last Wednesday, December 14, my dream came true!! Susan Olsen, a.k.a. Cindy Brady, the youngest of the B. Bunch, Charles Phoenix, Mark Blackwell and I hopped aboard and rode the wiener to some of our favorite kitsch spots in the San Fernando Valley. When one is onboard such a vehicle, photo opps are not to be missed!

READ MORE »


Categories: Advertising/ Promotion, Art, Brands, Celebrity, Clothes, Fashion, Food, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Los Angeles, People, Place, Sculpture, Self expression, Sign, Toy, Transportation, Travel

Creative Commons License
Protected under a Creative Commons license

Allee Willis Kitsch O’ The Day – Christmas shopping at The Madonna Inn

Oops, I know I promised my Wienermobile blog today but there’s been too much activity to write up the over-three-hour trek through the San Fernando Valley in a wiener, so instead I shall make you all jealous by telling you that I took an unexpected detour to The Madonna Inn again for a little Christmas shopping. Unfortunately, which is wont to happen at this time of year, many of the gifts were for myself.

READ MORE »


Categories: Fashion, Food, Hats, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, People, Travel, Travel souvenir

Creative Commons License
Protected under a Creative Commons license

Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Birthdaying at the Madonna Inn – Part 1

Bright and early the weekend before Thanksgiving Prudence Fenton and I hopped in the mustache van and drove up the coast to San Luis Obispo.

READ MORE »


Categories: Advertising/ Promotion, Architecture, Art, Bathroom, Brands, Crafts, Creativity, Families, Food, Furniture and Housewares, Holidays, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, People, Place, Self expression, Sign, Travel, Travel souvenir

Creative Commons License
Protected under a Creative Commons license

Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Bubblegum Allee in San Luis Obispo

As soon as I read about this alley in downtown San Luis Obispo I knew I had to hit it. Even with the possibility  of it being underwhelming and gross, an assemblage of decades of wadded-up gum had to be paid homage to by any self-respecting aKitschionado. I’m elated to report that Bubblegum Alley is 15 x 70 solid feet of sheer chewed brilliance!

READ MORE »


Categories: Art, Food, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Place, Sculpture, Theater, Travel

Creative Commons License
Protected under a Creative Commons license

Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Signs of an Excellent Birthday In East LA and Beyond

I’m pretty religious about celebrating one’s birthday all day from the strike of midnight through the next 24. Years that I haven’t observed this rule I’ve been miserable. If I’m stuck working I don’t concentrate on the work anyway, too resentful that I didn’t stick to what I had laid down. This year, my festivities are taking place a week late at my favorite place on earth, The Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo, with the little group I spend each and every birthday with, some of whom joined me on my big night last Thursday at Bar Marmont.

READ MORE »


Categories: Architecture, Art, Creativity, Food, Hair, Health & Beauty, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Los Angeles, Self expression, Sign, Travel

Creative Commons License
Protected under a Creative Commons license