GRAPEVINE, Texas – At the gateway to the popular getaway of Grapevine, you’ll find traditional Texas cuisine served up with a side of serrano at a restaurant called Tolbert’s.
Ryan Taxter has been a part of the Tolbert family since 2010 and he’s been to the place that Frank X. Tolbert got his terrific title, “The Grandfather of Chili”, Terlingua.
“You have this picture built up in your head, and then you get out there and you’re kind of out in the middle of nowhere with a lot of people,” Ryan said. “Just good vibes, good people, good food, and a lot of beer. Just fun.”
Tolbert co-founded the Terlingua Chili Cookoff in 1967 and in ‘76 he opened Tolbert’s Chili Parlor in Dallas. Now you can find it housed in a historic building from 1911 in downtown Grapevine.
“The fact that he started the Terlingua chili cook off, and now you get to eat this chili anytime you want it’s pretty awesome,” Eric Jewell, a Grapevine native, said.
Now with a legendary chili and burger to come, we kind of have an idea as to where this is going.
You guessed it, the chili burger made with Tolbert’s famous Terlingua chili and christened with the name Terlingua burger.
Terlingua seasoning salt is sprinkled onto the patty just before the patty meets the mucho calor flame of the grill. After the beef gets an overabundance of flame kisses, the patty is placed on a grilled brioche bun and graced with some great chili. Cheese, diced onions, and the top of the bun are placed onto the burger, which is now ready to tantalize your cosmic cowboy taste buds.
Of course with any chili burger you’ve got to cross that bridge of whether or not to use your fingers or use a fork. The bun is sopping with chili that is out of this world. After just one bite you can see how it made Terlingua what it is today.
“It’s sloppy. You’ve got to eat it with a fork and knife unless your bold and brave,” Ryan said.
That chili is just so meaty. So full of spice, that bold Texas flavor that we enjoy when it comes to chili. It is amazing.
“A lot of history with the chili,” Ryan said. “We try to do our best and they like it.”
It may be a little sloppy, but the Terlingua burger in Grapevine at Tolbert’s is well worth a stop on The Texas Bucket List.