Austin— In 1976, we celebrated America’s 200th birthday and Texas’ gift to the nations, the Texas Chili Parlor. From its Mad Dog margaritas and true Texas chili, this Austin icon is known for being in movies, songs by Guy Clark, and the home of owner, Scott Zublin, or as most call him, Zoob.
“Zoob; Z-O-O-B. Booz spelled backwards,” said Zoob.
Born in Houston, Zoob grew up in New York, but returned to Texas to work in the oil fields back in the 80’s.
“You start out as a rough neck. They throw you out there and see if you’re going to make it or not. I loved it, you know? Throwing that big iron,” he said.
Whenever he had time off in the capital city, he headed to Texas chili parlor. He feel in love with the hole in the wall that has been a part of the Lone Star State linage for over 40 years.
“In 1976, the state capital named chili the state dish. The same year the Chili Parlor opened. Coincidence? I think not,” commented Zoob.
In 2002, the parlor ended up in a precarious position and he knew he had to do something.
“…The property had been seized for lack of a tax payment,” he continued, “I walked into the councils office with a check for $50,045. That’s what they owed; they gave me the keys immediately.”
After working in the oil field for 23 years, Zoob found himself in a new position as caretaker of the storied chili parlor. He took the parlor back to square one and is adamant about keeping the place how it was meant to be.
“You can’t be in Austin without hearing about the Texas Chili Parlor,” said Matthew Lewis.
“It’s Austin. Right? It’s a hole in the wall with great food,” said Allix Jackson.
Unable to pick just one, we decided to try a chili combo, handpicked by Zoob himself.
The combo featured three different chilis— white chili, the 2x, and habanero chili.
“For everyday chili it’s pretty darn good,” said Zoob.
“I can’t do the 3x. I’ll be just, sweating like crazy.” said Leo York
All of them were incredible. The white chili is what Zoob likes to call designer chili, the 2x is a classic bowl of reds done right, but the habanero chili leaves you wanting more.
“I warn people that…their first bowl of habanero, you’re going to get addicted,” said Zoob, “every time you come in you’re gonna want it on something.”
“I think it’s fantastic,” said Allix.
Well if you’re ever in the mood for a real bowl of chili. The Texas chili parlor is well worth the stop.
“You just need to get a good bowl of certified Texas chili,” said Matthew.
“As long as I’m alive it’s going to stay here, I’ll tell you what” said Zoob, “and if I move on I’m going to make sure whoever buys it from me is going to keep it the same way.”