I’m a big fan of chili. Nothing warms you up better after a long day in the cold than big spoonfuls of spicy, cheesy, hearty chili. However, I’ve never been a huge fan of chili out of the bowl. Chili dogs and chili burgers are great tasting, but they usually have too many problems to make me love them. The bun gets all soggy, it overpowers the taste of the actual meat, and you can’t seem to eat them without the chili inevitably ending up in your lap. In the end, I usually just feel cheated out of a perfectly good bowl of chili.
So, when trying the Union South’s new Chili Burger at the Sett, I had come pessimistically prepared. With a fork and more than a few strategically placed napkins at the ready, I was surprised to find at the end of the meal I had not needed either. I left the meal not only satisfied, but also stainless! It seems the food gurus at the Union South’s Sett have found a way to do the impossible: make a Chili Burger that’s both delicious and clean.
How’d the Sett do it? In my opinion, they made a very smart and fundamental change; they decided to let chili the complement the sandwich instead of dominate it. By putting only a conservative amount of chili on the burger, they are able to contain the messy chili with a very generous slice of melted cheddar cheese over top, which works to keep the chili in place and also prevents the soupy substance from making the bun all soggy. Though thechili is a secondary flavor for this meal–which may be disappointing to some avid chili fans–it still results in a very tasty burger, and one you can actually eat with your hands.
Personally, on those bitter cold Madison days, I’ll always prefer a regular bowl of chili over any sort of chili dog or chili burger. But, when the weather might not call for an actual bowl of chili, and yet I’m still craving those spicy, meaty, tomatoey flavors, I’ll probably grab aburger like this instead.
Kudos to the Sett for another delicious menu item.