Rockit's Rockin ChiliFEST!

January 10, 2011

I was invited by the awesome folks at Rockit Bar and Grill in River North to swing by for a taste test session in advance of their 3rd annual ChiliFEST. While I don't typically order chili off of the menu at most restaurants, by the time I left Rockit, I was a converted chili connoisseur.

ChiliFEST kicks off at the River North location from January 17th-21st and features a different chili recipe each day for a week, in addition to some other chili items that are offered daily. These creative dishes are concocted by chefs James Gottwald and Amanda Downing, the latter of which we met during our taste test session.

Three Wild Hogs Chili
I brought along the BF as my guest of honor and made sure I was hungry when I got there! We started off with the chili that will be featured on Tuesday, the "Three Wild Hogs Chili." This variety featured braised wild boar, bacon, gigante beans, chillies, pepper jack and was topped with pork rinds (yum!). Out of the chilis we sampled this unfortunately was my least favorite. Although it was a creative recipe, it lacked in flavor and the wild boar meat had the texture of pot that how it supposed to be?

Three Wild Hogs Chili (already enjoyed)

Chicken Enchilada Chili
Next up was the "Chicken Enchilada Chili" that is served on Friday of ChiliFEST. This was the chili that I had been most looking forward to because I love enchiladas, and it did not disappoint. This bowl was filled with shredded chicken, pinto beans, enchilada sauce and topped with queso fresco, cilantro and tortilla strips. I have to say, the queso and cilantro really made the dish, and this one had a lot more flavor than the first. Well done chefs!
Chicken Enchilada Chili (already enjoyed)

Chili Mac
We weren't finished yet! Next we sampled two of Rockit's daily chili offerings, the Chili Cheese Fries, and the Chili Mac. Oh my're going to give me a plate of homemade  macaroni and cheese and then top it with homemade turkey chili?! Yes please! This was full of creamy, cheesy goodness...definitely the best comfort food ever. The chili cheese fries were also fantastic and highly recommended with a beer if you ever feel like stopping by Rockit to catch a game.
Chili Cheese Fries

Brownie a la Mode
After eating two servings of chili, plus chili cheese fries, chili mac and several beers to wash it down, it's no wonder we were still hungry! Just for kicks, we added on Rockit's hot fudge brownie a la mode. It was a deliciously sweet ending to a very sweet experience!

The BF and I ate like kings that night and were treated with some of the best service around Chicago. Our waitress and the chefs were very knowledgeable about the dishes we were trying, and they made us feel right at home. Thanks Rockit! We'll be back to check out the other Chili creations! Head over to Rockit and get out of the cold to try some out-of-the-ordinary chili recipes. Rockit Bar and Grill gets 4 stars for their innovative chili, outstanding service and a great ambiance.

Photo Courtesy of Rockit Ranch Productions

Rockit Bar and Grill- River North
22 W. Hubbard, Chicago
ChiliFEST: January 17th-21st, 2011

Monday, January 17th: Bison Chili (ground buffalo, buffalo sausage, pinto beans, apples)

Tuesday, January 18th: Three Wild Hogs Chili (wild boar, bacon, pork crackling, gigante beans, ancho chilies, pepper jack)

Wednesday, January 19th: The Locavore (featuring ingredients supplied by Green City Market farmers and vendors)

Thursday, January 20th: Ghost Chili (hot pepper, angus beef, kidney beans, horseradish cheddar, chili threads)

Friday, January 21st: Chicken Enchilada Chili (shredded chicken, pinto beans, queso fresco, cilantro, enchilada sauce)

Rockit Bar and Grill-Wrigleyville
3700 N. Clark, Chicago
ChiliFEST: January 20th-22nd, 2011 
Thursday, January 20th: Ghost Chili
Friday, January 21st: Chicken Enchilada Chili
Saturday, January 22nd: Three Wild Hogs Chili

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