On one side is the Ballard Blocks, a slick new development that signifies all that is new in Seattle’s salty fisherman enclave. Right next to it are gold letters frozen in the sidewalk concrete that says “Mike’s Chili Parlor.” In 1939 Mike Semandiris built the modest brick building that still houses this local legend. It’s now run by Mike’s son and grandson. The recipe for the chili has been passed down, but never written down in 85 years. Guy Fieri stopped by for his Food Network show “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” recently and the Semandiris’ shared a few secrets.
How do they make this chili that makes Hormel taste like dogfood? Chili is supposed to be chili, one of the few dishes you can’t mess up. At Mike’s they don’t make the chili with beans and other fillers in the meat broth. They cook the meat with it’s stock and secret spices all day in a large pot, it stays on a low simmer for hours. Then when you get the “Big Ass Bowl” for $11 they pour it over beans, and add onions, cheese, sour cream, jalapenos; you won’t eat the rest of the day. They sell it by the gallon too, drop $48 and be the star of your next football tailgate pre-game party.
1447 NW Ballard Way
Seattle, WA 98107