Chili – Big Belly Deli – Sykesville, Maryland

Chili with Garlic Bread

I have written about Big Belly Deli in the past, and it’s a place I enjoy visiting. They had chili with garlic bread listed as their daily special, so I decided to go there for lunch. We are expecting some fall weather soon, so I thought this would be a good preview. The temperature today is just over 70, with some winds (10-15 mph). The winds were not making it hotter or colder, but were blowing around some pollen, which just adds an extra layer of fun. I prefer a same temperature wind when the weather is below freezing. When it’s anything above that, I prefer a colder wind. I had the unfortunate experiences in Southern California with Santa Ana winds. Nothing like going out in 100 degree weather with with winds gusting to make it feel like 110-115 degrees. A bit off topic there, but that’s just me. We are supposed to be in the upper 40s tonight and tomorrow should have a high of the mid 60s. That is perfect weather for me. I’ll still be able to wear shorts, and won’t have to worry about needing to use any AC.

Back to the food, though. I ordered a bowl of chili, which came with the garlic bread. They are both represented in my picture, even though I think the picture looks sort of like a bunny. The garlic bread had good flavor. I preferred the inside part – softer, buttery, garlicky goodness. The crust was good to dip into the chili. The chili was a perfect portion. There were chunks of ground beef, some onions, some green and red peppers. The seasonings were on point for a good chili. Not too spicy, not too much tomato flavor. And the chunks of veggies and meat gave it the good consistency. When you add the melty cheese into those bites, it made for an outstandingly hearty lunch. Would I order this again? Yes, I would. This chili would also do well on other things, but it is good enough to stand on its own. Happy flavors today help keep me positive and raring to go for the weekend!


Chili and Cheese Baked eggs

Last night, I decided to try something new. I had some leftover canned chili from the day before (chili burgers for National Cheeseburger day). I decided that I wanted to bake it with some eggs and cheese in ramekins. I have had a set of ramekins for more than 10 years, but this is the first time I actually used any of them.

I set the oven to 350. I combined the chili, 2 eggs, milk (eyeballed about 2 tablespoons) and shredded cheddar cheese in a bowl. Once mixed, I buttered the ramekins and portioned out the mixture. I added some spicy sauce and gently mixed it in. I put it in the oven and baked it for 20 minutes. The center was jiggling a bit too much, so I put it in for another 5 minutes. The center had just a slight jiggle, so it was good to come out. I topped it off with a little sour cream. It turned out pretty good in terms of taste. The sauce added the perfect kick to it. The texture could have been a little better. I think that the next time I make something like this, I will whisk the eggs first, then whisk in the milk, and then combine the rest of the ingredients. I feel that it needed some more consistent fluffiness, and combining all the ingredients at once did not get me the desired result.

Now, onto the spicy sauce. I don’t know if this is still in production. It’s called Scotty B’s Ghostly Garlic sauce and is probably the best spicy sauce I’ve had. There is a nice kick due to the Ghost Peppers, but the flavor is what wins me over. It doesn’t burn the tongue or back of throat, so you are able to enjoy the combination of flavors of the garlic and the Ghost Peppers.

When I lived in California, I first encountered this at Whole Foods. My sister and I went on one of our long runs/walks (about 8 miles) and we stopped at Whole Foods for a food and coffee drink break. We got their breakfast pizza, which was really good, by the way. When looking for something to go with the pizza, I looked at the different sauces and this one stuck out. It only took a little bit of the sauce to enhance the flavor. My sister cannot stand spicy food at all, but even she would continue to eat this sauce.

I left California just over 4 years ago, and missed out on the sauce. One of my other sisters found these on-line a couple of Christmases ago, so I’ve been savoring them as long as I can before my supply runs out.

So I had some good food and some good memories last night. That makes for a positive experience. Missing things and people can bring on moments of sadness, but as long as I focus on the positive aspects, everything is all right. Stay positive and enjoy!