Family from L.A. specializes in Texas chili

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CHILIHOUSTON, TX – There’s a saying in Texas that goes something like this: if you can’t put chili on it, it ain’t worth eating. That’s exactly what a family from Los Angeles had in mind when they moved to town and opened the doors on a little restaurant on Fondren road known affectionately as the Chili Shack.

“Chili fries, chili nachos, chili Frito pie, chili spaghetti, chili baked potato,” owner Bernard Montgomery exclaims.

But everyone knows that before you open a restaurant specializing in chili around these parts, you’ve got to have a damn good recipe.

“Texas is a different kind of feel here, everybody here pretty much makes their own chili,” Montgomery says.

The chili at The Chili Shack comes from a secret family recipe, passed down from generation to generation. And if you’re one of those who thinks a crew from Los Angeles couldn’t make a chili set to Texas standards, listen to how much of it they’re selling: “Four to six gallons of chili a day.”

But if that doesn’t do it for you, Chew on This: the folks at the Chili Shack have had offers to package their secret recipe and sell it on supermarket shelves. So far they’ve opted to keep it to themselves, putting it on just about everything you can think of. And some you might not.

“That’s one of the most fun, creative things for us to do, is creating a new product that’s going to tantalize the people so that they’ll come back,” Montgomery says.

And for a guy who’s supposed to be retired, owning a place where chili is king is a treat all its own.