Chili cook-off heats up East Lansing

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Carly Giles hands out chili outside of Leo’s Coney Island on Albert Avenue.

By Sean Deters

Entirely East Lansing

Harper’s Restaurant and Brew Pub won the East Lansing chili cook-off.

Eight restaurants participated in the chili cook-off that took place in downtown East Lansing on March 28. Participants  competed for the Golden Spoon Trophy, bragging rights and  $300 in advertising supplied by the East Lansing Downtown Management Board.

Competitors included Beggars Banquet, Buffalo Wild Wings, Cosi, Harper’s Restaurant and Brew Pub, HopCat, Leo’s Coney Island, Potbelly Sandwich Shop and What Up Dawg? Samplers were asked to rate the color, aroma, flavor and heat of each restaurant’s chili.

Amanda Lapres, who works at HopCat, was optimistic about winning the event.

“Just look at how the chili glistens in the sun, the color is beautiful and it tastes delicious,” she said.

While some had stations outside, other restaurants set up their chili stations indoors. Matt Post, who was managing Harper’s during the cook-off, not only viewed the cook-off as a great community event, but an opportunity to turn a profit as well.

“I’m hoping people will buy a beer to go along with the chili,” said Post. “Ours is pretty spicy and a cold beer is the remedy,” he joked.

A few restaurants offered cheese and peppers as toppings while others including Cosi provided bread as a complement to the chili. Lansing Community College Sophomore Mariah Dulmage said the bread along with the chili made Cosi the winner in her mind.

“The chili alone is great, but dipping the bread in it takes it to another level,” she said.

“I liked how theirs was green,” Dulmage’s friend Kara Blattler added. “Everyone else’s was red… Cosi stood out from the rest,” said Blattler

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