Real Chili, The Beanless Kind

With its mascot of a kid sitting morosely in an old-fashioned tub, the Hard Times Café invokes the feel of the American Dust Bowl era. But the only hard time you'll have in this local chain is deciding what to order. A magnificent jukebox in the center of the restaurant, and wooden booths give the place a dive bar feel.

The menu boasts a vast array of chili concoctions — you can have your chili on spaghetti, Fritos, cornbread, burgers or cheese fries.  The Texas chili is succulent, dark and meaty, while the Cincinnati chili is tomato-based with a faint note of cinnamon.  The vegetarian chili is a bit spicy but decent, and non-Texans beware — there are no beans in this establishment!