Mark and Matt's Chili Trek
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Restaurant NameDon's of Traverse City
Address48730 Grand River Ave
City, State ZIPNovi, MI 48374
Phone248 380 0333
GPS CoordinatesN 42d29.613 W 083d31.850 LAT 42.4936 LONG -83.5308

Restaurant AtmosphereDiner
Chili HeatNone
Chili FlavorNone
Chili TextureSoupy
Chili PricesCup for $3.00, decent sized bowl for $3.75. Bread bowl option available for $5.50.
Chili Fixin'sTwo packages of crackers per bowl.

Comments by Matt Fuerst
Rating: 4
We used to wait a few days between our visit and writing our review, but Mark feels his CRS kicking in and says his memory is in strong competition with goldfish. So here I am with chili still stuck to my teeth noting my thoughts on Don's. We had some very high expectations for Don's... in doing a little "on the clock research" here at work we came across a former Don's chef. In his one sentence statement on Don's, he said something like "If you go to Don's only once, make sure to get the homemade chili." That's a pretty bold statement.

Don's is a pretty cool place outside and in. It's a true diner like experience, being all metallica and decked out in 50's memorabilia. Pretty cool. The waitresses have the full 50's gear on even. Ordering was a tough call, we had chili available, as well as chili in a bread bowl. I didn't think the bread bowl chili would be enough to satisfy but itself, so I went the bowl of chili and a burger route.

Soon, it was chili arrival time. Good points for presentation. We've got a nice sized bowl heaping with chili. Excellent. However, the taste was.... odd. Don's is far and away the sweetest chili I've ever experienced it. In talking with Mark about it I was referring to it as a "tanginess" but knew that wasn't the right word, then he mentioned "sweetness" and it clicked in my mind. Yep, that's it. Additionally the chili is pretty soupy. I don't deduct points for that, soupy chili can be good stuff (I consider the oft-compared Wendy's to be pretty soupy, and very good) but Don's had a strange texture to it's soupy nature, it was extremely smooth, almost milk like in it's liquid. It kind of creeped me out. Needless to say there was no actualy spicy-heat present, but apparently that's a given for restaurant chili.

Overall, a pretty disappointing chili experience. Not exactly cheap, and not exactly tasty, Don's is a place to go to more for the atmosphere than for the chili.
Comments by Mark Everest
Rating: 4
Matt looked up Don's of Traverse City of Wixom on the internet to find that they boast Homemade chili using a Secret Recipe. We're there!

Don's is an old-fashioned 50's diner. It's a pretty cool place and it's non-smoking which is a bonus for me. They offer chili in a cup, bowl, and a bread bowl. I had a hard time deciding if I should get the bread bowl or just a cup with a burger. I opted for a regular bowl and a burger. Good choice.

I was pretty happy getting the bowl with cheese and chunky onion on top. The temperature was nice and hot but the flavor was just a little funky. I can only describe it as sweet which is normally a good thing but just not in chili. There were beans and chucks of tomatoes and add-on-onions but that's about it.

Cheap Matt probably gave it a 3 because it cost more that the $1 Wendy's chili. I'll give it a 4 even despite the atmosphere of the place and the chili presentation. I just wish the chili tasted a little better and of course had some zang.

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