Best Chili - 2006
Cheyenne Lee's Snak Shak
David Baglin is on a roll. Earlier this year he won Most Edible Hot Chili at Homestead/Florida City's annual Super Chili-Bowl Cook-Off. Last year he took first place at the Springs River Festival in Miami Springs after securing second in 2003. The 45-year-old Baglin credits his grandmother's secret family recipe for his good fortune. "No one made better chili than my grandma," Baglin brags. "I compete in all the cookouts." Baglin, a part-time airline mechanic, has been competing in chili cook-offs for more than seven years, but he didn't parlay his spicy skills into a culinary enterprise until 2003. "I've been to Chicago, Philly, New York," he reveals. "You can find a great chili dog in those cities. So I decided to start selling my own chili dog." He began with Cheyenne Lee's Food Wagon, working as a vendor at the Dade County Youth Fair, the Air and Sea Show in Fort Lauderdale, the Coconut Grove Arts Festival, and other family-oriented special events in South Florida. Today you can sample Baglin's chili at the Cheyenne Lee lunch counter in the food court of the Prime Outlets mall in Florida City. The mall is on East Palm Drive just east of South Dixie Highway where the Florida Turnpike ends. For $4, you can buy a bowl of chili or a chili pie, a deliciously wicked serving of chili piled atop Fritos corn chips. Cough up $6 and you can get a one-pound mound of chili and cheese atop a monster hot dog. Mmmm, good!