Secrets Revealed: The Path To Chili Enlightenment / by MEAT ME

Featuring Doze the guest master himself. Ever since I was in high school I have always had a love for music. Some of my fondest memories were in band. I played the tuba and I was proud of it. I was not your typical band dork (at least I like to think that). I was in great shape, on occasion I rode a motorcycle and I carried the appetite of the entire band on my shoulders. On Wednesday nights we had band practice from 5 to 8:30pm. What was a high schooler to do with all that time? Study? Nope, EAT!  

My band director and mentor Marcos Mendoza (aka Doze) shared my love for food and music. Often times there were only a hand full of us hanging out after school waiting for practice. Doze would offer to take us out for food. These places included McDonalds, In-N-Out, and Tommy’s. I remember on one occasion I wanted to get a 9 by 9 at In-N-Out Burger, he thought I as crazy and said, “If you eat the whole thing I will pay for it.”

Not only did I finish this thing I got French fries and a drink to show I had the gut for glory. I have so many fond memories of not being able to move during practice because of what I ate for dinner. Like any champ I never had any issues with it coming back up. Unless you count the time the wrestling team turned me upside down into a trash can (which was not by choice) I had a perfect record. The unfortunate benefits of having the band room next to the weight room.

Thanks to playing tuba any cool factor I may have possessed was gone. Food challenges were nothing to be ashamed of. In high school you might be able to make fun of me but I could have devoured your lunch before you were done beating me up.

Since I have started this blog I knew it was missing something and that thing was advise of Doze. He taught me everything I know about eating at Tommy’s. When I was a young freshmen in high school we often went on afternoon trips to Tommy’s. Being the noob that I was I would order the double chili cheese burger with extra chili, chili cheese fries, and a large diet coke. Doze would sit there and laugh at me as bite after bite the chili would fall right off of the burger. This often left me with barley any chili and more meat and cheese than I new what to do with… I would look at Doze and say, “I don’t get it... what am I doing wrong?”

He said, “Oh you have so much to learn young grass hopper!”

And I am thinking what is this guy talking about? He said, “Sean you’re doing it all wrong. Don’t order extra chili on your burger. Your just going to waste it. Order the chili boat (a side of chili) and grab a spoon. Peal back the burger paper, get a spoon full of chili, and put it right on top of the burger before each bite. Do this each time and every bite will be filled with happiness!”

It was like the clouds opened up and I saw the light. From that point on my life had been changed forever. Not only that, but I had extra chili for the fries that did not have any on them. Never was I robbed of chili again.

With eyes wide open I could see the genius that was Doze. I had no idea why all these kids followed him around doing whatever he wanted them to do… The myth of the legend was true... Doze Knows. This man had the answers to everything, and being the sponge that I was... I needed to know.

So what better way to honor and respect him than break chili burgers and diet cokes over dinner. Having read the blog Doze agreed to do dinner and let me share his secrets of chili enlightenment with the world.  I arrived around 8 pm and he was about 30 minutes late. Which is normal and would not have been the same if he was not. We ordered the trifecta. Double chili cheeseburger, mustard, chili cheese only, french fries, and a large diet coke. Not to forget the chili boat with cheese only (for me). In a matter of minutes the food was ready and we carefully escorted it to the table. Doze, the master that he is, grabbed the paper towels. It was bad enough we forgot our bullet proof vest to this part of town… No paper towels could have been fatal!

Step one: Pull the burger paper back. Step two: Get a scoop of chili. Step three: Place the chili right over the area where you are going to bite. Step four: Enjoy! Step five: Repeat steps one thru five. It was awesome! It felt just like that musical montage from Zoolander where all the male models are laughing hysterically and pouring gasoline all over each other. I felt just like that. We looked and smiled at each other after every bite visually confirming the epic-ness of our oral satisfaction. After the second scoop I said, “This is just like reloading a gun…” he replied, “Pointed directly at your heart!” We both laughed.

Tommy’s is so life changing that everybody and there mom is trying to rip them off. There is Tomy’s Tommies, Tomee’s the list goes on forever. There is only one way to know you are at The Original Tommy’s. When you get the chili boat let it sit for about 60 seconds, you will notice a 1/16 of an inch layer of grease over the top of the chili. That is Original Tommy’s. That is the sign of perfection. Not to mention about an hour after you have eaten... you should feel a slight chili hangover. The sign is being a little sluggish in your step.

Our dinner eventually came to an end. As sad as it was for both us, happiness was consuming every ounce of joy on our tray. As time passes some of the best memories I have were over food. To be honest I would not trade it for anything anything in the world.

Who knows what memories our future will hold until we MEAT again.

To find your Original Tommy’s Locations go to

Meat Memories,
Sean Rice aka MEAT ME