Located at 6737 W. 75th St. in old Overland Park,KS Fritz's serves something that cannot be properly described. To call it chili is not quite right at all as it bears almost no resemblance to what the average person would think of as chili. For starters it's served on a plate, not in a bowl and the very idea of putting it in a bowl wouldn't really approach you. It doesn't have a tomato base like other chilis and really isn't a soup or stew or anything like that.

You get a few basic choices: size (large, medium, or small) and beans or beans and beef. Past that you're more or less on your own. Sure you can order it soupy (extra bean juice), you can get it on a hot dog or with some spaghetti (I think... but don't hold me to it). You can even order the slightly more unusual options like pickles or stick with onions, cheese and other more familiar condiments (all cost extra). After placing an order and having it arrive you basically have a pile of cooked, ground beef resting on another pile of pinto beans. They're cooked, but terribly mild and without much in the way of flavor. To this end you add your chosen accoutrements as well as chili powder (homemade recipe), vinnegar pepper sauce, crackers and what have you to produce the level of spice and flavor you want. In the end though you still have a plate of ground meat and beans more or less vaguely tossed together that doesn't taste much like chili.

It's a local place though and it's been around for as long as I can hope to remember (and related to me as existing long before I would have had the chance) with the cheap, but clean decor that tends to imply. Still... it's not really chili and anyone hoping to get a nice big bowl of the good stuff will end up going home disappointed. If you get a chance though, stop by and enjoy it for what it is.

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