What: Surly Girl's Traditional Meaty and Vegetarian chilis ($5)
Why: Thesis, Antithesis, Synthesis
The towering 17th-century German philosopher and noted would-be chili lover G.W.F. Hegel would've loved the Surly Girl Saloon. No doubt he'd have been a sucker for its brash and maximally glitzy sassy-girl style and 'tude as well as the dialectic that arises from SG's two kinds of chili.
Put briefly, Hegel (or maybe Kant) believed that from opposite postulates can come a synthesizing resolution. And that describes my experience with Surly Girl's seductive chilis. Because on the one hand there's the meaty, rich, tartly tomatoey chili-powder powered and kidney-bean-sprinkled variety we all know and love - only better (thesis). Then there's the completely meat-free, but equally audacious all-veggie version, with its high-toned potent flavors emanating from mixed peppers and mixed squashes like zucchini and yellow plus cannellini beans (antithesis).
What I do is order a bowl of half and half, thereby enjoying the best of both worlds (synthesis). Philosophy never tasted so good.