Chili Mac has been a part of my life as long as I can remember. Growing up, Wally’s Drive-In was the best place in the world for a hamburger, onion rings, or a chili-mac. I suppose they had other things on the menu, but I wouldn’t know. I never wanted or ordered anything besides those 3 items.
Wally’s had been a staple in my hometown and it was a sad day when the last carhop delivery was made and the doors were locked permanently.
It would be a long time before a genuine chili-mac made an appearance in my life. Oh, I’d seen chili-macs on menus and saw recipes for chili-mac, but let’s face it, those were never anything more than chili, with or without beans, glopped on top of spaghetti noodles.
I feel the same way about chili dogs, coney dogs, etc. None will ever be as good as Jaenick’s Root Beer Stand Red Hots and Sauce Buns. Those are not your everyday chili dogs and bear no resemblance to coney dogs at every “coney island” type restaurant I have seen pop up over the years. But that discussion is left for another day, another post.
I encountered my first Steak ‘N Shake a few years after Wally’s closed. It was almost identical to Wally’s. They even had a drive-through. Then we moved…….again. No Steak ‘N Shake in sight or even within an hour’s drive. So, what’s a girl to do? Make your own recipe.
Add ground beef, 1 cup ketchup, chili seasoning, and Worcestershire sauce in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Simmer 2 hours.
Warm extra ketchup in microwave or a small saucepan.
Place spaghetti into a bowl, top with ketchup and beef mixture. Sprinkle any additional toppings you want.
Serve with saltine crackers and grated Parmesan cheese.
Other recipes similar to restaurants from my past: