Go behind the counter at Real Chili

Go behind the counter at Real Chili

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88Nine Radio Milwaukee

This month on In The Wings our topic is Milwaukee Icons.

We’ve been to Mad Planet and Carmex, and this week, we’re checking out a famous Milwaukee food — Real Chili.

The business was founded 86 years ago, and current owner Steve Kastelic says nothing much has changed over the years.

“We try to adhere to the tradition the best we can,” he said. “I think there’s a bit of responsibility to it.”

The recipe is a closely guarded secret.  Kastelic says only him and the previous owner know it.

But the basic formula consists of heavily spiced meat, served atop a bed of beans and spaghetti.

You can add “cheese sour” — cheddar and sour cream — onions and jalepenos, all depending on your palette.

What’s the difference between mild and hot? Where did chili come from in the first place?

Click the player below to hear from Steve, and longtime employee, Micky.

Real Chili has two locations, near Marquette at 1625 W Wells St. and just off Cathedral Square at 419 E Wells St.

Next week, our “Milwaukee Icons” series continues as we take you to the Bradley Center for the 25th annual — and final — performance of the Harlem Globetrotters in Milwaukee.

For more stories from our In The Wings series, click the tiles below.