I found this information on the famous Chili Queens of San Antonio and find that the tradition of chili goes back farther than many people think. The real shocker here?
A big plate of chili and beans, with a tortilla on the side, cost a dime.
BEANS? I am going to assume that the beans were served alongside.
Then it looks like it made its way to the 1893 Chicago World's Fair. I wonder if it then made its way to Cincinnati where an aberation was born. Then other parts of the country got into it and now, every sort of nonsense is being called chili. (Vegetarian chili? GET A ROPE!) So there is all of that variation. But what I am wondering now is if there are regional differences within Texas and what the origins might be.
Any wisdom, Oh Guru of Chili?
edit to add: Look what popped up in the New York Forum! "A Taste of Texas on the Sidewalks of New York"