A walk into Klee’s is a walk into a friendly neighborhood tavern. It’s a place of comfort with great food, a heritage staff with attention to service and an overall experience that has always been enjoyable for me.

Big Joe Henry/ Cinecall Productions
Big Joe Henry/ Cinecall Productions
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Klee’s has a terrific history that goes back to 1928 when the Klee’s family owned and operated a dry goods store, then during prohibition a port ion of that store became a speak easy. With the repeal of prohibition in 1933 that portion of the building became Klee’s Bar and Grill.

Klee’s was operated and owned by the family until they sold it to the current owners in 1978. It’s such a pleasure to see family take pride in ownership and continue a wonderful reputation as a Seaside Heights institution for almost one hundred years.

Big Joe Henry/ Cinecall Productions
Big Joe Henry/ Cinecall Productions
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Those of you who know me know that I love a good bar and Klee’s has a great bar with great bartenders. You can enjoy a classic cocktail, many local IPA beers or summer favorites and they constantly rotate special drinks on their specialty drink menu. The food is awesome with Klee’s being famous for their pizza, burgers and dessert. I tried the bread pudding and honestly, I haven’t had a better bread pudding anywhere on this wonderful planet. With that said the one thing I always have at

Big Joe Henry/ Cinecall Productions
Big Joe Henry/ Cinecall Productions
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Klee’s is the chili. I love their chili and if I do say so myself, I make a pretty good chili but Klee’s chili gives me a run for my money. When I approached Klee’s about this cookbook, I pushed to get their chili recipe to share for you, ok maybe for me and they have graciously agreed to share their recipe and I love them for that.

Big Joe Henry/ Cinecall Productions
Big Joe Henry/ Cinecall Productions
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Chef Ryan allowed me in his kitchen and cooked up a pot. Normally they make a pot for 100 servings. Go to Klee’s enjoy the history, the service, the food and drink no matter what neighborhood you’re from, Klee’s will become your neighborhood tavern.

Big Joe Henry/ Cinecall Productions
Big Joe Henry/ Cinecall Productions
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Klee’s Bar and Grill Chili (Serves 4- 6)

Ingredients:

2.5 Lbs of ground beef (use 80/20)

1 cup of diced onions

¼ cup chopped garlic

1.5 oz of chili powder

1 tsp of cayenne pepper

1 tbsp cumin

3 Lbs of kidney beans

1.5 Lbs diced tomatoes

1 tbsp of pepper

Big Joe Henry/ Cinecall Productions
Big Joe Henry/ Cinecall Productions
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Cook and brown ground beef with onion and drain fat. Add garlic salt and pepper and cook in for 5 minutes. Next add chili powder, cayenne and cumin. Cook and blend spices into meat for 5 more minutes. Stir in kidney beans and diced tomatoes and simmer for 1 hour stirring occasionally.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Big Joe Henry/ Cinecall Productions
Big Joe Henry/ Cinecall Productions
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Cook time 1 hour 10 minutes

Big Joe note: In talking with Chef Ryan the longer that you can cook this at a slow simmer the better it will thicken and the spices will marinate for better flavor. I like to serve this with cornbread...check out my recipe, sliced jalapeño’s, sour cream diced red onion and grated cheddar cheese. Pour yourself your favorite beer or a glass of good pinot noir to go with this great dish. It’s very good!

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 weekend host Big Joe Henry. Any opinions expressed are Big Joe’s own.

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