Inspired by the original chili queens from the late 19th century, the new food truck Texas Chili Queens brings back the classic Texas street food with a twist!
Born in Austin and raised in Dallas, founder and owner Edward Hambleton spent most of his twenties in New York City. Upon moving back to Texas and settling in Austin, Edward rediscovered the joy of Frito pie. Shortly after moving back in the fall of 2012, Edward organized a Frito pie Thanksgiving feast at work. Some of his coworkers were recent arrivals to Texas, so they had never heard of the dish. Other coworkers were returning Austinites, so they had been away from such a culinary delicacy. Well, in researching chili recipes for the event, Edward stumbled across the history of the chili queens of San Antonio. These enterprising Texan women simmered meat and chiles during the day to sell at night in the central Military Plaza of San Antonio. They arguably popularized the dish we now call chili in the closing years of the 19th century. At the turn of the century chili powder companies sprang up and the chili parlor started to appear. Laws were passed and the original chili queens were basically shut down. Chili became a popular “cook-off” dish, and in the late 1970s, the Texas legislature designated chili the state dish of Texas. Although, the chili queens were almost forgotten history.
Now their story is getting another chapter. The Texas Chili Queens food truck brings this history back to the street of the capital city, except there’s a 21st century twist. Come sate your appetite and find out why the Texas Chili Queens is the toast of the town!