Chili size

Why’s it called that?

A burger with chili is a chiliburger. But serve it open-faced, and it’s a ‘chili size’.

‘Size’ seems to mean ‘open-faced sandwich’ in this case. But we don’t say ‘turkey size’. (Unless it has chili on it?)

So what does ‘size’ mean, and why is it called a ‘chili size’?


Where is it called that? I’ve never encountered the phrase “chili size” before.

Me neither.

Maybe it’s a Left Coast thing, then?

I may have answered my own question:

You guys ever heard of Google? A search for “chili size” will get you the etymology of this strange phrase (which, as a Northern Californian, I had never heard before either). See e.g.

although it doesn’t really explain how the described dish came to be known as “chili size” rather than what would seem more obvious – “hamburger size.”

Just got back from the left coast. After dozens of trips there, I finally learned about “The Hat”.

When I hear “chili”, I think of The Hat now. Man, talk about slopping chili on stuff …they load it up!

Wow. I thought everybody knew about a “chili size.” It must really be a Left Coast thing. But it does give me an idea for lunch! :smiley:

Lucky you! “The Hat” is something that everybody should experience at least once. Did you try the chili cheese fries? Huge, they are.

Or breakfast (five minutes ago). :wink:

Thanks for the help – I didn’t know this either – but as a Guest, you should learn that a condescending “Ever heard of Google?” attitude won’t win you any friends here.

Plus, half the reason some of us ask questions like this is for the “value added” posts by others. It’s fun watching the twists a simple question can elicit.

OK what is “The Hat” and if you think that is goggleable you have better google-fu than me.

The Hat.


More importantly, does the chili have beens in it? Is the stuff tomato based? These are the important questions, daggnabit!

I just called the Upland restaurant, and the answers to these vital questions are:

and No.

I knew exactly what a chili size is, I’ve been eating them from Ma’s Place in Puyallup for years.

Strangely, I never heard the term until I moved to Northern California.

Ate the chili fries at The Hat I did. With cheese.

A meal within itself (but I had the Pastrami Dip, too). Dang good sodas, too.

Chili don’t need no stinkin’ beans!

Hey, Johnny, thanks for asking about this. I’ve wondered ever since I moved to Pasadena for college in 1977.