D uring its 24 years in business, Shady Grove has lined the stomachs of thousands of Austinites still dripping from a swim in Barton Springs. The local joint boasts a kid-friendly patio and an outdoor stage that showcases Texas songwriters… and, most notably, a Frito pie that demands you to lie down afterward and breathe shallow, happy breaths.
Though a new executive chef just updated the menu with healthier fare, the chili recipe remains unchanged and is prepped by the same woman who has been doing it for two decades. Three types of chili (ancho! Chipotle! Cascabella!) mix with ground beef that has been crisped, to bring out max flavor, along with a handful of secret spices. Then the whole mess is poured into a bag of Fritos.