Late in the afternoon, when hunger finally commanded my attention, I ventured into downtown Helena to find a place called The Parrot that I had read about on a website. The Parrot was opened in 1922 as a confectionary and lucheon counter and is still turning out delectable sweets and world class chili to this day. They have a real, full on soda fountain where they make drinks with quaint names like Phosphate and Egg Cream. When I ordered a root beer float, the gal making it started with syryp, added soda and did some mumbo jumbo with a spoon and a scoop and voila! I also got a foot long to go under some of that famous chili and when the soda jerkress put it down in front of me, I pronounced it a masterpiece. She agreed.
And so, the perfect straighfoward chili dog became a lovely symbol for my modest day. Even if midwesterners do think beans are an ingredient in chili. Hmmphh.