Life is Just a Bowl of Chili     white logo           

Story and Photography by Chris Poh

While I at least in theory support the notion of sharing the planet with my fellow human beings, there is nothing quite as satisfying as strolling the beach alone after the tourists and summer residents have returned home to face the rigors and responsibilities of the fall and winter. I do so enjoy those chilled invigorating walks along the shoreline, where the only sounds to be heard are the calls of seabirds and the unrelenting pounding of North Atlantic surf. But there is a price to be paid for this temporary coastal hermitage—cold hands, numb feet, frozen earlobes and chapped lips.

My thoughts on those days inevitably turn to whiskey, strong ales and bowls of hot chili; but those places that would normally provide refuge from the elements have been shuttered for the season. All but the hardiest of tavern owners seem to have taken their intemperance to more temperate destinations. Ah, but at least near Easton’s Beach in Newport, Rhode Island there is a haven that stands up to the vagaries of New England weather. There is always a warm welcome from the good-natured staff at Jimmy’s Saloon no matter what the time of year.

This local’s favorite is very much appreciated for a number of reasons.  Jimmy’s is that classic neighborhood pub with a relaxed atmosphere where anyone can just shoot the breeze or shoot a friendly game of pool. There is a vibrant music scene on weekends that includes live acts on Friday nights and a bit of karaoke on Saturday. For those that would rather not perch at the bar, there is plenty of space to either hang out or hide. There is of course a fine selection of beer and whiskey—and then there is MISS BEV’S CHILI.

Beverly Bias at Jimmy's Saloon in Newport, RI as seen in American Public House Review

Beverly Blais is the producer and purveyor of this remarkable recipe, and from the point of view of this roving connoisseur of the con carne, she serves up what might just be the best damn bowl of chili this side of the Pecos. And in many ways Miss Bev is a mirror of that delectable dish. She possesses a warm soul, a good heart, is perfectly spiced and she has an outstanding finish. Then again, this observation comes by way of someone who believes that a bowl of chili can be a metaphor for all of humankind.

The unique characteristics of every individual are determined by the quality of the ingredients, a bit of secret spicing, and the time and care that goes into preparation. At Jimmy’s Saloon in Newport every bowl of chili is a well crafted work of art. Just be aware that Miss Beverly’s bowls are only available until mid-afternoon—the metaphoric ones are usually available until closing.

Jimmy's Saloon

37 Memorial Boulevard
Newport Rhode Island 02840-3737

Eastons beach in Newport RI as seen in American Public House Review
Easton's Beach in Newport Rhode Island

Bartender Jackie and patron Bob at Jimmy's Saloon in Newport, RI as seen in American Public House Review
Bartender Jackie and Bob, a regular patron, enjoy a friendly game of Gin rummy. The relaxed atmosphere is another reason apart from the excellent chili that Jimmy's has become a go to place for the locals in the mood for a friendly ear and a casual cocktail.

Miss Bev's Chili sign at Jimmy's Saloon in Newport, RI as seen in American Public House Review

Mirror at Jimmy's Saloon in Newport RI as seen in American Public House Review

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