All week long, Downtown Duluth businesses and restaurants have been taking part in "Get Downtown." Each business has offered some sort of discount or deal to entice people to come on and see what's going on in Downtown Duluth. It's great for us at the station because we work downtown in the Holiday Center. I just so happened to find the best chili I may have ever had at a restaurant by mistake the other day.

I've had some long days at work, and haven't been able to get home for lunch like I normally do. Lunches average around $12-15 a meal these days, and that really adds up. So I try to limit how often I eat out, but sometimes you just can't avoid it. The good news is this week there were so many good options at a discounted rate at local eateries.

I was in the skywalk when I walked by a menu board at Valentini's Deli that had their featured menu item of the day. There were also some soups to go. I had intended to get the featured item, but when I got to the area, the tray was empty. They were busy that day and a huge group had just cleared it out.

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I didn't have a lot of time, so I looked over and saw that there was chili in the soup section. I lifted the lid, and I thought it smelled pretty good. "Well, might as well grab this and go," I thought. So I did, brought it back to my desk, and dug in.

Ken Hayes
Ken Hayes

Oh my God, this chili was good. Why? It was a perfect consistency. It wasn't too soupy, it wasn't too thick. It tasted like chili and had just the right amount of spice. It wasn't bland, but it wasn't going to give me heartburn all afternoon. The ground beef in the chili was tender, the onions were perfect, and it just was a delicious hearty bowl of chili.

It was so good that I went back the next day to see if they had any extra to-go bowls in their take-n-go refrigerator. It may be the best chili I've had in a restaurant. Don't be fooled by the fact that they are an Italian Restaurant. They can cook anything!

I guess I shouldn't be surprised. I haven't had anything at Valentini's Deli or their Bistro that I haven't thoroughly enjoyed.

So if you're downtown and looking for lunch, consider popping in and seeing what they have on the menu. I bet you'll like it.

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