Beginning at 11 a.m. today, the first 500 people who accept a voucher at either of Philippe's entrances will receive a free 6 oz. cup of chili (normally $2.10) with purchase of any sandwich.

The free chili is courtesy of Dolores Canning Company. Whether or not you know it, you've probably already tasted this chili in one of its umpteen local variations. Based on a family recipe, it's made with ground beef, chile pepper, paprika and beef hearts then frozen into bricks and sold to numerous restaurants throughout Southern California. (Even Dolores' owners aren't sure how many.) Each eatery then doctors the chili however it pleases. At Philippe's, the chili bricks are reconstituted with beef stock instead of water to give it a richer flavor.

The family-owned company was founded more than 50 years ago, and also makes other products including raw carne asada and jarred pork rinds and pig's feet.

Consumers can buy the chili bricks at various local stores. They retail for $4 each.

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