When I'm at Slim's Last Chance Chili in Georgetown, I can't help but think of Austin, Texas. This has nothing to do with its location next to Pig Iron BBQ, by the way. Nor, I think, with the "wild west" aesthetic they strive for. Located several blocks west of Airport Way, Slim's is not in the "heart" of Georgetown per se. (However, the fact that it boasts Chopper's Red Ale on tap from Georgetown Brewing Co., rather than the ubiquitous Manny's Pale Ale, is proof enough of its Georgetown cred.) Slim's is on First Avenue, in that industrial nowhere of warehouses and espresso-supply companies. This means the area can feel sort of desolate at night, which is just fine with me (I've never been a fan of circling for parking). Once you're inside, the coldness and isolation of the surrounding area fades, and the warmth and openness of both the layout and the servers makes you feel like you've stepped into a true neighborhood bar. Obviously, Slim's specializes in chili, but I always go for the fries with chipotle mayo dipping sauce ($5.50), jalapeno mac 'n' cheese ($3.50), and cornbread with honey butter ($2.50). When you pair food like this with impeccable rock-'n'-roll service (think of a less-spicy El Chupacabra server), a garage door that opens to an outdoor seating area (with actual grass!), and a lineup of rockabilly, punk, and garage bands (with the sound engineered by former Crocodile staple Jim Anderson), it makes for a pretty timeless mix. And maybe it's that exact mix that reminds me of Austin, where it's not unusual for a bar to boast good beer, food, service, and music. Is it too late for "Keep Georgetown Weird" bumper stickers?
5606 First Ave. S., 762-7900, www.slimslastchance.com