Remembering a regular

Illustration by Margaret Larkin

The late Tony Rodriguez was “just a good ol’ dude who everybody loved around here,” according to Daniel Delagnes, the owner of the Round Corner (2333 S Street). Sadly, Rodriguez passed after winning the popular vote at the first chili contest at the tavern. In his memory, Rodriguez’s name got added to the title: The Tony Rodriguez Memorial Chili Cook Off is now in its third year at Round Corner. On January 13 at noon, contestants will pay $25 to enter their chili, while taste-testers pay $5 for a sampling of each steaming pot. Winners will be chosen by a popular vote, and judges include Drian Perez, the Round Corner’s chef. Some of the proceeds will go to the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Sacramento Area, an organization that Delagnes said made a large difference in his life after his own father passed at a young age. At the cook-off, expect to see a variety of chili, including a vegetarian option that, Delagnes joked, has “no chance of winning.”