I’ve lived here in cincinnati for almost a year and can’t at all handle the so-called chili, and i started with an open mind. I love regional foods but this is some crazy stuff. Maybe because it’s called chili, is what messes me up. I can’t handle it even on top of hot dogs, and I consider myself a chili dog conneiseur, at least in the south!
Next time, get to Blue Ash Chili…and be sure to get some Goetta somewhere, I believe both Camp Washington as well as Price Hill Chili both serve it
Well Paul, it’s been 2 years and not a lot of response. However, I’ve been back to Cincinnati twice on business since and managed to stuff 3 more places in. Empress Chili is VERY similar to Skyline/Gold Star/Dixie. Camp Washington has a similar flavor but a different texture to the pasta (more spongy). Price Hill Chili (sort of the "home" for this style of food – at least the home of Skyline). Again the pasta is of the spongy variety, but the chili itself isn’t as heavily spiced as the more well-known places. Reminded me of Steak and Shakes generic attempt [:0]. I guess these days, Price Hill is more known for "double decker" sandwiches. No matter what – GREAT ambience. They don’t make places like this anymore. And I was called "hon" by someone I wouldn’t normally want that from. C’mon, it doesn’t get better….. [;)]
I made a note of this place for the next time I was in Minneapolis. Well I’m here now – and it appears to be gone – or at least it’s not listed in the phone book… bummer! [:(]
Our old neighbors were transplants from Detroit, MI and Erie, PA. Neither of them had previously been familiar with Cincinnati chili and naturally I suggested Skyline and Dixie as potential quick meals when I welcomed them to the neighborhood. He eventually acquired a taste for our chili, but his wife never stopped referring to it as "spicy hamburger soup over spaghetti".
My wife and I have friends who live everywhere from the Carolina’s to Florida. Whenever they find that we’ll be in the "neighborhood" they ask us to pack along a case or so of the local product. (Either Dixie or Skyline. Gold Star seems to be regarded as okay only in a pinch.)
As I said in the very first post on this thread, The difference in the flavor plus the pasta in the bottom of the bowl threw me for a loop my first time around. However I must admit it does grow on you. I prefer my chili in a bowl as opposed to a platter that looks like a variation of of spagetti dinner rather than a bowl of ‘Red’. Flavor is a matter of "there is no comparison"
Much the same as there is no reasonable way to compare BBQ Beef and BBQ Pork…It is an Apples and Oranges type of thing. I hope you get the chance to get some good Cincinnati style chile sometime soon. While you may not jump on the bandwagon, I would expect you to recognize it as a new curve on an old favorite.
Here in Houston on the local radio afternoon commute talk show, there is a running feud between the host of the show and his new intern, a young lady from Cincinnati.
Apparently, to people who grew up eating Skyline chili, being deprived of it would be akin to a transplanted Texan trying to find some enchiladas. This poor girl was so desperate she even tried an off brand can of midwestern style chili, which was awful.
As you can imagine, she gets a lot of grief from the Texan audience about her "so-called" chili.
They keep talking about arranging for some Skyline chili to be sent down and compare it with the one of the chili competition champions.
I have never had that kind of chili, so I could not say, but the feud does provide for some drive-time entertainment!
A short review of mr Stern’s favorite Cincinnati chili establishment appeared today in the weekend dining section of the local paper: http://www.cincinnati.com/freetime/dining/reviews/032604_campwashchili_yum.html
I alway thought cincy chili was german based being there is such a strong german population there. Imagine my shock when I found out the chili shops were started by greek immigrants to cicny.
We have a Chili John’s in Burbank that was opened in the 50s by the Green Bay guys. I thought it curious that they claimed to invent the oyster cracker, but I guess "inventing" a size of cracker is more plausable. It is charming because there are all these metal pots in an island in the center of the counter and they dole out whatever combo of ingredients and heat you order, then throw handfuls of oyster crackers in the to go bag. But I have to say I still like my chili better than any I can ever buy, so I don;t go there much.
What I usually do is make "real chili" [:)] the first day for dinner, then let the rest set a couple of days in the fridge. I’ll add a little cocoa, cinnamon, allspice, and a tiny bit of brown sugar, then serve it over spaghetti with chopped onions, grated cheddar, kidney beans (canned) and whatever hot sauce I have open on the side.
I love "5-ways", but my wife and daughter only eat this meal to be polite, I’m convinced. [:D]
paul and louise
i have never made the same chili twice
some good, some too adventuresome
make your texas red, or basic meat and tomato sauce chili
add beans, then a little cocoa and ginger, cinnamon, turmeric to taste
personally i love cincy chili on a dog[hot that is][;)]
Oh yeah . . . I’m willing to bet the most unique chili place in the Midwest is New Chili Time in Minneapolis (Dinkytown, near the U of M). It’s a combination Cincy-style chili parlor and Ethiopian restaurant. A friend of mine from Cincy said it was "like a mom-and-pop place back home, but not as good as Skyline." The Ethiopian food–well, it’s really not to my taste, but the Africans I went to grad school with raved about it.
There’s a Chili John’s in Beaver Dam, WI which is unrelated to the Chili John’s in Green Bay. It’s a very retro-looking-and-feeling place, like stepping back into the 1940s. (They have a KILLER neon sign on their facade.) The chili is more of a peppery hamburger-and-onion stew; I don’t think there’s any tomato in it at all. Also, unlike the rest of Wisconsin’s chili, it’s pasta-free.
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