Earlier this week, I was in Northern Kentucky for work and found myself at not one, but two institutions of culinary importance in the Greater Cincinnati area.
I will start with my favorite – Cincinnati chili.
For you chili-lovers, this is not ordinary chili. In fact, the Cincinnatian would tell you that there is little in common between Cincinnati chili and its Texan brethren.
Cincinnati chili, known as either Skyline, Gold Star or Dixie Chili, is a smooth chili sauce comparable to a marinara sauce. This comparison is made greater since it is served as a topping for spaghetti with a softball size mound of cheddar cheese on top. It is not chunky. There are no whole tomatoes or peppers. It is heaven-sent.
You order it as either a 3-way, a 4-way, a 5-way or a coney.
Spaghetti, chili and cheese is a 3-way. Add beans or onions and you get a 4-way. Add both beans and onions and, you guessed it, a 5-way.
A coney dog is a small beef hot dog with mustard, chili and more cheddar cheese.
These dietary delights are not for the lactose intolerant, any heart patient or someone with any kind of digestion challenges. Most newbies, who find themselves staring down a plate of the stuff, will have to overcome the bazaar appearance of this “chili.”
Never the less, if you love it, you’ll love it for life. You’ll want it whenever you can get it. (Thank goodness I do not live in Ohio any more – I’d be 400 lbs and taking heart pills every morning.) And…if you do not love it at first, you may grow to like it, but you’ll never really need the fix.
I love it.
My parents used to have it packed on dry ice in a cooler and get it shipped to Florida on a regular basis. In the 80’s, some Ohioans moved to South Florida and opened a Skyline franchise, much to the delight of other Cincinnati chili-lovers. Then, Skyline started selling frozen and canned chili in retail outlets (even our friendly Publix now carries it.) Gold Star and Dixie are sold in cans on-line as well.
Still, there is something to be said for getting the real deal in Cincy.
So after de-planing and before I hopped in a cab to go to the office, I stopped for a 3-way and a coney. And it was so good.
If that was not enough, once I got to the office, my boss informed me that we’d be enjoying yet another Cincy local fav for dinner.
The Montgomery Inn Boathouse has been a staple in Cincinnati since 1951. In 2008, it was Zagat rated “very good to excellent” with high marks for their famous ribs and sauce. Bill Cosby, George W. Bush, James Brown and plenty of other dignitaries and celebrities are huge fans of the place.
I ordered an “order” which is half slab. It was too much though after the chili. I gave up after only 3 ribs.
What a day.
Now, I am back to work in good ‘ol Jacksonville. Lots going on here.
- We’ve got a new captain at the helm of our ship.
- Vader has learned to swim.
- Three parties in three days this weekend.
- We might actually have some drywall up soon. It will be nice when it does not look like this any more.
I hope you all have a lovely Independence Day. Perhaps have something sweet!
(If you want to make this something sweet, click here.)
Stay safe and be safe.