Name: Skyline Chili
Location: All Throughout Ohio
Meal: 4-Way Chili & Spaghetti, Cheese Coney, and Pepsi
Type: Chili Parlor/ Quick serve
Ohio has many things to be proud of, Skyline Chili has to be near the top of the list. I find it pretty interesting that as popular as Cincinnati style chili parlors are throughout SW Ohio they remain unknown to much of the outside world. Skyline is by far the most dominant of the chili chains with at least a hundred locations; if I had to guess it is a result of their a)great recipe and b)AMAZING service. If this blog doesn’t make it obvious, I’ve eaten at many restaurants, Skyline consistently has some of the very best service I’ve seen. If think the longest time from ordering to eating freshly prepared food was 3 minutes (remember I’m partial to counter seats).
First, let’s address Cincinnati chili. Cincinnati chili can be viewed as much chili as it is spaghetti sauce. Created by a Greek immigrant in 1920s it is not the chunky hearty chili often associated with Texas. While Skyline keeps their recipe secret you can definitely taste a few unique ingredients: cinnamon being one of them, garlic, cumin, and chili powder as well. Chocolate is rumored to be another of the secret ingredients. Whatever it is in there it works. Cincinnati chili is a thinner than you expect for a chili but that makes it a great topping. Chili over spaghetti can be served up with some variations: cheese is a 3-way, onions or kidney beans a 4-way, and all of them a 5-way. Don’t forget the customary bowl of oyster crackers they give you when you sit down. I am partial to a cheese and onion 4-way. As you can see in the picture, their cheese is no joke, it is freshly shredded and piled on. There is so much cheese that normally the first half of your meal will involve unmelted cheese, really a great contrast taste-wise.
Coneys are the small hot dogs Skyline sells. Their sausage is proprietary, mild but not bland and small. The perspective is not off in the picture, Coneys are only about 3 inches long. As is my policy when I visit a new place with toppings options, I get the usual which in this case is all the way (chili, cheese, and mustard). Skyline has a fairly diverse menu (salads, burritos, and wraps) but I wouldn’t waste my time with them. I’m sure they’re fine but unless you can visit a Skyline whenever you’d like you’ll want to focus all your energy on 4-ways and coneys.
Cincinnati chili is another of the great regional foods of America. Most people are hesitant at first when they see it but trust me, you’ll be hooked once you have some for yourself.