March 16, 2009

Lunch: 5-way chili at Skyline.

Back in the first post of the day, Michael Hasenstab said:
Althouse, could you post a photo of a steaming hot bowl of chili from Skyline or Red Star? Having a good sensory memory, I'll be able to smell it through the computer screen.
Yes, I can. I think you mean Gold Star Chili, but, in any case, we went to Skyline and got the 5-way chili.

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92 comments:

DADvocate said...

Cincinnati style chili is amazingly good. My kids won't eat regular chili any more. I prefer Skyline, a 3 or 4 way - no beans. I cook it at home too. Kroger sells a couple of brands of the spice packets. It's very easy to make.

Maxine Weiss said...

Too bad you didn't go to the Proctor & Gamble Cafe and have a Pringles casserole.

MadisonMan said...

There's a test for a budding relationship: Beans.

bearing said...

Ohhhh. I'm home.

Maxine Weiss said...

Do they wash their flatware in ...Cascade?

Did the table have a distinct aroma of lemon-fresh Pledge ?

Lem said...

It’s Obama’s recession food ;)

Do they have Obama’s chicken fingers by any chance?

I'm not making this up (check Drudge)

kristinintexas said...

Aww, sitting on the same side of the booth?? Love it!

dbp said...

I work with a woman who grew up in Ohio and she has described it as normal there to have spaghetti topped with chili.

I never quite believed it until now.

It looks good, but I'm not sure if I could eat that without permanent damage to my Italian/American soul.

knox said...

Cincinnati style chili is amazingly good.

Agreed. I've actually never had Skyline, but that's how I make it at home. On spaghetti, topped with cheese, jalapenos, a little sour cream. I mix only a small amount of beans in with the chili itself.

Lem said...

I’m banking Althouse is going to make a run of her own ;)

cardeblu said...

I have never seen noodles in chili before.

Somehow, that just doesn't seem right...

cardeblu said...

I take my previous comment back. I guess something like "chili mac-n-cheese" would be close to it, but that's usually casserole style, not a separate topping on spaghetti noodles.

Ann Althouse said...

@kristinintexas I knew someone would notice.

***

BTW, I ate the whole thing. And while I would have preferred the beanless version... and the spaghettiless version... but I asked my companion to order for me -- you have to request a menu -- and he chose the full Cincinnati experience.

***

I guess once, long ago, someone wanted spaghetti with meat sauce and the closest thing they had to meat sauce was some chili, so they just threw it together and it became a tradition. It's just a particular way of spicing the meat sauce ... with added beans... and very large amount of onions.

Quasimodo said...

Skyline (or Gold Star or any of the others) is chili in name only. It's really more like spaghetti sauce as envisioned by Greek immigrants. It has no relationship to what the rest of the country recognizes as "chili."

American Liberal Elite said...

Save room for some Graeter's ice cream, and don't forget to play a couple of games of "corn hole". Maybe a trip across the river to Big Bone Lick State Park.

Titushadaveryniceweekend said...

Did you get any chili with your cheese? What is the calorie intake of that baby?

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

Titus, if you have to ask the calorie count, you can't afford it!

lawroark said...

Ann, I second the recommendation for Graeter's ice cream. It would be huge mistake to miss it. Black raspberry chip is the flavor to try.

paul a'barge said...

Oh dear.

Did you tell Jonathon Cohen Althouse that you ate that stuff and called it Chili?

Surely he can post some pictures of real Chili from Austin in response.

Greg said...

Appalling. Spaghetti in chili? Why not a scoop or two of cat litter as well?

Hrumpf.

Trooper York said...

Madison Man, they calling eating beans on a date the acid-reflux test.

Henry Buck said...

Cincinnati chili is a great American concoction, like Stouffer's Mexican Style French Bread Pizza.

traditionalguy said...

When do we get to see your desert selections? This will soon be a travel-Food blog in addition to a Con-Law blog and a Breast-in-show blog. This is all together now become a wonderful life blog, complete with its own Dog mascot.

amba said...

Oh, GROSS!!!! :D

Lawgiver said...

Dam that looks good.

garage mahal said...

"Althouse digs in".

Ron said...

The anti-bean contingent should hew to the Wisdom of The Vikings: "Every man enjoys his own stink."

What with Corned Beef and Cabbage day upon us, and all this chat about beans, I'm sniffing a new Trooper York poll: Best Gas Producing Food.

At least that's what I think I'm sniffing...

dick said...

It also has cocoa in the sauce as well. It really tastes pretty good.

ricpic said...

How do you get up from the table after eating that thing?


When both plates are on the same side of the table
Things are steamy, hot and new;
When the plates are on opposite sides of the table
The relationship has grew.

class-factotum said...

If it shows up in the Joy of Cooking, it's legit.

And it does.

Case closed.

Matt said...

I'm surprised no one has mentioned it yet, but Madisonians and Milwaukeeans can get similarly styled chili from Real Chili which, in Milwaukee at least, has been around since the 70s or earlier. I know only of one location in Madison but there are a couple in Milwaukee. The chili is more or less the same as what you get at Skyline, though I have to say, the Milwaukee Real Chili locations are vastly superior to the one in Madison (or any Skyline location, as far as I know) because of the long-standing and accepted (encouraged, even) tradition of hurling handfuls of oyster crackers at whomever happens to be sitting on the other side of the counter. Many of my fondest college memories involve drunken cracker fights at the Marquette University Real Chili.

Titushadaveryniceweekend said...

I looked on the menu page at that place. Everything had cheese, chili, bacon and dipping sauces included with it. To be honest it looks heavenly.

I love Culvers in Wisconsin. I love those kind of places. A step up from fast food which I hate. You can not find places like that on the East Coast. You have your typical fast food crap but none of the step above the fast food.

Are you going to Bob Evans and have some biscuits and gravy? I think they have Bob Evans out there too. They are fucking yummy.

I like Sonics too. No Sonics out here.

Host with the Most said...

`



5 Way Chili




One Way reaction





`

save_the_rustbelt said...

Both Skyline and Gold Star are wonderful, although not the kind of chili you find in Texas, or even northern Ohio. Quirky regional food from an ethnically mixed city.

Bob Evans is worth a try for breakfast, the sausage gravy is near pure cholesterol - damn good.

PS: Ohio men are the best.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

OMG that looks horrible.

Mark Daniels said...

I lived in Cincinnati for seventeen years and managed to avoid Cincinnati-style chili until I'd been there for fifteen years. It's one of the reasons I left Cincinnati. Not really, but I don't like the stuff at all.

Titushadaveryniceweekend said...

I am not a big fan of chili, especially if there are any onions in it. Onions are the most disgusting thing in the world.

Titushadaveryniceweekend said...

Oh come on DBQ it doesn't look horrible.

Yes, probably not real good for you but it looks like it would be good.

I have a very difficult time eating food that is good for me. I try and am all proud of myself for a week or two but then I just need a big bacon cheeseburger with mushrooms on it.

Titushadaveryniceweekend said...

Althouse, are you getting it?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Oh come on DBQ it doesn't look horrible.

Eye of the beholder and all.

It looks greasy, salty and messy

I would have it all over the front of me if I even tried to eat it. Not to mention the carb overload would put me to sleep in less than an hour. Face down on the formica snoring and drooling on the paper napkins.

The blog title says 5 way chili. I see cheese, pasta, beans....what are the other 2 "ways"? Is there even any meat, actual chili's or chili powder?

daredevil-66 said...

Shouldn't we be using ironic quotes around Skyline "chili"? :-P
Glad I tried it but the weird combination of cinnamon and sugarly spices throws me off.

pj said...

Would you like some chili with your cheese and pasta?

dick said...

The other two are chili and onions. Spaghetti, chili, beans, cheese and onions make up the 5-way. The chili is made much like any other except they add cocoa and sometimes black coffee to it. Tastes much better than it sounds.

After you eat that you then go to Graeter's and get raspberry chip ice cream and then go to sleep happy.

For Althouse,

Has he taken you to the Howl at the Moon Saloon yet?

Trooper York said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Titushadaveryniceweekend said...

I, like most others around here, want to know if there is any sex going on.

Details please including positions, any dirty talk, props, etc.

Please begin.

bearing said...

Now Ann has to get herself some goetta.

AJ Lynch said...

Troop you left out the Greek who makes the chili.

knox said...

Althouse, you know, a few of us have tentative plans to meet in Cinci this summer. Ron, Meade, Darcy, are in, I think. It would be really, really cool if you can make it.

Trooper York said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael Hasenstab said...

*Inhales*

Ahhh. Althouse, thank you for posting the chili photos. They smell wonderful and make me all the more eager for my stop in Cincinnati on the way to Gatlinburg in early summer.

Matt said Madisonians and Milwaukeeans can get similarly styled chili from Real Chili

Very similar, but a bit more greasy than Skyline. Real Chili, Skyline and the others trace their lineage back to Chili John's in Green Bay, known for, among other things, being a mandatory stop for players on visiting NFL teams.

David said...

Where's the dog? I miss the doggie.

Trooper York said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Titushadaveryniceweekend said...

I bet you pinch a mean loaf after having that chili.

Chip Ahoy said...

From Wisconsin, Shirley, you object to the processed cheese facsimile.

To overwrite your memory of the image of that death-by-spaghetti plate, here's pasta with olive oil, garlic, Parmigiano Reggiano, and ground roasted tomato.

Titushadaveryniceweekend said...

That looks really fucking good Chip Ahoy. The perfect amount of compliments to the spaghetti.

Do you deliver?

Titushadaveryniceweekend said...

By the by I got my cute little 1000square foot bungalow rental in Ptown for my timeshare this summer. It is absolutely delish. Right on the ocean with the cutest little deck. Walking distance to beaches, restaurants, clubs, dick dock, the dunes, and shopping.

I will have it 4 weekends and two full weeks. You have to come visit. The rare clumbers will be there too, natch.

Make sure when you cum down you are willing to celebrate diversity. We are a very diverse community there, although the straighties are taking over.

LoafingOaf said...

save the rustbelt: Both Skyline and Gold Star are wonderful, although not the kind of chili you find in Texas, or even northern Ohio.

There's Skyline chili in Cleveland. Also, the frozen version is sold at Giant Eagle.

BTW, Althouse's dude has a cool dog.

Maxine Weiss said...

http://twitter.com/maxinesplace

Jeff with one 'f' said...

Try, just TRY ordering "chili" that way in Austin.

Then take pictures of the reactions you get!

rastajenk said...

Althouse and Cincinnati chili: as we say in horse racing, maiden no more!

blake said...

Chip--that looks positively sublime.

DBQ, I don't think it's actually that high-carb: The pasta is the only real source of carbs there, and it's easily dwarfed by the mound of cheese and the beans (and I believe chili beans are high protein, low carb).

But then, I also don't think it's all that much food. It's presented overflowing, yes, but in a shallow bowl about the length of the fork. Grated cheese increases the volume and decreases the density.

Not a light snack, but no Heart Attack Grill either.

For myself, I don't think the taste of chili powder goes well with pasta. (But I would try it.)

rhhardin said...

I tried some Kroger frozen Skyline chili long ago and found it very bland. There weren't onions in it however. Maybe you're supposed to add onions.

Another Ohio oddity, aside from calling road shoulders ``berms'' on highway signs, is sloppy joe meaning some strange sauce rather than a ham, swiss, cole slaw and russian dressing sandwich like it does in New Jersey. I recommend any deli in Millburn, Summit or New Providence.

But I noticed how much better I felt when crossing the Ohio line whenever I'd been away, so food isn't everything.

Ralph said...

I remember eating chili-macs like that at an old dive in new suburban Vienna, VA, 25 years ago, but I can't remember the name of the place. The chili was too acrid for my taste and digestion. They also served the greasiest french fries covered in cheese.

Jeremy said...

Hey how can you post about chili when there are 10 trillion dead Iraqi children on our hands and the dollar has dropped to the value of a hay-krona? Where's the ConLaw analysis of that spaghetti?

Ha ha, I kid. This post has been so pleasant, I felt something was missing.

Are the oyster crackers supposed to go on that heaping bowl of confusion or are they somehow an appetizer?

knox said...

Another Ohio oddity, aside from calling road shoulders ``berms'' on highway signs, is sloppy joe meaning some strange sauce rather than a ham, swiss, cole slaw and russian dressing sandwich like it does in New Jersey

I grew up in Ohio and "sloppy joes" were like Manwiches. They were also gross. That NJ version sounds much, much better. But it needs pastrami instead of ham.

MayBee said...

More food you must have:
Graeters Ice Cream (as recommended by others)
Montgomery Inn Ribs
Penn Station sandwich & fries- I like the Italian

MayBee said...

Oh- and El Coyote for Tex Mex.
The one in Anderson Twp is best.

knox said...

Maybee, you're right, Graeters is really good. I like the Penn Station Italian as well. Very good for a chain restaurant.

traditionalguy said...

Eat, eat, eat! Doesn't anybody attack other commenters anymore? Our loverly Professor has entered into her Ferdinand the Bull phase. We need someone to stir up some blog aggression until she gets back to being herself again. I nominate Crack and Cedarford to duel about something.

blake said...

RHH: Another Ohio oddity, aside from calling road shoulders ``berms'' on highway signs, is sloppy joe meaning some strange sauce rather than a ham, swiss, cole slaw and russian dressing sandwich like it does in New Jersey

Knox: I grew up in Ohio and "sloppy joes" were like Manwiches. They were also gross. That NJ version sounds much, much better. But it needs pastrami instead of ham.

Yeah, here a "sloppy joe" is broken up hamburger in tomato sauce served on a bun.

The pastrami and/or corned beef with cole slaw, Swiss and Russian dressing is a "Reuben". I prefer sauerkraut to coleslaw.

Father Martin Fox said...

Quasimodo is correct:

Cincinnati Chili is not really meant to be chili in the Texas/Southwest style. It is, simply put, Greek Spaghetti sauce.

I lived in the D.C. area for many years, and would bring Skyline back with me from visits home to Cincinnati. Knowing about the Greek origin of it, I served it to some friends, one of whom was born in Greek; she went wild for it, said it tasted just like home and what she grew up with--she was so happy.

Terminology:

3-way: chili and spaghetti w/cheese
4-way: adds onions or beans
5-way: adds both onions and beans.

"1 way" is just chili and "2 way" is chili w/spaghetti, but not many order it that way. I suppose a bowl of chili with cheese is another "2 way" but I've never heard it called that.

Ann:

Did you have a coney? If not, too bad: a coney island is a hotdog with chili, plus mustard and onions (don't wimp out and leave those out), and almost everyone has cheese on it. Two or three coneys makes a nice meal.

When to eat Skyline: anytime is good, but there's something so nice about having some chili around 1 or 2 am. The Skylines in Clifton (real Clifton) and Bridgetown used to be open till 4 am and the windows steam up in the wintertime.

Also, you always want to put a little hot sauce on your chili, which is flavorful but not very spicy-hot.

One flaw with Skyline--they don't serve beer. Beer is perfect with Skyline.

Jeremy:

The oyster crackers are for soaking up the chili, especially if you order it "wet."

MadisonMan said...

I thought Graeter's Ice Cream was okay when we visited the in-law who used to live in Cincinnati, but I preferred the ice cream you can get in all the gas stations. UDC stores? Graeter's is hard to get to. UDCs (or whatever they're called) have good ice cream and it's everywhere in Cincinnati.

knox said...

Blake: oh, I thought the ones with cole slaw were something different from a reuben. I prefer the sauerkraut version too!

MadMan: I think you mean UDF, ie "United Dairy Farmers" gas stations/convenient stores. And they do have great ice cream. I always get a chocolate malt when I go home to Ohio.

My family will be moving back to Ohio in just ten days. I can't wait to partake of all the goodies that have been brought up on this thread!

Freeman Hunt said...

There is a place where chili is sweet and possibly has cocoa or coffee in it? I know not of this place, a strange place where foods are confused.

Chili = beef, tomato, beans, chili powder, cumin, and possibly other things like onions, but definitely not cocoa or coffee. Chili = a savory food, not a sweet food.

LoafingOaf said...

jeff with one f: Is yr screenname a reference to the Pixies song that goes "jefrey with one f!" ("Space (I Believe In)")??

Re: Sloppy Joes....yeah those are just Manwiches in Ohio. Actually, I think that's what they are in most places, so maybe it's NJ that is weird? I always loved when sloppy joes were on the menu at school, but I haven't had one since I graduated from high school.

But I noticed how much better I felt when crossing the Ohio line whenever I'd been away

Really? Despite how awful the Ohio State Highway Patrol are?

Father Martin Fox said...

Oh yes: Cincinnati has some great bakeries:

> Servatii's -- which used to be favored for wedding cakes, but I don't know if that's still true. I always loved their bear claws and alligator tails (at least that's what I called them).

> Graeter's has wonderful baked goods, especially the "double butter" cake. It's filled with sweet, buttery goo. Ann should buy several to take home.

> Busken's is especially good, and the store in the Norwood-Oakley area is open all night.

Alas, the Virginia Bakery in Clifton closed years ago, so no more schnecken (sp?).

Titushadaveryniceweekend said...

Lobster Mac and Cheese and Lobster Benedicts are requirements at restaurants on the Cape. I had both this weekend. I shared with the rare clumbers. The lobster mac and cheese comes with very special pasta noodles and rare cheeses, natch.

Maggie45 said...

rhhardin, you brought back loads of memories. Summit Diner has the best breakfasts. Used to go to the Prestige Diner in New Providence with a bunch of friends on Wednesdays before heading to the weekly Al-Anon meeting in Short Hills. And the Millburn Diner for coffee and dessert on Saturday nights. I was just there a couple years ago when I was back in NJ for my nephew's Bar Mitzvah. I'd also recommend the Nautilis in Madison, NJ where a crowd of us would go for a "meeting after the meeting". I miss diners, but I don't miss NJ. I'll take Cochise County, Az anytime.

blake said...

Blake: oh, I thought the ones with cole slaw were something different from a reuben. I prefer the sauerkraut version too!

Wikipedia says it's a "Rachel" with cole slaw and pastrami, but I've never seen that name applied to those variations.

hdhouse said...

Ahhh Cincinnati chili.

If the fork doesn't work Ann you can inject that directly into your arteries if you like. It will save the effort of swallowing and trying to digest it.

Michael Hasenstab said...

@Fr. Martin Fox - Right about Greek style chili, which usually has cardamom added for a different flavor.

I've had chili that included both cardamom and a bit of cinnamon, which added an unwelcome Moroccan flavor element.

No matter it's end, all good chili must start with a recipe for 'good red', then move in whatever direction the cook enjoys.

Beer with chili in Cincinnati - I presume that only a cold Hudepohl will suffice.

rhhardin said...

Compare photos of any of the Althouse NYC dinners.

There's a reason that place settings in NYC are elaborate and in the heartlands are spare.

It's that overhead is very high in NYC, and a business model that charges necessarily high prices for spare surroundings won't work; not many will buy that.

It's like why food products from distant locations are better quality than what you can buy locally at that distant location: nobody will pay a lot for crummy fruit, so it won't cover transportation costs. The crummy fruit stays local and the good stuff ships to the world.

Michael Hasenstab said...

@rhardin - I understand the economics, but the results aren't always predictable.

For example, the Manhattan Chili Co. sells chicken chili, turkey chili, lamb chili, vegan butternut squash chili among others.

None strike me as particularly appealing, and I'd prefer the bowl of 5-way that Althouse blogged about. Expensive isn't always better.

Lamb chili? Ah, no.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Chili = beef, tomato, beans, chili powder, cumin, and possibly other things like onions, but definitely not cocoa or coffee. Chili = a savory food, not a sweet food

Freeman, this is pretty much how I make my chili. Sometimes with pork instead of beef and an addition of a couple tablespoons of cornmeal to thicken it if I'm in a hurry.

BUT it is traditional in Mexican cuisine, especially the southern most areas like Yucatan to use cocoa or bitter chocolate in their food. It isn't sweet at all.

'Mole Negro' and 'Mole Poblano' in addition to chilis also has bitter chocolate and ground pumpkin seeds in it as just some of the ingredients. Very thick and with a bittersweet bite.

Texas Tom said...

I'm a 7th generation Texan who learned to make chili from my San Antonio grandma. Authentic Texas chili contains no tomatoes. The "red" comes from the chili powder. Unsweetened cocoa powder is an ingredient (mole - drat, no accent available for the 'e'), plus any coffee left over from breakfast. Masa harina (corn flour) is used for tightening. Meat is usually beef, though I have used venison, or mixed chicken, turkey, or pork with the beef when I had some left over. Never cook beans in the chili. If you like beans, cook them separately and add when serving. Serve with grated cheddar & chopped onions over southern style cornbread. I won two cookoffs sanctioned by the Chili Appreciation Society International and received an Honorable Mention at Chilimpiad in 1982.

Tex the Pontificator said...

Being a native Texan, I was intrigued by the many chili parlors when I visited Cincinnati. Curiosity pulled me into a Skyline Chili, but imagine my shock when I saw spaghetti. I liked it well enough as long as I didn't think of it as chili. It did not relate to anything I have ever known as chili. A word can have an entirely different meaning from one place to another.

former law student said...

Here's a recipe for real (i.e. New Mexican) chili:

1 large onion, chopped
1 tablespoon cooking oil
2 pounds fresh tomarillos or 4 10-ounce cans, drained
3 large green or poblano chiles, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
6-8 fresh jalapenos or serranos
Saute the onion until clear; do not brown. Add the remaining
ingredients and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. makes approximately 4 cups

Eat with grilled pork chops.

SWBarns said...

Skyline Chili is the best $5.75 lunch in the world.

Other Cincy food you have to have:

El Coyote, Anderson Township-- even better in the summer when the tomatoes are grown in their garden.

Aglamesis Brothers, Oakley Square-- much better than Greader's (no matter what Oprah said).

Walt's Hitching Post, Over in Ky, much better ribs than Montgomery Inn. Get the home-fries extra crisp.

Lavomatic Café in Over-the-Rhine.

And if you are visiting a man make him take you to Jean-Robert at Pigall's (on West 4th). Modern French and the best restaurant within 300 miles.

frank said...

"Ralph said...

I remember eating chili-macs like that at an old dive in new suburban Vienna, VA, 25 years ago, but I can't remember the name of the place. The chili was too acrid for my taste and digestion. They also served the greasiest french fries covered in cheese."

That's the Vienna Inn. They displayed a silver plated miniature beer keg they won for selling more Budweiser than any place but Yankee Stadium.

That chilimac cost $1.50 as I recall. Huge amount of nourishment

dick said...

Just got a link from the Roadfood blog to a website called Holly Eats. She did a review of the Camp Washington Chili place in Cincinnati and mentioned that it won a James Beard award.


CAMP WASHINGTON CHILI

3005 Colerain Avenue
Cincinnati, OH
(513) 541-0061


Open 24 hrs Mon - Sat
Closed Sunday


Cincinnati chili is not chili as most of us know it. Little if any heat, on the sweet side, and usually served on macaroni. I think of it as Greek chili, similar to Coney Island all the way sauce for hot dogs.

In Cincinnati the chili is ordered two, three, four or five ways. Five ways is chili on top of spaghetti and topped with beans, onion and cheese. That's five way chili in the upper right. Below it a chili dog with cheese and onions.

Camp Washington is a good place for breakfast too. Had two eggs, crisp buttery hash browns and a slab of goetta. Goetta is a mixture of ground beef and oatmeal. Pronounced getta - the o is silent.

I really like that the Beard Foundation gave Camp Washington a James Beard Award.

8/6/2003


HOME PAGE MIDWEST PAGE

Paul said...

Cincinnati Chili is actually very good having grown up a bit south in Lexington. I live in Texas now, but still make it at home and have made several different variations over the years. My restaurant preference would be Skyline over Gold Star (for those in the know).

The combination of the Middle Eastern and American spices is what gives it a unique flavor. As with all chilis, jambalaya, or Caribbean jerk sauce the ingredients vary, but some are required to get the unique flavor for Cincinnati style.


Pretty much required:
Ground Beef
Onion
Tomato Sauce, V8 or spicy V8
Coco Powder
Cinnamon
Ground Cloves
All spice
Salt
Pepper
Garlic
Vinegar, cider or white wine

Options:
Ground Pork (mixed with ground beef) or Turkey
Cayenne
Cumin
Turmeric
Coriander
Bay leaves
Worchester Sauce

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