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RESTAURANT OF THE WEEK
The first time we moved to Cincinnati the locals couldn't wait to turn us onto a four-way. Hey, hey, we're talkin' chili here!!! They said it would be different and it certainly was. If you're from Cincinnati, it's practically a religion!
In the first place, you eat this chili with a fork and not a spoon. I know it sounds weird to "regular" chiliheads but let me explain. Cincinnati chili, as it is called, consists of spaghetti noodles, a ladling of thin, mild chili, and that is topped with very finely shredded cheddar cheese and onions. At least that's what you get if you order a "four way." Add it all up. Noodles, chili, cheese and onions. Four ingredients not including the little oyster crackers they serve with each order.
The noodles are kept in hot water with just a splash of catsup, or that's what my taster says anyway. The chili is extremely unusual in that it contains small amounts of chocolate and cinnamon. Not enough to be obnoxious but certainly enough to make it interesting. And this is very mild chili although there is hot sauce on the table if you'd prefer.
Folks in Cincinnati usually get a plate---yes, it comes on a plate and not a bowl---of chili and then a couple of chili cheese coneys on the side. Sounds like a lot of food but the dogs are tiny compared to regular Ballparks.
There are a number of different "Cincinnati chili" restaurant chains in the Queen City area including Gold Star, Empress and Dixie. If memory serves me correctly, Empress was the first restaurant to bring Cincinnati this mild chili with Greek roots. But Skyline is the biggest and best known these days.
If you don't live in the Cincinnati area and would like to try cooking up a batch at your own home, no problem. We do it all the time. A suggested recipe can be found right here.
Skyline has locations primarily in the Cincinnati area although you'll find them elsewhere in Ohio and in a few other locations. The Skyline Chili web site is located here and they do sell chili on-line for your dining pleasure. You ought to try it!