Friday, January 9, 2009

Skyline with Snip

If you live anywhere near Cincinnati, then you know about Skyline Chili. In addition to Ohio, they have locations in southern Indiana, Central Indiana, Kentucky and Florida. I guess it's an acquired taste because this is not what most Americans think of with regards to "chili."

Real chili has big chunks of beef and it's spicy hot, right? Real chili has beans, too...right? You don't put pasta in real chili...right? This could be the biggest debate on Big Doofus Blog since the Coney Dog vs. Chili Dog post nearly a year ago. I still get comments on that post from people doing Google searches. And in case you're wondering, that's Jason's face from Uvulapie and His Amazing Accordion that I Photoshopped into the hot dog costume. But I digress...

Skyline Chili has no beans (but you can add them). The ground beef is practically pureed before it goes into the chili--and I think they actually boil it before it goes in (Skyline afficionados will probably comment later). And the spices? I'm pretty sure it's cinnamon but there are uban legends suggesting things like chocolate (but it's not chocolate). It originated in Cincinnati by Greek immigrants and got it's name from the city's skyline.

Needless to say, Skyline Chili is different. It's not for everyone, but it's for enough people to make it a regional success. I love it and I was convinced that my son would love it, too, as we have similar tastes when it comes to spicy foods. But he doesn't care for it. My middle daughter (Bird) hates it. The wife (Miss Sniz) shares these feelings of hate and disgust with Bird. I thought I was all on my own...until little ten year old Snip came down and tasted it. I never offered it to her because I never dreamed that she'd like it. To my amazement (and to Miss Sniz's amazement) she loved it.

Since we have "special nights" where one of our kids gets to do something with mom and/or dad, a Skyline trip was planned. Last night she and I made it to the restaurant on the Northwest side of Indianapolis (we need a west side location!). While most stores are run like a restaurant, this store has you order at the counter and you bring your food with you back to the tables (and yet there was still a place for the "tip" on the receipt). Snip had the 3-way chili (chili, spaghetti noodles & cheese--tons of cheese) kids meal and I had the 4-way (same thing, but with onions or beans and I chose onions) and a "cheese coney" which is really a "chili coney" but I don't want to get into that again.

The chili was tasty and we had lots of conversations about Build-a-Bears, condensation and what it is that a store in town called "Tasty's Gift Factory" sells--but that's another post.


Rebekah said...

blech- I detest Skyline. And I never heard of putting noodles in Chili until I moved to Indiana.

Rebekah said...

And the funny thing is- both my parents grew up in Ohio and they never put noodles in our Chili

Randy said...


I did some work for "Gold Star" Chili many years ago. It is very similar to Skyline. Like you, it's not your ordinary chili people think of. I did like it. I know it's probably an aquired taste for many.


hunnybeemay said...

Is this stuff anything like the 3-way or 4 or 5-way chili at Steak and Shake? You can get spaghetti chili there. I can sort of see those ingredients working together but I've just never been able to bring myself to try it. Maybe someday. Until then I'll eat my chili the way I have since I was a child.....with cottage cheese in it. Yummo.

Big Doofus said...


The answer to your question is, "Yes, and no." While the three-way at Steak 'N Shake does use the same basic three ingredients (chili, spaghetti noodles, cheese) it's not the same because that's Steak 'N Shake chili--not Skyline chili. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Steak 'N Shake chili, too. I just don't think I'd ever want theirs on a three-way. Skyline is different.


I'm familiar with Gold Star, too. They're basically doing the same thing as Skyline with regards to the type of chili.

This kind of chili is sometimes known as Greek style chili. As I've said, it's not for everyone...but I sure love it (and so does Snip).

Randy said...


Glad that you and Snip like it too! What about Sniz and Snip's sidekick Snap? How about Will? Is it a family thing?