A Little History of: Cincinnati Chili

March 5, 2013 at 5:46 PM | Posted in chili, Hot Dogs, Skyline Chili, spaghetti | 2 Comments
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Cincinnati chili (or “Cincinnati-style chili”) is a regional style of chili con carne characterized by the use of seasonings such as

A Cincinnati chili 4-way with oyster crackers

A Cincinnati chili 4-way with oyster crackers

cinnamon, cloves, allspice or chocolate. It is commonly served over spaghetti or as a hot dog sauce, and is normally of a thin, sauce-like consistency, unlike most chili con carne. While served in many regular restaurants, it is most often associated with several restaurant chains, such as Empress Chili, Skyline Chili, Gold Star Chili, Camp Washington Chili and Dixie Chili. Restaurant locations are found pervasively in greater Cincinnati with franchise locations also throughout Ohio and in Kentucky, Indiana, and Florida. Restaurants that feature Cincinnati chili are frequently called “chili parlors”.
According to the Greater Cincinnati Convention and Visitors Bureau, Cincinnatians consume more than two million pounds of chili each year, topped by 850,000 pounds of shredded cheddar cheese. Each September, the city celebrates “Chilifest” at Yeatman’s Cove on the Ohio River, with food and entertainment.

 

Ordering Cincinnati chili is based on this ingredient series: chili, spaghetti, grated cheddar cheese, diced onions, and kidney beans. The number before the “way” of the chili determines which ingredients are included in each chili order. Thus, customers can order a:

 

Bowl: chili in a bowl
Two-way: chili and spaghetti
Three-way: chili, spaghetti, and cheese
Four-way: chili, spaghetti, cheese, and onions
Five-way: chili, spaghetti, cheese, onions, and beans
and optionally, the:
Four-way bean: chili, spaghetti, cheese, and beans (beans substituted for the onions)
The preceding basic menu is entirely traditional. Some chili parlors have altered the traditional menu method, declaring on their menus that a Four-way is chili, spaghetti, cheese, and either onions or beans. Other parlors have added ingredients to the traditional mix. For example, Dixie Chili offers a “Six-way” with the addition of garlic. Oyster crackers are usually served with Cincinnati chili, and a mild hot sauce is frequently used as an optional topping.
When served on a Coney style hot dog, dubbed the “Cheese Coney“, the chili is also topped with grated cheddar cheese. The default coney also includes mustard and a small amount of onion.

 

Cincinnati chili seems to have originated with one or more immigrant restaurateurs from Macedonia who were trying to broaden their customer base by moving beyond narrowly ethnic styles of cuisine. Tom and John Kiradjieff began serving the chili in 1922 at their hot dog stand, next to a burlesque theater called the Empress, after which their Empress chili parlor took its name. Tom Kiradjieff invented the style by modifying a traditional stew and serving it over hot dogs and spaghetti. The style has since been copied and modified by many other restaurant proprietors.
Empress was the main chili parlor in Cincinnati until 1949, when a former Empress employee and Greek immigrant, Nicholas Lambrinides, started another chili restaurant called Skyline Chili. Gold Star Chili came along in 1965, started by the four Daoud brothers who were originally from Jordan.

Skyline 3 Way – Chili, Spaghetti, Cheese w/ Side of Oyster Crackers

August 6, 2012 at 5:09 PM | Posted in Kraft Cheese, Skyline Chili, spaghetti, spices and herbs | Leave a comment
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Today’s Menu; Skyline 3 Way – Chili, Spaghetti, Cheese w/ Side of Oyster Crackers
The day consisted of cleaning the outdoor shed and then moving inside to clean and organize 2 closets. I really didn’t want to have to put much effort into preparing dinner so I went the very easy route of the Microwave! I went with the Skyline 3 Way – Chili, Spaghetti, Cheese w/ Side of Oyster Crackers! They now sell it packaged for the microwave, a bit smaller size than what you get at a Skyline but just right for those still watching calories and carbs. It comes with Spaghetti topped with that wonderful Skyline Chili. You add the Cheese to make it a 3 Way. I grated a block of Kraft 2% Sharp Cheese for a topping for my Chili and also had a half serving of Skyline Oyster Crackers. Overall it was just over 400 calories and 33 carbs. I left a little history of my favorite Chili Spaghetti/Coney place here in the Cincinnati area at the end of the post. For dessert later a slice of Pillsbury Nut Quick Bread topped with a scoop of Breyer’s Carb Smart Vanilla Ice Cream.

 

 

Skyline Chili

Skyline Chili is a chain of chili restaurants based in Cincinnati, Ohio. Founded in 1949 by Greek immigrant Nicholas Lambrinides, Skyline Chili is named for the view of Cincinnati’s skyline that Lambrinides could see from his first restaurant (which has since been demolished), opened in the section of town now known as Price Hill. It is also the “official chili” of many local professional sports teams and venues, including the Cincinnati Reds, Columbus Blue Jackets and the Kings Island theme park, and also sponsors the Crosstown Shootout, an annual men’s college basketball rivalry game between the city’s two NCAA Division I teams, Cincinnati and Xavier.

In 1912, Nicholas Lambrinides immigrated to Cincinnati from Kastoria, Greece, and brought his favorite family recipes with him. To save up the money to bring his wife to America as well, he first worked as a cook for a railroad crew and in a hotel kitchen, then opened a short-order diner. After nearly a decade, his wife was able to join him in Cincinnati and they raised five sons.

By World War II, Lambrinides was working as a chef for the original Empress Chili restaurant, where he continued to tinker with a recipe which he had been developing for years. In 1949, he and three of his sons opened their own place on Glenway Avenue, near the top of a steep hill (Price’s or Price Hill). That diner was located at the intersection of what is now Quebec and Glenway Avenue. The owners named it Skyline Chili for its panoramic view of downtown Cincinnati. After some local resistance in the predominantly Roman Catholic neighborhood Skyline developed a large and devoted following – especially on Thursdays and Saturdays, which immediately preceded and proceeded meatless Fridays.

The family opened a second restaurant in 1953 and the growth of the business accelerated in the 1960s; by the end of the century, there were 110 Skyline restaurants, mostly in Ohio, but with additional establishments in other states including Kentucky, Indiana, and Florida.
Skyline Cheese Coney
Lambrinides died in 1962 at the age of 82, but his sons continued to operate and expand the company. They retained the original recipe unchanged, though. According to William Lambrinides, “Dad always said, ‘Don’t change a thing with the recipe – don’t add anything, don’t take out anything, it’s perfect the way it is’.” As a result, Skyline’s version has largely become synonymous with “Cincinnati-style chili“. In 1998, the company was sold to Fleet Equity Partners, a New England investment firm, which promised not to change the recipe (which they reportedly keep locked in a safe).

Skyline Chili is unique in that it is not chili con carne, the meat dish that originated in (and is the state dish of) Texas. Instead, Cincinnati-style chili is a sauce usually used over spaghetti or hot dogs, containing a unique spice blend that gives it a very distinct taste. Officially, the recipe for Skyline Chili is a well-kept family secret among Lambrinides’ surviving children. However, many Skyline patrons and Cincinnatians believe that the unique taste of Skyline Chili comes from chocolate and cinnamon, spices common in Greek cuisine’s meat dishes. The general recipe is not unique to Skyline — “Cincinnati-style” chili is sold by several chili parlors in the area including Empress, Dixie, Gold Star Chili, Camp Washington, Dawson’s School House of Chili, and other chili parlors.

Skyline’s menu includes their signature dishes: cheese coneys (a hot dog topped with Skyline Chili, mustard, onions, and cheese), and 3-ways (spaghetti topped with Skyline Chili and cheese; 4-ways (choice of beans or onions added), and 5-ways (beans and onions both added). Additional menu items include burritos made with Skyline Chili, classic and Greek-style salads, french fries, and baked potatoes topped with Skyline Chili. To accommodate patrons who follow a low carbohydrate diet, Skyline has recently offered low-carb options such as a “coney bowl”—a cheese coney without the bun, and also now serves vegetarian options, using beans and rice in place of chili in many of its dishes.

 

http://skylinechili.com/

Skyline 3 Way tonight!

March 3, 2012 at 6:38 PM | Posted in chili, diabetes, diabetes friendly, Food, spaghetti, spices and herbs | Leave a comment
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Today’s Menu; Skyline 3 Way – Chili, Spaghetti, Cheese w/ Side of Oyster Crackers

It’s been forever and a day since I’ve had a Skyline 3 Way, and it was worth the wait! If your from the Cincinnati area you know Chili Spaghetti is a way of life around here. The Chili Wars have been raging around here for a long time. I’ve always been a Skyline Chili man myself. Just something about their recipe. A little spicy with a hint of sweet and loaded with spices. The recipe remains a top secret and probaly will be forever. When I was diagnosed with Diabetes2 I changed my diet and eating habits and through a lot of work I finally reversed my Diabetes2 and off all medication for it. i’ve been off it for a while now and had my first Domino’s Pizza back in January so I thought now it’s time for my first Skyline 3 Way! They now sell it packaged for the microwave, a bit smaller size than what you get at a Skyline but just right for those stll watching calories and carbs. It comes with Spaghetti topped with that wonderful Skyline Chili. You add the Cheese to make it a 3 Way. I used Kraft 2% Shredded Sharp Cheese and also had a side of Skyline Oyster Crackers. Overall it was just over 400 calories and 33 carbs. For dessert later a bowl of Breyer’s Carb Smart Vanilla ice Cream topped with Del Monte No Sugar Added Sliced Peaches. Below i left a little info and history about Skyline Chili.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A 4-way with onions and oyster crackers from Skyline.

A 4-way with onions and oyster crackers from Skyline.

Skyline Chili

Skyline Chili is a chain of chili restaurants based in Cincinnati, Ohio. Founded in 1949 by Greek immigrant Nicholas Lambrinides, Skyline Chili is named for the view of Cincinnati’s skyline that Lambrinides could see from his first restaurant (which has since been demolished), opened in the section of town now known as Price Hill. It is also the “official chili” of many local professional sports teams and venues, including the Cincinnati Reds, Columbus Blue Jackets and the Kings Island theme park, and also sponsors the Crosstown Shootout, an annual men’s college basketball rivalry game between the city’s two NCAA Division I teams, Cincinnati and Xavier.

In 1912, Nicholas Lambrinides immigrated to Cincinnati from Kastoria, Greece, and brought his favorite family recipes with him. To save up the money to bring his wife to America as well, he first worked as a cook for a railroad crew and in a hotel kitchen, then opened a short-order diner. After nearly a decade, his wife was able to join him in Cincinnati and they raised five sons.

By World War II, Lambrinides was working as a chef for the original Empress Chili restaurant, where he continued to tinker with a recipe which he had been developing for years. In 1949, he and three of his sons opened their own place on Glenway Avenue, near the top of a steep hill (Price’s or Price Hill). That diner was located at the intersection of what is now Quebec and Glenway Avenue. The owners named it Skyline Chili for its panoramic view of downtown Cincinnati. After some local resistance in the predominantly Roman Catholic neighborhood  Skyline developed a large and devoted following – especially on Thursdays and Saturdays, which immediately preceded and proceeded meatless Fridays.

The family opened a second restaurant in 1953 and the growth of the business accelerated in the 1960s; by the end of the century, there were 110 Skyline restaurants, mostly in Ohio, but with additional establishments in other states including Kentucky, Indiana, and Florida.

Skyline Cheese Coney

Lambrinides died in 1962 at the age of 82, but his sons continued to operate and expand the company. They retained the original recipe unchanged, though. According to William Lambrinides, “Dad always said, ‘Don’t change a thing with the recipe – don’t add anything, don’t take out anything, it’s perfect the way it is’.” As a result, Skyline’s version has largely become synonymous with “Cincinnati-style chili“. In 1998, the company was sold to Fleet Equity Partners, a New England investment firm, which promised not to change the recipe (which they reportedly keep locked in a safe).

Skyline Chili is unique in that it is not chili con carne, the meat dish that originated in (and is the state dish of) Texas. Instead, Cincinnati-style chili is a sauce usually used over spaghetti or hot dogs, containing a unique spice blend that gives it a very distinct taste. Officially, the recipe for Skyline Chili is a well-kept family secret among Lambrinides’ surviving children. However, many Skyline patrons and Cincinnatians believe that the unique taste of Skyline Chili comes from chocolate and cinnamon, spices common in Greek cuisine’s meat dishes. The general recipe is not unique to Skyline — “Cincinnati-style” chili is sold by several chili parlors in the area including Empress, Dixie, Gold Star Chili, Camp Washington, Dawson’s School House of Chili, and other chili parlors.

Skyline’s menu includes their signature dishes: cheese coneys (a hot dog topped with Skyline Chili, mustard, onions, and cheese), and 3-ways (spaghetti topped with Skyline Chili and cheese; 4-ways (choice of beans or onions added), and 5-ways (beans and onions both added). Additional menu items include burritos made with Skyline Chili, classic and Greek-style salads, french fries, and baked potatoes topped with Skyline Chili. To accommodate patrons who follow a low carbohydrate diet, Skyline has recently offered low-carb options such as a “coney bowl”—a cheese coney without the bun, and also now serves vegetarian options, using beans and rice in place of chili in many of its dishes.

http://skylinechili.com/

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