Thursday, April 2, 2009

Skyline Chili

Here in my little part of Ohio, you can't drive down the street without seeing a Skyline Chili.  My burb alone has two of them.  What is Skyline Chili, you ask?  Well, it's definitely a local, and now regional, thang.  It's not chili like most people know it.  It's more of a sauce that originally was poured over spaghetti (called Ways) and hot dogs (called Coneys).  With the spaghetti, you can get a 3 Way (spaghetti, chili and cheese), 4 Way (a 3 Way plus onions OR beans) and a 5 Way (a 3 Way with onions AND beans).  Over the years, their menu has diviersified to include salads, sandwiches, burritos and potatoes.  All incorporate the chili into them.  Sous Chef and CJ both love Skyline.  My husband is a huge Skyline fan and I like it, but not as much as the others in my family.  Big E could do without, but he is so damn picky about food that we don't take his tastebuds into consideration when deciding if somehting is good or not.

I have my own theory about people who like Skyline.  There are two kinds of people who like it.  The first are those who grew up in this area (years ago, this was the ONLY place to get Skyline.  It has now branched out to most of Ohio, a large part of KY and parts of Indiana.  There are even several Florida locations.). 

I fall into the second category of Skyline eaters - those who were drunk the first time they had it.  There is a Skyline location right by University of Cinti's campus and it stayed open until 4:00AM to catch all the drunken college kids on their way home from the bars and parties.  I remember the first time I went there and my BFF started screaming "I got two weenies!" because there were indeed, two weenies in her bun.  (That sounds kind of naughty!)  (I am sure she would chime in here with a more clear version of this story since I was probably sitting at the table with my head down trying not to pass out.  However, she is in Australia for her family's Spring Break!)

Anyway, if you don't fall into one of these two categories, you'd probably do what my transient friends from the nether parts of the country do after they eat Skyline.  Vomit.  Yep, I have at least three friends in this category.  They were pregnant at the time, so that may have something to do with it, but nonetheless, they are not Skyline eaters and can't even stand the smell.

I can also attest to the cleansing effect that Skyline has on one's colon, especially when eaten after a night of gluttonous drinking!

When we lived in Kansas City, my mom would bring cans of Skyline to us.  You can buy it in the stores here, including places like Sam's Club and Costco.  I think Sous Chef would have had detox issues if he had not been able to have Skyline while living away from here.  Here he is after eating some homemade Skyline.

Notice he even has some up under his eye!  He LOVES this stuff.

Here are pictures from our meal the other night, taken with my new camera, of course.  I think the employees thought I was a little odd taking pictures of our food!

5 Way over a Baked Potato
Sous Chef eating his oyster crackers with hot sauce.
CJ's Hot Doggy Platter (two hot dogs and some cheese)
5 Way Chili Spaghetti
5 Way Spaghetti all mixed up.  Looks delicious, eh?
Maybe next time I'll write about Graeter's Ice Cream, another local favorite.  They make French Pot Ice Cream and only make two gallons at a time.  I can attest to the fact that this ice cream is THE BEST EVER!
What types of foods are exclusive to where you live?


  1. i haven't ever had authentic skyline chili, but there is a "cincinnati style" chili offered at our local chili place. it is awesome. i always have the three way with a side of sour cream!

    can't wait to hear about the ice cream!

  2. I've never had it but I'd love to try.

  3. I saw the original on Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations - honestly, I might have to fall into the vomit category.

    The cure for 2 a.m. drunk munchies around here - Whataburger taquitos. Yummm.

  4. Texas girls can SO roll with the Skyline chili, baby!

  5. Oh My it looks YUMMY!!!! I think I would be a skyline Luv-A!!!!

  6. STOP! You cannot mention Skyline and Graeter's in the same frickin post. I'm stuck in the office with Wasa crackers and some old peanut butter. Damn you!

  7. I've never heard of this and I don't know if I could handle the one with spaghetti but on hot dogs? Yum!

  8. While I love me some chili on a baked potato, I'm not sure I could do it over spaghetti! Thanks for giving me my lunch idea today, btw. I have some leftover homemade chili (My ways!) in the fridge!

  9. I love hearing about these local (or at least started that way!) phenomenons! Those are the places that make dining out special--to heck with the big chains!

  10. I'm not sure. . . but I might - perhaps - fall into the vomitors club. . .

  11. Can't believe they don't have Skyline Chili here in NYC !! I'll look harder now !!

  12. My vision from that night oh so long ago....about as clear as yours. Yes, I do remember announcing quite proudly in my drunken state about the two weenies! I only ordered the double weiner bun with cheese because at that time I did not like Skyline. A few more drunken visits....and I was sold!

  13. Thank goodness for Kroger. It's not quite the same, but they sell the sauce in cans and you can still get the flavor that way. I miss living near Cincy