Cincinnati-Style Chili in San Diego

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rochelle_w
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2004/12/03 23:50:57 (permalink)

Cincinnati-Style Chili in San Diego

Nearly every Sunday my dad used to treat us kids to "Coneys," but when in 1974, when I was 11, we left Greater Cincinnati and I've missed Cincy-style chili ever since. Though I have ordered canned Dixie Chili by mail, sadly, as also mentioned by other posters, Dixie Chili isn't like it used to be.

Well, lo and behold, today I found a new little restaurant here in San Diego that offers Cincinnati-Style Chili. The place is called "CinCity Chili" and it had its grand opening today. Besides the two-three-four-five way chili, there are coneys, which they call "City Dogs." Their chili is more Cincinnati-style than Dixie Chili (canned version, at least) now is. I was told that the owner is from Cincinnati and many people tell him his chili is similar to Skyline. I never got a chance to try Skyline, but this San Diego version is really good!

The restaurant is on El Cajon Blvd, 1 mile from San Diego State University, where I attend college. By the way, CinCity Chili's website, www.cincitychili.net, has a 2 for 1 coupon offer (expires February 2005) which can be printed off the computer.
#1

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    Lunza
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    RE: Cincinnati-Style Chili in San Diego 2004/12/04 05:28:11 (permalink)
    What is Cincinnati-style chili supposed to be, anyway? They had some stuff labeled "Cincinnati chili" in my company cafeteria at an undisclosed location in California, but it looked positively anemic and I didn't even want to sample it.
    #2
    rochelle_w
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    RE: Cincinnati-Style Chili in San Diego 2004/12/04 19:54:11 (permalink)
    For one thing, unlike the "common chili" here in California, Cincinnati chili doesn't have beans. The flavor and texture are primarily what sets it apart from any other kind of chili. I've tasted many imitations of "Cincinnati-style" chili here in California and other states, but most don't even come close to the real thing. It's probably as well you didn't sample your company's chili--chances are, it may have been among the "imposters." If, like me, you can't make the trip to the Chili Mecca (that is, Cincinnati area), the next best thing is ordering online from a Cincinnati area chili company. Or else, as in my case, finding a restaurant whose owner is from Cincinnati. Then you'll know what all this is about. To put it in a nutshell, Cincinnati chili to regular chili is like what NY or Chicago pizza is to the 99 cent boxed frozen pizza.
    #3
    mayor al
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    RE: Cincinnati-Style Chili in San Diego 2004/12/04 21:46:02 (permalink)

    Speaking as one raised in SoCal and the Southwest in general. I have developed a certain mindset about chili. Consistency, ingredients, flavor,spice....all contribute to that image in my multi-sensory mind.
    Then I am introduced to Cincinnati-Style .... A whole new world opens... It really isn't fair to 'compare' the dishes. They are two very different items. S W Chili is self-contained. Put it in a bowl, top with some optional extras (cheese-onion bits etc) and you are set to eat. Cincinnati Chili is a modular constructed dish built on a PLATE with very apparent levels. (3-way, 4-way, and more)
    Its appearence, consistency, flavor,spice, and most of all the ingredients all differ greatly from the SW . it is much much more than the Texan's argument over Beans/No Beans. There is NO debate in the Mid-West--Chili has Pasta of some sort involved in the final dish. It is the foundation to every plate of Cincy Chili I have ever seen. The whole dish is different.

    It is kind of like Saying BBQ and including Texas Brisket and hot sauce with the Chopped Pork and Mustard sauce of the lower Carolina's. They are indeed related (in name only) but to compare is unfair. Both have merits to be loved.
    #4
    Poverty Pete
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    RE: Cincinnati-Style Chili in San Diego 2004/12/05 09:05:54 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by rochelle_w

    To put it in a nutshell, Cincinnati chili to regular chili is like what NY or Chicago pizza is to the 99 cent boxed frozen pizza.


    I'd say that a pretty big nutshell. Comparing Cincinnati chili to Southwestern chili is like comparing sushi to fried oysters.
    #5
    mayor al
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    RE: Cincinnati-Style Chili in San Diego 2004/12/05 10:37:37 (permalink)

    Or Ben and Jerry's to Ted Drewe's Custard

    Or CFS to pork tenderloins...

    and the list goes on, and on,...
    #6
    marti223
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    RE: Cincinnati-Style Chili in San Diego 2004/12/28 11:14:27 (permalink)
    I am from Cincinnati too and now live in South Florida. They have recently opened some Sykline Parlors down here - Clearwater and Fort Myers - have had several over in Fort Lauderdale for years. You can go on their website ( www.skylinechili.com ) and order their canned Chili. Also Publix has it frozen. Don't forget Graeter's Ice Cream!- you can order ! (Shipped in Dry Ice) $$ but well worth it! - considering it is the best Ice Cream in the world - and I've tasted it all over the world!
    quote:
    Originally posted by rochelle_w

    Nearly every Sunday my dad used to treat us kids to "Coneys," but when in 1974, when I was 11, we left Greater Cincinnati and I've missed Cincy-style chili ever since. Though I have ordered canned Dixie Chili by mail, sadly, as also mentioned by other posters, Dixie Chili isn't like it used to be.

    Well, lo and behold, today I found a new little restaurant here in San Diego that offers Cincinnati-Style Chili. The place is called "CinCity Chili" and it had its grand opening today. Besides the two-three-four-five way chili, there are coneys, which they call "City Dogs." Their chili is more Cincinnati-style than Dixie Chili (canned version, at least) now is. I was told that the owner is from Cincinnati and many people tell him his chili is similar to Skyline. I never got a chance to try Skyline, but this San Diego version is really good!

    The restaurant is on El Cajon Blvd, 1 mile from San Diego State University, where I attend college. By the way, CinCity Chili's website, www.cincitychili.net, has a 2 for 1 coupon offer (expires February 2005) which can be printed off the computer.
    #7
    abaynard
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    RE: Cincinnati-Style Chili in San Diego 2005/01/15 17:24:46 (permalink)
    Hi Guys,
    Speaking of Cin City Chili, I'm the guy who startd it. We came out with a new recipe since we opened. It has that "little more kick" I was trying to get. Please come see us and let me know what your opinion is. I want to stay open, so spread the word. December is a terrible month to start a new themed joint. I hope that if I generate enough turbulence, the idea of cincinnati chili will take. How does Skyline work in Ft Lauderdale? Write me, let me know. Thanks
    KB
    #8
    Poverty Pete
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    RE: Cincinnati-Style Chili in San Diego 2005/01/15 20:21:30 (permalink)
    KB,
    I think I speak for nearly all of us here when I say welcome, and thanks for not posing as a disinterested bystander who just happened to walk into this Chili parlor and, OMG! This is the BEST place to eat that's ever existed...
    We've had a few of those, and they always get exposed. Cincinnati-style chili isn't one of my favorite food experiences, but next time I'm in town, I'll be sure to stop by.
    #9
    carlton pierre
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    RE: Cincinnati-Style Chili in San Diego 2005/02/02 16:43:26 (permalink)
    I buy Skyline at Kroger either in frozen food section, or in canned chili section. I've never been able to duplicate it myself so I just buy it in the store and am thankful I can at least get it that way here in Knoxville.
    But, if I want chili, I like it Texas style and wonder to myself, how could anyone think of eating it on top of spaghetti and calling it "chili". I love both!!
    #10
    Gourmet Bill
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    RE: Cincinnati-Style Chili in San Diego 2006/01/18 18:28:22 (permalink)
    Greetings All

    This is my first entry and couldn't help but to respond to all the chili hub bub.

    In some circles here in Cincinnati, we call our chili, Greek chili because the recipe was brought over here by Greek immagrants. I think it differs from the popular home made or Texas chili because they don't brown the meat first - it's boiled which turns it into basicly a sauce, so no cooked in beans either. You can eat it by the bowl however over spaghetti or a hot dog is much better. If you've never had it before - think mock turtle soup - but 10 times better.

    It was introduced in the form of Empress Chili in 1921. They must have shut down their marketing department because you just don't hear about them anymore. There are one or two stores and then the canned chili at the grocery. Skyline was started in 1949 and is now the most popular, however Gold Star which was started in 1965 has more stores. Dixie Chili across the river in Kentucky has been around a while too. It reminds me of Gold Star.For a while there was a francise called Chili Company but most of those have closed.And there are of course about a hundred little independent cafes and family restuarants, mostly owned by Greeks who serve Cincinnati Chili. Camp Washington Chili (one of those private restaurants) seems to get all the press, but Price Hill Chili, Chili Time, Blue Ash Chili and many more are just as good.

    I'll Shall return down the road
    Bill


    #11
    TJ Jackson
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    RE: Cincinnati-Style Chili in San Diego 2006/01/18 18:53:49 (permalink)
    welcome, fellow Cincinnatian Gourmet Bill.

    Be sure to check out the other Cincinnati topics/threads.....links to most of them are included in the first post in the following thread: http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=6632
    #12
    Gourmet Bill
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    RE: Cincinnati-Style Chili in San Diego 2006/02/14 16:55:40 (permalink)
    Oh Yeah

    Many of the independents have great breakfasts and fantastic double deck sandwhiches. The francise chili parlors usually only sell chili. Many of them who serve breakfast include another Cincinnati favorite, goetta - which I'm sure TJ or somebody has already started a post for that.
    #13
    markolenski
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    RE: Cincinnati-Style Chili in San Diego 2006/02/14 17:38:15 (permalink)
    CinCity Chili is gone. If you followed the business from the beginning this was inevitable. The owner said he was not quitting his day job incase it did not work out. The help was terrible and paid little attention to the customers. The chili I can not comment on since I don’t know what it should taste like. It is now a wireless phone store. I guess it is a good thing he did not quit his day job.
    #14
    Hamburgler
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    RE: Cincinnati-Style Chili in San Diego 2006/05/18 15:47:45 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by rochelle_w

    Nearly every Sunday my dad used to treat us kids to "Coneys," but when in 1974, when I was 11, we left Greater Cincinnati and I've missed Cincy-style chili ever since. Though I have ordered canned Dixie Chili by mail, sadly, as also mentioned by other posters, Dixie Chili isn't like it used to be.

    Well, lo and behold, today I found a new little restaurant here in San Diego that offers Cincinnati-Style Chili. The place is called "CinCity Chili" and it had its grand opening today. Besides the two-three-four-five way chili, there are coneys, which they call "City Dogs." Their chili is more Cincinnati-style than Dixie Chili (canned version, at least) now is. I was told that the owner is from Cincinnati and many people tell him his chili is similar to Skyline. I never got a chance to try Skyline, but this San Diego version is really good!

    The restaurant is on El Cajon Blvd, 1 mile from San Diego State University, where I attend college. By the way, CinCity Chili's website, www.cincitychili.net, has a 2 for 1 coupon offer (expires February 2005) which can be printed off the computer.


    I don't think you can get more Cincinnati style than Dixie Chili. The first one opened in Newport, KY in 1929. This was just seven years (1922) after Empress Chili opened the first Cincinnati Chili parlor. I believe the founder of Dixie even worked at Empress before opening his own parlor.

    Anyway, I will say that Dixie Chili is not the quality that it used to be. Well at least it doesn't taste as good to me anymore.

    I can't believe they opened a Cincinnati style chili parlor in San Diego. That's great. I hope it goes over well.
    #15
    startrooper00
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    RE: Cincinnati-Style Chili in San Diego 2006/05/18 23:25:40 (permalink)
    I must say now that I am not living near Cincinnati anymore...I really miss the chili chains.

    My favorite is still Empress....its so much more meatier and flavorful than the major players....but, I do like Dixie Chili. They kept it small and didn't expand that much..so the 'secrets' of their chili is still there. They have changed over the years but so has everyone else.

    They opened a Skyline that is within 45 minutes of my house...Never been there...Would rather travel an hour and eat at the Gold Star in Lexington..
    #16
    Hamburgler
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    RE: Cincinnati-Style Chili in San Diego 2006/05/20 11:00:12 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by startrooper00

    I must say now that I am not living near Cincinnati anymore...I really miss the chili chains.

    My favorite is still Empress....its so much more meatier and flavorful than the major players....but, I do like Dixie Chili. They kept it small and didn't expand that much..so the 'secrets' of their chili is still there. They have changed over the years but so has everyone else.

    They opened a Skyline that is within 45 minutes of my house...Never been there...Would rather travel an hour and eat at the Gold Star in Lexington..

    Goldstar rules! I can't wait for the footlong cheese coneys to come out this summer.
    #17
    lynndunham
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    RE: Cincinnati-Style Chili in San Diego 2007/02/15 17:29:46 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Hamburgler

    quote:
    Originally posted by startrooper00

    I must say now that I am not living near Cincinnati anymore...I really miss the chili chains.

    My favorite is still Empress....its so much more meatier and flavorful than the major players....but, I do like Dixie Chili. They kept it small and didn't expand that much..so the 'secrets' of their chili is still there. They have changed over the years but so has everyone else.

    They opened a Skyline that is within 45 minutes of my house...Never been there...Would rather travel an hour and eat at the Gold Star in Lexington..

    Goldstar rules! I can't wait for the footlong cheese coneys to come out this summer.
    #18
    enginecapt
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    RE: Cincinnati-Style Chili in San Diego 2007/04/24 07:36:36 (permalink)
    Is there any place here in So Cal to get this stuff? Either restaurant or canned?
    I need to see what all the fuss is about, but I don't want to hop on a plane.
    #19
    soozycue520
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    RE: Cincinnati-Style Chili in San Diego 2007/04/24 13:44:07 (permalink)
    enginecapt,

    I don't see anywhere were you can buy Cincy Chili in SoCal, but click the links on this Wikipedia site to buy it online.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cincinnati_chili

    It is kinda expensive, though, so you may just want to try some of the recipes that people have posted here on RoadFood.

    In Cincy grocery stores, they also sell spice packets that you basically add ground beef, tomato paste and water to. I could probably pick this stuff up and send it to you. You can e-mail me through my RoadFood link.
    #20
    SassyGritsAL
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    RE: Cincinnati-Style Chili in San Diego 2007/04/25 09:54:20 (permalink)
    I live down South (AL) and we don't have the Cincy style chili here, but I absolutely love it. I have relatives in Cincy and Florence, KY, so when I visit I get my Cincy chili fix. I love the little coney dogs and also a 4-way. I have tried the canned versions and the frozen one but it just ain't the same (must be the atmosphere). You guys in Cincy and Northern KY are so lucky.
    #21
    enginecapt
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    RE: Cincinnati-Style Chili in San Diego 2007/04/26 14:27:41 (permalink)
    Thank you very much soozycue520.
    #22
    jimcor
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    RE: Cincinnati-Style Chili in San Diego 2007/04/29 15:46:58 (permalink)
    You can buy Gold Star Chili Mix on line from Gold Star! Others may sell canned or frozen, but not the mix. Gold Star sells the real thing at a very inexpensive price.

    http://www.goldstarchili.com/grocery/index.php

    Just add meat and a can of tomato sauce. Results are very, very good.
    #23
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