Midwestern Chili...............Great Stuff !!

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Alexander
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RE: Midwestern Chili...............Great Stuff !! 2004/05/21 09:19:42 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by Michael Stern

I like[url='http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Overview.aspx?RefID=119']Camp Washington[/url] best. And for double-decker sandwiches (a lesser-appreciated aspect of Cincinnati Chili Parlor cuisine), [url='http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Overview.aspx?RefID=1166']Price Hill[/url].


At last, another Camp Washington lover! Best of the Cinti chili parlors.
#31
Michael Hoffman
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RE: Midwestern Chili...............Great Stuff !! 2004/05/21 12:40:44 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by AndrewO

I've lived here in cincinnati for almost a year and can't at all handle the so-called chili, and i started with an open mind. I love regional foods but this is some crazy stuff. Maybe because it's called chili, is what messes me up. I can't handle it even on top of hot dogs, and I consider myself a chili dog conneiseur, at least in the south!


The way to deal with this problem is to order a three-way, a four-way or a five-way. That way you never call it chili. As to the dogs, remember that they are called Coneys, not chili dogs, and that'll help you avoid thinking of it as bad chili.
#32
sbukosky
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RE: Midwestern Chili...............Great Stuff !! 2004/05/25 19:35:56 (permalink)
I grew up in Milwaukee knowing chili as the chili soup my mother would make. Thin and with elbo macaroni and kidney beans. The next step was the brief time that Chili John's of Green Bay had a shop in Milwaukee. I ate the stuff several times a week. A friend of mine was a fan of Real Chili in downtown and both were close in taste and style but Chili John's had more fat in it. If you let the bowl cool it would turn solid!

They closed the Milwaukee shop and now are in Green Bay only on Military Road and also in the new Packer's Stadium. When in town on business, it is a must have for a meal.

Since my introduction to the two chili shops, I've frequently made my own, favoring either Carol Shelby's or Wick Fowler's kits. I usually doctor them up in an attempt to duplicate Chili John's or Real Chili's but am missing some ingrediante(s). One ingrediant that I add generously is cumin and yes, I add all of the hot pepper. I've often wondered about other additions. I've heard that cooking chocolate is one. Sorry, cinnamon doesn't do it for me.
#33
Stogie
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RE: Midwestern Chili...............Great Stuff !! 2004/05/26 08:20:04 (permalink)
sbukosky....

As a seasoned chili cook, if you are using Carrol's or Wick's stuff, you have about the best packaged mix there is. The addition of cumin is about all you need. I taste more and more heavily flavored cumin entries.

Stay away from the chocolate...not a single competitor I know uses it....just doesn't add anything.

If you look at all the winning chili's from years past you will notice they are VERY basic with nothing "fancy" or out of the ordinary. The "secrets" are nothing more than using fresh chile's.

Stogie
#34
Michael Hoffman
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RE: Midwestern Chili...............Great Stuff !! 2004/05/26 09:29:06 (permalink)
While I do add cumin, I also add some more cayenne. I want my bald spot to sweat.
#35
Mokkers
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RE: Midwestern Chili...............Great Stuff !! 2004/07/01 21:58:34 (permalink)
I really like the Cincinnati style chili (I'm a transplanted Ohio boy). I wouldn't say it's the best because there are many good chilis, but that style is VERY good and I miss it. On occasion we do our own 3-4-5 way chili. I should order some from Skyline or Empress.

Key ingredients are the cumin and the cinnamon and you have to get the balance right. If one or the other overpowers then the chili is ruined.

One other ingredient I always add because I think it puts a nice edge on the chili is a cup or two of very strong coffee. It adds depth to the chili and helps calm down the tang and acidity from the tomato sauce/paste.

#36
sbukosky
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RE: Midwestern Chili...............Great Stuff !! 2004/07/02 08:50:14 (permalink)
Hmm. Coffee? Seems like something "Cookie" might add in the chuck wagon rather than throw out the pot that has been boiling over the fire. I might try that next time.
#37
hairylunch
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RE: Midwestern Chili...............Great Stuff !! 2004/07/06 10:53:29 (permalink)
So I registered just to reply to this thread . . .

Anyway, someone earlier mentioned that they were told to try to stay close to the actual city when having Skyline - the reason for this is that the locations outside the city are franchises. My personal favorite location is the one on Ludlow, close to the Univesity of Cincinnati campus. Part of this is from my time as a student at UC, but the other part is that it has personality.

I mean, it's open till 3 or 4 in the morning (Skyline is great after a night of drinking.) It's popular around campus, so if you go after the bars close on a weekend, they have a Cincinnati police officer working the door/acting as a host - you'll often have lines waiting outside to get in. Once inside, it's pleasantly crowded (and in the winter a bit humid/steamy), and this is where the real personality comes in. You have quite a few regulars, both students and locals, along with the great staff, many who have been working their for ages. (Squeaky, one of the waitresses, is the first that comes to mind.)

This location is one that hasn't been modernized with the fancy, touch screen computers and displays over the prep area. The waitresses call out orders just like a classic diner, so you'll hear them call out things like "4 cheese on 2" and "5-way inverted and dry." (Inverted is where you have it with the cheese under the chili under the noodles, and dry is where they'll take the plate, put spaghetti on it, put the chili on, stick another plate on it upside down, and drain out the juices/grease/flavor . . .) It's amazing how the prep people keep up with all the chaos of the orders being called out.

Anyway, I think Skyline is the best (Goldstar just doesn't compare) . . . it's arguably an acquired taste, but it's also one of the things I miss most when I'm not in the area . . . I've had my parents buy me cans and mail them to me . . .
#38
hermitt4d
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RE: Midwestern Chili...............Great Stuff !! 2004/08/04 15:49:47 (permalink)
Reading thru Robb Walsh's new book, The Tex-Mex Cookbook, I came across a link between a bowl of Texas red and mid-western chili I didn't know existed.

"Take spaghetti and chili con carne, mix together in equal portions and you will have one of Mexico's most popular dishes." So goes a recipe for Chili Mac in the 1920s by Mexene chili powder (Magic Mexene All-Purpose Seasoning) which was apparently produced by Walker's Austex chili company in Austin.

Beyond that, I didn't know that many old Mexican restaurants in Texas (what we now call Tex-Mex) had a version of chili mac on the menu for many years, as another way of Americanizing their food. Some still serve it. Walsh cites Larry's in the Houston suburb of Richmond, where Spaghetti Mexicano is still on the menu. The dish apparently involves spaghetti on top of tamales topped with a rather bland chili gravy, then cheese. Not 5-way, but not a bowl of Texas Red either.

Here's a link to Walsh's review of Larry's, which is mainly known for its enchiladas, from a couple of years ago:

http://www.houstonpress.com/issues/2002-05-23/cafe.html
#39
BT
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RE: Midwestern Chili...............Great Stuff !! 2004/08/05 01:45:33 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by Tristan Indiana

I alway thought cincy chili was german based being there is such a strong german population there. Imagine my shock when I found out the chili shops were started by greek immigrants to cicny.


Well, in their head they were probably just making a version of pastitsio, tailored to please the silly locals:

PASTITSIO

250 gram spaghetti, cooked

1 onion, chopped finely

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 cup of minced meat

2 tomatoes, chopped

salt and pepper to taste

1 tablespoon of parsley, chopped finely

1 tablespoon butter (or margarine)

2 tablespoons cake flour

1 and a half cups of milk

1 egg, beaten

1 cup of grated cheddar cheese

1/4 cup of parmesan cheese

Using a large frying pan, saut the onion and garlic. Add the meat and brown.

Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper and parsley. Simmer until cooked through and the mixture has the consistency of a sauce.

Using a greased oven proof dish, layer the cooked spaghetti and the mince in the dish.

Use the butter, flour and milk to make a white sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Remove from heat and let the white sauce cool.

Stir in the egg and grated cheddar cheese. Pour over the mince and spaghetti. Sprinkle the parmesan cheese on top.

Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
#40
HiredGoon
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RE: Midwestern Chili...............Great Stuff !! 2004/08/23 00:12:06 (permalink)
Bob's Big Boy resataurants which used to be all over California had a good "chili spaghetti." Mid-west style chili served over spaghetti noodles with melted cheddar and raw diced onions on top. It was my favorite growing up, got it every time I went to Bob's. Sadly most of the Bob's closed down in CA during the early 90s. Not to be confused with the Elias Brothers Bob's Big Boys all over Michigan, similar but different.
#41
AndrewO
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RE: Midwestern Chili...............Great Stuff !! 2004/08/29 17:10:04 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by Michael Hoffman

quote:
Originally posted by AndrewO

I've lived here in cincinnati for almost a year and can't at all handle the so-called chili, and i started with an open mind. I love regional foods but this is some crazy stuff. Maybe because it's called chili, is what messes me up. I can't handle it even on top of hot dogs, and I consider myself a chili dog conneiseur, at least in the south!


The way to deal with this problem is to order a three-way, a four-way or a five-way. That way you never call it chili. As to the dogs, remember that they are called Coneys, not chili dogs, and that'll help you avoid thinking of it as bad chili.


Michael, I tried The root beer stand in sharonville (because of your review, http://roadfood.com/Reviews/Overview.aspx?RefID=512) and like it pretty good. I had the footlong, it was still a coney dog but it didn't have all the spices that Skyline had so it was okay and they do have the best rootbeer.
#42
hermitt4d
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RE: Midwestern Chili...............Great Stuff !! 2004/09/04 00:32:29 (permalink)
A question from a neophyte: I recently ate at a Steak and Shake in Grapevine, TX and tried a cup of their chili. I saw on the menu they served it something like Cincinnati style, but I couldn't eat that much along with my burger. Not bad stuff; certainly better than Burger King or Wendy's chili. Does this stuff compare to the stuff from Skyline, Empress, etc. Taste in the same ball park or something completely different????

I may have to order some from the websites posted above.

BTW, S&S was here in Houston briefly in the mid-70s and a co-worker originally from St. Louis tried to convert me to them, but I was very much into Whataburger back then. I hope their expansion plans include getting back into Houston. The original double was a good burger, just about the perfect size for me.
#43
6star
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RE: Midwestern Chili...............Great Stuff !! 2004/09/04 00:49:19 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by hermitt4d

A question from a neophyte: I recently ate at a Steak and Shake in Grapevine, TX and tried a cup of their chili. I saw on the menu they served it something like Cincinnati style, but I couldn't eat that much along with my burger. Not bad stuff; certainly better than Burger King or Wendy's chili. Does this stuff compare to the stuff from Skyline, Empress, etc. Taste in the same ball park or something completely different????


Steak n Shake chili, at least in Illinois, is NOT "Cincinnati flavor" chili.....no cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, etc. It is a mild "Texas flavor" chili with sauce, meat, beans, spaghetti, cheese, and onions if you wish.
#44
hermitt4d
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RE: Midwestern Chili...............Great Stuff !! 2004/09/06 16:09:34 (permalink)
Thanks, 6star.

That was 'Texas style?' Seemed kind of sweet to me and noticeably lacking in cumin, not to mention heat.

I've seen Skyline in cans at Kroger here, but with the spaghetti already included, which didn't sound too promising. I found some Skyline, chili only, in the freezer section, tho, so I'll be trying it soon, maybe tonight.

Lots of people on Roadfood seem to want to open hot dog stands; my restaurant fantasy is to open a chili parlor. This is all in the name of research, you understand .
#45
TJ Jackson
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RE: Midwestern Chili...............Great Stuff !! 2005/01/19 10:40:43 (permalink)
Cincinnati has a crappy new (about a year old) free weekly paper run by the folks at the Enquirer but made to look like it is an independent paper, in an evident attempt to run the good local free weekly (Citybeat) out of business. Sucks.

Anyway, they have a rundown on Cincinnati Chili in this week's issue. see all the sidebars linked on at: http://www.cinweekly.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050119/COV/501190306

I have often mentioned that Cincinnati loves chains like Olive Garden and such, and this is quite evident in the results of the survey you'll find on that page, where the local megachains (Skyline and Gold Star) have nearly 2/3rds of the vote for their least common denominator chili. Sad but true.

Roadfooders will be happy to see that the top single location place is Camp Washington Chili, with a strong review both here and at Hollyeats.com
#46
michaelgemmell
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RE: Midwestern Chili...............Great Stuff !! 2005/01/19 13:43:04 (permalink)
Many years ago I worked for a man who was from San Antonio. He insisted chili does not contain beans. Now, I have never had "real Texas" chili, but I truly love Steak 'n Shake's chili. I'm from Galesburg IL, the site of the first S 'n S outside the Bloomington IL area--where it originated. Yes, it's a taste from my childhood I still enjoy when I'm in the Midwest (usually the first one I encounter is in Joplin MO, right off the freeway) and from a can at home here in San Francisco. The canned product includes beans but you can get "Chili Mac" without beans in the restaurant. Why not split a double Steakburger and one order of fries with your dining companion, and go ahead and have the Chili 3,4 or 5-way. You MUST MUST MUST have a shake! You will be glad you did. The chili has plenty of cumin, but IMHO S 'n S's secret is the paprika they also use.

You might not like one region's chili, but aren't we lucky to live in a country where there are so many different versions of this wonderful dish?
#47
TJ Jackson
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RE: Midwestern Chili...............Great Stuff !! 2005/01/19 13:53:44 (permalink)
Agreed.
#48
cyrano
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RE: Midwestern Chili...............Great Stuff !! 2005/03/01 01:21:31 (permalink)
Note to those (like me) who grew up on Texas or New Mexican chili and have the chance to try Cincinnati chili-- DO NOT add hot sauce to it in an attempt to make it more like what you're used to. I did this at a Skyline Chili place (in Dayton OH) and the result was godawful, but when I found some in the bowl that hadn't been touched by the hot sauce, it was ok.

And I agree with those who say Steak n' Shake chili is not like Cincinnati chili, at least not here in Columbia MO-- I don't mind having it with spaghetti at all, and if I want a little more kick, they'll bring me some sliced jalapenos.
#49
UncleVic
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RE: Midwestern Chili...............Great Stuff !! 2005/03/01 03:18:26 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by hermitt4d

Thanks, 6star.

Lots of people on Roadfood seem to want to open hot dog stands; my restaurant fantasy is to open a chili parlor. This is all in the name of research, you understand .


Not sure if you've seen this site yet, but fairly intresting! http://www.chilimysoul.com/flavors.html
#50
carlton pierre
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RE: Midwestern Chili...............Great Stuff !! 2005/03/01 06:40:21 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by hairylunch

So I registered just to reply to this thread . . .

Anyway, someone earlier mentioned that they were told to try to stay close to the actual city when having Skyline - the reason for this is that the locations outside the city are franchises. My personal favorite location is the one on Ludlow, close to the Univesity of Cincinnati campus. Part of this is from my time as a student at UC, but the other part is that it has personality.

I mean, it's open till 3 or 4 in the morning (Skyline is great after a night of drinking.) It's popular around campus, so if you go after the bars close on a weekend, they have a Cincinnati police officer working the door/acting as a host - you'll often have lines waiting outside to get in. Once inside, it's pleasantly crowded (and in the winter a bit humid/steamy), and this is where the real personality comes in. You have quite a few regulars, both students and locals, along with the great staff, many who have been working their for ages. (Squeaky, one of the waitresses, is the first that comes to mind.)

This location is one that hasn't been modernized with the fancy, touch screen computers and displays over the prep area. The waitresses call out orders just like a classic diner, so you'll hear them call out things like "4 cheese on 2" and "5-way inverted and dry." (Inverted is where you have it with the cheese under the chili under the noodles, and dry is where they'll take the plate, put spaghetti on it, put the chili on, stick another plate on it upside down, and drain out the juices/grease/flavor . . .) It's amazing how the prep people keep up with all the chaos of the orders being called out.

Anyway, I think Skyline is the best (Goldstar just doesn't compare) . . . it's arguably an acquired taste, but it's also one of the things I miss most when I'm not in the area . . . I've had my parents buy me cans and mail them to me . . .


Hey Hairylunch,

I wish you'd post some more rather than justthis one time. I loved your piece about the Skyline location near UC. I've not been to that onethat I know of, but I felt like I had after reading your piece. Man, very descriptive and you made the place come alive. Please contribute some more articles.
#51
DenverJeff
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RE: Midwestern Chili...............Great Stuff !! 2006/03/12 21:54:31 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by Tacohead

I was fortunate to live in one of the rare places outside of the OH/KY/IN axis that served "Cincinnati Chili". Gold Star made a run at the Denver market and opened a spot in the Tech Center.


After the Gold Star in the Tech Center closed, they briefly had an outpost in the food court at Southwest Plaza mall. I would make the 45 minute drive over there, just for a dish of 3-way. I still can't find any 3-way in town, but there is some decent pseudo-Cincinatti chili and coney's at Sams No. 3 on 15th and Curtis. Apparently Sam ran a "coney island" at that location in the 1920s. Sam's descendents (a Greek family) have built a diner in the old location and the orignial recipe for "Sam's No. 3 red chili" is still on the menu.
#52
Tacohead
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RE: Midwestern Chili...............Great Stuff !! 2006/05/10 19:26:47 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by DenverJeff

quote:
Originally posted by Tacohead

I was fortunate to live in one of the rare places outside of the OH/KY/IN axis that served "Cincinnati Chili". Gold Star made a run at the Denver market and opened a spot in the Tech Center.


After the Gold Star in the Tech Center closed, they briefly had an outpost in the food court at Southwest Plaza mall. I would make the 45 minute drive over there, just for a dish of 3-way. I still can't find any 3-way in town, but there is some decent pseudo-Cincinatti chili and coney's at Sams No. 3 on 15th and Curtis. Apparently Sam ran a "coney island" at that location in the 1920s. Sam's descendents (a Greek family) have built a diner in the old location and the orignial recipe for "Sam's No. 3 red chili" is still on the menu.


Yep, I also managed to catch those guys at the mall. As it turned out, I had started working in the mountains nearby, so it was only about 15 minutes away. I made the same migration from Tech Center to West side too! Must've been the chili. Then one day they were gone - the end of the Denver Cincinnati Chili run. You know those guys couldn't even call their place Gold Star at the mall? That's because they had to offer Colorado staples like pork green chili just to make ends meet. I also tried the Sam's No 3 on Havana and Parker (not sure if it's still there)... it reminded me more of the Steak and Shake chili mentioned prior, which is just too bland for me.
#53
Tacohead
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RE: Midwestern Chili...............Great Stuff !! 2006/05/10 19:31:08 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by cyrano

Note to those (like me) who grew up on Texas or New Mexican chili and have the chance to try Cincinnati chili-- DO NOT add hot sauce to it in an attempt to make it more like what you're used to.


Also starting my chili experience in Texas, I agree that it's best not to add hot sauce to obtain a familiar taste. But the hot sauce that is used for Cincinnati Chili, is a very key ingredient. The sauce is really a cajun pepper sauce, not too far removed from Frank's Red Hot for example. Perhaps an acquired taste - just like the chili itself.
#54
curried bluebonnet
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RE: Midwestern Chili...............Great Stuff !! 2006/05/10 20:59:30 (permalink)
Love Steak n Shake chili 3 way. I even like canned and frozen versions of Cinn. chili--have never had the fortune to eat in that great city, though I'm sure I would love it. We sure are lucky to ber able to enjoy the diversity of TX , midwestern, chilis. But many yrs ago on a trip to New Mexico I discovered green chile--no I grow my own New Mexican Green chiles just to make it. So, yes, while midwestern chili is my favorite, we are lucky to have chile/chile diversity here!
#55
PapaJoe8
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RE: Midwestern Chili...............Great Stuff !! 2006/05/11 15:19:06 (permalink)
Ok you midwest chili lovers, I hope this is a good place for a Texas chili cook to ask about not so usual things that can be used in Cincinati chil. I'm going to make a batch and the fallowing is on my list for 2lbs of meat. Just the unusual stuff.
5 Bay leaves
1t allspice
2T vinager
2T pumkin pie spice subed for cinamin
1T unsweetened coco
origano ??
celery ??
And how much tomato sauce/paste. I see all different amounts in recipes.
Are my amounts OK and am I missing anything?
Thanks,
Joe
#56
Blower
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RE: Midwestern Chili...............Great Stuff !! 2006/06/14 17:59:59 (permalink)
I also go with a good amount of cumin and I'd go with 1 medium can of sauce then adjust to taste. One thing with this style chili is that it is so much better the second day. The best seems to occur when I make it on the thin side and let it sit. It seems like I use a lot more spices than regular chili and on the second day they seem to all blend together into one homogenous flavor.

I use the coco and about 1-2T is a good amount. I also use the allspice and cinnamon..mace does not work well, I think that clove might overpower not be good either so watch the pumpkin pie spice a little. Chili powder also seems to work well and gives a nice deep color.

Another tip is to add the meat to the liquid instead of pre-browining it as it tends to yield smaller pieces of beef that way. Also keep stirring for the first few minutes after you add the beef to get the smaller pieces.
#57
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