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Blue Ash Chili

9565 Kenwood Rd., Cincinnati, OH - (513) 984-6107
Posted By Michael Stern on 11/11/2002 8:39:00 PM
As the name suggests, Blue Ash is a chili parlor; and it is a great chili parlor, among the elite in a city where chili is a passion. The way it works in greater Cincinnati is that you build your plate, according to the layers you like. It is, for instance, possible to order merely a dish of spaghetti (traditionally, the bottom layer) or a bowl of chili (the meat sauce that usually goes atop the spaghetti. You can get a dish of only chili and spaghetti, or you can get a 3-way (chili, spaghetti, and cheese), 4-way (chili, spaghetti, cheese, and raw onions), or 5-way (add beans). You can even get a 5-way, hold the onions, extra cheese. The possibilities are nearly endless, all the way up to a gallon of chili (to go, we assume!) for $20.

A layered plate of 3 to 5 way is a beautiful thing. The chili meat is dark and resonant, not too spicy but with complex character; and the spaghetti noodles are always fork-friendly: not too long, and squiggly enough that they stay on the tines of a fork with virtually no slippage.

Good as the chili is at Blue Ash, we think of this naugahyde-and-linoleum eat-place more as a sandwich shop; for the sandwiches are nothing short of spectacular. “We think we have the best sandwiches in town, the menu advises; and in Cincinnati, sandwiches are a big deal, almost as big as chili. As in every Cincinnati chili parlor, double deckers reign at Blue Ash. A double decker means two ingredients of your choice are sandwiched in three slices of bread, making a sandwich that is so tall it is a challenge to lift from its plate. Ingredient choices for double-deckers range from bacon and egg to hot ham and cheese, turkey, beef, and bacon. Any combo is possible, including “turkey and turkey,” “beef and beef,” etc., meaning your double decker is simply a double lode of a favorite ingredient. We are especially fond of hot ham, which is sliced thin and loaded into the bread in moist clumps, especially when paired with American cheese, lettuce, tomato, and mayo. Bacon is quite wonderful in any double-decker; it is piled on thick and curly – great with turkey, eggs, or cheese.

On the side, for variety’s sake, many customers get one or two Coneys – small hot dogs in tender buns, customarily dressed with chili, onions, and mustard and completely covered with a great fistful of grated orange cheese.

23 out of 24 people found the review helpful. Was it helpful to you?

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Scorecard

5 - Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
3 to 5 way chili
double-decker sandwich
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Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

A beautifully-constructed plate of 5-way chili.  Not shown: oyster crackers as a garnish.
"A beautifully-constructed plate of 5-way chili. Not shown: oyster crackers as a garnish."
Michael Stern





Blue Ash finds interesting ways to use their chili in unexpected ways, such as this chili lasagna, here sided by thick slices of garlic toast.
"Blue Ash finds interesting ways to use their chili in unexpected ways, such as this chili lasagna, here sided by thick slices of garlic toast."
Cliff Strutz


The five ways come in several different sizes, including this smaller portion, which allows you to sample some of the other indigenous foods that Blue Ash Chili offers.
"The five ways come in several different sizes, including this smaller portion, which allows you to sample some of the other indigenous foods that Blue Ash Chili offers."
Cliff Strutz


Like everything else chili related at Blue Ash, the chili cheese coneys are buried underneath a mountain of shredded cheese.
"Like everything else chili related at Blue Ash, the chili cheese coneys are buried underneath a mountain of shredded cheese."
Cliff Strutz


Fries with gravy and cheese, in case your double-decker sandwich or 5-way chili is not enough
"Fries with gravy and cheese, in case your double-decker sandwich or 5-way chili is not enough"
Michael Stern


In a city filled with chili parlor chains (some of which are very, very good), Blue Ash stands out as an independent (that is better than very, very good).
"In a city filled with chili parlor chains (some of which are very, very good), Blue Ash stands out as an independent (that is better than very, very good)."
Michael Stern


The is the way a fully-dressed Coney (hot dog) is presented at Blue Ash:  in a small bowl, buried underneath chili and cheese, not to mention onions and mustard.  We dare anyone to eat this with their hands.  A fork is required!
"The is the way a fully-dressed Coney (hot dog) is presented at Blue Ash: in a small bowl, buried underneath chili and cheese, not to mention onions and mustard. We dare anyone to eat this with their hands. A fork is required!"
Michael Stern


This is relatively modest double-decker sandwich:  hot ham and cheese.  Still, it is a plateful!
"This is relatively modest double-decker sandwich: hot ham and cheese. Still, it is a plateful!"
Michael Stern


Mac and cheese is a solid offering.  B.
"Mac and cheese is a solid offering. B."
Dave O'Ball


A chocolate malted.  Grade: A.
"A chocolate malted. Grade: A."
Dave O'Ball



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