Skyline chili

When I was food shopping the other day I saw some Skyline Chili in the frozen foods section,I figured after reading the TR's from KI about how good it was I would give it a try.(never had it before)

The most unique chili I have ever had,kinda has a "clove" taste to it,it grew on me the more I ate it.

Not bad stuff,just enough heat to it..

^^Well, for what it's worth, if you ever get to Cincy Gold Star Chili is better!! But hey, take what you can get!

I don't know where you live, but Skyline has a fair amount of locations somewhat nationwide now...

Yeah, try to get to a real Skyline location. The frozen stuff probably isn't as good as the "real thing."
Lord Gonchar's avatar
Don't know about the frozen stuff, but I can vouch for the canned product - tastes exactly like the restaurant version.

Makes it quite easy to DIY some Coneys at home. :)

I live in Pa.,this is the first time I have seen it in our area.

It surprised me at first eating it,thought it would have a typical generic chili taste to it.

Very different and very good.

coasterqueenTRN's avatar
I never really cared for it. I admit it's an "acquired" taste. I LOVE chili but prefer more of a southwestern style. They had a place here in Charleston MANY years ago but it didn't go over very well.

The term "three-way" and "four-way" still cracks me up, though. ;)


Skyline- you either love it or you hate it. But never, ever take up an arguement with a native Cincinnatian over whether or not it's good, or if it should even be considered chili. You'll be in serious trouble!

The first restaurant opened overlooking the Cincinnati skyline in 1949 with Nicholas Lambrinides' original recipe. Being a greek dish, it has flavors that straight-up chili lovers would consider unusual, the most predominant of which is cinnamon. When prepared, the meat (hamburger) is boiled in water which gives the chili it's thin, watery consistency.

If you can't get to a chili parlor the frozen will do in a pinch, and Gonch's assessment of the canned is correct. But it's hard to duplicate the dishes at home, they use such unique little hotdogs and buns for the cheese coneys, (with onions and mustard-never ketchup- they're called Skyliners) and even the three-way tastes better out than in. There's a special, correct way to eat Skyline, too, and if you're caught twirling your spaghetti you can expect indignant stares from the other customers across the counter!

Skyline, Gold Star, and Empress are three Cincinnati chili brands in the area and beyond. Basically the same, people argue the virtues of each. I'm in the Skyline camp, myself.

I order my three-way "sloppy", Tina. ;)

matt.'s avatar
I love the Cincy style stuff, but I agree that Gold Star is a bit better to my palate.

I really don't even think of it as chili, though, just more of a really tasty meat sauce to go on pasta with a buttload of cheese. It's like comparing a New Haven style pizza to a Chicago style deep-dish. They share ingredients, sure, but completely different animals.

That's fine, matt., but trust me-just keep those comments to yourself when you get to Ohio! :)
I either love it or hate it.

I do like that its beanless,so do others around me ;)

Lord Gonchar's avatar
I have to admit that I don't think of it as chili either. Chili is something you eat on it's own - I can't imagine eating a bowl of Skyline Chili.

Then again, I'm not a native of the area so who am I to tell everyone it's not chili. :)

This is one of the best threads I've seen on here in a long time. I am a native of metro Detroit, my wife is from Centerville, OH and she got me hooked on Skyline Chili. I have had Gold Star...but Skyline is the best. Whenever, I am in the area I always make it a point to hit Skyline, Graeters, and Montgomery Inn.

The frozen and canned versions of Skyline suck. There is a package of Cincinnati Recipe chili mix that you can make at home...its pretty close to Skyline.

We're getting a Montgomery Inn here in Columbus, so then we'll have all three. Like a little northern 'nnati.

I've never tried the chili mix for homemade, but once we (foolishly) tried a made-from-scratch recipe. Not as good and a lot of trouble.

There are no Skyline places in Pa.(went to their website) :(

Going to have to do a KI trip next year,you guys have me wanting to taste their chili at one of their stores.

Thanks Motor for the comment about the thread.

*** Edited 8/23/2008 8:12:59 PM UTC by X Ride Op***

RCMAC said:
I order my three-way "sloppy", Tina. ;)

The inverted three-way is the epitome of gastronomic delight.

Gold Star versus Skyline is how Cincinnatians define themselves. We seniors counter with Empress and Camp Washington.

Is it dinner time yet? :)

coasterqueenTRN's avatar
^I think that is pretty much the problem. It's not that it tastes that bad, it's the fact that my body can't handle it, much like White Castle burgers. ;)

I do love the fact that they SMOTHER the stuff in cheese since I am a cheeseaholic. I can really do without the chili, though. ;) I do twirl my spaghetti so I am surprised I haven't been banned from the Skyline's and Gold Stars I have been to. ;)

I am not much of a hot dog person but it's interesting what "toppings" are the most popular around the country. Cinci peeps worship the coneys, which aren't bad. Like I said I love all the shredded cheese they throw on them. In Charleston most people prefer cole slaw and mustard, and that horrible canned "hot dog" chili.


*** Edited 8/23/2008 8:26:41 PM UTC by coasterqueenTRN***

Well, X Ride Op, you'll be in luck. There happens to be a Skyline Chili parlor right across the freeway from KI near the entrance to the Beach. You can have it at the park, I know, but if I were you I'd wait and go to the real deal. (It'll be better on a real china plate and my guess is a little cheaper!)

The cheese is the thing, Tina, and what you do is get your 3way in front of you, turn the oval plate so it runs N-S, not E-W, and give that awesome amount of cheese some time to a little melting. During this time you can strap on your bib, have some Pepsi, and get your little dish of oyster crackers ready for later. (Some crunch em up, some leave em whole. Some find the little hole in the cracker and fill it with a drop or two of Skyline pepper sauce.) Then when it's all melty you start at the end closest to you and with the side of your fork cut straight down through the cheese from the top to the plate. Lift and eat. The cheese miraculously holds the other stuff together so you get everything with every bite and there's no embarrassing twirling. Once you've made some progress toward the other end of the plate you can tip it forward and throw some crackers into the runny chili juice that appears. Eat that mess along with any stray strands of spaghetti that may be left behind. Yum yum yum. On your way out buy an ice cream bar and maybe even a hat, because now you're a fan!

Ok, now, I gotta think of a way to get to one this weekend. Maybe tomorrow while I'm out "running errands".

Thanks RC I will remember that.

You sound like you are a season vet when it comes to eating it. :)

Buddy, I'm a seasoned vet when it comes to eating. Period.
agree that it is an acquired taste. Living in California, there are days when I would gladly trade an In-N-Out Double Double for a Skyline Three-Way.

No Moosh, that is not what you are thinking (hoping). :)

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