Skyline Chili

Skyline Hot Sauce

One of the things that I love about traveling is going to local restaurants and trying regional foods. I’m training near Dayton, Ohio this week, and a local favorite is called, ‘Skyline Chili.’

The restaurant was established in 1949 by a man named Nicholas Lambrinides. Nicholas grew up in the small village of Kastoria in Greece. His family moved to America when he was young, and he dreamed of opening a restaurant with one of his mother’s recipes—chili. It’s different from any chili that you’ve ever tasted before, and the secret ingredient is a closely guarded family secret. People have guessed—nutmeg? Cinnamon? Chocolate?

He opened the restaurant on Price Hill, located on the west side of Cincinnati, and the restaurant’s name pays tribute to the city’s skyline.

The concept is bizarre—spaghetti topped with chili, and cheese. When Served this way, it’s referred to as a 3-Way. A 4-Way is a 3-Way topped with chopped onions or red beans. A 5-Way is 3-Way with chopped onions and red beans.

You’re probably scanning back over the last paragraph wondering if you read it correctly. Yes—yes you did! A 5-Way is spaghetti topped with the secret-recipe chili, cheese, chopped onions, and red beans. Oh, but that’s not it…I’m not finished. This concoction is served with oyster crackers and hot sauce on the side. Both are supposed to be liberally sprinkled over the top, based on the diner’s preferences.

I’ve been told that there’s quite a divide with the locals—either they love Skyline, or they hate it. No middle ground here!

My opinion? Surprisingly, it works! It’s a delicious carb fest, with ingredients that I would never have thought to put together.

P.S. They also serve chili and cheese on a hotdog—their version of a Coney Island Dog.

A 5-Way!

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