Seek, and ye shall eat. I set out to sample Cincinnati Chili at the four most established restaurants in the area: Skyline, Camp Washington, Blue Ash, and Gold Star. Each one had a slightly different take on the dish. One for me stood out among the rest.

I had been to Skyline before, and did not enjoy it. If you are reading this post without reading my earlier one, you have no idea why I feel that way. Because you are lazy, I will not do the work again for you. Suffice it to say that when it is not served on top of spaghetti, Skyline is great. What else would you expect from the Official Chili of the Cincinnati Reds? It is a chain, be forewarned, as many people eschew the experience of chain food dining. But I am not many people. On top of a coney dog with a bit of hot sauce, I would give the experience a 3.5 out of 4.

Camp Washington Chili is so named for the neighborhood in which it is located. Founded in 1940, it is considered a landmark in the Cincinnati area, and well worth the trip. It is more of a diner experience than the other establishments, and the atmosphere goes a long way. The chili has the most liquid consistency, and  the strongest cocoa taste. While certainly worth the visit, it is not the best chili I tasted. Still, a respectable 3.2 rating out of 4, and a must visit for the overall experience.

Blue Ash has the distinction of being known as the place where Food Network’s Guy Fieri has visited. Blue Ash Chili is unimaginatively located in Blue Ash, Ohio, just outside of Cincy. Take note: if you are going here, be sure to prepare for a bit of a wait. At lunch, this place is jammed packed, with people sometimes lined up outside. The power of Guy is very strong here.  The chili, however…meh. I found it to be the weakest of all. It wasn’t poor; just, nothing outstanding. Sorry Guy. I would not eat this off a dirty shoe, shattering my illusion that you can trust everything you see on TV. Rating: 2.7 out of 4.

Doing my best Guy Fieri.

That leads us to Gold Star. It’s another chain. It’s another chili place. And it is the best. Oh, I know this might not be the most popular view amongst the good citizens of Cincinnati; but it’s my blog and I’ll opine if I want to. I had the chili in a bowl, with side of crackers and a fantastic hot sauce that was not too overpowering. It added the right flavoring to pair with the taste of the chili. I have to give it my highest rating of 4 Yums!!!  And a yea!

To all of you not lucky enough to get to the Cincinnati area: shame. Also, there are recipes on the Internet. This one from PBS’s “Cooks Country” is probably the best of the lot. Please make it and try. You will not be disappointed.