I found my way to Price Hill Chili for lunch this afternoon after being forced out of my temporary home office due to Time Warner’s failure to keep the Internet connection alive, but that is a conversation for another day. I have wanted to visit this Cincinnati institution on the west side of town for a number of weeks but my wife and I had failed to find the time to do so. I know that I have been inside the restaurant or the connected Golden Fleece Lounge many years ago, but I don’t think I have ever had anything to eat.
The restaurant and lounge sit on the busy Glenway Avenue and have been in this same location since they opened the doors in 1962. I entered the restaurant through the original front door, and the first thing you see is the steam table and grill, making it feel like you are using the back door. Since most people likely enter from the rear of the building, which connects to the parking lot, this room does now feel like the kitchen area. I took a seat at the dining counter adjacent to the kitchen area so I could watch the two cooks and the various waitresses as they came and went.
After taking an order for another guy at the counter, a waitress came by for a drink order and handed me a menu. I glanced over it, although I already knew that I was coming here to try the 4 way. The menu is filled with traditional diner fare including a wide variety of breakfast foods. I noticed right away that most people were either ordering sandwiches or breakfast, especially omelets despite it being nearly 1pm. It also appeared that many of the customers were regulars since many were known by name and didn’t need a menu to decide what they were having.
After placing my 4 way order, it arrived in front of me very quickly. Immediately I realized that this was going to be quite a bit different from the Skyline Chili that I am used to. First of all this chili isn’t as sweet as Skyline’s. Though this chili would still be classified as Cincinnati style, the spices are much more subtle. I did detect a little cinnamon but none of the chocolate tones that I have grown to love. Price Hill Chili is also meatier than Skyline’s, so more on par with what Gold Star offers, from what I can remember.
With all of that said I must admit that I much prefer Skyline’s brand of chili. This wasn’t a bad chili but as I said before I have really grown to love the in your face spices from Skyline. If I were to go back to Price Hill Chili I would likely try something on the menu other than their chili, as it appeared most of the other customers were doing. Perhaps they too have already decided they like Skyline better. However Price Hill Chili must be doing something right, as their customers are very local and an open parking spot was hard to come by on my Thursday afternoon visit.