After taking the Newport Gangster Tour my family and I headed to Dixie Chili for lunch. We walked past the restaurant during the tour and were all surprised to hear that this restaurant had been in operation since 1929 on the same block in Newport. Nicholas Sarakatsannis worked at Empress Chili, the first of the Cincinnati chili parlors, before starting Dixie Chili in an 8×30 foot room. Today the restaurant occupies a much larger section of the block.
Unlike Skyline Chili parlors, customers at Dixie Chili enter the restaurant and are queued up to an ordering counter along with a big menu on the wall. My family and I all stared at the menu for a few minutes and most of us decided to order their exclusive 6-Way, which combines chili, spaghetti, beans, onions all topped with fresh chopped garlic and cheese. The garlic is what really makes this combination different from anything I’ve eaten before. Also the chili at Dixie is spicier and not as sweet as Skyline’s chili. I liked it a lot.
As I often do, I combined my favorite chili way with a chili cheese sandwich on the side. I’m not a hot dog eater, so this is my substitute for the traditional coney on the side. Again, I really enjoyed this. Another interesting item on the menu is the vegetarian chili, which my wife tried as a 6-Way. It was a little more Tex-Mex style than the regular chili, but still a great option for the non-meat eaters out there. It is also available in jars to go, along with the traditional chili. If you have not tried Dixie Chili before do yourself a favor and go now.