Chili is one of those foods that really has a wide range of interpretation as to how to prepare it. Chili cook-offs around the country can have as many as 20 different categories based on beans, spiciness, meat, color, flavor etc. of the chili. Cincinnati has a truly unique take on chili, and nothing embodies that unique spin than Skyline Chili. I give you the ladies and gentleman of the jury: The 3 Way.
The 3 way is named after the number of layers that come with your chili. Skyline starts with a huge pile of spaghetti. Next they put on a thick coating of piping hot chili, and finally they top it off with a mound, and I do mean mound of finely shredded cheddar cheese.
The spaghetti layer is probably the least unique layer of the dish. Skyline I believe mixes in a light amount of marinara sauce into the spaghetti, the idea here is not to flavor the spaghetti itself, but to provide a medium to deliver the awesome taste that comes with the chili and cheese.
The chili itself is somewhat of a marvel and wonder to me. The ingredients normally include cinnamon, chocolate or cocoa, spices, and Worcestershire sauce. The meat itself is very finely ground, and the consistently is more soup like than chunky. It is very much different from its Texas cousin.
The cheese layer is supposed to be very much over the top. I would compare it to a hay bale, this thing is a meal in itself. Skyline does it right by heaping on the cheese. Every bite has a bottom layer of cheese that has already melted into the spaghetti and chili, and then a still cool fresh layer of cheese on top. It’s comfort food at its very best. If you really know how to each your chili, then you can order a “4-way” or even a “5-way” which would include onions and beans in addition to the cheese, spaghetti, and chili. YUM!
And as if it couldn’t get any better, you can get Cinci chili dogs or coneys, burritos, fries, sandwiches. Think of Bubba from Forest Gump and just substitute the word “chili” for the word “shrimp”. This chili is glorious!