Even though there are many Skyline Chili locations in Columbus I find myself eating this famous chili predominantly while back home in Cincinnati (i.e. with my sister, at 11 a.m. on Sunday morning, while recounting the events of the night before). However recently we were on the hunt for something quick and cheap and remembered this classic.
Typically the Skyline Chili eaters I know come from Cincinnati or Dayton. I’d love to hear how some Columbusites without a connection to Cinci or Dayton came to like Skyline. For those you haven’t eaten Skyline, here is what you should know. Skyline Chili was created by Nicholas Lambrinides, a Greek immigrant who came to the U.S. in the 40s. The secret ingredient is apparently chocolate and it’s unlike any chili you’ve ever eaten.
It’s soupier as opposed to chunky. I rarely see someone eat it alone in a bowl (although that is an option). The best ways to eat the chili are either on a hot dog (coney with or without onions and mustard), on a bun without the dog (chili cheese sandwich) or over spaghetti as a three-way (spaghetti, chili, cheese), four-way (spaghetti, chili, cheese and either onions or beans) or a five-way (spaghetti, chili, cheese, onions and beans).
If you sit at the counter long enough you’ll learn there are even more ways to order your spaghetti than these three-ways. Ask for your favorite way wet and you’ll get a little spaghetti water at the bottom; go dry and you’ll have none; ask for it inverted and you’ll get the cheese on the bottom which will melt from the chili being directly on top.
Typicall I order a four-way, light on the onions, dry, and one or two chili cheese sandwiches with onions and mustard.
After you’ve order you can dig into the oyster crackers your server brings you. The best way to eat these is to pop a hole into them with a fork prong and fill it with the hot sauce that sits at the end of your booth.
Even though it’s primarily less than healthy eats, Skyline has an impressive Greek salad. They make and package their own dressing and the salad features loads of fresh feta cheese.
Skyline Chili can be spotted far from Ohio. There are multiple Skyline Chili locations in Florida and a friend of mine in Houston buys chili in cans at his local grocery store. Interestingly enough not only did Skyline Chili make it to Houston but Graeter’s did as well with a new location in Houston.