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Blue Ash Chili (Mason)

August 5, 2019

  • 4200 Aero Drive #L
  • Mason, OH 45040
  • (513) 492-9650
  • Website
  • Menu

Cincinnati chili.  I hate that I know what Cincinnati chili is because of Big & Rich.  Their hit single Coming to Your City included the line “Grabbed a bowl of that Skyline Chili along the way.”

I had no idea what Skyline Chili was at that time.  I do now and while we passed several Skyline Chili’s on our adventure around Cincinnati, I wanted to try one something from not a big chain despite Skyline being essentially the originators of Cincinnati Chili.

Blue Ash Chili is a small chain of chili parlors with three locations in the Cincinnati area.  the orignal location is in Blue Ash and has been open since 1969.  This is the location Guy Fieri visited 2010 for Diner’s, Drive-Ins, and Dives.

We were closest to the Mason location of Blue Ash Chili.  The restaurant is part of a larger shopping complex on Aero Drive near Tylersville Road.  The restaurant is visible from Tylersville but has to be accessed from Aero Drive or Stitt Road.  It’s on the southern end of the complex that also include a Donatos Pizza and Penn Station East Coast Subs.

We had kind of timed out our morning so we’d check out of the hotel then hit the restaurant for a breakfast/lunch before hitting the road back to Michigan.  We walked in just after they opened a little after 10:30 and found ourselves to be the only ones in the restaurant.  The server told us to sit wherever so we grabbed a booth not too far from the large lunch counter that takes up the middle of the space.

The restaurant is kind of decorated as a modern version of the 50’s diner.  There are old records and pictures on the green walls but the furniture is very modern.  The dining room is carpeted while the lunch counter area extends the very modern tiles from the front door.

I had no doubt what I was going to order.  I got a big ol’ bowl of 3-Way Cincinnati Chili.  3-Way is steamed spaghetti topped with their “premium chili” and cheddar cheese.  The orders go up to 6-Way with each “way” adding another ingredient.

When the bowl was set down, it was hard to even see the spaghetti sticking out from underneath the large pile of chili and shredded cheddar cheese. The chili is very similar to what we put on Coney Dogs here in Michigan, but it’s not the same.  It’s a thin chili made with ground beef and boiled until it gets to the right consistency.  I don’t know the exact recipe but I’d bet there’s a lot of cinnamon in the chili which gives it an amazingly unique flavor.  Serving it on top of spaghetti is an idea I’d never have come up with on my own but the chili is very similar to a meat based tomato sauce that it makes perfect sense and topping it with more cheddar cheese than is necessary makes this dish so uniquely Cincinnati.

J was interested in the Cincinnati Chili concept but wanted something a little bit different so she ordered the Chili Mac & Cheese.  Instead of spaghetti, the base for this is actually mac ‘n cheese.  It’s topped with the chili and a little more shredded cheddar.  J said this combination made an awesome chili cheese.  She used some of the fries L ordered and dipped them in the sauce once she ate all the pasta.

The kids are not very adventurous and did not order chili.  We got the Double PB&J Meal for B.  Each half of this sandwich was like two sandwiches in one.  The peanut butter and jelly are divided by a third piece of bread so they never touch.  He chose applesauce for his side and ended up eating mostly that.  He ate a little over half of the PB&J with a little coaxing so it wasn’t a total waste of a meal this time.

L was even less adventurous and just wanted a salad.  I ordered her the Tossed Salad without tomatoes.  The small bowl with just lettuce and cheddar cheese.  She chose Ranch as her dressing and she was very happy with her choice.  She ate the whole bowl.  I’m sure the exorbitant amount of shredded cheddar helped that.

L also got a side of order of fries but J and I actually ended up eating most of them.  They were simple crinkle cut frozen fries and neither kid seemed really interested so J and I dipped them in our chili.

Our bill for lunch was just under $30 before tip.

If you go to Cincinnati, you have to get Cincinnati Chili.  There are a lot of places to choose from but I think we made the right choice choosing Blue Ash Chili.

 

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