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Skyline Chili (Indianapolis East)

March 21, 2022

  • 9715 Washington Street
  • Indianapolis, IN 46219
  • (317) 352-1275
  • Website
  • Menu

“Well we flew through Cincinnati. And we all got really happy. Grabbed a bowl of that Skyline Chili along the way.”

I had never heard of Skyline Chili prior to Big & Rich putting it into an incredibly popular Country song from 2005 and now I can’t get that one line out of my head.  

I was in Indianapolis for work a couple of weeks ago and had some time to kill.  My co-worker and I drove to Indianapolis separately because she had to stay a day longer than I did.  She had some friends in town from a previous job so she was meeting up with them which left me on my own for lunch.  

I checked out of my hotel around 11:30 but didn’t really need to get to the jobsite until about 4:00.  I could have eaten anywhere in Indianapolis that I wanted but I kept passing signs for Skyline Chili…and I kept singing that damn song.  

The Skyline Chili closest to my hotel was on Washington Street in the Cherry Tree Plaza on the east side of Indianapolis.  The Cincinnati based chain  has three stores in the Indianapolis area all sort of on the outskirts of town near one of the major highways.  

It has been years since I’ve actually been to a Skyline Chili. J and I ate at one as we were coming to Kalamazoo for the first time. We were living in Lansing at the time where she had a job. The night before our wedding, her company tells her they’re shutting down their Lansing office and moving her to Kalamazoo. We were planning on a trip to the Smokey Mountains for our honeymoon. We took most of that trip but left a little earlier to come back and look for apartments in Kalamazoo. We ended up stopping overnight in Indianapolis and there was a Skyline Chili near our hotel.

The set up is totally different now than what I remembered from that trip in 2009.

The restaurant is full service. Last time we ate at a Skyline, it was more cafeteria style where you grabbed your tray and kind of moved along the line. I must have looked a little shock when I walked in and saw waitresses. There was a lunch counter near the back where the kitchen was but there was no more cafeteria style set up for quickly getting some food.

I sat down at a booth pretty quickly and opened up a menu on my phone. The waitress came off with a little big of crackers and some silverware. I already knew what I wanted when I sat down so I put my order in right away.

We don’t have any Skyline Chili locations anywhere near Kalamazoo but I did used to buy the frozen dinners and canned chili all the time from Meijer. I love the taste and texture of the chili and would put it on a variety of things.

I ordered the 3-Way. Spaghetti, chili, and cheese. The spaghetti is already cooked and so is the chili so it came out of the kitchen pretty fast. They use a pretty small, narrow plate to make it look like you get a log of spaghetti. The serving size is actually about right, it just looks huge on the plate. The spaghetti is covered in that chili that is unlike any other chili in the country. It’s a fine mince of meat with a chili that is somehow both sweet and savory. The whole dish is topped off with a huge portion of shredded cheddar cheese.

I added on an order for fries to my meal but I really shouldn’t have. If you’re not going to top the fries with chili and cheese too, there’s really no reason to order the fries. They’re incredibly simple and lack any sort of flavor. There was salt on the table but it didn’t really stick because the fries appeared to be air fried instead of deep fried.

The cost of my meal was just over $13.

Skyline Chili is one of those places that is always calling my name when we travel because we don’t have any in Michigan. I know the idea of Cincinnati chili sounds weird but somehow, it’s so good. We ate at Blue Ash Chili when we were in Cincinnati. We would have sought out the original Skyline but it was torn down in 2002. I knew there were Skyline’s in Indiana and I knew one day I’d get back there. I finally did.

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