a few weekends ago we were driving about aimlessly trying to decide on dinner. we happened to pass empress and decided to pull in. for me, it was not without a pang of nostalgia. i had not eaten there since my grandpa retired and the drug store closed in 1992.
similar to every chili parlor on the westside, the walls of empress are bedecked with elder paraphernalia. the tablecloths are vinyl, the flowers are faux. the menu at empress is more extensive than skyline, but less so than price hill chili. as i was absolutely starving, i ordered a chilito and a cheeseburger.
the chilito was pretty typical. i always feel there is too much tortilla and not enough filling. however, the chili was delicious. drier than skyline and more zesty, i think empress may become my new favorite cincinnati chili. although brian disagreed. he still prefers skyline.the burger was so-so, an average patty cooked for the median palate (a 3.5 out of 6 on the burger scale). but look at all those pickles and the wavy husman chips!the stop at empress was a wonderful trip down memory lane, one i will repeat. the chili is great, the ambiance quintessential westside, and the crackers are shur-good. maybe next time we'll stop by after a high school football game. too bad my grandpa isn't around to join us.