Sunday, May 17, 2009

gangsters and chili

in the 1930s and on into the 50s, newport was a haven for gambling and gangsters. dixie chili has seen it all. founded in 1929 by greek immigrant nicholas sarakatsannis, it is the second oldest cincinnati-style chili parlor in the area behind empress.

today brian and i ventured to newport for the historical walking tour and also stopped for some of the historic chili. dixie chili has the typical chili parlor decor and menu, with a few creative twists, like a juke box and "the alligator". i was kind of intrigued by the alligator, a hot dog with a pickle, cheese and mayo (i would get it without mayo, of course), but decided to stick with chili cheese sandwiches, sans onions.

the chili at dixie is thicker, heartier, with more complex flavoring than skyline. it was pretty darn good, although i thought it could have used a little salt. i think next time i would get it with onions. onions would really add to the overall sandwich taste. brian also enjoyed it, but did not like it more than skyline. i thought it tasted fresher than skyline, and therefore was more appealing.we got a little german flag to mark us as waiting for waffle fries. i'm not sure if there's an association, like german flags symbolize waffle fries and the greek flag maybe a 3-way. but i doubt it's that complex of a system.

the tour was full of interesting tidbits of newport's history. among other tales of mayhem and murder, we learned the brass ass (brian's most favorite strip club experience ever. it still makes his skin crawl.) used to be called the stardust, mimicking the casino in vegas. note the star still shining on the facade.

Dixie Chili on Urbanspoon


Cincy Hound Dog said...

I tried Dixie Chili on Monmouth St. in Newport for the first time about 2 months ago. I agree with your take, it does seem thicker,has a bit more tomato taste and seems a little more "fresh". However, like Brian, I can't say I like it better than Skyline. BTW, they have great onions there, so be sure to try them next time.

I had tried to do a chili quest recently, but it didn't take long for me to realize that to be fair it really needed to be a blind tasting. I found myself trying to compare everything to Skyline.


Veggie Option said...

Their home-made vegetable soup is the chippity!

Wish I'd have known you and Brian were in town, you could have stopped by for a brew after the tour.