I thought I’d make my first My Town Monday post in forever a chili post. Specifically, Delhi Chili, which I first spotted on my way to a job interview. I got the job, and since I drive by the place every day, I took a lunch hour and tried it out.
Delhi (pronounced Dell-high) Chili is located, appropriately, on Delhi Pike in, of all places, Delhi Township. Delhi is a part of Cincinnati’s West Side, a strange land where all boys go to Elder High School and all girls go to Seton, moving away means moving two blocks over from where you grew up, and going anywhere east of I-75 or west of the I-275 Loop means you’ve left town. Which means I’m a foreigner at work. I digress.
Delhi Chili has more in common with its East Side counterpart, Blue Ash Chili. It’s a family restaurant that serves burgers, double-decker sandwiches, and breakfast. The prices are reasonable, slightly more than other local mom-and-pop places. Since trying the place out, I found out they offer an “eight-way,” but I have no idea what it is. For natives and long-time residents, the standard procedure for walking into a chili place is to order a three-way (chili over spaghetti with cheese), a four-way (a three-way with onions or beans), or a five way (a three-way with onions and beans). Northern Kentucky’s Dixie Chili boasts about its six-way, which adds fresh garlic to the mix.
I always order a four-way onion and a Diet Coke, so I didn’t even look at the menu. Therefore, I can’t tell you what an eight-way is, but I’m sure someone will enlighten us in the comments.
The store itself is a corner stand that could easily have been a Dairy Queen or a Hardee’s in another life. Since this is a family-owned place, Delhi lacks some of the generic corporate trappings of the chains. But then this is the West Side, where chain restaurants mean LaRosa’s Pizza and Skyline Chili, both local eateries. As such, it’s a more comfortable place with a staff that seems familiar even on your first visit.
So how’s the chili?
Delhi has a thinner chili that, like most of the independent chili places in Cincinnati, is heavier on the spices and cinnamon than some of the bigger places. It’s a meaty chili. While it has a similar taste and consistency to Skyline, the meat makes the difference.
More at the My Town Monday blog.