I went for the chili, I'll be back for the sandwiches... Intrigued by the write-up last year in Cincinnati Magazine's Chili special that highlighted Blue Ash Chili, this place has been on my list to try for a while. So the day finally came this weekend and I rolled into the place to give it a try.
From the outside, this place is nothing special. It has clearly been around for a LONG time, and that is reinforced as you step into the restaurant. The place probably hasn't been remodeled since the 70s. It strikes you as a greasy spoon diner with an open kitchen, lots of booths, and patrons that all seem like regulars.
The menu looked enticing, and I had also heard good things about the sandwiches, but I was there for one thing and one thing only, the chili. I am a lover of Cincinnati chili and a regular at my local Skyline on Madison Rd. in Oakley. I love Skyline and was really interested in seeing how Blue Ash Chili stacked up. They serve the standard 3 ways, 4 ways, 5 ways and coneys. They also have a 6 way which adds jalapeno slices on top. I really wanted to give that 6 way a shot, but wanted to make the playing field level for the comparison to Skyline, so I ordered my standard 4 way with onions. One thing that was curious was that they only had one size of each chili dish, rather than a small, regular, and large at Skyline.
The Chili arrived and looked appetizing. See the great photo.
It was good, but on the bland side. In comparison to Skyline, it seemed to lack spice and flare. I ended up adding a ton of hot sauce, but that only got it so far. Overall, the Chili was a bit disappointing. I would have preferred if they put a new twist on Cincinnati chili rather than being very similar to Skyline, but just not stacking up. I will not be back for the Chili, .... but I will be back to try one of their sandwiches.
As I was plowing through my 4 way, my mouth was watering at the site of some corn beef sandwiches piled high on the plates of people at the next table. As I walked to the front to pay my bill, I ogled many more massive deli sandwiches that looked amazing. Most people in the restaurant were eating those delicious looking sandwiches, and not the Chili. Maybe they should change their name to something more general than Blue Ash Chili.
Overall, don't go for the Chili or the atmosphere. But just looking at those sandwiches piled high on the plates of large waisted regulars, I am sure the sandwiches are worth it for a trip to Blue Ash.