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Old 09-28-2011, 12:49 PM
 
Location: Northern Arizona
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There was a place a while back in Arizona called Hail Mary's Sports Bar (started by a couple guys from Cleveland) who offered Cincinnati-style chili as one of their entrees. I think they closed up when the economy turned sour.

In actuality, it was thicker than what we're used to from Gold Star, Skyline and others, and reminded me more of the kind of chili served at Real Chili in Madison (which is a great place if you ever find yourself in the area)
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Old 09-28-2011, 01:25 PM
 
Location: Mason, OH
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From what I saw on the internet, both Chili John's and Real Chili look thicker than typical Cincinnati Chili, almost too thick to even coat the spaghetti. Since I also like to pour oyster crackers on mine I want enough liquid so everything gets soppy.

If you make your own at home using one of the spice mix packets you can make it thicker by just using less water than the packet calls for or simmering it longer until the water evaporates off.
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Old 09-28-2011, 06:13 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kjbrill View Post
Real Chili in Milwaukee opened their first store in 1931 on the campus of Marquette University. The reason they claim a longer history is the original owner worked at Chili John's in Green Bay which opened in 1912 by a Lithuanian and is still in business. Chili John's taste is said to come from hot oil added to the meat. Hot oil is vegetable oil infused with dried ground chili peppers. Like our local competitors neither specifically identifies the exact spices used or the proportions. Chili John's has a single location but also markets a frozen product in local stores. Real Chili has 3 locations, 2 in Milwakee and 1 in Madison. One thing specific to Real Chili is they have bottles of vinegar to sprinkle on the chili.

While similar to our Cincinnati Chili in many ways they are different. They have managed to stay in business a long time but have not taken over their respective areas anywhere near like the Cincinnati variety.
=====================================

The spices in Real Chili are very similar to those in Cincinnati chili and a lot closer to it than anything in Chicago. The final product itself is NOT really all that similar. First, it is a LOT greasier. Second, that place is freaking expensive.

What I really like about Real Chili is the total atmosphere of the place. The location by Marquette looks like it has remained untouched since the 1930s.
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Old 09-28-2011, 07:06 PM
 
Location: Mason, OH
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One of the things I noticed in researching both Chili John's and Real Chili on the web was the cost - $8-$10 dollars for a bowel of chili. Rather expensive for my taste. I may want to try some of their condiments, particularly the sour cream, which I absolutely love on baked potato. But the Real Chili sprinkled on vinegar, I think I will skip that.
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Old 09-28-2011, 09:42 PM
 
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Originally Posted by kjbrill View Post
One of the things I noticed in researching both Chili John's and Real Chili on the web was the cost - $8-$10 dollars for a bowel of chili. Rather expensive for my taste. I may want to try some of their condiments, particularly the sour cream, which I absolutely love on baked potato. But the Real Chili sprinkled on vinegar, I think I will skip that.

My wife suggested that we take the Cincinnati contingent to Real Chili on the way to Miller Park. We voted against it as my uncle would be objecting as to paying that much for chili EVEN IF I was picking up the whole tab. Again the food is pretty good OCCASIONALLY. Their chili starts around $6.

My only objection to Real Chili is that there are simply too many BETTER places to eat in Milwaukee. I would rather make one of my three or four types of chili at home and go to Milwaukee for German food.

My tastes lean more to XXX Chili in AUSTIN.

Texas Chili Parlor: Menu
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Old 09-30-2011, 02:05 PM
 
Location: Mason, OH
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jlawrence01 ... During my working career I had some very good customers in Milwaukee. They were of the Polish ancestry. They were strictly a sight to behold. During the year, on their birthday, they would bring in several kegs of beer, a caterer, and set up a rip roaring party for their employees between the first and second shifts. Most of the second shift employees would just leave the party and go home, as they were inebriated. A sight I will remember forever.
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Old 09-30-2011, 03:10 PM
 
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Originally Posted by kjbrill View Post
Yes, the real chili con carne, which litrerally means chili peppers with meat. Now that is about as wide open a definition as you can get. I guess since Cincinnati Chili contains no peppers it may not meet the definition of chili. But since I have eatern many other so-called chilis which do not contain peppers I guess they are excluded also.
I'm a New Mexico native where chile peppers are actually grown, and the green ones are roasted in September (http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3176/...71e6b620_o.png), the thought of which is making me homesick. Ah the smell of NM in September!

Or they can be dried, and as they do, they turn red. Red chile ristras | Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/casaverdesol/3866247000/ - broken link)

These red chiles are then puverized into powder. So, since the Cincinnati chili recipes with which I am familiar all require "chili powder" as an ingredient, I do think they are chili, certainly as much as that tex-mex mess that gets called chili.

IMO, the Tex-Mex type chilis that are made that have neither red nor green chile in them are not chili. Bell peppers don't count. And red chile is red because the chile powder is red, not because of the tomatoes. You can have tomatoes in chili, but that does not make it chile. Chile, red or green, is what makes it chili.
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Old 09-30-2011, 06:08 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kjbrill View Post
jlawrence01 ... During my working career I had some very good customers in Milwaukee. They were of the Polish ancestry. They were strictly a sight to behold. During the year, on their birthday, they would bring in several kegs of beer, a caterer, and set up a rip roaring party for their employees between the first and second shifts. Most of the second shift employees would just leave the party and go home, as they were inebriated. A sight I will remember forever.

Reminds me of by Polish and Serbian bakeries I used to purchase from in Detroit.

Show up around Christmas time and you would end up doing shots with the owner and staff ... at 6 AM.
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Old 09-30-2011, 06:38 PM
 
Location: Philaburbia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kjbrill View Post
They were of the Polish ancestry. They were strictly a sight to behold.
We're a fun bunch.
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Old 10-06-2011, 08:01 PM
 
29 posts, read 36,239 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kjbrill View Post
Let's get down in the trenches and have a knock down drag out fight over whether Cincinnati Chili is chili or not.

I do make several varities of Tex-Mex chili and enjoy all of them. But to say they ovewhelm my 3,4, and 5-ways and coneys for pure enjoyment is just not correct.

I will defend Ccincinnati Chili as a great food. What say the rest of you?
Cincinnati Chili is GREAT...just different. But I would MUCH rather have a few cheese coneys than a bowl of plain chili. The plain chili just doesn't do it for me as a meal.

Tex-Mex Chili can be just as good in my book, and using bigger chunks of meat and beans makes it a real meal.

All in all, I would probably order a whole lot more Cincinnati Chil than make my own Tex-Mex Chili.
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