[Pudn’s note: I’ve known echoamy for, um, well, actually, I don’t know her. I’ve never met her. But she was the first person to volunteer for my crazy 3-way Thursday plan and I’m thrilled to have someone so enthusiastic on board. Not only does her opinion as an actual native Cincinnatian now living in the shiny NKY bring a touch of validity to this shenanigans since otherwise it’s just two NKY heathens and my favorite Texan, she adds a much needed lady’s perspective to the topic at hand.]
I was excited to see that the second stop on the Seeking of the Ways was Dixie Chili for two reasons. It is in Newport, which is where I’d like to live and is also very close to where I live now. The other reason is garlic!
Garlic is by far one of my favorite food items ever. Put it on something and I will eat it. If only my mom knew that she might have been able to get me to eat peas as a child. When I was young we just used garlic salt. That was good but not anything special. When I moved in with a boyfriend he introduced me to garlic. Seriously I never even knew what garlic looked like until then. We pressed, chopped and roasted garlic. I fell in love. It was to be a lifetime love (not with that boyfriend) but with garlic.
One of my favorite movie scenes was in Goodfella’s. In prison, the character Paulie slices garlic so thin it kind of makes me sigh. Hmm, gangster movie that has garlic, Dixie chili in Newport has garlic in their chili. Newport was once famous for being a gangster town. It is making sense now. Dixie Chili adds an additional “way” by adding a large spoonful of garlic on top of the chili. So you can have up to a six way there.
Dixie Chili is open late and is very popular with the bar crowd. However I chose the odd time of Sunday around 3:30 in the afternoon to visit there on my own. The place was nearly empty except for a few people. They have counter service only, but with an open kitchen. They are quick in getting your food together or they will put a little flag (from different countries) on your tray and bring out the food when it is ready. The red and white interior and nostalgic photos on the wall help to make this place have the diner look. The booth tables are uncomfortably tall (at least for a short person like me) until I start eating and then the distance between table and mouth seem ideal.
I ordered a four way, onion. But then I had to have the garlic so really it was a five way. I ordered a small (very, very small) Mello Yello as Dixie Chili has Coke products instead of Pepsi like the big chains. My total was $7.84. That was more than Empress but still reasonable.
The plate was traditionally oval but a bit small and the chili threatened to slide over the edge but never did. I begin to rethink my hesitation to like the round plates at Empress as they prevent loss of chili over the side of the plate. One bag of oyster crackers came with the chili. A measly 15 crackers were in the bag. That was hardly enough for the amount of chili they gave.
Soon, after getting the food to my table, I smelled the garlic. It was overwhelming and almost stinky to me. I realized it might be a bad idea to have the garlic in it, as I wouldn’t get a proper taste of the chili.
So after some tasty bites with garlic I scooted the garlic over to taste the chili on its own. The chili seems to taste of tomato more than other Cincinnati chili. The level of spice was pleasant and not over powering. It also was a bit greasy. But mostly because of the tomato taste I would say I didn’t really care for the chili as much as other Cincinnati chili that I have had. I occasionally come and get a five or six way here and have enjoyed it. But I guess you could say when it came to reviewing it; I was blinded by the garlic.
Ratings: 3 for the chili, but a 4 when just thinking about the garlic.