3-Way Thursday: I wish I were in Dixie, Chili that is.

[Pudn’s note: I’ve known the author of this 3-Way post, Brooksy, aka Mark, for the better part of almost twenty years.  I worked at the retail chain that Dustin Hoffman said sucked in Rainman; Mark dated (and later married) someone who was close friends with someone else who worked there.  Come to think of it, I don’t really know how it all worked out that we’ve known each other so long.  It’s kind of lost in the college-era fog.  At any rate, for nearly two decades, he and I have been politely disagreeing about the best place Cincy chili.  I was thrilled, then, when he said he’d happily contribute to 3-Way Thursday.]

Wow, let some guy get a little bit of notoriety by guest blogging on some higher profile blogs (@hoperatives and @EnquirerDoc) and he starts turning into a primma donna. There is this editor barking down my neck for this week’s copy. I get it. I have had all month to write my review of Dixie Chili and thus far I have slacked. Maybe I am not overly verbose like “some people”, I am though. Maybe, I have better things to do. I do now but I haven’t all month so that excuse won’t fly. I’ll stick with, I am a stream of consciousness writer. I like to sit down and just start typing and have whatever comes to my mind on a subject fall out. I just haven’t been able to get myself to go on about Dixie Chili. So with a little help from beer I will try. Just for the record I am a school teacher in real life so now is the time for a mid-afternoon beer if there ever was one.

Dixie Chili. I went to the Erlanger location of Dixie Chili. I have been there LOTS. Historically, it has been one of my favorite chili parlors. The look is good, very dinery. It does have the order at the counter. Overall, not a fan of this but being a cheap guy it sure cuts down on tips. I ordered my 3-way from the man at the counter. He was dressed as if he was working a diner in the 50’s white shirt, black pants and tie and that wedgy paper hat. The food came promptly and on the appropriate oval plate. The portions seemed good. I do like the all you can eat option that Empress had but it didn’t make the chili better. Aesthetically, all was good. I am, however, not a fan of their plastic cups. They are not recyclable in this area so I absolutely hate throwing them out, it just seems so wasteful.

Taste. I really enjoyed my meal. The cheese was sharper than most. It leaves a presence in the mouth after the bite has gone southward. There was just enough for all of it to start to congeal into one mass, but easy enough to cut so that it doesn’t all come up at once. The chili was nice. It is definitely not spicy, but I still got the taste of all the spices. Nothing really stands out to me. I could have used a little more heat in the dish but I think the flavor was still good. Now, I know that some of you are saying, “why don’t you just put hot sauce on it?” I’ll tell you why. I don’t like to put vinegar on anything but salads. Hot sauce has a lot of vinegar. I like unadulterated heat, as the Ghost Chili plants in my yard would clue you in. The meat was definitely distinguishable from the sauce which is always a bonus. The spaghetti was definitely cooked well. They seemed to have a fatter spaghetti. It was drained fairly well, so I didn’t get that overly wet dish. It is the next part that may offend some purists. I don’t know how but the chili seems to permeate the entire dish. I don’t know if they mix the chili and spaghetti or it just slips through. This tends to screw up the 3 distinct layers thing, which should bother me, it doesn’t. I think that this is what makes the fatter spaghetti more palatable. With the chili surrounding it, it tends to counteract any water that is sitting on the spaghetti. This makes it less watery. Dixie Chili also has the availability of fresh chopped garlic on all of their dishes. This gives them the ability to create a six way with the beans, onions and garlic. Technically, it is yummy. I abstained from this so as to not taint the results. When I do go back I will get the garlic.

Overall, because we are early in our endeavor, I will have to leave room for others to surpass Dixie Chili. I will give them 4 out of 5 oyster crackers. The ambiance is good, the portions are good and the taste was well above average. I will definitely go back. I also hear that they make other food like double deckers. Sadly, I will never know what they taste like because I will always get the chili.