Do I dare try a 5-way? Cincinnati’s Gold Star Chili [classic article]

I think everybody knows that Cincinnati has a special way with chili, right? The recipe and unique style supposedly started with some Greek immigrant restaurant owners bringing their own touches to the melting pot that is America. I was about to leave the city for a flight home, when I realized that I had not yet indulged . . . in chili 5-way, that is. If you are regular reader of this column, you’ll know that I indulged plenty while in the Ohio River city.

So, at the last dang minute in Cincinnati’s airport — which is actually in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, fellow Colonels will like to know — I decide it was time to eat some more. Oy.

Well, in the spirit of, if you’re gonna do something, do it all the way, I got Gold Star Chili‘s 5 way. That’s spaghetti topped with chili, beans, onions and cheddar cheese! Their chili has a touch of cinnamon; that’s the old-school Greek touch. This dish is very satisfying and it really doesn’t come off like “too much,” like some other dishes that you order “with the works”.

At the time, they were celebrating Octoberfest with a sauerkraut brat. I usually consider sauerkraut an abomination — sorry, Gertrude’s! — and I squinch my eyes and whole face just thinking about it. A cashier who didn’t look like she had grown up with sauerkraut softly said, “You should try it, it’s really good.” I drew in my breath and ordered it. I was relieved when it was on the smaller side, so it didn’t seem too much of a sacrifice.

Well! It really was good! It also had spicy brown mustard, onions and cheese. The sauerkraut added tang, not nastiness.

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