Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Camp Washington Chili History

It isn't hard to find a Skyline restaurant that has a rival Gold Star just blocks away. But when you find two non-chain chili parlors sitting literally across the street from one another, you know you are in a neighborhood of serious chili lovers. Camp Washington's two chili parlors are US Chili, which was our third stop in the quest, and Camp Washington Chili, which will be our next review.

Camp Washington Chili was established in 1940 by Steve Andon and Fred Zannbus. The current owner, John Johnson, began working there for his uncle in 1951. Camp Washington Chili is basically home for John as it has been the only place John has worked at since moving to America. He is also the keeper of the secret family recipe.

Camp Washington Chili is lucky to be in its current location. 24 years of battle with the city continually threatened to demolish the original parlor. In 2000 the bulldozers won and the parlor was flattened for the sake road widening projects. Fortunately for the family business, they were able to acquire an adjacent lot and maintain their patronage in a brand new parlor.

Camp Washington has received numerous praise and recognition for their brand of chili. Their chili recipe received an American Regional Classic award from the James Beard Foundation. In 1985 the CBS Morning News set out to find "the best chili in the nation" and crowned Camp Washington Chili as its winner. Camp Washington is not only a Cincinnati institution, but also a nationally recognized restaurant.

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