Friday, December 10, 2010

History of US Chili

When we drew US Chili for the next stop on the Coney Quest I was looking forward to writing the history post for it. I was expecting to write about how awesome American's such as Hulk Hogan, Brett Favre, Chuck Norris, Captain Sully Sullenberger and others, teamed up to make the most butt-kicking Cincinnati style chili ever created. However Alison did some research and broke the bad news to me that US doesn't stand for United States Chili, it's actually Uncle Steve's Chili. Bummer.

The real story is US Chili is another Cincinnati chili parlor who has roots with the original Cincinnati chili parlor, Empress Chili. Jim Storgion is the current owner, but it was his grandfather who came up with the US Chili recipe. He was a former employee at Empress who decided he too could tweak the Empress recipe to create his own brand.

US Chili is located across the street from the iconic Camp Washington Chili. According to our research, yes there is a story behind that.  From what we can gather, the owners of US Chili are related to the owners (not by blood, in-laws) of Camp Washington, and wanted a share of Camp Washington ownership.  However John Johnson did not agree and instead became the sole owner of Camp Washington Chili. The disgruntled relatives left Camp Washington and opened up US Chili across the street.

When we visit US Chili we hope to find out more details about its history, especially their feud with Camp Washington. I know some people are passionate about their chili parlors but never knew we had a Hatfield's vs. McCoy's in the Cincy Chili Wars!

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