Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Blue Jay Restaurant Review

Just a couple of storefronts down from Park Chili is another Northside institution, Blue Jay Restaurant. While its not a chili parlor, it is a restaurant that serves Cincinnati chili dishes. Blue Jay is your classic greasy spoon breakfast and lunch diner. Along with the chili the menu features standard diner fare. While we were there most were enjoying breakfast dishes that looked quite tasty.

Blue Jay opened in the late 60's and does not appear to have changed much since its open. The walls feature wood paneling and wall paper with an outdoors theme. Newspaper clippings along with photos of Cincinnati and of the restaurant are hung up around the dining area. We arrived around Noon on Saturday and the place was packed. We took the only booth available and could tell right away that Blue Jay is a neighborhood favorite.

Alison's Review

Blue Jay offers a great coney for people who love the chili piled on thick. Surprisingly unmessy, this cheese coney was filled to the top with a warm, flavorful chili sauce. There was so much of it, I thought at first they had forgotten to put a hot dog in my coney! The buried hot dog was fine but not the best we've had. The bun was not the softest, but it held up impressively well against all that chili.

The cheese was clearly fresh grated, a little heavier than usual in consistency, but still very good. The onion and mustard balanced the overall flavor perfectly. Overall, this coney could have been one of my favorites if it had a better hot dog. Still, for a restaurant that is not mentioned a lot when it comes to Cincinnati Chili, Blue Jay pleasantly surprised me.

I'm giving the Blue Jay Restaurant cheese coney a 3.6 out of 5 stars.

Clint's Review

When arriving at Blue Jay, I wasn't sure what to expect. Since chili is not their specialty I did not know if they would treat the chili as an afterthought or if it would be a pleasant surprise. It had been a while since our last stop so either way I was eager to find out. After the first bite you could tell they don't skimp on the chili. Each coney was filled to max capacity with chili. As Alison pointed out this is a good and a bad thing. Can't complaint too much about a nice sized portion but it does overwhelm other coney ingredients, especially the hot dog. I enjoyed the chili flavor, it was a sweet and savory blend, it also had a good texture.

To once again echo Alison's thoughts, the buns did a great job holding that much chili. I enjoyed the freshly grated cheese, I felt it was a little sharper than your standard coney cheese. I thought there could have been a little more of the cheese. Slightly less chili and a little more cheese would give the coney more balance. The hot dog tasted ok, but needs to be a little larger or have more flavor.

Overall the Blue Jay Restaurant cheese coney was a pleasant surprise. I enjoyed it more than the cheese coney at neighboring Park Chili. I give Blue Jay Restaurant a 3.5 out of 5.

Blue Jay on Urbanspoon

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