Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Eastside Chili Review

As we noted earlier in the quest, the west side of Cincinnati dominates the east when it comes to chili. The west side even has its own "3-way highway" (Glenway Ave) which features various chili parlors, while the east its mainly just Gold Star and Skyline. There is a new chili parlor that hopes to bring Cincinnati chili lovers to the east and is appropriately named Eastside Chili (also known as Fat Timmy's Eastside Chili).

Eastside Chili isn't just east, its pretty far east for many, located in a Withamsville strip mall off of the Beechmont/Amelia exit on 275. The owners of this parlor take pride in their east side roots and it shows on their walls which have various east side landmarks painted on them. You can tell the restaurant is brand new as soon as you walk in. With the newness and bright colors, Eastside has more of a fast food restaurant feel than they typical diner or parlor feel. However you are served by waitresses who were very friendly. The menu is similar to what you would find at the classic Cincinnati chili parlors, it even has gravy fries which another east chili parlor, Pleasant Ridge Chili, is known for. Whomever put the menu together is a fan of sexual innuendo humor, as their Fat Timmy mascot is featured in the menu holding signs stating "Nobody Beats Our Meat!" and "It takes two hand to handle our meat!".

Clint's Review

Born and raised on the east side it slightly pains me to admit the west has our number in the chili game. When I heard a new independent parlor opened on the east I was excited especially since its on the way to my parents house. For the most part Eastside Chili comes through but there is one major deficiency.

The chili was a complex but tasty one. It starts off tasting savory along with the typical Cincinnati chili spices and reminded me of other chilies I have sampled along the quest. At some point in my second coney I began to pick up on some heat. It wasn't spicy like Tex-Mex or even Camp Washington, but there is an underlying heat level there. Another aspect that reminded me of previous parlors was the hot dog. The dog was tasty and I'm fairly certain it was a Blue Grass hot dog, which is used at Gold Star Chili, Price Hill Chili and other Cincinnati chili parlors. The bun was soft enough and did an ok job of holding everything together.

Unfortunately there was one ingredient the Eastside coney fell short in: cheese. One of the big reasons I love cheese coneys is for the mountain of fresh cheddar cheese that lies on top the coney. As soon as I saw the coney I could tell the cheese came from a bag in the cheese section of the grocery store. If I'm at a restaurant that just happens to serve cheese coneys, this is something I can forgive. However, if you are a chili parlor and chili is your main dish, you gotta have fresh shredded cheese in my opinion. The cheese at Eastside didn't necessarily taste bad, but when I go to a chili parlor I just expect better cheese than I have in my refrigerator at home.

Overall I really did enjoy the Eastside Chili cheese coney. There were many things about the coney and parlor to like. I will visit again and hope Eastside does lots of business. It was a good coney, but unfortunately the sub-par cheese kept it from being a great coney. I give Eastside a 3.6 out of 5.

Alison's Review

Eastside Chili has added another highly competitive cheese coney to our quest. The chili, while not spicy, definitely had the zippiness of red pepper. The warm cinnamon undertones were also very apparent, and I would place this chili in the savory category. The hot dogs were very good and were mostly likely the Blue Grass hot dogs that Clint and I have come to prefer. The buns were not the softest we've had, but were still good. Likewise, the cheese was somewhat mediocre compared to the fresh grated cheddar that we've had a several parlors. The onions were exactly as I like them--crunchy but not a bit overpowering.

With a higher quality cheese, I may have ranked this coney in my top three favorites. However, I'm giving Eastside a 3.75 out of 5 stars (which is the same ranking that I've given to a few of the longstanding chili establishments like Goldstar and Camp Washington). Not a bad showing for the newcomer!

1 comment:

  1. I have eaten at Fat Timmy's two times. We really enjoyed the chili. We also tasted the fish and saratoga chips with the egg salad. It was all YUMMY!! and a good family deal!