Today I decided to have lunch at The Squirrel and check out their new Empress Chili offerings. When I saw The Squirrel was offering Empress Chili I was a little surprised. However, when I thought about it longer it made a lot of sense. A common menu item at many parlors is the double-decker sandwich. The Squirrel is specializes in double-decker sandwiches, this makes The Squirrel and Empress Chili is a great combo.
Aside from new signs advertising Empress, there isn't anything new with the interior of The Squirrel. So it doesn't have the look or feel of a chili parlor. The cheese coneys are chili parlor quality though. I've been to both the Alexandria and Hartwell Empress locations. Alexandria Empress disappointed me but I enjoyed my visit to Hartwell. Luckily these coneys had more in common with the coneys I had at Hartwell. We have covered the taste of Empress previously, not much new to report there. The chili here tasted good, only difference I noticed were larger red pepper flakes. The cheese was freshly grated and the buns were soft.
This doesn't really count as a true quest stop, but I would give the Empress Chili downtown 3.25 out of 5. If I were in the mood for coneys during my lunch break I would probably stick with Skyline. However, the new Empress downtown is a good option if you want to take a break from Skyline or Gold Star for lunch.