For years, long before I ever heard of Skyline Chili and their famed three-ways, four-ways, and five-ways, I was cooking "Cowboy Spaghetti" for my family: relatively tamed-down chili served over pasta and covered with melted cheese, a zingier alternative to meat sauce, but still so not-spicy so my parents could enjoy it.
Serving chili over spaghetti noodles is a Cincinatti chili tradition, and Skyline is the most famous and well-known of the Cinicinatti chili parlor chains. Originated by a Greek immigrant, the chili is not spicy or chunky, but more of a thin, meaty sauce that is perfect for serving over spaghetti or hot dogs (Coney dogs) and smothering with mounds of shredded bright orange cheddar cheese. Chili purists would probably hate the stuff (it contains cinnamon, among other things), and while it isn't likely to win any chili cookoffs, it is damn good if you're in the mood for it. And I've been in the mood for it lately!
Skyline's website lists their locations: mostly in Ohio, with a few in Kentucky, Indiana, and oh yes, Florida, where I live. Just none of them are anywhere close to me in the Orlando area. I really wish they would open one here -- we get so many tourists from the Midwest that I'm sure a Skyline parlor would be a welcome sight. Plus chains tend to flourish in our market, just for the novelty factor alone. I've been to the two locations in Fort Lauderdale, but not in years. Occasionally I can even find their chili in the frozen food case at Publix supermarket, but again, not in a few years. I find myself needing a fix.
The more ubiquitous Steak 'n' Shake chain serves chili mac three-ways, four-ways, and five-ways, but it isn't the same (and like I said, anyone can make their own chili and serve it over pasta). Skyline just has a really unique product that is worth trying at least once. Their chili really is like nothing else, and I personally love it. Are there any other fans here?