Just a few doors down from Park Chili on Hamilton Ave. in Northside sits an unassuming diner tucked right next door to Cincinnati’s favorite record store, Shake-It Records. 7 members of the chili team found their way into the Blue Jay Restaurant for a chili tasting extravaganza. The interior of the Blue Jay is straight out of the 60’s — wood paneling, formica tables and counters, and dim fluorescent lights set in a slightly dingy drop ceiling. After seating ourselves at the long lunch counter in the rear of the restaurant, we surveyed the menu which is bursting full with options from breakfast, to double-deckers, gyros, plate lunches, and of course chili. How did the Blue Jay stack up against the competition? Read on to find out!Overall Rating:
The Blue Jay in Northside is an old school chili parlor. The decor is dated a bit but adequate. When we sat down, they brought everyone at the counter a cold ice water and were ready to take our order. The Blue Jay offers a fairly full menu and the prices are very reasonable. The best part of the visit for me was the service. Our server was attentive and friendly.. The chili was hot and meaty without a lot of grease. Seemingly this is a great recipe for my taste buds, however I felt the chili lacked flavor and was just there. I would go back for other items if I was in the area.
The food was good. I enjoyed a slightly more sharpness to the cheese; it gave it a unique flavor that wasn’t over-bearing. The portions were better than average based on the pricing. I could repeat visit without too much objection.
After a run of average stops on the chili tour, I didn’t have high expectations for another place not traditionally known as a great chili parlor. Thankfully, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the chili served up at the Blue Jay Restaurant. I ordered up my usual bowl of plain with 2 cheese coneys and was in love from my first spoonful. The chili was thick and hearty with bold Cincinnati flavoring that left just a hint of heat at the back of the throat. They coneys were loaded with chili and cheese — it made them a little messy to eat, but they too were delicious. Service was fast and friendly and the prices were among the best so far. Definitely slated for repeat visits for me.
Today’s tour took us to the Blue Jay in Northside. It is the perfect diner with a huge counter which we took advantage of. They have a full menu including breakfast and lunch specials but we were there for only one thing: The Chili. The whole group was impressed myself included. It had a great flavor and texture. The fries were above average, the portions were perfect and the pricing was very reasonable. Service was good, fast and friendly. Blue Jay takes the lead for me with a 9.0 rating.
Blue Jay Restaurant is one of the best tasting chili restaurants in town.