A full contingent of 8 chili tasters headed out to the west side today to visit Delhi Chili on Delhi Ave. today. Delhi Chili has the traditional “formica and fluorescent” look with a mix of booths, tables, and a lunch counter. Like most independent chili parlors they serve up a full menu of breakfast, lunch, and dinner items in addition to the standard cincinnati chili options. Among the chili offerings, Delhi Chili has a “Hog Way” which is hash browns, eggs any style, plus your choice of sausage links, sausage patties, bacon, ham or goetta, all topped with a 3, 4, or 5-way. Read on for the full review…
Delhi Chili utterly confused my taste buds today. Somehow I was taunted by my colleagues and curiosity to abandon a bowl of chili and order the Hogway which consists of Goetta, eggs over easy, hash browns, spaghetti, chili, beans, onions, and cheese for $8.95. The mere thought of ordering the hogway made my stomach preemptively raise the white heartburn flag. I was that guy today and ordered the Hogway sans cheese and beans. What I got was a mushy hash brown base that made everything taste rather bland. After three bites my taste buds were sending breakfast and lunch signals from stomach to brain and back and utter confusion ensued. The goetta was tasty, the chili bland and warm enough but not hot. Crunchy hash browns might have made all of the difference for this Hogway and several of my colleagues want to repeat visit for breakfast. It was my lunch choice though and I am now considering a post lunch nap.
The Chili Biddy was okay, nothing out of the ordinary. Order was accurate without reminders. Food was barely warm, not tasty at all and haphazardly prepared, tasted like foreign ingredients (other foods) were present. I didn’t want to clean my plate and I didn’t. Average on price and portions. I would not recommend for repeat visits..
I’m torn about how to rate Delhi Chili. The chili was good, but not great. The first few bites were pretty good, but it soon developed an unusual aftertaste — it wasn’t a bad aftertaste, but unusual. I imagine it’s something that regulars are accustomed to and actually enjoy, but it was a little offputting for me. The coneys came heavy on the chili with a nicely steamed bun. Interestingly, the cheese didn’t seem to be just mild cheddar, but a mix of mild cheddar and american which made for a surprisingly different taste than your average cheese coney. The heavier flavor of the american though caused the flavor balance to swing away from the chili and more towards the cheese. Again, not bad but different. Overall I’m struggling with my native Cincinnatian sense of what chili and coneys “should” taste like vs. the flavors I experienced at Delhi Chili. Mostly I think it was average, but I’ll give points for being different.
Delhi chili was a return to my old stomping Delhi grounds. I went with the usual 4 way and FF. In the end, it wasn’t bad but it wasn’t great. Im going with a solid average here. The Fries tasted a little like Home Fries which really grew on me. The cheese was different, not in a bad way, maybe more of a mix of American and Cheddar which we called Chamerican…or maybe it was Ameredder. The prices were average for a chili parlor and the portions were good.
Taste: 4.5Quality: 4.5Quantity: 6Good Menu Selection: 6Service: 6Facility: 4
Confusion is my theme for the visit to Delhi chili. It all started with confusing service; the first was when we began pulling tables together to accommodate our eight tasters, perhaps we crossed a line with an unwritten “west side” etiquette rule or something…needless to say it rattled the wait staff. Getting drinks was not a simple task either, multiple servers assisted in bringing beverages, but the drinks were dispersed in a fashion that made my head spin…all I really heard was the server barking orders, “The diet cokes go to the blue shirt and white shirt!” Luckily I was wearing green so my coke was regular…The chili arrived in favorable fashion, modest amount of a mixture of cheeses and enough juice to allow me my ritual of adding crackers to the mix. I added some hot sauce and dove right in. Then confusion again…what is this taste? Was it a combination of the mixture of cheeses that distorted the flavor, or did someone drop sour milk into the chili mixture instead of chocolate? I can’t really pinpoint the flavor, but my taste buds were highly disappointed. My Cheese Coney hit me about the same way, decent presentation but the flavor will leave me the rest of the day feeling a little unnerved. Lastly the restaurant lacked an culture presence that you might expect from a landmark chili parlor, all in all a disappointing experience with lack luster chili.
Service wasn’t the best. Had to use a lot of hot sauce to cover the taste. Chili tasted like it was a couple days old or it was cooked in a pan that was not clean.
I had my usual at Delhi Chili, cheese coneys and cheese fries….but neither was the usual I was expecting, due to the blend of Cheddar and highly processed American cheeses that Delhi Chili uses. The blend in and of itself is not awful, but it most definitely did not compliment the coneys. The American cheese completely overtook the cheddar as well as the chili on the coneys. The bread was relatively fresh, but lacked that steamed quality……the hot dog was a terrible mushy mess. The cheese blend fared better on the fries, which were normal fries cooked and seasoned well. Overall Delhi Chili ranks at a 5 for me.