Dixie Chili, in business since 1929, has 3 locations across Northern Kentucky in Newport, Erlanger, and Covington. We visited their location on Monmouth in Newport, just a few doors down from Gourmet Chili where we started our chili adventure. Dixie Chili is unique thus far in our chili tour in that food is ordered and served cafeteria style. You place your order and pay at the register where you are given a tray which you then slide down a long counter along which your food is handed over one piece at a time. Once you’ve collected all of your food you take your tray to a table to dine. As a result, there is no lunch counter to sit at, just a collection of booths and tables. The inside of the restaurant is immaculate, done up mostly in white and red tile, lending something of a classic diner vibe to the place somewhat akin to Camp Washington Chili. The menu at Dixie Chili has all the traditional chili parlor items, along with a “Chili Man Dip” which is cream cheese, chili, and shredded cheddar with beans and onions, and a six way which includes fresh chopped garlic.Overall Rating:
Dixie Chili in Newport disappointed me today. I feel like they may have had an off day as I have been in the past and it seemed tastier. The chili was meaty and hot, but really lacked flavor today. It was a not a good mix for a bowl of plain chili and might have been better on a 3-way or coney. It has a good chili parlor feel and a cold piece of pecan pie ended what was a pretty average meal. I know they can do better, they just didn’t deliver today. My Cincinnati chili score is a 5 of 10. We may have already experienced peak chili on this tour with strong showings by Gourmet chili and Empress among others. I’ll stop back to Dixie in the future.
It was the Ponderosa of chili parlors, no server. The food was bland and without good flavor. The portions were small based on pricing. This was a repeat and not a great one. It was a bad day for Dixie Chili.
I was pretty jazzed upon walking in the door. The decor is fun, the menu has some interesting flourishes, and the line nearly out the door promised big things. I ordered my usual bowl of plain and cheese coney but I couldn’t resist also ordering up one of their “Chili Man Dips.” After negotiating my way through the cafeteria line I brought my food to the table and dug in. My first impression of the chili was that it had a decent amount heat, but absolutely no flavor. The chili was thick and meaty, but just bland. It did better as part of a coney, but it rendered the chili man dip flavorless as well. With your chili Dixie gives you a tiny bag of oyster crackers. I would not be exaggerating to say there were approximately 10 crackers in the bag. Additional oyster crackers are $0.15/bag. Never before have we encountered a chili parlor being so stingy with oyster crackers, much less charging for them. Overall better than a few, worse than most and frankly, if you’re going to eat chili on Monmouth I see no reason to stop at Dixie when Gourmet Chili is a few blocks away.
Today’s tour brought us to Dixie Chili in Newport. I was surprised by the cafeteria style setup on ordering but, it was very efficient*. If you order a 3 way and a coke, you wont sit without your food which is nice from a lunch time perspective. I insert an * because some items are made to order so you have to wait such as waffle fries. These took a while, it was like their fryer was only single order size. But, the blue cheese dipping sauce made it worth the wait. I give them a 10. But, the chili on the other hand was very mild, almost “not there” if you will. Portion size was fine. Price was fine. So, Fries 10. Chili 5. Wait on fries minus 1. Score = 6.5
I enjoyed Dixie Chili today. It was a pleasant change from your traditional parlor style eatery. The cafeteria style made it easy to get drink and crackers and by the time I reached the end of the line, my 3-way and cheese Coney were waiting. There is ample seating in the dining area, which by the time noon came around I understood why, the line was out the door. The chili was good, perfect amount of cheese and everything was fresh, including my bun and dog. This was definitely the thickest chili I’ve had to date, and it made it difficult to crunch up my crackers and soak up the juice, but I managed. All in all the experience was good and chili was good, nothing dramatic here, but if you want a good, quick affordable lunch check out Dixie Chili.