Another week, another stop on the chili tour. Up for review today was Ft. Wright Family Restaurant in Ft. Wright, Kentucky. Ft. Wright Family Restaurant has, in its 25 years of operation, become a favorite among Ft. Wright locals for its large portions and reasonable prices. Located in a strip mall on Ashwood Circle the restaurant can be a little difficult to locate as it can’t be easily seen from Dixie Highway. Once inside you find a cozy atmosphere with a small lunch counter and a large assortment of tables and chairs. Chili is featured prominently on the menu, but other options include double-deckers, sandwiches, breakfast items and all the typical diner fare one might expect. The team ordered up its usual assortment of chili, coneys, and ways — read on to see what they thought.
The Fort Wright Family Restaurant has a full menu beyond chili and is frequented about 1x per month for lunch by our team. Their slogan is “A lot more for less” and they typically live up to that goal. It’s funny though that I hadn’t ordered the chili in a few years. After my collision with the Hogway at Delhi Chili last week I needed to keep it simple with a bowl of plain chili. The good news is it was hot and meaty and not too greasy. The bad news is it was just kind of there for me and probably tastier on a cold winter day. Several of our entourage grumped a bit about the pricing which was on the higher side. On return trips I’ll stick to my favorites including their breakfast and numerous lunch options. My Cincinnati chili score is a solid 6. The rest of the menu ranks higher for me, but the chili was a little too bland compared to Gourmet Chili or Empress.
The Chili Biddy was good; the only thing lacking is she didn’t call us “Honey” or “Baby”. The order was accurate without reminders. The food was tasty and the portions were of decent size. The prices were a little on the high side, but not terrible. No objections to repeat visits.
Ft. Wright Family restaurant is an occasional lunch destination for me so I walked in pretty familiar with the food and surroundings. My undying love for double-deckers however had precluded having ever ordered anything else from the menu so this was my first taste of their chili. I ordered up my usual bowl of plain with a cheese coney and proceeded to dig right in when the food was promptly delivered. My first impression of the chili was not good. The ground beef was ground very fine which gave the chili a texture somewhat akin to watery sawdust. The first few spoonfuls were bland to my tastes, but after a few more bites a little heat began to poke it’s way through along with a very prominent cumin flavor. Definitely improving, but about halfway through the bowl the combination of the odd texture and overpowering cumin had me not wishing to finish the bowl. I decided to move on to the coney, which turned out to be a good move. The cheese coney had a nice topping of shredded cheddar which was shredded slightly thicker than at most chili parlors which made for an interesting texture. Mated with onion, mustard, cheese, and a hot dog the chili really began to shine. I greatly enjoyed the cheese coney and then went back to the remainder of my bowl of chili for a second try. Unfortunately I still found it largely unappetizing and declined to finish the bowl. For me, this is a chili that is fantastic as a complementary flavor, but not so great as the main feature. Recommended, but stick to coneys and ways.
The Ft. Wright Family Restaurant is a known good source of a quality meal and friendly staff, today, I was not disappointed! Although, I must disclose my chili review is greatly overshadowed from pie. It was tough to focus on the chili task at hand as I sat down and my eyes immediately locked on the “Today’s Specials” board and noticed pie, lots of cream pies. Banana, Boston, Coconut and chocolate…so I quickly scarfed down my better than average 3 way, with the perfect accompaniment of cheese, and I failed to eat all of my cheese coney in hopes of saving room for pie. The pie was killer, a rich creamy top with two separate layers of chocolate filling piled on a densely packed crust of oreo cookies…really…I’m not joking when I say it’s killer. In New York its common place to mug someone for a pair of quality sneakers, I’m checking the police reports in Ft Wright to see how many piejackings have occurred. I would never leave the restaurant alone if you buy pie to go, any good piejacker knows Fort Wright Pie is definitely worth the time.