Gourmet Chili

Gourmet Chili

After months of preparation, the Chili Tour has begun.  We’ll be visiting about one chili parlor a week in our quest to find the best chili in Cincinnati.  Six of the Chili Report Team were able to make it for today’s venture down into Newport to visit Gourmet Chili on Monmouth.  Read on to view our individual and overall ratings for Gourmet Chili.  Was it indeed gourmet??

Overall Rating: ★★★★★★★★½☆


Individual ratings:

Aaron: ★★★★★★★★☆☆

Gourmet Chili set the bar high for our first stop on the official Chili Tour 2011.  Like most chili parlors in town, they have a rich history and family oriented staff who calls you “Hon”.  While chili is the main feature, the menu also features sandwiches, gyro’s, omelete’s, and enough other tasty items to warrant a return trip.

I ordered a bowl of plain chili and some oyster crackers.  The chili is steaming hot and tasty.  Nothing is worse than luke warm Cincinnati chili.  Best of all it wasn’t really greasy like some other chili parlors in town.  If I had to compare it so far to previous experiences, it’s a little spicier than an Empress for instance, but much more flavorful than the big chains in town.

My Cincinnati chili score is an 8 of 10.  If this was late in the tour it may have ranked higher.  I’m also wondering if a 10 is truly possible.  My forecast for the office today: sleepy.


The staff was pleasant and courteous.  Order was accurate without reminders.  Food was definitely tasty and delicious.  They set the bar high for their competition.  Highly recommended for repeat visits.

Andrew: ★★★★★★★★★½

As any good Cincinnatian knows, chili is best served on a formica counter under fluorescent lights.  Gourmet Chili nails the classic chili parlor vibe while dishing out some moderately spicy, meaty chili.  I ordered my usual:  bowl of plain, 1 cheese coney with.  The folks at Gourmet Chili aren’t shy with the cheese — my coney came piled high with finely shredded mild cheddar and with a generous slather of mustard on the bun.  Color me impressed!


A definite meatier chili.  Cheese had a good flavor.  Fries were ok.  Hot Sauce was standard, similar to Texas Pete.  Portion size was good.

Ben: ★★★★★★★★☆☆

Cincinnati Chili.  It’s an institution.  Everyone has their favorite between Skyline or Gold Star, but it’s places like Gourmet Chili in Newport that are what made this style of chili a Cincinnati mainstay.

This restaurant encompasses all the things that I love about Chili Parlors.  Long bar top with stools to sit at the counter, open grill top, and waitresses that call you “sweet heart” and “dear”.  Sure they still allow smoking in the restaurant, which is a bit odd, but during our lunch, I didn’t even notice it.

My favorite thing about this parlor was that it is one of a kind.  The walls are adorned with pictures of family and a huge print of Cincinnati from the 70’s with Riverfront Stadium.  The print itself is stained from what I imagine is 40 years of nicotine, and that just adds to it’s awesome.

The chili is a consistent, meaty, and somewhat spicy of a chili.  It wasn’t accompanied with the grease that is often found with Cincinnati chili and the regular portion was more the enough.  The spice, as where it wasn’t overwhelming, definitely added a nice kick that you won’t find in most mainstream chilis.

The noodles were firm and not overcooked.  and held their shape throughout without getting mushy.

The five way that I had came piled high with a great cheddar.  It wasn’t as bold as some, but it was certainly up to par.

The accompanying coney was also pretty decent.  As where it was a bit sloppy, I’m not really grading on appearance.  The dog was juicy, the bun was steamed as is tradition, and once again the chili was piled high with cheddar.  Add in the typical mustard and onions and you have a pretty solid coney.

Priced VERY competitively, my coney and 5 way came to a $6 total.  Sweet.

Overall when you add up ambiance, location, and food, this is one of my favorite chili parlors.  On a scale of 1-10, Gourmet Chili receives a solid 8.

Dave: ★★★★★★★★☆☆

The dessert was very good –warm chocolate chip cookies!

Stephanie: ★★★★★★★★½☆

I missed out on the Gourmet Chili stop on the Chili tour, but on Monday I got my chance to experience the Parlor holding the top spot with the team….I was not disappointed and concur with the rest of the team on their rankings.  The chili had a great flavor with a nice spice blend, and everything was fresh and hot, including the cheese fries.  Gourmet will definitely get my business again.


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2 Responses

  1. cincichililover November 5, 2011 at 1:25 pm #

    My wife and I ate at gourmet chili today, and were very pleased with the food. My three way was one of the best three ways I have ever had. Your reviews were spot on. I will recommend gourmet chili top all my cincinnati chili loving freinds.


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