Eight members of the chili team ventured out today to visit Pleasant Ridge Chili located on Montgomery Road near Ridge. The first thing you notice while approaching the building is the colorful murals on the side of the building and the fantastic vintage neon above the front door. Inside, the chili parlor is nicely appointed with a selection of tables, booths, and large rectangular counter seating nine. In addition to the typical chili fare, Pleasant Ridge Chili also serves up breakfast, sandwiches, pies, and claims to have the best fries in town. The fries were indeed good, but as this isn’t the Fry Report we’ll leave the fry judging to others. Chili judging, on the other hand, is what we do. Read on to see what the team members thought of Pleasant Ridge Chili!Overall Rating:
It’s been 8 to 10 years since I’ve been to Pleasant Ridge chili. They have a rich history and still post the original menu from 1964 on the wall. Chili parlor ambiance is strong in this one and I appreciate that they serve breakfast anytime as well. Our group of 9 filled the counter and I ordered a chili spaghetti. The family oriented staff was super friendly and very attentive despite the fact they were fairly busy. The chili was on the cooler side of hot in terms of temperature and had less spice than a Gourmet Chili or Empress, but more than the big chains in town. It wasn’t really greasy, but had great flavor. The portions were great and the sweet potato pie I had for dessert was the perfect after dinner treat on a hot summer day. My Cincinnati chili score is a 7.5 of 10. This is definitely worth a repeat visit when I am in the area.
Our Chili Bitty was okay, I did have to remind her to bring lemon (pet peeve). Food was definitely tasty and delicious. Portions were big. This was definitely a strong second place showing. I am curious to see if a repeat visit will yield the same results. For the record, Gourmet Chili did duplicate their efforts.
It’s been several years since I’ve stopped in at Pleasant Ridge Chili. I had positive memories of the place, but didn’t particularly remember it being a standout. After today I can confidently say either my memories were off or they’ve stepped up their game in recent years. Portions were considerable — anything that came with cheese came with a monstrous mound of finely shredded mild cheddar atop it. The chili was the real star and the biggest surprise. Meaty, not too watery, and full of flavor. The spice mix in the chili is Skyline-esque, so fans of Skyline will probably find Pleasant Ridge Chili to be quite agreeable. For me, this turned out to be a real contender for best chili on the tour so far.
Chili had a good flavor and portions were good. Only downside I had was the Chili, at least my serving, was not hot enough in terms of temperature. Fries were best on the tour to date which is pulling my grade of 6.5 up to a 7. Wait staff were on their game and the prices were average.
I was excited at this morning’s announcement that PRC was the destination for the Chili Tour. It’s a classic style parlor that’s 3 tables wide, 10 tables deep, at the back is a smartly designed U-Shape counter that handled our entourage of 10 tasters. The parlor was super clean and cool on a 95 degree day, the entrance gave you a discreet reminder that this is old school chili parlor country, No Visa No Master Card, but an ATM inside for your convenience! The service was great, my drink was served as I was sitting down and my 3-way followed minutes after. The presentation was what you would expect, a good portion of spaghetti and chili with 6 inches of cheese pilled high. I am not a fan of the cheese mountain, but I can’t really deduct points. The chili lacked spice and zip for my taste and was a little on the dry side, it left me very little juice to soak up with crackers. All in all, PRC is a great Cincinnati Parlor, but the chili won’t be the reason I go back. Next time I will follow the hype and get myself a plate of Gravy Fries.
Pleasant Ridge Chili has a tasty 4-way chili. I wish the temperature of the chili was a little warmer. Good service.
This was my first experience with the chili at PRC, and while the coneys do not hold a candle to the gravy cheese fries(which are a meal by themselves) they were pretty good. All of the ingredients were fresh and hot. The chili had a nice consistency with a mild flavor, not as much heat as some of the other stops, and the coneys could have had a touch more mustard. PRC is one of the few places that can make a good crinkle cut fry…they have even figured out how to keep them slightly crispy when the are covered in gravy. Coneys get a 6.5….the gravy cheese fries get a 9.