I just saw Cincinnati for the first time in my life. We didn’t see much, but what we did see was old, run down, industrial…and gorgeous.
An entire city block of boarded-up structures, adjacent to the coolest old buildings housing shops, restaurants, and homes.
Then there was Skyline Chili, specializing in that most unique (and, to us natives of the southeast, bit odd!) Cincinnati chili: spaghetti noodles, topped with chili laced with cinnamon, cocoa (and cloves perhaps?), all crowned with an insane mound of shredded cheddar!
I must admit, I’ve heard of Cincinnati chili forever, but it has never appealed to me. Chili with chocolate?
Served over spaghetti?? Um, yeah…no. Despite my misgivings and in the spirit of “Why Not?” I took a deep breath and a small mouthful. “Interesting” may be the best word to describe it. A few bites into this unique culinary experience, I actually started to like it (a little). It may be another 20 years before I want to try it again, but I ate it all, and even enjoyed some of it!
Michaela, on the other hand, not so much. It was like going back in time and watching my little nine year old poke at the eye of the lobster splayed across her plate — the lobster she cheerfully chose…then listened as it screamed in the steam pot. Um, yeah…no. She ate crackers for lunch, then and now.
This week, whether you are traveling through a region famous for a particular food or staying home, “Why Not?” skip the McDonald’s and try a new local specialty (click here or here for suggestions)! It is guaranteed to be memorable, whether it turns out to be an “Oh, yeah!” or an “Um…no.”
What is the most unique local cuisine you’ve ever enjoyed? Please share your experience — and recommendations in the comments!