As you know, the Queen of the West has something for everyone’s pallet, but we do have a few local specialties that you simply must try the next time you come and visit. If you are unable to come here for whatever reason, I highly recommend looking up recipes online by the Cincinnatians. You won’t be disappointed.
You knew I was going to put it on this list, I knew I was going to put it on this list – so why fight it: Cincinnati chili is one of the best things your mouth will ever experience, provided you are into spicy food and a little bit flexible as to what makes a chili.
Our chili is a spicy meat sauce that we supposedly got from the Mediterranean or the Balkans (I keep forgetting which). You mix ground beef, stock, tomato sauce, chili powder, and a few other spices and you end up with a side that would please the gods. Traditionally, we either put it on spaghetti with some other sides or on corndogs.
GoettaIt is amazing how many delicacies were made as a way to fight poverty and meat shortage. Imagine frying some mush and you’ll get some idea about the look and the consistency. Basically, Goetta is made from pork sausage combined with oats and then fried. You have to be a bit curious to try it and, I admit, it is a bit of an acquired taste. That being said, it is very easy to get hooked on the stuff, especially if it played a huge part in your childhood.
Despite what you might expect, it’s pronounced something like yeeroh. Roasted pork, beef, or lamb is placed on some pita bread with tzatziki sauce, which basically, is yogurt/sour cream and cucumber. Most commonly, you will encounter sides like tomatoes and onions. It is an amazing savory dish, one of my personal favorites, and it goes great with just about any beer.
Graeter’s Ice Cream
This is it. This is the thing. In fact, people come to Cincinnati just to try the chili and Graeter’s Ice Cream. The ice cream is thicker than most and is made with salt water, using something called the French Pot method. I will be honest, I am a little bit out of the loop regarding the intricacies of the process that is used to make it, but I absolutely love it.
Izzy’s occasionally has a Reuben Challenge where they refund you if you defeat their gigantic Reuben during a set time limit. We are talking about exquisite corned beef, imported Swiss cheese, sauerkraut with special sauce and a few other additions that promise to take you on a ride.
I’m not saying that it can compete with some of the other famous pizzas in the US, but… No, wait, I am saying it. This is hands-down the best pizza Cincinnati has to offer and has persevered for 60 years, which is an amazing achievement any way you look at it.
I’ve decided that this is how I want to spend my golden years – eating Montgomery BBQ, especially the ribs. The establishment had numerous celebrities and it is easy to understand why when you try their sauce.