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Jul 10, 2006 05:45 PM

Double decker sandwiches in Cinncinati?

Someone on another thread suggested that a double decker sandwich is a Cinncinati specialty. Sounds good to me. We're looking Xavier University but will probably stay in the Newport area. Any suggestions?



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  1. I'm not sure that they're worth going too far out of your way for. They're pretty much like any other sandwich with an extra slice of bread. This link to the Blue Ash Chili review on Roadfood shows a picture of one:

    You're going to be a bit of drive from Blue Ash, though.

    The Red Squirrel:

    has a whole menu of them, but they're mainly on the north side of Cincy and not worth a special trip.

    I would recommend just finding a good sandwich place. A couple of suggestions would be Dixie Chili:

    right there in Newport. You can also take care of your 3-way and cheese coney cravings there.

    Also, Izzy's Deli:

    for a pastrami or corned beef on rye. I used to (I haven't lived in Cincy for several years now) love the potato pancakes at Izzy's. There is a location in Covington, but if you get a chance, go to one of the locations in downtown Cincy for the authentic feel.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Matt986

      They may LOOK like any other sandwich but you can't find that taste anywhere outside CIncy! The meat is locally cooked... not deli meat and therefore is more well done than the pink half done roast beef you find around the country. They use a special mayo on the sandwiches that Cincinnati residents crave. The bread is Klostermans' and it also lends an element to the taste that just can't be found anywhere else.

      Blue Ash Chili used to have good ones in the 70's and 80's but any more they just have big sandwiches, not necessarily tasty ones. The best ones I've had lately are from Chili Time in St. Bernard.

      When we visit Cincinnati we get a Beef & American and a Beef & Swiss and swap halves. For the next 20 minutes our eyes glaze over as we indulge in food consumption nirvana. And while you're there get a Barq's Cream Soda... as far as I know you can't get them anywhere else in the country. (We've even had a Coke distributor in Florida tell us that they quit making Barq's Cream Soda years ago... but when we went to Cincy recently there it was!)

      Avoid places like Izzy''s just deli food. You have to go to a Cincinnati Chili Parlour for the good double deckers. I haven't tried it but I think Price Hill Chili and also Pleasant Ridge Chili have awesome sandwiches too.

    2. Definitely recommend Blue Ash Chili--one of the best BLT double deckers I've had. Another hole-in-the-wall place is the Ft. Wright Family restaurant in a mini-strip mall near Kyles and Dixie off I-75--they are a converted chili parlor--a lot of chili parlors have 'em.

      1. Camp Washington Chili is only a few miles from Xavier, is open virtually 24/7, and serves not only a good double decker but the other two cincinnati regional specialties - goetta and cincinnati style chili - all in one stop.

        Izzy's is living on their rep - overpriced and generally poor quality. If you've ever had a really good corned beef sandwich anywhere, you'll be sorely disappointed in these. Their potato pancakes are good if you can get them fresh but generally these are all cooked well in advance and held in a warmer. You'll never get one cooked to order.

        9 Replies
        1. re: TJ Jackson

          I really need to make a stop at Camp Washington.


          1. re: Davwud

            Interestingly, on another discussion board I read there's an argument that started about corned beef sandwiches in Cincinnati. It's gone pretty far afield at this point, but the bottom line is that nobody seemed to have anything to offer in terms of a traditional deli except Izzy's. I agree with the other poster here that Izzy's is nothing to write home about. Back in the day, 40 or 50 years ago, there was a real Izzy and a real deli with real deli food. Now it's just a cardboard chain with food to match.

            1. re: Emm

              It's a little better than cardboard, but there are far better delis elsewhere in the state. (Like in Cleveland, and even Katzinger's in Columbus.) We have the same problem in Dayton-no really good kosher-style delis. We do have one caterer in the north part of town, but it's not the same. When the best thing you can get is a potato pancake (and it really is good) you're nopt going to get your corned beef fix.
              As far as double deckers go, I do like Red Squirrel. Fairfield location specifically.

              1. re: Fibber McGee

                a bit off topic, but corned beef was a distinctly cleveland specialty back in the day. nyc had the pastrami and cle had the corned beef, along with polish boys, cevaps and pierogi. there used to be many places downtown, but only a few remain. i always loved the rathskeller. most would say today slymans is best. of course none of these things are unique, as the local cinci specialties are, with the exception of stadium
                mustard, but thats a condiment lol!

          2. re: TJ Jackson

            Hey TJ

            Finally got to CW and it was fantastic.
            We had a side of goetta that came done on the flat top. Great taste and the crust was incredible.

            The ham and turkey double decker was really nice. I like the fact that they didn't really screw it up. It was as it should be. Pretty simple straight forward execution.

            The chili really is the best in the city IMHO. I need to try Blue Ash again but CW is fantastic. It's not as tangy as Skyline I don't think but the flavours meld together much better. We had a 3 way and some Coneys.



            1. re: Davwud

              Went to the red squirrel in fairfield and got the turkey ham double decker it was a real let down , the ham was ok but the turkey was that processed white bologna stuff ( ekk!) the chicken noodle soup was ok , my friend got the turkey club ( skimpy on the bacon ) all in all a big disappointment , and not a cheap date either! heard alot of good things but it just wasn't there .

              1. re: luvtoeat55

                I have to agree about the Dead Squirrel. It's edible but not great. I'm just not a huge fan of the double decker Cincy sandwiches. And you were only 5 minutes away from the best BBQ (Jim Dandy's off of Sharon Rd.) or Mexican (Taqueria Mercado on Rte. 4) in the region.

                1. re: JohnE O

                  Off topic: Beg to differ, but Jim Dandy's can't hold a candle to Just Q'in. Or Eli's, for that matter.

                  1. re: JohnE O

                    I have to back up jmckee - Jim Dandy's is mediocre and not in any way worth a trip. At least for pulled pork. They keep it swimming in a tub of broth so it's wet and tasteless when served. The kids that work behind the counter are disinterested. Just a vibe of nobody caring. It's highly overrated. Also, I strongly recommend Tacqueria Maya on Fields Ertel over Tacqueria Mercado in Fairfield. T. Mercado just isn't that good or special.

            2. My friend and I went to the new kid on the block on the Eastside of Cincy Fat Timmys Eastside Chili ,and I can assure you all, these guys got it going on with the Double Deckers , I got the Ham and Turkey and it blows CW and the rest out of the water , the first thing I noticed and ask about was the turkey was like the best , the waitress informed us these guys bake off everthing fresh every day , ( No prossed meat peroid) , Jimmy got the BLT DD UNBELIEVEABLE the waitress told us 16 strips of bacon on that bad boy , We tasted the chili and it was really good as well , Kelly got the Fat Timmy 12oz burger with a fried egg and chz it looked great he said the best burger in town by far !

              2 Replies
              1. re: luvtoeat55

                Eastside Chili is a place I really, really wanted to be excellent - being as how it is a mile away from where I live, and we don't have a decent chili parlor on the east side - but sadly, it is very average, unremarkable.

                1. re: TJ Jackson

                  I can only say that Eastside chili has the best double deckers I have had and I have had them all Price hill , blueash etc , chili on the other hand is a matter of taste and everyones is different there , but as far as the sandwiches they in my opinion are the best , and that is the buz on the east side , CW , has a good DD skimpy on the meat a little as is price hill chili's DD , then you go to Blue ash and they are big , but low quality meat , that fat timmys Turkey was the best I have had any where in this town , East , West, or North, I had a taste of the chili and it was good to however I am anot a good one to judge that one as I can take or leave anyones chili. But the sandwiches I am an expert as I travel to NYC, Boston , and those are the only other spots you can get a sandwich where the the meat is cooked fresh and sliced , I am so glad they are here in cincinnati , east or west .

              2. While I've yet to find a restaurant that serves goetta and I think the last chili parlor (Skyline and Goldstar do not count) has closed in Dayton, there is a place in Huber Heights that serves double deckers. It is Home Boyz Carryout on Troy Pike. While they don't call the sandwiches double deckers per se, that is exactly what they are. And they're good.

                4 Replies
                1. re: Fibber McGee

                  Fibber: what was the last chili parlor that closed in Dayton? Just curious, I'm only familar with the Goldstars and Skylines.

                  1. re: jackrugby

                    Ramiz's, across from the National Cemetery on W. Third St. I'm not sure when it closed but it's been boarded up the last few times I've driven by. Of course, that doesn't mean for sure. A few places West of downtown don't open until 4 or 5 pm and this was earlier than that.

                    1. re: Fibber McGee

                      Hey we went back to Eastside Chili and they have a Goetta and egg Double decker ! I am not much on the goetta seen however my friend who loves it got it , he remarked it was the bomb , I changed up from the double deckers and got the rueben , LOOK OUT IZZYS !
                      This was grilled just righrt and the rye bread they use is really good corned beef is fresh, not the processed stuff . Had a bowl of the beef barley soup it was the best to , my friend had the white chicken chili and wasn:t real impressed with it

                    2. re: jackrugby

                      I stand corrected. I was driving on Siebenthaler the other day and in the strip mall on Siebenthaler and Philadelphia is 5 Star Chili, which remains open.