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Skyline Chili vs. Gold Star Chili? My observation... [Cincinnati]

We went to a Gold Star last night because it was the only one of the two chains that was open late enough to seat us.

I experienced something with the small three way I got that I had never noticed before. The Gold Star chili actually had an odd chemical off-taste to my palate that was unpleasant.

My wife did not notice anything except that the Gold Star seemed a bit sweeter and less spicy than Skyline. I tried her chili and I got the same off taste.

We are used to Skyline - we just like the menu items better, and I like the Greek salad there. So my taster is attuned to Skyline, and Gold Star either registers quite differently, or, there was something the matter with that batch.

Does anyone else care to comment on the perceived taste of Skyline vs. Gold Star chili?

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  1. There is indeed a taste difference, and I actualy prefer Gold Star for the chili. I don't find it unpleasant or chemically, but I am not a regular of either place.

    The overall menu, though, gives Skyline the edge.

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    Gold Star
    219 S Winemiller, Batavia, OH 45103

    1. Skyline seems to have a bit more robust, intense flavor, whereas Gold Star seems a bit more ketchupy (perhaps the sweetness your wife noticed?) and just duller. I, too, prefer Skyline--just seems to have more lively, clean food overall. Perhaps the color scheme of the restaurants have a lot to do with that too... I hate to judge a place by atmosphere, but I'm afraid that might be skewing my judgement a bit here.

      3 Replies
      1. re: jjspw

        Does Empress Chili still exist? If so, how does that compare?

        1. re: Fydeaux

          Empress is still around, although I have yet to try them.
          I would not call Gold Star ketchupy. Milder, maybe, although that is not the reason I prefer them. I wouldn't exactly call any Cincinnati chili as being intense in flavor, but that's just me.
          jjspw, which Gold Stars have you eaten at that you don't think have a good atmosphere? if it's Cincinnati Mall, I'd certainly agree.

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          Gold Star Restaurants
          711 E 2nd St, Franklin, OH 45005

        2. re: jjspw

          Skylines seem more modern and sleeker. Gold Star seems junkier or less fresh or modern or something. Maybe it's just because the Gold Stars near us are older than Skylines.

        3. I've been to both and much prefer Skyline. I'm not even sure I can nail it down either. We would certainly drive past GS to get to Skyline.

          DT

          1. Ok, so I am apparently alone in sensing a strange "off" taste in GS. Maybe it was the batch we were served. It didn't register as a spice or lack thereof or sweetness. I wonder if we ate an old batch or if there was a trace of a cleaning product in the pot that they simmer it in?

            1. I tend to prefer Skyline because their menu is a little bigger. I don't mind eating Gold Star either. On the other hand I live within walking distance of Blue Ash Chili. They have the best tasting chili and they serve alcohol, so it's a twofer. It's been about 15 years since I've eaten at Empress. The best reason to go there is they serve goetta. (And yes Spellchecker, goetta is a real word).

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              Gold Star
              219 S Winemiller, Batavia, OH 45103

              Blue Ash Chili Restaurant
              4200 Aero Dr Ste E, Mason, OH 45040

              4 Replies
              1. re: JohnE O

                Here's the $64, 000 question. Why does Blue Ash Chili not set up at Taste of Blue Ash? They're not the only place in the immediate vicinity of Bicentennial Park that does not, but a few of them do.

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                Blue Ash Chili Restaurant
                4200 Aero Dr Ste E, Mason, OH 45040

                1. re: Fibber McGee

                  I'm not sure why they don't participate in The Taste. Maybe it's not cost efficient for them to run a tent given the fact they're across the street to begin with. As an update I went there last night and can say their burgers haven't gotten any better. Stick with chili.

                  1. re: JohnE O

                    That does make sense, same with for Slatts and Cactus Pear, which gets swamped during The Taste. Maybe they simply can't spare the work force.
                    Sitcking with chili duly noted.

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                    Cactus Pear
                    9500 Kenwood Rd Ste 9, Cincinnati, OH 45242

                2. re: JohnE O

                  BA is great and the first CC I ever tried. I'll take Camp Washington but both are fantastic.

                  DT

                3. I find that Gold Star is thinner and soupier, and also has a spicy bite at the back of the throat that is not altogether pleasant.

                  I may be biased; I used to live less than a quarter mile from the old Gold Star commissary on the east side of Cincinnati, and on any given day the prevailing wind would bring the scent to our house. Hence, even in the coldest weather, I drove past that place with the windows up, the a/c on, and the air recirculating.

                  I MUCH prefer Skyline to Gold Star.