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Skyline vs. Gold Star, the great chili debate continues

By Leadbelly Boys (Ron Rollins, Ray Marcano and Jim Dillon

Well, your happy and hearty Leadbelly Boys have been munching quietly here and there, dipping our forks in to this plate and that around the Miami Valley. A few days ago on our Leadbelly Blog at, we raised what we thought would be an innocent question: Which do you prefer, Gold Star Chili or Skyline?

Now, you may recall that your Mighty Brothers of Lead weighed in on this very matter a few years ago, and came basically to the conclusion that Brother Ray doesn't like either one. We do recognize the key difference that Skyline is sweeter and Gold Star tarter, but beyond that you can only split a five-way, well, five ways. Or so.

Anyway, here's what our loyal readers had to say once they got out from under their grated Cheddar (please note that blog commenters usually don't leave their full names, which is both the beauty and curse of the Blogosphere):

Dave: "If someone wants to serve chili, great. If they want to serve spaghetti, don't call it chili."

Margo: "Coming from this former Cincinnati kid, there's no question which is better — Skyline. In fact, two of my out-of-state sibs ALWAYS have to get a Cincinnati chili fix when they're back in town and Gold Star isn't even an option."

Bro Big T: "Let's see ... which one would I have picked? ... I'm thinking ... NEITHER. But that's just me. Chili is best served savory, not sweet. I've had both Skyline and Gold Star in my day and was mostly satisfied with the experiences, but as a lover and connoisseur of chili dogs and coneys I must say that Cinci-style chili is not my cup of soup — I don't care for the cinnamon/chocolate edge you find in Cinci-style."

Derwood: "Skyline all the way... The Skyline on Kingsridge by the Dayton Mall is by far the best Skyline I've ever been to. They are always on top of the game."

Marc: "Skyline, hands down. It took me a while to develop a taste for their chili, but once you get it nothing else compares. Gold Star tries, but they don't come close. To their credit, Gold Star does offer a vegetarian version of their chili, which is handy if you have non-meat eaters in your group."

Rob: "That's no contest. Skyline! My friend got me started going to the old Dayton Mall location back when we were in high school. They're always on top of things there. Then my prayers were answered: We got a Skyline in Eaton! If my mom had it her way, we'd eat there every day."

Maggie: "I had a couple of Gold Star coneys yesterday because I was hungry and at the mall. But, today when I wanted some chili and spaghetti I stopped at my favorite — Skyline! I grew up with one right down the street. And just like Margo, all of my out-of-town aunts and uncles have to have Skyline when they come to town."

Gene Baugh: "GOLD STAR — the one on Wilmington Pike is the best for service and food."

BT Chili Man: "When it comes to chili/spaghetti or coneys, Cincy-style is the only way to go. And, that Cincy style is SKYLINE!! Any of the others pale in comparison. The best Skyline restaurant in the Dayton area is the Kingsridge location. They have the best product (serving it as it is prepared), best service, and best portions. The store on Wilmington near Dorothy is a close second."

John: "I would have to go with Skyline; growing up on the east side of Cincinnati that was the place to go. I know I went to HS with Gold Star's owners and I find Gold Star to taste fine. I live in Columbus now and there is no choice; Skyline once every 6-8 months."

Karen: "I would say NEITHER! I'm not fond of the spices in either of them. I've tried, but it's not my thing. I prefer the taste of Wendy's chili, although it could be thicker. When it comes to chili, I make my own, and leave the chili/spaghetti stuff alone. UCK!"

So, there you go. Feel free to read more, eat more and join in the fun on the Leadbelly Blog. And by the way, that'll be a fourwaybeantwocheeseconeysmustardnoonion, please. And pass the hot sauce.

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