Expand Your Chili Parlor Horizons at OTR Chili

OTR Chili sets up shop next to Rhinegeist and gives you a good reason to order a burger at a chili parlor.

Photograph by Lance Adkins

If you think we already have enough chili parlors in Cincinnati, chances are you pledge allegiance to one spot only. Haven’t you heard variety is the spice of life? New kid in town OTR Chili–affiliated with Rhinegeist Brewery and located in the taproom-adjacent former Sartre space–is here to prove just that, anyway.

Photograph by Lance Adkins

Compared to its more, er, seasoned competitors, it has its own distinct flavor. From what I could tell, a heavier hand of cinnamon and a skosh of a kick. On a coney, the chili was just right, melding with the melted cheese and absorbing slightly into the bun. On a three-way, it seemed less substantial, with liquids running to the bottom and the meat suspended on top of the spaghetti. A simple mix solved that for me, anti-swirlers be damned. Its vegetarian sibling wasn’t my cup of tea, but if you like beef-imitating soy crumbles, it might be yours. I found the crumbles too absorptive and its “meat” flavoring overpowered the spices.

If, like me, you’ve looked at chili parlor menus and thought, Why would I order a burger here? OTR Chili has your answer. Stacked with pickles, finely sliced onions, shredded lettuce, tomato slices, and a hefty spread of mayo on a soft, buttery sesame seed bun, it’s beautifully messy and totally tasty. The lemon meringue pie is a must-try. Its luscious curd filling, topped with an airy dollop of toasted marshmallow meringue, strikes a perfect balance between tart and sweet for a refreshing finish to your meal.

OTR Chili, 1910 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, (513) 579-1910

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