Please Gamble Responsibly

On Labour Day Weekend,  my lazy Saturday started with a vigorous masturbation session

and only got better from there. On Hippo’s JV Footy Open Thread,

JV NFL 2018 Kickoff Posting

he encouraged us commentists to spice up our game-watching activities by making some wagers.

Redshirt and I stepped up as UCLA and Cincinnati were playing each other at the Rose Bowl.  The bet was as follows:

Should the Bruins win,  Redshirt would have had to go to a health food store, buy vegan patties, and make himself a vegan burger. He could add whatever toppings he wanted.

Should the Bearcats win,  I would make and eat legitimate Skyline Cincinnati-style chili. I could choose as many ways as I wanted.

FYI: UCLA sucks!

What I’m about to tell you is 100% true. I did this to myself knowingly and in full command of my faculties.

Yeah,  I know.

Before I begin,  though,  let’s reflect on what amazing times we live in! One Amazon app opened,  a quick search,  a click of a “One-Click Buy” button,  and three days later four cans of genuine Skyline chili arrived at my doorstep.

That’s fucking cool.

Let’s peruse the ingredients:

Looking at it,  Skyline chili is actually relatively healthy! Only 500 calories a can with 8 grams of carbs and 46 grams of protein? That’s pretty damn good! Also,  you can recognize the ingredients!

Now , I did do some research and discovered that there are five standard “ways” to eat this dish:

  • Two-way: spaghetti topped with chili (also called “chili spaghetti”)
  • Three-way: spaghetti, chili, and cheese
  • Four-way: spaghetti, chili, cheese, and onions
  • Four-way bean: spaghetti, chili, cheese, and beans (beans substituted for the onions)
  • Five-way: spaghetti, chili, cheese, onions, and beans

I decided to make mine a Three-way as it sounds sexier, I hate raw onion, and I don’t care for kidney beans. I fart enough as it is.

I Mexicanized/Californianized the recipe by using Mexican spaghetti and Trader Joe’s Shredded Mild Cheddar. Thank you to Redshirt for suggesting mild cheddar as the cheese of choice.

The instructions were simple enough.  After all,  I am not Yeah Right and I don’t mind store-bought or Internet-bought ingredients.

Interestingly enough,  though,  for you do-it-yourselfers, Yeah Right did catch wind of this wager and vowed to make his own version from scratch and make a post about it. So,  stay tuned for that coming soon!

For my lazy ass, the instructions were simple:

1) Heat chili in a saucepan.

2) Cook spaghetti in a pot.

3) Put cooked spaghetti on plate.

4) Ladle chili over spaghetti.

5) Grab fistfuls of cheese and place on top.

6) Eat.

I decided to make it as dinner for my Mom and Dad on Thursday Night,  right on time for the season opener.

Here is what it looked like as soon as you open up the can:

The texture is definitely runnier than what most people think of when they think of the word “chili”, but I had done my research and I knew what to expect.

I also prepped my parents by explaining that it was going to be more like a sauce instead of chili on top of spaghetti.

I poured two cans into the saucepan and it looked like this:

Now,  you can blame my camera or my picture-taking skills, but I will tell you right now I was getting nervous. It did not look great.  And keep in mind I was feeding it to my parents!

As the chili heated up,  though,  it started to shine.  The house started smelling good. As directed on the can,  I occasionally stirred and this worked well to incorporate the flavours and let them play with each other.

I occasionally tasted,  but I never got a real sense of what the final product would be like.  It would remain a mystery until the first bite.

Once the spaghetti was done and the chili was adequately heated,  it was time to assemble:

I tell you what, this was getting better by the minute! That looked tasty and smelled delicious.

I took the first bite with plenty of spaghetti,  chili,  and cheese…

The first thing that hit me was the paprika.  As I mentioned in the Open Thread on Thursday night,  the paprika is strong in this one.  That was certainly unexpected,  but it was actually a pleasant surprise.

In fact, that was my Dad’s first comment upon taking a bite:

Papa Balls: Me agarró descontrolado, pero esta bueno! (It shocked me,  but it’s good!)

The paprika definitely gives it a spice and kick that makes it worthy of the name chili.  My dad and I both dug it.  Unfortunately,  my mom can’t handle spice anymore,  so upon hearing us talk about the taste,  she tried a little bit of the sauce on its own to see if she could handle it.

She could not.  However,  she did have comments:

Mama Balls: Que cocina extraña es ésta?  (What strange kind of cuisine is this?)

Balls: Cincinnati.

Mama Balls: Oh…

My dad and I dug in and finished our plates surprisingly quick.

Let me tell you,  I have no idea how someone came up with this dish and decided to combine these ingredients in this specific way,  but it works.  It just fucking works!

The cheese pairs perfectly with the kick and spice of the chili and the spaghetti balances the entire thing with some carby heft. I could see how the onions could be added for some extra acidity while the kidney beans would add more protein and heaviness to the dish. It makes sense that these are the add-ons.

Overall,  I’m not only pleasantly surprised by the dish,  but I can honestly say I liked it,  enjoyed it,  and would eat it again!

Thank you to Redshirt for making the wager with me and providing a vehicle for my introduction to this Cincinnati classic.

In fact, you have inspired me to make a recurring post out of this fun adventure!

Please add in the comments your suggestions for regional cuisine specialties that you enjoy and are proud of.  I will seek out the original legit versions,  try them,  and report back.  The stranger and more exotic,  the better.

Feed me,  DFO, feed me!

And now,  the only possible way I could end this post:

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Told ya.

Sunday Gravy Mid-Season Special: A Bet’s A Bet. – [DOOR FLIES OPEN]

[…] and I were involved with a food bet during the first week of the college football season. That week Senor Balls and I made a friendly wager with our very own […]

Low Commander of the Super Soldiers

I think the burning question is, how was it after you ate it?

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

Being how it is not hot; maybe it is an explosive question?

Senor Weaselo

Your mother sounds like an adorably sweet lady, where I went “Awww” to her reaction of the chili.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

While paprika has a strong flavor the heat is absent. Did you add anything else? The times I’ve had I have always dumped a lot of hot sauce on it; Tabasco was OK, Cholula is good, so is Franl’s in combination.

Brick Meathook
Brick Meathook

I think Cincinnati chili is is great. I’ve always defended it when it was attacked by commenters who had never tried it, although I’ve never understood that picture of Skyline chili with the mountain of cheese that always gets posted. I first had it at the former Hard Times Cafe in Clarendon in Arlington VA (quite a few DFO/KSK folks were familiar with it) and I also make my own.

You know what the secret ingredient is? Chocolate. Cincinnati chili has unsweetened chocolate just like mole sauce. It also has cinnamon, and of course chili powder and cumin; mine doesn’t have paprika in it but maybe Skyline does.

The other chili I make is Los Angeles’ own Chasen’s Chili from the famed Chasen’s Restaurant. The chili of the stars for like 50 years; after it closed Dave Chasen’s daughter published the recipe. I did my own mini-Sunday Gravy in the comments once. If you want to know what it’s like to fart like Humphrey Bogart, have yourself a heapin’ bowl of Chasen’s Chili.

King Hippo

Hard Times is FUCKING GREAT, it saddened me deeply when Raleigh lost its franchise like 5 years ago.

Always preferred the Texas varietal, though. Terlingua Red was also good, but Cincy just too sweet for me. And no matter what, I just ate a bowl of it PLAIN NO BEANS with cornbread.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

Enough hot sauce will counter the sweet; especially at a party with a bunch of Ohio people saying THIS is the best chili ever, better than the stuff we get here in Colorado. Rather than argue I just drank and emptied their only bottle of Tabasco.


Loved the post, especially while imagining you actually refer to your mom as “Mama Balls”

“Mama Balls, I finished my supper, may I go play outside?” for example.

As for regional cuisine from Orange County, um…I guess whatever the private chef makes?

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

“The Mother of All Balls.”

yeah right

Nobody can ever again say they can’t make a dish because they couldn’t find “X” ingredient.

Well done Balls.

I’m actually a little hyped to make the chili from scratch. It is definitely not your typical Southwest style chili and it turns out it was made by a Greek immigrant who owned a diner, which explains the spice blend.

There will probably be a mid season Sunday Gravy post for this one.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh


Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

Seems like comfort food; nuttin’ wrong with that. It’s just when some claim it to be a culinary masterpiece where it falls short.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

Of course there are other extremes when it comes to chili and chilies that is not comfort food.

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Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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Senor Weaselo

…You called?


Please Gamble Responsibly or The Hippo Intervention Post, you decide.

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You know how much I love Scotland, so haggis it up!

yeah right

Agreed. I found haggis to be very tasty and it was great beer food.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

With all the complaining about haggis I was expecting something different; when I had it with a few combinations on Burn’s Night dinner it was very good. Bag pipes in a small room was a bit traumatic on the ear drums, but hey.

Ian Scott McCormick

“Haggis? Gross. Don’t you know what that’s made of? I’ll stick to hotdogs, thankyouverymuch.”

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

That, plus I had just heard it was bad, not true to my taste buds. A big bowl of menudo to those people.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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Mr. DFOcommenter wondered if there was room in his basement for three more Mormons.


This should be the sidebar banner!

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

Stolen and adapted joke.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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Timmy and Dad [DFO commenter X] try to guess which one the mother will eat first.


In my defense it all depends on how you have it. Fried up with other breakfast food? Delicious. Boiled in a bag of intestines? Pretty standard disgusting regional fare.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

Mine was in the intestine bag….. which kind of popped when the traditional cut was made, but was fried, or browned, then, I believe oven baked, not just boiled. With the Mexican, et al versions those have a lot of spice and are cooked longer, so the guts are good.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

The Scotch Egg was interesting and I enjoyed it too.


Love me a good scotch egg