My Father’s Sandwiches

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I was at an event recently that sparked a childhood food memory. On the appetizer table, the hosts had graciously put food tags on each plate so people knew what they were sampling. A friend of mine came back to our table and said, “Dann, there is something on the table with a German-sounding name you need to translate for us.” It was a heaping plate of braunschweiger spread, or what us multi-generational Cincinnatians know it as – Bavarian Party Dip. For those of us watching our cholesterol, braunschweiger, or fatty chicken liver pate, is a bit outside of a normal staple, but I’ll always indulge when it steps into my chow path.
Most people talk about family recipes coming from the maternal line of their mom and grandmothers. But in my family there are several foods that come through the paternal line. One, that is now lamentably lost, was my Grandpa Woellert’s recipe for German Eierlikor, or German Eggnog. Now gone Aunts and Uncles, praised it as if it were the Holy Host. It was, in fact a connection to our paternal village in Germany, where Eierlikor is more common than lager. The other foods instilled by my paternal line are my father’s sandwiches. Early on as kids, my father gifted us an appreciation and the methods to prepare two of his favorite sandwiches – the smelly but delicious Limburger Cheese & Onion, and super-fatty Braunschweiger & Mayo.
But before I talk about the virtues of these sandwiches I have to talk about my father’s palate. My father has not had any professional culinary training. He’s not a pastry chef or a food stylist. But he is probably what is known in the food industry as a super taster. He developed or already has a particularly keen palate to detect spice levels and flavors in food. My father has a particular zen for listening to his palate and improving that which doesn’t hit the sweet spot. Much to my mother’s frustration, he was always adding more spice to her food at the table. But he likes what he likes.
He is indeed a pumpkin pie snob, and can detect trace levels of clove, and mace vs. nutmeg in the pies. He scoffs at contemporary makers who over-cinnamon the pies, and don’t balance the mace, ginger, cloves and cinnamon, like he says, my Grandfather’s (his father-in-law) pumpkin pie did beautifully. Pie tasting and discussion was something he bonded with Grandpa. He also appreciates sour and fishy umami, passing on his love for sardines and pickled herring. This was another connection to our paternal home village in northern Germany near the Baltic. The weird set of three creamed herring dips – white, brown, and red – at our early family Christmas celebrations was super-weird to us kids.
Not only does my father search out the best taste, he also has his own ideas of preparation of food. It always embarrassed us as kids when we’d go out to Frisch’s and Dad would order a Brawny Lad, which is a burger on rye bun with a slice of onion, but ask to have Swiss cheese and tartar sauce added, like the Swiss Miss sandwich had. It was like that scene when Harry Met Sally, where it takes her over two minutes to order a salad and apple pie a la mode. Any sauce must be on the side and her instructions on what to do with or without ice cream renders Harry silent for the first time in the movie.
My father also has a very specific way he orders his Skyline chili. He watches his carbs now, so he doesn’t go for the spaghetti of a three way, but makes sort of his own chili salad, ordered in three separate items. It’s very confusing, but the waitresses at his normal Skyline location know exactly what he means when he orders. They should have a name for it like the Roger-Way, and add it to the menu as a Keto diet item. I could go ad infinitum of the other weird things my father does in restaurants, like sprinkling parmesan cheese in his beer at pizza joints.
So, getting back to the sandwiches. The limburger cheese sandwich MUST be on rye bread. And not just any rye bread. Since Rubel’s is no longer available – the Holy Grail of Cincinnati rye breads in Dad’s opinion – he is always on a search for the best rye bread, which he says should include caraway, not just on the crust but the inside. The onion must be sliced thin, and implanted on the sandwich in full cross section, not in small pieces. No more than three slices of limburger cheese should go on the sandwich, and it should be warm, but not so hot that the cheese melts. That is achieved with a light toast of the rye bread, but not too toasted that its burnt, charred or out-crunches the crunch of the sweet Vidalia onion inside. My father’s sandwich does not call for any mustard or anything else. Its simplicity features the lovely taste of the limburger cheese. And the sandwich must be eaten while still warm. Oh, and I almost forgot, a sprinkling of black pepper on the onion before closing the sandwich.

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The second sandwich, the Braunschweiger & Mayo, can and usually is made with white bread. It can also be made on rye bread, but white is preferred. The bread must be lightly toasted, but not too toasted. That’s to help with the spreading of the particularly dense Cincinnati Braunschweiger. If you don’t lightly toast white bread, the density of the spread will damage the bread. Nowadays local meat markets sell braunschweiger presliced in ¼ slices, that can simply be mashed onto the bread, rather than spread. The bread should be cooled before spreading. You don’t want to warm the creamy braunschweiger. It should be spread at a thickness of about a quarter of an inch or maybe more. Then a sprinkling of salt and a light layer of mayo on top, before closing and cutting diagonally. Germans would add something pickled in between to help cut and digest the fattiness of the braunschweiger, but not in our sandwich.
Although not a part of my regular dietary routine, these two sandwiches will always be a reminder of my Dad and my childhood, and a connection to Cincinnati.

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George Ast: The Cincinnati Candy Company That Spawned Three Mayors

George Ast Candy Company tins from the Schimpf Candy Museum.

Last Thursday was an event that I look forward to every year. It’s the Celebrity Genealogy Fundraiser for the Hyde Park Senior Center. My friend Mary has reserved a group table for some friends the last several years. My friend Deb Cyprich of the Hamilton County Genealogical Society emcees the event and does a majority of the research. It’s very much like Henry Louis Gates’ show Finding Your Roots on PBS and it’s amazing what stories they dig up.

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So this year the celebrity was former mayor Charlie Luken and his family, including his 92 year old mother, Shirley. The event almost didn’t happen if it weren’t for my cat like reflexes. My friend Amy was making a B-line to a plate of chocolate brownies at the dessert table before the event started. And, on her way she almost bowled over Dame Luken, the former First Lady of Cincinnati. Thankfully, I was there to stop what could have been a terrible collision and most probably a trip to the emergency room.

“She was in my blind spot!” Amy said, after she apologized to Dame Luken.

“Would you have felt good about your brownie if you bowled her over and she had broken her hip?” I asked.

“I still would have eaten the brownies. And, I would have made it look like you did it!” Amy said. The reality of friends you’ve known for over 25 years.

So Deb went through some great stories of Charlie’s paternal line. Then she got to Charlie’s maternal line. She traced his mother Shirley Ast Luken to her grandfather, George Ast. That name sounded very familiar to me. And then Deb brought up some pictures from my Cincinnati Candy book of the George Ast Candy Company, crediting my research on the candy company. The Schimpf Candy Museum in Indiana has two of their candy tins from the early 1900s,which they let me photograph for the book. One was a small tin of their fruit tablets, and another was a large tin with a smiling young girl, maybe one of the Ast daughters.

George Ast started his candy company in Cincinnati around 1900. They manufactured the St. Clair brand of hard candies, including a very popular horehound flavor. George was very active in the local Cincinnati Confectionery Association, and was very instrumental in the 1916 Candy Day in Cincinnati, which would be the precursor for Sweetest Day. When George died in 1923, the company passed along to his two sons Charles and Frank.

Charles was Shirley’s father. Shirley married Tom Luken, an up and coming politician who became Democratic Mayor of Cincinnati from 1971 to 1972. He influenced his older brother, James Luken, to also serve as mayor, which he did as a Democrat, from 1976 to 1977. Then, after Tom and Shirley’s son, Charlie graduated from Chase College of Law at UC, and served time on Cincinnati City Council, he became the first strong publicly elected mayor (before that, City Council elected the mayor). Charlie would serve several terms from 1984-1991, and again in from 1999-2005, when he would lead our city out of the horrible downtown riots in 2001, after the police shooting of unarmed,Timothy Thomas. Charlie was also a public figure as a newscaster on our local WLWT channel between terms as mayor. So what a cool story that a local candy maker, who helped to form the holiday of Sweetest Day, spawned three Cincinnati Mayors.

The funny thing was that I had found a great photo from the 1916 candy day when George Ast and a group of local candy makers presented a giant sucker to the Cincinnati City administration in jest, not knowing that George’s future son-in-law, and great grandson would be part of that administration.

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After the end of the program several other folks came up to me and said they were related to Cincinnati Candy makers. One was a descendant of the Mullane Company family. Another’s grandfather published the National Confectioners Journal, and another, the father of the Naked Cowboy, was related to the Fawn Confectionery Company. So, there’s apparently less than three degrees of separation in Cincinnati to a candy company!

 

 

 

Shillito’s Seven Hills Sandwich

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A close approximation of the Shillito’s Seven Hills Sandwich.

 

It has long been disputed which of the many hills are the Seven of Cincinnati. One of the earliest references lists 10. The Cincinnati Library has tired of how many times it gets asked this question, so recently answered for certain saying – “there are three ridges that surround the basin of the City of Cincinnati with a lot of different names!”

There’s also strong debate when the subject of the old Shillito’s Seven Hills Sandwich comes up of what it is NOT. It is most certainly not a sloppy joe or Manwich. It is also not a barbecue sandwich. What it seems to be closest to is a seasoned loosemeat sandwich, similar to the Maid Rite sandwich from Iowa, where the loosemeat was invented in the 1930s.   But, at the coffeeshop on the first floor of the Shillito’s department store at 7th and Race Streets, where it was served, they described it as a loose cheeseburger or a saucy ground beef sandwich. There’s also argument as to where exactly in the department store it was served. While some maintain that it was also served at the Shillito’s Tea Room, there are no menus that list it as an item at the tearoom. Since the café’s closure in the 80s, recipes have been reproduced in many different publications and local cookbooks.     The ones that include ketchup are vehemently denied as not authentic by loyal fans.

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The Seven Hills Sandwich was a loose ground beef that was seasoned with spices and cooked in bouillon, then scooped onto a cheddar bun, served plain or with a scoop of melted American cheese. It was not tomatoey like a barbecue sandwich and there were no visible onions or green peppers in the meat. The chunks of meat were larger balls, unlike a sloppy joe. Apparently the magic was the cheddar bun it was served on. These are hard to find today at local bakeries, but sometimes Servatti’s brings them back for a limited time. Kids got a plastic toothpick with a clown on top stabbed into their Seven Hills Sandwich.

The seasoning mix that made the sandwich was also sold at Shillito’s so the deliciousness could be made at home. But that company that made the spices is long out of business and the secret spice blend no longer available. Apparently for the diehard recipe rehabbers, a packet of Lipton’s beefy Onion soup mix , with added ground black pepper, comes close to the original spice blend.

The sandwich evokes Cincinnati’s Golden era of downtown shopping.   It was a time when suburbanites would make a day of it, especially during the holidays, get dressed to the nines, take a bus downtown and walk to and from the many department stores downtown. Most of the department stores like McAlpins, Pogues, and Mabely and Carew, had restaurants and tea rooms where you could take a break for lunch in between shopping and enjoy items like the Seven Hills Sandwich.    I remember the awesome Shillito’s Elves displays at Christmas.     A portion of that display was restored by a local Boy Scout troop and displayed up until last year, at a vacant storefront in downtown Mariemont.

I don’t know who has the secret to the spice blend, but there seems to be a niche market of fans that would love to buy the spice packet and recreate their younger days.

Tiger Tail – The Flavor Compromise for Black Licorice Haters

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Ok, I’ve come up with a compromise for all the Black Licorice haters out there. I know what you’re thinking, Haters – that there’s no compromise unless it’s not there at all. Well there’s a flavor I just tried that allows for that small jolt of black licorice, swirled into a mostly orange flavor. It’s called Tiger Tail, and I encountered the flavor unsuspectingly, in a Halloween Twizzler given to me by my admin. After biting into it, you get just a hint of spice with the black licorice or anise flavor, but then it’s quickly taken away by a refreshing strong orange flavor. It’s really a polar sensation on your taste buds and I think it’s wonderful.

Apparently Tiger Tail is an old flavor of ice cream that was and still is very popular in Southern Ontario, Canada, and almost impossible to find in the United States. It was very popular with kids, which speaks to the magic of its flavor combination, since black licorice and anise flavor can be so polarizing. The name comes from its likeness to orange and black tiger stripes. It was created by Morgan Carr in the 1950s, and is still offered at creameries across Ontario and by companies like Kawartha Dairy and Baskin Robbins. There’s apparently a loyal fan base of adults who grew up on the flavor as kids.

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Although Tiger tail doesn’t have popularity outside of Canada, I get it, and am an instant fan. The play of a sweet acid – citrus, and a bitter acid, anise, plays a delightful game with the taste buds.

And why we don’t have candy or ice cream in Cincinnati with such a name as Tiger Tail is beyond comprehension! Aglamesis and the other local brand could make this flavor now, during football season and call it Bengal Ice Cream. It could be served at the stadium and, of course, at the Zoo. It could be the Zoo’s version of the Smurfy Blue ice cream at King’s Island.    What about a Tiger Tail French Chew?  Buzzed Bull Creamery in Over-the-Rhine could make a Grand Marnier and Jaegermeister sundae.    I’m thinking there’s even a way to integrate this into a pastry or dessert too – Bengal Tail Crème Brulee maybe?

Jaegermeister and the Feast of St. Hubertus

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Cincinnati Germania’s Jagdblaeser (hunting horn) Group helping St. Joseph’s Church in Hamilton celebrate the Feast of St. Hubertus.

At St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Hamilton last night a very special event took place at the 5 PM Mass.   It was the first recorded time a Catholic Church in Greater Cincinnati celebrated the very southern German Feast of St. Hubertus, the long revered patron of hunters.   It may have also been the first in recent times the feast has been celebrated anywhere in America.    The wonderful Jagdblaeser group of the Germania society joined the processional into the church to a mounted staghead  with a suspended crucifix between its antlers to open the mass.  They performed on their First Pless and Parforce brass hunting horns throughout the mass.

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Large taxidermy is not something you usually find in a Catholic Church, but the staghead with the glowing, levitating crucifix is the symbol of St. Hubertus.   He was an unbaptized heathen from Toulouse, France,  who out on a non-productive hunting adventure, finally saw a stag with the crucifix gleaming through its rack.     The snarky unfaithful might say he probably had drunk too much schnapps before his ‘vision.’     Hubertus  then converted, became a bishop,  and later became a saint long revered in Bavaria and Southern Germany, becoming the patron of bow hunters.    The feast has been celebrated there on November 3, since the 1600s.  Feasts after the mass typically consist of wild game, which the celebrants offer up too St. Hubertus, and then start the unending schnapps toasts.

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Fast forward to 1934 northern Germany, the intellectual city of Wolfenbüttel in Lower Saxony.   Here Kurt  Mast, was trying to reamp his father’s vinegar business with a schnapps liquor.   Being an avid hunter, he named and released his 56  ingredient Jaegermeister herbal liquor, using the stag and crucifix mantel of St. Hubertus as his logo.   The liquor was formulated as an after dinner digestive to help break down all the fatty regional foods, like goetta’s ancesters Knipp and Stripgreutze, still popular in the area.   Jaegermeister means “master hunter” in Germany, which was familiar to the folks of Wolfenbuttel.    Kurt, knowing that hunters carried schnapps with them to fill their time waiting for stags on hunting trips, designed a particularly rugged bottle.    Using a drop test, he finally came up with the now iconic thick, rectangular green glass bottle, that survived being dropped on wooden floors.

I visited the charming town of Wolfenbüttel about five years ago on business and driving there from the Hanover airport you see hunting stand after hunting stand throughout the countryside.

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About 1934 the Nazi regime reformed Germany’s hunting laws as they applied to game wardens, senior foresters, and gamekeepers.   Herman Goring, the Minister of the Nazi Party who created the Gestapo and later became commander-in-chief of the Luftwafe, was appointed to Reichsjagermeister, or State Master Hunter, so when the drink was introduced in 1934, it was nicknamed locally as “Goringschnapps.”   Thank God that name didn’t stick.  Kurt Mast was a local politician and joined the Nazi party, which after the war, he claimed, was an opportunistic move to help his fledgling business.   He bonded with Goring, the second most powerful politician in Germany, over hunting, and schnapps drinking and became pals.

So after the war, Jaegermeister, faded into obscurity as a country schnapps, “popular with old folks,” as one of my hosts in Wolfenbuttel told me.   It wasn’t until Jewish-American businessman, Sydney Frank, with whom I share a birthday, brought the drink to America that we knew of its existence. Frank began promoting the drink along with the heavy metal music community. He bought exclusive importing rights in the 1980s and began associating Jaeger with hair bands like Metallica, Motley Crue, Pantera, Slayer, and The Bloodhound Gang. Frank saw to it that Jaeger became the tour sponsor for these bands’ national tours and the drink took off in America. Soon, college frat kids were doing shots of Jaeger in a glass of Red Bull and calling it a Jaegerbomb. Something originally invented as an aid to digestion had now completely changed it’s brand image to a hipster sport drink. That made Jaeger on American college campuses a drink that aided you in bringing up what you ate, rather than keeping it down. If you went to any pub in Wolfenbuttel and asked for ‘ein Jaegerbomb, bitte”, they’d laugh and garnish you an American.    Unfortunately our host in Wolfenbüttel was fond of Jaeger and guilted us into drinking way too much of it.

In Southern Germany there is a also style of Maibock, called Hubertus bock, named after the saint, that is a golden-hued  lager with a robust malt and sweet finish.   Hacker-Pschorr in Germany brought the Hubertus Bock to the United States for the first time in Bock season of 2014.

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So the next time you drink Jaeger and see a glowing crucifix inside a stag mantle, don’t fret, just offer a hearty “Prost!” to St. Hubertus.

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The Spanish Hot Dog: The Ohio and Indiana Post-War Treat

 

 

IMG_4384The other day I was talking with a coworker about the Spot Restaurant in Sidney, Ohio. I was planning a trip up that way to visit our trade show company, and said I had heard of the Spot from friends and seen it on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives on the Food Network. What ensued was a schooling about some other mid-Ohio foods that I’d never heard of. As it turns out, my coworkers have opened my world to Ohio foods this year previously unknown to this River Yankee. There’s a plethora of great regional foods as you go north of Interstate 70 from Dayton.

Jocelyn’s grandparents are from Sidney, so she told me about another dish that the Sidney Ex-pat diaspora craves when they come into town. That’s something called a Spanish Dog from the B & K Root Beer stand, which unfortunately is now closed for the season. A Spanish Dog? I had never heard of this exotic hot dog variety. She described it to me and said she grew up on them when they visited her grandparents.

The Ohio Spanish Dog is a distant, let’s say English cousin, of our beloved cheese coney. It’s basically sloppy joe sauce on a hot dog in a steamed bun, making a Manwhichey sort of chili dog or coney. It’s the love child of a Cincinnati Coney, and a sloppy joe. Although they’ll put chopped onions and warm Cheese Whiz on it, the original B & K Spanish dog is just the sauce.

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B & K stands for the original owners, Bergerson and Keneflick, who opened the first B & K Root Beer stand in Michigan City, Indiana in the md 1940s. Mary and Melvin Bergerson became the long time owners, but there seems to be no information about the partner named Keneflick. Melvin had played for the Green Bay Packers before World War II, and was also a retired high school principal. Mary Bergerson was the one who invented the Spanish sauce. It is a very tomatoey sauce with onions and beef hamburger, salt, pepper, and a little vinegar. Her son said she formulated it as a mild coney sauce.

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The sloppy joe, which is a very tomatoey ground beef sauce, was said to have been invented in the 1930s as an offshoot of the loose meat sandwiches served in Sioux City, Iowa, invented by a short order cook named Joe. The term sloppy joe also referred to any cheap restaurant or lunch counter that served cheap food quickly. One of the earliest references to sloppy joes was in 1944 in a Coshocton Ohio Tribune in an ad for The Hamburg Shop, which said the sandwich originated in Cuba.

There were also a related whole family of creamed meat sandwiches served at the plethora of cheap sandwich shops that popped up during the 1930s and 1940s. GIs used to refer to these cheap and quick meals as ‘shit-on-a-shingle.’ Let’s call them cousins of the sloppy joe. Oddly enough there are not any creamed-meat-sauce-over-hot-dog varieties.

The original loose meat sandwiches were just steamed meat in their own au jus. The addition of a tomatoey sauce had various other names like Toasted Deviled Hamburgers, Spanish Hamburgers, Hamburg a la Creole, Beef Mironton, and Minced Beef Spanish Style. Recipes for these show up in early and mid 20th century American cookbooks, with the intent of showing the housewife how they could use up yesterday’s leftover potroast or beef.

Canned sloppy joe became available in 1969 when Conagra/Hunts released Manwhich, which I grew up on in the late 70s and 80s. So, by the post war years, Mary Bergerson had a history of sloppy joe like sandwiches to base her Spanish Sauce on. Well, the tomatoey meaty goodness became a hit and was the most popular item at the B & K Root beer stands, which at one time numbered 238 throughout Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan. Today, there are now about 17 independently owned B & K Root Beer stands in Ohio and Indiana. Ohio has them in Van Wert, Sidney, Troy, Piqua, Akron, and Cuyahoga Falls. The area about 2.5 miles south of Chicago between Lafayette and Ft. Wayne, Indiana, has locations in Rochester, Logansport, Marion, Peru, Bluffton, Alexandria, two in Kokomo, Monticello, Gas City, and Mishawaka.

There are a few Ohio and Indiana indie Root beer stands that carry the Spanish Dog, like Mr. Weeney.

While we still have root beer stands in Greater Cincinnati, they carry our more familiar Cheese Coney or chili dogs, and the Spanish Hot Dog is only known to those who grew up north of I-70.

 

Back to the Future with Cincinnati Chili Parlor Design

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The typical open steam table design of a Cincinnati Chili parlor.  (This one the original Price Hill Skyline, opened in 1949)

 

National fast food chains change their interior and exterior designs all the time. Who remembers the hippy-dippy, multi-colored plastic bead curtains Wendy’s used to have in the 70s and 80s ? What the industry calls “scrape-and-rebuilds” can cost an owner nearly half a million dollars to bring a restaurant up to new brand standards. Recent changes in restaurants like McDonald’s and Wendy’s boast new swanky fireplaces and comfy sofas to invite customers to stay, hangout, and spend more money per visit. Can a restaurant design really entice customers to eat more and spend more money? That’s what the corporate restaurant masterminds hope.

But then there are restaurants like our chili parlors whose designs haven’t changed since the 1950s. And despite their age, the Cincinnati Chili industry continues to grow with new chain locations and more revenue per location. The nostalgic open steam tables and round swivel stools bring us back to a lighter time, when a coke and a threeway with friends or family solved all the world’s crazy problems. We see in plain view the grown men who, with a time-tested and gentle flick of the wrist, ladle our chili over our tender spaghetti. We see the coney guys load, lock, and ladle a dozen coneys at a time.

Everyone knows the statements supposedly made by Twain on how behind the times we are in Cincinnati. So, are we as a collective, supposedly conservative city ready for a change in our beloved vintage chili parlors?

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In 1959, the Brothers Kiradjieff (Tom & John) of Empress Chili, announced they were taking their parlors into the drive in era. As the inventors of Cincinnati chili it was only appropriate they be the first to come up with a new design. Working with architects Kral, Zepf, and Kleine, they came up with a super cool futuristic design for drive in, car-service, Empress Chili Parlors. This new design was to be integrated into franchise packages to be implemented all throughout the city. The first was to be built near the Valley Theatre in Roselawn on the then bustling Reading Road.

As cool as the design was, the concept never really took off for Empress. As it turns out, most people enjoyed the time they took in a chili parlor to eat their chili. Cincinnati chili is probably the fastest fast food on the market, and is probably the messiest food to try to eat in the car or while driving. And, the chili parlor happens to be a respite from the outside world, where all class and racial divisions dissolve in a love for Queen City comfort food. Most chili parlors today do have drive-through windows so busy people can take their food home.

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Gold Star’s modern chili parlor prototype design, introduced in March 2018 in Anderson Township.

So, Gold Star thinks Cincinnati chili parlors are ready to take the step into the 21st century with a new modern chili parlor design. The first store to showcase the new prototype design was earlier this year at the Anderson Township store. Gold Star says the new design features “sleek exterior finishes, custom metal, and a fresh, new interior look.” But the design also closes off the now open steam table. Art deco swivel stools are replaced by individual tall stools, and there are long communal high tables instead of many smaller tables. It’s all very clean, straight lines, with modern light fixtures, but no nostalgia. So does taking out the nostalgia take something away from Cincinnati chili? Does it make it too much like every other fast food chain in the U.S., and take away what makes our chili parlors so unique?

The design is perhaps inspired by the ultra-modern restaurant designs of Chili Haus, the Middle East version of Gold Star Chili that’s run by the son of one of the original founders. The restaurants in Jordan and UAE for example, focus on burgers as well as Cincinnati chili items, and have counter walk up service, rather than tableside. The designs have no indication of elements of a Cincinnati chili parlor, which Middle Easterners would have no reference to anyway.

We will see if Cincinnati is ready for such a novel change of its historic chili parlor design and if these new stores gain more money per ticket than the nostalgic parlors.