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Thursday, November 1, 2007

Best Chili Dog North of the Mason Dixon Line

As Forrest Gump once said, "I could eat about a million of these".

First in the spirit of disclosure, Spicy Food Guy must admit he is more than impartial to the Skyline Chili Cheese Coney. Besides having consumed thousands of Skyline Cheese Coneys in his lifetime, the geographical center of the Skyline restaurant chain is Cincinnati, Ohio, home of Almost Deaf Father of Spicy Food Guy (ADFOSFG) and Loving Mother of Spicy Food Guy (LMOSFG). Routinely, Spicy Food Guy will drive home to visit ADFOSG and LMOSFG, who have just prepared a scrumptious from scratch meal for Spicy Food Guy and his hungry spouse and kids, only to have one of the kids, usually Wild Child Stepdaughter of Spicy Food Guy (WCSOSFG), announce, "he (SFG) ate five cheese coneys after we got off the interstate! In 10 minutes!"

Alas, it is true.

And if you have not partaken of what may be the finest chili cheese dog to have graced the planet, here are the the details.

It is a small hot dog, perhaps four inches long. Add mustard and onion. Pour on a bean-free chili that has finely ground meat, next to zero heat, and a touch of cinnamon, and does Spicy Food Guy dare say it, a misty hint of chocolate? Add a thick layer of finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese, put it all in a steamed bun, and there it is, the best of the best, the Skyline Chili Cheese Coney.

Another tale needs to be told as it relates to the Skyine Chili Cheese Coney. There is an option, for young picky eaters, to order plain hot dogs on a bun. Skyline calls them wiener buns. That's how they are ordered, "wiener buns". Go back seven years. Spicy food guy is visiting ADFOSG and LMOSFG, with then nine year old Intellectual Eldest Daughter of Spicy Food Guy (IEDOSFG) and then four year old Loud Only Son of Spicy Food Guy (LOSOSFG) riding in the back of Spicy Food Guy's SUV. Spicy Food Guy pulls into the drive through of the local Skyline, and the Speaker says "May I take your order sir?"

Spicy Food Guy then replies, ""I will take four wieners..." and the rest of the order is drowned in cacophony of shrieks as piercing laughter peals from LOSOSFG, who screams "DAD SAID WIENER!!!" five consecutive times as Spicy Food Guy is doubled over, no longer able to speak, and IEDOSFG is belly laughing and snorting at the same time.

Nothing beats a first class chili dog, except maybe a carful of laughing kids who just embarrassed their Dad with an incident that will be retold at both of their wedding rehearsal dinners sometime in the next twenty years.

We still laugh about it.


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