Fans of the cult classic Skyline Chili are in luck as the newest Florida location is set to open this month in Lakewood Ranch, FL. I was lucky enough to tag along for a VIP preview with my chili-fan husband, who received an invitation for a soft opening tasting this week.
We were greeted by a friendly staff who were eager to take our orders and educate us about the unique flavors and tastes of Skyline. The story of Skyline began in a small kitchen in Greece where Nicholas Lambrinides watched his mother prepare authentic Greek dishes. His dream was to bring these recipes to America. In 1949, his dream came true as his first restaurant opened in Cincinnati, Ohio. His restaurant overlooked the skyline of the city, and from there the Skyline Coneys, Ways and table-side service has lived on. The entrees are still made using Nicholas’ original recipes with a unique blend of spices and flavors.
On our visit, my husband ordered the 5-Way, which is the signature chili dish––steamed spaghetti, covered with the original chili, topped with a mound of shredded cheese, diced onions and beans. In his words, “The smell and the taste of the dish really bring back memories of eating at Skyline in Ohio as a child. It’s also customary to add oyster crackers to the chili to absorb the sauce and leave nothing behind.”
If you’re not a chili fan, the menu also offers salads, wraps, burritos and potatoes. For the meatless eater, there are several vegetarian options of rice and bean bowls.
The restaurant, located on Lakewood Ranch Blvd just north of 44th Ave. East, is a bright and spacious space with a friendly staff of close to 40. The owners of this franchise are excited to introduce Lakewood Ranch to the taste of Cincinnati chili. This location will mark the 6th Florida location for the chain. They’ll be happy to serve you from 10:30 am until 9 pm seven days a week. Learn more at skylinechili.com.
Photos by Heidi Schild.