If there's one thing—just ONE thing (at least)—I can say for certain, it's that I am passionate about Cincinnati style chili. This can be proved using social-media and this blog. To myself and many others, chili is the alpha and omega of Cincinnati cuisine. Chili is one of the few traditions that I allow myself to uphold and defend. So, when my family and I convened at Pleasant Ridge Chili (PRC) and it was not only one of the worst meals I've ever been served, but also at a place a that was part of my childhood experience and held nothing but great memories... PRC... I felt betrayed to say the least.
Ranging the full-spectrum of bad service (and beyond) the waitress seemed in another world... Planet Rocky Mountain HIGH... Almost everyones order was wrong, the check seemed altered to reflect 'adjustments' that were made due to waitress errors, the portions were weak and not worth worth the price, plus taste-wise... Well, it just didn't taste good. Apparently you can fuck-up an egg sandwich with a side of fries. PRC proved that and much more this day.
The chili itself is what has motivated me to write this entire piece. Sure, there's good food, bad food, then there's Chili. I ordered a 'full order' three-way. I pointed out to the waitress that my order was wrong. "Excuse me ma'am. I ordered a FULL sized 3-Way..."
"That IS a full order 3-Way honey."
I was yelling obsinities in my mind, to myself. I resisted every urge to verbally say what I wanted to say due to the existence of my Mom, Dad, daughter and wife. The 3-way I was facing was equivalent to a Skyline or Gold Star small 3-way. I was instantly disappointed even before I took my first bite.
Then, I took my first bite... The spaghetti was soggy, watery, and over-cooked. The cheese was down-right gross and plastic-like ... The chili itself was scorched, un-tasteful and rather bland. The worst homemade Cincinnati-style chili I have ever made at home, still tasted better than what I was eating at PRC. If there were such thing as a 'Chili Certificate' or license upholding standards of size, taste and over-all quality when it came to chili, I would have immediately revoked PRC's in the name of food-crime, for serving below sub-par chili and took to blacking out everything on their menus that offered the foul tasting chili with a marker.
Then, as if things couldn't get worse... My daughter! finishing off her double-hotdog and cheese coney said "Mamaw! There's a hair on your sandwich!"
FUCK!!! Not this! Not my Mom: THE RELUCTANT WINNER OF THE PRC LOTTERY! The lady who recently died and was revived SIX times! My Mom deserves better! Of course it was on her last bite that she verified that it was, in fact, a 'black-curley' [hair]. She looked at me and said "Who is preparing the food back there?"
I felt the need to say something... Anything... "The cook-guy isn't wearing pants." But the damage was done. In her eyes she was screaming silent obsinities with me, as an alternative to vocalizing our disgust, and risking a melee or as my Mom calls it 'Hitting the Gravel.'
Then I hear, after the fact, in conversations with others relaying this experience verbally that slowly, PRC has been losing traditional die-hards for quite sometime. One story in particular involved a post-Everybodys Records in-store featuring a band called The Mono-Men which had ended in the entire band getting food-poisoning!
My family may not speak-up like we should during experiences like this. We tend to bite our tongues and move-on recounting the stories and instances later. Me? Well, I'm getting better about such happenings. The post-meal discussion was an amazing and intresting one. I promised my family that I will get even... Because I have the ultimate weapon in fights like this: I have words. Words always get the last word
I suggest you approach Plesant Ridge Chili carefully or preferably not at all.
Compositions Soundtrack: The Police, PVC, New Order, Epoxies