Skyline Chili is a Cincinnati import to the Bay area. Many sports teams in Ohio use it as their official chili. The founder, Nicholas Lambrinides, came from Greece with a family chili recipe and incorporated it into this chain.
Laura and I each had a chili dog. Well, several each. These petite hounds are the perfect hand size, making them easy to eat without spilling your chili or cheese everywhere. Their size does give them something in common with chips; you can’t eat just one. The hot dogs’ flavor brought back memories of carnivals, of munching on some franks while watching people throw darts at balloons to win a stuffed animal for their dates. Yeah, they were those kinds of dogs. If you like those, these are your dogs; if not, well, they have other options. The onions lent their bite to the dish while the chili topping the hot dogs was the meaty sort – beans? what beans? (Remember, Nicholas was from Greece, so his chili reflects that.) But it was almost all lost under the avalanche of cheese. If you need calcium in your diet this is the meal for you because you get an entire dairy farm on each chili dog. My wife loves cheese and this cheesepocalypse was almost too much for her. Almost.
The next thing we tried was their chili spaghetti. You can get it with or without onions, beans, or cheese. Yes, these are called 3 Way, 4 Way, and 5 Way (insert joke here.) The pasta was al dente, topped with the same chili on the dog and another huge pile of cheddar. The cheese didn’t seem quite so overwhelming on the pasta as this was a larger plate than the chili dog and the ratio of pasta to cheese was more balanced. The chili, cheese, and pasta were a good mix of flavors and textures, so much so that we liked this even better than the chili dogs.
Funnel. Cake. Fries. What genius do I have to thank for this?! These were incredible! The sweet dough of funnel cakes was kept smaller and put into strips. This gave them a fuller crust and made the centers gooey gooey good. Powdered sugar was sprinkled on top while the fries were still wet, causing it to clump on there. While this may not sound like a great move, it was because it kept the sugar from just falling off or blowing away, adding another layer of sweetness. As full as we were, Laura and I nearly ordered a second bowl of them. I would go back for these things any day of the week.
Skyline Chili isn’t a major chain in this area like it is in Ohio, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a nice place to sit down and grab a dog or plate of pasta. The chili, a bit of a maverick among this type of restaurants, is quite good and is worth trying out. The real hidden treasure, those funnel cake fries that are barely advertised even in the restaurant, transform Skyline Chili from a decent place to go when you crave something different to a “you guys HAVE to go here” kind of place. I mean, c’mon! Funnel. Cake. Fries.
28798 US Hwy 19 N
Clearwater, FL 33761
2045 Gulf Bay Boulevard
Clearwater, FL 33765