Skyline and Sky High


I’m currently visiting a friend in Cincinnati, and am dealing with all the fun of traveling with diabetes — extra sensors, syringes, insulin, test strips. I don’t have any makeup, but by God, do I have a lot of extra triple A batteries.

Anyway, this is my first time in Cincinnati and I’ve been intrigued by some of the food choices here. Like, for example, Skyline Chili, a restaurant where, as far as I can tell, everything comes with a scoop of chili on top of it. Hot dogs, French fries, baked potatoes — as I told my friend, Sarah, it’s what food would look like  if America threw up. (She, in turn, pointed out that the shredded cheese looks like orange pubic hair — an excellent, disgusting point.) Apparently the most popular option is a dish of spaghetti with chili on top, where the pasta has congealed into a sort of solid block, a state reminiscent of kugel (if kugel came with meat sauce).

I can’t say that I’d be lining up for some Skyline spaghetti if I didn’t have diabetes, but whoo, would it be a blood sugar disaster if  I tried to eat a plate of this local delicacy with a malfunctioning pancreas. I just checked out their nutritional information page and — spoiler alert! — it’s not very good for you. Take, for example, the Black Bean and Rice Five-Way Large. In addition to sounding kind of naughty, it also happens to have 1240 calories, 58 grams of fat, and 121 grams of carbohydrates.

I like to try new foods when I travel, but I think this is a case where it’d be safer to stick to a salad.


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Jeff Nobles
Jeff N.
13 years ago

My old college friend Hank is from Cincinnati and often claimed that locals pronounce “Skyline” as “skee-leen-ee.” I never believed him, but Hank could make  mean chili in the Cincinnati style, with chocolate in the sauce and served over a bed of spaghetti. I ate it in the days before glucose meters.

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