How It All Started

Bob Phillips

The title of this blog was inspired by one of my Spanish professor's at Miami University of Ohio, Dr. Robert Phillips, who died in the e...

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Having a Three-Way

Although eating a three-way sounds more like a scene from The Slutcracker than a respectable lunch, it may be the most popular lunch item in painfully straight-laced Cincinnati. In May of 1990 we were at the Contemporary Arts Center on the morning of its infamous arrest on obscenity charges, and the NC-17 rating was introduced the same year, arguably in part because of the prudishness of the Cincinnati Post. So it was jarring to hear the respectable local citizenry routinely seeking a "three way" at lunch time, and to hear such things advertised on television and radio, and so far from Las Vegas.

As you may have guessed by now, the Cincinnati Three Way is nothing more than a popular lunch item. It is, in fact, the ultimate comfort food of the Queen City. Throughout this week, we have been fortunate to have a variety of foods, from our own kitchen and elsewhere, in abundance. So after a lunch of leftovers, we still had plenty for dinner. I had committed to building some sort of casserole on the excess linguine I inadvertently made when reprising my Linguine Valenzana (this time with saffron and without tomato sauce). But then I had a sizable tray of chili and a HUUUGE tray of cheese sauce leftover from a catered luncheon at school yesterday.

Thus Pam's brilliant suggestion that we make recreate Skyline Chili's most famous dish. It turned out pretty well, actually, and was well paired with our rye home brew, though as far as we know the Cincinnati chain does not offer beer with its chili.



A perfect meal for us would be delicious, nutritious, sustainable, and cheap. Few meals can meet all of these criteria, and lately we've settled on too many that emphasize delicious over all the others. But this meal was certainly cheap -- almost free, really. And though as a product of the corporate catering food system it was probably not very sustainable not in terms of the sourcing of ingredients, it did have this virtue. We reduced waste by having a meal of food that would probably have been discarded otherwise. That chili is all gone, and I imagine our daughter will be happy to help us with that cheese sauce! 

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