Empress Chili; a solid if not yet popular choice

Empress Chili is the hidden gem of Werk/Glenway dining

Robert Marion Ellerhorst

Empress Chili is the hidden gem of Werk/Glenway dining

Sick of waiting in line to sit down after the game? Hate that it gets so busy that it takes twenty minutes just to get you water? I know I’ve been there and done that. That’s why I decided to listen to my friends when they suggested that we go to Empress Chili after the Elder-X game. It was easily the best decision I made that weekend.

Located on Werk Road by Toys R Us, and between the Pirate’s Den and Champions Grill, the Empress Chili name is well known around Cincinnati, but few have ever taken the time to give them a taste because when it comes to getting chili around here, they’re pretty much third or fourth string on the depth chart.

When you walk in you instantly get that cozy, small-town diner vibe that makes you feel right at home. The awesome smell of chili cooking coming from behind the counter really makes your mouth water.

The management is really friendly and gives you great suggestions and hints about the menu to really give you the bang for your buck.

I decided to try the taco burrito, and didn’t regret it. It was a Chipotle-sized burrito filled with chili, cheese, sour cream, lettuce, and all the delicious taco fixins’. It tasted even better than it sounds.

The first thing you notice about the chili is that it’s much thicker and meatier than normal Cincinnati chili and just tastes more like the chili you cook over the campfire.

One of the workers at Empress is none other than Elder’s own Logan Chowning, who seemingly never gets tired from serving up tasty cheese conies and fries to his loyal customers,

“Every Monday-Thursday in October we’re serving up $1.25 cheese coneys, and I’m also trying to convince management to have a 99 cent special on game days,”

“We have a really wide variety of menu options, like chili pizza, taco burritos, taco salad, and we have club sandwiches and fresh salads”

“We’re open until 3 AM on the weekends, and on Werk Road, we’re really close to the Cleves-Bridgetown area, so it’s just a short drive for some good food.”

“For first timers, I would definitely recommend the chili cheese fries. They’re my personal favorite and one of our most popular items.”

Senior Nick Rackers is a frequent customer of the underrated chili joint, and he had good things to say about why people should give it a shot.

“I think more people should give Empress a try because it is more unique because there aren’t as many,” said Rackers. “Having an Empress is like a blessing because they aren’t as common.”

“I used to go to the Empress on Rapid Run all the time when I was younger. It took me about a year or two after Empress relocated to go to the new location.”

If you’re ever in the mood for a couple of sloppy chili dogs and are too hungry to waste time waiting for a table, come down to Empress Chili on Werk Road. You’ll be happy that you did.