Friday, May 7, 2010

Chi-nnati's: Cincinnati Style Chicago Style Pizza

Since all the Mexican restaurants inexplicably had an hour wait, my friends and I ended up celebrating Cinco de Mayo at a former Mexican restaurant: Chi-nnati's in Kenwood.

Chi-nnati's is located in the old Jalapeno's building, formerly one of Cincinnati's best Mexican eateries. Now, it is a deep dish Chicago-style pizzeria. I had been here once about six months ago. I judged it to be a nice place to watch football with good appetizers, pretty decent pizza, and some well positioned flatscreens. However, I had only tried the thin crust pizza. It turns out, that was my mistake. As a rule of thumb you should always get the house specialty, and Chi-nnati's plays up their deep-dish. Since I was with a large group on May 5th, we were able to try a couple deep dish pizzas.

(A quick warning: Expect to wait a while when you order any deep dish. They usually take about 40 minutes to prepare.)

First, here's a half Queen City Margherita Pizza:

Now, what I ordered. Check out this cake of sauce and cheese - A large deep dish Four Cheese (Mozzarella, ricotta, mild bleu cheese, and romano):

They also had a few nice choices to help wash the pizza down. They had Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale - a nice little beer, shown on the right. To the left is a Bitter End American Pale Ale - not a bad drink. In the background you can see a thin crust Chi-nnati's Chili pizza:
The "mild" blue cheese was the dominant taste on the Four Cheese pizza, but it worked very well with the rest. The sauce had chunks of tomato and a bit of a sweet garlicy taste. It's important that the cheese and sauce were good, because you get a ton of them both. The crust, while crisp, was a little dull. It did a reasonably sufficient job of holding the pie together, but was drowned out by the other tastes.

The pizza was very good. It's the best example of deep dish Chicago-style I've had in Cincinnati. It blows those Uno's franchises out of the water. I didn't include Chi-nnati's on the Cincinnati's 20 best pizzas list, but I suspect that will change when I update the list. Taking into account the excellent beer selection and that the restaurant itself has a very comfortable layout, I have to recommend Chi-nnati's. It was a little more expensive than I like for a pizzeria. However, I plan to visit again, and would certainly like to do so during football season.

Chi-nnati's on Urbanspoon


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