That's Soooo Cincinnati

Got Goetta?

On any given Sunday, you're likely to find as many people at Price Hill Chili as in nearby St. Teresa Church. And that's simply because — despite rumors to the contrary — the West side isn't all Catholic, but everyone there does love their neighborhood diner.

And what's not to love? There's a full, varied menu featuring everything from family-recipe chili served any way you like it to Greek fries, double-deckers and the best goetta omelet in the city, period. It's the consummate greasy spoon, and that's meant as the highest compliment. The price is right, too. You can feed your whole family there for a pittance.

At night, the place transforms from breakfast mecca to local watering hole — especially at the adjoining Golden Fleece Lounge. Local sports legends' jerseys and memorabilia dot the walls of the lounge, and familiar faces sit in nearly every booth. Better still, the pride of Price Hill Chili — its tasty food — is available almost all hours.

That aforementioned goetta omelet goes down particularly well with a Cincinnati brew at night.

Sitting near historic Prout's Corner for over 40 years, Price Hill Chili has also become the unofficial headquarters for all things West side. Need a place to go after a home football game at Elder High's Pit? Go to PHC. Want to chew the ear of a local politco about his latest vote? Find him at PHC. Think you'll never run into the girl you took to prom? Chances are, she's at PHC, eating a coney.

Family-friendly doesn't begin to describe the vibe at Price Hill Chili. It's also and always has been family-run. In 1961, Sam Beltsos founded the restaurant with his father-in-law Lazaros "Pops" Nourtsis. The two could be seen every day at almost any time working somewhere in the place. "Pops" would become a fixture at the back-door cashier station, rosary in hand and ready to make change for your $2.76 breakfast.

Last summer, "Pops" passed away and left his post for the next generation. He worked at the diner until two weeks before his passing at age 95.

Now Beltsos runs Price Hill Chili with his children, using the same old-country principles: Provide good food and friendly service at a price affordable to everyone. That once was, and continues to be in Price Hill, soooo Cincinnati.

THAT'S SOOOO CINCINNATI highlights the area's quirky assets, hidden gems, unique personalities and criminal secrets — and reprises one of the most popular features in CityBeat's 10-year history.

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