The Chili Quest was supposed to be easy. The Googles informed me that there was an Empress Chili directly off of I-75 on Vine Street. I've found nothing on the 'nets to discourage this claim. There are two other locations (are they open?), but this was the closest, easiest to access, and in a neighborhood that had some history. So, to our dismay, this Empress Chili looked as if it had been closed for a decade or more. Thanks Empress Chili, you were the first -- so you should make the effort to stake that brand and thrive in Cincinnati. Unfortunately, on our journey around this area of town, this part of Cincinnati is on the decline, rapidly, sharing traits with Detroit when it comes to endless blocks of emptiness and urban blight. Remind me never to exit off Vine Street again.
We didn't have time to try and find the "other" Empress locations, so I'm looking at you Empress. If you want to be included in the Quest, you'll now need to go out of your way to get my attention, to get me to frequent one of your parlors. You know where to find me. Luckily, on our way home, at 1 AM, there was a beacon in the night in the form of Camp Washington -- the only parlor open 24 hours. Though it was the first stop in my Quest, I honestly didn't mind repeating. So far, they are the true champions -- though there are many squares left to be checked.