Diners at Senate, on Vine Street, flock to the restaurant's gourmet hot dogs.
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COLUMN: Cincinnati may be known for its chili, but it's not what's best about this culinary town

Eclectic cuisine runs rampant in the Tri-State

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CINCINNATI -- Grilled cheese with goetta, cherry peppers, fried onions, sweet hot mustard, and pepper jack on sourdough and rye bread.

An all beef hot dog on a brioche bun with goat cheese, caramelized onions, bacon, arugula & balsamic.

Durock pork with bacon Brussels sprouts, mergueze sausage and maple pork belly.

Hungry yet?

The above are just a small example of the diverse All-American dishes offered on a just a few of the many well-prepared menus from restaurants around the Tri-State.

Why all this delicious food talk?

A recent article from Deadspin ranked the "Great American foods" , and ripped Cincinnati-style chili as the worst state-representative dish in the country.

MORE: Deadspin article calls Cincinnati Chili 'horrifying diarrhea sludge'

The author of the Deadspin article oversteps his bounds a bit when it comes to saying that chili represents all of Ohio (it doesn't, it barely reaches Dayton), or really anyone as the official "All-American" food of this region.

If you really spend time in Cincinnati, you'll know that the diverse, eclectic American cuisine is second to none, and is increasingly gaining national recognition as such.

The above mentioned menu items range from $5 to $25, and can be enjoyed in the simplest atmosphere to the classiest of table settings.

What's more American than hot dogs? Putting a mouth-filling amount of fresh, gourmet toppings on it and serving it up at Senate on Vine Street in Over-the-Rhine, which has been on Best Hot Dog lists nationwide (in well-known publications like Food & Wine , too).

Grilled Cheese was an American invention in the early 1900s, and who does it better than Tom + Chee, the gourmet grilled cheese chain that recently went national extending out of its tasty roots in the Tri-State?

Cincinnati's nickname is porkopolis, and we've found more ways to cook a pig than you can find anywhere in the world. Where better to sample all that pork can be than at The Palace restaurant downtown?

Not to mention the other All-American foods that Cincinnati does well. Graeter's ice cream gets national attention year-in and year-out. United Dairy Farmers has perfected the art of the personalized shake. If you haven't had a cheeseburger from Zip's or Terry's Turf Club, you haven't tried a true American burger. Had a steak from The Precinct lately? You'd be hard-pressed to find one better across the country.

Does Cincinnati-style chili taste like "diarrhea" as Deadspin suggests? That's for the individual palate to decide. Can the dish be polarizing among natives and transplants alike? Definitely. Is chili the best this city has to offer? Absolutely not.

READ MORE: The 'Nati reacts to the chili-bashing

Beyond the city's soupy staple, the Tri-State best exemplifies the American melting pot of delicious foods done well and done locally.

So, Albert Burneko , why don't you come to this fine city and try a few different things? You'll be pleasantly surprised.

Want some help? Here are just a few of the great eateries around town that can show you all that the Queen City has to offer, all unique to right here in Cincinnati, USA:

Senate

The Palace

Tom + Chee

Local 127

Terry's Turf Club

Zip's

A Tavola

Teller's

Lavomatic

Boca

Maribelle's

Cumin

Bluebird

Otto's

La Poste

The Rookwood

Orchids at Palm Court

Moerlein Lager House

The Precinct

Nectar

Jimmy G's

York Street Cafe

Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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