James Wittkamp isn't talking.
Asked what makes Skyline Chili so good, the 27-year employee of the iconic Cincinnati restaurant refused to lift the veil on the concoction's secret recipe.
"It's been rumored for years that one of the secret ingredients is chocolate, but that has been neither confirmed or denied,'' Wittkamp said.
Chocolate might not help the Orlando Solar Bears as they attempt to recover from losing the first two games of their best-of-seven ECHL Eastern Conference series at home to the Cincinnati Cyclones. The series will shift to Ohio for Game 3 on Wednesday night, Game 4 on Friday night and Game 5, if necessary, on Saturday night. All games will start at 7:35 p.m.
What type of city will the Solar Bears visit this week? One that has good chili, that's for sure. But there is so much more to Cincinnati, like . . .
Steven Spielberg and Ted Turner were born there.
Infamously, so was Charles Manson (real name Charles Maddox).
Located on the Ohio River, Cincinnati is known for its riverboats. The National Steamboat Monument and the showboat Majestic are prime attractions.
Cincinnati is the hometown of the only president also to serve as chief justice of the Supreme Court: William Howard Taft, all 6 feet 1 and 335 pounds.
"He was an accomplished athlete,'' Dennis Sulewski, of the William Howard Taft National Historic Site, said of the nation's 27th president. "He played baseball. He rode horseback. He was a golfer. He was a great dancer.''
The Queen City is partial to beer apparently, judging from an offering of brewery tours found online. The Solar Bears would be wise to pass on those this week.
Calling all you Neil deGrasse Tysons out there, the Cincinnati Observatory and Wolff Planetarium will have you seeing stars. The real kind.
Jerry Springer used to be the mayor, and no matter how much time passes, that is tough to live down.
Cincinnati was the first city to form a weather bureau, own a railroad (Cincinnati Southern, 1880) and build a concrete skyscraper.
The world-class Cincinnati Music Hall is popular, although not as much as the Reds.
Speaking of baseball's oldest franchise, which played its first game in 1869, 15,000 square feet of space is devoted to the city's favorite team.
"When people think of Cincinnati, one of the first things they think of is the Cincinnati Reds,'' said Mark Harlow, visitors services manager of the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame and Museum. "Opening Day is a holiday around here. People in their 80s have been coming to Opening Day for 60, 70 years. It's become a tradition.''
Marge Schott used to own the Reds. (See Springer, Jerry above.)
Hall of Fame basketball player Oscar Robertson played for the University of Cincinnati, then the old Cincinnati Royals.
Harriet Beecher Stowe, who wrote "Uncle Tom's Cabin,'' was from Cincinnati.
And then there is Fountain Square, a centerpiece of downtown. Sorry, Cincinnati, but we'll still take Lake Eola.
How is all of this knowledge about Cincinnati going to help the Solar Bears as they attempt to salvage this series, you may ask?
Not much, but a little education never hurt.
Neither does a good bowl of chili.