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Gold Star Debuts First Meat-free Cincinnati-Style Chili

The city's classic dish—spaghetti topped with chili—goes meatless in time for Lent.

Ohio-based restaurant chain Gold Star Chili launched its first meatless Cincinnati-style at its 83 locations this week. Development chef Ryan Miller created the meat alternative using the company’s 13 signature spices combined with gluten- and soy-free pea protein. The new menu addition took Miller 22 test batches to create, and according to the chef, is now “perfect for vegetarians, vegans and anyone looking for a meat-free meal.” The meat-free chili can be used in place of meat on all of the menu items including sandwiches, salads, and chili fries. Vegan diners can request the chili be made without cheese and can add beans or onions (called a “4-way”) or beans and onions (called a “5-way”). The meatless chili will be on Gold Star’s menu until April 16. Demand for meat alternatives is skyrocketing—with the meatless meat market predicted to reach $5.2 billion by 2020. Restaurants across the country are adding meatless options to their permanent menus, including the recent addition of vegan Impossible Burger to Bareburger its 43 international locations.

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