AnsweredHot!WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat)

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TJ Jackson
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2005/03/16 13:14:25 (permalink)
Took the wife to Patoshnik's today, and she declared me 2 for 2 on lunch places downtown to which I have taken her since we bth work downtown now.

She said the potato salad is not so good, but the greek pasta salad is quite good. She loved the philly beef wrap.....which unlike it's prototype includes chunks of green pepper and mushrooms.
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TJ Jackson
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2005/04/12 13:04:35 (permalink)
Been very busy at the new job, but did manage to take a full lunch today at JeanRo, which bills itself as a traditional french bistro in a fairly casual environment.

It's quite a bit heavy on the frou-frou elements, with waiters in tuxes and white tablecloths and wine service and etc. Lunch will run you at least 10 bucks, averaging closer to 18, so I no longer really consider this a roadfood-type place.

That said, my meal (a croque monsieur topped with bechamel and a fried egg, pommes frites on the side) was pretty good, and everything else I saw brought to other tables looked quite good as well.

Still, I don't think I'll do a full review on it in the main thread.
#32
TJ Jackson
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2005/04/12 17:11:16 (permalink)
Marx Hot Bagels is still in business

http://www.cincinnati.com/dining/marx/

Current locations listed in that link.

Not unlikely they had a location in the area described above, was a much nicer and more lively business area a decade or two ago, but is very much is shambles now.
#33
TJ Jackson
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2005/04/13 14:34:26 (permalink)
Stopped in to Venerable old italian restaurant[url='http://www.campanellos.com/main.htm']Campanellos[/url] on the southwestern outskirts of downtown Cincinnati today.

Very odd.....everything was either great or bad. Nothing in between.

Bread basket - GREAT. Some of the best freshly baked bread I have had in a long time, accompanied by real butter

Salad - old and limp, even the carrot shreds were fading.

Salad dressing - GREAT. Very tasty in-house italian dressing. Had a nice zip to it

Spaghetti with clam sauce - think spaghetti doused with milk with some barely cooked pieces of clam sprinkled on. They don't offer a red clam sauce. The fact that the portion size was enough for three people didn't help - I finished very little of it.

I think I will go back one more time, and this time go with the server's recommendation - lasagna.
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2005/04/14 09:31:29 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by TJ Jackson

Been very busy at the new job, but did manage to take a full lunch today at JeanRo, which bills itself as a traditional french bistro in a fairly casual environment.

It's quite a bit heavy on the frou-frou elements, with waiters in tuxes and white tablecloths and wine service and etc. Lunch will run you at least 10 bucks, averaging closer to 18, so I no longer really consider this a roadfood-type place.

That said, my meal (a croque monsieur topped with bechamel and a fried egg, pommes frites on the side) was pretty good, and everything else I saw brought to other tables looked quite good as well.

Still, I don't think I'll do a full review on it in the main thread.


Assume you are referring to Jean Robert's?
We had an awsome dinner there. It was real French stuff, trouffels and all. Everything from appetizers to the desert were absolutely superb.

VERY expensive and I didn't quite get the supposedly "casual" atmosphere. It was not black tie required, but no one was wearing jeans or even looked casual. . . of course, my idea of casual and someone coming in from their yacht idea of casual are probably two very different things. Of course, being from WV, we mocked the pretense of the place and the waiters and matre de thought that was pretty funny.
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SouthHillbilly
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2005/04/14 09:36:34 (permalink)

"a croque monsieur topped with bechamel and a fried egg, pommes frites on the side"

TJ, could ya maybe interpret that for us hillbillies who only got two years of French credit in four years of HS?


Howdy clayse, weir a gunna larn us some frayench tuday. Repeat after me: bone jur meesur.
#36
TJ Jackson
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2005/04/14 11:00:15 (permalink)
croque monsieur is a grilled ham and cheese, more or less :-)
bechamel is a rich but somewhat bland cream sauce
pommes frites is, errr, potatoes fried. French fries. :-)

The restaurant you went to is Jean Robert's at Pigalls. Very upscale, very expensive. The chef-owner Jean Robert Cavel, former chief chef at the Maisonnette, opened this place first
http://www.cincinnati.com/freetime/dining/reviews/102502_pigalls.html

Later, he opened JeanRo's as a casual french alternative, or so it is billed. Far more casual, far less expensive. No tie required. The two restaurants are only about a block and a half away from one another
http://www.cincinnati.com/freetime/dining/reviews/071604_jeanro_lunch.html
http://www.cincinnati.com/freetime/dining/reviews/051404_jeanro.html

Bon Appetit!
#37
TJ Jackson
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2005/06/05 15:23:35 (permalink)
(Replying to post from the[url='http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=6632']other thread[/url])
quote:
Originally posted by ephus

tj, the taco casa, is that the one in hyde park?

i tried to go there once, but i sat there and nobody came to help me... left and haven't been back

Taco Casa has three locations, including the one you went to in Hyde Park. All of them do service at the counter, with no table service, so that's why no one came to help you.

Edit: I just picked up 3 hard shell tacos at the one that is very well hidden in downtown Cincinnati, near the Red Fox (no relation to the comedian Red Foxx)Grill. Excellent as always.
#38
ephus
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2005/06/09 22:40:02 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by TJ Jackson

Taco Casa has three locations, including the one you went to in Hyde Park. All of them do service at the counter, with no table service, so that's why no one came to help you.



actually tj, i was at the counter. for three minutes. nobody helped me.

i may go back. not sure. good mexican is worth horrible service, but it better be pretty good... thanks
#39
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2005/06/30 17:05:27 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by TJ Jackson

The First Watch on 7th Street in downtown Cincinnati is no more, in it's place is a new restaurant called Rise and Shine that would appear to serve more or less the same kind of stuff and keep the same kind of hours (breakfast and lunch only)

I'll try to get by there soon for a basic report.


First Watch is still there on 7th. Rise and Shine is a new breakfast/lunch place on 6th. It is in the former Big Boy location. The menu is typical for a breakfast/lunch place but has a bit more Southern feel to it (i.e. grits) and less California-cuisine oriented than First Watch.

I ate there this week and was plesantly surprised. The French Toast was pretty good (huge portion). Two friends of mine had an omelat and they liked it as well. Service was very friendly and helpful.
#40
TJ Jackson
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2005/07/01 09:05:37 (permalink)
Sorry bout the mistake re: Rise and Shine. mascolino has it right.

City Q (from Columbus) is opening up a location on the northern outskirts of Cincinnati

from http://news.cincinnati.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050630/ENT01/507010309/1026

"City Q Barbeque will open in West Chester Township late this month. This Columbus-based barbecue restaurant makes Texas-style brisket, Carolina-style pulled pork and Kansas City-style ribs. The chain has just begun opening restaurants in other parts of Ohio. This may be the first of several in Greater Cincinnati. Open 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and noon-9 p.m. Sunday. 7706 Voice of America Centre Drive, (513) 755-2011."
#41
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2005/07/09 10:50:16 (permalink)
We finally made it to Salem Gardens last night, which is a bar-restaurant in TJ's neck of the woods. We had a pretty good meal, if somewhat on the basic side, but that was what I expected. We ate on the patio and I stuck to the burger that they supposedly made their name with and wasn't disappointed. It was very good as tavern burgers go, but my wife had a Buffalo Chicken Wrap that was excellent. The kids stuck with the standard kids stuff, chicken fingers and a ham sandwich, but they finished everything on the plate, which is rare. The menu wasn't overly expansive, but fit with the theme as far as I could tell. This isn't a good place for a quick pop-in/pop-out meal as the service was quite relaxed, but in a friendly way. It seems to be the kind of place that people sit around and talk over a beer after dinner, and that was tempting as last night was the kind of evening that you don't see often in July in Cincinnati.
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arianej
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2005/07/24 00:02:46 (permalink)
We had lunch today at the Saigon Dragon, just down the road from Jungle Jim's. Not bad! i was surprised to see Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese AND Mexican dishes on the menu, it was rather surreal. Both Erik and I ordered the pho tai, which was decent. I was disappointed the meat didn't really come out medium rare, despite asking for it. I'll try to be more emphatic next time about wanting to see pink meat, maybe even blood.

Has anyone tried any of Thai or Mexican dishes? I'd love to hear how everyone else's experiences went in terms of what they ate, how it turned out, how they did handled all the different cuisines, etc.


I can't remember if I've mentioned it here before... Further along route 4 from Jungle Jim's is a little place in Hamilton called Mike's chili and gyros. It seems like an odd combo, but it's good food. The cincinnati chili seems a bit more Greek-influenced in terms of the spicing, but I like it a lot.
#43
TJ Jackson
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2005/08/01 09:38:24 (permalink)
Best breakfast near there (in my opinion) is the 1.79 chicken biscuit at Chik-Fi-La in the basement foodcourt at the Carew Tower. Very few Chik-Fi-La's do breakfast. Less than a block away from where you are staying.

In the same building but on the ground floor is Hathaways, reviewed on this site.
http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Writeup.aspx?ReviewID=1162&RefID=1162.
Good but not great, very much a throwback kind of place. You can get goetta here, which I highly recommend.

Lots of good places for lunch.....http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=6632. My favorite two picks are a bit of a walk from where you are: Arnold's and Patoschniks. Considerably closer and also good is Redfish, be sure to get their seafood chowder.
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TJ Jackson
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2005/08/01 14:02:15 (permalink)
Today, I had lunch at a little hole in the wall on Main near 8th called Sophia's

Had every earmark of a quality mom and pop shop, but was only so-so. Had a basic gyro and fries, both unremarkable. Noted that the gyro meat was presliced rather than cut from vertically mounted roasted roll that I am accustomed to at the good places.....ah well.

I will stop back in some other day for a cheeseburger or a plate lunch special, which they advertise on a handdrawn sidwalk sign just outside their door.

Aside: I finally bought a cheap digicam (2MP Nikon Coolpix with 16MB card) on EBay and will start taking "good eats" pics soon. I think I will start with Patoshniks or Sakkio of Japan
#45
TJ Jackson
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2005/08/02 19:21:30 (permalink)
Stopped at Riverfront Pizza in Covington today, just across the river from where I park. I had wanted to try the Noble Roman's I had heard was operating in tandem with a gas station about a mile from my parkign lot, which I knew was a fairly bad idea but.......anyway, I picked up a large thin crust (on a special) and chowed down on about half of it.

The crust was pretty good, but unfortunately they coat the bottom with salt, and this left a strong taste as well as a powerful thirst as I worked through the pizza. The sauce was tastty but had a somewhat gelatinous quality, which was indeed unfortunate.

Overall, not too good, although if they could stop salting the crust and make a better sauce, it'd be quite good.....
#46
BillC
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2005/08/02 21:31:42 (permalink)
Someone on this forum asked about the Upper Krust on Calhoun Street and their relationship to the Upper Krust in Dayton a month or so ago on "lost chains..". I can't find / don't have the time to find the original post, so here it goes. My very first job in Cinti. was at the Upper Krust in 1969. I can't recall if it was a franchise or an expansion. After summer school at UC ended, business dropped off quite a bit and I was laid off(or was it that I ran my pinkie thru the the slicer earlier in the month).
In any event, the owner was a pretty decent guy and fed me a meal a day for
the next month.Unfortunately, he had heart problems and if my memory serves me (keep in mind the passage of time here), those problems lead to the sale of the business in the early 70's. The sandwiches were very good, but 2 things stick in my memory. First, we had to wear plastic gloves when making the sandwiches (something not prevalent until many years after) and the tapioca pudding. Whether it was good or not, I couldn't tell you, but it was the first I had in my life and I ate it every day.
#47
TJ Jackson
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2005/08/02 21:40:09 (permalink)
Actually, I was the one who asked about it :-) Woo! Thanks!

There was an Upper Krust up on Reading Road in the Sharonville/Evendale area as well, and that's the one I remember, with the two story bright yellow facade and the huge weird sandwiches
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BillC
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2005/08/02 23:18:31 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by TJ Jackson

Actually, I was the one who asked about it :-) Woo! Thanks!

There was an Upper Krust up on Reading Road in the Sharonville/Evendale area as well, and that's the one I remember, with the two story bright yellow facade and the huge weird sandwiches
Yeah, You're right. There was one up there. Same facade. I believe you could see it from the expressway. I think it lasted a bit longer than the Calhoun St. store, so maybe it was an attempted franchise. What do you remember about the sandwiches being weird? I pretty much remember (such at is) a standard deli / double decker menu with nothing cooked/fried. Dill pickle / chips / potato salad or something like it on the side. And, of course, the tapioca pudding.
#49
TJ Jackson
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2005/08/03 00:49:08 (permalink)
I remember particularly combinations with peanut butter....I was only 10 then....stuff that doesn't seem so very outlandish now like peanut butter and bacon, peanut butter and bananas....and this was the first time I had heard the term "overstuffed" applied to sandwiches.
#50
TJ Jackson
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2005/08/24 16:36:45 (permalink)
Ate at a tiny hole in the wall deli - when the term hole in the wall was conceived, it ws this place they had in mind - called PJ's Deli on Main near 9th. Their everyday special - a quarter pound deli ham sandwich on your choice of bread with a bag of chips and a 16 oz fountain drink for 3.50....as shown (if you look close) in the pic below



I'd walked by this sign 50 times without stopping, but decided to check it out today. Very, very good. Wil come back with the camera and supply some additional details in a few days.

I will also (now that I have pics from the roadfood-ish week) do a full review on Patoshniks in the main Cinti/N Ky thread....
#51
kvendler
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2005/08/24 17:37:30 (permalink)
If you are into German food, I would recommend The Hofbrauhaus in Newport.

http://www.hofbrauhausnewport.com/

While I have not eaten there, my wife gives it glowing praise, and she is a very particular eater, especially when it comes to German food.
#52
TJ Jackson
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2005/08/26 10:40:06 (permalink)
added the full review for Sakkio of Japan to the main thread
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2005/08/29 20:58:46 (permalink)
For the best San Francisco style Burrito outside of San Francisco try The Comet Bar in Northside at 4579 Hamilton Ave 513.541.8900. http://www.cometbar.com/
They also have the best Jukebox (9 years in a row according to City Beat Magazine)in the city, over 100 beers in stock not to mention two pool tables and and old fashioned photo-booth that spits out 4 little photos on a strip. The Burritos are the size of a small child. The Comet opens at 4:30 and serves food until 1:00am,
#54
TJ Jackson
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2005/09/01 10:46:39 (permalink)
Had a suprisingly good pizza from a little pizza shop that is very hard to spot on Madison in covington....Pizza Time.

Very good, very thin NYC style pizza, and they offer huge (from a 20' pie) slices for 1.89. Sauce is savory rather than sweet with a good amount of oregano. Big banner out front in place of an actual sign that says they are under new management (I've never been there before, so I have no idea what the old management was like) and the lady at the counter says the management change took place about 3 months ago.

Worth a try, imho, to any locals. Be forewarned that parking is minimal, it is in decrepit downtown Covington, and seating accomodations are limited and very spartan.

I snapped a few pics of the pie and their menu - fairly extensive for a small pizza place, and the special the evening I stopped by was a fried shrimp dinner....

I will try to go back to try a hoagie and then hopefully do a review.
#55
TJ Jackson
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2005/09/03 15:24:47 (permalink)
We here in cincinnati are starting....just starting....to get some "real" bbq places. That is to say, until recently, if you purchased BBQ in Cincinnati you were typically getting a presauced meat that was not necessarily smoked at all. Frankly, on my arrival here, I thought the term "bbq" related to the sauce, not the meat.

In any case, I visited another fairly recent "real" bbq establishment this past Friday night - Walt's on Colerain Avenue just south of Galbraith. I found out today that he has a website (http://www.waltsbarbeque.com) that includes an online copy of his menu (http://www.waltsbarbeque.com/menu.htm). Take a look at the menu, it is both notable and somewhat amusing to see the menu writer mention that they never boil their ribs - a thinly veiled swipe at the huge local BBQ favorite, the Montgomery Inn. Anyway, this Walt's is not to be confused with the similarly named Walt's Hitching Post (which has been in business for 40 years or more and has been reviewed several times locally, for example [url='http://www.cincinnati.com/freetime/dining/reviews/031904_walts.html']Review 1[/url] and [url='http://www.citybeat.com/2000-03-16/diner.shtml']Review 2[/url] in Northern Kentucky. I don't think the two are connected in any way other than the name similarity and the fact that both serve their own versions of bbq.

Walt's is in what appears to be a converted Taco Bell or somesuch, and is owner operated.



The owner was very gracious about allowing me to take some pics of the storefront and the decor (lots of local sprts trophies and pigs - piggie banks, pig dolls, pig statues, etc etc etc) inside as well as signage. He has two big stainless steel smokers in back of his very small eatery, and seemed to to every bit as much if not more business on carryout as on dine in - which is good, because I saw maybe 6 tables in the whole place.

He smokes his pork, chicken, and ribs, but according to the menu his brisket is not smoked, which i thought was odd....why not smoke it too?

I ordered the 8.99 sampler/combo platter called "The Three Pigs" to go, as I was on my way to a get together with some friends.....



It's unfortunate that the fries dominate the pic, but clockwise from the fries: brisket on a minibun, pulled chicken on a miniibun, pulled pork on a minibun, and a 2 bone section of pork ribs. Sauce in the center. The carryout bag also included napkins, wepnaps, and a fork.

The sauces are very sweet, reminding me almost of a mixture of a traditional bbq sauce and pancake syrup, with a consistency closer to my mind to the latter. He also offers a spicey sauce, but I didn't notice that until I re-read the carryout menu well after I had left. I'd guess that the spicey sauce is much better. The pulled pork was just outstanding - moist, tender, full of flavor, nice smokiness. The chicken was moist, tender, and good but tasted rather plain, ie not much if any smokiness to it, not sure if he smokes his chicken or not. The ribs were the big hit - very smokey, good char, extremely tender. The brisket was kinda dry to the point that it was a little flakey, and it had a large amount of fat on it. The fries included were fairly ordinary but the seasoned salt made them better than average. I'm a big believer that fries don't travel well, particulary inside a steamy/moist enclosed area like this styro container was once I closed it up and transported it, so I'll concede they'd probably have been a lot better had I eaten them there. According to the counter guy, I could have substituted in any of the dozen or so side choices



in place of the fries, although the printed menu says fries only on this combo.

I think this place has all the earmarks of a real roadfood-type establishment except I wasn't as impressed by the food as I had hoped to be, and I think a return trip (for rib tips, the spicey sauce, and some of the home-made sides) is in order to help bring clarity to the question.
#56
TJ Jackson
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2005/09/09 10:53:05 (permalink)
I've been talking up the Chick-Fil-A breakfast "Chicken Biscuit" for some time now. Truly, this is one of my favorite breakfast items in all of Cincinnati when I consider price, quality, and quantity.

Most Chick-Fil-A's I am aware of don't do breakfast, but the one in the basement food court at the Carew Tower in downtown Cincinnati does. I picked up a couple this morning, and after scarfing down the first one, I decided to get a pic of the second one before it disappeared same as the first....



As you can see, the biscuit certainly cut on a mold but is baked on site and has some individual character. They are always very moist inside with a nice thin golden crust outside, and are basted with real butter. Nestled inbetween the biscuit top and bottom is an excellent, perfectly fried piece of thick and juicy chicken breast. They don't cook too far ahead of demand, and so I have always (talking since I first tried one of these in 1997) gotten a fresh piece of chicken. Note how thick the chicken is :-). I'll add that there is almost always a crowd waiting to get a chicken biscuit (or two) every time I go there.

I know this violates the roadfood purist rules in at least two different ways -- it is mallfood and it is chainfood -- but I stand firmly behind the greatness of this breakfast delight. Try before you deny.....
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TJ Jackson
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2005/09/12 14:31:14 (permalink)
All good things must come to an end....

Little did I know, when I last ate at the Saigon Dragon back in late 2004, that I would be eating there for the very last time. Oh, it's still there, physically....same location a mile or so North of Jungle Jim's on rt4 in Fairfield, but it's not the same.



My oldest daughter (just turned 4) went to her first dance class this past Saturday morning, so me and the youngest (age 2.5) hopped in the car and went up to Saigon Dragon for an early lunch. I had been meaning to get back to this placed that I had touted over and over again since coming to Roadfood as "one of the very best lunch deals in all of Cincinnati", and decided that no time was better than the present. After a quick stop to pick up some computer parts at Microcenter, we arrived.



I had already heard the bad news from other contributors here, that the menu had changed and included mexican and such, but I remained cautiously optimistic, figuring that the owner was simply trying to expand his menu in an attempt to drum up some more business. Not the case. I was greeted by the new owners - a hispanic man and an asian woman - at the door, and they were friendly enough, but I knew that it was likely that this was now my Saigon Dragon in name only. A quick discussion revealed that they had bought the place in or around February of 2005 - right about the same time I had changed jobs, moving from a close-by Fairfield office to a "I can only get there once in a great while" location of downtown Cincinnati; and further that the original owner had decided to retire. I can certainly recall he had looked to be in his late 60's or early 70's, so this made sense, despite being unfortunate for me :-) Still, there remained the possibility the previous ownership/family had showed them some things and included family recipes and cooking techniques, so with some trepidation I sat down, snapped off a shot or two of the interior, my gorgeous dining companion, and her Dora the Explorer juice cup, and took up the menu.



What a mess. Over a hundred different things to choose from, and I am a big believer that one should do a few things well before attempting to do many things adequately. That, and the beloved under 4 buck lunch specials were simply gone. Gone as in you can still order a lunch special, but it's 5.50 now and it no longer includes a soup. Here's a partial shot of the core asian part of the menu. There's 2 or 3 more pages besides this of things to choose from.



The restaurant was as empty as I had always remembered it -- not even one additional customer came in the entire time we were there -- and I had to think that raising one's prices is not the best way to attract new customers. I sighed heavily, and ordered the old standby -- pepper steak, extra rice, and an eggroll. The special included an eggroll, but I wanted to split one with my extremely cute dining companion (she'd never had asian food before) and have a whole one to myself. I'm greedy like that :-) Besides, in my memory, the eggrolls had been simply outstanding, and surely they had worked with the old owner to replicate these, particularly since they had nearly doubled the price (from 1.00 each to 1.75 each)

The food arrived, and the first thing I noticed was that the portion was somewhat larger. I had ordered extra rice only because the rice portion under the previous management had been somewhat small, but now I had two huge servings of rice. Ah well, live and learn :-) I portioned out some of everything to my appreciative and hungry little girl before taking in the look of everything.



The eggrolls and the pepper steak looked every bit as good as the old, but I noted that the brown sauce was thinner and there was less of it.

A few bites pretty much told the tale. The Tender beef of old had been replaced by pieces somewhat thicker sliced and far less tender. The sauce was indeed far thinner, and lacked the intense satisfying flavor it had had under previous management. The veggies on the other hand were every bit as fresh and nicely crunchy as they had been before. Then there was the eggroll - the ingredients were indeed fresh and even a bit crunchy, which I liked, but this was clearly a new and original mixture not resembling the eggrolls I remembered at the least. (please pardon the flecks of rice on the fork to the left, I was given a clean fork but had used it to portion out some lunch for my daughter before taking the pic)



That said, don't get me wrong -- this was a good meal at a fair price. But it wasn't equal to what was now, for me, a legend -- a restaurant that had served top quality food at bargain basement prices and now no longer existed.

Saigon Dragon remains in my opinion a solid/decent place to eat, but not the kind of place I will recommend for a special/roadfood type stop.

ah well. another one bites the dust......
#58
arianej
Cheeseburger
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2005/09/13 17:05:59 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by jmckee
Yeah, I thought it kind of looked "gussied up" a bit. My dilemma is that I've developed a sushi fixation lately, and while I love the place where I eat sushi in Sharonville, there's really nowhere in our neck of the woods that I know is good. Sushi Ray is supposed to be wonderful, but that's in Mt. Lookout.

Wallyum? Got any input.


I don't know where you are, but our favorite is Ando, in Blue Ash. It's still a relatively new location for them and I don't think they have a liquor license, but you can bring in your own, no problems. We love ordering the santen-mori, the chef's choice of 3 appetizers. He comes up with something different each time, and it's a work of art as well as delicious. You can also ask for the Japanese list of appetizers if you want something more unusual than the typical offerings. Sushi is excellent, with high quality fish. Definitely try the bluefin tuna if he has any on special, otherwise our favorites are yellowtail, salmon, eel and sea urchin.

A Japanese acquaintance also has high praise for Akira in Mason (on Tylersville Rd., not far from I-75) but to be honest, it hasn't been our experience that it beats Ando. Portions are larger, though. This is not to say it's not good, because it is...but not as good as Ando. Service is also slower. It might help that we're regulars at Ando, and not at Akira. YMMV...

#59
TJ Jackson
Filet Mignon
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2005/09/13 17:49:57 (permalink)
The search for a good burger downtown has been largely unsuccessful to date, but I finally found a good - not great, but solidly good - burger for lunch at a place I had been ignoring for years - The Sports Page

Sports Page has two locations downtown: the newer location on Main near 9th and the original location that I recall being there in the early seventies on Vine near 7th. They've added an awning and a ice cream service window that I am sure will both go away with the arrival of winter,



but other than that it's the same old place it has always been: a grimey, greasy spoon (and I mean that fondly) serving basic sandwiches, soups, fries, chili, and breakfast. I had been in there a few times and had never been impressed, but while walking by today in search of a decent lunch I decided to give them another try.

They always have a sidewalk placard out at lunch time emblazoned with a list of specials that typically includes a burger/fries/drink special along with some other sandwiches with or without sides.



Don't be concerned about the offer of 'second base' -- no hanky panky at all to this, some of their menu items bear "sports" related names. In this case, second base is a standard cheeseburger.

Here's a shot of their menu, set inside a simple glass case on the on the front wall. Pretty extensive for the size of the place. Note that goetta is on the menu, and I am pretty sure you can order breakfast all day long, although the menu doesn't provide any help in this regard.



The "big hit" (cheeseburger topped with ham, ala the Roy Roger's Doule R Bar burger) looks like a good bet for a return visit.

Since it was late in the lunch hour, I pretty much had my pick of anywhere I wanted to sit, and I picked a booth towards the front. There was a sign in front that says "the hostess is off duty, so seat yourself", but I'm pretty sure there is never a hostess on duty at this no-frills joint. The place is a bit smokey and not well ventilated, and to my eye has a larger amount of space devoted to it's smoking area than most restaurants of this type. There is no ambience to speak of, other than (if you can call it that) a single wall mounted tv that was tuned to soap operas during my visit.

I ordered a second base, and to my surprise, they offer the option to cook it to order, ie you can (and I did) get a medium burger if you so choose. Service is very, very quick - I had my burger is maybe 5 minutes. The waitress volunteered that they really did cook it just now, and I took her word for it.

I noted immediately one minus - the burger is preformed. It wasn't uniformly round, square, or oval like most preformed burgers but rather had a wavy shape that I think gives some people the mistaken impression that it is hand formed, but the pattern is very consistent. I don't know if it was frozen in that shape or simply pattied fresh into a mold onsite....will have to ask next time I am there.

That aside - this was a very juicy third-pound burger with good drip and plenty of fresh toppings on a better than average quality sesame seed bun. The fries were so so, but the burger was well worth another trip, particularly at these prices.

I neglected to get a pic of the burger, and will try to snag one next time.

Oh, they don't have a website near as I can tell, nor has any local publication reviewed them (despite the fact that they've been around for ages and ages) but I did find a few comments about the place on the web that you can check out here (although I'd disagree with the reviewer who said this place is a last resort when nothing else is open): http://dine.com/restaurants/rid/83999/index.html
#60
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