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) 2005/09/16 15:38:37 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by TJ Jackson

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 went back today with the digicam in hand, snapped off some shots of the storefront as it started to rain (and me with no coat or umbrella and now 5 blocks away from work, heh) and after some serious internal debate the roast beef won out over the corned beef. Turns out that the other sandwiches can be ordered as a combo as well, but the price shoots up to 4.25 (with cheese -- american, swiss, or colby -- 35 cents extra), which still ain't bad.

Long story short - I have to withdraw my recommendation of this place. First, all of the meat is presliced, and the toppings sit out in unrefrigerated containers that are within your eyesight if you are looking to see it. The bread selection and prices are still in my mind pretty good, but this is a deli, first and foremost, and presliced meat is not the way to go, imho. Case in point - while the portion was generous, the roast beef did not look or taste fresh at all, and there was even a little bit of the rainbowy scaling visible on the surface of the meat. Not good. I still think the ham sandwich combo is a heck of a deal, but I don't know that it qualifies as roadfood, under the circumstances.
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2005/09/23 14:23:42 (permalink)
Downtown Cincinnati is not overall a good place to get pizza. You can get Papa Johns, Donato's, and LaRosa's (the local megachain dearly loved by most Cincinnatians, but not by moi), Sbarros, and a few other places. But good pizza? The outlying areas have it, but downtown is nearly devoid.

Yesterday, I found what I believe to be the best pizza in downtown Cincinnati, which isn't saying much, but it is rather good -- good enough to be[url='http://www.bestofcincinnati.com/years/bestof2004/pages/eats.html']named as a staff favorite in 2004[/url] by the editors of the local independent weekly newspaper.

[url='http://cityguide.aol.com/cincinnati/entertainment/venue.adp?sbid=133367']Harry's Bar and Pizza[/url] is a little beyond the boundaries of what most people will say is downtown, being that it is across the northern "border", ie Central Avenue, by about a block and a half. Since most of Cincinnati's the truly interesting lunchtime eateries are on the northern edge of town, I'll stretch the truth a bit and include Harry's as part of downtown - just two and a half blocks from [url='http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=18685']Ephus[/url]'s office.

That said, if you are walking from downtown, you'll note a less than subtle change in the neighborhood as you cross Central Ave, and so if you are not comfortable in somewhat rundown neighborhoods even in the middle of the day, this isn't for you. I probably wouldn't walk the area myself after 5 pm or so, to be honest. If you're ok with this, there are good eats to be had.



The name says it is mainly a bar, but I think that's really only true at night. During the day, it is a nice little lunch place with a suprisingly good handtossed personal pizza, pizza by the slice, a variety of good looking sandwiches, salads, and other typical bar fare as well. Notice the overstuffed sandwiches are designed more or less exactly like those at Primanti brothers in Pittsburgh: meat, veggies, fries, and slaw all on one unhinge-your-jaw-to-make-it-fit enormous sandwich.



The inside is pure local bar and grille. The owner/manager (Tony) says he and his brother Domenic bought the bar, then named "The Overflow", two years back and did extensive remodeling, including turning the stage area into a working kitchen. Rough brick walls interrupted by framed black and white photos of working class folk and events from the distant past. Plenty of TVs mounted on the walls, all tuned to sports channels, and a small bar no more than 9 feet wide at the far back of the dining area. One major point of warning here, to be fair: the bathrooms are located on the second floor, up a fairly narrow and very steep flight of stairs.



The pizza by the slice is what drew me in, but seeing that it is kept in a warming rack and wasn't selling quickly, I opted to try only one slice - the special of the day, deluxe with sausage, pepperoni, onions, green peppers, and mushrooms - and supplement this with a personal sized 7" cheese pizza.

The slice was decent size (cut from their standard 15" pie) but was somewhat underwhelming, as I thought it might be, but this appeared to be almost entirely due to two things : 1) I think when pizza is going into a warmer, cooks tend to undercook it a bit, figuring it will retain moisture longer while it sets, ergo dry out less quickly, and be saleable longer. 2) it sits in a warmer for a bit. Best strategy here is to tell your waitress to give you a slice from whichever pizza came out from the oven last. But I will say this: the veggies were fresh and crisp, the sausage was in large, flavorful chunks, and at just $1.50 to add a slice (2 bucks when ordered by itself) it was an outstanding bargain.



The manager I spoke to told me they sell tons of slices during late weekend evenings, when they are open til 4am and are serving clubbers who roam from one nightclub to another in the main street entertainment district. If you end up here at those hours, I think the slices turn more quickly....but unfortunately the manager tells me that the pressure to put out slices quickly also results in a lot of complaints about the pizza being undercooked. Moral of the story is....eat here during the lunch hours, not late :-)

The real winner, though, was the individual plain cheese pizza, which I had ordered as "leave it in the oven just a few minutes longer than you usually do".



This could be better - I'll get to that in a minute - but was nonetheless outstanding. Liberally flecked with bits of italian hers and spices, plenty of cheese, and a very bright, fresh tasting sauce that was full of (but not overpowered by) basil and oregano. This was a somewhat thinner sauce than I usually like, but it had a good flavor - very savory, not sweet at all - that seemed to improve some as it cooled. I checked with the manager on the sauce, and he said they do start with a canned tomato paste base but do cook and spice it to their own recipe from there. I'd say that this pie has a lot more cheese on it (see the photo below, where the cheese overflows the side of the pie) than one might typically expect, so if you like less cheese, just tell your waitperson and I am certain you'll be (as I was) quite accomodated. For 4.75, I feel like I got a real bargain here.

Likes of nice bubbling, good crust browning, the abundance (overabundance? you decide) of cheese, and the flecks of herbs are all in evidence in this closeup shot:



All that said, I think their crust was good, but would be improved if they made it just a bit thinner, say using a dough ball about 90% of the size of what they use currently. This would cut food costs and also allow the crust to cook more thoroughly. My pie's crust, although cooked a bit longer than usual, was still a bit dough-y on the sauce-facing side as well as toward the center.

I watched a LOT of long, hoagie-type sandwiches go by me while I waited and they all looked top-notch. The manager says the sandwiches are their top sellers during the day, and I will definitely get one of those on my next stop, which I hope is soon....

Addendum 1:

I returned on 9/27/2005 to try one of the baked subs that the manager said are the top sellers at lunchtime, and I was not disappointed. Top notch roasted rare beef - extremely juicy and full of luxurious beefy flavor - baked with provolone and then topped with veggies, and horseradish mayo on a high quality toasted herbed roll. As per my usual, I ordered it with lettuce and onion only. I noted at this stop that the waitperson never wrote down my order, and nonetheless they have yet to get one wrong. I have to say, this is easily the best sandwich I have ever had in downtown Cincinnati. A real winner, and only 5 bucks with chips or 6 bucks with fries.



I also asked the waitress to bring me a slice of whatever by-the-slice pie was the freshest when the sandwich was ready, and this (as on the previous visit) was decent but unremarkable. Go with a sandwich or a individual 7" pizza, and you will not go wrong here.

Addendum 2:

I returned for another slice and an order of cheese fries. I figured I'd eventually get a better slice, but this one (the day's special, pepperoni and sausage) was pretty much the same as the others - a little undercooked, low on sauce, a bit doughy, and etc - same as before.

I decided to go the extra buck to add bacon to the cheese fries, and it was good but not great. The bacon was indeed freshly cooked and chopped, and the fries were certainly improved by the fact that some skin was left on (see pic below) but the overall product was fairly ordinary. I'll have to try them with the optional garlic or cajun seasonings (25 cents extra) next time.



Addendum 3 (10/14/2005):
I stopped back in, sat at the bar right at the entrance to the kitchen, and ordered a individual sized deluxe (pepperoni, sausage, green pepper, onion, and mushroom) pizza, and again, well done. While I was there I saw a number of sandwiches go by, all looking great, but noted that all the pizzas looked a bit undercooked, at least to my amateur eye. My well done pie was just right - good but not excessive browning on top, and a nicely browned fully cooked crust. A really great pie that could be improved a bit with fresh mushrooms replacing canned, but great nonetheless.



Addendum 4 (10/20/2005):
There was a comment on the [url='http://www.chowhound.com/midwest/boards/midwest/midwest.html']Chowhound Midwest board [/url]recently about Harry's - here's the relevant snippet of the comments from CH'er SBCochran:

thanks to you I had a pretty good lunch at Harry's Bar about a week ago but couldn't find your original post for follow-up. At that time, I had your recommended roast beef sandwich on herbed roll. Quite tasty, though somewhat meager portion (or maybe I was too hungry).

Also, got one of their small cheese pizzas for takeaway later. Let's just say this is an item that doesn't travel well. If I'm back in the area, I'll have it there.
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TJ Jackson
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2005/09/26 09:56:59 (permalink)
I spent all day Sunday at King's Island (local mega-amusement park), my kids first time there. We left around 7, and I tried to find the newly opened Cincinnati location of City BBQ thereafter. When I couldn't find it, I settled for Culver's, and was not disappointed.

The burger was just flat out excellent, easily better than anything I have ever had at a Steak n Shake, although the somewhat crispy burger edges (and the prices) made me understand the comparisons I have been reading of here. The wife claims she does not remember having the frozen custard last time we were here, but oooOOO'd and aaaHHH'd over the custard this time.
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2005/09/26 18:22:09 (permalink)
We recently visited the Richard's pizza in Trenton, OH for the first time, based on a recommendation from someone on here. The steak sandwiches were delicious-- we had the onion/mushrooms/cheese variation. I think it could benefit from jalapenos, which I may add next time. I haven't tried the "regular" version or the pizza at all, but hopefully on a future trip...
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2005/09/27 09:09:26 (permalink)
I have been to both Chester's and to Richard's, and both are good, albeit I've never been there with camera in hand with the intent of writing them up here.

I'll never understand why Chester's pulled out of their Farfield location, which now houses and utterly forgettable pizza joint named Chicago's pizza.

Neither are close by. I live in the far southeast corner of Cincinnati, and getting up to Hamilton (more or less north by northwest of Cincinnati) is a rare thing. I will try to swing by when and if time permits :-)
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2005/09/27 18:10:17 (permalink)
I revisited Harry's today and got a baked roast beef sub.

It was freakin' excellent :-)

I've added the pic of the sub and a bit of description to the end of the main entry on Harry's a bit earlier on this page.
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2005/09/30 09:19:09 (permalink)
Wallyum: I am hearing good word from my Ft Thomas resident co-workers on a hamburger joint/bar in Ft Thomas called 915. They say it's good eats and easy on the old wallet as well.

http://cityguide.aol.com/cincinnati/entertainment/venue.adp?sbid=134716

whats your take?
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2005/10/02 23:27:17 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by TJ Jackson

Wallyum: I am hearing good word from my Ft Thomas resident co-workers on a hamburger joint/bar in Ft Thomas called 915. They say it's good eats and easy on the old wallet as well.

http://cityguide.aol.com/cincinnati/entertainment/venue.adp?sbid=134716

whats your take?


It was very good the first time we tried it. The burger was excellent and they had a slaw that was so odd, in a good way, that you had to give it a try. The next two times it wasn't anywhere near as good as the first, in fact, things declined at an almost exponential rate. It was like they'd lured us in with the good meal the first time, then just went through the motions and gave us the "success has gone to our heads" meals. The last time the burger was overcooked to the point of dryness and the slaw tasted like it had been made a LONG time before I ordered it. (Kind of slimy and dated. My mom thought the same thing.) Too bad. Ft. Thomas is the kind of city that could use a top line burger/bar combination. The Pub up at my end of town advertises that they have a great burger, but we've never given them a try. We might give 915 another shot, but it isn't a priority at this point.
I should add that my brother loves the place, so maybe I just expected too much.
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2005/10/02 23:36:45 (permalink)
We had a 2 for 1 coupon for a place called the Log Cabin Inn, and so the wife and I decided to go by there tonight to give it a try.

http://news.cincinnati.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050623/ENT01/506240310/1026

Very underwhelming.....vegetables right out of a can, thin steak that wa just like one I could fry up in a pan at home, and so forth.

ah well
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2005/10/04 16:53:40 (permalink)
I stopped by at the[url='http://www.citybeat.com/gyrobase/Restaurant/RestaurantListing?restaurant=Taco%20Casa']tiny downtown Taco Casa carryout-only location[/url] for lunch recently. I've been going there a long time, and had always meant to get some pics....

Its very, very hard to find if you don't know exactly where to look, but here's where you'd start. The police car depicted is not prowling, the officer got out a few seconds later to pick up her lunch. Police tend to know where the good out of the way places are......



New Street is exactly one block long, and is parallel to and between between 6th and 7th streets, running from Sycamore, which is where I stood to take this picture.



So you walk halfway down this alley....



....to this corner building that doesn't, to put it mildly, look friendly or inviting at all....



....and you head inside.

It's even more bare and unadorned on the inside, if you can believe it - an open kitchen with a cash register and a couple of chairs to sit and wait, more or less. This location is only open at lunch time during the week, and serves a substantially limited menu compared to the other two Cincinnati locations (another carryout location, the original, is in Hyde Park; while the newer and by far nicest location is in Harper's Point on the far NE edge of Cincinnati. Harper's point has a large eat-in dining area )



You'll note the focus is on combinations of corn/flour tortillas, taco meat, lettuce, tomatos, cheese, sauce, and refried beans, the idea being to limit food cost. They do a steady if not busy walk in business while I am there, but many of the workers are engaged in putting together catering orders, which I think is the bulk of their business. There is no attempt made here to make declarations that anything is "authentic" or such, only to be cheap and tasty -- and at this, they are quite successful.

They sell a TON of taco salads, and in fact their taco salad has been rated the best in Cincinnati several times in the past few years by various local publications, but I prefer the good old hard shell tacos and the burrito boat. I picked up one of each for lunch that day.



It isn't much to look at, but it is what it is -- great cheap eats. The burrito boat is a soft flour sheel filled with their excellent taco meat, covered with chili sauce (hot or mild, I go with mild) and mild cheddar cheese, and it's available in two sizes. This is the double.



The same item can be topped with shredded lettuce and diced tomatos, and then they call it a sancho boat.

The tacos are not much to look at, but oddly, whereas most taco joints I have been to build a taco as shell, lettuce, cheese, tomatos - in that order - taco casa does it as shell, meat, lettuce, tomatos. They'll hold the tomatos (my preference) to order, as you like.

Ultimately, it is the outstanding taco filling that makes these two items (as well as the ultra popular taco salad) good eats.

One caveat: the chicken filling offerred in place of the taco meat at the other two locations is a mayonaise based mix, sort of like a chicken salad. It isn't a spiced taco meat mix made with chicken, nor is it fajita style grilled chicken, as one might believe.

Don't take my word for it :-), read some reviews of the Taco Casa (not necessarily the downtown location):

http://dine.com/restaurants/rid/59622/index.html
http://archive.cinweekly.com/content/2004/03/17/0317to_tacocasa.asp
http://64.12.50.14/cincinnati/entertainment/venue.adp?sbid=126769
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2005/10/08 23:55:05 (permalink)
I recently stopped by a national chain restaurant.

Yep, that's right. A national chain. Corporate menu and all. Now mind you, its a good formula, and a good menu, and there are only 4-5 locations, but still.....
[url='http://www.redfishamerica.com/index2.html']Redfish Seafood Grill and Bar[/url] is one of those places that I think will not meet the requirements of a Roadfood purist, but is nonetheless an eatery with a lot of great, unpretentious food. But it is also a "nice" enough place that you could go there at lucnh or dinner with clients or coworkers who aren't Roadfood types and they'll be pleased as well.

Redfish tries to project the image of being a Cajun and/or Creole restaurant, and you will indeed see items on the menu like jambalaya and crawfish, but I have my doubts (to put it mildly) that any serious foodie would see this as authentic. Nonethless, I can honestly say I have never had a bad meal here, and I consider it a very good place to eat, if a bit pricey to be a regular stop. I can also say it has gotten some good reviews, such as:

http://archive.cinweekly.com/content/2004/06/09/0609outtoeat_redfish.asp
http://www.citybeat.com/2002-10-10/cover5.shtml
http://www.cincinnati.com/freetime/dining/reviews/110300_redfish.html
http://www.cincinnati.com/freetime/dining/reviews/redfish1205.html

So with that in mind, I've been going to the downtown Cincinnati Redfish at the corner of Race and 7th for some years now



The [url='http://www.redfishamerica.com/assets/menu_CIN_dinner.pdf']menu[/url] concentrates mostly on fish and New orlean's style specialties - red beans and rice, po boy sandwiches, and the like, with a smattering of typical/casual american fare - burgers, chicken sandwiches, steaks, bbq, and the like. Excellent sweet potato fries can be substituted on any selection that includes regular frenh fries.

The front room inside is dominated by a huge fully stocked bar that several dozen people could stand at and not be crowded. The decor is an eclectic mix of dockside warehouse and jazz/blues memorabilia and musical instruments, flanking expansive u-shaped booths



Similar but more subdued decor graces the larger room in the rear, which contains most of the restaurant's dining space



I came in thinking I wasn't all that hungry, and so I ordered the simple and inexpensive soup and salad combo ($5.99) with an ice water to drink. There are two salads and 3-4 soups to choose from, and I chose the seafood chowder and the caesar salad, sans caesar dressing, choosing the fresh basil vinegrette dressing instead. Most every item includes complimentary jalapeno cornbread, which used to be served in generous hunks cut from a pan, but now comes as tiny 2-bite mini muffins, with real whipped butter. These are quite good.



The soup was just outstanding - a large bowl dusted with dried chopped parsley, full of good sized chunks of fresh fish, shrimp, scallops, and potatoes. Though creamy in appearance, the spice (and a dash of hot sauce) pack a hidden, subtle heat to the dish. I myself don't tolerate spicey-hot dishes well, but this was right at the edge of what I can handle, and caused no heartburn thereafter. For those perferring a bit more heat, two types of hot sauce are available on every table to take it up a notch.



The caesar salad per se was also very good. Good sized rough cut romaine lettuce, very fresh, with excellent shredded cheese and a few veggies. I asked for some croutons, and was impressed with these as well - golf ball sized hunks of in-house toasted crusty bread, steeped in garlic, crunchy on the ouside and soft inside. Wonderful.



The dressing itself was unlike any I have ever had. The waitress had described it as "chunky" but any vinegrette I had ever had was a thin liquid, so how could this be? I soon found out. This freshly made dressing was indeed a vinegrette base but had a TON of finely chopped basil and other herbs chopped into it, almost to the consistency of a thin pesto. It was deep green in color and was, I can assure you, one of the best salad dressings I have ever tasted in my life.

I left the restaurant full and happy. It is very rare that one can have such a good and filling lunch in a nice sit down restaurant for under 7 bucks with tax and before tip, but that's exactly what I experienced here.

One more thing: for those of you who enjoy an adult beverage and bar appetizers after a long day at the office, the bar area out front does a happy hour every weekday at typical happy hour times, with drink specials and reduced priced appetizers.
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2005/10/10 23:07:57 (permalink)
Kinda been on a pizza jag lately.....

Tonight, I had a couple 7" indivdual pies - one cheese, one italian sausage - at[url='http://cityguide.aol.com/cincinnati/entertainment/venue.adp?cat=581208&begin=I&page=detailSummary&id=105567579&skip=1&back=search%252eadp%253fcat%253d581208%2526begin%253dI%2526page%253dlistingsLong%2526layer%253dvenues&layer=venues']Isadore's Pizzeria[/url], which is just across the street from the nigh-legendary Camp Washington Chili. I had never been in there before.

Pies were decent, and the place seems very roadfood-y in appearance, and definitely family run. Prices were reasonable. I'll have to stop in again for a second try.
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2005/10/21 16:35:57 (permalink)
I've gone back a few times to Jordan Valley (mentioned in a post a few days back in this same thread) for lunch this past week or so, and found the place to be very much to my liking



I was fairly excited when I saw that they advertised "italian beef" on the window (look closely, it's there, kinda hard to see in this pic tho), but on inquiry, it turns out that this is sadly no longer on the menu. I'll have to ask the owner about it, as I am a big fan of this kind of sandwich following my[url='http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=9018&whichpage=3#141847']pilgrimage earlier this year to Mr Beef[/url].



The menu - printed simply and hand edited on some colored copy paper - is a pretty straightforward set of well known mediteranean staples - falafel, hummus, tabouli, baba ghanoush, pita, etc etc...with a few "american" items like hamburgers, fries, and etc thrown in to accomodate less adventurous eaters.

While not shown on the menu, baklava is available, and looks pretty good in its covered display case on the service counter near the register.



The interior is clean and simply decorated, with modern lighting and framed posters of various locales around the country of Jordan . I havent gotten around to asking the owner yet, but I figure it is a safe assumption he is from Jordan :-) Unfortunately, none of the decor pics came out well enough to display here. The owner has also placed a chess set, domines, and playing cards out in the dining room, encouraging customers to stay a while and enjoy. I thought it was nice that he also provides a high chair - most doentown restaurants more or less assume all of their clientele will be adult, and no high chairs are available.



On every visit, darn near everyone seems seems to be getting the gyro.

I've had the gyro (3.99) once again since the first time I tried it, and this time, the meat was in the familiar strips rather in the chunks I got the first time around. The strips are good - nicely spicey and moist, with some crisping due to their finishing on the grill - but the chunks are/were better. I'll have to ask him if I can have it that way again next time. The fries are cooked to order, hot and fresh every time I have had them, and are a bit thicker than the fries one typically gets, and for those reasons alone are better than average. Adding fries (or rice, which isn't an option on the menu, but is if you ask) is a buck, 1.50/2.50 if purchased seperately, and the portion in either case is quite generous.

Oh, and I know that to some of you it is a sacriledge to leave off the tomatoes and the tahini sauce. Ah well, I don't like that stuff, and I was the one who was doing the eating, so calm yourself :-)



oh, and two other things if you get the fries - 1) while the fry portion is generous, the pre-portioned ketchup served with it is not, so if you like a lot of ketchup, be sure to ask for extra, and 2) the fries are also salted generously (take a close look at the pics, particularly the one of the kafta a couple of pics down) before being served, so ask for light or no salt when you order if that's your preference.

On another stop, I had the shawarma (3.99 by itself, 4.99 with the rice), which is pretty much the same as a gyro except the meat is marinated grilled chicken. It's far less spicey and a bit less moist than the gyro meat, but still good eats. The rice looks interesting, and I'd guess is healthier than the fries, but is pretty bland.



On yet another stop, I had the kafta (3.99 by itself, 4.99 with fries or rice) Looks pretty much like the gyro, right? It's got some similar spicing, and seems to have some tiny bits of vegetable matter mixed in as well, but is overall quite dry and almost crumbly. The meat tasted like it had been precooked and reheated. It unfortunately came off much like bad leftover meatloaf. Go for the gyro instead....much much MUCH better :-...but please see the addendum below regarding a return visit for another Kafta



On every occasion I have been in, business has been steady with 1 to 6 customers standing in line throughout my visit, which is a good sign for the quality of the food as well as the longevity of this fairly new eatery. Service is a bit slow, but I think this is mainly because the kitchen staff (except for the owner) all seem fairly new, like they haven't worked there long. I have high hopes for this place.

Update 10/24/2005: I stopped in to drop off a slip of paper with the url to this entry so the owner could take a look at it, and I also asked him about the "Italian Beef" listed on the window. He said he could never build up a following for it here and had to take it off the menu due to poor sales/high food costs. He did indicate he was thinking about bringing it back as a special or something in the future, and I told him I'd be looking forward to that :-)

Update 12/07/2005: I had been stopping by evey now and then to see if the owner (Ned) had been able to get to this review using the link I emailed to him. On one such visit, he asked me to give the kafta (which I had not liked at all) another chance at a slow time - early or late lunch - and he was sure I'd like it. He said that kafta has to be watched closely on the grill, and it's easier to give it the necessary attention at off-peak times. I said I'd do so, and so today I returned.

What a difference! This kafta didn't look a lot different, so I din't get a second picture, but it was worlds better in taste and texture. Heavily spiced with garlic, finely diced jalepeno and onions (red, I think, but not sure), blackened on the outside, juicy within. I don't tolerate spice heat very well, but this was fine, right on the dge of my limits without going past it. Absolutely wonderful, nearly the equal of the chunked gyro from my first visit.

as an added bonus, he's going to start offering the chicago-style italian beef sandwiches again very soon......and he'll see how it goes, same as last time. I'll be there :-)

Update 12/8/2005: I stopped by again today, having promised Ned I'd try do so if it work permitted, and ordered the Italian Beef and an order of fries (3.99 alone, 4.99 with fries or rice). It was not in the Mr Beef class, but was very good in it's own right. Probably needs a bit more garlic and onion in the au jus, but like anythign that's just my opinion. I'll post a pic later. I also need to ask him (I forgot to do so this visit) if he will have giardinera and/or spot peppers available. His volume on this item is minimal, but I'd think these two items both have a pretty good shelf life?

Update 12/14/2005: Stopped in for lunch again, ordered the cheeseburger (3.25) with the fries (a buck more) and was pleasantly suprised. The patty is a standard 1/4 pound preform, but the meat is of good quality and Ned's very hot grill gives it some nice outer char/cruch without drying it out. He also toasts the bun, which I always like. The fries, if I haven't mentioned it befoe, are seved in a vey large potion - probably about double the amount you'd get at McDonald's for the same price. They also very liberally salted.
#73
TJ Jackson
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2005/10/24 12:23:54 (permalink)
It figures - I forgot the camera again today, and had one of the best lunches I have had this year.

The[url='http://www.citybeat.com/2002-11-21/whirlygig.shtml']Federal Reserve Piano Lounge[/url] is first, second, and third a piano bar. More than half the space on their "menu" is devoted to adult beverages - wines, cognacs, mixed drinks, etc etc. They have 3-4 sandwiches, a few salads, and a soup of the day. I never figured I'd go by, since food was more or else an afterthought there.

Today, they had a sidewalk menu board out advertising a french dip sandwich and loster bisque. I like french dip pretty well, and I LOOOOOOOOVE me some lobster bisque, so in I went.

Reading the menu, the soup of the day is 2 bucks a cup, 3 bucks a bowl. Incredible. I asked to confirm the price, as one usually pays 5 bucks or more a cup hereabouts for lobster bisque. Nope, I was assured it was the same price as every soup of the day. I was tempted to order a quart, but instead asked about the 5 buck combo - half a sandwich and a cup of soup...doable as french dip and lobster bisque? I was suprised but the answer was "yes".

The sandwich was good - a decent amount of tender beef on a good quality half of a 10 inch hoagie roll with swiss cheese and a cup of very salty au jus. The bisque was excellent. Not a lot of lobster in it, as one might expect for the price, but decadently creamy with all the rich lobster flavor I have come to expect when paying 3-4 times as much. A great lunch at an outstanding price.

I do hope they run this special again :-) Soon. I am sooooOOOOO there......

Update: I called them up, told them how great the bisque was, asked them how often they run the bisque as the soup du jour, and was told: "about twice a week". Erk. I have no idea how I missed this one this long. But camera in hand, I will be back, and soon :-)
#74
TJ Jackson
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2005/11/05 18:09:07 (permalink)
The Jackson 4 stopped by a eatery called the Rib Shack, out on Mt Zion Road on the very southern edges of what I'd call Northern Ky. The name makes it sound fairly much like it might just be roadfood, but this was not the case.

It was a bar with a few tables, all smoking, with a menu of mostly sandwiches and appetizers, which is generally what I find at bars that serve food. We had a buy 1 get 1 free coupon, so it was worth a try....

The ribs were decent, but.....and I caution that you'll find that many or even most eateries that serve ribs in the Cincinnati area do this....the ribs were boiled then grilled, and came sauced. No smoking, no thought to even offer the option of sauce on the side.

Despite all that, they were pretty tasty - good outer chew, good charring, and tender inside.

The green beans and the onion rings were also outstanding.

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dcorn
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2005/11/13 22:36:30 (permalink)
In Hamilton, OH there is a pizza place "Millilos", best pizza i ever had. I live in Fort Wayne, IN and when traveling to see grandparents in central KY 20 years ago Millilos was a must stop abd eat a pizza. Anyone had Millilos ??
#76
ralli
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2005/11/19 11:30:12 (permalink)
I'll be in the Newport area later this month. What is the best italian family restaurant in Newport? (I have little ones)
#77
TJ Jackson
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2005/11/19 13:17:03 (permalink)
I'd say Pompilio's

http://news.cincinnati.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050623/ENT01/506240326/1026
#78
TJ Jackson
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2005/12/13 00:21:43 (permalink)
I've gotten way, waaaAAAy behind on posting photos n stuff about Cincinnati of late. Blame the weather, blame work, blame the holidays, but ultimately it's on me :-)

Anyway, in the course of searching fo the best burger in Cincinnati, I found a very good one at[url='http://www.expedia.com/daily/vacations/cincinnati/guides/Nightlife/L8153406I3.asp?CCheck=1&']Madonna's [/url]on 7th Street near Vine, which is quite near any hotel one might stay at in downtown Cincinnati.

This place is easily overlooked, and at first glance looks like a dismal, smokey bar. But they have some very good lunch specials, including this cooked-to-order burger on a vey good quality bun....the top bun half is barely visible under the fresh lettuce field at the top of the pic....



Just outstanding - good beefy taste, drippingly juicy, bun was toasted, onions carmelized, lettuce from-the-gaden fresh, and a good value to boot.

As pictured, this runs about 5.50 excluding beverage, tax, and tip. I don't think the patties are handformed but are great nonetheless, and this is one of the few places that will cook a burger to a specified done-ness.
#79
TJ Jackson
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2005/12/17 18:41:21 (permalink)
I haven't been there yet, but do have a few tidbits for you

First, check out their website (http://www.kolachefactory.com/) for the basics. The FAQ page (http://www.kolachefactory.com/about/customer_faqs.asp) should answer most of your basic questions. Then proceed to their menu page (http://www.kolachefactory.com/menus/index.asp) which starts with breakfast, with links at the top to their anytime and lunch pages

Next, Citybeat and Cin Weekly regularly include a "buy 3 get 3 free" coupon, so if you're going, snag one of these before you go for the best deal.

Finally, word is that the Kolache Factory, which is a ntional franchise, does not make very good kolaches compared to a lot of places that make them. Check out the kolache thread (http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=6941&SearchTerms=kolache) for some commentary on this issue.

I am planning on getting up there sometime, but living in Mt Washington and working downtown, I don't get up that way all too often.

#80
TJ Jackson
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2005/12/22 13:56:14 (permalink)
In my ongoing quest for a great burger in downtown Cincinnati, I stopped in a little sports-bar type establishment that just opened this past year or so named "Rockin Robin's"

It's a little place near the corner of 7th and Vine, vey near all the downtown hotels, and is clearly not a chain, and so it did look promising.....

....but I have to report that it wasn't so good. The preformed 6oz burger was very dry (they do not cook burgers to order, either), and on a slightly stale bun. The pizza I ordered on another visit was clearly on a prebaked crust, with a very thin sauce lacking in flavor. Reminded me of school-cafeteria pizza.

Fortunately, Madonna's and the Sports Page are less than a minute's walk away
#81
TJ Jackson
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2005/12/29 16:23:49 (permalink)
Having noted that a number of posters here have professed some degree of love for and/o allegiance to the Boar's head brand of meats, I decided to try some at a downtown deli I had not yet been into as yet - Silverglade's on 8th near Sycamore....this is more or less the far northeast edge of downtown.

Here's a map: http://www.google.com/local?hl=en&lr=&q=silverglade&near=Cincinnati,+OH&sa=X&oi=locald&radius=0.0&latlng=39161944,-84456944,238082064557448204

It turns out the make a vey good sandwich, but only a few of the deli meats sold (two types of turkey, chicken breast, pastrami, and corned beef) are boar's head brand. Tuns out their own house-roasted beef is a good rare cut, so I had that, and it was flat-out excellent. More on this fine establishment later
#82
TJ Jackson
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2005/12/30 16:07:31 (permalink)
With virtually no one in the office today, I figured it was a safe bet to take a long lunch, go get the car, and head on over to Mac's (http://www.macspizzapub.com/) for lunch.

Since he had touted his burger as "already the best in Clifton" and ericm had mentioned the wings, I got both.

The burger (3.99, 4.50 with cheese, 4.99 with darn near anything that will fit on it) was probably top 5 for all of Cincinnati. I am going to have to notify the Burger dudes website about mac's. Hand pattied 8ozs, grilled to order over a flame on an inclined grill while you watch, nicely charred on the outside and moist and beefy inside, on a top notch firm bakery bun. Outstanding. One minor quibble: the burger is the same price with or without the excellent waffle-cut fries.....the fries were great, mind you, but it'd be nice to be able to buy just the burge at a slightly lower price.

The wings (3 bucks for 6) were a big suprise. Mac has chosen not to handle fresh chicken in house (apparently there are some troublesome health department and/or licensing hurdles associated with doing so) so he buys frozen wings and simply deep fries them and and then tosses them in an excellent sauce. Not homemade by any stretch of the imagination, but very meaty (compared to most other wings I have tried around town) and good. Only three sauces: bbq. hot, and bbq hot (ie, they mix the two sauces in equal proportions). The wings are as ericm said ealier not yet on the menu, but are selling so well that it's a pretty sure bet they will be soon.

He also bought me a small sample of a locally brewed light beer, made by some micobrewery in Mt Carmel (I didn't get the name, sorry). I don't know much about adult beverages, as my annual alcohol intake is perhaps the equivalent of one bottle of wine per year, but this was also vey good. It's becoming increasingly clear to me that Mac is carefully selecting what he sells at his establishment and tinkering and adjusting as he goes along to improve the overall quality of one's dining and/or drinking experience there. It's really quite cool to see this all coming together.
#83
TJ Jackson
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2006/01/04 13:39:08 (permalink)
Another chain has opened up at least one location in Cincinnati: New York NY Fresh Deli

http://www.nynyfreshdeli.com/ [url='http://www.nynyfreshdeli.com/menu.htm']Menu[/url])

is a upscale sandwich joint with a few salads, soups, and desserts added in. Sandwiches run ~5.50 to about 8 bucks in the small 6" size, with one of three sides to choose from.

I'm willing to try just about any sandwich place once, so in I went. I ordered the cuban (6.50), which wasn't bad - neither was it good - and did not appear authentic. Isn't an authentic cuban sandwich supposed to include mustard by default?

It also wasn't filling - a tiny bit of shredded lettuce, less than you'd get on a typical big mac, and the tomatoes (that I specifically asked be left off) were sliced so thin you could see through them. One thin slice of ham, one thin slice of pork, one thin slice of cheese. I could have easily eaten three of the sandwiches before getting full.

For 6.50, one expects better quality and/or more quantity.

I will probably go back in one more time to try a soup and the Eli's tiramisu they offer. I've had Eli's cheesecake, but never the tiramasu.

Update 4/20/2006: Since the original visit, I'd made it back a few times.

The tiramisu was pretty good, but is a prepackaged product that isn't worth a special visit.

The cheese cake isn't Eli's, as near as I can tell, but is really, really good anyway. Probably the best you'll get downtown aside from a high end steak place.

I was blown away by the baked meatball sandwich. It's pictured (and LOOKS outstanding) on their menuboard, but I never got aroudn to trying it until just yesterday. It's very, very good, and the product you get looks very much like what it shown on the menuboard, which is a rarity at chains in my experience. The meatballs are large, just under the size of a tennis ball, and are very moist, juicy, and well spiced. with great flavor. Probably doesn't need the marinara baked onto it, but this too was quite good, albeit a bit salty. I added onions, and got them at no additional charge. I highly recommend this sandwich. That said - the 6 inch is 6.25 and the 12 inch is 7.25, so I recommend taking a friend and splitting a 12 if you do go. I do intend to go back and order this again when i have my camera with me, as it is a thing of beauty to behold. Hard to believe that the same place that offers the very forgettable cuban makes this wonderful meatball sub.
#84
TJ Jackson
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2006/01/10 13:42:45 (permalink)
New Year's Day Report - Part 1 of 2

I have gotten somewhat behind in chronicling some recent personal roadfood-ish outings, but hopefully I can start to set that a-right slowly but surely as this year progresses.

New Year's Day 2006 found me at home and alone for the day, so I decided to go do a little bit of shopping (new winter coat, etc etc) and make some long-intended stops for what might turn out to be some pretty good roadfood. Or a reasonable facsimile thereof.

First stop was Rock-a-fella's pizza, which had opened in October 2005 in Sharonville (northern side of Cincinnati). I'm always on the lookout for good NY style pizza, and the local review (http://news.cincinnati.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051110/ENT01/511110306/1026) had looked reasonably good. I'm a little leery of slice joints in Cincinnati, because the slices don't turn (sell out) as quickly as they do on the streets of NYC, which in turn means you can end up with something far less fresh than you might have hoped, but what the heck. Besides, I was only going to pick up a single slice and a coke, because I wanted to also try some bbq at another nearby joint.

I found the place very, very hard to spot - I drove by it 3-4 times before locating it. The font is tiny, and not well marked, so keep you eyes peeled.

It was not at all crowded when I arrived, with one couple finishing up and the rest of the place empty, and the 4 bored-looking employees behind the counter looked happy to see a customer. I took some time to survey the slice counter (edited Enquirer photo below)



and found that indeed, as I had feared, these weren't the freshest of pies....

Nonetheless, I was here to sample, so I picked out a plain cheese slice (my rule: when first trying a pizza joint, always order plain ol' cheese pizza, as a benchmark) and a somewhat fresher looking deluxe slice, and added a coke. These were BIG slices....not as big as a very dry looking "bronx bomber" (seen in the foreground in the pic above - nearly as thick as grandma's apple pie)...but wide and long, coming from a 20' or bigger pie. As I paid, the slices I chose were quickly dispatched back into the nearby gas ovens for a finishing/reheating run, and were presented to me nice and hot by the owner.

Here's the cheese slice, along with its very light bottom char




and the deluxe slice, which was somewhat better



Neither slice was particularly good, unfortunately. The crust was thin enough, but there was waaaAAY too much outer edge, the sauce was thinly painted on to the extent that there was none at all in some parts, and the overall slice was dry - much moreso on the cheese slice than the other. The deluxe slice was somewhat interesting in that the pepperoni was all shredded, but I think this was/is more about cost savings than creating a unique taste or texture. The sausage was in small but very fresh tasting chunks. The inner tip of the deluxe slice was undercooked and soggy - see how it droops off the edge of the plate in the pic above?

Ah well. I only ate about half of each slice, and I didn't have the heart to tell the obviously enthusiastic owner the truth when he inquired (noticing how much I had left uneaten) if I hadn't liked my meal. What I need to do is get back there and try what looks to be a very good and freshly prepared calzone.

so.....with plenty of appetite remaining, I was off to the BBQ Place that[url='http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=11527']jmckee[/url] had been recommending.....Jim Dandy BBQ.
Jim had said:
quote:
Originally posted by jmckee

At the northwest corner of Sharon and Mosteller roads in Sharonville, Ohio, is a parking lot containing a food wagon and a couple of large oildrum smokers. It's the location of Jim Dandy Barbecue. Excellent. The motto is a not-so-veiled slap at Cincinnati's Montgomery Inn: "Spiced and Smoked, not Boiled and Soaked." Excellent brisket and pulled pork sandwiches. Top-notch sides.


This place had also gotten a couple of recent mentions in the local paper:
http://www.enquirer.com/editions/2004/09/30/biz_unusual-jimdandy.html
http://news.cincinnati.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051208/ENT01/512090306/1026/ENT

Now I can hear all the snickering. BBQ? Cincinnati? Isn't that where they boil their ribs and think any meat doused in BBQ sauce is bbq? Yeah, yeah, it's true. All true. The city as a whole seems to feel that way. I was certainly raised to think that way. But I think that attitude will start to change over time, in no small part because Cincinnati is just now starting, call it the last few years or so, to get some very real, very good bbq joints. I know that my attitude, due in no small part to recent trips to City Barbeque in Mason and Smokey Bones (which is a chain, but does serve legit if somewhat formula-ized bbq), has definitely changed. Cincinnati is a very conservative city, always has been, and it will take a while for Cincinnati to take notice. I don't doubt that the operators of these new real bbq joints are frequently answering the question "why isn't there sauce on this?".

The corner of Mosteller and Sharon is just a mile or so away from Rock-a-Fellas, so I pulled into the corner lot on which their trailer operates a scant few minutes later. I should say "operated", tho - the trailer is shut down but includes mention of the newly built restaurant right up the street. It was here that I saw the sign Jack had mentioned in his earlier post - I hadn't remembered the slogan from reading the original post weeks ago - the one that so clearly, simply, and cleverly conveyed the very essence of what I personally had learned about bbq this past year:



I believe that it is a very good foreboding for the continued growth of real bbq here in Cincinnati that Jim Dandy's grew from this



to this



in such a relatively short span of time.

Unfortunately, they were closed January 1st, so I missed out on the bbq, but resolved to go back soon.......but naturally, I now had my heart set on some good REAL bbq, and so I hopped back in the car and headed to.....to be continued in part 2
#85
Alco251
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2006/01/22 23:29:07 (permalink)
Here are some of my favorites:

Colonial Cottage Inn (try the goetta)
http://edit.enquirer.gannettonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050602/ENT01/506030310/1036

Dixie Chili (my favorite Cincy chili)
http://www.cinweekly.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20041117/ENT0104/411170350/1047
location in Erlanger:
http://dunes.cincinnati.com/dining/details.aspx?siteid=1&id=552&lid=781&cID=2

Montoya's (Mexican)
http://www.cincinnati.com/freetime/dining/reviews/030504_montoyas_25.html

Mr. Herb's (Fried fish +)
http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050106/ENT01/501070318/

Southern Kitchen (breakfast!)
http://www.cinweekly.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20040901/ENT0103/409010333

Walt's Hitching Post (ribs)
http://www.cincinnati.com/freetime/dining/reviews/031904_walts.html
#86
TJ Jackson
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2006/01/23 08:48:20 (permalink)
I have been to the Mecklenburg Gardens recently, and the food was somewhat pricey but very good. We ate in the outdoor section, surrounded by grape vines.

I'll confirm that the "old house somewhere really close to the Sharonville Convention Center" is the Grand Finale. Grand Finale is very much still in business, with a line out the door for their weekend brunch, even when it is raining, and despite their very high prices. I have been there once, for an anniversary dinner, and at those prices would only return for a similar "special" evening. Their specialty is crepes.
#87
TJ Jackson
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2006/01/23 09:14:09 (permalink)
for Cheesewit

What I'd really like to know is

1) How mobile you are from your stated location.?
2) Are you on your own for dinner or will you be dragged by or dragging clients with you?

Both make a big difference :-)

I have been to both the Southern Kitchen and to Colonial Cottage for breakfast. The latter is far superior to the former, which makes sense since CC has been in business many years, while SC has been open maybe 3 years, tops. We have not been happy with any of our three visits to SC. Definitely get the goetta, a cousin to Pennsylvania's scrapple. They have a solidly good country ham as well.

All of the "great" chili parlors in Greater Cincinnati (a term used to include N Ky) are in Cincinnati - Camp Washington Chili, Price Hill Chili, Blue Ash Chili (my fave) etc etc. Each of these also offers one of the other "cincinnati" specialities - double decker sandwiches - and Camp Washington also has goetta. Dixie provides a fairly average product in my estimation, as does Gold Star and Skyline, all of which you will find easily in the area you are staying. If you want one of the really great chili's, you'll need to drive into Ohio. However, I don't know how mobile you are from your stated location.

I have gone to Eddies BBQ three times to sample their fare, but in every case have found them closed despite checking their hours as recently as the day before. Good luck! Very nondescript location, one might even call it dissheveled, with only a few tables and not a hint of even an attempt to create a comfortable place to sit and eat. I myself would be a little uneasy about bringing a coworker, client, or friend here unless they were known to have "bought in" to the roadfood philosophy. That all said, yeah, I have heard nothing but rave reviews of the food, so I continue to make trips there in the hope I will eventually find them open.

I don't think you'll like Walt's Hitching Post Ribs. They've been in business for forever and a day, but I think it is a difficult to acquire taste, and there is much better BBQ (and I am not including Montgomery Inn when I say that) to be had in Cincinnati.

Speaking of Montgomery Inn, there is a location in KY not far from where you will be. Although this is a "boil the ribs then slather them in sauce" place, it remains easily one of the most well known Cincinnati eateries and one that most locals will point you to. It may be worth a try just to have said you ate there, if nothing else. If you do go, and if you like salad, be sure to get the house vinegrette dressing, which is fabulous. The real key at eating at Montgomery Inn - they are famous for their ribs, but the truth is that everything else other than the "bbq" items there is pretty good eats. Odd, but true.

There has been much talk of Pasquale's - it has it's own roadfood thread - here in Cincinnati, and the Erlanger location is quite close to where you will be staying. This is a dirt cheap no frills pizza and hoagie place, if you like that sort of thing. IMHO, if you go, go for hoagies, and skip the pizza.

If the lovely JD is with you, I recommend you come across the river to just east of downtown Cincinnati to the wonderful and recently remodeled Celestial, which sits atop a hill directly overlooking downtown Cincinnati. I took my wife there to celebrate her graduation, and she said this was the best meal she has ever had. If she is not with you and you are looking for some fine dining closer by, I recommend on word of mouth (have not been there myself) Tousey House in Burlington http://www.citybeat.com/2003-10-29/diner.shtml

Finally - we have a small local chain called Penn Station, which is generally regarded as having the best cheese steaks in Cincinnati, for what little that's worth. I am certain you get your fill and more of cheese steaks in Philadephia, but I have long wondered exactly how close the cheesesteaks (Penn Station's specialty) here are to what one can get in Philadephia, and I have no basis to make a honest comparison. I would consider it a big favor if you would sample one there - even a half sandwich then go elsewhere for your regular meal - and report back on whether it is even remotely close. They do cook them to order, appear to use very good ingredients including very thin sliced steak, but do not offer a whiz option - it's all provolone.

If you do decide to go, either the Florence or the Cresent Springs locations are closest to you

Crescent Springs
2355 Buttermilk Crossing
Crescent Springs, KY 41017
(859) 331-6585

Florence
7820 U.S. 42
Florence, KY 41042
(859) 282-PENN (7366)
#88
TJ Jackson
Filet Mignon
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2006/01/23 11:05:31 (permalink)
In the search for the truly great burger in Cincinnati, I am quickly coming to the conclusion that every single one of them are to be found in bars/taverns.

This past weekend, with the kids in tow and wanting a great burger, I decided to stop into the local joint that Wesleyman had repeatedly pointed out as his personal fave - Salem Gardens. It helped that although I think of this place as a bar (ie not suited to my 2 and 4 year olds), a recent local review cast this place in a somewhat family-friendlier light.

http://news.cincinnati.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060112/ENT01/601130333/1026

That said, there is no kid's menu, but they were more than happy with grilled cheese, fries, and applesauce (which I traded out my burger basket's slaw for) to deal with their powerful after-swim-class hunger.

I had the basic 1/4 pound burger, and it was much better than the burgers I have had in previous visits. First, they do indeed cooked to order, and my rare (I usually get MR, but find I have to order rare to get any redness at all in burgers of the 1/4 pound size) was a nice and juicy MR, with good drip. Second, the egg bun was good bakery quality, sized just right to this burger. Third, they lightly grilled a fresh red onion slice at my request, and it added a lot of flavor.

The fries were unremarkable but fresh and hot.

I still don't think this is a top 10 burger for Cincinnati, but it probably makes it into the next tier. I'm not sure i'd ever get the larger 1/2 pound burger they also offer because they put it on the same sized bun, and I think a larger bun would be necessary.
#89
TJ Jackson
Filet Mignon
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2006/01/24 14:43:37 (permalink)
Stopped by the BG Main Diner (which is more of a converted coffeehouse than diner) at the corner of Ninth and Main for a burger.

The quest continues......when I asked if I could get it cooked to order, the cook talked over the waitress to tell me that the burgers were already cooked, so I'd be stuck with the done-ness of the precooked patty.

Precooked. Argh. I should have changed my order on the spot, but didn't. I just smacked myself in the head as I wrote this as a reminder to change the order the next time something like this occurs.

Predictably it was not so good, but I ate it anyway because I was hungry.

Looks like they might have a good cheap breakfast tho, including goetta. All breakfasts look to be 4 bucks and under. I will stop back in one more time for that, might be suprised.
#90
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