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

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Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/04/14 10:23:39
Bonk

Tried Chicago Ron's (thanks for pointing that out, TJ).

I also got a hot dog plain (people always wonder why I do that and I tell them I want to taste the hot dog, not a bunch of other stuff I can get anywhere). It is a Vienna beef dog and it was very tasty. They do the poppy seed bun and everything.

They wrap fries in the hot dog, and those were also good. I can tell they double fried them because they were still crispy after my ride home.

 
Sounds like a pretty authentic place.  When I was trapped lived in the Chicago area way back when, the hot dogs always came wrapped together with the fries when it was a to-go order.
 
Brad
Bonk
Double Cheeseburger
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/04/14 17:13:34
I know some places do that, especially near downtown.
 
Interestingly enough, I went back on Monday and they didn't do that. I ordered the hot dog and the gyro. Dog was still $2.75.
 
The gyro was the special of the day for $5, and while it was the same meat on a cylinder you see a lot of places, it was still very good.
TJ Jackson
Filet Mignon
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/04/15 16:17:33
I have serious doubts whether I will ever find a Thai restaurant in Cincinnati that I like better than Tan Thai - originally on Court Street downtown, now on Rt4 in Springdale.  I stop in there almost every time I am in that area.
 
That said, I have found my new favorite on the southeast side of town - Basil Thai in Newtown, in a strip mall location on Rt32 where two Indian eateries have failed.

Every time I go by there - usually on the way to or from soccer/softball practices with my kids -  there are few if any cars, so I had dismissed it for a long while.  This week I decided, ah what the heck, give them a try.  On both of my stops there, I was one of two total customers.  But with food this good and prices this low, the secret WILL get out, so get there before the crowds do.
 
So far, I have only had the pad khee mao (sometimes known as "drunken noodles" and basil fried rice, but both were absolutely wonderful renditions of the dishes, near the equal to Tan Thai.  The ingredients used were very fresh and top quality.   The real separator was flavor - so many Thai places I have been to the flavor is weak to nonexistent, but not here.  
 
I had always meant to get to Apsara in Blue Ash before it closed, but never made it.  Good news for those of you who miss Apsara - I am told Apsara's former chef runs the kitchen at Basil Thai
 
There is more good news when the check comes.  Thai places around town always seem to charge 2-3 dollars more than the closest americhinese equivalent dish runs at a Chinese carryout joint, but lunch here was only 6.50, which for the quality involved was imho a major STEAL.  Most of the good local Thai restaurants serving dinner charge over (often well over) 10 dollars for a plate of food, but many of Basil Thai's dishes (unless ordered with seafood as the protein of choice) are under 10 bucks.  Call this the icing on the cake.
 
My next trips back will be for for pad thai (they have multiple versions of this dish) and one of their curries 
 
Strongly recommended.  Get yourself over there pronto.
 
Update 20110504: I have been back a  few times since then, and can report that every single thing i have had has been better than average to great.   The regular fried rice is very good, but the basil rice is better, so stick with the basil.  The pad thai is on the sweet side, so skip that if you prefer a more savory version, or ask them to make it less sweet.  I found the curry to be flavorful but more watery than I prefer.  The pad see ewe was excellent.  The crab rangoons looked much like the standard issue flower-shaped ones you get any any americhinese carryout, but they had more seafood in them than you'd get elsewhere, which upped them a notch or two.  The garlic-pepper stir fry was also very, very good.   Go for lunch (mon-Fri only) rather than dinner, the prices are MUCH higher at dinner than at lunch.
post edited by TJ Jackson - 2011/05/04 14:25:09
dlawson
Cheeseburger
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/04/15 22:52:04
TJ Jackson
I had always meant to get to Apsara in Blue Ash before it closed, but never made it.

 
Your wallet thanks you.
 
Did you notice any jackfruit dishes on the menu at Basil Thai? That is the one thing I miss about Apsara.
TJ Jackson
Filet Mignon
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/04/16 07:38:35
http://www.thaibasilcincy.com/menu.html
 
no jackfruit on the menu, but they do specials, and I bet with a advance reservation they'd at least consider making it for you.
TJ Jackson
Filet Mignon
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/04/16 23:13:54
A long, long time ago, before the kids, before I got into Roadfood even , The wife and I found this small and cozy Mexamerican restaurant on Beechmont.  Prices were low, quality was good, portions were large.  It was a single location joint where the owner/manager was around frequently and we never had a bad meal there. We were in there almost every week.
 
Over the next few years, we saw our visits drop off as we noticed that prices had risen steeply while quality and quantity had dropped off.   We noted that new locations were popping up around Cincinnati, and they seemed to be doing well.  Ah well, we thought, it was good while it lasted.
 
About two years ago, with food quality having taking a nose dive, they could barely get anyone in the door.  The many locations that had sprung up all over greater Cincinnati closed, one after another. 
 
About 6 months ago, the chain had closed all their restaurants except for one - they left their larger building purchased some years back and re-occupied the original small storefront location they had originally opened a decade ago.  Trying I suppose to recapture the magic that once was.
 
Recently that restaurant - called Margaritas - closed up for good.  The original location is being remodeled as a local sports bar called Muggbees.  It does not look very promising.
 
I miss Margaritas - the original.  Not the chain, never.  I always will.
post edited by TJ Jackson - 2011/04/16 23:18:03
Bonk
Double Cheeseburger
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/04/18 15:30:06
Did Butterbee's for the second time on Friday, and despite the goofy, unoriginal name, the food is pretty good. The portions are enormous.
 
We split a five-piece chicken tenders for an appetizer. They're breaded and come with southwestern ranch. They were very good. The breading was tasty and crispy, and the sauce worked well with the tenders.
 
Cathy got a monstrous burger that she couldn't even eat half of. She said it was delicious. Thing that sucked a little was that she doesn't like red onions, so she asked if she could have onion straws instead. The waitress said there might be a surcharge, and we said that was OK. When the bill came, the surcharge was $2. Granted they gave her a ton of onion straws, but geez.
 
Anyway, I took a chance and got a chicken enchilada. I don't know why. But it was very good. Weird thing was they put the accompanying vegetables -- the lettuce, olives, jalepenos -- and also the sour cream on the top and all around it. There was so much of it that I couldn't even see the enchilada. There were also a ton of tortilla chips on top, and a side of salsa came with the platter.
 
The enchilada had to be 18 ounces. I barely finished half and I was stuffed for about five hours. It was stuffed with chicken and chili -- including kidney beans, strangely -- and I really enjoyed it. Cathy got a girly drink, I had a pop, and the bill was $39. I had a $5 coupon, so with tip we were out of there for $42 with two huge to-go boxes.
 
The service was great. The first time we went the service was almost too fast -- something that doesn't bother me, but I know some people hate having their main course arrive during the appetizer phase. This time the cadence was fine.
 
We went at 6 on a Friday, and the place was almost at capacity, but we did get in right away.
MiamiDon
Filet Mignon
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/04/18 15:41:34
How does southwestern ranch dressing differ from the ordinary kind, that was invented in Alaska?
Bonk
Double Cheeseburger
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/04/18 18:44:01
Haha, I didn't know it was invented there. That is kind of funny.
 
It has a little kick to it, although I can't put my finger on what's added to make it spicy. Maybe a hint of horseradish? Anyway, I really like it. 
schwabpg
Junior Burger
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/04/22 11:48:21
jjjrfoodie

kimmykins

Thanks for all the suggestions re: the fish fry.  I am going to visit one of the well-regarded ones in Erlanger this Friday and report back what I find.

Did "Cod and God" as Liz calls it on "get in mah belly blogspot" here in Cincy at St. James Parish on Cheviot road tonite .  Well done fried fish on a nice salty crust rye that I can only surmise that they source from the Servatti's Bakery about 200 yds. down the road.  I love the Servatti pretzles.  I'd f&^(ing fall on a sword for the Servatti schneken and have shipped them as far as Cleveland many times this winter.



 
Actually the salt rye used at St. James fish fry is from North College Hill Bakery.
 
NYPIzzaNut
Filet Mignon
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/04/22 18:53:19
North College Hill Bakery - one of the best in the entire southwestern Ohio area.
soozycue520
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/05/06 22:20:59
I usually work through lunch, and very rarely get a chance to get an actual lunch, but was able to walk across Fountain Square on Thursday, and finally, got to try Tom & Chee.
OMG!! It was great!! I ordered a grilled bacon and bleu cheese sandwich, and a caprese salad. It was $7.00, total!!
Excellent, and one of the best meals I have had in a long time!
I hear they are open weekends, now as well.
 
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/05/24 19:26:48
On a barbecue board I read a positive review of the brisket at Olde Fort Pub in Fort Thomas, should anyone be interested.  I don't know if my August trip to Lebanon/Dayton will allow me a chance to visit but I'll certainly keep it in mind.
 
Brad
Bonk
Double Cheeseburger
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/05/26 16:58:33
I'm heading down to Williamstown, Ky., Saturday afternoon. Does anyone know of anything decent between Florence and there?
TJ Jackson
Filet Mignon
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/05/28 17:01:25
Some time back, I stopped in to Rascal's Deli after hearing a lot of good about it about it.  I had a pastrami sandwich, matzo ball soup, and a knish.  Everything was very good albeit a bit harder a hit on the wallet than I'd have expected. The pastrami was to my palate (with very limited experience with good pastrami) better than what I'd had at Katz's in NYC.   Bottom line, it was a good experience, and after verifying that there is a kid's menu, and knowing my wife loves a good reuben, I decided I'd bring the whole family in at some point and then post a review.
 
Today was that visit.
 
I don't think things could have gone worse. 
 
First, I waited no longer than 5 minutes for my sandwich on the first visit.  On thiis visit, it was nearly 45 minutes before food hit our table.  The manager apologized to several other tables - regulars, I suppose - and explained how someone had gone home sick and etc but never came over to reassure us.  To make matters worse, several tables who came in after us - some WELL after us - were served well before we were.  Our drinks emptied well before this time was over and no effort wa smade by an unhurried wait staff to refill them
 
Second, nearly all our food was wrong and/or of poor quality.  The latkes served with my wife's reuben were old and cold, and she found little or no evidence of thousand island dressing on her sandwich.   The grilled onions my older daughter requested on her cheeseburger ended up on my younger daughter's grilled cheese, rendering it - to her - inedible.  The side order of grilled pastrami i ordered became a much more expensive pastrami sandwich (with those same sad old cold latkes), tho the waiter assured me he'd only charge me for the side order.  I ordered two knishes and got one.  We had the grilled cheese re-ordered and ate what we had gotten anyway, since we were extra hungry after waiting so long.  During this time, drinks were refilled after we specifically requested refills, and my wife's beverage was replaced with a root beer she did not want.  We decided to let it go.
 
I had to stand at the counter to get the bill, and when i got it, I noted that the waiter had charged me for the full pastrami sandwich, despite assuring me that he'd charge me for the much lower priced side order.  I took this to the manager, who was well aware of how long we'd waited and how badly our orders had gotten screwed up, and he insisted I pay the bill as listed, saying "you pay for what you got".  He made no offer to take anything off the bill despite our wait, poor service,  or all the screw-ups. 
 
Honestly, I still think the pastrami and knishes are very, very good there, certainly (in my mind) the best Cincinnati has to offer.  I will miss that.  But the prices are still extremely high for the portions they offer,  and after this completely shabby treatment, I/we will not be returning.  And by the 66% rating (as I write) this on Urbanspoon, I am guessing I am not alone; http://www.urbanspoon.com...als-NY-Deli-Cincinnati
 
Strongly not recommended
post edited by TJ Jackson - 2011/05/28 17:10:56
soozycue520
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/06/08 18:40:08
A new sign went up today at the restaurant on Vine St., downtown, that used to be Dink's, and Balboa's. It says "Turquoise", a Mediterranean and Turrkish Restaurant. It says "Coming Soon".
TJ Jackson
Filet Mignon
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/06/14 22:34:55
I finally got to stop in to try A Tavola Pizzerria
 
My expectations could not have been higher, so despite everything being pretty good, I was disappointed.
 
They have not been open long enough for me to draw any real conclusions, especially after only a single meal, but I'll throw out a few tidbits
 
First, the house made sausage packs (for me) a sizable amount of heat, definitely a hot rather than a sweet italian sausage.  Once I got beyond the heat I thought it had a good flavor
 
Second, the neither the sauce not the crust have much favor at all.  The overwhelming taste is the char from the wood oven, which I think would be somewhat pleasing if the crust and the sauce were more assertive in the flavor mix.
 
Third - that much-photographed oven is much bigger in person than it is in the photos.  very impressive.  There are seats directly in front of the oven, maybe 10 feet back, see if you can grab those if you want to watch the pizza-making show.
 
Fourth, the place is L-O-U-D, and this without any background music pumped in.  It was fairly crowded when I went (Jim Tarbell in attendance) but a few tables remained open the entire time I was there.  You had to lean in towards someone to get them to hear, or shout, or both.
 
Finally, service was as friendly as it could be, from top to bottom.  The staff was seemed genuinely bought in on hospitality, nothing was strained, no one was frowning.  The owner decided my first pie (a margherita) had come out too slowly, so he comped it.  I said I had no complaints and would be happy to pay for it, and he insisted otherwise, and I accepted.   
 
I hope to go back soon for the brussels sprout and house-made bacon pizza soon.  This combination is much ballyhooed at Motorino in NYC.
 
20110627 Update: I stopped in again this past Friday and thought about the brussels sprouts pizza but wanted a red-sauced pizza, so I ended up with a half pork shoulder and half soppressatta.  The pork shoulder was fine shreds of pulled smoked pork, good bbq basically.  The soppressata (not one of their normal listed available toppings) was very much like thick-sliced pepperoni, maybe slightly richer in flavor.  The sauce was slightly more flavorful but still lacking overall. The dough was thicker than on the previous visit and though charred still lacked external crispness.  Again, the flavor that dominated the pizza was the wood-fired char on the underside.   That said, it was still a good pizza, but it is well below the lofty expectations I had for this place.
post edited by TJ Jackson - 2011/06/27 10:03:26
TJ Jackson
Filet Mignon
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/06/15 21:47:04
Very, very good news (for me at least) this week
 
Longtime readers of this thread will remember that for several years, my very favorite lunch eatery downtown was Tan Thai on Court Street.  The owners sold the location a while back and reopened Tan Thai out in Springdale, and since I dont get out that way too often, I have missed it ever since.
 
Today, I stopped for lunch at Karma at the ol' Beechmont Mall (yeah, I know it has a new name) and lo and behold, the waiter who I always saw at Tan Thai was there, and he told me that Tan Thai had bought the place and was now running it.  They are not changing the name for now, but the menu is now Tan Thai's menu, which is (other than the Laotian specialties Karma did) fairly similar to Karma's.  He confirmed that that at one time the previous owners worked for Tan Thai, so there were some similar recipes.
 
I decided to get two of my old favorites, Kai Ka Prao and Thai Basil Fried Rice, and both were every bit as good as i remembered, maybe even better.  I had always felt Karma's food was very good, but this was a notch or two better.
 
Prices are very reasonable - about a dozen 6 dollar lunches as long as you go with chicken or tofu for your protein choice.  a bit more for pork, beef, or shrimp, and/or for a noodle-based dish 
 
Strongly recommended.   
 
I am so pumped! :-)
 
EDIT 20110701: Had the Pad Kee Mao and the chicken eggrolls and both were excellent.  These eggrolls LOOKED like the same generic eggrolls you get any any americhinese takeout joint, but they tasted a whole lot better. 
post edited by TJ Jackson - 2011/07/18 22:43:22
westsider12
Cheeseburger
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/07/11 10:32:26
TJ - Any new downtown places strike your fancy recently?  Have you been to Silverglades on Main in a while?  I had a great sandwich there a while back but haven't had a chance to go recently since it is an eight block walk for me and it is 95 degrees out currently.
TJ Jackson
Filet Mignon
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/07/11 15:48:41
After 6 years downtown, I started a new job today in Queensgate; and am not sure I will be able to make too many forays into downtown ongoing
 
On the other hand, I have easier access to my car now, so I should be able to make wider foraging forays in the future.  Hoping to hit Dushmesh soon.
TJ Jackson
Filet Mignon
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/07/18 12:57:18
I made use of my newfound lunchtime freedom to get over to Findlay Market, but alas, they are closed on Monday
 
So I headed up the hill to Clifton and ended up at Mac's Pizza Pub, where I had last visited several years ago.  Free parking = bonus.  UC on summer break = bonus 2.
 
One strength of this pizza is it's sauce, which is only slightly sweet with a substantial tomato and garlic flavor.  Another strength is the range and quality of toppings - I had sun dried tomatoes and goat cheese on one half and the amount of SDTs (no, no, SDTs, not STDs) used was more than I'd generally get on a whole pizza.  That said, they should have been chopped into smaller pieces than the silver-dollar sized hunks.  The goat cheese was - despite being a double-charged topping - only sprinkled on lightly in tiny granules - there should be more, or the charge should be less. 
 
The weakness of this pie is it's crust, which was very soft and lacked any underside crispness, and was double the thickness one would expect from a thin-crust pizza.    It was also among the very greasiest pizzas I have ever eaten despite the fact that I ordered no meats.
 
Overall, I like this pizza, but on a followup visit I would probably ask them to use the next smaller size doughball to make my pizza so the undersize would be thinner and be cooked more thoroughly, but the flavor was excellent and I will return. 
post edited by TJ Jackson - 2011/07/18 22:40:27
Bonk
Double Cheeseburger
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/07/18 16:58:30
Sounds pretty good -- a lack of garlic in the sauce is something that drives this former Chicagoan crazy about most pizzas around here. Although I still pretty much like all pizza except for Domino's and Little Caesar's.
 
Yeah, speaking of Clifton, I really need to get to Chicago Gyros, with UC being out for the summer. The downside is when they're not in classes, the temperature is usually about 140.
TJ Jackson
Filet Mignon
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/07/30 15:31:46
I am still enjoying my vastly increased lunch roaming radius to hit places I have never been able to get to at lunch before - and my favorite so far is Findlay Market.  5 minute drive, free parking, tremendous variety and value.....whats not to love?
 
On my most recent trip there, I had a gyro at Areti's, which is inside the main building.  For a mere 4.50, I was presented one of the best - and certainly the most meat-packed - ones I have ever had.  Very juicy, intensely flavorful, and there must have been a half pound of meat on there.  The pita was fresh and had been grilled, adding immensely to the flavor and texture of the wrap.  The only minus for me is that they don't have tahini, but then again, most gyro joints serve tzaziki instead, so this really isn't a complaint.
 
I told the lady at the counter that her gyro definiitely gives my favorite in town - Sebastians - a run for it's money, and she laughed, and said "Alex knows mine is better"  :-)
 
It might well be....I need to do some more, uhm, research.  Lots and lots of research.  :-)
 
Strongly recommended.
 
UPDATE 20110812: Took a friend who is a big fan and regular patron of Sebastian's with me to Aretis, and he agrees with me that this is a serious contender for the best gyro in Cincinnati - his comment was that if he were in the mood for a good gyro, he'd go to whichever was closest and not think he was settling for a lesser meal.  He also agreed that he thinks Areti's gives you more gyro meat than Sebastian's - a clear winner on quantity.    We also sampled Dojo Gelato's stuff, and it was excellent albeit quite expensive
post edited by TJ Jackson - 2011/08/14 11:08:16
NYPIzzaNut
Filet Mignon
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/07/30 16:31:00
If she is better than Sebastians/Alex it is truly a great deal and find.  How about her fries?
dlawson
Cheeseburger
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/07/30 23:09:44
I have been a fan of Areti's for years, and I don't believe they offer fries. They were my go-to spot for lunch at Findlay on Saturdays (gyro, chips, and a canned soda for $6) until Pho Lang Thang opened. Dojo Gelato is always for dessert no matter where I eat lunch, however, and I usually pick up something for breakfast the next morning at Skirtz & Johnston. I'm simply amazed at how many wonderful food (and drink, since I can't not mention Market Wines) destinations have opened there within the past few years.
NYPIzzaNut
Filet Mignon
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/07/31 11:52:29
dlawson

I have been a fan of Areti's for years, and I don't believe they offer fries. They were my go-to spot for lunch at Findlay on Saturdays (gyro, chips, and a canned soda for $6) until Pho Lang Thang opened. Dojo Gelato is always for dessert no matter where I eat lunch, however, and I usually pick up something for breakfast the next morning at Skirtz & Johnston. I'm simply amazed at how many wonderful food (and drink, since I can't not mention Market Wines) destinations have opened there within the past few years.
I am eager to check out Pho Lang Thang.  I used to live 15 minutes way from Findlay now I am a little more than an hour away.  Are there some other Vietnamese restaurants offering Banh Mi sandwiches tween Cinci and Brown County?  My favorite Vietnamese place has been Song Long in Roselawn for more than a decade - I understand the dad has retired there and the mom is carrying on and training their youngest son for when she also retires in maybe three years - I had some misinformation a year ago about both the mom and dad retiring and closing the place entirely in a couple of years.

dlawson
Cheeseburger
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/07/31 22:16:05
NYPIzzaNut

I am eager to check out Pho Lang Thang.  I used to live 15 minutes way from Findlay now I am a little more than an hour away.  Are there some other Vietnamese restaurants offering Banh Mi sandwiches tween Cinci and Brown County?

 
Unfortunately, I have no idea. I used to eat at Cilantro in Clifton on occasion, but I have not been back since Pho Lang Thang opened. (Cilantro isn't bad, just not as good, although they are cheaper and have several more noodle dish options. They don't offer bahn mi sandwiches, either.) I have never been to Song Long, so I will have to remedy that at some point. I am rarely in Roselawn, and Teranga is the only restaurant that I visit in that general area (also rarely, as my wife was not particularly impressed by it).
 
By the way, TJ...congratulations on the new job. If you are going to be making trips to Clifton for lunch, I would recommend Deep India above Dusmesh in terms of both price and quality, but definitely not for ambiance or decor. Deep is primarily geared towards takeout, even though they can seat about 20, and they do not have a buffet, ever (which is a huge plus in my book). Your lunch WILL come in a styrofoam container, you WILL have to eat with plastic utensils, you WILL be responsible for refilling your own drink, and you WILL have to contend with Cops or TMZ or wrestling or some such on the televisions. That said, we ignore all of these shortcomings since the food is so good and so plentiful, as we can almost always eat our fill at dinner and still have enough left over for lunches the next day. If you go in knowing what to expect (and can come to terms with it), I hope you won't be disappointed. We dine there at least once a week, and it is fast becoming the only Indian restaurant we visit (although there is something to be said for Dusmesh allowing you to BYOB, if you enjoy a beer or wine with your Indian food, and I do).
Bonk
Double Cheeseburger
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/08/03 18:51:00
dlawson

I have been a fan of Areti's for years, and I don't believe they offer fries. They were my go-to spot for lunch at Findlay on Saturdays (gyro, chips, and a canned soda for $6) until Pho Lang Thang opened. Dojo Gelato is always for dessert no matter where I eat lunch, however, and I usually pick up something for breakfast the next morning at Skirtz & Johnston. I'm simply amazed at how many wonderful food (and drink, since I can't not mention Market Wines) destinations have opened there within the past few years.

 
Had Areti's a couple of months ago. Pretty good, lots of meat and the price wasn't had. The line gets pretty long at lunch on Saturday, but overall I was happy with their gyro.
 
Taste of Belgium at Findlay is quickly becoming my favorite place there. Huge, very tasty thin crust pizza slices are $3, and their waffles are excellent. We got one of those fresh the first time and fell in love with it. They sell five packs to go for $15, and that sounds like a lot, but they're incredibly filling as well as melt-in-your-mouth delicious. 

post edited by Bonk - 2011/08/03 18:52:09
NYPIzzaNut
Filet Mignon
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/08/05 08:47:17
We spent some time at Findlay Market yesterday and had lunch at Pho Lang Thang.
 
We had two pho soups (beef/chicken), two banh mi baguette sandwiches and fried and fresh spring rolls.
 
We had mixed opinions which is usual for our diverse group.
 
I did not think much of the baguette sandwiches - the baguette itself was nothing special.  I was expecting light,  crusty and chewy but it was just blah.  We had one with pork and one with the cold cuts.
 
They do not offer lemongrass with their pho which disappointed me - I thought the soups were just OK  - I did love the rolls - both types.  My friend from TN loved the baguette sandwiches.
 
We shopped and I got some black and whites from Adrian's Place (my wife loves these NY cookies) - since Starbuck's stopped selling them we had not seen them in Cinci for a good while.  We got take out gyros from Areti's and my wife loved hers as did I.  I agree they are most generous with their meat and the flavor is exceptional.  (Sebastian's take note!)
 
 
post edited by NYPIzzaNut - 2011/08/05 08:59:57
Ghaz
Hamburger
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/08/14 09:31:31
Empress Chili is coming to Florence in the old Gold Star Chili location on Dixie Highway near the corner of Dixie and Turfway.
 
Also noticed renovations on the old Fuddrucker's building.  No indications as to what's going in as of yet, but I can't imagine it being anything other than a restaurant.
Bonk
Double Cheeseburger
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/08/16 14:17:28
Wow, I haven't had Empress in many years, but I always liked it better than Gold Star. I do a lot of work in that area, so I'll have to grab lunch there sometime.
 
Skyline's still tops in my book, though.
carlton pierre
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/08/18 07:19:00
Would anyone know of a place in Cincy area that sells papusas.  Very simply they're a Honduran/Salvadoran type of corn cake with various fillings. 
Or, how about real empanadas?
carlton pierre
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/08/19 10:04:32
I may have answered my own question.  Looks like Mi Ranchito near Tri County @ 322 Northland Blvd.  Papusas are a wonderful food.  Catching on in many cities.
TJ Jackson
Filet Mignon
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/08/19 21:21:29
westsider12
I finally had a chance to get over to the Riverside BBQ joint last week.  It is part of the Riverside drive through right off of River Road just outside of downtown.  I wanted to try the pork and the brisket so I ordered a pulled pork sandwich and a baked potato topped with brisket.  This was an interesting combination and one that I must say I would definitely try again.  Both meats were good but not great in that they were sitting in a warming tray too long and were a tad dried out.  I was there on a Friday and the owner said normally they do a pretty brisk business, esp. on Fridays so the meat tends to not sit around too much.  No sauce on the meat was a plus but the side of sauce was rather bland and did not help much with the dried meat.  However the potato was very good and came topped with bacon, cheese, sour cream, and green onions.  The brisket was a really nice compliment to this.

Overall, a decent meal but nothing to drive a long way for.  The sandwich was $6 and the potato was $5 so it was not crazy expensive and the portions were large. 

www.bbqanddrivethru.com

I went by tonight to pick up some pulled pork for dinner
 
It does not look like the business has operated for a while, and there is a sticker on the door about there being a code problem and the business being closed til the issue is rectified
CajunKing
Sirloin
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/08/21 16:41:54
TJ
 
Riverside BBQ and Drivethru
The phone number is not in service. ( a bad sign )
The website has nothing updated.
 
I noticed on several of the review sites that they started to get hit with quite a few negative reviews.  It was an interesting concept and the potatoes were good the two times I went there.
 
 
 
 
TJ Jackson
Filet Mignon
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/08/21 23:20:42
Went to Campbell's Barn out past Amelia again tonight
 
The chicken and sides were just as good as ever......still strongly recommended
CajunKing
Sirloin
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/08/29 20:43:02
Just saw this story about the new addition to "The Works" in Loveland is adding to their location.
 
http://www.wcpo.com/dpp/n...tion-in-a-creative-way
 
It should be a cool addition to the railroad theme
TJ Jackson
Filet Mignon
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/09/01 21:44:11
The former Malia's Kitchen location has a sign out front proclaiming
 
Sonny's Three Meat Burgers
 
One is left to guess what those three meats might be.....hmmm.....antelope, komodo dragon, and kobe beef?
 
In all seriousness, sounds interesting, and is right in my 'hood
CajunKing
Sirloin
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/09/01 22:00:14
I got nothing on searches - Let us know what it turns into!
TJ Jackson
Filet Mignon
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/09/01 22:02:15
I made it over to the Classy Pig in Ludlow about a week ago
 
In a sentence: excellent food, but every other aspect of the experience kinda sucked
 
First, on entry, neither the single server nor the owner took any interest in my arrival at a mostly empty restaurant.  No banter, no welcome, nothing.  That legendary Roadfood forums phrase "the most unwelcoming place ever" came immediately to mind.  When I asked (after ordering a full dinner and a extra side ) if I could get a small sample of the brisket to try, the owner simply grunted no.  I mean, come on, is there anything easier to give small samples of than pulled pork and/or brisket?   I wondered through the whole meal if I had pissed her off by daring to set foot in her near-empty restaurant.
 
Second, a bbq joint should be aromatic with the perfume of smoked meats.  This place smelled (and looked) old and moldy.
 
Third, prices were about two bucks higher than they should be, or the portions were waaay small.  I paid 13 bucks for my dinner and left hungry.  This should not happen at a barebones joint like this.
 
But all that said - the moist, flavorful pulled pork was some of the best I have ever had, not needing any sauce whatsoever but benefiting from a sparing application. The corn pudding was fabulous.  The green beans were totally unlike the typically long-stewed concoction one typically sees at a bbq joint -  instead, I got a plate of long uncut beans sauteed in olive oil and garlic til only a hint of crispness remaining.  A white tablecloth version, to be sure, but truly excellent, although they needed salt and pepper.  The only disappointment was the mac n cheese, which was soupy and mushy -- and I am not sure the portion could have been made any smaller.  5 forkfuls, maybe.
 
The food is good enough to draw me back despite the small portions and high prices, if I am in the mood for quality over quantity....but I will skip the mac n cheese and get the food to go
 
Strongly recommended - for carryout only and if you aren't all that hungry :-)
post edited by TJ Jackson - 2011/09/01 22:14:58
TJ Jackson
Filet Mignon
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/09/09 13:13:51
I've been dieting lately, with some good success, so I have not gotten out as much as I could have with my newly acquired lunchtime freedom, but I have hit a few new-to-me spots once each, so here are some three first stop impressions (I'll edit this later as I make return visits)
 
Thai Taste is a tiny and fairly hard to spot Thai joint on the West side.  The Basil fried rice was a small portion for the price, but reasonably good.  It tasted better as it cooled down some.  Their "pork roll" is a spring roll stuffed with a nearly flavorness bit of pork sausage, not worth the stomach space.    My favorite item was the curry puff - excellent mix of flavors and textures but for the 1.50 price they should be giving two of these small puffs, not one.
 
Flippin Jimmy's is a fairly new wing and burger joint in Covington.   I was happy that the person who took my order said they were willing to cook the burger to the done-ness that I preferred, but when it came out almost 10 minutes later it was a uniform grey throughout, with no noticeable outside char.   I award them +1 point for having grilled onions available, but -2 points for charging 50cents for them.    Overall, I thought this burger was only slightly better than the average fast food burger but costs 2 to 3 times as much, so I can't recommend it.    UPDATE: Turns out I was one of their final customers...they are closing for good as of today: http://cincinnati.com/blo...lippin-jimmys-closing/
 
Caribe is a tiny Carribean-food (duh) joint on the West side more or less at the corner of Glenway and Cleves-Warsaw.    I had a chicken empanada (2.50) which was very good and a side order of salty fresh-fried tostones (1.00) which were excellent.    The friendly owner also gave me samples of two of his steam-table stews - I preferred the curry-laden coconut chicken, but the citrus chicken with its hints of orange and lemon was pretty good too.    The prices cannot be beat - any stew with rice plus an empanada for 4.00.  He has spicy and mild versions of all of his meat (chicken, beef, and pork) empanadas, plus a curried veggie empanada.  Of the three joints mentioned in this post, this is the one I most look forward to returning to.    Two caveats - Limited days of operation (closed Sun-Mon-Tues) and he only takes cash.
 
OH, and I went past Sam's Chili On Glenway on both of my west-side lunch forays, and this place has SUCH the Roadfood 'look' to it that I just have to stop in there soon.  PM me if you have any specific suggestions about what the best things to order there are, aside from the chili - hey, if they have chili in their name, I have to try the chili :-)
post edited by TJ Jackson - 2011/09/09 16:36:14
CajunKing
Sirloin
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/09/09 16:47:39
TJ Jackson
Flippin Jimmy's is a fairly new wing and burger joint in Covington.   I was happy that the person who took my order said they were willing to cook the burger to the done-ness that I preferred, but when it came out almost 10 minutes later it was a uniform grey throughout, with no noticeable outside char.   I award them +1 point for having grilled onions available, but -2 points for charging 50cents for them.    Overall, I thought this burger was only slightly better than the average fast food burger but costs 2 to 3 times as much, so I can't recommend it.    UPDATE: Turns out I was one of their final customers...they are closing for good as of today: http://cincinnati.com/blo...lippin-jimmys-closing/

 
Apparently you are not the only one who wouldn't recommend it
dlawson
Cheeseburger
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/09/15 13:49:05
There is a new Jamaican place named Ena's Jerkmania! now open in Springdale, an extension of the (famed?) Ena's Caribbean Kitchen in Columbus. I noticed it for the first time yesterday while driving along Kemper near Route 4, and grabbed a quick lunch there today. I'm not sure what most recently occupied that restaurant space, but it has previously been a Taco Bell and a soul seafood kitchen whose name escapes me. The restaurant can seat about 16 people comfortably, and maybe 20 uncomfortably. (The booths are too large for 2 people, but a bit too small for 4.)
 
Lunch consisted of a jerk chicken sandwich with onions, mixed peppers, and mustard, fries with a side of spicy ketchup, and a bottle of Ting. The sandwich was excellent, with just the right amount of kick to the "original" jerk sauce (they also offer a "sweet" and a "spicy"). It was served on what appeared to be either a wheat or multigrain hoagie roll, which is a curious but not unwelcome choice, but the meat and peppers are the real stars. Ting (a great grapefruit soda, unlike Squirt) is also excellent as always, but the fries fell a bit short. They were a bit soggier than I expected (considering that they are thin cut) and not all that flavorful. The "kickin' ketchup" helped a bit, and they do offer rosemary-garlic and spicy parmesan fries as well, but at $2+ for a small order, I'm not sure they are worth it. I will opt for a pattie or plantains as a side item next time.
 
I searched for them on Google yesterday and came up with nothing, but a search today reveals that they do in fact have a Web site with menu:
 
http://thatsjerk.com/
 
I hope they offer lunch combo pricing at some point, since $11ish (including dine-in tax) is a bit steep for a sandwich, fries, and a bottled drink. I'll be back to sample a few of their other offerings just the same.
jmckee
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/09/16 10:50:17
Sounds like an interesting place, dlawson. Ought we to get a few of us together to meet there for lunch one Friday soon?
 
dlawson
Cheeseburger
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/09/19 21:43:32
Any weekday works for me, jmckee!
Ghaz
Hamburger
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/09/26 23:54:14
China Food on Dixie Highway in Florence has closed apparently. There is a new sign on the building announcing "Mad Mike's Burgers and Fries" coming soon. A quick internet search on that name turned up nothing.
TJ Jackson
Filet Mignon
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/09/27 09:16:41
I thought there was some kind of rule that disallowed independent chili parlors east of I-71, but apparently that rule has been tossed out because I spotted a sign for "Eastside Chili" in the strip center in Withamsville just east of 275.
 
I dont think they are open yet, but I look forward to trying this place
 
I also believe Romeo's Pizza in that same area is now out of business.
 
The Mongolian Grill and Buffet in that same area seems to be flourishing.  The Jackson family loves this place, and it is a bigtime value for a late lunch on a weekend 

Three other bits of eastside business
-- I believe Chicago Ron's inside MT Carmel Pub is gone as well - the signage was missing the other day when I went by.
-- Basil Thai in Newtown is advertising a lunch buffet.  The food quality there has always been excellent, but I have not yet tried the buffet
-- The ice cream caboose (I dont know the real name of the place sorry) at the Garden Center on 32 in Newtown is also doing BBQ.   I saw the smoker going full tilt just to the right of the caboose as I viewed it from the street.  Anyone had their Q yet?
post edited by TJ Jackson - 2011/09/29 12:16:43
NYPIzzaNut
Filet Mignon
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/09/27 09:18:01
Been hoping to try it one day soon.
TJ Jackson
Filet Mignon
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/09/29 12:20:20
dlawson
If you are going to be making trips to Clifton for lunch, I would recommend Deep India above Dusmesh in terms of both price and quality, but definitely not for ambiance or decor.

I've managed to get into Deep India three times now - once for Biryani and twice for Tikka Masala and both were very good.
 
Unfortunately, it appears they've raised their prices by a full dollar on everything (or perhaps nearly everything?) so the value proposition has diminished considerably, especially with Krishna so similar and so nearby
dlawson
Cheeseburger
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/10/01 23:14:45
I will have to start paying closer attention to the menu pricing, then. Since we are always ordering a minimum of two entrees, we always bring a Bearcash coupon with us to knock a few bucks off, so I don't think we have ever paid menu price for a full order. I believe there is still a Bearcash coupon that gets you an entree, bread, and soft drink for $9.95, too.
dlawson
Cheeseburger
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/10/04 09:31:54
TJ and I were talking about it amongst ourselves earlier, but it's now official per their Facebook account...NorthSlice Pizzeria in Northside is closed. 
NYPIzzaNut
Filet Mignon
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/10/04 10:11:13
We still have Dewey's and Troni's.
TJ Jackson
Filet Mignon
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/10/04 12:36:46
I would not count Tronis since it is not in Cincinnati, but Dewey's is decently good, though usually a bit underdone
 
A Tavola in Over the Rhine is pretty good but is a different style than most are used to
 
I need to re-investigate Noce's, Pomidori's, Buona Vita in Bellevue, The Works in Loveland, and Pizza Paradiso in Anderson.  Not sure if I mentioned it in an earlier post, but Tusculum Pizza on Kellogg is not good.
 
------------------- 
Visit notes
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20111007 Newport Pizza Co - conveyor oven almost says it all. They consider basil a topping rather than a finishing herb, and therefore charge you for it.  Little or no hole structure in the crust.  Expensive.   A larger than average selection of available toppings.
 
20111009 Pomidoris - decent sauce but very poor crust - soft, tasteless, little or no whole structure, and none of the crisping and/or charring that one would expect from a wood-fired oven.   Lots of interesting toppings.  Pricey.
 
20111010 Cincy by the Slice - DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH - a tiny, no-frills slice joint in Elmwood place.  Slices are small (12 pie) but cheap (1 buck + 25 cents per topping).  Perhaps the thinnest thin crust in Cincinnati, with a good hole structure and a satisfying crunch on the underside and edge over a slightly chewy interior.  The sauce is fresh (uncooked) and is made with San Marzano tomatoes.    The italian sausage is mild and flavorful, sliced not chunked .  Mushrooms are sliced fresh.   Topping selection is limited, with only one oddball - pickles.  UPDATE 20111102: the Elmwood location has closed up, they've reopened downtown at the old Rice Rocket location on Main: http://cincinnati.com/blo...e-slice-open-downtown/   UPDATE 20111114: Tried the slices at the downtown location, and even though these were nowhere near fresh from the oven like the ones I got back on 10/10, they were very nearly as good.  The slices downtown are about 2x the size of the ones sold in Elmwood and cost 2.5x as much - probably costs a lot more to lease space in Downtown than it does in Elmwood Place 
 
20111010 Betta's Italian Oven - whole small pies only.  Woodfired oven but not stoked to the heat it can be, ergo very little of the pleasant charring one would expect.  Crust is so thin and toppings so sparse you may think your takeout box is empty.  Crust has a nice light crispness to the outside but the inner crust despite thinness is doughy rather than chewy.  Crust has little or no flavor but good hole structure.  Two types of red sauce -  fresh sauce used only on the margerita, and a cooked sauce used on all other pizzas.  Many interesting topping choices, but applied so sparingly that you will get many bites without toppings (or sauce, or cheese for that matter).  Charges full price for half toppings.  Extensive non-pizza menu, incl italian beef and filo wrapped chicken.
 
20111013 ZZ's Pizza -  Unique cooking method - started in an electric conveyor at presumably lower heat, then finished in a small presumably higher heat electric deck oven.   The very thin crust is a weakness - little flavor despite being billed as "sourdough", little or no hole structure, no exterior charring or crispness, and doughy on the inside (to the point of being wet on the second of two 8' pies I tried this week.  Recommend you ask for well done.  The cooked sauce is a strength, full of good tomato and fresh (to my palate) basil and oregano herb flavor, with maybe just a little garlic.   Maybe.    The toppings include some interesting choices but the interesting ones all are huge upcharges - up to 6.50 per topping and lobster at 9 bucks.  Even the plain pies don't come cheap - 16.00 for a large cheese pizza is waaaaay steep in my book.    Another mistake is reducing the bacon and very good fennel-rich italian sausage to tiny pebbles rather than nice savory chunks.   They have some predefined pies where you get multiple interesting/expensive toppings but the cost isn't a lot more than adding 1 topping, and those are by far the best value.
 
20111013 A Tavola - A truly unique pizza, not another one like it in town.  Probably the very best crust in town on texture alone, with good inner chew, a little outside crunch, and the very best hole structure plus that wonderful leopard-spot charring that comes from a wood oven stoked to its full potential.  That said, other than the char, the crust is nearly flavorless, and would improve much with a longer cold ferment and maybe a pinch of salt.  The fresh sauce is a weakness, with little or no flavor.  The toppings are good but like the pizza itself, spare and expensive; and they've already discarded their best - smoked pulled pork - from the regular menu.  The place is packed at all hours it seems, but I am about ready to give up on the place due to constant breakdowns of one sort or another - like failing 3 out of 4 times to put fresh basil on a margherita pie,  charging full price for halfpie toppings, and charging tax on carryout.....and no apologies for any of these and many other mistakes I haven't detailed here by any of the staff involved.   They will not miss my business, and the throngs of their followers will be glad there is one less person in line, but I think this is a case where "good" pizza is good enough to attract crowds in Cincinnati, because we've never had "great" here, and so we dont know any better.  Until A Tavola stops patting itself on the back,I dont believe they will make the improvements to move from "good" to "great", including doing the small things (like basil on a margherita) right consistently.
 
20111014 Buona Vita pretty good, with potential to be very good.  Crust is as thin as it gets with nice leopard spotted charring (which I dont know how they manage in a gas fired oven, but they do) on the underside, but unlike A Tavola the crust has a crackery rather than light and chewy texture .  Crust flavor is better than A Tavolas but still a weak.   The cooked sauce is decent but needs more flavor, is not sweet like most Cincinnati sauces.  Sauce, cheese, and toppings are applied with a light hand but still far heavier than Bettas or A Tavola.  +1 point for fresh basil, but -1points for considering it a topping.   Mushrooms are fresh, not canned.    The list of toppings is (other than pickles) pretty much the bare pizzeria basics, but if you read the menu closely you find they make their own hot and mild sausage (you'll get mild unless you specifically say hot), so thats THE topping to get.   I tried the mild sausage, and it was excellent with just a hint of spice heat, but unfortunately applied in small pebbles rather than good sized hunks.   The menu offers a 16 pie and a "half" pie which is still a normal round pizza, but made with half of a normal doughball used to make the 16in pie.  Many different of italian cookies and biscotti are available, plus a few calzones, pastas, sandwiches, and salads.    
 
20111016 Jean Paul's Paradiso  - in a word, this pizza is all about - toppings.  Paradiso is a tiny bakery/cafe/pizzeria fairly well hidden on Clough Pike in Anderson, using their gas fired deck ovens to turn out a variety of excellent baked goods, including some truly outstanding breads and very tasty desserts.    The pizza here is fairly expensive 20+ for some large pies) but well worth it.  They do a deep dish style that I have not tried yet, but the bulk of their pizza menu is thin crust style.  The crust is on the thicker side of the "thin" range, and is somewhat doughy and heavy, but with a good fresh yeasty flavor.  If you demand crispness in your crust, you will be disappointed here unless (perhaps) you order your pie well done.   The cooked sauce is decent, and could (or should) be more boldly spiced.  I am told they use heirloom tomatoes to make the sauce, and I don't know of anyone else who does that.   The toppings are definitely the strength of this pie, with the excellent high-quality mozzarella caramelizing atop the pie, and some of the best and freshest toppings I have ever had on a pie, including what was undoubtedly the best and most flavorful mushrooms I have ever had period, not just on a pizza but on anything.  I had planned on eating a slice or two and saving the rest for later, but it was so good I finished the whole pie in under 10 minutes.
 
20111019 Taste of Belgium @ Findlay Market.  Not good.  Bonk posted about them having a good slice, and I readily admit that the sauce was very good and the crust had potential, but because it was made well in advance and sits all day in a circular glass hotbox, it suffers, it gets soggy, and just generally deteriorates.  Also, at 3 bucks for a slice for cheese pizza, expensive.  I know it is unfair to compare a slice sitting around for hours against a freshly cooked pie, but this is the only way (apparently) they offer it.  I rather suspect their fresh pie is quite good, and that the slice Bonk wrote about was fairly fresh
   
20111020 Noces - sadly, an average pizzeria.  I had high hopes for this place but after giving them chance after chance after chance they have failed to impress me.  They mainly fail on overall flavor, so I feel a need to add some strongly flavored toppings to their pie to make it enjoyable.   They do offer a thick-crusted sicilian style pizza in a large pie only, but I have only tried their thin crust pies/slices.  The crust is the strength (although this is not saying much in this case) of the pie, with good outer crispness all over but inconsistent innards - some spots nice and chewy with good hole structure on the edge crust, but on most of the pizza it is spongey soft, like Papa Johns.    The sauce is simply OK, doesn't really stand out, but at least it isn't overly sweet, which is a plus - it could and should be a lot more assertive   The list of toppings is a bit more ambitious than the average pizza joint, with such interesting choices as capicola, feta cheese, and roasted red peppers available, but not nearly as exhaustive as some of the gourmet joints like Pomidoris.    The thing I really like here is the calzones, which (in my experience) are made fresh at the time of order and include a generous portion of good quality ricotta cheese.   At the original Westwood location, Calzones are 1/2 off on Wednesday til 5pm.  Lots of coupons and specials available for this place, be sure to use them.   All locations serve/sell slices, but at 2.50 for a plain slice it isn't (imho) a good value proposition.
 
20111027 Trottas - Unimpressive/mediocre, with no real strengths.  I have only tried their "thin", not their sicilian style.  The thin crust borders on fairly thick, is very soft and bready, no chew at all, and no added flavor.  The underside has no crispness whatsoever.  The edge is crisped well, possibly helped by being brushed with mild garlic butter before hitting the oven.  Sauce and cheese are applied to within a quarter to a half inch of the edge, so there is very little edge crust and not much room to rise, so no hole structure to speak of.  The cooked sauce is applied sparingly and has little or no flavor.  The cheese is applied heavily, so much so that you will get the cheese strings off the side as you lift away a slice, but again, has little flavor even where browned.  The toppings are the usual suspects plus a couple of interesting ones like goetta and capicola, but some toppings (meatball, capicola, bacon, and a few others) are charged as two toppings.  I tried the sausage, which is fairly good, slightly hot, and applied in good quarter and nickel sized chunks, and is flecked heavily with fresh fennel.   Never go there without a coupon - they have a ton of non-expiring coupons on their website and at the bare minimum you can get 2 bucks off any size pie
 
20111104 Cosmic Pizza - MY NEW CINCY FAVORITE PIE.   I had never heard of this palce before when I noted it was picked 4th best Cincinnati Pizza by Cincinnati Magazine.  Turns out it is a fairly new place, run in a tiny building on a side street of Vien in Hartwell that formerly housed the forgettable Capri Pizza, and is owned by a guy who is pretty darn serious about producing a top quality pie - chef hat and all.  Aside from the crappy location, this place has all kinds of other strikes against it - weird dinner-only hours, really high prices (12 bucks for a 12in cheese pie? seriously?) in a relatively low rent neighborhood,  and....and.....I almost left without ordering when I saw it - bakes in a conveyor oven.  It gets worse.  I waited 15 minutes to even get my order taken despite being the only guy at the counter, and then another hour to actually receive my pizza box.  But oh my, what a good pizza it was.  He started out doing a ST Louis style cracker-crust pie (he says he does not use provel because he claims no one likes it, not even the folks in St Louis), but later added the NY style pie I took out.  The crust was as thin as I have seen with NY style, with a light crunch on the bottom crust and a good solid crunch on the outside crust, aided by an odd "twisted" texture to the edge crust which creates more surface area.  The inner crust was light and chewy, not doughy at all, minimal tip sag, with a decent flavor.  The cooked sauce was mostly savory with some light sweetness, and very good and flavorful on its own.  The cheese was nicely salty and good quality.  Cheese and sauce were both applied sparingly.   I did not get any toppings, but the list is as extensive as any I have seen anywhere, including not only all the usual suspects but two different types of goetta, thai basil, pine nuts, artichoke harts, kalamata olives, and so on and so on.    This is definitely a case of a pizza being greater than the sum of its parts, but the parts are all pretty darn good.   I am almost grateful that it is expensive, way out of my way, and open such odd hours -- otherwise I might be tempted to stop in 2-3 times a week.    If I had to pick a weakness for this pie - it is a terrible pure-value proposition.  The crust is so thin and topped so lightly my 12 dollar box of pizza felt like it weighed nothing, and I definitely was not anywhere near full after I ate (smiling the whole way) the entire pie.   
 
20111107 Emilia Enoteca - Cincinnati Magazine says it is the 2nd best pizza in all of Cincinnati, but I'm not sure it is really even truly pizza.  It's more like a crispy puff-pasty flatbread with some pizza toppings.  It's tasty, its interesting, it kinda sorta looks like a pizza, and at 12 dollars starting price for a pizza that if eaten whole would not fill up a 5 year old, I hope you really really REALLY like it.  Value proposition (or the serious lack thereof) aside, they make a San Marzano-based sauce that only cooks down for 15 minutes or so on a nice flakey-chewy pasty crust that reminded me at times of really good phyllo, along with fresh mozz, plenty of finely chopped fresh basil, and some hard shredded cheese.  The cook I talked to indicated that they actually grill the crust over an open flame first, then top it, then finish it in an oven.  At 5 dollars, I'd really like this and get it (whether it is a pizza or not) a lot, but at 12 bucks they will not see my ugly face at the door very often, if at all.  This is hipster bar food for the Hyde Park and OBryonville Crowd
 
20120109 Werkhaus Pizza - West Side - this is a former Mio's Pizza location that appears to serve pretty much the same pizza (both thin crust and stuffed) that Mio's serves.  I am told they make their own sauce, but to me, the taste is identical to Mio's.  Both counterpersons I talked to said they get their dough elsewhere, but did not know where from, and I would guess the Mio's commissary in (I think) Madisonville.   If you like Mio's (as I do) you'll like the Pizza here, and if not, you won't.    I think their overall menu is a bit expanded over Mio's.  Nice, homey style location.
post edited by TJ Jackson - 2012/01/09 16:56:50
NYPIzzaNut
Filet Mignon
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/10/04 12:53:03
The Dewey's we usually get our take out pies at in Montgomery started baking them well done so much I had to ask for them to be lightly baked to please my spouse.
dlawson
Cheeseburger
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/10/05 08:53:27
An "insider" posted some details about the NorthSlice closing at CincyVoices:
 
a – the business was acquired, not the building.
b – the new owner is a neighborhood person committed to continuing to offer a great product in a place that is connected and dedicated to the neighborhood.
c – i don’t believe anything underhanded or shady took place, though the lines of communication were probably not the best.
d – northslice was a great concept originally, though it never really met MY expectations, but i want to thank mike for letting me have the freedom to use my creativity and talents to create there.
e – thanks to everyone who supported us and always had such nice things to say about the food.

 
http://cincyvoices.com/2011/10/04/northslice-gone/
 
Assuming this information is legitimate, I am cautiously optimistic about whatever will be opening in its place. The transition obviously could have been handled better, however.
tikkanen
Junior Burger
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/10/12 18:37:55
Shanghai Mama's was apparently damaged in a fire this morning.  No word yet on how long they will be closed.
TJ Jackson
Filet Mignon
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/10/14 21:48:10
I noticed this place while perusing Urbanspoon tonight
http://www.urbanspoon.com...talian-Beef-Cincinnati - one of you TriCounty folks should go check it out, eh? 
 
Do it for poor ole Bonk, who is still looking for a good italian beef now that the place inside a bar in Eastgate has shut down
 
Edit: hey, Greenhills is also close by there, and they also have a joint serving Vienna Beef dogs and italian beefs - http://www.greenhillsbist..dcatering.com/menu.html
 
post edited by TJ Jackson - 2011/10/14 21:52:53
dlawson
Cheeseburger
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/10/16 16:40:21
TJ Jackson
Edit: hey, Greenhills is also close by there, and they also have a joint serving Vienna Beef dogs and italian beefs - http://www.greenhillsbist..dcatering.com/menu.html 
 

 
As noted at the bottom of the home page, this place was formerly known as Chicago Joe's (although the menu remains largely the same for now). I am glad to see that they are under new management. While I never had a bad meal there, I stopped going because it was clear that the original owner(s?) lost interest in running the place, understaffing it and making conversation with other customers about wanting to unload it. I will have to check out the place on Northland, as it is right up the street from where I work, but I have seen too many businesses come and go at that location to hold out much hope for them.
Bonk
Double Cheeseburger
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/10/26 15:07:48
I was away for the past month doing the wedding, honeymoon and subsequent recooperation thing, and it looks like I missed a lot.
 
TJ - That's too bad about your experience with Taste of Belgium. Like you said, mine must've been fresh. Even if you don't like the pizza, their waffles are out of this world. I thought Noce's was pretty good, too, but I rarely have a bad thing to say about pizza.
 
That said, Romeo's wasn't good, and if Garzelli's couldn't make it there, that place had little chance. On a side note, I've had the other Garzelli's -- the one in Crestview Hills -- twice now, and it's not nearly as good as the Withamsville one used to be.
 
Looks like Nikki's in Hebron is also gone, replaced with Edwardo's. I had Edwardo's in Williamstown, and it wasn't bad, but I liked Nikki's better. Yeah, I know, a couple of you on here were not Nikki's fans at all.
 
I, too, saw the Eastside Chili sign. I think that's closer to you than me, TJ, so when that place opens please let us know what you think.
 
I had a suspicion about Chicago Ron's. I saw the famous Vienna sign had been taken down the last time I passed that place. I thought the hole restaurant-inside-of-a-bar concept was kind of weird, but the food was pretty good. 
jmckee
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/10/27 11:22:07
I saw Eastside Chili last week. I'll have to give it  a try as well.
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