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

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TJ Jackson
Filet Mignon
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/10/28 15:03:19
I have noted the many "themed" food events over at Washington Platform for years now, and I finally decided to participate in one because a favorite food of mine was the theme - crab
 
(and I wanted a break from all the pizza I have been eating - scroll a few posts back to see my ongoing notes)
 
So I picked up a crab bisque (9.50) and a crabcake po boy (10.75) for carryout. I am not a fan of 20 dollar lunches but I'll splurge on occasion for something special (related reminder to self - still need to get over to Jean Robert's and to Boi Na Braza for lunch once each)
 
I did not finish either item......the crabcake "po boy" was mostly filler, poorly seasoned, came on a kaiser roll rather than on a po boy roll, and had only shreds rather than chunks of crabmeat.....the crab bisque had good baseline flavor and a decent amount of shredded crabmeat in it but about 3 to 4 times the amount of salt it should have.  
 
Both were so bad that the two things I did finish were the dinner roll that came with the soiup and the limp, soggy fries that came with the "po boy"
 
I also tried to order a different side = they have a half dozen or so sides all priced at 2.25, and I figured they'd let me swap for the fries that I knew would not fare well on the trip back to work.  Nope.  A dollar extra, even though the sides are all the same price when ordered ala carte.   Thats just sad.
 
Strongly not recommended
post edited by TJ Jackson - 2011/10/31 20:10:08
TJ Jackson
Filet Mignon
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/10/29 21:49:19
One type of cuisine that is widely available in Cincinnati but I have only just started to sample in the last couple of years is Indian, and I have to say, I am still very much a newbie with this ethnic food. 
 
There is one thing I am curious about tho - I understand the basic difference between southern and northern Indian cuisine, and a now know MOST of the Indian restaurants in Cincinnati serve Northern Indian cuisine, and a few (like Anand) serve both.  I have mainly sampled northern indian food - kormas, makhani, curry, the various flatbreads like naan and poori, and etc.  But at every place I have been, the taste\texture\look is almost exactly the same.  I mean - dead on.  Its like they are all named differently but really one big restaurant chain "under the hood".   I know some of them are owned by the same family, and in these cases, the menu is an exact line by line copy from one eatery to the next, but even the ones that are not in this same ownership group seem to have the exact same recipes.
 
Are there any Indian restaurants in Cincinnati that really "break the mold"?  For this purpose, I am not counting Southern Indian restaurants (Ammas, Anand, etc) because I know the menus with dosas and idlis and such are different.  I'm only talking about the northern indian ones.
 
I know some of you have a ton more experience with Indian cuisine than I have and can help me out with this so I don't have to sample every single one by myself (family refuses to go eat Indian, so I go when I am on my own, which isnt too often)
post edited by TJ Jackson - 2011/10/30 20:26:08
donw9876
Cheeseburger
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/10/30 10:35:49
I think you're right - Indian has become a really generic format and is sort of the same deal as all of the look alike Mexican mini-chains or the Chinese buffets. Every joint has naan, every place has red tandoor chicken, pav bhaji, etc. I don't have anything to tell you...
 
so I don't have to sample every single one by myself (family refuses to go eat Indian, so I go when I am on my own, which isnt too often)

 
It's strange, isn't it? Indian repulses some people. My wife won't touch the stuff. I think of it as very accessible but I think some people just don't get the spices.
 
I suspect a base requirement for what you want is to avoid buffets and order off the menu, with the help of a waiter or staff person whom you can ask for recommendations.
post edited by donw9876 - 2011/10/30 10:37:19
westsider12
Cheeseburger
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/10/31 16:53:59
I actually like the Indian lunch buffets because it enables me to taste things I normally would not dream of ordering without breaking the bank to do it.  My only rule is I try and go as close to the opening time of the buffet as I can so that I know I am getting items that are relatively fresh.  But I do agree that most of the restaurants in town seem very cookie cutter.  I was at Akash the othere day and tried some new items I haven't had before - some I liked, some I didn't.  I think it is a good way to get a wide taste variety of the food.
dlawson
Cheeseburger
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/10/31 20:53:36
The Blue Ash location of Cactus Pear (where Swamy, of Mayura fame, is involved on a daily basis) regularly has some Indian dishes on both the lunch and dinner menus. My wife is a huge fan of their saag paneer, which has a "chopped" texture to it rather than the paste you find at most places, and I enjoy their yellow lentil dish (and Mayura was the only other local place I have ever seen it on the menu). I have never seen any Indian options at the Clifton location.
 
Sankalp (on U.S. 42 just north of 275, by House of Sun) also offers both Northern and Southern cuisine, and on my only visit to date, I found the lunch buffet to have much more varied offerings than most places. Unfortunately, it was also several dollars more expensive than most places.
NYPIzzaNut
Filet Mignon
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/11/01 06:49:41
We enjoyed Sankalp immensely.  And the Indian grocery next door.
westsider12
Cheeseburger
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/11/01 08:35:41
MY wife and I ate at the Platform many years ago with some friends.  My conclusion was that if the prices were cut in half and the quality doubled, I still doubt I would ever go back.  Not surprising that you had a bad visit there.
 
TJ Jackson

I have noted the many "themed" food events over at Washington Platform for years now, and I finally decided to participate in one because a favorite food of mine was the theme - crab

(and I wanted a break from all the pizza I have been eating - scroll a few posts back to see my ongoing notes)

So I picked up a crab bisque (9.50) and a crabcake po boy (10.75) for carryout. I am not a fan of 20 dollar lunches but I'll splurge on occasion for something special (related reminder to self - still need to get over to Jean Robert's and to Boi Na Braza for lunch once each)

I did not finish either item......the crabcake "po boy" was mostly filler, poorly seasoned, came on a kaiser roll rather than on a po boy roll, and had only shreds rather than chunks of crabmeat.....the crab bisque had good baseline flavor and a decent amount of shredded crabmeat in it but about 3 to 4 times the amount of salt it should have.  

Both were so bad that the two things I did finish were the dinner roll that came with the soiup and the limp, soggy fries that came with the "po boy"

I also tried to order a different side = they have a half dozen or so sides all priced at 2.25, and I figured they'd let me swap for the fries that I knew would not fare well on the trip back to work.  Nope.  A dollar extra, even though the sides are all the same price when ordered ala carte.   Thats just sad.

Strongly not recommended


Bonk
Double Cheeseburger
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/11/07 17:35:49
I know you guys talked about doing lunch at Smoq off of Rt. 4 a couple of pages ago, so we went a week and a half back. To say we came away impressed was an understatement.
 
We knew we were ordering too much when we both got an appetizer and an entree, but we figured leftovers always make a good midnight snack. So we got the fried ribs and the andouille corndogs for appetizers.
 
The ribs were $6.95 for five big pieces. They were slightly breaded and were one of the highlights of the meal. The meat was still very tender.
 
The corn dogs were very good. I think there were six two-bite sized sausages and they cost about $6.
 
I ordered the brisket, which is a favorite of mine but something I don't order often because I come away disappointed too often when I get it around here. The brisket there was excellent. It was incredibly tender and had just a little bit of fat on it to make it even more tasty.
 
It also came with two huge sides. I got the red beans and rice and the hickory chips. I liked both, but I wish I had gone with the mac and cheese that Cathy got. That was the best side we had between us.
 
Cathy got the chicken and waffle, something we'd seen numerous times on TV but had never actually tried. It came with a huge chicken breast -- probably six ounces -- and the waffle was sweet potato flavored. It came with butter and maple syrup. I tried the waffle and the chicken and thought it was great, and Cathy absolutely loved it.
 
And unlimited cornbread is served with dinner. We ate all four pieces and got more. Cornbread is another thing I'm a little picky about because it usually isn't moist enough. No problem with that here. It almost fell apart it was so moist.
 
I got sweet tea, and Cathy got pop. We'd been outside all afternoon so after I drained my first glass the waitress brought me a pitcher. It was delicious.
 
The service was very efficient and the waitress very nice. The bill was $52 and we gave her $65.
 
The portions were huge overall. We had enough leftovers for a full meal for both of us and a lunch that Monday for Cathy.
 
I can't wait to go back. Very highly recommended.
post edited by Bonk - 2011/11/07 17:37:16
NYPIzzaNut
Filet Mignon
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/11/07 19:11:55
Bonk

I know you guys talked about doing lunch at Smoq off of Rt. 4 a couple of pages ago, so we went a week and a half back. To say we came away impressed was an understatement.

We knew we were ordering too much when we both got an appetizer and an entree, but we figured leftovers always make a good midnight snack. So we got the fried ribs and the andouille corndogs for appetizers.

The ribs were $6.95 for five big pieces. They were slightly breaded and were one of the highlights of the meal. The meat was still very tender.

The corn dogs were very good. I think there were six two-bite sized sausages and they cost about $6.

I ordered the brisket, which is a favorite of mine but something I don't order often because I come away disappointed too often when I get it around here. The brisket there was excellent. It was incredibly tender and had just a little bit of fat on it to make it even more tasty.

It also came with two huge sides. I got the red beans and rice and the hickory chips. I liked both, but I wish I had gone with the mac and cheese that Cathy got. That was the best side we had between us.

Cathy got the chicken and waffle, something we'd seen numerous times on TV but had never actually tried. It came with a huge chicken breast -- probably six ounces -- and the waffle was sweet potato flavored. It came with butter and maple syrup. I tried the waffle and the chicken and thought it was great, and Cathy absolutely loved it.

And unlimited cornbread is served with dinner. We ate all four pieces and got more. Cornbread is another thing I'm a little picky about because it usually isn't moist enough. No problem with that here. It almost fell apart it was so moist.

I got sweet tea, and Cathy got pop. We'd been outside all afternoon so after I drained my first glass the waitress brought me a pitcher. It was delicious.

The service was very efficient and the waitress very nice. The bill was $52 and we gave her $65.

The portions were huge overall. We had enough leftovers for a full meal for both of us and a lunch that Monday for Cathy.

I can't wait to go back. Very highly recommended.
We have been there twice and have never been disappointed.

TJ Jackson
Filet Mignon
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/11/10 00:14:20
I found my new favorite NY Style pie in Cincinnati...and it is made in a....I cant believe I am writing this.....a conveyor style oven
 
A few posts back (page 90 right now) I have a survey of local pizzas I am compiling, and my notes on this place - Cosmic Pizza (yeah, I had never heard of it before either) are in there
jmckee
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/11/15 16:29:44
If this has been reported, I missed it, but:
 
I am deeply sorry to report that Woe Is Me Barbecue on Glen Este-Withamsville Road has closed.
donw9876
Cheeseburger
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/11/15 16:56:20
jmckee

If this has been reported, I missed it, but:

I am deeply sorry to report that Woe Is Me Barbecue on Glen Este-Withamsville Road has closed.


THAT SUCKS! I got their stuff a couple of times when I worked around there last year. I really liked it. I suppose the sheeple went to City BBQ instead.
jmckee
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/11/16 10:06:18
donw9876

jmckee

If this has been reported, I missed it, but:

I am deeply sorry to report that Woe Is Me Barbecue on Glen Este-Withamsville Road has closed.


THAT SUCKS! I got their stuff a couple of times when I worked around there last year. I really liked it. I suppose the sheeple went to City BBQ instead.

I suspect you're right. Drive past City BBQ any time of day and you will not smell wood smoke. I've had their food -- it's insipid.
jjjrfoodie
Cheeseburger
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/11/30 13:24:38
TJ Jackson


There is one thing I am curious about tho - I understand the basic difference between southern and northern Indian cuisine, and a now know MOST of the Indian restaurants in Cincinnati serve Northern Indian cuisine, and a few (like Anand) serve both.  I have mainly sampled northern indian food - kormas, makhani, curry, the various flatbreads like naan and poori, and etc.  But at every place I have been, the taste\texture\look is almost exactly the same.  I mean - dead on.  Its like they are all named differently but really one big restaurant chain "under the hood".   I know some of them are owned by the same family, and in these cases, the menu is an exact line by line copy from one eatery to the next, but even the ones that are not in this same ownership group seem to have the exact same recipes.



TJ, you are spot on with your summation.
 
There is a Sri Lankan restaurant locally (whose name escapes me) that I have been to multiple times that does give diners a better idea of the South Indian flavors and spices, but southern Indian cuisine tends to be spicer adn contain less dairy than its northern counterpart.
 
Also, having been to India more times than I can count, what you find locally in Cincy varies greatly from what you actually find in India.  During my time in Gujarat and Ahmedabad up north, it was most vegetarian with a lot of dal use and local veggies and spices we do not see here.  Goan cuisine offered a lot of seafood since it was on the coast and had Portugese roots for example.
 
Having dined at most the the local Indian spots here, if I want something different, I head up to Tandoor India in Blue Ash were I have been going for close to 10 years.  The owners Varsha and Naren also own an Indian market in Sharonville and if I ask real nice (and they aren't slammed) they will often cook dishes that are not on the menu for me if Naren is working the kitchen. That puts you in the chef's hands, but allows you try and taste things not found anywhere else locally.
 
Shoot me note TJ if you every want to take a run up that way and I'll join you for a Saturday lunch or early dinner and act as liason. LOL.
 
Bonk
Double Cheeseburger
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/11/30 21:45:11
TJ reported three months ago about the Sonny's Three Meat Burgers sign.
 
Guess I'll find out what those meats are exactly, since the place is now open and I'm going to check it out.
donw9876
Cheeseburger
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/12/02 23:03:37
Does anyone recommend and eat regularly at the Brown Dog Cafe?
 
My wife and I were running an errand around Sharonville this week. We stopped in there at supper time because I had seen some glowing reviews of the place. We wanted a quick bite. A "cafe" called "The Brown Dog" in a strip mall seems like just the thing, a bit more upscale than fast food.
 
We were seated instantly by the friendly server in an otherwise empty restaurant. We were handed menus.

Oh my gosh. $18 for a hamburger,  the only sandwich and the very cheapest thing on the menu besides appetizers. Most entrees were nailed at around $24-$30.
 
For prices like this we will go to a regular steak house, sorry.
 
We demurely walked out, explaining to the server that we made a mistake. The server did say that their food was "fantastic", and I will accept that. But these are special occasional level prices for us. The outside appearance and the name of the place spells "casual dining" and at these prices it's not casual - you'd better mean it.
 
This place was vacant (on a Friday evening) when we got there. Methinks the owners need to review the marketing and positioning realities of a small restaurant.
post edited by donw9876 - 2011/12/02 23:06:33
Ghaz
Hamburger
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/12/04 13:25:25
The old Dynasty Buffet in Florence has a new sign for the Firebowl Grill, claiming it is the ultimate hibachi buffet (or something like that). It doesn't look like they're open as of yet.
tikkanen
Junior Burger
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/12/05 13:05:42
Bonk TJ reported three months ago about the Sonny's Three Meat Burgers sign. Guess I'll find out what those meats are exactly, since the place is now open and I'm going to check it out.

 
The three meats are supposed to be beef, chicken, and lamb.  I can understand beef and lamb, as Middle Easterners eat this as kufta kebabs, but chicken??  Considering the price of lamb compared to beef and chicken, I don't think he can put too much in, without it being too expensive.  I ended up going to Wok Express and Squeaky's Chicago Beef and Dogs this weekend, so I didn't get a chance to stop by, but will also soon.
post edited by tikkanen - 2011/12/05 13:06:43
kmacree
Junior Burger
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/12/05 15:29:36
X
post edited by kmacree - 2011/12/05 16:13:40
Bonk
Double Cheeseburger
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/12/05 17:38:23
I went on Friday. I got the bacon cheeseburger combo and it was about $6. The burger was huge and it comes with a small fry and a drink.
 
The burger was big and I liked how the cheese was thoroughly melted. It was definitely one of the more interesting and unique-tasting burgers I've ever had. I could taste the lamb and there was a spice that I couldn't put my finger on.
 
I thought it was pretty good, the prices weren't bad and I think I would go back to try other items. That said, we were the only people in there at 5:30 on a Friday during grand opening week, so I'm thinking this place may not last long. The parking in that lot is extremely limited, it's tough to get in and out of there anyway because it's in a crowded area of Beechmont and it Malia's was better and didn't make it in that spot.
TJ Jackson
Filet Mignon
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/12/05 18:00:30
Regarding Sonny's Three Meat Burgers
tikkanen
The three meats are supposed to be beef, chicken, and lamb
Verified.  They have a big sign front and center behind the front counter declaring it is a blend of the three, plus unnamed spices. 
 
Bonk
I went on Friday. I got the bacon cheeseburger combo and it was about $6. The burger was huge and it comes with a small fry and a drink.

The burger was big and I liked how the cheese was thoroughly melted. It was definitely one of the more interesting and unique-tasting burgers I've ever had. I could taste the lamb and there was a spice that I couldn't put my finger on.
I went in there last week and indeed, the burger is quite large and filling.  It is griddled, and the bun is sized appropriately to the size of the patty.  The most prominent meat taste was the lamb, and if one was not told chicken had been added, I doubt most folks would know.  The most prominent spice was black pepper, but overall the taste and texture was very similar to the pressed gyro "roll" one sees on vertical rotating spits at the typical gyro joint - only in burger shape and size.  The texture was a lot more firm and the grind a lot more fine than I think most folks would like in a burger, and because of the presence of the chicken, I dont think you'd ever be able to get one of these burgers cooked to anything but well done.
 
Overall, I thought it was interesting and different but not good enough to make me a regular
 
They appear to have ambitions to start a breakfast service at some point, and there is even a breakfast menu prominently displayed behind the counter, but they are not doing that yet.
 
They also had a steam table off to the side with items not on the menu - some kind of salisbury steak type thing on the night of my visit - but no attempt was made to let me know there were other foods available - not even a hand printed sign or an employee asking me if I'd like to try the "special".  I had to ask about it.  How can they sell that which the customer does not even know about?  Seemed off to me.
 
Another oddity - they present the burgers for purchase ONLY in a combo.  I asked if I could purchase just the burger and the employees had to call their boss and ask not only if they could sell a sandwich without a drink and side, but also how much that'd be.  Nice thing about the combo, tho - the side can be chili, fries, OR a potato pancake.     
 
All this was on their third day of operation, so it might be a bit unfair to judge them so early.  I will try to go back for at least one more try in a few weeks
post edited by TJ Jackson - 2011/12/05 18:02:29
westsider12
Cheeseburger
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2012/01/04 13:28:26
Happy New Year to all!  Does anyone have any leads on a new good downtown lunch place?  Has anyone tried Turquoise on Vine yet?  Also I noticed that the Lunch on Main sandwich joint is switching to a hot dog format and will be sourcing Avril Bleh dogs full time on the menu (they had a separate menu of these for a while).  I'm excited to see what kinds of unique combinations they can create. 
TJ Jackson
Filet Mignon
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2012/01/04 18:10:23
I don't get downtown too  much anymore, Westsider, so I doubt I can be of much help. 
 
That said
 
--I will continue to recommend, that you take the trek up to Court Street for Raya's falafel and schawarma, and for Thai at Bangkok Express. 
 
--The banh mi at Le's inside the Library is passably good and quite cheap, but skip anything fried as it has been sitting for a while
 
--there is a new Greek place on Court street in the old Post building: Greek to Me: http://greektome.net/2011prassinomenu.html (but go to Raya's instead)
 
--there may be a Panera finally downtown (yeah, I know...a chain, but at least one that is slightly better than the average): http://cincinnati.com/blo...closed-downtown-arbys/
 
--have you tried the que/grilled items at Fins and Feathers?  I neve rmade it there prior to leaving downtown.  The rest of the menu looks meh, but if they have good bbq......
 
--the Teriyaki at Sakkio of Japan and the ultra-thin custom-made pizzas at Ingredients remain two of my favorite cheap lunches downtown.  Don't forget that when they aren't swamped, the pizza-makers can (so be nice!) add items from the extensive selection available on the salad bar - sun dried tomatoes, for example
 
post edited by TJ Jackson - 2012/01/05 13:35:00
TJ Jackson
Filet Mignon
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2012/01/04 18:47:36
I did make a stop tonight at Just Q'in in Newtown, and it was fabulous
 
The ribs were not fall of the bone tender, they were more the "lightly tug" type.  I am accustomed when getting ribs that they will contain some dry and chewier-than-jerky parts, but there was nothing on these bones but moist, flavorful meat and soft bits of fat with a think bark.  The smoke flavor was on the mild side, despite a prominent red smoke ring inside. 
 
The pulled pork was also moist, tender, and delicately flavored, a mixture of the inner and outer pieces, with the bits of outside bark adding a textural contrast and some flavor.   Like the ribs, they easily passed the "no sauce needed" test, but I think it could stand just a little more salt and spice to help bring out the flavor of the pork.  Be advised that the pulled pork sandwich is sauced from a squeeze bottle by default, so if you want your sauce on the side, ask for it that way.
 
I also had the mac and cheese, which was among the very best I have ever had, with the perfect balance of cheese, pasta, and pepper.  I'd prefer the pasta a little firmer, but this is a very minor quibble.  It was immensely flavorful and deeply satisfying.  They have  a side called BBQ green Beans on the menu.  This, I most definitely have to try....I have never heard of such a thing.
 
Prices were perhaps a bit higher than one might expect for the portion served and for it being strictly carryout, but about right given the quality.  Brisket and pulled pork is available by the pound, tho this option is not listed on their menu at this time
 
Hours are a bit limited - lunchtime through early dinner - but the owner says he will expand their hours during the warmer seasons 

Highly recommended.
post edited by TJ Jackson - 2012/01/05 13:38:46
jmckee
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2012/01/05 10:46:57
I am glad to hear about Just Q'in, TJ. It's now a Must Try for us.
TJ Jackson
Filet Mignon
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2012/01/10 12:47:41
Looks like a new location of The Original Pancake House is going in at the old Pizza Hut at 8 Mile and Beechmont in Anderson
 
Also, I had a coney over at Eastside Chli the other night - the chili itself has good flavor but the cheese is a little off and the bun is not up to the challenge of containing the chili.  The menu indicates they do tamales - will be back to try those.
 
The Curry in a Hurry location at Anderson Crossings (former Beechmont Mall) looks like it is a long way off from completion
 
I am certain we all are very excited :-) about the possibility of a Jack in the Box coming to Cincinnati: http://communitypress.cin...umbia-Twp-?odyssey=mod|newswell|text||s
 
post edited by TJ Jackson - 2012/01/23 17:09:32
TJ Jackson
Filet Mignon
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2012/01/13 11:48:57
I've stopped into Caribe (http://www.urbanspoon.com...yout-Cincinnati)  3 or 4 times in the past 6 months, and I like it a little better each time I visit.
 
The place is kinda hard to spot, so when you see the UDF on the corner of Glenway and Cleves-Warsaw, you're right there. Prices have risen a little this year, just like they have pretty much everywhere, but even with the increase, everything on the very limited menu here is dirt cheap, and I mean that as a compliment.The best deal on the menu is the combo - rice topped with one of 4 everyday stews (two chicken-based and two vegetarian) plus an empanada for 4.50, up recently from 4.00. I have not tried the vegetarian stews, but the citrus chicken is good and the curry-laden coconut chicken is wonderful, flavorful and chock full of chicken, potatoes, and perfectly cooked chickpeas.
 
There are usually a half dozen or so empanadas available, and you can choose any of them to pair with your combo. They usually have vegetarian, chicken, chorizo (listed on the menu as pork) and ground beef, with each type generally but not always available as regular or spicey. The "spicy" is a bit of a misnomer here, though, because the hottest of the bunch (the spicy pork) is not even as spicy-hot as a typical "medium" buffalo wing, for sake of comparison. The spicy chicken is not hot at all, more like a mild curry chicken, very similar in flavor to the coconut chicken stew. The beef is just mildly spiced ground beef, good but not great. The best of the lot is the spicy pork - the flavor of the chorizo mix is just outstanding.
 
The menu also offers two cheap add-on items - potato cakes or tostones, which are deep fried mashed unripe plantains, both liberally salted. The tostones are the "carribean" choice here, obviously, but the potato cakes are much better in my opinion - everything the McDonalds 'hash brown" patty wishes it were, but isn't - even though these start frozen, they are deep fried when you place your order, are tasty as all get out, and a steal at a 1.25
 
The owner runs the place by himself, and although he is not himself from the Carribean, he says he got all his recipes from his wife, who grew up down there. He is very friendly and accommodating.
 
Two caveats - hours are a little weird (Wed through Sat only), and it is a cash only business.
 
Strongly recommended
post edited by TJ Jackson - 2012/01/13 11:50:11
CajunKing
Sirloin
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2012/01/13 15:45:25
TJ Jackson

I did make a stop tonight at Just Q'in in Newtown, and it was fabulous

The ribs were not fall of the bone tender, they were more the "lightly tug" type.  I am accustomed when getting ribs that they will contain some dry and chewier-than-jerky parts, but there was nothing on these bones but moist, flavorful meat and soft bits of fat with a think bark.  The smoke flavor was on the mild side, despite a prominent red smoke ring inside. 

The pulled pork was also moist, tender, and delicately flavored, a mixture of the inner and outer pieces, with the bits of outside bark adding a textural contrast and some flavor.   Like the ribs, they easily passed the "no sauce needed" test, but I think it could stand just a little more salt and spice to help bring out the flavor of the pork.  Be advised that the pulled pork sandwich is sauced from a squeeze bottle by default, so if you want your sauce on the side, ask for it that way.

I also had the mac and cheese, which was among the very best I have ever had, with the perfect balance of cheese, pasta, and pepper.  I'd prefer the pasta a little firmer, but this is a very minor quibble.  It was immensely flavorful and deeply satisfying.  They have  a side called BBQ green Beans on the menu.  This, I most definitely have to try....I have never heard of such a thing.

Prices were perhaps a bit higher than one might expect for the portion served and for it being strictly carryout, but about right given the quality.  Brisket and pulled pork is available by the pound, tho this option is not listed on their menu at this time

Hours are a bit limited - lunchtime through early dinner - but the owner says he will expand their hours during the warmer seasons 

Highly recommended.

 
TJ
 
Qued ribs are supposed to have a little tug to them.  If they are to the point of fall off the bones (no tug to them) they have been over cooked or cooked to doneness then held in steam table or wrapped in foil in a hotbox until they are past done.
 
What is the address for Just in que??
TJ Jackson
Filet Mignon
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2012/01/13 17:29:50
CajunKing
Qued ribs are supposed to have a little tug to them.  If they are to the point of fall off the bones (no tug to them) they have been over cooked or cooked to doneness then held in steam table or wrapped in foil in a hotbox until they are past done.

I agree...I wasn't complaining, I was supplying a detail :-). 
 
CajunKing
What is the address for Just Q'in??

Address and more......http://www.urbanspoon.com...in-Barbeque-Cincinnati
Bonk
Double Cheeseburger
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2012/01/17 17:20:34
tikkanen

Bonk TJ reported three months ago about the Sonny's Three Meat Burgers sign. Guess I'll find out what those meats are exactly, since the place is now open and I'm going to check it out.


The three meats are supposed to be beef, chicken, and lamb.  I can understand beef and lamb, as Middle Easterners eat this as kufta kebabs, but chicken??  Considering the price of lamb compared to beef and chicken, I don't think he can put too much in, without it being too expensive.  I ended up going to Wok Express and Squeaky's Chicago Beef and Dogs this weekend, so I didn't get a chance to stop by, but will also soon.

 
Hadn't heard of Squeaky's. I looked it up after seeing your post...as a Chicago transplant I have to ask what your thoughts are on the place. I see the reviews are all very positive.

Bonk
Double Cheeseburger
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2012/01/17 17:28:11
After watching the Cleveland episode of No Reservations I did visit Eastside Chili. I got two conies and agree with TJ's assessment about the bun, but I didn't have much of a problem with that since they give you so much chili and cheese.
 
The hot dog is pretty big and grilled, I thought the chili had a good flavor and I didn't mind the cheese. For $3.20 for two I was full.
 
I went inside, and the walls are painted this ugly brown but there's old movie paraphernalia all over the walls. The place seats 50-60.
 
While I was waiting for my conies (I got them to go) I saw one table had a sandwich brought out and it was enormous. Sandwichs look like they run about $6, so I definitely want to go back and try one.
 
Looks like a chicken place has opened just west of there on Ohio 125. I was going too fast to catch the name. I'm always up for trying chicken, so I'll have to pay it a visit.
 
By the way, Hoggy's in Crestview Hills is closed. We thought their food was fantastic, so that's a tough loss for us.
tikkanen
Junior Burger
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2012/01/17 22:36:27
Bonk Hadn't heard of Squeaky's. I looked it up after seeing your post...as a Chicago transplant I have to ask what your thoughts are on the place. I see the reviews are all very positive.

 
It's decent.  It's a 1 man shop.  Unlike a Chicago store like Al's or Portillos, when you order, he heats up a serving of beef or dog on the griddle.  Taste-wise, the beef and roll had a good flavor, as did the Chicago dog.  The giardina is pretty spicy.  He doesn't have a deep fryer, so bagged chips only.  I live in Lexington, so I've never been to Hot Doggin' It, but it's a better beef than Lonnie's Best Taste of Chicago in Louisville.
post edited by tikkanen - 2012/01/18 00:32:10
Bonk
Double Cheeseburger
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2012/01/18 13:55:11
Thanks for the info. I'll have to give it a shot.
 
Hotdoggin It does a good dog but the beef is average, although that's one food I have pretty high standards for.
 
The place in Greenhills whose name escapes me right now does a good beef, but it's pretty out of the way for me so I rarely get there.
dlawson
Cheeseburger
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2012/01/18 21:35:07
Bonk
The place in Greenhills whose name escapes me right now does a good beef, but it's pretty out of the way for me so I rarely get there. 

 
It was Chicago Joe's, but it is now under new ownership and has been renamed to the unfortunately generic Greenhills Bistro and Catering. I haven't been there since the switch, but I am told that the food remains just as good and that the service is much improved. (The latter is why I gave up on Chicago Joe's in the first place, but them no longer taking credit/debit cards didn't help, either.)
arianej
Cheeseburger
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2012/02/01 05:50:05
My husband and I went to Squeaky's a couple weeks back and were pleasantly surprised.  The Italian Beef sandwich was pretty good-- not even close to being in the same league as the more well-known places in Chicago, but nice and flavorful.  The portion size didn't look all that big, but one sandwich was more than plenty for me, maybe because the giardinera was so dang hot.  ;D  They serve it on the side, so you can customize how much you put on.
 
It's not far from the Costco in Springdale, so it's a nice lunch stop.  We'll be back!
jmckee
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2012/02/02 12:37:18
It's on Northland? Is it in the same little strip center as LuLu's Noodles, where New Orleans to Go used to be?
tikkanen
Junior Burger
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2012/02/03 21:58:45
Squeakys is just a little further up Northland from Lulu's, about 0.2 miles on the left. It's next to some beauty or technical school.
dlawson
Cheeseburger
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2012/02/04 15:08:24
Squeaky's is in a colorful little standalone building (and I do mean little) next to Southwestern College, across from the car dealership. It was previously a coffee house and some sort of package shipping service. Nothing ever seems to last there, so I'm glad to see they are still hanging on, especially these days. I work less than a mile from there, but I still haven't eaten there, mainly because I'm just not used to that building actually being occupied.
Bonk
Double Cheeseburger
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2012/02/13 18:53:40
Saturday was not a good day for the Bonk household.
 
Having a serious craving for Italian beef and a hot dogs, we went to Squeaky's. There was a sign up saying it was closed for the winter, and I'm thinking: How does one do that when running a new business? I'm guessing the closing is for more than just the winter.
 
So we drove to Greenhills to hit whatever they're calling the Chicago hot dog place there this week. It was closed. As in permanently. As in everything was out of there.
 
We didn't have time to drive around any more, so given a choice between Frisch's and a putting bullet in my own head (and I paused for quite a while before deciding between those things), I opted for the Big Boy.
 
I think that leaves Hotdoggin it as the only surviving Chicago joint in the tri-state, unless you count Skipper's in Oxford.
 
Also, there's a sign on the door of Tender Towne that say it's training employees and will open soon. It's where the Arby's was just east of I-275 on Ohio Pike. I'm eager to give it a shot.
jmckee
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2012/02/14 16:38:15
So is Tender Towne a local joint? Looks like it from their website.....
Bonk
Double Cheeseburger
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2012/02/15 09:03:07
It looks like a place that wants to franchise (probably because it's in an old Arby's), but I didn't see anything about any other locations, so I guess it's an original concept.
soozycue520
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2012/02/15 20:03:13
Just in case you are planning to go to Hot Doggin' It, I just saw today on Urban Spoon that they are closed for the season. Someone posted that this may not be good, so I checked out their Facebook page. They are closed, but they say they are looking for a new location, planning to open in the spring.
 
Check their Urban Spoon and Facebook pages for more information.
Bonk
Double Cheeseburger
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2012/02/15 22:03:00
Which takes us down to just Skipper's. Wow.
 
I'm not buying the "closed for the winter" line from owners who hail from a city where people take pride in not letting much harsher winters affect business.
 
Looks like that Original Pancake House in the old Pizza Hut at Beechmont and Eight Mile is open. I know nothing about it.
 
 
NYPIzzaNut
Filet Mignon
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2012/02/16 00:01:00
Bonk

Which takes us down to just Skipper's. Wow.

I'm not buying the "closed for the winter" line from owners who hail from a city where people take pride in not letting much harsher winters affect business.

Looks like that Original Pancake House in the old Pizza Hut at Beechmont and Eight Mile is open. I know nothing about it.


That is fantastic news!!!!!

baughman
Cheeseburger
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2012/02/16 08:38:38
Hot doggin it. is moving to the tylersville area in West Chester. Guess since its just a Mom and Pop shop they didnt figure they could keep one open while getting the other one open?
  I went the last week of dec right before they closed. Its not just a closer they are moving. I hope its not a lie, I am way to lazy to make my own chicago dog and Italian beefs.
NYPIzzaNut
Filet Mignon
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2012/02/18 13:22:07
Bonk



Looks like that Original Pancake House in the old Pizza Hut at Beechmont and Eight Mile is open. I know nothing about it.


I was there this morning and the place is not open yet.

NYPIzzaNut
Filet Mignon
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2012/02/18 13:46:35
Re OPH Beechmont
 
I spoke to a Kaitlin at the OPH in Montgomery about the Beechmont store - they expect to open by month end - Leap Day - but it is not definite as yet.
jmckee
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2012/02/21 11:46:45
Last Friday, I stopped at Just Q'in (http://www.justqin.com) at the Newtown location, on Valley just off the main drag. My son was coming home for the weekend from Ohio U, and we wanted to try the place, since our previous favorite "Woe is Me" in Eastgate closed some time back.
 
We were VERY impressed. Pulled pork was in shreds, nice and tender, with a good smoke flavor. Sauce is served separately, a nicely seasoned not-too-sweet red sauce, with some very creative seasonings, but not as "unusually" seasoned as, say, BBQ Revue. Mac and cheese was creamy, cheesy, and quite good. Smoked baked beans were some of the best I've had locally; even my wife commented on them, and she's not usually a baked bean aficionado. Slaw is an oil and vinegar slaw, highly seasoned, and not too tart.
 
I was there in mid-afternoon, so the brisket wasn't ready yet (it's only served at dinner) nor were the quirkiest dish on the menu, barbecue green beans. The propietress told me they put rub on the beans, run them through the smoker, and serve with shreds of meat. Chicken is also available, as are a variety of  meal packages.
 
It's a catering business, so the Newtown location is currently open only Wednesday through Friday.
 
I HIGHLY recommend this place.
Bonk
Double Cheeseburger
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2012/02/21 12:38:17
NYPIzzaNut

Re OPH Beechmont

I spoke to a Kaitlin at the OPH in Montgomery about the Beechmont store - they expect to open by month end - Leap Day - but it is not definite as yet.

 
Sorry about that...it definitely looked open when I drove by.

TJ Jackson
Filet Mignon
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2012/02/23 18:52:21
Tender Towne is open (on Beechmont in the old Arby's spot in Withamsville), and according to a co-worker of mine who lives in Eastgate, it is very, very good.  I am not a big chicken fingers and fry kinda guy, but I will at least have to check it out at least once on his say-so.  http://www.tendertowne.com/ordereze/1000/Page.aspx
 
I tried out Lime Taqueria on the north End of Covington's mainstrasse, and I really enjoyed the chorizo tacos I got:  http://www.urbanspoon.com/u/profile/1849610.  Will be returning soon and often.
 
I had an outstanding lunch the other day at Eckerlin's Meats in Findlay Market.  They have a random lunch special every day, and I just could not pass up the sign that said "BBQ Ribs - $5.00".  For my 5 dollars, I got three of the meatiest ribs I have ever seen, easily as much meat as your average inch-thick porkchop on each one, and yes- these were properly smoked, juicy, tender, and succulent.  No sides, just a pound plus of truly excellent smoked meat.  Saved one of the three slabs of meat for later, left it in the fridge for 2 solid days, reheated it, and it was still heavenly despite all that the time in the fridge and the less-than-loving touch of the microwave.  I went back in later and told them this was one of my favorite lunches ever, and I meant it.  Unfortunately, no telling when or if they will do this special again.   #58 on the Findlay Market map: http://www.findlaymarket.org/merchants/
 
There is a new-ish Italian restaurant called Giovanni's - definitely not a chain by the looks of it - on North Bend Rd more or less at the intersection with Westwood Northern Blvd.  Kinda/sorta across from the original location of Noce's Pizza.  Any of you westsiders (including but certainly not limited to westsider12) been in there?  If so, how is it?  http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/32/1651508/restaurant/Cheviot-Westwood/Giovannis-Family-Italian-Restaurante-Cincinnati 
 
And then there's this new place - http://eggplanttogo.blogs...s-from-lucy-blues.html - in the former longtime backstage Deli location.  I'm sure I would have noted it already if I still worked downtown, but it's good to hear something interesting went into this spot.   I am guessing in the context of the menu, the 50 cent "muffeletta" is probably olive salad or tapenade.  If its a real muffeletta for 50 cents, I will be eating there every day :-)   All that said, since the ownership is connected to Lucy Blue's, purveyor of good-only-if-you're-really-really-drunk pizza, I'm not getting my hopes up too high
post edited by TJ Jackson - 2012/02/23 23:03:12
dlawson
Cheeseburger
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2012/02/23 22:26:05
Giovanni's wouldn't be too far from me, so I might check it out. I was in the mood for Italian just the other night, actually, and ended up going to Biagio's Bistro in Clifton for the first and probably the last time. The food wasn't bad, but it was a bit overpriced, and the menu just wasn't varied enough for me. The servers were also completely overwhelmed and disorganized, despite there being more than enough of them to handle a full restaurant that really is not that big. I left with the sense that they need to get their act together in more ways than one.
 
I am slowly changing my opinion of The Don's Pizza Lounge, which took over for NorthSlice in Northside. My first experience (not long after they opened) was pretty bad, but they seem to be learning from the mistake of not emulating NorthSlice's finishing touches, since they now dust the finished pies with an Italian spice blend and brush the crust with olive oil. It's no sea salt and basil, but it's definitely a step in the right direction. They now have a Monday and Tuesday $7.77 14" cheese special, as well as a Wednesday $20 special which includes a 3-topping 18" pizza, two salads, and two fountain drinks (for dine-in or carryout). Cautiously recommended, for now.
Bonk
Double Cheeseburger
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2012/02/24 11:22:11
I'll have to try Tender Towne, although I still haven't gotten one of those huge sandwiches I saw at Eastside Chili, which is practically next door. They looked really good when I ordered conies there last month.
 
That doesn't surprise me that Eckerlin's does a great lunch. I go down there every two weeks for two pounds of cajun bacon, and it's some of the best I've ever had, especially for $4.59 a pound.
 
I doubt this is the case, but I would be elated if Giovanni's was related to the one in Dayton. They have a pizza place in Fairborn and had a restaurant briefly off Yellow Springs Rd. that served one of the best Italian meals I've ever eaten. I realize Giovanni's isn't exactly a unique name for an Italian place, but that has me very curious to see if it's the same ownership group.
 
I've never had Lucy Blue's, but it looked like the one in Mt. Lookout is closed. I was walking around there Wednesday and the door on one side led to some businesses and the other went to the collectables stoor.
 
I ended up trying Ramundo's, which wasn't bad and has me wanting to try a couple of interesting items on the menu. I got two slices of pepperoni, which were very greasy (not that that's necessarily a bad thing) to the point that the cardboard box leaked a little bit onto my passenger seat. But they were big and tasty and not a bad deal for $4.78.
post edited by Bonk - 2012/02/24 11:23:23
sholley
Junior Burger
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2012/02/26 19:22:24
Tj.  Went to Roy Rogers yesterday and was very saddened to see that they have done away with the holster for the large fries and all branded packaging.  generic wrappers, frie carton and cups.  What is up?  I asked one of the older workers and she said they can not longer get them..Come on.  I sure hope there was not a change of ownership.  Also my Double R had a sliver of ham on it.  Please Please Please we can not loose our Roy's
Bonk
Double Cheeseburger
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2012/03/01 00:57:01
Oh man. Roy's is not allowed to go downhill.
 
Since I'm living in the Roadfood-void area of NKU for the next week or so with the local basketball tournament going on, does anyone know anything about either Topper's (pizza) or Smashburger?
 
With the lack of options in that area I'm considering trying one or both.
NYPIzzaNut
Filet Mignon
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2012/03/01 06:54:16
Bonk

NYPIzzaNut

Re OPH Beechmont

I spoke to a Kaitlin at the OPH in Montgomery about the Beechmont store - they expect to open by month end - Leap Day - but it is not definite as yet.


Sorry about that...it definitely looked open when I drove by.

According to their Facebook page for both Montgomery and Beechmont locations of the Original Pancake House their projected opening date for Beechmont is now mid-March.
Bonk
Double Cheeseburger
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2012/03/01 20:30:45
Stopped into Just Q'in today to pick up some chow for dinner.
 
It was a spur-of-the-moment decision at 3 p.m., and as Jmckee said, some items are only ready for dinner. I wanted the brisket, and they said it would be 15 minutes until it was ready, which suited me fine. I also ordered a pint of mac and cheese, and I wanted to get the green beans, but those are also a dinner-only item, and it was 45 minutes until they would be done. So I went with the baked beans.
 
Everything was awesome. The brisket came partly in slices and partly in cubes, which I thought was a little odd, but it was very tender and melted in our mouths.
 
I'm not a huge baked beans fan normally, but like Jmckee said, these are some of the best in the area. I tasted hints of brown sugar and cinnamon and some of the same flavor as their barbecue sauce.
 
The mac and cheese was creamy and delicious. The only complaint I have is that a pint of mac and cheese is $6.50 while the rest of the sides were $5.50. The mac and cheese is a little overpriced but the beans and brisket ($14/lb.) were well worth it.
 
I want to go back to try to green beans and the pulled pork.
 
I second Jmckee's high praise.
post edited by Bonk - 2012/03/01 20:32:31
TJ Jackson
Filet Mignon
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2012/03/02 12:36:17
Some misc items
 
update bout Noce's Pizza off CincinnatiBites twitter:
In case you haven't heard, All Noce's Pizzerias except the Edgewood location will now be "Brooklyn Pizza," effective March 1.
 
Have any of your TriCounty folks been to Taco Loco on Northland Blvd?  Sounds like it has been open for a while, good food, cheap...... http://cincinnatifoodiver...t-to-taco-loco-in.html.  For that matter, what about Mi Ranchito, right down the street a bit?
 
I was in the TriCounty area because my dentist is in nearby Fairfield.  After today's dental work, enjoyable as always, I drove by Squeaky's, and there were people inside working.  I knocked on the door and inquired about them opening up again, and they said they expect to be back open in late March.....so there's some good news!  
 
On that same little post-dental side trip, I noticed that Ali Baba's has opened in the old New Orleans to Go spot next to Lulu's.  Is this one like the one in Madisonville on Redbank, where they have a huge real schwarama spit? 
 
Curry in a Hurry at Beechmont Mall (Anderson Crossings?) is coming along quicker now, hours posted on the doors, lots of of construction folks inside getting it ready
 
Went to Tender Towne in Withamsville, at the old Arby's spot.  The building and menuboards are so stylized it is clear they intend to franchise.  Lowest priced combo is 5.99, and they charge 50 cents per dipping sauce.  No biscuits and no chicken tender sandwiches, tho they do have *yuck* a tender wrap.  Ate there despite all that, and the tenders are very good but everything else is pretty forgettable.   
 
Indian Bistro seems to finally be getting some steady dinner business, which is good.  Parking lot was neatly full when I drove by the other night, in stark contrast to the 0-2 cars at the much larger parking lot for Red Chopsticks down the street.  They have good food, but their prices (other than the lunch buffet) remain too high for regular patronage from me.
 
I got word (have not confirmed) that Kar-Ma has finally changed it name to Tan Thai.  Since Tan Thai has been running the place for a while now, I really don't expect any changes of substance, tho many of the laotian items Karma had are sadly long gone.
 
Right across the street from the really great BBQ joint that popped up in Newtown, there is supposedly a place that sells stuffed soft pretzels (they call them breadzels) on a stick.  Two stuffings I have heard about are a Johnsonville Brat and a Nathan's dog.  Any east siders tried this?  At 2-3 dollars an items, sounds like an interesting and low risk culinary investment :-)
 
A Tavola Pizza has taken to telling folks they are topping their "margherita" pizza with oregano instead of basil because "basil is out of season".  I call bull**** on this.   Basil is available year round - it may well cost a bit more to cultivate indoors - but a margherita with oregano in place of basil is no longer a margherita, and the favor is a LOT different.   Shame on you, A Tavola Pizza.  Bull****.
 
A old greasy spoon that is slowly growing on me after three recent stops there - Gourmet Chili in Newport.  They have a huge 3 egg all day breakfast for 4.25.  The menu is like 50's diner plus chili (pretty darn good chili), gyros, and baklava.   They have a pork tenderloin that I have to wonder if it resembles the Iowa classic DavyD writes about - probably not, but for 6 bucks I can try it once and find out.   But yeah, ok, it does unfortunately smell like old cigarettes in there.
jmckee
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2012/03/02 12:56:10
At Kroger, I can buy basil in the same sized container as the organic baby spinach, so A Tavola is, indeed, full of it.
And Bonk, good to know I'm not alone. it's nice to have one's opinion affirmed. And by the way -- staff there is quite pleasant to deal with.
dlawson
Cheeseburger
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2012/03/03 13:06:25
Bonk
Since I'm living in the Roadfood-void area of NKU for the next week or so with the local basketball tournament going on, does anyone know anything about either Topper's (pizza) or Smashburger? 
 
 
I have been to the Topper's in Clifton, and it's no better than any other chain you care to name. I have also been to the Smashburger in Blue Ash, and it's okay. I much prefer Five Guys, especially in terms of fries, but Smashburger at least gives you much more room to be "creative" with sauces and toppings.
dlawson
Cheeseburger
Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2012/03/03 13:20:35
TJ Jackson
Have any of your TriCounty folks been to Taco Loco on Northland Blvd?  Sounds like it has been open for a while, good food, cheap...... http://cincinnatifoodiver...t-to-taco-loco-in.html.  For that matter, what about Mi Ranchito, right down the street a bit?

 
I work about two blocks from Taco Loco and drive by it just about every day, and it has been impossible to tell if it has been open because I never see cars in the parking lot or people inside. The roadside sign has been up for months, and I honestly thought they had given up on actually opening the place until the rooftop Taco Loco sign appeared about a week ago. I guess I will have to give it a shot.
 
I went to Mi Ranchito a few months ago, and wasn't all that impressed. Lunch cost way more than it should have, and the waitress (whose English left much to be desired) had no clue what the lunch specials were, which fillings were available for specific dishes, or even which dishes were available (papusas were listed on the lunch menu, but I was informed by the cook that they were only a dinner item). Lunch was average, and I spent the entire meal feeling like I should have driven the extra distance to Taqueria Mercado instead.
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