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

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TJ Jackson
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Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/02/07 19:16:51 (permalink)
Well, hopefully they got a lot of training from their franchiser, Jerry - there are at least two other locations in Cincinnati - one downtown on Walnut between 4th and 5th, and the other (I believe) in Florence
 
The one downtown does decent lunchtime business despite high prices and mediocre food
 
Looks like they are a franchise based in Louisville: http://www.jgumbos.com/licensing/index.html
Bonk
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Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/02/10 22:11:12 (permalink)
jjjrfoodie

Mr.Br0wn

Empress Chili on vine (Near Galbraith) in Hartwell just opened their doors back up yesterday after a long closure.they are under new ownership. They now have a Baked Chili Cheese Pizza that is amazing! along with the traditional offerings.

I was glad to hear this. While Empress is not high on my list of local Cincy Chili favorities, I'm still happy to have the choice to eat there when in the area.

Also stopped into Camp Washington Chili today for lunch only to find the parking lot full and a good sized film crew shooting an episode of something for Discovery Channel. Signs said the working title was "Road Eats" and the staff of the Discovery Channel appologizes for any dining inconvenience.

Should be interesting to to see what it's for.

Also ran by the new J. Gumbos restaurant to pick up a menu.
Locati0on is on Cheviot Rd. just north of Jessup in the old pizzeria bldg.

I'll try and snag some food next week but doing good cajun and creole food is not for the novice restaurant operator.

Menu:




Jerry
jjjrfoodie

Is that where the Trotta's used to be (before Bill and Ted's Pizza or whatever it was called)?
 
Menu's interesting, although TJ's comments are discouraging. I'd be curious to hear your take.
NYPIzzaNut
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Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/02/11 15:20:10 (permalink)
Basil's Restaurant was there previously.
dlawson
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Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/02/12 10:51:20 (permalink)
We went to the Cheviot Road J. Gumbo's for dinner last night, and I don't think we will be back. There just doesn't seem to be any effort or authenticity put into the preparation. The rice was dry, the shrimp and crawfish used in the etoufee were unseasoned, simply boiled and tossed in, and the "golden roux" base (which didn't taste like any roux I have ever experienced) tasted mostly of black pepper, and was in desperate need of some salt and/or Tony's (Chachere).
 
I also wasn't expecting such a "bar" atmosphere; there is no separation between the bar area and the dining area, and they were even discussing making room for a live band, as though the noise level already isn't enough of an issue. Now, I don't necessarily mind a bar atmosphere, but as much as I love dining at The Comet (where you can eat in a different "room" from the bar), I will never go to eat when there is a band playing.
 
Disappointing, but our hopes weren't that high to begin with. Unlike TJ, I didn't find the prices all that high. At $6.50, the bowls (with a side of bread) are a good-sized portion. The appetizers section of the menu (which are all nachos-based for some reason, and cost about as much as an entree) needs a lot of work, however.
johnbycz
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Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/02/17 14:06:08 (permalink)
There's been talk on this board about the Indian Bistro on Beechmont, which has had a sign up for months but no indication its opening was imminent. Well, I drove by there on Tuesday and it finally has a "grand opening" sign up, and another that says "$6.99 Lunch Buffet." We'll see how that works out.
TJ Jackson
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Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/02/17 15:36:29 (permalink)
I moved over the winter to Anderson, and the Indian Bistro is now only a mile away. 
 
So far, I have only had the buffet, and tho it a fairly limited selection it was decently good, especially with the 1.50 off coupon on their website
 
It actually took them about 2 years to open the place
westsider12
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Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/03/01 09:00:10 (permalink)
I was walking into work today downtown and noticed that the awning on the old Mythos location on Vine between 4th and 5th has been repainted and now has the name "Al-Amir Cafe or Al-Amin Cafe" (I could not read it well).  There was some activity inside but it still looks as if all the old Mythos equipment is in the space.  Not sure on the timing of this place, but something to keep an eye on.
TJ Jackson
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Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/03/01 10:15:40 (permalink)
Al Amir is a gyro joint located right next to the Blue Wisp way up on the far northeast edge of downtown.  I wrote about it a few pages back.  http://www.urbanspoon.com...l-Amir-Cafe-Cincinnati
 
I'll have to find out if this is their second location, or if they are just relocating
 
I was hoping Raya's would relocate here, despite the much higher rent. ah well.
TJ Jackson
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Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/03/15 11:03:31 (permalink)
Some random updates -- I have been working from home a lot in the first quarter of 2011, which means I have a good number of updates from the Mt Washington and Anderson areas
 
--Malia's Kitchen on Beechmont is closed.  I finally made time to get down there to try the place out, and they have been closed for a while - lots of restaurant furniture and other stuff with garage-sale type price tags on it were visible through the locked glass entry door. 
 
--Marco's Pizza is not good.  I know, I know, its a chain.  But I had coupons and I gave them a chance.  Neither the steak hoagie nor the pizza I had there were better than 'meh'.  Papa John's is better, to put this in perspective.  Not recommended.
 
--Roadfood find: Chicago Ron's.  This little joint is tucked in the very back of the Mt Carmel Pub, which is on Mt Carmel Tabasco Road in Mt Carmel very near where Mt Carmel Tabasco meets Old State Route 74.   They serve authentic Chicago style dogs (pickle, tomato, vienna beef, poppyseed bun, neon green relish, celery salt, the works), maxwell polishes, italian sausages as well as a very good Italian Beef.  Giardinera, sport peppers, and sweet peppers are all available.  The au jus that typically makes this type of sandwich so good could stand to be a bit stronger, so I have him give me an extra cup of the stuff to take home with my sandwich and I add more garlic and onion to it to pump up the flavor.  Don't get the pizza pocket, it is a commercial product they just reheat, not unlike a flattened hot pocket.   Recommended.   (oh, and check out the small mexican grocery next door while you wait for your food)
 
--Kolache Factory has opened next to Chipotle in Cherry Grove.  The one that was opened a few years back in Westchester closed after less than a year in business, and now that i have tried the one here, I understand why.  Small, expensive (even with the 2 for 1 coupon I brought with me), and unremarkable.  Not recommended
 
--Peruvian food in Mt Washington.  I have not been by here yet, but this place seems to have opened in the longtime Mr Lock spot near the corner of Beechmont and Campus.   Worth a try: http://www.tumicafe.com
 
--Foreign Exchange\Anderson - very average.  Their dinner prices are extremely high, so I had not made it over here for years, but did stop in for lunch a couple of times last week.  Neither the pad thai not the thai fried rice were anything special, though they were about 2-3 dollars more than a typical chinese carryout would charge for either.  Not recommended.
 
--El Amir\downtown.  Westsider mentioned Al Amir on Vine near 4th a few posts back.  I stopped on today and talked to the owner, and it turns out that they are keeping their location on the northeast edge of town )(on 8th, next to the Blue Wisp) open as well.  So they they are now a chain :-).   I've had their falafel and it is good but not as good as Raya's, also more expensive and seemingly smaller.   
 
--TJ's Korean\Downtown is closed.  I mentioned a few months back that i had tried out a new Korean place on Court street.  I went back to give it another try and they are closed for good.   They sure didn't last very long.  I am sad to see this place go, it had potential to be very good.
 
--Indian Bistro\Beechmont - I've been back to this place a couple of times, and have found it now to be consistently better food than Royal Taj, especially the buffet as long as you get there early.  Recommended.
 
--Bard's Burgers\Latonia - I had been meaning to get over to Bard's to try their poutine.  Sadly, it is mis-named, this is really more like the gravy cheese fries at Pleasant Ridge Chili.   Mind you, the fresh cut skin-on fries they use are very, very good, but the thin salty gravy is not very good and instead of cheese curds, they use shredded white cheese not dissimilar (except in color) to what you'd get on a typical local cheese coney or three way.  Get the fries by themselves.  The surprise was the burger.  It is not a huge pub burger, maybe 1/3 of a pound if that, and I had to beg them to cook it to less than well done, but it was nonetheless flat out excellent - juicy despite overcooking, with great beefy flavor, and somehow excellent tomatoes despite the season.  The kids also loved their smaller sized burgers, claiming they were the best they'd had.  I will be back.  Strongly recommended.
 
--A Tavola Pizza.  To me, this is far and away the most important and exciting eatery-yet-to-be opened in all of Cincinnati.  The recent soapboxmedia background article is a good read: http://www.soapboxmedia.c.../0315atavolapizza.aspx
post edited by TJ Jackson - 2011/03/18 18:12:19
jmckee
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Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/03/15 12:22:27 (permalink)
I will definitely have to try Chicago Ron's after Mass at St. Veronica one Saturday....
 
I've had the same urge to try Malia's several times.

VERY curious about Tumi Cafe. I have read about Peruvian cuisine and want to try -- especially ceviche.
dlawson
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Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/03/15 22:50:51 (permalink)
jmckee
VERY curious about Tumi Cafe. I have read about Peruvian cuisine and want to try -- especially ceviche. 

 
I am anxious to find a good, reasonably priced Peruvian restaurant, at the very least. I enjoyed Sabor Peruano years ago at their original ragtag location, but ever since they moved into the old Pedro's location further north on Rt. 4, prices have skyrocketed, presumably to pay the rent. They have been there quite some time now, so they must have a following, but I haven't been back since a fried fish lunch with a side salad and a soda ran me almost $18 after tip a couple of years ago.
TJ Jackson
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Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/03/16 13:54:30 (permalink)
Another two items/warnings (sorry, wish I had good news to share)
 
Red Chopsticks/Beechmont.  This is the Chinese place that opened up in the former Perkins location next to Firestone.  I was hoping that their high prices (about a third higher on average than their local competition on similar dishes) would mean better food, but alas, it looks like the higher prices are to cover the higher rent\utilities of the larger building and expense of having a sushi chef on duty.  I rarely see any cars parked there, and don't expect this place to last very long.  Sad, because while we have plenty of chinese joints on Beechmont, and while I have found CHEAP and I have found QUICK, I have not yet found GOOD.  Not recommended.
 
Romeo's Pizza/Withamsville.  This Cleveland based chain claims to serve gourmet pizza, with prices to match.  While the pizza I have sampled there was a bit tastier than other local chains, I would not call it anything remotely like 'gourmet'.  They have a few more toppings available than the average chain, which is good, but charging a premium for bacon?  Not really bacon, even - bacon chopped to tiny bits suitable for a salad garnish.  The really sad thing is the tasteless, textureless crust, almost like they consider the dough to be a mere vehicle for the sauce and toppings.  The better than average sauce redeems it somewhat.   I paid more for a 1 topping small at Romeo's than I did for a large two topping at a nearby competitor.  Not recommended.
post edited by TJ Jackson - 2011/03/16 16:39:09
donw9876
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Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/03/16 14:29:41 (permalink)
Sidebar: TJ, it's good reading these accounts from you. I sometimes think that I am on the only restaurant customer in the world who regularly leaves a vaunted restaurant feeling like I was taken advantage of. The things that these local places screw up are SO simple, but the crappy places are absolutely brain-locked and blind - they don't see how much they suck and it's usually so obvious. At least commercial landlords get to cover the rent for a few months from someone's pipe dream...
kimmykins
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Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/03/17 15:06:27 (permalink)
Hi all:
Just wanted to see if any of you have suggestions for a good fish fry.  I LOOOOOOVE me some fried fish and have heard that Cincinnati has some decent fish frys.  Which churches do you guys recommend? I personally prefer a battered fish (though doesn't have to be a super heavy batter), rather than a cornmeal like dusting.  Think English fish and chips vs southern fried catfish.  Any suggestions?
 
Thanks in advance!
 
Kim
post edited by kimmykins - 2011/03/17 15:08:14
TJ Jackson
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Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/03/17 15:39:07 (permalink)
KK: I generally dont go to these (I know, I know, blasphemy!) so I cant recommend one, but I did want to at least  to provide a online list to check out: http://www.local12.com/co...hK6HjmInVg.cspx. 
 
Polly usually puts one out but I have not seen one from her yet this year.   I just emailed her, and will add her link to this post when/if it becomes available.  She's out this week, so it wont be til next week at the earliest, I'd imagine
post edited by TJ Jackson - 2011/03/17 15:50:55
TJ Jackson
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Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/03/18 14:09:17 (permalink)
I made it in this week to both the Tumi Cafe (mt Washington) and Woe is Me BBQ (Eastgate), both first times for me.
 
Woe is Me was very good, and I recommend it despite issues with some of the food.  The folks there were very friendly, and the interior is very kitschy and appealing in a roadfood sense of things. 
 
The ribs I had were very chewy in spots, almost to the extent of jerky, but the flavor was good and the smoke was evident.  These come pre-sauced, which I didnt notice til I got them home, but I will ask next time if you can get them sans sauce.  The pulled pork and turkey were both flat out excellent - and I will admit I have never liked turkey from a BBQ place before.  I think they toss both the pork and the turkey with a bit of their thin and tangy sauce before serving, and as a result it was very moist and flavorful.  The sides I tried (hush puppies, sweet potato fries, and green beans) did not impress me, but the big and good-looking wedge of yellow cornbread was stale and nearly hard as a rock, the total opposite of the sandwich rolls provided for the pork and turkey, which were as fresh and tasty as they could be.  
 
I will be back to try the brisket and some of the other sides - the greens and the mashed sound good -  hopefully next week. 
 
Update 3/22/2011:  I stopped in again and this time got the brisket platter with the much ballyhooed mac n cheese and corn pudding.  I am learning I am not a brisket person - I just never like it as much as the other meats, but I had tried the other meat choices and wanted to give it a shot.  Anyway, everything was fairly good except - everything (and I do mean everything) was loaded with black pepper.  The taste dominated all three items.  The strangest thing was that the corn pudding was almost dessert sweet (not in a good way) yet was second only to the bbq sauce (the regular sauce mind you, not the 'hot') in overall black-pepper taste.   Very strange combination.  That said, I ate everything so it wasn't like it was bad - but it would have been a LOT better had there been a lot more restraint used with black pepper.
 
Update 4/12/2011: had a coupon for a sandwich platter and went for the pulled pork sandwich, which was phenomenally good.  I think it is a little unfair to compare their pulled pork to others because they add their sauce to theirs and it (imho) improves the sandwich immensely.  I will have to remember to ask for it without sauce next time to get a baseline.   The mashed potatoes were ok, the fried corn on the cob (a special side of the day and a 50 cent upcharge) were both just OK - the corn wasn't fried at all and was undercooked to boot.  But the sandwich alone is reason to return.
 
I had mixed results at Tumi Cafe (http://www.tumicafe.com/) as well.   The place was very clean, the owner very pleasant and helpful, and she explained that they had not even had their grand opening yet.  One thing that became quickly evident is that their actual menu varies daily because they don't make every listed item every day, at least not yet. 
 
The arroz con pollo was disappointing - basically fairly dry chunks of baked chicken that had been marinated in mostly lemon juice, served with some white rice mixed with corn and peas.  It was fine, but unremarkable and pretty bland.  And the two surritos that were supposed to be included were not.
 
The Tumi sandwich was on the other hand pretty darn good.  This is a cold pork sandwich with lettuce and a fiery fresh relish made with peppers, onions, and vinegar - hold the mayo for me, but those of you who like mayo would probably appreciate the creamy texture against the fiery relish.  The bread used - a 8 or 9 inch long whole wheat sub roll - was flat out fantastic, and very much up to the task of holding everything together without overwhelming the sandwich with breadi-ness.  If you're not a big fan of spice heat (and I admit this was at my limit) I'd ask her to go light on the relish and/or vinegar, I dont think the pork itself had any spice heat to it
 
Definitely going to visit again.  Oh, almost forgot - bring cash, she does not do credit cards.
post edited by TJ Jackson - 2011/04/12 13:58:51
donw9876
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Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/03/18 16:30:21 (permalink)
Great reviews. I really liked Woe Is Me but I confess to only one carryout trip and only getting the pulled pork.
jmckee
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Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/03/20 15:12:46 (permalink)
We are semi-regulars at Woe is Me now; it's about five minutes from our house.
 
I've not experienced TJ's problems with the sides; I know that I've seen management tell staff when anything -- ANYTHING -- isn't done the right way, and they are exacting in their standards. Perhaps staff is not measuring up....
 
The only complaint I've had is that the collard greens weren't done enough -- still a bit chewy.
 
The deluxe Mac and Cheese is a meal in itself.
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Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/03/21 10:58:59 (permalink)
Monk's Kitchen, located at Dry Fork and I-74 (across from the Shell station) has some seriously tasty barbecue. I had the Memphis-style on what appeared be a homemade bun and it was yummy with a nice bite to it. It opened last summer and I figured that if such a plain looking place could last this long in this economy (the dining area was enclosed in plastic sheeting for the winter!) it was worth a stop to check it out. The owner, who was forced out of a previous location closer to downtown Harrison, has plans for upgrades and additions. This could turn out to be a gem for those traveling along I-74 who would like something different than the chain food offered at the New Haven exit and before getting into suburban Cincinnati proper.
jjjrfoodie
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Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/03/21 12:55:01 (permalink)
kimmykins

Hi all:
Just wanted to see if any of you have suggestions for a good fish fry.

 
Kimmykins, The Cincinnati Enquirer just did a full page listing of them in last Friday's Weekend /Dining section.  I'll search and see if they have them online.
 
Like many here , I Haven't been to one in some time, but I'll ask around and get some feedback. 
 
And thanks for the reviews TJ.
 
dlawson, sorry for the bad experience at JGumbo's. Such potential, but bad or even mediochre food will not keep any food-based business going very long these days.
 
jerry
 
 
ScreamingChicken
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Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/03/21 14:33:06 (permalink)
Hey Jerry,
 
Is the Shell station at 74 and dry Fork Road the place where we traded pasta sauce and Tony Packo's pickles a few years back?  It sure seems familiar.
 
I'm happy to report that the battery cable hasn't come loose again since that day!
 
Brad
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/03/21 23:23:05 (permalink)
thanks for the information. very helpful
jjjrfoodie
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Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/03/22 01:31:43 (permalink)
ScreamingChicken

Hey Jerry,

Is the Shell station at 74 and dry Fork Road the place where we traded pasta sauce and Tony Packo's pickles a few years back?  It sure seems familiar.

I'm happy to report that the battery cable hasn't come loose again since that day!

Brad

 
LOL.
 
IIRC Brad, last time we met up was at the BP station right off I-74 at the Route 128 Hamilton/Cleves exit.  Monks Kitchen exit (Dry Ridge) is probably 2 or 3 exits to the west on I-74 meaning that you'll pass it if coming down that way or going home that way for the "screaming chicken" GTG up in Vandalia.
 
I'll have to pop out to Monks and grab lunch there now that the weather is nice.
 
jerry
post edited by jjjrfoodie - 2011/03/22 01:33:10
kimmykins
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Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/03/23 21:34:04 (permalink)
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.
donw9876
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Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/03/24 13:03:59 (permalink)
I went to the fish fry at St Francis Desales School in Lebanon last year and we plan to do it again this year. It was very good and very cheap.
Bonk
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Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/03/25 00:26:31 (permalink)
TJ Jackson

Some random updates -- I have been working from home a lot in the first quarter of 2011, which means I have a good number of updates from the Mt Washington and Anderson areas

--Malia's Kitchen on Beechmont is closed.  I finally made time to get down there to try the place out, and they have been closed for a while - lots of restaurant furniture and other stuff with garage-sale type price tags on it were visible through the locked glass entry door. 

--Marco's Pizza is not good.  I know, I know, its a chain.  But I had coupons and I gave them a chance.  Neither the steak hoagie nor the pizza I had there were better than 'meh'.  Papa John's is better, to put this in perspective.  Not recommended.

--Roadfood find: Chicago Ron's.  This little joint is tucked in the very back of the Mt Carmel Pub, which is on Mt Carmel Tabasco Road in Mt Carmel very near where Mt Carmel Tabasco meets Old State Route 74.   They serve authentic Chicago style dogs (pickle, tomato, vienna beef, poppyseed bun, neon green relish, celery salt, the works), maxwell polishes, italian sausages as well as a very good Italian Beef.  Giardinera, sport peppers, and sweet peppers are all available.  The au jus that typically makes this type of sandwich so good could stand to be a bit stronger, so I have him give me an extra cup of the stuff to take home with my sandwich and I add more garlic and onion to it to pump up the flavor.  Don't get the pizza pocket, it is a commercial product they just reheat, not unlike a flattened hot pocket.   Recommended.   (oh, and check out the small mexican grocery next door while you wait for your food)

--Kolache Factory has opened next to Chipotle in Cherry Grove.  The one that was opened a few years back in Westchester closed after less than a year in business, and now that i have tried the one here, I understand why.  Small, expensive (even with the 2 for 1 coupon I brought with me), and unremarkable.  Not recommended

--Peruvian food in Mt Washington.  I have not been by here yet, but this place seems to have opened in the longtime Mr Lock spot near the corner of Beechmont and Campus.   Worth a try: http://www.tumicafe.com

--Foreign Exchange\Anderson - very average.  Their dinner prices are extremely high, so I had not made it over here for years, but did stop in for lunch a couple of times last week.  Neither the pad thai not the thai fried rice were anything special, though they were about 2-3 dollars more than a typical chinese carryout would charge for either.  Not recommended.

--El Amir\downtown.  Westsider mentioned Al Amir on Vine near 4th a few posts back.  I stopped on today and talked to the owner, and it turns out that they are keeping their location on the northeast edge of town )(on 8th, next to the Blue Wisp) open as well.  So they they are now a chain :-).   I've had their falafel and it is good but not as good as Raya's, also more expensive and seemingly smaller.   

--TJ's Korean\Downtown is closed.  I mentioned a few months back that i had tried out a new Korean place on Court street.  I went back to give it another try and they are closed for good.   They sure didn't last very long.  I am sad to see this place go, it had potential to be very good.

--Indian Bistro\Beechmont - I've been back to this place a couple of times, and have found it now to be consistently better food than Royal Taj, especially the buffet as long as you get there early.  Recommended.

--Bard's Burgers\Latonia - I had been meaning to get over to Bard's to try their poutine.  Sadly, it is mis-named, this is really more like the gravy cheese fries at Pleasant Ridge Chili.   Mind you, the fresh cut skin-on fries they use are very, very good, but the thin salty gravy is not very good and instead of cheese curds, they use shredded white cheese not dissimilar (except in color) to what you'd get on a typical local cheese coney or three way.  Get the fries by themselves.  The surprise was the burger.  It is not a huge pub burger, maybe 1/3 of a pound if that, and I had to beg them to cook it to less than well done, but it was nonetheless flat out excellent - juicy despite overcooking, with great beefy flavor, and somehow excellent tomatoes despite the season.  The kids also loved their smaller sized burgers, claiming they were the best they'd had.  I will be back.  Strongly recommended.

--A Tavola Pizza.  To me, this is far and away the most important and exciting eatery-yet-to-be opened in all of Cincinnati.  The recent soapboxmedia background article is a good read: http://www.soapboxmedia.c.../0315atavolapizza.aspx

 
Real shame about Malia's. Her food was excellent.
 
I think Marco's is decent for a chain, but that's not a really high compliment. I will say the cheese bread is pretty good.
 
Chicago Ron's -- wow. I've been waiting for a Chicago hot dog place to come to the east side for 10 years. Is it actually in the bar itself? I don't understand where it could possibly be if not, but I'm going tomorrow anyway.
 
The Peruvian place sounds interesting. Can honestly say I know squat about Peruvian food, but the menu looks interesting. The site says there's a grand opening on the 31st with free samples. I might have to check that out.

Bonk
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Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/03/25 00:29:12 (permalink)
TJ Jackson

Another two items/warnings (sorry, wish I had good news to share)

Red Chopsticks/Beechmont.  This is the Chinese place that opened up in the former Perkins location next to Firestone.  I was hoping that their high prices (about a third higher on average than their local competition on similar dishes) would mean better food, but alas, it looks like the higher prices are to cover the higher rent\utilities of the larger building and expense of having a sushi chef on duty.  I rarely see any cars parked there, and don't expect this place to last very long.  Sad, because while we have plenty of chinese joints on Beechmont, and while I have found CHEAP and I have found QUICK, I have not yet found GOOD.  Not recommended.

Romeo's Pizza/Withamsville.  This Cleveland based chain claims to serve gourmet pizza, with prices to match.  While the pizza I have sampled there was a bit tastier than other local chains, I would not call it anything remotely like 'gourmet'.  They have a few more toppings available than the average chain, which is good, but charging a premium for bacon?  Not really bacon, even - bacon chopped to tiny bits suitable for a salad garnish.  The really sad thing is the tasteless, textureless crust, almost like they consider the dough to be a mere vehicle for the sauce and toppings.  The better than average sauce redeems it somewhat.   I paid more for a 1 topping small at Romeo's than I did for a large two topping at a nearby competitor.  Not recommended.

 
Have you tried the Habachi grill in Withamsville where the old Bee-Dubs was? It's a buffet, but I definitely like it. Then again, I'm not terribly picky when it comes to Asian food. It all tastes good to me.

jjjrfoodie
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Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/03/25 20:58:55 (permalink)
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.
 
Here is tonites listing from the paper Kimmykins.
IIRC, Mary Queen of Heaven in No. KY is very good as well.
 
Old skool scanning dead trees FTW. <thumbup>
 
LOL.
 
 




 
 
 
 
post edited by jjjrfoodie - 2011/03/25 21:02:27
Bonk
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Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/04/02 02:01:34 (permalink)
Tried Chicago Ron's (thanks for pointing that out, TJ).
 
I pride myself on not being a food snob, but Italian beef is one thing I'm very picky about because I know how good it can be when it's done right. And not many places do.
 
The setup was weird -- it's inside of a bar where you wouldn't expect an independent business. The guy working there, although I didn't ask him, was almost certainly not the proprietor. He was like 25. Nice guy and he knew what he was doing.
 
For outside of Chicago, the beef there was good. It was kind of weird to have red sweet peppers instead of green, but they had the right texture. Like they're steamed, so they're soft but not mushy.
 
The only mild complaint I had about it was the bun wasn't dipped enough. I guess next time I'll specify to dip the hell out of it. There were dry spots on one end.
 
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.
 
All of that is a huge meal for me, but I wanted to try both the beef and the hot dog. Everything was $9.50. For outside the Chicago area, it's good stuff and I'm happy to have it 10 minutes away. I'll definitely be a regular.
 
Also, I tried the Tumi Cafe for its grand opening with the fiancee. It's not clearly marked -- even though I thought I knew exactly where it was in Mt. Washington, I drove past it once and almost walked past the entrance.
 
I'm not sure if they're still in the transformation phase, but there were cheap pictures with prices on them hanging from the walls. They only have about six tables, all second-hand furniture, which doesn't bother me at all, but this is definitely not a fancy place.
 
But they had a duo playing New Age music, which was sort of an odd combination with the cheap furniture.
 
The owner was very nice and explained what each item was on the menu. I forgot to check back here and see what TJ got, so I too ordered the Arroz con pollo. Mine wasn't at all dry, and it was pretty good, but I too admit it was a little bland. The rice was, anyway. The chicken has almost a light rub on it, and could probably use more.
 
I got the surritos with it, and while cheesy cornsticks sounded really good, they too were a little bland and I didn't taste the cheese. Still not bad at all, just needed a little more flavor.
 
Cathy got the pulled pork, and I tried a little. This is what I'd recommend. The meat was excellent, and the spicy mayo will bite you if you use too much, but it was definitely good.
 
They do canned Coke products for 75 cents, and Cathy got something called Purple Corn, which was a very unusual drink that was pretty good. She really liked it. The only way to descibe it is a grape drink with a hint of cinnamon.
 
I got one of the truffles for dessert, and I first I was a little hesitant about spending $1 for a little piece of candy, but it was flat-out awesome. Cathy got the cookies, which are also small, but she loved them.
 
On the site it said "free samples" from 5-7, which was a key reason I went since the menu had so many non-traditional items for this area (we got there at 5:20), but they didn't do any while we were there. They did let Cathy try the Purple Corn before she committed to a full glass.
 
I think I'll go back for the sandwich, but really I would've liked to have tried a couple of the items they had to see if I'd like them. Letting me try 10 or 20 cents worth of food might've made me a committed regular.
 
Our bill was $21.10 and we were definitely full.
 
post edited by Bonk - 2011/04/02 02:03:00
westsider12
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Re:WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2011/04/14 08:50:28 (permalink)
A couple of places I have tried recently:
Al-Amir Cafe on Vine: A solid if unspectacular replacement for Mythos.  The rice and salad that comes with the platter is definitely an upgrade, while the meat for the gyro is basically the same pressed lamb concoction Mythos used, which I find to be more tasty than I think it will be, but that is just me.  I have also had the chicken shawarma platter but was unimpressed.  I will stick with the gyro on future visits.  They seem to be doing a brisk lunch business, which is nice to see.
 
Eli's BBQ - This is located in the tent on Fountain Square and is serving lunch each day from 11-2.  The owner (I have yet to ask for his name, so I am assuming it is Eli) said they will have more marketing and promotional materials in the future.  Right now their information is limited to a whiteboard.  He is looking for a permanent spot downtown, but for now is just out of the tent.  I have tried the pulled pork, slaw, mac and cheese, and mashed potatoes.  All were better than average, and the slaw and mac and cheese are borderline great.  When I went a few days ago, they put the mashed potatoes on the griddle right before packing them up for me, which gave them a real nice flavor.  A sandwich and two sides is $8, and the portions border on generous.  I will be back again, especially for the mac.
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