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

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dlawson
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2006/11/15 16:59:15 (permalink)
Yes, we just went to Dink's for lunch today, and he has copies of The Downtowner all over the place, with some of them open to the article.

You really need to try Shanghai Mama's at a different time of day. Lunch moves at a frenetic pace, and I find the old guy more entertaining than anything else, although I can see how he could rub people the wrong way. I don't recall ever seeing him at dinner time, however, and it's an infinitely more relaxed experience...unless Noodle Boy makes an appearance, which is an experience not to be missed. I've made more than a few late night weekend visits as well, since they're open until 3:00 AM (or is it 2:30?) on Friday and Saturday.

I have to disagree with you about their pricing as well; as far as the dinner menu goes, I'm not sure anything on the menu is over $10, and the noodle/rice bowls on the right side of the menu tend to be more than enough food for most people. I can typically finish the entire bowl, at the expense of dessert.
TJ Jackson
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2006/11/15 21:27:01 (permalink)
Expensive is relative.

10 bucks would be a bargain for steak and/or lobster, but rice and noodles are both very, very inexpensive ingredients.

What do you have against Quatman's?
dlawson
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2006/11/16 08:14:41 (permalink)
I have a low tolerance for greasiness, and both the burgers and the atmosphere at Quatman's exceed that tolerance. My (extended) family are huge fans of the place, but my wife and I have been underwhelmed every time we've been there. I can appreciate that it's an excellent bargain if you enjoy the burgers, though...especially since a canned beer, something I also have a low tolerance for, qualifies as the drink for the combo meal.

Personally, I would much rather spend an extra couple of bucks at Arthur's on Burger Madness days. I have yet to go to Mansion Hill for the food, but your photos definitely make a compelling argument for them.

Geting back to pizza for a moment, LaRosa's also exceeds my greasiness tolerance, although I've never been a fan of their sauce, either. Mac's isn't bad, but I'm not a fan of their crust, and I'm not sure who is responsible for that. We generally opt for either Adriatico's or Dewey's, occasionally throwing Northside's NYPD Pizza into the mix. Of those three, NYPD is my least favorite, but they are also the least expensive.
TJ Jackson
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2006/11/16 09:10:04 (permalink)
I would encourage you to try both the thin crust and the stuffed pizza at Mio's, particularly from the location in my neighborhood (Mt Washington)

I too do not like LaRosa's
dlawson
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2006/11/16 09:30:13 (permalink)
I've been to a few of the Mio's locations. I was less than impressed with the Western Hills location, but the ones in Oakley and Milford were okay. I'm usually not a fan of thin crust, and Mio's was no exception. Aside from the terrible Uno's location at Union Centre, their stuffed crust is the closest thing I've found to Chicago-style pizza, and while it's good, it's just not close enough. We try to visit Chicago at least once a year for the original Uno's and/or Giordano's and IKEA, although we won't need to make special trips for the latter much longer.

What does everyone think about Issue 5 passing? Personally, I'm looking forward to spending more time at The Comet in particular. I'm a fan of their salsas, queso, and beer selection, but that amount of smoke in that amount of space often makes for an intolerable combination.
TJ Jackson
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2006/11/16 10:27:24 (permalink)
I have found that Mio's does vary quite a bit by location, but the Mt Washington location is pretty consistently excellent

I hate the Uno's franchise locations.....never a good meal there.

No opinion on Issue 5
dlawson
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2006/11/16 14:28:47 (permalink)
I just discovered that Vincenzo's (on Chester Road in Springdale) has closed. When I was working in that area, I often went to their original location, a former gas station on Route 4 that held around 30 people, for Lenten lunches. They typically offered three choices of fish with salad, a side of pasta, and bread for $8.

The enormous new location lost much of its charm, and prices were more than a little out of line, but the food was still good. Their parmesan peppercorn salad dressing was one of my favorites, although I have since moved on to the Greek dressings at Dewey's and Melt, and the Athenian Greek at Doc Green's.

Speaking of Doc Green's, it is well worth the trek to Crestview Hills. At the time it opened, it was the only franchise location outside of the original three in the Atlanta area, although they have since opened several more. My only complaint is that, unless you are on a diet, it is difficult to make a full meal out of a large salad. Fortunately, Wiener Haus is just across the parking lot, and grilled sausages with potato cakes solve that problem.

As for other Crestview Hills eateries, we have yet to visit Argentine Bean, and it appears doomed. They really belong somewhere like Hyde Park Square. On two separate Saturdays around 7:00 PM, I have been able to count the number of patrons on one hand. One of the persistent complaints is that it is cost-prohibitive to try to make a meal out of tapas, and the Pub No. 3 does a much better job of pulling people in for drinks and appetizers (although it does have a much better location).

Finally, Jalapeno's is opening another location in the old Aioli spot downtown. Apparently, the two Margarita's locations five blocks apart are not enough to satisfy downtown's Mexican cravings.
sudie
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2006/11/17 14:56:29 (permalink)
I don't like being the victim of secondhand smoke, and I am now anxious to re-visit Quatman's, Anderson Twp. Pub, the Pine Club and other places I've avoided because of the smoke. I loved my burger at Mansion Hill Tavern, but the smoke will keep me from coming back. I'm very glad issue 5 passed.
Sandy Thruthegarden
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2006/11/18 08:01:07 (permalink)
BillC and I had dinner at the Pacific Moon during Tall Stacks. We also found it pricey for food that was just a cut above mediocre. Service was also so-so. I thought the menu was rather limited. Yesterday in the Enquirer, Polly Campbell gave it a lukewarm review, but commented that the owners would undoubtedly correct all problems because of their long reputation for quality food and service.
dlawson
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2006/11/20 15:44:08 (permalink)
Well, that snowballed. My apologies.

We dined in Clifton yet again this past weekend. Try as we might, my wife and I never seem to get enough of Habanero. It's a refreshing independent change from the burrito chain locations quickly populating the University Village area, including the dull Boloco, the rice-laden Chipotle, and the impending Salsarita's. They have no Web site (and have a posted sign indicating as much), and the review in Cincinnati.com's dining section is a bit dated; fried plantains are no longer available, and the draught beer selection is considerably improved, although the prices they list remain the same.

The myriad salsas are the main draw, allowing for flavor combinations the chains could only dream of. The salsa sampler ($3.95 for three salsas and unlimited chips, although you have to ask for them since it isn't posted) is the best way to experience several of them in one sitting. The chips, made from flour instead of corn, are high on thickness and low on salt, and (unlike Chipotle's chips) don't get in the way of the flavors in the salsas. I have made a meal out of the salsa sampler on several occasions, particularly when I know I couldn't come close to finishing a burrito or deep-fried chimichanga.

The pork chimichanga is wonderful. The chicken is not. The Arroyo Hondo is my favorite specialty burrito, although I usually opt to save a buck by creating my own steak burrito. Quesadillas are a bit bland, and tacos are prohibitively expensive when compared to the amount of food you get with every other dish. Chips and house salsa (which is also marvelous) can be added for $1.00, and the meal really isn't complete without it. Microbreweries like Great Lakes and Flying Dog are tap fixtures, but I wouldn't mind if they stole a page from Dewey's playbook and addded Bell's to the list. Prices are in line with the chains (around $9 for a burrito, chips, and soda), but the quality and imagination is immeasurably better.

Habanero is located on Ludlow less than two blocks from the Esquire. They have a free parking lot, a luxury in this area, but they have the misfortune of sharing it with Amol India, which stations a guard in the lot and will have you towed if you set foot in archrival Ambar India next door. This foolishness really deserves its own post, but for now, I'll save myself the time of typing that up and simply recommend Mayura at the top of the hill, which is better than all of the other Clifton-area Indian restaurants combined. For Latin-American fare, as Habanero bills themselves, just head down the Clifton hill, away from University Village, and take a left on Ludlow.
mayor al
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2006/11/20 15:58:56 (permalink)
Thanks for returning to the topic. A few posts that really got away from the main theme of Cincinnati area food are gone. If anyone wants to discuss the political issues surrounding Food service or related business, feel free to start a thread on the Misc. Forum.
jjjrfoodie
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2006/11/21 22:21:23 (permalink)
Last time I checked, Swami sold off or closed the Mayura to focus on the Cactus Pear restaurant venture origanally started by Elliot Jablonski.

Please correct me if I am wrong.

jjjrfoodie

BTW, Ambar and Tandoor are what I stand by locally for any and all tastes.
dlawson
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2006/11/22 10:44:58 (permalink)
I remember hearing something about Mayura being sold, but it definitely hasn't been closed. My buddy's girlfriend, a former Miss Mangalore and Miss Bangalore, agrees that Mayura is the best one in Clifton, so I have the support of a high-ranking Indian citizen as far as that's concerned.

My wife and I also love Hi Bombay! on Fields Ertel, which occupies the former La Salsa spot in the plaza alongside the entrance to Kings Automall.

I'm still not sure what to make of Cactus Pear even after dining there on a number of occasions. They annoyed me when they were charging an extra $1.50 for salsa (which is excellent, by the way) during the "tomato shortage" a couple of years ago, and entering through the dingy, smoky bar isn't the most welcoming experience. The tortilla soup and blue corn enchiladas are phenomenal, however. I have not been to the Blue Ash/Kenwood location yet.

One more closing to report: Red Star Tavern at the Deerfield Towne Center. Frankly, every restaurant in that development bores me. Copeland's was the only spot on that stretch of Mason-Montgomery that we frequented, due in no small part to my Louisiana-born wife, but that has now been replaced by the Brazilian steakhouse with dinner prices that rival car payments. It looks delicious, but I'll opt for Boca or one of Jean-Robert's places if I want to spend that much.
soozycue520
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2006/11/22 16:20:51 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by jjjrfoodie

Last time I checked, Swami sold off or closed the Mayura to focus on the Cactus Pear restaurant venture origanally started by Elliot Jablonski.

Please correct me if I am wrong.

jjjrfoodie

BTW, Ambar and Tandoor are what I stand by locally for any and all tastes.


Yes, Swami did sell Mayura to focus on the new Blue Ash location of Cactus Pear. I find Cactus Pear to be over-priced for the quality and quantity of food.

I tried McCormick & Schmick's Sunday night. The food was good, but our server could barely speak English, so there were a few mistakes in service. Their menu changes daily, and the $1.95 appetizers {during happy hour} will bring me back to try it again.
jjjrfoodie
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2006/11/22 17:26:18 (permalink)
The reports that Vicenzo's on Chester Rd had closed prompted me to stop by this afternoon around 4pm after work. Employee in company chef togs out front smoking as I pulled in the lot. No cars, but restaurant did not open til 5pm. Door was locked behind employee as I got out of the car so I have no answer as to whether the place is still open but no closed sign and activity, which is good sign. . Vicenzo's corp. truck and a few cars around back, and tables were fully setup with tablecloths and utensils.
Sounds like a call to CSI:Roadfood is in order. :)
I'll keep you posted.

Jerry



dlawson
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2006/11/23 08:55:48 (permalink)
Jerry, I got the closing information from www.dineoutoften.com, the Greater Cincinnati Restaurant Association's site. The right sidebar lists all of the fairly recent closings, and Vincenzo's is at the top of the list.

If this is not the case, please let us know! I have not personally verified the status of Vincenzo's, but I can verify a majority of the closings on that list, especially the ones that weren't as well publicized (Za, Phoenicia).
TJ Jackson
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2006/11/23 12:01:46 (permalink)
Well, let's hope that this one time, the closings listing is wrong....Vincenzo's is a very, very good place for dinner from what I hear.....but lordie, Chester Road does not seem to have a good history as far as restaurants there remaining open....
dlawson
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2006/11/23 15:22:08 (permalink)
Yeahh, Chester Road has largely been a disaster for as long as I can remember. Ta Han (Mongolian BBQ) and Tokyo have hung in there, but the former Bombay Bicycle Club and Silla locations are cursed. I used to frequent both Ta Han and Tokyo when I worked in the area, but haven't been to either one in at least a year.
jjjrfoodie
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2006/11/25 13:57:17 (permalink)
As I had to work this morning and was out Tri-County/Fairfield way, I'd thought I'd swing by Le's Vietenamese restaurant as some had posted eariler and give it a try for a lunch take-away.

I too wanted to try their Banh Mi sandwidich and also gave the Eggrolls (Springrolls by any other name) a try.



As you can see by the pic, the quality of the food was very very good. The sandwich was $3.50 and for that I got the BBQ pork Banh Mi (#36) on a good sized fresh french roll. It came with carrot shreds and cabbage dipped in the nuac nom sauce as garnish (take THAT Wendy's-et all FF!.) It was delicious if you are looking for a change from the regular FF fare.

Egg (nee Spring) rolls were very tasty but anemic. They came with hot sauce and nuam noc dipping sauce.

I need to go back to try the pho and a few other dishes prior to a true thumbsup or thumbs down declaration. The menu is rife with typos, and , as mentioned earlier, the guy out front took my order and then went into the kitchen and whipped it up.

Hours are 11-9 everyday but closed Sunday.
www.le-vietnamesecuisine.com

If your are out at Jungle Jim's or in the area, drop by and grab a Banh Mi to go if nothing else. It's worth it for the snack on the way home.

Jerry



TJ Jackson
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2006/11/25 22:15:05 (permalink)
The pics looks great.

I wasn't even aware there was a restaurant anywhere on crescentville road....mostly non-retail businesses and some homes along there

The website says the restaurant is vegetarian, but the menu has a lot of non vegetarian dishes, including the pork in your sandwich. Odd.

soozycue520
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2006/11/26 11:19:54 (permalink)
Actually, it says they are "vetetarian". {lol " /> }
Alco251
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2006/11/26 11:41:33 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by TJ Jackson

The pics looks great.

I wasn't even aware there was a restaurant anywhere on crescentville road....mostly non-retail busiensses and some homes along there



There was a great little pizza place called Slice of Italy in that space in the 80's and 90's when I worked out there. They were totally about lunch business and were the only place in Cincy that I knew of that sold slices. They were gone when I came back to town in 2002.
dlawson
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2006/11/26 12:21:03 (permalink)
The Le's pictures do look great, and I think I'll check it out for dinner at some point this week. I hope they can make it in that location. There used to be a Quizno's in that plaza that seemed to do well enough during weekday lunch hours, but it closed a couple of years ago.
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2006/11/26 16:04:35 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by soozycue520

Actually, it says they are "vetetarian". {lol " /> }


And the English on the carry-out menu is not much better...

They are in the wing nearest to Crescentville across from Gateway Tire. The Gold Star Chili restaurant seems to be the only shop that survives (even there since from when I worked out that way out in 1990) , but something tells me they (GS owners) may own the plaza.

Dlawson, I'd go with the beef or chicken pho or take a look at the little picture book when you go in and note the number that corresponds to the menu # on an item that interests you. The vermicelli and spicy beef soup looks good as well #29.

I'll try and get back this week for a carrout dinner of a few items as my workday ends at 3:30pm daily(--too early for true dinner).

Cute place and clean.
Now that the underpass on Rte 747 is done, access is a lot quicker and easier.

Good luck.
Jerry
jjjrfoodie
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2006/11/26 16:18:12 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by soozycue520

Actually, it says they are "vetetarian". {lol " /> }


And the English on the carry-out menu is not much better...

They are in the wing nearest to Crescentville across from Gateway Tire. The Gold Star Chili restaurant seems to be the only shop that survives (even there since from when I worked out that way out in 1990) , but something tells me they (GS owners) may own the plaza.

Dlawson, I'd go with the beef or chicken pho or take a look at the little picture book when you go in and note the number that corresponds to the menu # on an item that interests you. The vermicelli and spicy beef soup looks good as well #29.

I'll try and get back this week for a carrout dinner of a few items as my workday ends at 3:30pm daily(--too early for true dinner).

Cute place and clean.
Now that the underpass on Rte 747 is done, access is a lot quicker and easier.

Good luck.
Jerry
dlawson
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2006/11/26 16:39:08 (permalink)
Sounds like their menu/ordering system works the same way as Cilantro's (in Clifton, across from Hughes High School) does. The "sandwich" aspect is what is most intriguing to me about Le's, since Cilantro keeps things a bit more traditional and doesn't offer anything like that. I'm getting to the point where I want to try it as soon as possible, and I'll be up that way tomorrow, so if you plan on picking up dinner around 6:00, you might see me there.
arianej
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2006/11/27 01:43:45 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by jjjrfoodie

As I had to work this morning and was out Tri-County/Fairfield way, I'd thought I'd swing by Le's Vietenamese restaurant as some had posted eariler and give it a try for a lunch take-away.

I too wanted to try their Banh Mi sandwidich and also gave the Eggrolls (Springrolls by any other name) a try.


Great picture, and thanks! I'm in that area regularly (good backroad route between Costco and Jungle Jim's) and have passed by this place but haven't had a chance to pop in yet. The menu looks good, and I am ecstatic to see they've got beef tendon and fatty brisket in the pho bowls. Looking forward to trying the banh mi as well!
dlawson
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2006/11/27 16:43:03 (permalink)
It looks like the item about Vincenzo's closing has been updated for clarity on the www.dineoutoften.com site, unless I've just been reading it wrong all along. It says:

Vincenzo's in Springdale has Closed. It's new location is 11525 Chester Road, once a Texas Roadhouse. It has a private party room, a dining room that holds 100, a bar, a place to wait, and they take credit cards.

Basically, the "Closed" notice applied to their original location on Springfield Pike, the old gas station. The new location on Chester Road is alive and well for now!

I'm grabbing a sandwich at Le's for dinner tonight. I know you probably want opinions on menu items that haven't been reviewed yet, but the BBQ pork sandwich that Jerry got is just too hard to pass up, so I'm going with that. I can at least tell you if he's full of it.
jjjrfoodie
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2006/11/27 20:43:53 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by dlawson

It looks like the item about Vincenzo's closing has been updated for clarity on the www.dineoutoften.com site, unless I've just been reading it wrong all along. It says:

Basically, the "Closed" notice applied to their original location on Springfield Pike, the old gas station. The new location on Chester Road is alive and well for now!

I'm grabbing a sandwich at Le's for dinner tonight. I know you probably want opinions on menu items that haven't been reviewed yet, but the BBQ pork sandwich that Jerry got is just too hard to pass up, so I'm going with that. I can at least tell you if he's full of it.


I think you are correct. They are just noting the move. BTW, the gas staion that was the former Vicenzo's and prior to that Germano's (now located in Olde Montgomery ) has been torn down. It is now just a hole in the ground. Tis' sad indeed.

Enjoy your dining experience dlawson. I'm not making any promises, but the owner Long Le is also the fellow at the door who goes in back and cooks. He had a restaurant in NYC so he seems to know his stuff.

I usually like to try out a place 2 or 3 times before I pass any "try this out" messages along.

If you've got a little cash to spend, try a few of the items or at least a second sandwich. If you just do a fly-by, I will do guniea pig duty this week. I promise.

Enjoy
Jerry
dlawson
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) 2006/11/27 21:34:49 (permalink)
Just a fly-by tonight, and it's a mixed bag. I only got the pork sandwich. It's in the former Quizno's location and is a nice, clean place.

The pork itself was good, if a little fatty. The sandwich on the whole seemed a bit dry due to the amount of carrots he piled on, which were definitely not dipped in any sort of sauce before or after. This sandwich is definitely incomplete without it, and I probably should have asked for a side of sauce to either pour over the sandwich or use as a sort of French dip. Perhaps it's a standard condiment if you dine in, but the only thing that was thrown in the to go bag was a packet of soy sauce (and, I confess, I broke down and used some of it).

In summary, bread and vegetables were nice and fresh, meat was well cooked but slightly fatty, and the lack of sauce really hurt. Still, the sandwich is a very good value for the price, and I'm not soured to the point where I don't want to try some of the other menu items.
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