I posted on this topic several days ago and for some reason it didn't show up. SO: Here we try again!
I took a job downtown in June, and I'm enjoying trying out all the lunch possibilities, in contrast to the chain wasteland that was my former Tri-County work area.
On Tuesdays, I stay downtown through the evening, since I'm a member of the Cincinnati May Festival Chorus, and we rehearse at Music Hall Tuesday evenings 7-10 pm. So I just leave work, go to my "workout" at the YWCA, then go someplace for dinner.
A couple of weeks back, I decided to start looking at places in Over-The-Rhine, and stumbled onto Bakersfield OTR on Vine Street, near Senate and Lavomatic.
Bakersfield has a garage door that opens onto the sidewalk area in good weather. Inside, the place is dim, but not too dark, with a nice ambiance born of lots of wood and brick. The bar is a dark old looking piece of wood, with a fine draft selection and an amazing array of tequilas. The evening I was there, a TV over the back bar was showing True Grit -- not the Jeff Bridges version, the real one, the John Wayne version.
The food menu features a couple of good-looking tortas and salads and some apps and sides, but the centerpiece is the selection of tacos. Tacos come on house-made tortillas, and the array is good -- from mole to pastor to short rib to huitlacoche -- corn fungus!
I had two fish tacos. They featured perfectly fried chunks of mahi mahi, crisp and not oily, with a fine flavor. They were topped with a piquant tabasco - lime sauce and a sharply astringent citrus slaw. At first bite, the sauce and slaw seem a little too citrusy -- but they're the perfect foil for the crisp, smooth fish. The tortillas were so fresh they were falling apart by the end of my meal!
I'm told the place fills up quickly in the evenings -- I was there at about 5:30 PM.
HIGHLY recommended. I'll be back. http://www.bakersfieldotr.com/ http://www.bakersfieldotr.com/food-beer-wine-Otr.pdf