WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat)

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TJ Jackson
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WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) - Mon, 02/21/05 10:23 PM
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[Helpful answer received] / [List Solutions Only]
I opened this thread to openly chat about and discuss the contents of the main Cinti/NK eats thread located at http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=6632

I realize everyone is free to post where they like, but respectfully ask that the chat be kept in here with the review info in the main thread if at all possible :-)

Delilah77
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) - Sun, 12/21/08 11:14 AM
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I had the catfish po' boy at NOTG a few weeks ago. It was delicious. The 11 inch sandwich is easily enough for two unless you have a really hearty appetite.

gatorbreath
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) - Mon, 02/21/05 10:24 PM
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Trailblazing's tough, huh?
TJ, do you have any first-hand knowledge of Dewey's Pizza. They recently opened in St. Louis and I know there are locations in Cincinnati. They are owned by the son of one of the principal owners of the Cardinals, Bill DeWitt. I haven't tried them yet but after reading the local review I probably will. The review cites the owner as saying STL and Cincy both "suck" as far as pizza is concerned, and I concur for St. Louis. Here is the review:

http://www.riverfronttimes.com/issues/2005-01-26/cafe.html

p.s. I really wanted to post this to your other thread and make you tug on your hair, but I feel there's been enough srtife around here lately.

Wallyum
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) - Mon, 02/21/05 10:33 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by gatorbreath

Trailblazing's tough, huh?
TJ, do you have any first-hand knowledge of Dewey's Pizza. They recently opened in St. Louis and I know there are locations in Cincinnati. They are owned by the son of one of the principal owners of the Cardinals, Bill DeWitt. I haven't tried them yet but after reading the local review I probably will. The review cites the owner as saying STL and Cincy both "suck" as far as pizza is concerned, and I concur for St. Louis. Here is the review:

http://www.riverfronttimes.com/issues/2005-01-26/cafe.html

p.s. I really wanted to post this to your other thread and make you tug on your hair, but I feel there's been enough srtife around here lately.


I like Dewey's and have tried almost everything on the menu, but I have to disagree about Cincy pizza "sucking". It's not Chicago, but we have our share of good little out of the way pizza places. Unfortunately we lost the best a few years back; The Brickyard in O'Bryonville.

TJ Jackson
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) - Tue, 02/22/05 8:36 AM
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I've only been to Dewey's once, several years ago when they had only one location (in Oakley) Had a basic pizza, and it was just OK.

Because they now have a location on Newport on the Levy, it's unlikely I will be back.

Sorry.

Cincinnati does indeed have some good pizza, but it does take some looking to find - one might think we have nothing but LaRosa's and the national chains if one doesn't look closely, and this is precisely the assertion they make in the article - quote: "Justice and DeWitt cite a number of similarities between St. Louis and Cincinnati -- particularly the fact that both cities' pizza scenes mostly suck. Both are dominated by the national chains and one local player of arguable quality: Larossa's in Cincy and..."

Dominated? Yes. Totally. But there are plenty of single location pizzerias (and one notable small chain - Mio's) here that make a good pie.

SouthHillbilly
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) - Tue, 02/22/05 9:59 AM
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TJ, have you been here? Not sure where I cut the review from. Didn't have time to check it out while in Cincy.

Teranga
What: Casual West African restaurant.
Where: 8440 Vine St., Hartwell.
When: 11 a.m.-midnight Monday-Sunday.

Phone: 821-1300

Teranga has a simple decor - just enough art and objects to suggest Senegal. Here we first were served tiny cups of tea, super-strong, highly sweetened and flavored with vanilla. We began with pastels ($3), fried turnovers filled with a remarkably savory beef filling.
I had ceebu yap ($6), a simple stew of lamb in a tomato-rich sauce with carrots and onions, with rice to spoon it onto. Chicken brochettes ($10) were a generous six skewers loaded with grilled, tender chicken, lightly charred,served with couscous and a salad-like garnish. The most dramatic dish was grilled fish ($10), a whole tilapia, skin, bones and all, very crispy on the outside and served with plenty of sauteed onions. It had a citrus zest marinade and was served with a lime for squeezing and plantains. Deep-frying plantains brings out their essential banana flavor, but in texture they're like fried potatoes.
Our host brought a small dish of a green and white sauce that he called cassava. It added a lot to the brochettes and fish with its zingy taste, like horseradish.

SouthHillbilly
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) - Tue, 02/22/05 10:05 AM
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TJ, June Bug's has you hooked! I'd be a regular if I lived in Cincy.

Has anyone been to Taqueria Mercado or Azteca?

TJ Jackson
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) - Tue, 02/22/05 10:50 AM
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SH: I do indeed love June Bug's. I printed out the comments you posted from your triplog thread, and dropped it off for him last Friday night on the way home. I'll be stopping in again soon for ribs and sides, and thereafter will add a full review.

I sent the link for Teranga to Carlton Pierre on these forums, and I assume you got it there.

Here's the link again: http://www.cincinnati.com/freetime/dining/reviews/103103_african.html

I am not as adventurous as some other posters here, so I probably won't make it to Teranga for a while. Also, I will be concentrating on restaurants close to downtown, as that's where I work as of about 2 weeks ago.

Taqueria Azteca (on Northland Blvd) has been closed for about a year now.

Taqueria Mercado (on Dixie Highway, also known as Rt 4) is doing OK, near as I could tell, as of three weeks ago. Have not been there either. My former employment was just 3 miles from there, could kick myself for not stopping in at least once, but another great mexican place in that area - Acapulco - always drew my mexican food patronage.

TJ Jackson
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) - Tue, 02/22/05 1:50 PM
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Bad news on the Raffie's front - I've made the 8 block hike there 3 times now at lunch in the past ten days, and every time I have been there there has been the same sign on the window claiming they are closed due to a family emergency.

I hope they reopen soon, but am beginning to lose a little hope.

TJ Jackson
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) - Tue, 02/22/05 1:53 PM
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Took the wife to Arnolds (Cincinnati's oldest continuously operating bar, as far as I know, dating back to the civil war) today, and she was impressed as hell - "best lunch ever downtown" she says - and wants to go back...soon. I'll review it after a second trip.

Aside: Lordy, that's two non-chains in a row that she has liked, could a trend be starting here?

SouthHillbilly
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) - Tue, 02/22/05 11:31 PM
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TJ, I thought I saw Taqueria Azteca on the way back toward the interstate from Jungle Jims? Must have been another.

TJ Jackson
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) - Wed, 02/23/05 12:09 AM
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If it was set back in a little strip shopping center (alongside a mexican bakery and a mexican grocer)on your left as you headed south towards I-275, then you are thinking of Mercado.

Azteca is/was a bit south of I-275 on Northland Blvd. You'd have to pass under I-275 and keep heading south on Rt 4 a mile or so then left on Northland to get to Azteca.

TJ Jackson
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) - Wed, 02/23/05 4:29 PM
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Tried the burger at Inbetween Tavern (real close to the Red's new stadium, was mentioned in the 2005 Baseball trip thread as a roadfood-type hangout just before or after a game) today.

If you go, check the local paper called "The Downtowner" as there is almost always a coupon for a buck off your meal. 1/3rd pound burger, can't get it any way other than well done, with chips for 4.50, 75 cents extra makes it a cheeseburger. They have a daily sandwich special which tends to be in the 5-7 dollar range, and have two daily soups.

I wasn't impressed with the burger even with the buck off coupon, but I think I will try the place again before making final judgement as it is only 2 blocks away.

The wet and cold weather this late winter in Cincinnati is keeping me fairly close to home base so far. Hopefully next week I can start ranging out again.

arianej
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) - Wed, 02/23/05 11:32 PM
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Not sure if this should be in this thread or the other, since it's not exactly a formal review...
quote:
Originally posted by SouthHillbilly

TJ, have you been here? Not sure where I cut the review from. Didn't have time to check it out while in Cincy.

Teranga
What: Casual West African restaurant.
Where: 8440 Vine St., Hartwell.
When: 11 a.m.-midnight Monday-Sunday.


I've been there, but just once and it was a while back. We always intended to return, but dang... so many restaurants, so little time.

To provide some proper background, we did go at a bad time... It was around 4 pm-ish, too early for dinner, apparently. Service was friendly and very apologetic, but the food took well over an hour to arrive. What we had, however, was great. I had some sort of grilled lamb dish, and the portions were huge--more than enough for one person. My husband had beef kebabs, and really liked it as well, saying they were very juicy and flavorful. Sides were a giant plate of couscous (okay, would've preferred fresh vegetables to frozen mixed) and fried plantains, which we both love. Oh, and the entrees also came with a rather pungent onion salad in some sort of mustardy dressing. Very good, but whoa...breath mints needed afterwards.

The restaurant is extremely casual, more of a hole-in-the-wall place. They seemed to be getting a lot of take out orders from people speaking what I assume is Senegalese, which is certainly a good sign. I'd return without hesitation, but would probably make more of an effort to go closer to normal dinner hours. The menu is small, but everything on it looked good, and I'd love to have that lamb again.



I've also been to Taqueria Mercado, but that too, was a while ago. IIRC, it had a lot of Hispanic customers, and the food was good. I had a giant burrito, and I'm afraid I don't recall any greater detail than that. Atmosphere, menu and food were similar to Mi Tierra in Dayton if that helps.


TJ Jackson
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) - Thu, 02/24/05 8:32 AM
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quote:
Originally posted by QFan

Sugar and Spice.....still in operation?

Yes indeed, it is. Going strong and I'd say unchanged despite ownership change a few years back (Eliot Jablonsky, who owns a number of single location restaurants throughout the area, now owns it) and still very very good. Eliot seems content to allow it to operate more or less on it's own, has a very light hand in actual management of the place.

On Roading in Bond Hill just south of the Norwood Lateral.

My faves: the thin pancakes and the corned beef hash.

TJ Jackson
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) - Thu, 02/24/05 8:33 AM
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arienj: it works in either thread, thanks for the input. If i get a little more input on the place, I will probably have to go out and try it out. The beef kebabs sound like they are up my alley.

TJ Jackson
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) - Thu, 02/24/05 4:09 PM
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ate at Sakkio of Japan today, good as ever. Portions have gotten a tad bit smaller but the price remains an attractive 3.99 for a good sized, nutritionally balanced, freshly cooked lunch.

carlton pierre
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) - Fri, 02/25/05 11:10 PM
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Went to Cincy yesterday and today to visit family. Had lunch at Willie's SportsBar on Rt 747 just north of Tri County Mall. Wasn't my choice to go there, but the service was atrocious, and food was ok. Would not care to ever go back.
Had breakfast this a.m. at Camp Washington Chili. I met a friend of mine there who knows the owner, Jerry Johnson. He's greek, only his name is not. Excellent breakfast of pancakes and goetta. He said he serves about 60-70 gallons of chili per day.
Shopped at Jungle Jim's. Can't imagine any other place like it. I bought 15 lbs. of rice that cannot be found here, along with some cheeses, goodies from the olive bar, etc. Indian food.

TJ Jackson
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) - Wed, 03/2/05 1:16 PM
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Bought a ultracheap (25 bucks) little digicam for taking foodie pics around town. First pic is from[url='http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=6632#106133']Gondola Pizzeria[/url]

Not too bad for the price and the fairly poor lighting

cyrano
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) - Fri, 03/4/05 10:27 AM
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Where would be a good place to eat lunch on a weekday near the Netherland Plaza hotel (35 W. 5th)? I'll be there for a conference in a couple of weeks.

TJ Jackson
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) - Fri, 03/4/05 10:53 AM
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depends on what kind of food you want....and whether you are alone or have associates along...and whether you want to sample Cincinnati specialties (chili/coneys/3ways, goeeta, double decker sandwiches) or not...etc etc

Give us some specs to work with :-)

cyrano
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) - Fri, 03/4/05 5:51 PM
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I honestly don't know whether anyone would be with me or not. Cincinnati specialties would be the first choice, not spending much money is a high priority.

TJ Jackson
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) - Sat, 03/5/05 11:01 PM
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Ok then, that made it really really simple ..... go to a Cincinnati style Chili parlor!

The best chili parlors are not downtown, but you'll get an authentic experience at either of the two major chains, both of which are well-represented downtown - Skyline or Gold Star. Of the two, I think Skyline has the best stuff.

Your best bet is at the corner of 7th and Vine, between 2 and 3 blocks from you.

Here's the Skyline locations page
http://www.skylinechili.com/skyline_locations_main.php#downtown

Best way to experience: order a regular sized 3-way plus a cheese coney. Ask them to drain the spaghetti well. If you are fond of beans or onions, order a 4-way instead of the 3-way. If fond of both beans AND onions, order a 5-way.

SouthHillbilly
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) - Sat, 03/5/05 11:54 PM
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de Bergerac,
Check out Hathaway's in the Carew Tower. It has great breakfast and goetta (a Cincinnati breakfast specialty).
For a real treat, grab some ribs up at June Bugs. Good homecookin. . . It's a quick cab ride a few blocks north.

TJ Jackson
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) - Sun, 03/6/05 12:44 AM
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SH: not sure Hathaway's serves breakfast all day, will have to check. Also, this fellow is wanting lunch....not breakfast. That said, it certainly is nearby.

June Bug's is a bit out of the way and probably not suited for a quick lunch when one has to return to a conference shortly thereafter. It's also a bit pricey.

PP: Thankee.

mabk34
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) - Mon, 03/7/05 12:29 PM
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Hathaway's does indeed serve breakfast all day. Yum.

Another cheapo diner-like place is Temple Restaurant on West Sixth Street between Elm and Race. I can't speak for their chili, but breakfast is delicious and cheap, and any sandwich you get there will be pretty good. If I remember correctly, goetta omelets are on the menu, too. Or Cafe de Vine on Vine St., between Third and Fourth.

For an exotic lunch, there's Meijana, also on W. Sixth in the Crowne Plaza Hotel. It's Mediterranean food, leaning mostly toward Arabic/North African stuff. $6.95 for the lunch buffet, including drinks and dessert.

Dang it, I miss working downtown!

TJ Jackson
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) - Mon, 03/7/05 12:41 PM
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Bad news re:[url='http://www.citybeat.com/2004-12-22/thedish.shtml']Raffies[/url].

I made the 8 block walk again into Over the Rhine and the place was torn out....all the counters and fixtures are gone, with only the overhead sign indicating Raffie's was ever there....

sucks....

Michael Hoffman
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) - Tue, 03/8/05 12:17 PM
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My daughter said she had a really terrific meal at Mitchell's Fish Market in Newport Saturday night.

Wallyum
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) - Tue, 03/8/05 9:27 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by Michael Hoffman

My daughter said she had a really terrific meal at Mitchell's Fish Market in Newport Saturday night.


Nothing TJ likes better than a good meal at Newport On The Levee.

TJ Jackson
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) - Wed, 03/16/05 8:31 AM
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Had lunch at a locally owned burrito place called Burrito Joes with the same "big burrito" type of food that Chipotle serves. I like Chipotle, and had hopes this place would be a little better.

Prices were a little better, overall, but the food was not that great. ah well.

Update 3/28/2006: returned for another burrito, half traditional chicken, half grilled chicken. what the heck, they're only a two block walk from work. At 4.95 these are still a bit cheaper than Chipotle but i'd happily pay more if they were as flavorful as the Chipotle burritos. They also don't have the fresh green pepper and onion mix you can get at Chipotle, ala fajita style. Pass.

TJ Jackson
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) - Wed, 03/16/05 1:14 PM
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Took the wife to Patoshnik's today, and she declared me 2 for 2 on lunch places downtown to which I have taken her since we bth work downtown now.

She said the potato salad is not so good, but the greek pasta salad is quite good. She loved the philly beef wrap.....which unlike it's prototype includes chunks of green pepper and mushrooms.

TJ Jackson
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) - Tue, 04/12/05 1:04 PM
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Been very busy at the new job, but did manage to take a full lunch today at JeanRo, which bills itself as a traditional french bistro in a fairly casual environment.

It's quite a bit heavy on the frou-frou elements, with waiters in tuxes and white tablecloths and wine service and etc. Lunch will run you at least 10 bucks, averaging closer to 18, so I no longer really consider this a roadfood-type place.

That said, my meal (a croque monsieur topped with bechamel and a fried egg, pommes frites on the side) was pretty good, and everything else I saw brought to other tables looked quite good as well.

Still, I don't think I'll do a full review on it in the main thread.

TJ Jackson
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) - Tue, 04/12/05 5:11 PM
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Marx Hot Bagels is still in business

http://www.cincinnati.com/dining/marx/

Current locations listed in that link.

Not unlikely they had a location in the area described above, was a much nicer and more lively business area a decade or two ago, but is very much is shambles now.

TJ Jackson
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) - Wed, 04/13/05 2:34 PM
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Stopped in to Venerable old italian restaurant[url='http://www.campanellos.com/main.htm']Campanellos[/url] on the southwestern outskirts of downtown Cincinnati today.

Very odd.....everything was either great or bad. Nothing in between.

Bread basket - GREAT. Some of the best freshly baked bread I have had in a long time, accompanied by real butter

Salad - old and limp, even the carrot shreds were fading.

Salad dressing - GREAT. Very tasty in-house italian dressing. Had a nice zip to it

Spaghetti with clam sauce - think spaghetti doused with milk with some barely cooked pieces of clam sprinkled on. They don't offer a red clam sauce. The fact that the portion size was enough for three people didn't help - I finished very little of it.

I think I will go back one more time, and this time go with the server's recommendation - lasagna.

SouthHillbilly
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) - Thu, 04/14/05 9:31 AM
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quote:
Originally posted by TJ Jackson

Been very busy at the new job, but did manage to take a full lunch today at JeanRo, which bills itself as a traditional french bistro in a fairly casual environment.

It's quite a bit heavy on the frou-frou elements, with waiters in tuxes and white tablecloths and wine service and etc. Lunch will run you at least 10 bucks, averaging closer to 18, so I no longer really consider this a roadfood-type place.

That said, my meal (a croque monsieur topped with bechamel and a fried egg, pommes frites on the side) was pretty good, and everything else I saw brought to other tables looked quite good as well.

Still, I don't think I'll do a full review on it in the main thread.


Assume you are referring to Jean Robert's?
We had an awsome dinner there. It was real French stuff, trouffels and all. Everything from appetizers to the desert were absolutely superb.

VERY expensive and I didn't quite get the supposedly "casual" atmosphere. It was not black tie required, but no one was wearing jeans or even looked casual. . . of course, my idea of casual and someone coming in from their yacht idea of casual are probably two very different things. Of course, being from WV, we mocked the pretense of the place and the waiters and matre de thought that was pretty funny.

SouthHillbilly
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) - Thu, 04/14/05 9:36 AM
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"a croque monsieur topped with bechamel and a fried egg, pommes frites on the side"

TJ, could ya maybe interpret that for us hillbillies who only got two years of French credit in four years of HS?


Howdy clayse, weir a gunna larn us some frayench tuday. Repeat after me: bone jur meesur.

TJ Jackson
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) - Thu, 04/14/05 11:00 AM
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croque monsieur is a grilled ham and cheese, more or less :-)
bechamel is a rich but somewhat bland cream sauce
pommes frites is, errr, potatoes fried. French fries. :-)

The restaurant you went to is Jean Robert's at Pigalls. Very upscale, very expensive. The chef-owner Jean Robert Cavel, former chief chef at the Maisonnette, opened this place first
http://www.cincinnati.com/freetime/dining/reviews/102502_pigalls.html

Later, he opened JeanRo's as a casual french alternative, or so it is billed. Far more casual, far less expensive. No tie required. The two restaurants are only about a block and a half away from one another
http://www.cincinnati.com/freetime/dining/reviews/071604_jeanro_lunch.html
http://www.cincinnati.com/freetime/dining/reviews/051404_jeanro.html

Bon Appetit!

TJ Jackson
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) - Sun, 06/5/05 3:23 PM
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(Replying to post from the[url='http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=6632']other thread[/url])
quote:
Originally posted by ephus

tj, the taco casa, is that the one in hyde park?

i tried to go there once, but i sat there and nobody came to help me... left and haven't been back

Taco Casa has three locations, including the one you went to in Hyde Park. All of them do service at the counter, with no table service, so that's why no one came to help you.

Edit: I just picked up 3 hard shell tacos at the one that is very well hidden in downtown Cincinnati, near the Red Fox (no relation to the comedian Red Foxx)Grill. Excellent as always.

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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) - Thu, 06/9/05 10:40 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by TJ Jackson

Taco Casa has three locations, including the one you went to in Hyde Park. All of them do service at the counter, with no table service, so that's why no one came to help you.



actually tj, i was at the counter. for three minutes. nobody helped me.

i may go back. not sure. good mexican is worth horrible service, but it better be pretty good... thanks

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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) - Thu, 06/30/05 5:05 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by TJ Jackson

The First Watch on 7th Street in downtown Cincinnati is no more, in it's place is a new restaurant called Rise and Shine that would appear to serve more or less the same kind of stuff and keep the same kind of hours (breakfast and lunch only)

I'll try to get by there soon for a basic report.


First Watch is still there on 7th. Rise and Shine is a new breakfast/lunch place on 6th. It is in the former Big Boy location. The menu is typical for a breakfast/lunch place but has a bit more Southern feel to it (i.e. grits) and less California-cuisine oriented than First Watch.

I ate there this week and was plesantly surprised. The French Toast was pretty good (huge portion). Two friends of mine had an omelat and they liked it as well. Service was very friendly and helpful.

TJ Jackson
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) - Fri, 07/1/05 9:05 AM
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Sorry bout the mistake re: Rise and Shine. mascolino has it right.

City Q (from Columbus) is opening up a location on the northern outskirts of Cincinnati

from http://news.cincinnati.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050630/ENT01/507010309/1026

"City Q Barbeque will open in West Chester Township late this month. This Columbus-based barbecue restaurant makes Texas-style brisket, Carolina-style pulled pork and Kansas City-style ribs. The chain has just begun opening restaurants in other parts of Ohio. This may be the first of several in Greater Cincinnati. Open 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and noon-9 p.m. Sunday. 7706 Voice of America Centre Drive, (513) 755-2011."

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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) - Sat, 07/9/05 10:50 AM
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We finally made it to Salem Gardens last night, which is a bar-restaurant in TJ's neck of the woods. We had a pretty good meal, if somewhat on the basic side, but that was what I expected. We ate on the patio and I stuck to the burger that they supposedly made their name with and wasn't disappointed. It was very good as tavern burgers go, but my wife had a Buffalo Chicken Wrap that was excellent. The kids stuck with the standard kids stuff, chicken fingers and a ham sandwich, but they finished everything on the plate, which is rare. The menu wasn't overly expansive, but fit with the theme as far as I could tell. This isn't a good place for a quick pop-in/pop-out meal as the service was quite relaxed, but in a friendly way. It seems to be the kind of place that people sit around and talk over a beer after dinner, and that was tempting as last night was the kind of evening that you don't see often in July in Cincinnati.

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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) - Sun, 07/24/05 12:02 AM
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We had lunch today at the Saigon Dragon, just down the road from Jungle Jim's. Not bad! i was surprised to see Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese AND Mexican dishes on the menu, it was rather surreal. Both Erik and I ordered the pho tai, which was decent. I was disappointed the meat didn't really come out medium rare, despite asking for it. I'll try to be more emphatic next time about wanting to see pink meat, maybe even blood.

Has anyone tried any of Thai or Mexican dishes? I'd love to hear how everyone else's experiences went in terms of what they ate, how it turned out, how they did handled all the different cuisines, etc.


I can't remember if I've mentioned it here before... Further along route 4 from Jungle Jim's is a little place in Hamilton called Mike's chili and gyros. It seems like an odd combo, but it's good food. The cincinnati chili seems a bit more Greek-influenced in terms of the spicing, but I like it a lot.

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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) - Mon, 08/1/05 9:38 AM
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Best breakfast near there (in my opinion) is the 1.79 chicken biscuit at Chik-Fi-La in the basement foodcourt at the Carew Tower. Very few Chik-Fi-La's do breakfast. Less than a block away from where you are staying.

In the same building but on the ground floor is Hathaways, reviewed on this site.
http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Writeup.aspx?ReviewID=1162&RefID=1162.
Good but not great, very much a throwback kind of place. You can get goetta here, which I highly recommend.

Lots of good places for lunch.....http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=6632. My favorite two picks are a bit of a walk from where you are: Arnold's and Patoschniks. Considerably closer and also good is Redfish, be sure to get their seafood chowder.

TJ Jackson
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) - Mon, 08/1/05 2:02 PM
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Today, I had lunch at a little hole in the wall on Main near 8th called Sophia's

Had every earmark of a quality mom and pop shop, but was only so-so. Had a basic gyro and fries, both unremarkable. Noted that the gyro meat was presliced rather than cut from vertically mounted roasted roll that I am accustomed to at the good places.....ah well.

I will stop back in some other day for a cheeseburger or a plate lunch special, which they advertise on a handdrawn sidwalk sign just outside their door.

Aside: I finally bought a cheap digicam (2MP Nikon Coolpix with 16MB card) on EBay and will start taking "good eats" pics soon. I think I will start with Patoshniks or Sakkio of Japan

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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) - Tue, 08/2/05 7:21 PM
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Stopped at Riverfront Pizza in Covington today, just across the river from where I park. I had wanted to try the Noble Roman's I had heard was operating in tandem with a gas station about a mile from my parkign lot, which I knew was a fairly bad idea but.......anyway, I picked up a large thin crust (on a special) and chowed down on about half of it.

The crust was pretty good, but unfortunately they coat the bottom with salt, and this left a strong taste as well as a powerful thirst as I worked through the pizza. The sauce was tastty but had a somewhat gelatinous quality, which was indeed unfortunate.

Overall, not too good, although if they could stop salting the crust and make a better sauce, it'd be quite good.....

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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) - Tue, 08/2/05 9:31 PM
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Someone on this forum asked about the Upper Krust on Calhoun Street and their relationship to the Upper Krust in Dayton a month or so ago on "lost chains..". I can't find / don't have the time to find the original post, so here it goes. My very first job in Cinti. was at the Upper Krust in 1969. I can't recall if it was a franchise or an expansion. After summer school at UC ended, business dropped off quite a bit and I was laid off(or was it that I ran my pinkie thru the the slicer earlier in the month).
In any event, the owner was a pretty decent guy and fed me a meal a day for
the next month.Unfortunately, he had heart problems and if my memory serves me (keep in mind the passage of time here), those problems lead to the sale of the business in the early 70's. The sandwiches were very good, but 2 things stick in my memory. First, we had to wear plastic gloves when making the sandwiches (something not prevalent until many years after) and the tapioca pudding. Whether it was good or not, I couldn't tell you, but it was the first I had in my life and I ate it every day.

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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) - Tue, 08/2/05 9:40 PM
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Actually, I was the one who asked about it :-) Woo! Thanks!

There was an Upper Krust up on Reading Road in the Sharonville/Evendale area as well, and that's the one I remember, with the two story bright yellow facade and the huge weird sandwiches

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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) - Tue, 08/2/05 11:18 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by TJ Jackson

Actually, I was the one who asked about it :-) Woo! Thanks!

There was an Upper Krust up on Reading Road in the Sharonville/Evendale area as well, and that's the one I remember, with the two story bright yellow facade and the huge weird sandwiches
Yeah, You're right. There was one up there. Same facade. I believe you could see it from the expressway. I think it lasted a bit longer than the Calhoun St. store, so maybe it was an attempted franchise. What do you remember about the sandwiches being weird? I pretty much remember (such at is) a standard deli / double decker menu with nothing cooked/fried. Dill pickle / chips / potato salad or something like it on the side. And, of course, the tapioca pudding.

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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) - Wed, 08/3/05 12:49 AM
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I remember particularly combinations with peanut butter....I was only 10 then....stuff that doesn't seem so very outlandish now like peanut butter and bacon, peanut butter and bananas....and this was the first time I had heard the term "overstuffed" applied to sandwiches.

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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) - Wed, 08/24/05 4:36 PM
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Ate at a tiny hole in the wall deli - when the term hole in the wall was conceived, it ws this place they had in mind - called PJ's Deli on Main near 9th. Their everyday special - a quarter pound deli ham sandwich on your choice of bread with a bag of chips and a 16 oz fountain drink for 3.50....as shown (if you look close) in the pic below



I'd walked by this sign 50 times without stopping, but decided to check it out today. Very, very good. Wil come back with the camera and supply some additional details in a few days.

I will also (now that I have pics from the roadfood-ish week) do a full review on Patoshniks in the main Cinti/N Ky thread....

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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) - Wed, 08/24/05 5:37 PM
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If you are into German food, I would recommend The Hofbrauhaus in Newport.

http://www.hofbrauhausnewport.com/

While I have not eaten there, my wife gives it glowing praise, and she is a very particular eater, especially when it comes to German food.

TJ Jackson
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) - Fri, 08/26/05 10:40 AM
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added the full review for Sakkio of Japan to the main thread

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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) - Mon, 08/29/05 8:58 PM
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For the best San Francisco style Burrito outside of San Francisco try The Comet Bar in Northside at 4579 Hamilton Ave 513.541.8900. http://www.cometbar.com/
They also have the best Jukebox (9 years in a row according to City Beat Magazine)in the city, over 100 beers in stock not to mention two pool tables and and old fashioned photo-booth that spits out 4 little photos on a strip. The Burritos are the size of a small child. The Comet opens at 4:30 and serves food until 1:00am,

TJ Jackson
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) - Thu, 09/1/05 10:46 AM
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Had a suprisingly good pizza from a little pizza shop that is very hard to spot on Madison in covington....Pizza Time.

Very good, very thin NYC style pizza, and they offer huge (from a 20' pie) slices for 1.89. Sauce is savory rather than sweet with a good amount of oregano. Big banner out front in place of an actual sign that says they are under new management (I've never been there before, so I have no idea what the old management was like) and the lady at the counter says the management change took place about 3 months ago.

Worth a try, imho, to any locals. Be forewarned that parking is minimal, it is in decrepit downtown Covington, and seating accomodations are limited and very spartan.

I snapped a few pics of the pie and their menu - fairly extensive for a small pizza place, and the special the evening I stopped by was a fried shrimp dinner....

I will try to go back to try a hoagie and then hopefully do a review.

TJ Jackson
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) - Sat, 09/3/05 3:24 PM
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We here in cincinnati are starting....just starting....to get some "real" bbq places. That is to say, until recently, if you purchased BBQ in Cincinnati you were typically getting a presauced meat that was not necessarily smoked at all. Frankly, on my arrival here, I thought the term "bbq" related to the sauce, not the meat.

In any case, I visited another fairly recent "real" bbq establishment this past Friday night - Walt's on Colerain Avenue just south of Galbraith. I found out today that he has a website (http://www.waltsbarbeque.com) that includes an online copy of his menu (http://www.waltsbarbeque.com/menu.htm). Take a look at the menu, it is both notable and somewhat amusing to see the menu writer mention that they never boil their ribs - a thinly veiled swipe at the huge local BBQ favorite, the Montgomery Inn. Anyway, this Walt's is not to be confused with the similarly named Walt's Hitching Post (which has been in business for 40 years or more and has been reviewed several times locally, for example [url='http://www.cincinnati.com/freetime/dining/reviews/031904_walts.html']Review 1[/url] and [url='http://www.citybeat.com/2000-03-16/diner.shtml']Review 2[/url] in Northern Kentucky. I don't think the two are connected in any way other than the name similarity and the fact that both serve their own versions of bbq.

Walt's is in what appears to be a converted Taco Bell or somesuch, and is owner operated.



The owner was very gracious about allowing me to take some pics of the storefront and the decor (lots of local sprts trophies and pigs - piggie banks, pig dolls, pig statues, etc etc etc) inside as well as signage. He has two big stainless steel smokers in back of his very small eatery, and seemed to to every bit as much if not more business on carryout as on dine in - which is good, because I saw maybe 6 tables in the whole place.

He smokes his pork, chicken, and ribs, but according to the menu his brisket is not smoked, which i thought was odd....why not smoke it too?

I ordered the 8.99 sampler/combo platter called "The Three Pigs" to go, as I was on my way to a get together with some friends.....



It's unfortunate that the fries dominate the pic, but clockwise from the fries: brisket on a minibun, pulled chicken on a miniibun, pulled pork on a minibun, and a 2 bone section of pork ribs. Sauce in the center. The carryout bag also included napkins, wepnaps, and a fork.

The sauces are very sweet, reminding me almost of a mixture of a traditional bbq sauce and pancake syrup, with a consistency closer to my mind to the latter. He also offers a spicey sauce, but I didn't notice that until I re-read the carryout menu well after I had left. I'd guess that the spicey sauce is much better. The pulled pork was just outstanding - moist, tender, full of flavor, nice smokiness. The chicken was moist, tender, and good but tasted rather plain, ie not much if any smokiness to it, not sure if he smokes his chicken or not. The ribs were the big hit - very smokey, good char, extremely tender. The brisket was kinda dry to the point that it was a little flakey, and it had a large amount of fat on it. The fries included were fairly ordinary but the seasoned salt made them better than average. I'm a big believer that fries don't travel well, particulary inside a steamy/moist enclosed area like this styro container was once I closed it up and transported it, so I'll concede they'd probably have been a lot better had I eaten them there. According to the counter guy, I could have substituted in any of the dozen or so side choices



in place of the fries, although the printed menu says fries only on this combo.

I think this place has all the earmarks of a real roadfood-type establishment except I wasn't as impressed by the food as I had hoped to be, and I think a return trip (for rib tips, the spicey sauce, and some of the home-made sides) is in order to help bring clarity to the question.

TJ Jackson
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) - Fri, 09/9/05 10:53 AM
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I've been talking up the Chick-Fil-A breakfast "Chicken Biscuit" for some time now. Truly, this is one of my favorite breakfast items in all of Cincinnati when I consider price, quality, and quantity.

Most Chick-Fil-A's I am aware of don't do breakfast, but the one in the basement food court at the Carew Tower in downtown Cincinnati does. I picked up a couple this morning, and after scarfing down the first one, I decided to get a pic of the second one before it disappeared same as the first....



As you can see, the biscuit certainly cut on a mold but is baked on site and has some individual character. They are always very moist inside with a nice thin golden crust outside, and are basted with real butter. Nestled inbetween the biscuit top and bottom is an excellent, perfectly fried piece of thick and juicy chicken breast. They don't cook too far ahead of demand, and so I have always (talking since I first tried one of these in 1997) gotten a fresh piece of chicken. Note how thick the chicken is :-). I'll add that there is almost always a crowd waiting to get a chicken biscuit (or two) every time I go there.

I know this violates the roadfood purist rules in at least two different ways -- it is mallfood and it is chainfood -- but I stand firmly behind the greatness of this breakfast delight. Try before you deny.....

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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) - Mon, 09/12/05 2:31 PM
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All good things must come to an end....

Little did I know, when I last ate at the Saigon Dragon back in late 2004, that I would be eating there for the very last time. Oh, it's still there, physically....same location a mile or so North of Jungle Jim's on rt4 in Fairfield, but it's not the same.



My oldest daughter (just turned 4) went to her first dance class this past Saturday morning, so me and the youngest (age 2.5) hopped in the car and went up to Saigon Dragon for an early lunch. I had been meaning to get back to this placed that I had touted over and over again since coming to Roadfood as "one of the very best lunch deals in all of Cincinnati", and decided that no time was better than the present. After a quick stop to pick up some computer parts at Microcenter, we arrived.



I had already heard the bad news from other contributors here, that the menu had changed and included mexican and such, but I remained cautiously optimistic, figuring that the owner was simply trying to expand his menu in an attempt to drum up some more business. Not the case. I was greeted by the new owners - a hispanic man and an asian woman - at the door, and they were friendly enough, but I knew that it was likely that this was now my Saigon Dragon in name only. A quick discussion revealed that they had bought the place in or around February of 2005 - right about the same time I had changed jobs, moving from a close-by Fairfield office to a "I can only get there once in a great while" location of downtown Cincinnati; and further that the original owner had decided to retire. I can certainly recall he had looked to be in his late 60's or early 70's, so this made sense, despite being unfortunate for me :-) Still, there remained the possibility the previous ownership/family had showed them some things and included family recipes and cooking techniques, so with some trepidation I sat down, snapped off a shot or two of the interior, my gorgeous dining companion, and her Dora the Explorer juice cup, and took up the menu.



What a mess. Over a hundred different things to choose from, and I am a big believer that one should do a few things well before attempting to do many things adequately. That, and the beloved under 4 buck lunch specials were simply gone. Gone as in you can still order a lunch special, but it's 5.50 now and it no longer includes a soup. Here's a partial shot of the core asian part of the menu. There's 2 or 3 more pages besides this of things to choose from.



The restaurant was as empty as I had always remembered it -- not even one additional customer came in the entire time we were there -- and I had to think that raising one's prices is not the best way to attract new customers. I sighed heavily, and ordered the old standby -- pepper steak, extra rice, and an eggroll. The special included an eggroll, but I wanted to split one with my extremely cute dining companion (she'd never had asian food before) and have a whole one to myself. I'm greedy like that :-) Besides, in my memory, the eggrolls had been simply outstanding, and surely they had worked with the old owner to replicate these, particularly since they had nearly doubled the price (from 1.00 each to 1.75 each)

The food arrived, and the first thing I noticed was that the portion was somewhat larger. I had ordered extra rice only because the rice portion under the previous management had been somewhat small, but now I had two huge servings of rice. Ah well, live and learn :-) I portioned out some of everything to my appreciative and hungry little girl before taking in the look of everything.



The eggrolls and the pepper steak looked every bit as good as the old, but I noted that the brown sauce was thinner and there was less of it.

A few bites pretty much told the tale. The Tender beef of old had been replaced by pieces somewhat thicker sliced and far less tender. The sauce was indeed far thinner, and lacked the intense satisfying flavor it had had under previous management. The veggies on the other hand were every bit as fresh and nicely crunchy as they had been before. Then there was the eggroll - the ingredients were indeed fresh and even a bit crunchy, which I liked, but this was clearly a new and original mixture not resembling the eggrolls I remembered at the least. (please pardon the flecks of rice on the fork to the left, I was given a clean fork but had used it to portion out some lunch for my daughter before taking the pic)



That said, don't get me wrong -- this was a good meal at a fair price. But it wasn't equal to what was now, for me, a legend -- a restaurant that had served top quality food at bargain basement prices and now no longer existed.

Saigon Dragon remains in my opinion a solid/decent place to eat, but not the kind of place I will recommend for a special/roadfood type stop.

ah well. another one bites the dust......

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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) - Tue, 09/13/05 5:05 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by jmckee
Yeah, I thought it kind of looked "gussied up" a bit. My dilemma is that I've developed a sushi fixation lately, and while I love the place where I eat sushi in Sharonville, there's really nowhere in our neck of the woods that I know is good. Sushi Ray is supposed to be wonderful, but that's in Mt. Lookout.

Wallyum? Got any input.


I don't know where you are, but our favorite is Ando, in Blue Ash. It's still a relatively new location for them and I don't think they have a liquor license, but you can bring in your own, no problems. We love ordering the santen-mori, the chef's choice of 3 appetizers. He comes up with something different each time, and it's a work of art as well as delicious. You can also ask for the Japanese list of appetizers if you want something more unusual than the typical offerings. Sushi is excellent, with high quality fish. Definitely try the bluefin tuna if he has any on special, otherwise our favorites are yellowtail, salmon, eel and sea urchin.

A Japanese acquaintance also has high praise for Akira in Mason (on Tylersville Rd., not far from I-75) but to be honest, it hasn't been our experience that it beats Ando. Portions are larger, though. This is not to say it's not good, because it is...but not as good as Ando. Service is also slower. It might help that we're regulars at Ando, and not at Akira. YMMV...


TJ Jackson
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RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky (open chat) - Tue, 09/13/05 5:49 PM
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The search for a good burger downtown has been largely unsuccessful to date, but I finally found a good - not great, but solidly good - burger for lunch at a place I had been ignoring for years - The Sports Page

Sports Page has two locations downtown: the newer location on Main near 9th and the original location that I recall being there in the early seventies on Vine near 7th. They've added an awning and a ice cream service window that I am sure will both go away with the arrival of winter,



but other than that it's the same old place it has always been: a grimey, greasy spoon (and I mean that fondly) serving basic sandwiches, soups, fries, chili, and breakfast. I had been in there a few times and had never been impressed, but while walking by today in search of a decent lunch I decided to give them another try.

They always have a sidewalk placard out at lunch time emblazoned with a list of specials that typically includes a burger/fries/drink special along with some other sandwiches with or without sides.



Don't be concerned about the offer of 'second base' -- no hanky panky at all to this, some of their menu items bear "sports" related names. In this case, second base is a standard cheeseburger.

Here's a shot of their menu, set inside a simple glass case on the on the front wall. Pretty extensive for the size of the place. Note that goetta is on the menu, and I am pretty sure you can order breakfast all day long, although the menu doesn't provide any help in this regard.



The "big hit" (cheeseburger topped with ham, ala the Roy Roger's Doule R Bar burger) looks like a good bet for a return visit.

Since it was late in the lunch hour, I pretty much had my pick of anywhere I wanted to sit, and I picked a booth towards the front. There was a sign in front that says "the hostess is off duty, so seat yourself", but I'm pretty sure there is never a hostess on duty at this no-frills joint. The place is a bit smokey and not well ventilated, and to my eye has a larger amount of space devoted to it's smoking area than most restaurants of this type. There is no ambience to speak of, other than (if you can call it that) a single wall mounted tv that was tuned to soap operas during my visit.

I ordered a second base, and to my surprise, they offer the option to cook it to order, ie you can (and I did) get a medium burger if you so choose. Service is very, very quick - I had my burger is maybe 5 minutes. The waitress volunteered that they really did cook it just now, and I took her word for it.

I noted immediately one minus - the burger is preformed. It wasn't uniformly round, square, or oval like most preformed burgers but rather had a wavy shape that I think gives some people the mistaken impression that it is hand formed, but the pattern is very consistent. I don't know if it was frozen in that shape or simply pattied fresh into a mold onsite....will have to ask next time I am there.

That aside - this was a very juicy third-pound burger with good drip and plenty of fresh toppings on a better than average quality sesame seed bun. The fries were so so, but the burger was well worth another trip, particularly at these prices.

I neglected to get a pic of the burger, and will try to snag one next time.

Oh, they don't have a website near as I can tell, nor has any local publication reviewed them (despite the fact that they've been around for ages and ages) but I did find a few comments about the place on the web that you can check out here (although I'd disagree with the reviewer who said this place is a last resort when nothing else is open): http://dine.com/restaurants/rid/83999/index.html

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