WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky.

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TJ Jackson
Filet Mignon
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2005/02/20 14:10:34 (permalink)

WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky.

With this, my one thousandth post, I am opening what I hope will (over time) become a very exhaustive thread about great places to eat in Cincinnati. Everyone is welcome to contribute, but I'd like to keep the thread mostly reviews, with minimal chatter if at all possible. If you want to discuss something relating to this thread, I'd ask that you do so on the associated [url='http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=6637']chat thread[/url]" I have set up expressly for this purpose.

This opening post will constantly change, serving as a "organizer" or "index" of sorts. Please add your comments (negative comments are welcome - we're all not going to agree on what's good and what's bad), and I'll copy and paste them into the reviews as I add them.

I just started a new job downtown, so my own reviews will mainly be developed over lunchtime runs to establishments in or close to downtown.

Cincinnati regional specialties
Cincinnati Style Chili: http://skylinechili.com/skyline_essentials.php. For air travellers who want to sample some Cincinnati style Chili but can't get away from the airport, check out the Gold Star Chili location at Delta Terminal 3 Concourse B (thanks Sundancer for pointing this out)
Goetta: http://www.goetta.com/index.asp?page=WhatIsGoetta - make sure you order it "crisp"
Double-Decker sandwiches: http://www.cincinnati.com/freetime/dining/reviews/090304_pricehillchili_classics.html and http://www.roadfood.com/photos/mini_2761.JPG

Official Cincinnati area Roadfood Reviews
Blue Ash Chili http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Writeup.aspx?ReviewID=513&RefID=513
Camp Washington Chili http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Writeup.aspx?ReviewID=119&RefID=119
Golden Lamb http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Writeup.aspx?ReviewID=541&RefID=541
Golden Turtle http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Writeup.aspx?ReviewID=546&RefID=546
Graeter's http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Writeup.aspx?ReviewID=1169&RefID=1169
Hathaways http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Writeup.aspx?ReviewID=1162&RefID=1162
Price Hill Chili http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Writeup.aspx?ReviewID=1166&RefID=1166
Putz's http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Writeup.aspx?ReviewID=610&RefID=610
The Root Beer Stand http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Writeup.aspx?ReviewID=512&RefID=512

A selection of forum threads about Eats in Cincinnati
http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=4555
http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=892
http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=6552
http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=5620
http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=3357
http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=4074
http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=9018

Capsule Reviews in this thread
[url='http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=6632#106132']Montgomery Inn[/url] BBQ Ribs/Chicken/Duck, fine dining
[url='http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=6632#106133']Gondola Pizzeria[/url] NY style pizza by the slice, calzones
[url='http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=6632#106134']Colonial Cottage Inn[/url] Diner style food, breakfast all day, huge pie selection[url='http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=6632#107021']
Sakkio of Japan[/url] Chicken Teriyaki and vegetables over rice, freshly prepared while you watch, very inexpensive and very good.[url='http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=6632#109139']
Arnold's Bar and Grille[/url] Gourmet class lunch specials at fast food prices in an informal historic setting
[url='#142298']Patoshnik's[/url] Top-notch Lunch-only wrap/sandwich/soup joint on the northern edge of downtown Cincinnati
[url='#149006']Harry's Bar and Pizza[/url] Small but outstanding pizza and sandwich joint with bar service on the northern edge of downtown Cincinnati
[url='#150650']Taco Casa[/url] Cheap but great hole-in-the-wall taco joint (lunch only, carryout only)
[url='#106137']Redfish Looziana Roadhouse[/url] Nice sit down restaurant and bar featuring seafood, Orleans-style specialties, and american fare.
[url='#164094']Jordan Valley[/url] Great casual mediterranean fare and very inexpensive. Get the gyro.
[url='#187902']Mansion Hill Tavern[/url] Smokey old local bar with great cheap burgers - limited hours.

Reviews intended/upcoming
June Bug's Steaks and BBQ - great little bbq place recommended by [url='http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=23864']SouthHillbilly[/url]
Aglamesis Bros - wonderul and ancient ice cream parlor in Oakley ([url='http://news.cincinnati.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050818/ENT01/508190314/1026']Local Review[/url] [url='http://www.nycnosh.com/?p=157']NYC Nosh Review[/url])
Sugar N Spice - wonderful/old/tiny breakfast and lunch only place in Bond Hill known for their wispy thin pancakes. Great CB hash too. Recently voted as Citybeat's 'Best Breakfast' in Cincinnati. ([url='http://cincinnati.citysearch.com/profile/8172796/']Review[/url])

Acknowlegements
I want to thank the entire Roadfood community for enlightening me on a number of subjects (bbq in particular comes to mind), but in this thread also want to specifically thank a number of folks who have contributed to this thread directly or indirectly by sharing information about Cincinnati and the surrounding areas in these forums. I guarentee I will miss someone, but not for lack of trying: [url='http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=11527']JMcKee[/url], [url='http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=18361']Wallyum[/url], [url='http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=14009']MikeSh[/url], [url='http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=20607']Carlton Pierre[/url], [url='http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=23864']SouthernHillBilly[/url], [url='http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=18685']Ephus[/url], [url='http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=29036']Sandy ThruTheGarden[/url],and [url='http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=15970']Arianej[/url].
#1

15 Replies Related Threads

    TJ Jackson
    Filet Mignon
    • Total Posts : 4538
    • Joined: 2003/07/26 22:24:00
    • Location: Cincinnati, OH
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    RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky. 2005/02/20 14:13:56 (permalink)

    The Montgomery Inn



    Overview: Ribs and other bbq, steaks, some seafood. Fine dining in somewhat casual setting.
    Address: 925 Eastern Avenue Cincinnati, Ohio 45202 (two other locations as well)
    Phone: (513)721.7427
    Hours: 11 a.m.- 10:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday, 3-11 p.m. Saturday and 3-10 p.m. Sunday.
    Website: http://www.montgomeryinn.com
    Menu: http://www.montgomeryinn.com/restaurants/boathouse/dinnermenu.html
    RF Review: N/A
    Local review: http://www.cincinnati.com/freetime/dining/reviews/boathouse.html
    The pic: a slab of their famous ribs, plus saratoga chips, a house salad, and a bottle of their own label red beer.

    Arguably the most popular restaurant in all of Cincinnati, specializing in ribs and other bbq'd fare, such as chicken, duck, pork chops, and shrimp. This bbq isn't smoked - it's boiled then finished on a grill - so some will argue it shouldn't be called BBQ at all. Others will simply add that it's excellent nonetheless. Other signature items include their fresh-fried saratoga chips, similar to but thicker than potato chips, and their wonderful house vinegrette salad dressing. Many celebrities (most famously the late Bob Hope) come to Cincinnati just to eat here, or have freshly cooked ribs and sauce flown to them.

    RF Member comments
    -----------------------
    TJ Jackson: I have always had a great meal here, and consider this a must-visit when in Cincinnati. It is a bit pricey, but well worth it. Best experience is at the Boathouse location on the river just barely east of downtown Cincinnati. Get a combo with ribs and duck - skip the chicken. My entire family loves this place, my youngest brother even held his wedding rehearsal dinner here. I have to say I still like the ribs here despite my growing interest in "true" smoked bbq.
    #2
    TJ Jackson
    Filet Mignon
    • Total Posts : 4538
    • Joined: 2003/07/26 22:24:00
    • Location: Cincinnati, OH
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    RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky. 2005/02/20 14:15:12 (permalink)

    Gondola Pizzeria



    Overview: NY style slices/whole pies plus calzones, baked subs, salads, and a daily special or two. Somewhat limited seating.
    Address: 35 East 7th Street Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
    Map: [url='http://www.gototown.com/cgi-bin/map.cgi?est_id=1773&MapButton=Map+with+Parking']Click here for a map[/url]
    Phone: (513)721-3520
    Hours: weekdays only, lunch and dinner
    Website: no website
    Menu: no website
    RF Review: N/A
    Local review: no reviews thus far, but: http://www.cinweekly.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050105/ENT0105/501050301/1047/archive
    The pic: The "everyday" lunch special at Gondola: two NY style slices w/one topping for $4.75.

    This is a very new little pizzeria (run by the same Italian family that runs the fine Italian restaurant [url='http://www.cinweekly.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050112/ENT0103/501120337/1047/archive']Trattoria Roma[/url] right around the corner across from the Aronoff Theatre Complex) specializing in serving the downtown lunch crowd NYC style pizza by the slice (also available by the pie in 12" and 18", and the pies are a better deal for the money by far) and calzones. The slices are very large, draping over the edge of an average sized plate, but are not greasy and are fairly easy to handle. The true NY-style crust has a nice outside crunch, good inside chew, and a nicely browned underside, and the sauce - bland when they opened - has improved markedly, with subtantial tomato, garlic, basil, and oregano comign through in each bite. The calzones are made from the same good dough, albeit baked earlier in the day and reheated for the lunch crowd, and are overall better eats than the slices. Mild quibble: the only calzone including ricotta cheese is the Cheese calzone, but it is excellent.

    RF Member comments
    -----------------------
    TJ Jackson: Cincinnati has very, very few establishments selling pizza by the slice, particularly if you don't count the ubiquitous Sbarro's locations in every mall food court in town. In a weak field, this is probably the best by the slice pizza I have had in Cincinnati. Recommend you order your slice(s) well done, I think it improves with a little more crispness and browning of the cheese and bottom crust. Calzone or two slices and a coke (bottled) will run you about 6 bucks plus tax. The owner has been there at the oven every single time I have gone in, and I think this is a good sign for the continued success of this place.
    Addendum 5/19/2006: Skip the cheese steak oft advertised on the placard outside the shop - the meat used is not unlike the "steak-um" frozen formed-beef product available in most groceries. Not so good.
    #3
    TJ Jackson
    Filet Mignon
    • Total Posts : 4538
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    • Location: Cincinnati, OH
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    RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky. 2005/02/20 14:18:19 (permalink)

    Colonial Cottage Inn



    Overview: Great diner style food with breakfast all day, in a coffee shop setting.
    Address: 3140 Dixie Hwy., Erlanger Ky
    Phone: (859)341-4498
    Hours: 7 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday; 6 a.m.—9 p.m. Monday-Wednesday; 6 a.m.—10 p.m. Thursday-Saturday
    Website: no website
    Menu: no website
    RF Review: N/A
    Local review:[url='http://www.cincinnati.com/freetime/dining/reviews/031700_colonial.html']Review 1[/url] and [url='http://news.cincinnati.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050602/ENT01/506030310/1026']Review 2[/url]
    The pic: happy diners at Colonial Cottage Inn

    This is a very small place that isn't easy to spot on the west side of Dixie Highway in Erlanger. They serve outstanding breakfasts, highlighted by great fluffy pancakes, wonderful biscuits, that local favorite goetta, and an outstanding salt cured country ham (which is also available as part of a lunch or dinner plate, with southern style sides). They have specials every day which tend to along the lines of a entree with two sides. They also feature not less than a dozen different pies, some made sugarless. Parking is a big tricky, as they are set into the side of a steep hill and the parking lot follows the contour of the hill.

    RF Member comments
    -----------------------
    TJ Jackson: As I have often said, my wife has a distinct preference for chain restaurants, but places like this one are slowly converting her. One of the best breakfasts in town, no doubt. She absolutely loved the huge fluffy pancakes here, as did my two pancake loving little girls (ages 3 and 2). The goetta here is from Gliers, and it's good, but be sure to order it well done so it gets some crispness to it. I think you'll want to do the same with the home fries, which are made from potato slices rather than cubes. I thought the biscuits were just outstanding. I saw a Kentucky Hot Brown brought to a nearby table, and it looked wonderful. My wife told me in no uncertain terms that we'll be revisiting this place soon :-)
    #4
    TJ Jackson
    Filet Mignon
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    RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky. 2005/02/20 14:19:56 (permalink)
    June Bug's Steaks and BBQ
    http://www.cincinnati.com/freetime/dining/reviews/080604_bestbarbecue.html

    RF Member comments
    -----------------------
    SouthernHillbilly:George "June Bug" assured me that he has cleaned up his corner and NO ONE messes with any of his customers and never have. He has a parking lot right next to his building. Go for it and by all means try the chess pie and you favorite sides. . . nothing we had was anything but great.
    #5
    TJ Jackson
    Filet Mignon
    • Total Posts : 4538
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    RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky. 2005/02/20 14:27:31 (permalink)

    Redfish Looziana Roadhouse



    Overview: Nice sit down restaurant with cajun/creole theme with a smattering of well-rendered typical american dishes
    Address: 700 Race Street Cincinnati, OH 45202
    Phone: (513)929-4700
    Hours: Monday-Thursday 11am-10pm, Friday 11am-Midnight,
    Saturday 12 noon-Midnight, Sunday 4pm-9pm
    Website: http://www.redfishamerica.com/index2.html
    Menu: http://www.redfishamerica.com/assets/menu_CIN_dinner.pdf
    RF Review: n/a
    Local review:[url='http://archive.cinweekly.com/content/2004/06/09/0609outtoeat_redfish.asp']Cin Weekly[/url] [url='http://www.citybeat.com/2002-10-10/cover5.shtml']Citybeat[/url] [url='http://www.cincinnati.com/freetime/dining/reviews/110300_redfish.html']Cinti Enquirer 1[/url] [url='http://www.cincinnati.com/freetime/dining/reviews/redfish1205.html']Cinti Enquirer 2[/url]
    The pic: Redfish's entrance at the corner of 7th and Race in downtown Cincinnati

    Steaks, seafood, sandwiches, salads - all well rendered and generally good values. Much of the menu is centered on Orleans-style specialties like Jambalaya and red beans n Rice, but there are a number of steaks and simply prepared fish dishes, sandwiches, and salads to please pretty much anyone you bring there. This is a national chain, albeit with only about a half dozen locations thus far, but despite a corporate controlled menu everything looks and tastes good. Weekday happy hours feature drink specials and reduced price appetizers. Local celebrities (politicians, tv newspeople, etc) tend to hang out here.

    RF Member comments
    -----------------------
    TJ Jackson: I've been here about a dozen times over the past few years and sampled many different offerings, and can tell you - everything's good. This is also the kind of place you can take non-foodie friends and they'll enjoy it as much as you will. Lots of happy hour drink and food specials on weekdays. I have a much longer comment (including pics) on Redfish that you can review by clicking [url='http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=6637&whichpage=6#151016']this link[/url]
    #6
    TJ Jackson
    Filet Mignon
    • Total Posts : 4538
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    RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky. 2005/02/24 16:07:57 (permalink)

    Sakkio of Japan



    Overview: Great, freshly prepared chicken teriyaki, rice, and vegetables special. Very inexpensive, specials typically under 4 bucks.
    Address: 24 West 4th Street (Carew Tower Mall, lower level food court)
    Phone: (513) 651-3846
    Hours: 10am - 8pm Monday-Saturday, 12noon - 5pm Sunday
    Website: http://www.sarkujapan.com/main.htm. Sarku operates some locations as "Sakkio".
    Menu: http://www.sarkujapan.com/menu.htm. Sakkio does not offer the sushi options shown
    RF Review: n/a
    Local review: n/a
    The pic: The front of the place including an employee giving out samples, which happens almost every day at lunchtime, and a closeup of a the chicken teriyaki special, packaged to go.

    Really tasty chicken teriyaki over rice (steamed by default, but fried available on request) with grilled vegetable mix, which is prepared right in front of you on the open grill. They offer a few other dishes and a spring roll (which they call a Maki roll) as well. Simple but great good prepared fresh as you wait.

    RF Member comments
    -----------------------
    TJ Jackson: A fabulous lunch value at just 3.99, you'll find me here 3-4 times a month. The 99 cent double-the-meat deal is a fantastic value if you are extra hungry, but most people will be very happy with the very generous standard portion. Update 4/24/2006: good as always for ten years straight.

    : Sakkio of Japan has the best chicken Teri I have ever had. It is always prepared hot and fresh just for you. I always ask for extra sauce. They are in a lot of different cities (see http://www.roadfood.com/forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=4117)
    #7
    TJ Jackson
    Filet Mignon
    • Total Posts : 4538
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    • Location: Cincinnati, OH
    • Status: online
    RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky. 2005/03/03 13:28:22 (permalink)
    *deleted entry - quality has dropped considerably, price has increased considerably*
    #8
    TJ Jackson
    Filet Mignon
    • Total Posts : 4538
    • Joined: 2003/07/26 22:24:00
    • Location: Cincinnati, OH
    • Status: online
    RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky. 2005/03/07 12:50:55 (permalink)

    Arnold's



    Overview: A nigh legendary old tavern serving great cheap lunches and nice italian\greek meals at dinnertime
    Address: Downtown - 210 E. Eighth St (just east of Main)
    Phone: (513) 421-6234
    Hours: Lunch 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Friday. Dinner 3-9 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday; 3-10 p.m. Thursday-Saturday
    Website: http://www.arnoldsbarandgrill.com/
    Menu: Only specials at lunch, Dinner menu: http://www.arnoldsbarandgrill.com/evening.htm
    RF Review: N/A
    Local review:[url='http://www.cincinnati.com/freetime/dining/reviews/101504_arnolds_lunch.html']Lunch Review[/url] and [url='http://www.cincinnati.com/freetime/dining/reviews/070204_arnolds_25.html']Dinner Review[/url] and [url='http://www.cinweekly.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050504/ENT06/505040330']Misc review[/url]
    The pic: a) The sign hanging outside welcoming you to this age-old tavern. b) the outdoor dining area, covered and heated during the winter adds unique ambience. c) country ham, green beans, and mashed taters over red-eye gravey - one great daily lunch special...3.994.25!

    Great cheap lunch specials during the day, wonderful italian and vegetarian accented dinners in the evening, highlighted by Arnold's famous greek spaghetti. The dinner menu isn't available until after 3pm, but the lunch specials (which change weekly) are of good variety and will keep you coming back for more.

    RF Member comments
    -----------------------
    TJ Jackson: One of my favorite lunches in all of downtown Cincinnati, with the unique combination of being eclectic yet inexpensive yet impressive to a guest you bring along....someone who hsn't been there before will wonder how you found this place. The special pictured was just wonderful, and was described as "Mild whitefish coated in creole seasonings and blackened in a cast iron skillet. Served with garlic mashers, cornbread, and roasted corn red pepper relish". I added a side of their full bodied italian bread and butter (upper right hand in the pic) for a 50 cent add-on charge. The price on the lunch special increased from 3.99 to 4.25 sometime in late 2005, but is still an awesome deal. Caution: whatever you do, do NOT order their 1/3 pound hamburger, as it is precooked (and by taste, done so the night before), small, and does not include a side.
    #9
    arianej
    Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 205
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    • Location: Dayton, OH
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    RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky. 2005/06/04 01:10:03 (permalink)
    Sorry, we have no pictures, but we did go to two places within the past several months that I thought was worth mentioning...


    Vincenzo's
    11525 Chester Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45246
    Phone: (513) 771-0022
    Hours: Lunch 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. Dinner 5-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 5-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
    Enquirer review:
    http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20041216/ENT01/412170302/

    We've never been to the previous location, so I have no basis for comparison. Apparently, this place has been around for a while as a well-kept secret, but we don't get to Cincinnati for dinner all that often. Atmosphere is nice, looks better on the inside than it does on the outside, so don't be alarmed.

    The menu is smaller and not your typical Italian-American restaurant menu, so you can't really expect the typical chicken parmesan/lasagna/spaghetti stuff. Instead, the focus is on seafood, which they did surprisingly well. There are daily specials for fish, prepared several different ways. I had a pasta with mussels and large shrimp, which was delicious. Mussels weren't overcooked or skunky like so many places (unfortunately) serve them, shrimp was succulent and perfectly cooked. Husband had veal marsala or something like that, which was also good, but not that remarkable. It was good in a upscale-stew, comfort food sort of way. I can't for the life of me remember what we had as an appetizer, unfortunately.

    It was a nice change of pace from the usual Italian restaurant fare that's generally drowning in garlicky tomato sauce. Not that I don't enjoy that, but Vincenzo's had lighter options and a lot of nice looking seafood dishes that are definitely worth a try. Service was also prompt and friendly, and the server we had took extra care to let us know what the daily specials were.



    King Wok
    203 W. McMillan St., Clifton Heights
    Hours: 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Monday-Saturday, noon-10:30 p.m. Sunday
    Phone: (513) 723-1999
    (Parking lot is around the corner, behind the restaurant)
    Reviews:
    http://www.cincinnati.com/freetime/dining/reviews/091704_kingwok_yum.html
    http://www.cincinnati.com/freetime/dining/reviews/110102_king_wok.html

    Near the campus of U of Cincinnati, the outside appearance of this place wasn't immediately inspiring. There's a menu outside with pictures of some of the specialties, but they don't really do it justice. It looks like a pretty run-of-the-mill Chinese restaurant, but there's hand-written specials in Chinese (some English translation) and fish tanks in back with live black cod, tilapia, lobster, crabs and clams--very good signs. The owners are from Singapore, where some of the best street food in the world comes from.

    They give you a large menu, which has more ordinary Chinese restaurant dishes on it, so anyone who's not into seafood or more exotic choices still have plenty of options. The smaller menu is predominantly seafood and a few more unusual dishes that are more authentic. This is closer to what you'd get in a hole-in-the-wall place in Chinatown.

    Complimentary starters were fried won ton strips with that neon red sweet sauce for dipping, and some pickled vegetables. The cantonese style noodles were good, but not what they're supposed to be, according to my father. It's supposed to be a crispy almost pancake-like disc of fried noodles, with the meat/veggies in a sauce poured over it. What we got was more a typical noodle-stir fry with slightly crispy noodles, chinese bbq pork and bean sprouts. Still very tasty, so I have no complaints.

    Clams in black bean sauce were also very good, the salt and pepper squid was a tiny bit on the chewy side, but flavorful. For a pretty darn close taste of SE Asia, try the water spinach, prepared Malaysian-style. This isn't for the faint of heart, as it involves fermented shrimp paste and has a pretty strong odor, but it's delicious. We wanted to try the lamb brisket and bean curd hot pot, but they were out of lamb...we had it with beef tendon instead, which was nice. The slow-cooking and five-spice like flavor of the hot pot goes well with tendon, since it needs long braising to soften up and almost "melt". I'm still interested in trying the lamb, however.

    Highlight of the meal for me was the steamed tilapia with ginger and scallions. It's fresh--right from the tank, and they asked us right off if we wanted fish, since it takes time to prepare. You have the option of getting it deboned at the tableside, but I wouldn't bother, it takes too long. Flesh was wonderfully tender and moist, excellent flavor. This is a classic preparation, but this is one of the best versions I've had of it anywhere. I never thought I'd say that Ohio, that's for sure.

    Other unusual things we didn't order from the menu were boneless duck feet and whelks/periwinkles (don't often see that on any restaurant menu in the States, IME). They also do ginger-scallion lobster and crabs, fried oysters, and tempting specials on the wall were fried fish with Thai sauce and soft shell crab. Prices were surprisingly reasonable, too. We'll definitely be going back, even though it's a bit of a drive for us.
    #10
    TJ Jackson
    Filet Mignon
    • Total Posts : 4538
    • Joined: 2003/07/26 22:24:00
    • Location: Cincinnati, OH
    • Status: online
    RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky. 2005/08/24 17:10:06 (permalink)

    Patoshnik's



    Warning: as of 2/28/2006 closed temporarily, unknown reopen date
    Overview: A great little single location owner-operated wrap/sandwich/soup joint on the northern edge of downtown Cincinnati
    Address: Downtown - 131 E. Court St (just east of Main)
    Phone: 513-929-4646
    Hours: Breakfast and Lunch only, 9am - 3pm. Monday-Friday ONLY. No weekend or evening hours.
    Website: n/a
    Menu: Wraps, sides, soups, sandwiches, and daily specials: Click [url='http://www.roadfood.com/insider/photos/348.jpg']here[/url] to view
    RF Review: n/a
    Local review: http://www.cincypost.com/2001/mar/22/dinnot032201.html and http://www.taste-of-cincinnati.com/bestoftaste.asp
    The pic: a) The entrance and weather-permitting outside dining b) 6 bucks gets you a wrap and a soup or a wrap and 2 sides (with many to choose from)

    An decent variety of outstanding wrap sandwiches, with regular and double deckers also available, as well as a regularly-changing set of 3-4 daily soups and a dozen or so choices of side items. The place isn't big on decor or advertising, but you'll find a line of locals stretching out the door most days. order at the counter, carry it out or eat it there in the newly expanded indoor eating area or in the (weather permitting) picnic table set outside daily. The big local favorite is the buffalo chicken wrap, with the chicken philly and the beef philly also quite popular. Everything is made to order as you wait, with only the soups pre-made. Patoshnik's has received various awards over the years in the Annual "Taste of Cincinnati" competition, most recently winning an Award of Merit for "Lisa's Famous Salad"

    RF Member comments
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    TJ Jackson: Another of my favorite lunch spots in all of downtown Cincinnati. I absolutely love their chicken and wid rice sop as well as their Philly Beef wrap. Simply outstanding but hasn't been around long enough to receive their due as one of Cincinnati's truly great establishments. The owner is there every day seeign to various details, be it at the grill, cleaning up, or working the register. They got a nice review in the Downtowner (a free local weekly) a while back, but the Downtowner doesn't publish anything online at the moment.

    [url='http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=18685']ephus[/url]: patoshnik's is a great lunch restaurant, especially when you work next door.....at patoshnik's make sure you get the brownie as one of your sides...just great. I don't work in the office much, but when I do, i'll often stop by there for lunch, or at least a brownie...
    #11
    TJ Jackson
    Filet Mignon
    • Total Posts : 4538
    • Joined: 2003/07/26 22:24:00
    • Location: Cincinnati, OH
    • Status: online
    RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky. 2005/09/27 18:30:03 (permalink)

    Harry's Bar and Pizza



    CLOSED, BUSINESS FOR SALE as of 6/8/2006 click[url='http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=6637&whichpage=13#202655']here[/url] for details
    Overview: Pizza by the slice or pie plus great individually made sandwiches and salads in a classic local workingman's tavern setting.
    Address: 1207 Main Street Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
    Phone: (513)621-1391
    Hours: weekdays lunch and dinner, very late weekend night hours
    Website: no website, but http://cityguide.aol.com/cincinnati/entertainment/venue.adp?sbid=133367
    Menu: partial: http://www.roadfood.com/insider/photos/405.jpg
    RF Review: N/A
    Local review: no reviews thus far, but named a [url='http://www.bestofcincinnati.com/years/bestof2004/pages/eats.html
    ']Best of 2004 staff pick[/url] by Citybeat weekly
    The pic: The front entrance

    This is a fairly small local workingman's type bar and grill on the north side of downtown Cincinnati, in a somewhat rough-around-the edges neighborhood. A bar in name but at lunchtime far more of a pizza and sandwich places for hungry locals. Pizza is available by the slice in three varieties (typically cheese, pepperoni, and a daily special) and also as a 7" individual pie and as a large 15" pie. They also offer loaded fries, Primanti Brother's style ovestuffed sandwiches, and baked subs. Everything is made to order, and the entire menu is available for carryout. This establishment is open extremely late hours on the weekends to serve the Mainstreet clubbing crowd.

    RF Member comments
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    TJ Jackson: The pizza by the slice is kept in a warmer near the bar and is very ordinary, but the individually made pies are really good. They make their own sauce in-house, and it is a savory (not sweet) sauce flecked with plenty of italian herbs. The baked subs are the big sellers at lunchtime and are simply outstanding. The neighborhood is a little rough around the edges, but is fine for walking at lunchtime -- stay away after 5pm or so. I wrote a much longer entry (with pictures) about this eatery that you can read by clicking [url='http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=6637&whichpage=5#148286']here[/url].
    #12
    TJ Jackson
    Filet Mignon
    • Total Posts : 4538
    • Joined: 2003/07/26 22:24:00
    • Location: Cincinnati, OH
    • Status: online
    RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky. 2005/10/06 11:10:40 (permalink)

    Taco Casa



    Overview: Limited selection of simple, unpretentious tex-mex food, lunch only, carryout only at this location and the Oakley location, seating available at the Harper's point location
    Address: 318 New Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202 (two other locations - Oakley and Harper's Point - as well)
    Phone: (513)381-8226
    Hours: 10:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. Other locations open for dinner and on weekends.
    Website: n/a
    Menu: http://www.roadfood.com/insider/photos/423.jpg (this is partial menu only)
    RF Review: N/A
    Local review:[url='http://dine.com/restaurants/rid/59622/index.html']Review 1[/url] [url='http://archive.cinweekly.com/content/2004/03/17/0317to_tacocasa.asp']Review 2[/url] [url='http://64.12.50.14/cincinnati/entertainment/venue.adp?sbid=126769']Review 3[/url]
    The pic: the counter at the Hyde park location

    The downtown location is the newest and hardest to find of the three local Taco Casa locations, and does mostly catering business but also serves a steady carryout only lunch clientele. The menu is limited to some very basic tex mex staples - tacos, burritos, enchiladas, and the like - but all are very good and very inexpensive. The family recipe taco meat is the key ingredient. Taco Casa sells a ton of taco salads, and frequently appears on published "best tex mex" and "best cheap eats" type lists for Cincinnati.

    RF Member comments
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    TJ Jackson: I've been going to Taco Casa for years, mostly for their [url='http://www.roadfood.com/insider/photos/424.jpg']burrito boat and their wonderful crunchy tacos[/url]. The Harper's Point location features beer and wine and a nice sit down area, while the others (including the original location in Hyde Park/Oakley) are very rough-around-the-edges joints that feature little more than a service counter and a stand-only waiting area. Good prices, great food. For a more detailed posting (with pictures) about Taco Casa, click the following link: http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=6637&whichpage=6#150278

    [url='http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=24979']mcunnin777[/url]: The original Taco Casa moved from their location of 25 years on Edwards Rd to right around the corner from me on Paxton Rd and I love their Taco Salad. I used to drive for miles to get one when Taco Casa was the only semi-mexican place in town.
    Their Tuna Boad is also worth a try. While not exactly Mexican the owner dreamed it up years ago to for something to serve during Lent. It was so popular that it is now on the menu all year around.
    #13
    TJ Jackson
    Filet Mignon
    • Total Posts : 4538
    • Joined: 2003/07/26 22:24:00
    • Location: Cincinnati, OH
    • Status: online
    RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky. 2005/12/22 17:29:33 (permalink)

    Jordan Valley



    Overview: Basic and inexpensive mediteranean\greek fare in a very casual and comfortable setting
    Address: 211 W 4th St Cincinnati, OH 45202
    Map: [url='http://www.google.com/maps?hl=en&lr=&q=jordan-valley&near=Cincinnati,+OH&radius=0.0&cid=39161944,-84456944,16271610400238427359&li=lmd&z=3']Click here for a map[/url]
    Phone: (513) 929-9299
    Hours: Mon through Sat 11-9; Sun 12-8
    Menu: http://www.roadfood.com/insider/photos/460.jpg
    RF Review: N/A
    Website: n/a
    Local review: http://www.gototown.com/cgi-bin/listestab.cgi?est_id=850
    The pic: 1) the view from the street 2) the very popular hand carved gyro

    This very casual downtown restaurant serving greek and other mediterranean food has only been open for a few years on the western side of 4th street, but already has a steady stream of business, particularly at lunchtime. By far the most popular items seems to be the hand-carved gyros with or without fries, and while there is a decent sized dining area, most of the business is carryout. Most all the classics items you will tend to find at any good mediterranean place are here - the aforementioned gyros (which are excellent), tahini, hummus, falafels, baba ghanoush, and even baklava (albeit it isn't on the menu). Many downtown restaurants are only open for lunch, but Jordan Valley is open late, typically to 8-9 or so, with the blazing "OPEN" sign seemingly always on. The owner (Ned) is also the manager, and he is always there, rushing around to fill orders and keep his customers happy, and always smiling. If you have less adventurous eaters with you, there are plenty of "american" items like hamburgers&fries, fried shrimp, tuna salad, and so forth to kee them happy as well. Prices are VERY reasonable.

    RF Member comments
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    TJ Jackson: For a more detailed posting (with pictures) about Jordan Valley, click the following link: http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=6637&whichpage=6#153264
    [url='http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=18361']Wallyum[/url]: I did manage to try Jordan Valley while I was down Christmas shopping with the wife and the kids. I went with a gyro and
    fries, with a piece of baklava for dessert. I enjoyed it quite a bit....The baklava was incredible, but it's so unbelievably rich that I had to eat it slow.
    #14
    TJ Jackson
    Filet Mignon
    • Total Posts : 4538
    • Joined: 2003/07/26 22:24:00
    • Location: Cincinnati, OH
    • Status: online
    RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky. 2006/04/06 16:13:21 (permalink)

    Mansion Hill Tavern




    Overview: A smokey old bar with a limited lunch-only menu including outstanding half pound burgers
    Address: 502 Washington Ave, Newport Ky
    Map: [url='http://www.cincinnatiusa.com/Map/index.asp?Name=Mansion%20Hill%20Tavern&Add=502%20Washington%20St.,Newport,KY&Zip=41071&Desc=502%20Washington%20St.']Click here for a map[/url]
    Phone: (859) 581-0100
    Hours: LIMITED!! Lunch 11am - 2pm Tuesday-Friday; dinner 5pm to 8pm FRIDAY ONLY
    Menu: http://www.roadfood.com/insider/photos/629.jpg
    RF Review: N/A
    Website: N/A
    Local review: [url='http://cinweekly.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051102/ENT0111/511020307']Review 1[/url] [url='http://cinweekly.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/a1/20060510/ENT06/605100308/1047/rsscin13']Review 2[/url] [url='http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/AB/20060709/LIFE01/607090313/']Review 3[/url]
    The pic: 1) the view from the street 2) their specialty: a fabulous half pound burger, cooked to order

    By the looks of the place, this is just a smokey old local bar (albeit with a long and interesting [url='http://www.roadfood.com/insider/photos/628.jpg']history[/url], scarcely large enough to support a kitchen. Inside, there are about a dozen scattered tables, with a kitchen that produces a very limited menu that includes hand pattied half pound burgers cooked to order . The kitchen is open only limited hours, so please check the hours as listed above, or call ahead if you're unsure. Their pan-fried chicken special - wednesday lunch only - was rated in 2003 as one of the best in the City. Their prices (4.00 for a half pound cheeseburger with chips and pickle) are absolutely unbeatable. The burgers are available on Friday evenings as well, when there is usually a live band playing. According to [url='http://www.eastrow.org/mansionhill.html']this web page[/url], the Cincinati Blues Society also is based at this eatery.

    RF Member comments
    -----------------------
    TJ Jackson: One of the best burgers to be found in greater Cincinnati at an astonishing low price. This is in my opinion one of the very best kept secrets in all of Cincinnati. For a more detailed posting (with pictures) about Mansion Hill Tavern, click the following link: http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=6637&whichpage=11#187900
    #15
    Roden
    Junior Burger
    • Total Posts : 4
    • Joined: 2007/05/31 18:31:00
    • Location: Ludlow, KY
    • Status: offline
    RE: WhereToEat: Cincinnati and N.Ky. 2007/05/31 19:39:51 (permalink)
    Try The Lazy Gecko in Dayton, KY, on the river. You will be suprise and talk about a great kept secret. Voted Best of by Cincinnati Magazine, 2006. Great food, great drinks all with the relaxing atmosphere of the Ohio River. Try the Blackened Mahi Mahi, is is worth the trip if not the onion rings.
    #16
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