We enjoy Hershey’s milk chocolate as much as the next guy… actually, we probably enjoy it much more than the next guy. Most chocolate enthusiasts find Hershey’s sour and gritty. Try as we might, we have no idea what they’re talking about. We really don’t think it’s about nostalgia, either, but who knows. That said, our catholic palates embrace the “good” stuff as well, especially the interesting, nuanced bean-to-bar chocolates crafted by artisans like the folks at Maverick Chocolate. Continue reading
The mother and son team of Renee and Jodi (Bouchard? Miller? We see them listed online both ways) arrived in Cincinnati, and then the Findlay Market, from West Virginia, in 2007. Their deal is fresh pastas, flat breads, and sauces, as well as baked goods like pies, cookies, brownies, and cobblers. Some is available to eat on the spot, all is available to finish off at home. Continue reading
Gramma Debbie has been selling her somewhat odd combination of comfort food and sort-of-health food in the Findlay Market since 2010. Some of her food is ready to eat on the spot; much of it is ready for you to cook or heat at home, like marinated chicken breasts, stuffed peppers, and turkey burgers. Continue reading
Even if you’re not a tea drinker, we urge you to step inside Churchill’s Fine Teas in Cincinnati’s Findlay Market, for at least a moment or two. The heady aroma of tea leaves, spices, and herbs is fairly intoxicating, and the shop is an oasis of calm amid the bustle of the market. Look around, admire the tea sets and tea cups, all the while inhaling, inhaling, free of charge. Continue reading
Cincinnati has a number of signature foods, but perhaps the most exotic and regionally focused of them is goetta. First things first: it’s pronounced as if the o wasn’t there, i.e., getta, and it has German roots. OK, so what is this goetta? It’s a sausage-like loaf of meat and oats that is sliced and fried in a pan, usually for breakfast. Continue reading
This is it, the one you’ve read about, by national acclaim the ne plus ultra of Cincinnati chili parlors, the only one to be honored by the James Beard Foundation. Camp Washington Chili has achieved that level of fame where future success is guaranteed no matter what they put on the plate. Consider it a bonus that the restaurant still makes an effort, and continues to serve quality grub. Continue reading
We well remember our first taste of Cincinnati chili. We were summering in Washington, D.C., our first jobs out of college, and a friend told us about a place that recently opened up in the ‘burbs (Virginia, we think) that served something called Cincinnati chili. Chili, we knew – spicy hot, cumin-scented, but what did Cincinnati have to do with it? Continue reading
Either you love urban street festivals or you don’t. They’re not for everyone. We’re street festival veterans and you can put our names down among the lovers. In our New York days in the ’70s, we’d never miss the annual Feast of San Gennaro in Little Italy, or the Ninth Avenue International Food Festival. It usually takes years of festival-going to learn each festival’s strengths and weaknesses. Continue reading
It doesn’t seem that long ago — if you wanted to sample Cincinnati’s great home-grown ice cream, you had to visit Cincinnati. Louis Graeter began selling ice cream in 1868 and, over the ensuing decades, the Graeter’s company expanded, but it wasn’t until the 1980s that the company pushed out to the wilds of Kentucky and Columbus with franchised stores. That’s also when they began making their ice cream available in supermarkets. Continue reading
If you’re coming to Cincinnati for the first time, you undoubtedly intend to sample the famous Cincinnati chili you’ve heard so much about. Have you done lots of research? Do you have time and transportation? Then you’ll probably wind up at one of several well-regarded independent chili shops. Otherwise, you’ll be dining close to your hotel, which means you’ll receive your initiation at one of the almost two hundred Skyline Chili restaurants in the city and suburbs. Continue reading
Cincinnati has a long history as a brewing town. In the old German-settled neighborhood known as Over-the Rhine, at the turn of the 20th century, there were 38 breweries. The largest of them was Christian Moerlein Brewing. Eventually, they would all go out of business, leaving hulking manufacturing facilities and warehouses behind. Continue reading
Our fascination with mayors’ wagers over sporting events continues: the Cincinnati Bengals play the Pittsburgh Steelers in an NFL playoff game Saturday, and the mayors of both cities have put up their towns’ signature foods in support of the home teams. Cincinnati’s buffet is headlined by Graeter’s ice cream, which will be accompanied by chili and coneys from Gold Star and unspecified food from the Montgomery Inn (known for their ribs). The Pittsburgh cache features Primanti’s sandwiches and other items from Heinz, Dream Cream ice cream, and Smiley Cookies. We’re giving the edge to Cincinnati, food-wise.
Looking for a special gift for your favorite carnivore? Here’s an idea that we think she or he would love: a sausage-making class at the Avril-Bleh Meat Market in Cincinnati. The class last three to four hours, and during that time you’ll grind, mix, stuff, and link a dozen or more types of homemade sausage. The cost is $125, which sounds pretty reasonable to us for the class but it’s way more reasonable than you think, because you get to take home all the sausage you make! That generally runs between 15 and 18 pounds of links. They also serve everyone a sausage lunch, and you get a t-shirt to boot. Continue reading
When the weather turns cold, and the scent of pine is in the air… and twinkling lights hang from the eaves, and fat men in red suits loiter on street corners and in department stores… it can only mean one thing: peppermint ice cream is back! We’re not talking about the green mint chip ice cream that is available year round (and which is quite alright by us) but that (unfortunately) seasonal pink concoction, often studded with red and white bits of peppermint candy. Continue reading
Giordano’s continues to expand. They’re bringing their Chicago deep-dish pizza to Cincinnati, hoping to sign the first lease by the end of the year. Giordano’s is expecting to eventually open at least half a dozen restaurants in the Cincinnati area when all is said and done.
There are two kinds of goetta fans: those who live in or come from the Cincinnati area, and those who have received their advanced degrees in regional eating. Yes, for some reason goetta (pronounced as if the “o” wasn’t there), unlike its close Philadelphia cousin scrapple, has never ventured beyond its hometown. Goetta is a loaf made with ground pork and/or beef and pinhead oats (which are the coarse oats also known as steel-cut or Irish). It’s then sliced and fried, often for breakfast. Continue reading