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Cincinnati: Gotta get a Goetta

Ryan Horan Mar 29, 2004 02:28 PM

For true fans of the cuisine of the Queen City (and yes, Cincinnati does have a very distinct cuisine), goetta holds a place utterly unchallenged. It is one of the great unifiers of the city; East and West side, local kitchens and city diners, name brands and secret home recipes, goetta can be found in nearly every corner of true Cincinnati society. For those of you unfamilliar with the product, I strongly recommend you familiarize yourself with what has thankfully remained one of the best kept secrets of the city.
Among the devotees; where do your loyalties lie? Do you have a secret breakfast spot or a favorite butcher's counter? Do you take it plain with eggs or do you dress it up with syrup or ketchup? Better yet? Anyone have any recipes? For my money, there is scarcely a comestible on the planet better than Eckerlin's Best at Findaly Market and I sorely miss it here in Boston...

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  1. s
    SBCochran RE: Ryan Horan Mar 29, 2004 05:09 PM

    Bill Finke and Sons Market - 1502 Amsterdam Rd (corner of Sleepy Hollow Rd), Fort Wright, KY (I guess that's Fort Wright, could be Park Hills).

    With eggs, sure. But even as a stand-alone, especially with fresh herbs (thyme, rosemary, chives, parsley) both cooked into the surface and then garnished with more herbs upon serving.

    1 Reply
    1. re: SBCochran
      KyMikey RE: SBCochran Apr 3, 2004 07:48 AM

      Finke's is a real authentic neighborhood market that makes its own goetta, and they used to have it both fresh and frozen. Not far from I-75 for those passing through the Cincinnati area.

    2. j
      jlawrence01 RE: Ryan Horan Mar 30, 2004 03:20 PM

      Personally, my mother and my aunt have always made goetta from scratch. My mother's was superb, my aunt goes too light on the seasoning.

      Generally, and I will probably get hammered for this, goetta is not something that you get at upscale meat market. It is a low-end product that is more blue collar. And it is a food that generally is ONLY served in the summer. I would search for it at one of the places in Findley Market *OR* head to Kroger's. Brache's Meats in Mt. Lookout used to also make it, but I am not sure that they are still in business.

      Personally, we used to cook it well done so that it is crunchy on the outside and still kind of juicy on the inside. I would serve it with fied eggs cooked over easy. No catsup or syrup. Ever.

      For those who don't have a clue as to what goetta is. It is similar to Pennsylvania's scrapple or the German Ponhaus. It is a combination of scraps from the butchering process with pin oatmeal. This mixture is cooked in some way. It is formed in pans like meatloaf only you generally don't see the grain if the meat as much. It is generally refrigerated and grilled until it is hot.

      I hope that this helps.

      Link: http://www.goetta.com/

      4 Replies
      1. re: jlawrence01
        mrnyc RE: jlawrence01 Mar 31, 2004 05:21 AM

        i'm sure they make it much better in chicago.

        1. re: mrnyc
          Ryan Horan RE: mrnyc Mar 31, 2004 09:10 AM

          "I bet they make it better in Chicago?" Foul! Would you go to Miami for the bratwurst? New York for their Chicago-style Hotdog? How about a trip to Boston for authentic Etouffe? How goetta was precisely created is a matter for another debate but one story has the Irish slaughterhouse workers cooking pork scraps together with cereal to extend it. Early on it was known as 'Irish Hash' before being adopted by the larger German community and renamed to give it more of a germanic cachet. Goetta was born and raised in Cincinnati. Assuming that you could even FIND it in Chicago, I would assure you that the purveyor has his roots in the Queen City. If you want the real deal, you'll have to get it from the source.

          There are some things that cannot be improved upon.

          1. re: Ryan Horan
            sudiepav RE: Ryan Horan Mar 31, 2004 09:26 AM


            1. re: Ryan Horan
              JoeM RE: Ryan Horan May 20, 2004 03:45 PM

              I'll have you know that Danny Meyer made a wonderful Chicago-style hotdog in Union Square in nyc last summer. Lines were an hour long....

        2. f
          free range diner RE: Ryan Horan Apr 2, 2004 09:48 PM

          You can likely get Goetta that's near to state of the art at Avril's, a butcher shop downtown on Court St between Vine & Walnut. Findlay Mkt, once a place for the authentic stuff in Cincinnati, is a confused/confusing place these days after the City sunk millions of $$$'s into it with little effect. Another possibility might be the West Side butcher shops on Bridgetown Rd.

          Lastly, if you want to eat goetta in the AM or for that matter, 24/7, you could venture over to Covington, KY and catch a bleary-eyed experience at the Anchor Grill

          Personally, I never "got" goetta.

          1. k
            KyMikey RE: Ryan Horan Apr 3, 2004 07:52 AM

            I like it with syrup, but once at a local German Oktoberfest I asked for syrup, and the lady said "That would not be the German way!" ('scuse me)
            Most supermarkets have it and most breakfast places have it (e.g. Perkin's) even tho it is often not on the menu, and it can be substituted for ham, etc.

            1 Reply
            1. re: KyMikey
              KyMikey RE: KyMikey Jan 1, 2008 11:24 AM

              Would like to suggest Colonial Cottage in Erlanger for great goetta and eggs (served anytime) and I second the Anchor Grill for goetta or any other breakfast--just went there today for the first time. Greasy spoon maybe, but everything we had was pretty good.

            2. pikawicca RE: Ryan Horan Jan 1, 2008 03:40 PM

              I only recently discovered this stuff, but now order it online. I would describe it as "scrapple for the squeamish." Really delicious with eggs, or on its own with maple syrup.

              1. k
                kingstreet RE: Ryan Horan Jan 6, 2008 11:31 AM

                Just had the Goetta Melt at Nectar for brunch. Goetta on toast, over easy egg, fabulous sauce. http://www.thenectarrestaurant.com/in...
                Heavenly. Good way for a newbie to try it. Chef/owner Julie Francis gets her goetta at Kroeger Bros. at Findlay Market.

                1. l
                  Lou from Price Hill RE: Ryan Horan Jan 18, 2008 07:17 AM

                  Bridgetown Finer Meats in Bridgetown (westside) is the one I like best. Not to mention they have the best customer experience anywhere. Stop in a few times and they will know you by name.

                  1. d
                    deddawg RE: Ryan Horan Feb 9, 2009 10:40 PM

                    Anybody still have a family member who makes goetta at home?

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: deddawg
                      JohnE O RE: deddawg Feb 10, 2009 03:51 AM

                      I used to make it before I moved back to Cincy. Now it's much easier to go to the store and buy it. My mother makes it occasionally.

                      1. re: JohnE O
                        deddawg RE: JohnE O May 18, 2009 02:50 PM

                        Here's why I originally asked:


                        1. re: deddawg
                          JohnE O RE: deddawg May 18, 2009 03:40 PM

                          If you need a goetta recipe let me know. I've got one buried away somewhere. I'd ask my mother, but her recipes are usually short of any measurements (lots of pinches, a bunch of's, etc.).

                    2. m
                      MeghanEats RE: Ryan Horan May 18, 2009 04:21 PM

                      I lived in Cincinnati my entire life and it wasn't until high school, where I attended with kids from all over the tri-state, that I heard about goetta. It then wasn't until college, when I dated a another life-long Cincinnati resident, that I actually tasted it when he ordered it at Proud Rooster in Clifton.

                      1. valereee RE: Ryan Horan Aug 21, 2009 05:13 AM

                        Eckerlin's Meats in Findlay Market -- best goetta in town. It's served at Tucker's in OTR.

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