Healthy and/or creative food Cincinnati please
Hi Cincy hounds-
I'm making a visit to Cincinnati from 2/14-2/20, and would love to hear suggestions for
good places to eat while I'm there. I will be relying on buses and an occasional cab, no car.
I will be tryiing to keep spending somewhat under control for the most part, could do at least
one splurge dinner. (good ethnic places of interest also).
And I'm more into peaceful environment than loud 'scene', and single diner-friendly.
Thanks!- a Minneapolis hound
ps places with meal-size great salads of interest too
I'll be at the Garfield Suites downtown and I'm going strictly to explore the area,
so not much is locked in. So I have lots of time to find good chow, one of my
highest priorities in life. Not a breakfast person though- more of a late afternoon
and into the evening serious eater- before that I eat pretty light- fruit and salads.
Would love to know any co-ops or healthy groceries and/or gourmet groceries,
bakeries etc. Thanks again. No pork or shellfish.
Now that I know where you are staying --
Attached to the Garfield Suites is a little bar and bistro called Cafe Martin. A little pricey for my tastes, but most folks would probably term it to be "moderately priced". The pizzas here are out-freakin-standing, particularly if you like garlic.
A block south of your hotel, on the corner of 7th and Vine, is a Skyline Chili. This is by far the most popular chili parlor in town, and while not the best (imho) it will serve as a reasonablly good representation of this local specialty, and of course it's location suits you perfectly.
A block North of you in Scotti's, a very VERY old school Italian joint with funky 70's decor (not retro, rather, they haven't remodeled the place since then) where anything with a marianara or bolognese sauce is very, very good. Not expensive, but not ultracheap either.
Right next to Scotti's is tiny little place called Tom's Pot Pies. He does one thing (guess!) and he does it damned well. If you're feeling like taking some comfort food back to your room, this is the place to pick it up. I like the original chicken pie, but my fave is the brocolli alfredo pie, and I don't even like broccolli. Call before you go, as his hours are a bit weird.
If you're in the modern/hipster thing, about two blocks south-east (corner of 6th and Walnut) is the very newly opened tapas joint called Nada. I have heard nothing but rave reviews about the place. See http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dl.... The other word I hear: it is always crowded. Go figure.
About 4 blocks south and 2-3 west is Jean Robert's at Pigalls. This is arguably the very best restaurant in all of Cincinnati, one that will probably earn a 5-star rating in just a few years. French food, very pricey. If you feel like walking a little less far and paying a bit less, stop at JeanRo's Bistro on Walnut - a straight walk south from your hotel. Same ownership, also great food but a bit more casual. Some people like the bistro better.
Now let's say you just want your basic cheeseburger and fries, cheap. Walk three blocks west to sycamore then another 2-3 blocks north to the corner of Sycamore and Court, and you'll find the All Rise Cafe. They're only open til 4 or so, serving breakfast and lunch. You can get your goetta here, certainly, as they'll make breakfast orders all day long. What I go for is for the great 1/4 pound cheeseburger (they have a half pounder, but trust me, you want the small burger) with the very best fresh-cut french fries in all of greater Cincinnati. Grilled onions are free on request. The fries are best when ordered well down, imho.
There are some produce stands up on Court street, basically two blocks north of you, more or less either direction from there.
Now, the only chain recommendation, on the cheap: 3 blocks south of you is the tallest building in Cincinnati, the Carew Tower. In the basement is a very small mall-style food court. Yeah, you're wincing already, but bear with me. Next to the Chik-Fil-A is a japanese terriyaki place called Sakkio Japan. They cook right in front of you on an open grill. 4.39 gets you a huge portion of rice, mixed steamed/grilled veggies, terriyaki chicken, and teri sauce - just indicate how many extra scoops of sauce you want ladeled on top, if any. It is a chain, yes - but it is damn cheap, very filling, and tasty as all get out.
re: TJ Jackson
Thanks TJ and everyone else, this is great- I appreciate walkable places
but would love to hear about anywhere else including Northside places,
that you love, since I am an experienced bus rider and want to check out
some of the interesting neighborhoods. I picked the Garfield to be centrally
located and convenient to buses.
In Northside, there's Honey (one of my favorites, though people complain it's loud) and Slim's (prix fix, but not expensive, and the last time I went, it was BYO wine). There's also the Comet, which has great burritos, and bluegrass on Sunday nights. I've also heard good things about Melt, a sandwich place which isn't open late.
Given that you are limited by transportation options, it'd be very helpful to know where you are staying and what days/hours you'll have free to choose meals for yourself.
In general - If you've never been to Cincinnati before, you should at the very least try to get one lunch/dinner of cincinnati-style chili and one breakfast featuring goetta. Both are good budget choices as well.
My husband and I really like Cumin (which I never see mentioned here)...it's in Hyde Park.
The menu online is a bit outdated - for instance, the first appetizer has been split into two larger dishes. I highly recommend both (especially the eggplant chaat - crispy, thin eggplant "chips" sprinkled with tamarind-date sauce and sesame seeds) but it's way too much food (and flavor) for two people to try and finish.
The space is sleek and gorgeous, which is a nice change of pace from the utilitarian (even outdated) stylings of most other Indian restaurants I have been to.