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Jan 14, 2011 08:33 AM

Green Dog Cafe, Cincinnati


Happened into this pleasant Columbia-Tusculum place at the suggestion of a friend, and went back less than a month later -- something of a record for us, since we choose our dining locations carefully.

The watchword here is sustainability -- sustainability in ingredients and in the restaurant's decor, flatware, and serving pieces, all of which consist largely of recycled materials. Lots of organic, sustainable, local suppliers of ingredients.

A light, airy location with spacious booths and tables, an unobtrusive TV, and a selection of periodicals, The Green Dog Cafe is a pleasant, low-key location with high culinary standards.

We've had a seafood chowder that was quite good. Baba Ghanouj is brightly colored and perfectly cooked and seasoned. The "Hey Perro" wrap is a symphony of beans, rice, cheese and vegetables, too big for one person. The BLT is augmented by a slab of fresh roasted turkey breast. And the Mom & Pop Dog proves that "sustainable" doesn't mean "crunchy health food" -- it's a madcap bacon-wrapped deep-fried dog augmented by dijon, pineapple salad, and a tomato jam all on a homemade bun. Our 17-year-old was in heaven. the GD Fries are wonderful skin-on fries accompanied by a tomato-banana ketchup and a honey curry mayo.

Fine wine and beer selection, very reasonably priced.

Service is walk-in, order, and it's brought to your table. All prices include tip, and no entree is more than $14.

We will definitely be back.

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  1. Any connection to the Brown Dog in Blue Ash? As it happens we've got reservations to go for the first time tonight.

    2 Replies
    1. re: JohnE O

      Yeah. Hence the name -- same chef.

      Let me know what you have and what YOU think.

      1. re: jmckee

        For the past couple of years the only place nice (aka not pub grub) I've been to eat has been a Ruby's restaurant. The food we had last night at Brown Dog was probably the best food I've had since the Maisonette was still in business.

        We had the charcuterie appetizer which was very flavorful and not too filling. My wife had salmon with crab topping in a lobster bisque sauce. I had wild boar in a demi sauce over mashed taters. Even though they gave me a steak knife the boar was tender enough to cut with a spoon. Both of our meals were outstanding and we topped it off with pistachio creme brulee. Portion sizes were spot on, not overflowing the edges of the plate but plenty to make you satisfied.

        The entree selection is limited to about 10 choices, but there's a wide variation on what's served so you're bound to find something to like. Our server was attentive but not overbearing. Decent wine selection, not too pricey. Entrees were in the mid $20 range, apps in the $8-10. The only down side is that it's in the middle of a strip mall next to Office Max (or Staples, I can't remember which), but once you're inside you don't really notice (and it's only 2 miles from my house so that's a plus).

    2. We love Green Dog -- been there at least a half a dozen times. Good fresh food, relatively healthy, veggie/vegan choices. We like to hit Green Dog before the Playhouse because you can get in and out fairly quickly. I'm frankly a little bored with their menu; they need to change it up a little.