Will they make it?

I felt this was the artsiest of all the photos so we'll start with that.

Today, in between my hip hop classes (yes I teach hip hop - I have to with all the damn restaurants I go to!) I decided to grab a bite with my friend Rachel. We decided since we had just worked out - we should TRY for healthy.

I remembered that the Peapod Cafe had recently opened in my neighborhood! It's next to the library in Pleasant Ridge in the spot formerly occupied by Buster's Pet Palace.

There's my fabulous friend Rachel at the counter! They have a wide selection of tea & smoothies as well as a medium-wide variety of food items - but hey - they have food - so we were happy!

I'm not a smoothie person - I hate yogurt and it all tastes like yogurt. But Rachel got one and I tried a sip - it was good! Not good enough for me to order one - but I didn't spit it out! She liked it very much.

As you'll see by the next photo - they have a nice case of cold beverages. They have the fizzy

drinks but I decided to try Virgil's Rootbeer. Very root berry-ey!

The food is all in the cooler for the most part as well. They have wraps, hummus, a few varieties of salad and quiche. It all looked and sounded good. They are an organic cafe - not sure the extent of that - but there are signs up and everything sounds very healthy!

The wraps are $2.50 but they are fairly small - so I'm guessing one and a cup of soup might do you - or 2 wraps. I had a very hard time deciding - it's really hard for me to turn down hummus...but we both decided to go for the quiche.

I had the pepper quiche (sweet red peppers & swiss cheese) while Rachel had the tomato basil. I really wanted that one but have issues with ordering the same thing as anyone I'm with (thanks for that gift Scott!)

They heat the quiche up - takes 10 min - and it was good. It was juicy (not sure that's a good way to describe it - but it wasn't dry). It was heavy on the pepper - and by that I mean - black pepper - I'm not a fan and it had a lot. Also - there wasn't much cheese. Problem is when your only veggie is pepper - it needs a little something else or more cheese. Rachel really enjoyed her tomato/basil. They also had a spinach quiche...maybe I should have gotten that.

All in all - it was a pleasant lite lunch. $8 for me - $11 for Rachel.

I'm a big fan of any business that starts up in Pleasant Ridge - it's a budding neighborhood and we need more fun things like Emanu and Pleasant Perk.

I also want to mention - they strongly support the community and have community events such as music, etc...

BUT - I think there are a few issues that have me worried for the Peapod...

1. Their hours - 11-4 Tuesday-Friday and 11-7 on Saturday. Really? That's what killed Ridge Market - crappy hours. You know how nice it would be to stop by quick on my way to dance class after work when I have literally the 15 minute if I hope to eat before 8pm? But no - they close at 4. Then they aren't open on Sunday? When do I have a leisurely day? Usually Sunday!

2. The prices - $8 for a quiche and a soda...$11 for a quiche soda & small smoothie - seems a bit high.

3. Pleasant Perk is a block away - do we need another smoothie place? Perk has coffee...not sure about their food selection. We need a nice little lunch spot and quick dinner spot - but another smoothie place?

So Peapod gets a 2.5 stars from me. I liked the food - but the price and the hours bring it down for me. I guess Peapod if you're listening - I hope you read this openly and think about my constructive criticism. You have a cute place - I'd love for it to make it.

Peapod Cafe
6227 Montgomery Road
Cincinnati, Ohio 45213
513.351.2460

13 comments

  1. It would be great if they were open on Sunday. I went by today to take my sister and they weren't open so we went to HD Beans instead.

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  2. I just read about this place last week in an old cin weekly, and I was pissed that they aren't open for dinner! Maybe some Saturday...

    Also, I absolutely CANNOT order the same thing as the person I'm with. (Side benefit being you end up getting to try two things!)

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  3. Well - maybe they'll see our comments and make some changes?

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  4. I've been wanting to check out PeaPod but the hours have so far prevented me from doing so.

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  5. I live close to this place as well but have never been in due to the weird and wonky hours. From what I've read of the menu I'd perfer more choices but I will hold off on my complete judgement until I actually try the place

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  6. I agree Mark - to stand out from Pleasant Perk - they need more menu options. I can't imagine they want to drive out PP - so why not be a compliment to them and have what they don't?

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  8. hey guys,

    i'm tony and i'm married to the owner of the pea pod cafe and thought you may want a lil' insight into it.

    first, thanks so much for the post and the replies! great feedback!

    we've tried to put alot if info on our website, at www.thepeapodcafe.com, to answer questions about the food, drinks and philosophy behind. hover over each food and beverage icon and it will tell you what's in it.

    organic - i work in the organic industry and my family are about as hardcore organic consumers as you can find, for better and worse :-) it means alot to us. stop in and ask melanie about any item you have a question about. or email me at tony.moore@mac.com. really, i welcome the conversation. because of our dedication to organic, we simply can't compete with chain restaurants, or smaller restaurants or cafe's that use a food service or use prepared foods. everything we serve is hand made from real stuff. it takes time, it takes passion, it takes care, and unfortunately it costs more. we've tried to keep our prices similar to that of panera, but still keep our quality high and maintain our dedication to organic and local ingredients. we understand this won't suit everyone's tastes or needs.

    about smoothies - our smoothies are mostly based on brewed, whole leaf fair trade organic teas, organic whole fruits and berries, local honey, organic yogurt or soy. we don't buy a mix, we make everything by hand when you order it. again, we know this may not be for everyone but hope that some folks will appreciate the extra care.

    about pleasant perk - i consider kim a good friend and i'm a huge fan of her art too. the only reason we're not serving coffee (and i'm a bit of a coffee geek) is out of respect for her and the perk. this is also why we're not open in the mornings so as to not compete.

    about the hours - we like to say we have family friendly hours, but they're really friendly for our family i guess. melanie and i have two daughters, nohemi (11) and flor de maria (9). we live 2 blocks from the cafe and our girls go to nativity, another 2 blocks from our home. we would love to be open longer hours! we've been open just a few months and are trying hard to balance family and business. i completely agree that's what killed the market, but to start with we felt we would serve the lunch crowd and grow from there.

    about menu choices - we usually have 2 soups, 2 quiches, 2 tossed salads, 2 or 3 side salads, 2 or 3 wraps, hummus, chips, veggies, 2 cookies, 2 sweet breads, and a myriad of drinks. and everything is hand made and freshly prepared. that sounds like alot of choices to me? walk by any week day morning and you'll find someone cutting veggies, making wraps, making salads. we made the choice not to serve institutionally and commercially prepared foods, and again, know the result is not going to be for everyone.

    about community - our mission is to be a blessing for our community. our community room is free for folks to use and we're trying to host high quality art and music events at times when families can enjoy them, and for free. you're right, pr already has a great coffshop, a great diner, a great chili parlor, a pretty good irish pub (tho with an identity crisis of late), a local pizza joint, and now, we hope, a good cafe that specializes in organic and local foods, organic and fair trade teas and smoothies.

    well, i guess this wasn't so lil' after all. sorry! i hope this was helpful. i really do appreciate the feedback. please feel free to contact us directly with any q's.

    thanks!

    tony

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  9. Tony - thanks for the comments! I think for a quick lunch spot - yes the choices aren't too bad - would a few more be nice - sure! But you gotta start somewhere.

    I think as you can see by our comments - the hours are the biggest drawback at this point. Even if you were just open from 4-7 or something for the "after work - grab a bite" crowd?

    But hey - do what you gotta do!

    Thanks again!

    :-)
    Heather

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  10. WILL YOU MAKE IT HEATHER in a economy thats crashing

    Peapod you ideas and passion will help you succed dont let anyone bring you down

    I give it 3 stars!!!!

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  11. thanks again guys!

    heather, i dig the hours thing, i really do. and we know this could be our demise. the big experiment for us is to try and build a place that works for our family and the community. we hope to get to that point :-) same goes with menu choices. we chose to start small and build up, rather than start big and realize we couldn't handle it and pair down. we're just willing to sacrifice on quality. since opening, we've added quiche, seasonal offerings like the fall salads and wrap and apple cider smoothie and an organic omelette bar on some saturday mornings, and we hope the growth will continue...

    the economy. man, did we pick a great time to open a niche buisiness, or what? like i said above, this is a big experiment for us. the pea pod is completely funded by us with no debt so it has the best chance to sustain itself . most folks in business, and i'm one of them, would be horrified by our low profit margins, but our goal is simply sustainability. sustainability for the cafe itself, sustainability for folks that care about the issues (social responsibility, organic, fair trade, community)the pea pod tries to address by employing them and serving them, and sustainability for the community by giving it a place to hang that's not sponsored by government or church, but encourages the discussion of both from all views.

    ok, i'm ranting again, sorry. obviously, the pea pod cafe is as much a mission and social experiment as it is a cafe. just get melanie talking about organic and local foods and all those related issues and you'll realize the place is run by a pair of zealouts :-)

    really, thanks so much the interest and opportunity to talk about all this.

    hope to actually meet everyone here someday. remember, the pea pod's community room is free. how about having a "live and in person interactive blog" there sometime? :-)

    take care,

    tony

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  12. Tony - thanks for bringing up the community room again! That is very nice - I know I've needed a room a time or two. Is that only available during business hours?

    I'll definitely try and stop by on Saturdays and grab a wrap while I'm in between my classes that I teach - and hopefully everybody else in P-Ridge will too!

    Then we'll get you open more hours!

    Thanks again for your openness to the feedback!

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  13. I am going to the Pea Pod next week most likely. A friend that knows someone helped Melanie and Tony put this place in its location and has supported them from the begnning. I say Melanie and Tony like I know them, I don't but I've heard a lot from this one friend.

    I agree the hours may not be for everyone but look at it this way, they're encouraging a healthy discussion on food, family and values. I am a "buy local" freak so I feel like even just at that, it's a great idea and would love to support them.

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