Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Oh Mr. Red Lobster - Have I become a Red Snobster??????

So my great friend Lou wanted to take me out for my birthday to Red Lobster. Now - Red Lobster has always been one of my favorite places so I was excited!!!!

We were STARVING and unfortunately had to wait for about 30 minutes - but that's not a surprise on a Sunday night in Kenwood.

I ordered my standard crab alfredo - which is always my favorite. As seen by the photo to the left - it's a heart attack in a bowl - but I love crab (just not the work that goes with crab legs).

Before we get to the main dish - we of course have to discuss the best part of any Red Lobster visit...THE BISCUITS! I had a salad too - it was fine...but the biscuits were perfection as always. Luckily Lou hates them - so they were ALL MINE!!!!

If you don't know - you can also buy the Bisquick mix and make them at home for yourself - I can never quite get the baking time perfect but they're very close...

Okay - onto the main dish - it was good - there was a ton of food (as you can see) and I liked it.

But I think I've become a Food Snob!!!!!! I mean - it was okay - but I just wasn't wowed. I think I ate too much and it just wasn't anything special. I guess it was just a big blob of alfredo without much flavor. Can I expect to be wowed by Red Lobster or have I become a Red Snobster?

Have any of you become food snobs? Have you been eating at non-chain fancy places and now you can't go back to your roots? Or do you still have the yearn for Texas Roadhouse Ribs or Don Pablos Queso Dip (God I hope not!).

So I'm giving Red Lobster a 2 star = Eh, I'll go back if you're buying! The rating is probably because someone else WAS buying!

Red Lobster, 8220 Montgomery Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45236

Not a restaurant - but still a review - of THE BEST SALAD DRESSING EVER!

Okay - I'm going to sound like a Wish-Bone commercial here for a moment...but bear with me. 

I just tried some amazing salad dressing...and here's the crazy part...

THIS SHIT IS HEALTHY AND GOOD FOR YOU!!!!! 

Literally - 2 tablespoons are 20 calories and no fat. On Weight Watchers - that's 0 points! Now I always use more - but even with 4 Tbsp. that's 1 pt!!!!! 

The dressing is incredibly flavorful and has lots of chunks of veggies in it - which I love! 

So - the next time you're at the grocery store - pick some up. It's really really good! 

Seriously - I'm traditionally a "give me the fat ass thickest I can stand a celery stick up in it ranch" kind of girl but not any more!!!!! 

Okay - Wish-Bone commercial is over... but it definitely gets the 4 star = Oh my...um...wow...I need a minute here...cuz that is amazing! 

Monday, July 28, 2008

A nice walk and some pasta - what could be better????

I forgot my camera this fateful Wednesday so no pics of the great food...but I'll tell you about it. My ex-boss decided to take me out to lunch for my birthday (yeah Terry!) and let me pick - since I am THE FOOD HUSSY! So I chose Behle Street Cafe in Covington. It's on the first floor of one of the hotels - Embassy I think...


I also decided to walk - I work downtown and thought "Oh heck - just walk over the Suspension Bridge and I'm there - how long could that take?????" Haha - 20 damn minutes - that's how long! I was a little sweaty when I got there but luckily there was a breeze so I didn't smell (did I Terry?).


I discovered Behle Street when I worked in Covington. They have a great pasta that comes with chunks of meatloaf instead of meatballs! It's sooooo good! But I was feeling like I should behave a little more...so I didn't get that.


I ordered the Capellini Vegetarian (Broccoli, carrots, snow peas, sprouts, cauliflower, peppers, onion, mushrooms, garlic, and basil with your choice of marinara or our classic olive oil sauce). The cost is $9.75 and you get a salad and bread - so I think it's a good price. I opted for the marinara because that's what I was in the mood for.


I started with the Greek salad - man it was GOOD! I loved it - normally I go Caesar but was feeling Greek and it was a good choice! Olives, feta and yumminess!


The pasta was great - there was a ton of veggies and they were not overcooked at all - still were very crunchy. There wasn't much added flavor to them - but I could see if you had the olive oil sauce that they would pick up that flavor. The marinara was chunky, saucy and a touch sweet - just like it should be.


My boss opted for the Cobb salad and it looked very good and he enjoyed it.


The one place they lack is the bread - it's bland and bleh. Warm it up, give us some flavored butter, something. It's just a hunk of bread now - could add something to the meal if they made any effort.


Thankfully - my boss took pity on me and gave me a lift back to the office rather than making me walk another 20 minutes back! He has a cute little convertible so it was a great ride back...and I was only 5 minutes late to my meeting as opposed to 30 minutes late. Well and I didn't stink!


I always enjoy Behle Street but it's not holy cow amazing so I'll give it the good old 3 star = That's like generic mac & cheese - almost perfect - but it's not the blue box!


Hope you all have a great week! I'll be posting more reviews this week!

Behle Street Cafe

50 E. Rivercenter Blvd.
Covington, KY 41011


Behle Street Cafe on Urbanspoon

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Attn: 1976 - Your table is ready at The Pine Club

Wow - that's a hunk of meat! Actually it's 2 hunks of meat...

After my trip to NYC, my friend and I landed in the metropolis of Dayton, OH and were starving! He had heard about The Pine Club and had been wanting to try it. We were hungry and not in the mood for a chain so off we went.

Now - we called ahead and they request pants on boys...although once we got there we saw people in shorts. But we modified our wardrobe appropriately in the parking lot (we're a classy bunch!).

Walking into The Pine Club was like walking into 1976. The dark wood paneling, the huge bar, the dim lighting - it's definitely a throwback! The food is also a major throwback.

The choices at The Pine Club are...um...let me see...meat, meat, meat, meat and oh yes - meat! Surprisingly I opted for meat...I know...SHOCKING!

Now I did buck the trend and opt for pork chops instead of steak. I just didn't feel like steak...I probably should have.

First though - we had a salad. I opted for the salad with the house vinegarette and my cohort opted for the "red & bleu" salad (french dressing with bleu cheese). We got our salads - all iceberg lettuce - mmmm (sarcasm sarcasm sarcasm). We each tasted ours and then tasted each others and then quickly decided to switch. That was odd actually because I hate bleu cheese - but we think that the sweet of the French dressing made the bleu better! Scott decided the vinegarette was more his style...so we were very pleased with our swap.

Second - I'll address the side dishes. They are "famous" for their stewed tomatoes so I got those. They're odd. It's like stewed tomatoes in tomato soup. Meh - not something I'm a fan of. I paid a little extra for the hashbrowns to be ordered Lyonnaise (they add grilled onions in them). They were a little burned (left side of the photo) but it did add flavor.

Finally - the meat - Scott got steak and I got pork chops. Scott's steak was huge and cooked perfectly. I got pork chops - again with 1976 - cuz I think that's when they were cooked in 1976. They were just cooked well done so they were dry and chewy. But it did come with 2 large chops.

Overall - it is a very mixed review. I mean - Scott's view is coming from going to places like the Precinct on a regular basis. So compared to the Precinct he thought it was fabulous and cheap! I tend to go to Lonestar or Texas Roadhouse more often. So compared to that, I thought it was expensive and the food wasn't as good.

So you decide - if you regularly go to the Precinct - it's a 3.5 star! If you regularly go to TX Roadhouse - it's a 2.5 star and make sure the Precinct-er is paying the tab!!!!


The Pine Club
1926 Brown St.
Dayton, OH 45409

Tel: 937-228-5371
pineclub@aol.com

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Mrs. Hicks???? You be the judge!

Okay - as if the picture to the left doesn't say enough????? 

So yes - I met Taylor. It was fabulous. I loved it. I loved him. He touched me. Ahhhhhhhh. 

So - the food - good lord - I ate my way through NYC. Let's give the rundown...

Saturday: 

Bagel time! Every morning - bagel. It's the law. 

Abitinos Pizza - we were walking and had reached Times Square and were starving. So we hit the pizza place. Good solid pizza for NYC. They popped it in the oven and made it crispy. I had mozzerella and ricotta - very very yummy! It's a bit Sbarros-like...would have rather had something more authentic and local but I was about to die. If you're on Times Square - go for it - but try and search out something more local. 

 
Aquagrill - We headed there for my birthday dinner. I have never had oysters before so we decided to try some. They have the largest and best raw bar in the city (supposedly from Zagat's). The salty ones were good - can't remember which coast they were from - but I liked them - especially with cocktail sauce (is that blasphemy??? they put it on the tray!). My dinner was truffle encrusted cod with mushroom ravioli. It was cooked very well and the ravioli and dark mushroomy sauce were terrific. I had a terrine of some sort as an appetizer - didn't like it so much. Then, they knew it was my birthday and brought me out a birthday dessert (as seen above!). It wasn't good - well the little chocolates were but the rest was gross. Meal cost $50 without wine - approx. Eh - it was good but I wouldn't go back on a return NYC trip. Go if you like oysters! 

Ruby Foo's Times Square - After seeing Grease and touching Taylor...I was thirsty! We decided to go for a low key bar where we could talk and I could bask in my post-coital glow (I wish!). We chose Ruby Foo's. We had shrimp dumplings which were tasteless and soggy. The bartender was wonderful and very chatty! She was a delight and made great drinks. Then, out comes a huge gigantic double piece of birthday carrot cake! The bartender heard me talking and got it for me. It came with a side of rum syrup. This cake was to die for and I don't even like carrot cake!!!! We ate one piece and then saved the rest (breakfast on Monday). Go for drinks and carrot cake - trust me!!!!

Sunday: 

Bagel time...

The Modern - after walking 16 more miles, we went to the Modern at the Museum of Modern Art for lunch. I would have just as soon had street food - but hey - Scott paid - so sure - let's go! He really wanted to try it. It's pretty but also pretty pricey. Serving size is extremely small. Taste was fine but nothing that great. I wouldn't go back there either. Again - about $30-50/person (although I was cheap and only had 1 course at $17 and water). Skip it and just check out the art...

Perilla - my one request besides Taylor-time was that I wanted to go to a Top Chef restaurant (the reality show that is). Scott gave me the guideline of it needed to get at least a 24 in Zagat's. So - we chose Perilla. Harold, the winner of Season 1, is the owner and chef.  First I had to try the duck meatballs - it was his signature dish. They were great - so flavorful and such a combination of flavors. Enjoyment in every bite and very moist. Then I wanted cow - so I got this amazing hanger steak. Now Scott tells me that's a fairly cheap cut of meat. Well it was FABULOUS. The sauce was dark and had lots of mushrooms and the steak was cooked TO PERFECTION! It was the best thing I ate the entire trip! We also saw Harold chatting it up with a couple wannabe hussies at the next table! Again - $50/person (without wine on all prices). Go and get the steak!!!

Magnolia Cupcakes - we had to go there - we just had to. And let me tell you - it was worth it. You see - you must understand - by this point - Scott had made me walk probably 200 miles in sandals that were not made for that much walking. And I took a hip hop class with 20 year old dancers (um - can you say reality check?~!). My feet HURT with every step. I literally winced with every step. But a pink on white cupcake from Magnolia that cost 4 damn dollars - that was heaven. I wish I had some right now. They're really really really sugary. Really! Like diabetic coma sugary. New Yorkers don't think they're worth it - although I went late on a Sunday night so there wasn't much of a wait. So get one - just make sure it's after 9pm. Actually get a box of them! 

Monday:

Carrot cake - I had to eat it before we checked out. Rum Syrup is wonderful. 

Street Food - it was falafel sandwich vs. gyro. Yes at $3 each - I ordered both! The gyro won hands down. The falafel sandwich was huge and spicy and messy as hell. The gyro wasn't as good as It's Greek To Me but it was good. And at $3 - how can you pass it up???? The winner of the showdown is GYRO!  

Then I rolled myself to LaGuardia...and onto The Pine Club in Dayton...that's the next review. 

And to round it out - my worldly advice. If you go to NYC - suck it up and go to one $100 meal (Daniel, The London) rather than 2-3 $30-50 meals. The service and the quality of food is that much better. It's really astounding. 

My next trip will be Soho/Greenwich Village and a $100 meal. I can't wait!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Ingredients - well duh - obviously it has ingredients!


So because of my upcoming NYC trip - I'm packing my lunch every day. Then today - my lovely fabulous coworker Marge says she'll buy my lunch (celebrating my upcoming doomsday birthday) if I'll forego the packed extravaganza of salad and a pink zinger.

I reluctantly agree and Marge says she wants to go to Ingredients. That's coo - I like that place - especially when someone else is buying!

So we each go for the pizza line - which frightened me a bit - as I've heard really bad things about their pizza. I got a meat lovers and Marge got a pepperoni. Super thin crust - lots of toppings - nice flavor to the sauce. I'd say there was a little too much cornmeal and the crust was a little uneven (huge on one side - nonexistant on the other) - but all in all for a quick pizza - pretty good!

We also got a fruit cup which sucked! The fruit wasn't ripe and had absolutely no flavor.

Overall - I'll give it a 3 star = That's like generic mac & cheese - almost perfect - but it's not the blue box! And that's mostly cuz I wasn't buying - so hey - if someone wants to take you there - GO FOR IT!
________________________
Ingredients

21 E. Fifth St.

Cincinnati, OH 45202

513-852-2741

Hours: 6 a.m.-6 p.m. daily.


Ingredients on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

35th Birthday and Taylor Hicks - what could be better? No really - I'm giddy about it!

So departing from the food for just a brief moment to express my excitement for the events coming this Saturday. 

It's my 35th birthday - and no - I'm not excited about that - AT ALL. 

See - my  best friend in the entire world has a habit of saying awful things on our birthdays (we're a month apart). She started it at 25 by saying, "Hey, we're halfway to 50!" Evil skank! Well this year - that came back. 

WE'RE HALFWAY TO 70! 

Are you effing kidding me?????? Why would you do that to me???? I've known you since you were 3! I buy wonderful, amazing gifts for your gorgeous little boy! And you hit me with halfway to 70! Again I say - EVIL SKANK! (Just kidding Amy - I love ya!)

So - yes - I'm turning 35 on Saturday. I always said - when I was in my 20s - that if I hadn't had kids by the time I was...you guessed it...35, that I would just have my own! Find a hot guy in a bar, get him liquored up and get knocked up. Cuz dude - if I'm birthing a child - I'm at least having the 5 minutes of joy involved to get knocked up! 

So here I am - 35 - single - no kids - looking that 22 year old twit of a former self in the face and saying - YOU WERE AN IDIOT! My eggs aren't dried up - I have more time! So now - I'm saying if I'm 45 and still not married and sans little beasts - then I'll adopt or be a foster parent. 

Anyway - back to the dreaded day - I had to make the awfulness of turning 35 be circumvented with something fun that would take my mind off of it all. Well - then I get an email - TAYLOR HICKS IS TEEN ANGEL IN GREASE ON BROADWAY! 

Most people would shudder, laugh or hit delete - but not me! I called my best girlfriend Scott (he's not gay - but he's just like a girlfriend only he has a penis) and said - "Let's go to NYC!" He used to live there and will jump on any chance to get back to the big city. Sure enough - he fell for it without even asking why! 

So - then - when he's inebriated - I tell him why - he's too drunk on red wine to care and says SURE!!!! 

So it's settled - Taylor Hicks in Grease on my 35th Birthday. What could be better???? 

But wait - there's more!!! I know - you're saying - what Heather? What could be better? How could there be more?

Well - last Thursday I got an email saying that they were selling special packages to the show where you could...get ready for it...sit down I don't want you falling over like I did...

I CAN MEET TAYLOR IN HIS DRESSING ROOM AFTER THE SHOW!!!!!!

Well I immediately drop the $500 for the 2 tickets and 2 passes - yes - $500 - does it go to charity? No - but who cares - $500 in the grand scheme of the world to meet the person I've been swooning over for years? It's worth it!!!!

There was an alternate package for $100 less where I could meet him on stage. My coworker wisely said "Pop for the extra $100 - in his dressing room - you could do him." 

How? Trip and fall on his *!#$? 

He said, "Yup - just don't wear any panties."

So who knows, I might be pregnant by the time I'm 35 after all. (Oh that's horrible - did I just say that?)

(p.s. There will be photos Tuesday of my fabulous, wonderful birthday with Taylor Hicks. And if you happen to be reading this and saying "Who the F is Taylor Hicks???" - ugh - don't even talk to me!)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Date #2 - Dinner and a good time???? Let's discuss - the sushi at least!

Saturday night was my 2nd date with Joe. He requested I call him Hunky McStudmuffin - after I stopped laughing - I just told him - um no. hahaha

Our first date was his choice - Ron's Roost in Price Hill. Second date - my choice - so I took him to my favorite place - RuThai's in Mt. Lookout Square.

I can tell you now - this will not be an unbiased review. I love RuThai's - it's cheap and healthy and delicious. It's also BYOB!

The photo is of my salad - yes I remembered to take a picture!!! Their salad is the best! It's got this amazing peanut dressing and one of these days I need to ask them what it is and see if I can take some home. I love it! (This is the only pic though - I forgot to take a picture of our entrees until they were 3/4 gone - ugh - when will I learn????)

My date got the basil vegetable noodles and they looked great. Lots of veggies and he was very happy. I got "my usual" - Berron roll and UK roll. The berron roll has salmon & cream cheese and is fried. The UK has seafood and avocado. Both are awesome and I love them!!!!

Overall - I just love RuThai's. It's such a great place and is always so tasty! The spicy fish is truly my favorite dish - but I was craving sushi. They're closed on Monday's - but get down there ASAP!

Definitely the
4 star = Oh my...um...wow...I need a minute here...cuz that is amazing!

RuThai's
Neighborhood: Mt Lookout
3164 Linwood Ave
Cincinnati, OH 45208
(513) 871-7687

Oh - the date - it was pretty good. I'm not calling him Hunky McStudmuffin though...his name is Joe - I could call him Scrawny McSpongebob...(he's not scrawny - but he mocked Eminem so that's what he gets!)

:-)
Food Hussy - PEACE OUT!

Better than Zips????? It is possible...for the most part...

Did I just say this was better than Zips????

It is - in a way. If you're sans-children and want a great house burger - one you'd make in the backyard with all your friends - then this is the place. Re: "sans-children" - Terry's is loud and the seating just isn't kid-friendly. It's really fun - but just not a place I'd go with kids.

We each had cheeseburgers with american cheese and all the good stuff (lettuce, pickle, mayo, etc...). We each got grilled onions - excellent addition!

My favorite part is when you ask for a knife - they bring you a huge serrated knife - wait for you to cut your burger and then take it back. It's jarring the first time - but it's fun.

I also want to let you know about the uniqueness of Terry's. You can get all this wild stuff - you can get goat or blue cheese, wine sauce, portabella mushrooms, scallops, etc... Most of those can even be gotten on the burger. But truly - in the end - just get the burger. It's amazing - astounding - fabulous - yummy - delicious! I recommend the goat cheese though - it's unique and fun.

The other thing that makes Terry's so great is the ambiance. It's got neon signs all over, these huge beer coolers, mismatched tables and stools, etc... It's loud and there's a huge range of patrons - from 21 year old beer guzzling guys to 60 year old Hyde Park couples.

Terry's is a very fun and unique spot to get a great burger and fries. I'd love to see them add sweet potato fries to the menu - I think it easily fits in their niche and would be a nice compliment to the burger.

Terry's definitely gets the 4 star = Oh my...um...wow...I need a minute here...cuz that is amazing!

Terry's Turf Club

4618 Eastern Ave.

Cincinnati, OH 45226

513-533-4222

Hours: 4 p.m.-2:30 a.m. Monday-Saturday; noon-8 p.m. Sunday.


Terry's Turf Club on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Is that a Pizza Hut? Well - kinda...

Florence's newest culinary edition is NuVo and my friends and I went last night to try it out. We read great things in Polly Campbell's review and were pretty excited. But would we be disappointed????

Well kinda...

The restaurant just switched (last night to be specific) to "small plates" to try and lower the prices (and get more business). So really - they just smushed their menu all together and made portions a little smaller on the higher $$ items. But I got 3 courses (and water) for $30 - so it's not a terrible deal. 

First - the food - really good. Not Pigall's good - but really good. Lots of very interesting dishes and they all tasted great! Portions were a bit small - but the variety was great. There are also lots of vegetarian options as well. 

Some of the highlights: 
* Salad that had grapefruit, avocado and fennel. I hate fennel - but this salad was really really great! 
* Scallop - it's down to 1 scallop now - but my friend said it was cooked perfectly and tasted great. 
* Polenta - WOW!!!! I really loved it - actually wished I would have switched plates. I'm not usually a big fan but this was excellent and had a ragout on top which was excellent. 
* Lamb Porterhouse - very nicely cooked - could use more sauce. 
* Chocolate Torchon - this dessert was definitely the hit of the night.

Overall the food tasted really good and was very interesting. There were lots of unique combinations and you can tell someone's been watching Top Chef. Everything had a lot of flavors. They might even want to take a step back and simplify things a bit. 

One other note - they offer 1/2 glasses of wine for $3! I'm not a big drinker but that is a nice feature and allows you to try a variety of wines for very affordable prices.

Second - the location. It's a former Pizza Hut on Dream St in Florence and it shows. You're surrounded by fast food chains which isn't so bad because you can't see out the windows. But - it still looks like a Pizza Hut. I think they've done a decent job - but it's a bit cold and sterile. Unfortunately I have a feeling it's not a great location either. You're not going to drive by and say "I was going to go to Captain D's - but hey - let's try this NuVo place!". They better do some heavy advertising to compensate for their crappy location. 

Third - the service. The waiter was thrown for a loop by the new menu which he was alerted of when he arrived that night. He walked us through the "highlights" which ended up being his take on the entire menu. Highlights should be just that - pick 3 things and let us ask you if we have more questions. The server was very nice and had a good energy. The service was okay through dessert - for the $$ you expect a little bit quicker on the plate clearing, etc... (at least that's what my friend was complaining about). But once dessert came - service was forgotten. They didn't clear our plates for 15 minutes - then we had to wait 10 more minutes for our checks - then every one of our four checks was wrong (like literally we each had something from someone else's meal - and an extra entree) - then it took 20 minutes for them to fix our checks and then another 15 minutes to get the credit cards back. So from the time we finished dessert to the time we left - was AN HOUR! It was absurd. There were only 4 tables seated! Just so you know I'm not exaggerating - we arrived at 7 and left at 945...

So overall - it's hard to say - the food was good and very interesting - the prices are not too bad - comparable with Relish (another attempt at "small plates") - the location isn't promising and the service fell apart. 

Should you go? I'd say give it a shot! I mean - the food is interesting - but just don't have any set plans for after! 

Not really sure the rating - I guess a 3 for food and a 1 for the rest...so we'll average out at a 2 star = Eh, I'll go back if you're buying! 

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

two Two TWO times the blog! Via Vite & Ron's Roost

So I realized I forgot to blog about my fancy lunch day last week - but then I also had a date this weekend at a restaurant I'd never been to - so you get TWICE THE BLOG!

Let's start with fancy lunch day - we have started something at work called FANCY LUNCH DAY. It's a day where we go to lunch at places that don't have paper napkins. This time around we went to Via Vite in Fountain Square.

Our crew was a little light this month because of meetings - but come on people - where's your dedication? Work is more important than FANCY LUNCH DAY???? I think not! Thank God I have my priorities straight! 

I'll only comment on my entree since it's the only one I tasted. They have a lunch special that gives you a salad and pasta for $14 - which is pretty good considering the regular pasta is $13 (you do get a smaller portion). I got the salad - which was extremely good! I don't remember why - but I loved it! It was just a regular salad - not their goat cheese or anything like that...but tasty. Then I got fettucini with vodka sauce (hint of cream) and it was excellent! It wasn't alfredo but it did have just enough cream to make it awesome. I'd give the entree a 3 on my rating scale. 

Then we went for dessert! We each got something different and all tried each others. 3rd favorite on my list was the Hazelnut Gelato. It was great and very tasty - better than I thought it would be - but for the same price as the other two - not my choice. 2nd was the Orange Tart - very very creamy and delicious - really nearly a tie for 1st! It was almost like a creme brulee texture without the brulee. The crust was light and flaky - it was very good and not at all overpowering with the orange (which I feared it might be). But #1 - Chocolate Panna Cotta! DELISH - and very deserving of my 4 star = Oh my...um...wow...I need a minute here...cuz that is amazing!
The dish was creamy, rich and just damn awesome and amazing. I want to go back just for that! 

One caviat - not a bright waitress - I thought I knew what Panna Cotta was (and turns out I did) so I asked her and she said it was like a souffle. WTF? 

So there you go - one down - one to go. 

I had a date Sunday night - it was a first date - and he was...brace yourself...a WEST SIDER!!!! Yes - universal groans across the city are now being heard... But turns out - not all guys on the west side are dirty! Joe is a very nice guy and we had a nice time and are going out again Saturday night. (So you'll get a review of the fantastic Mt Lookout favorite RuThai's this weekend.) But who cares about the date - let's get to the dinner! 

He took me to...brace yourself...Ron's Roost in Price Hill. 

Needless to say - I was a little underwhelmed at the prospect of it all. I muddle my way through the Google Maps directions and venture over to the dreaded West Side. Will my lovely Tonka Truck be overwhelmed by spinners and hydraulics? Will I come away with an eviction notice and a job at Burger King? 

But alas...none of those things happened! I found my way just fine and no Tonka Trucks were harmed in the making of this dinner date! 

Ron's Roost is known for their fried chicken and I love fried chicken. But the thought of being on a first date and gnawing on a bone with grease and grissle just didn't sound like the best way to go. I mean - oh - there are so many inappropriate ways to go with that...but I'll take the high road for once and just let the jokes lie there...

(pause for you to think of them and laugh on your own - or comment them to me)

I got the crab cakes - it's a daintier meal. 

The bread is homemade and wonderful - very light and airy and soft with soft butter (a pet peeve of mine is restaurants with butter from the fridge!). 

I got the crab cakes with a baked potato and green beans. The cakes came with a great sauce that was a little spicy and very tasty. They weren't as good as the Lobster Cakes from Fresh Market but they were better than The Houston Inn from last week. The sides were bland as to be expected...

Overall the food wasn't bad - it wasn't great - but not bad. I wish I would have gotten the chicken - but I'll save that for next time. 

Ron's Roost is - from what I hear - a staple of the West Side and I can see why. It's probably very consistent and it's moderately priced. I did bring the median age down quite a bit - but if you want to take your parents out to a great meal - try it! And please - try the chicken - even if you're on a date! 

I'll give Ron's a 2.5 - the food isn't that great honestly - but it's got character...maybe if I'd had the chicken it'd be a 3. Any thoughts????

p.s. Went to Zip Dip after - DELICIOUS OF COURSE! But duh - how do you screw up a small twist cone? 
Ron's Roost on Urbanspoon

Monday, July 7, 2008

HaHa Pizza - More Like AH-HA!!!! Pizza

Saturday - my friends and I ventured up to Yellow Springs and it was awesome!

When we got there we were STARVING!!!! We were hoping to go to the Sunrise Cafe but they closed at 2pm (????) so we headed down the street to HA HA Pizza.

My brilliant friend John had read about it online and heard good things - BOY WAS HE RIGHT!

We each ventured to the world of whole wheat calzones and suprisingly we all ended up with veggie calzones. There were 4 to choose from - here's the rundown and the order of preference...

#4 Falafel - interesting but not that good - not awful - but fairly bland and nothing stand out
#3 Tofu/Broccoli - good, tasty - but come on - it's tofu!
#2 Bean Burrito - yes in a calzone - it was really great! The only reason it came in 2nd was that it wasn't very "pizza-y" - but it was very bean burrito-y! It was messy and DELISH!
#1 Pesto - this was mine and it was AMAZING! Very very cheesy! The side of haha sauce was excellent. Honestly - people in my party might even argue and say that the bean burrito one was #1. :-)

The whole wheat crust was also excellent!

So - if you venture up to Yellow Springs be sure and make HaHa Pizza a stop!

I give HAHA the 4 star = Oh my...um...wow...I need a minute here...cuz that is amazing! The food is great and the price is awesome ($6.50 per calzone!!)

The day also included a stop at Young's Dairy and Casa Tequila. Here's the quick recap of those:

Young's Dairy - we wanted ice cream and wow - we got that and more! There's so many flavors you can't even make a decision and the entire place smells like waffle cones. Plus - there's a petting zoo, mini-golf (Udders & Putters - ha) and 2 restaurants!

Casa Tequila - on the way home we stopped at my favorite Mexican place and everybody loved it. My favorite is the Fiesta Plate but this time for a lighter choice I tried the seafood quesadilla and it was awesome. The margaritas are strong (and great) and they use REAL crab in their seafood entrees!

Tomorrow I'll write all about my experience at Ron's Roost in Price Hill!!!!

Ha Ha Pizza on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Fancy Fancy Lunch at The Palace!

Went to The Palace today with a friend of mine - I always enjoy lunch there. It's just so darned fancy! 

The place is also always always always deserted - so it's a great place to sneak off and have an interview (not that I was doing that - seriously - I wasn't - it was lunch with my friend Sarah). 

I always get the orecchiette pasta with the lamb ragout - I just love it. 

Helpful hint - just order water. The drinks are really expensive ($4 for iced tea). 

Bon appetit! 

I give it the standard 3 star = That's like generic mac & cheese - almost perfect - but it's not the blue box! I really like it but just can't give it 4 stars unless it's Jean Robert any more... 


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Houston Inn - Blue Hairs Abound!

I was supposed to go to Pitrelli's tonight but they're closed this week...so...we wanted to go somewhere that wasn't a chain and my friend Craig came up with The Houston Inn in Mason.

Wow - this place is interesting! hahahaha - Have you been?

I was the youngest person by about 40 years! They have a salad bar with over 55 items on it! (I didn't count) It also features a pan of about 100 deviled eggs - which was great since my friend has been known to say "I'd rather shoot myself in the head than eat a deviled egg." He must have had a bad experience as a child with mayonnaise.

So I had the night's special - crab cakes. Now with your meal ($13.95) you get the salad bar, 2 sides (tonight's vegetable and yams were my selections) and bread (rolls and southern "non-sweet" cornbread). That's a bargain!

The crab cakes were rather bready, the yams didn't really need to be chewed, the stewed tomatoes were out of a can and the salad bar was - well - a salad bar (it was good). The salad bar had lots of salads, cheeses, dressings, etc... not many vegetables.

My friends had fettucini alfredo with mushrooms (she liked it) and 2 prime ribs (medium was moreso medium rare and an end cut which was well well well well done and unrecognizable).

The "ambiance" was just a banquet room with booths and tables that smelled of Old Spice and Preparation H.

Overall I'll give it a 2 star = Eh, I'll go back if you're buying!

If you know or need to dine out with some old people - go to Houstons! Although we didn't try the frog legs which is what they're known for. But I can't fathom all the poor little frogs going around the bottom of the pond in wheelchairs.

Houston Inn on Urbanspoon

One Oafus Coworker

Okay - this has nothing to do with food - it's just funny!

Just browsing the "for sale" on CraigsList is fun!