Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Golly Gee - it was Gumbo Time!

I'm a kitschy headline girl - I can't help it.


My coworkers and I decided to try out the new creole place in the US Bank building - J Gumbos! It's an unassuming little spot around the corner from the Roly Poly and right near one of the doors - don't ask me which one. If you're at Ingredients - walk past it - past Roly - around the corner and toward the door - then it's on the right.

Everything on the menu looked and sounded great. They have 3 spice levels - mild, medium and hot. None of us dared the hot menu on the first try.

Here's a shot of all of our food:

Clockwise: Red Beans & Rice, Shrimp Etouffee, Gumbo

Jeff said he wished he'd tried the Crawfish Etouffee instead for a bit of a stronger flavor. The shrimp were very tiny. Russ was very happy with his red beans & rice. It was the daily special and I was jealous!

This is my gumbo - a rich & hearty soup thickened with our homemade brown Roux, Chicken, Sausage, and fresh Vegetables. It was in the medium menu and was pretty spicy. The sauce is very brown - and I was watching Top Chef tonight and they said that's how Gumbo should be... It was okay but I definitely think I'd try something else next time.

The rice was great and the bread was nice. They have so many offerings on their menu - there is plenty to try! You can also try a spoonful beforehand to see if you like it. Next time I'm trying the Creole!

Next...save room for dessert!

Seriously click the picture - I wanted some!

I resisted the temptation...well sort of. We went to Tazza Mia and got a peanut butter cup cookie.

Overall - good price, unique flavor, I'd go back!

J. Gumbo's  on Urbanspoon

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Thai Showdown continued...

Well this week isn't a showdown...it's just another addition to the Thai roundup of Cincinnati.

After kicking my own ass in Hip Hop class, my booty-fied student Marla and I went to Green Papaya for some lunch!

Marla went for the sushi lunch box - $9.95 for a lunch box o'goodness!

(be sure to click on the pics for full effect!)

The salad had the wonderful peanut dressing, the sushi was so fresh and the pad thai was plentiful! I was definitely jealous! I do wish the sushi roll choices were a little different than just a tuna or california roll...

I chose the Thai Spicy Pasta - I think that's the name of it - it's near the top on the back of the lunch menu. Linguine, shrimp, chicken and veggies - it was really good! $6.95


The portion size was fairly small - if I had it again - I'd also get a sushi roll - which then brings the price up quite a bit...I was really hungry though - hadn't had any breakfast.

Overall - really enjoyed it as always. Here's where we stand so far in the Thai showdown:

Mekong
Green Papaya
Aspara

Enjoy!

Green Papaya (they don't have a website)
2942 Wasson Road
Cincinnati, OH 45209
Phone: (513) 731-0107

Hours

11 a.m.-3 p.m., 5-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday;

11 a.m.-3 p.m., 5-10:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday;

4-9:30 p.m. Sunday.


Green Papaya on Urbanspoon

Monday, February 9, 2009

Thai Showdown at the Food Hussy Corral!

Well - it is Mekong vs. Aspara in our Thai showdown! Here are our competitors:

Restaurant: Mekong Thai
Neighborhood: Deer Park
Location: Strip Mall
Price: $
Restaurant: Aspara Asian Cuisine
Neighborhood: Blue Ash
Location: Former Brewery right off Pfeiffer
Price: $$

Atmosphere: Hands down - Aspara wins. It's a beautiful restaurant with a huge waterfall along one wall and used to be a brewery. Mekong is a small narrow strip mall joint.

Service: Eh - Mekong by a sliver. The service at Aspara was more professional because it's fancier. The waitress didn't bring spoons for the entrees. Then the waitress threw out my dinner companions food instead of boxing it up. They did recook a half-portion for him to take home. It just seemed very generic and textbook. Mekong on the other hand had extremely friendly service but was slow slow slow. But in the end, I'll take the happy & quirky Mekong staffer - she was so friendly and next time I'll order a spring roll to start.

Price: Mekong - as you'll see - it was cheaper across the board. No ambiance - I guess that's where the money goes!

Food: MEKONG BY A MILE!

Aspara Dish #1: Seafood Clay Pot - $19 - sounds good, looks good, tastes eh. Cooked imitation crab and squid kinda yuck. Mussels, shrimp & scallops were fine...quite a few veges. They served it over rice. They don't have brown rice (???). I ordered a 5 on a scale of 1-10 and it was more like what I'd imagine a 7. I just couldn't get over the imitation crab! Plus - the flavor wasn't really much FLAVOR - it was just spicy.

Aspara #2 - Basil Thai Stir Fry with beef ($16) - this I didn't taste but it was beef, peppers and onions. Pretty boring...most thai places have more veges in this dish than just peppers and onions. Good portion size.
Mekong #1 - Spaghetti Thai Spicy ($9) with beef - stir fried spaghetti noodles with thai basil, broccoli, bamboo shoots, mushrooms, carrots, tomatoes and eggs. I ordered it a 1.5 on a 1-3 scale and it was just right. There were a lot of veggies - good variety. The best thing about this dish was the flavor! Many times Thai just has a watery brown sauce that doesn't have much flavor - this was sooo different! It was a little thicker and just had a really wonderful flavor! I couldn't get enough! I could only finish 1/2 and can't wait to chow down the leftovers tomorrow for lunch!

Mekong #2 - Pad See-Eew which is wide rice noodles, stir fried with broccoli, cabbage and eggs in a smokey sauce ($10). This was also amazing. There weren't as many veges but the taste was so good! My friend is normally the type to only eat half - not tonight - he barely had any left to take home - he kept munching away! The beef was cooked so well - almost crispy on the edges. This was the waitress' recommendation and she did NOT steer us wrong!

I do have to say - Mekong is a more "oily" than some of the other big Thai mainstays (RuThai's, Green Papaya, etc...) but the taste is so amazing! The dishes all had great flavor and that's what matters.

But - in this Thai showdown - Mekong wins!

Mekong Thai Cuisine on Urbanspoon

Apsara on Urbanspoon

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Fat-tastic?

My friend Lou and I were craving something new and good - Lou is a huge fan of burgers and it dawned on me that I hadn't been to Fatburger!

Fatburger opened in Oakley last fall with a lot of hype but I wasn't buying it and kind of boycotted.

Supposedly some Bengals players are involved with this location and I just wasn't feelin it.

(Nothin against the Bengals - just was skipping the hype.)

The decor of Fatburger is great - it's modern, hip, clean lines and funky. You order at the counter and then you get a number and they bring it out to you. It's sort of like sit-down fast food.

There are quite a few burger options (chicken, turkey, burgers, etc...) as well as 2 fry options (fat, skinny).

My friend has quirky tastes and she got a plain burger - well done - with bacon and skinny fries. She enjoyed her meal a lot - it might not look like much - but hey - she was happy and that's not easy to do!


I decided on the turkey burger - loaded up with toppings and the onion rings. The burger was cooked perfectly and very tasty. The onion rings were a bit oily - (duh - I know) - but even for onion rings - a bit much. But the breading was very light.
Don't forget - you can click on the images and see them larger - makes you hungry though...

Overall - I liked it! I definitely would head back next time I'm short on time but big on hunger. (Sounds like a commercial doesn't it)

Fatburger
3158 Madison Road
Cincinnati, OH 45209

Operating Hours: Sun-Thurs: 10:30am-10pm Fri-Sat: 10:30am-12am

P: 513-871-8722
F: 513-871-8724

Fatburger on Urbanspoon