Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Don't be afraid - they're just old people.

A friend of mine (plug for her free e-book of short stories) told me about Twin Bistro. A coworker's family owns it.

I tried twice to find this place - it's very tricky. The address on their site doesn't basically exist - but they've updated it to mention the Panorama building (old folks apartments) and I finally found it!

And now they have this handy dandy sign out front! It's right across from the IRS building on 4th Street.

We wandered around in the building for a while figuring we'd eventually find it. It's not easy to find - but if you go into the doors on the left (if you're facing the building) - it's easier from there.

Once inside we noticed it wasn't too busy - but the menu looks good! They also have a hella-breakfast menu that I want to go back for.

My friend got the burger - it's got a lot of garlic in it - and it's IN the meat - so just be aware of that. If you can't tell - she's a "plain" kind of girl and didn't like it. But she's very very picky on seasoning...

Larry got his with cheese (how much more lively!) and for $5.50 - it's a good deal too! He got fries which i think was a bit extra. I snagged a bite and was really pleased. This is definitely a hand-made burger - not a frozen patty!

I got the Reuben ($5.50) with saratoga chips. The chips are freshly made and really delicious! The sandwich was good as well but I was a little jealous of the burger. I like my Reubens gooey - so I think next time I'd ask for more cheese & sauce - but this was good.

They also have quite a bakery and snacky products. We got the peanut butter cup bars to go - honestly - I didn't like. I think maybe if it was cold and firm - I would have liked it. But it got melty very quickly and was just grainy and not that great.

There's also fresh granola - which definitely looked good.

Like I said though - I want to go back for the cinnamon rolls and biscuits & gravy!

Why Should You Go? If you work in/near Covington, go on the hunt and find the place. The prices are cheap, it's not busy and the food is good! What more can you ask for?

Twin Bistro on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Evol Burritos - Mini-review

First let me say that I realize I'm the only person in the world that would buy a frozen burrito because it's owned by someone that was once on Survivor. But hey - I'm a reality-tv junkie and I'm not ashamed to admit it.

So yes - I bought an Evol Burrito because Brendan from Survivor is one of the company's owners...Sue me.

There he is...don't even ask me what season he was on. He was also one of the founders of Bear Naked Granola and sold that off...

I heard about them a while back - they pack over 20 grams of protein - which is pretty unique for a frozen burrito!

I ran across the Egg & Sausage recently on a trip to Biggs and decided to try it. It costs $3.99 so it's NOT cheap!

Listen to the description: Scrambled eggs, house-made chorizo sausage, herb roasted potatoes, pinto beans, monterey jack and cheddar cheeses and an authentic tomato salsa - all hand rolled together in an insanely tasty flour tortilla.

Sounds great - eh?

Well today - I nuked it and had it for breakfast. The verdict?

Eh - it wasn't too good. I'm very full but I think the potatoes just made it all mushy. I didn't taste the cheeze or the salsa - which were my two hopes that this would be good - all I tasted was potato and an occasional bite of chorizo. That's the problem with a lot of frozen burritos - they just are glumpy. Is that a word? Maybe not - but say it - GLUMPY - that's how it tastes. Dry and not much flavor.

:-(

I had high hopes.

They have a ton of flavors like Cilantro Lime Chicken, Tofu & Spinach Saute and Veggie Fajita (those are non-breakfast obviously) - so if I run into one of those - I might give it a try. The ingredients are much "healthier" than the other frozen burrito options and they are big on the "green" movement.

And 21 grams of protein - I mean - that's like one of those god-awful protein bars that Larry eats! I'll take a glumpy burrito over that any day!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Four corners of Mainstrasse - 2 down, 2 to go

I like to refer to it as the four corners of Mainstrasse because everywhere you look - you can eat. You've got Cock & Bull, Dee Felice, Cosmos and Chez Nora. There are other places close by as well - but these definitely stand out based on location alone.

Chez Nora is very cute and has nice outdoor seating as well as a rooftop deck. Inside it's really large and they often have live music on the weekends.

The Pub Burger
One-half pound of ground Black Angus beef with lettuce, tomato and onion on a toasted bun Extra toppings are available at an additional charge - $8

Larry got the burger - it was really good. I forget how good plain old hamburger can be - the smell of beef is very distinct and flavorful. I was definitely jealous. Topped with Swiss cheese - nothing better.

Marinated Portobella Mushroom Sandwich
Topped with roasted red peppers, onions And gruyère cheese with a side of cucumber-dill sauce - $8

I considered going for the Covington Hero which is a country fried steak fritter but the waiter nudged me to the mushroom instead... The mushroom was good although as often happens - it gets a bit "wet" and the bun gets soggy. Soggy bread grosses me out. It was tasty though although I'm not sure it was gruyere as it didn't have much flavor. The cucumber dill was okay - but the hot sun made the texture kinda funky - so I was a little weary.

Side note: I was back soon after for a work lunch and had the veggie quesadilla - it was really good. The chili I got that day looked fantastic but just tasted so-so. Nobody liked the pulled pork special that day - very dry.

Why Should You Go? Good basic bar food in a fun atmosphere and you can't go wrong with live music. Not my favorite place in Mainstrasse but always a decent meal.

Chez Nora on Urbanspoon

Friday, June 25, 2010

Free this weekend? Take a drive to Madison, IN!

So me and the boy like to take these drives...I found this website called Daytrip Cincinnati and began digging through trying to find a place we could go on a free Sunday. In the west region I found one talking about Madison, IN. While I didn't exactly do their trip - I made my own up.

Side note about that website - it's really great. The directions are fantastic - I just didn't have access to a printer so I made my own easy route up.

Once in Madison, we just walked around. There's a really great downtown area with lots of shops that were open, etc... While exploring we found the Madison Lighthouse on the river! I love river-side restaurants...so we had to stop in!

The lighthouse is pretty tiny - but hey - we didn't care. It was hot and they served beer...

What I love about this place is that it's ON the river! Half the restaurant is tables and the other half is a bar. The bar has these great perches right on the river. Although I was completely paranoid about my purse getting knocked into the river!

There's a crooked-ass shot of the table-side of the restaurant...

More river views - it sure is dirty. You can also pull your boat right up to the restaurant. On either side there are decks with boat tie-off thingys (very technical boating terminology there).

We weren't really all that hungry but I did get fried mushrooms that came with a side of horseradish ranch. They were excellent! Way better than the small crappy button mushrooms most places serve. These were HUGE and the sauce had a bite to it! Larry (who hates mushrooms) even tried them and liked them!

Why Should You Go? Madison is a really pretty town and we were able to map out a way that you stay along the river the entire way! I really enjoy the scenery on the side roads much more than the stupid interstate! The Lighthouse was very fun and relaxing (except for the purse nerves) and the food we did have was really great! Also - there is a truck on the river that makes a mean icey if you like those...and it comes in a big purple flower cup - which was fantastic to watch Larry carry around town!


Madison Lighthouse Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Congrats to the winners of Red, Pink & Blue tickets!


First - I want to thank everybody for entering! And stay tuned - I've got more goodies coming next week!

But now for the winners! Congrats to Leo1881, JUSGRVNSGIRL and Jessica! I have emailed/twittered each of you - let me know first & last name and I'll get you on the CincyChic list!

See you all at Red, Pink & Blue tomorrow night!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Giveaway Day!

Lately I've been contacted by a lot of people wanting to do giveaways on my blog - so I figure - why not?!

Last week - eReach - keep reading for those winners! Besides that I've also been contacted by Brueggers, Red Lobster and Cincy Chic!

Now I know - Brueggers & Red Lobster are chains - but hey - who can't use a free lunch every now and then? More to come on those...


Cincy Chic contacted me about their upcoming Red, Pink and Blue event! Not only do I get to go but so can you! They've given me 3 pair of tickets for the event which is next Friday June 25.

If you're not familiar, Red, Pink and Blue is a fashion show with vendors and all of the proceeds go to charity - sounds like a fun time to me!

To be entered for these tickets all you have to do is post a comment with your favorite red, pink or blue food. Yeah - food! I guess my favorite would have to be pink zingers!

There you have - post in the comments your favorite red, pink or blue food and one of each color will win a pair of tickets to the upcoming event. Also - don't forget to post your email or twitter name so I can get in touch with you about the tickets.

Now for the eReach giveaway from last Friday! The winners - chosen by a very complex numbering system that involved my dog stepping on numbers corresponding to blog comments are...DRUM ROLL PLEASE...

Kayla and Donnie
Jen Lillie

Congrats ladies - I'll be getting your eReach gift card info to you in the next week!

Thanks again to everyone that entered and make sure to enter for these Red, Pink & Blue tickets. I'll be announcing winners during the day Thursday!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Free Spicy Chicken Sandwich? Yes Please!

Sometimes being a food blogger has it's perks. I get tickets here and there - got some free frozen vegetables last week - and sometimes I get invites to fun things. A couple weeks ago - one such invite came in - Chick-fil-A was introducing a new spicy chicken sandwich and I could get one for free!

Turns out - a crapload of people got the invite - but I felt honored to be one of the first. It was pretty slick - you signed up for a specific time & location and then printed off your certificate.

So last week we hopped down to the Chick-fil-A in Tower Place Mall for our free sandwiches! We thought it would just be a sandwich - but we also got chips & a drink for free as well.

The manager had this room set up in the old Gap (I think) for the free sandwiches to be feasted upon. He was very friendly and attentive with refills and such...

One of our coworkers hates pickles...I know...who hates pickles???? But he was happy that his sandwich could be gotten sans pickles...

I decided I was in the mood for a shake and their awesome waffle fries so the chips were donated to a coworker. They also had a table set up with lots of extra spicy things like pepper jack cheese, hot sauces, etc...

But - how was the sandwich?????

Well - I think Chick-fil-A has the best chicken sandwiches anyway. They're always moist and hot and just really great for fast food. By far the best fast-food chicken around.

The spicy chicken did have a kick to it and our table all agreed it was better than the Wendy's spicy chicken sandwich. It was spicier and just better chicken.

Why Should You Go? If you like a spicy chicken sandwich - then this is pretty good. It's not overpowering unedible spicy - just the right amount.

And yes - my sandwich was free - but I paid for my shake & fries.

Don't forget - only a couple days left for the eReach giveaway on my Pirate's Cove blog from Friday!

Chick-Fil-a on Urbanspoon

Monday, June 14, 2010

Would it really be a cheeseburger in paradise?

My good friend Rachel is a huge Jimmy Buffet fan - she dresses up to go to the shows and even has a big huge GIANT parrot that she wears on her shoulder. Thus, I've always wanted to go to Cheeseburger in Paradise over in Eastgate.

I've driven by many times but a couple weeks ago - we were over that way around lunch time so I finally made the fiance go!

Larry got the Beach Burger with Sweet Potato chips. I hadn't heard much about this place and wasn't expecting much - but damn - it was great! I mean - look at that plate - I'm hungry just thinking about it again! The chips were very good too - very unique offering that we will definitely get again!

I got the Guacamole Bacon Burger but on a regular bun - didn't feel like onions that day. It was more a hunk of avocado with some guac stuck to it - but again - really tasty burger. I also went for a side of queso with my fries and have to say - I think I've found my Ohio queso to match up with Carlos O'Kelly's in Iowa! Granted - it's very americanized dip - but man - I love it! I'll be back for that alone!

Here's a shot of the bar - it's very islandy. The outside deck area is where we sat and that was really nice. The view of the parking lot isn't much to brag about but overall it was a great visit! Pleasantly surprised to say the least!

Why Should You Go? If you're in the area - it's a good darned burger! And try the sweet potato chips...they're really great.

And don't forget to check out my blog on Pirate's Cove and enter to win $25 in eReach bucks!

Cheeseburger in Paradise on Urbanspoon

Friday, June 11, 2010

New Look for Me and a Giveaway for You!

I don't spend much time on the "look" of my blog. I'm not a programmer - wish I was - but I'm not. So originally I chose a big pink page and went with it. Today Blogger had this new "Design" feature so I played with it. Not sure if I'm digging it but we'll see...

Secondly - it's Friday!!!!! That said - one of my favorite things to do on a Friday in Cincinnati is head down to one of our cities "marina bars". There are a few of them but the one I tend to go to is Pirates Cove on Kellogg. In the same lot are the Sandbar and Four Seasons...

I love sitting on the water - watching richer people than myself enjoy their boats. And I like feeding the carp and the ducks - they love french fries!

Luckily there's a new thing in town called the eReach Big Deal that helped me go AND save $$!

Reach magazine is one of the coupon books that comes in your mailbox - eReach is an online extension of that and now they have a "big deal" each day (exactly like Groupon).

A couple weeks ago - eReach had some deals for Pirates Cove! $10 for $20 worth of food & drink - that's pretty good! So I bought a few for the summer. (giveaway hint! keep reading!)

Pirates Cove is like a giant tiki bar - there's a bar in the middle with tables all around and a band under the roof most nights. It's casual and the staff is great! Definitely a great way to relax any day...

Ah boat people...I want a boat...or at least friends with a boat.

We usually get a small bite to eat and share - this night I tried their grouper tacos ($13.95). They have a really great mango sauce that I didn't think I'd like - but was great with the fish.

Honestly - the food isn't amazing - it's fine. BUT truly you don't go for the food - it's the atmosphere - plain and simple. And that - I love.

So does Larry apparently.

Why Should You Go? Atmosphere...plus friendly service, decent food and a good time.
And now - it's giveaway time! I'm actually going to be having a few giveaways coming up - being a food blogger finally has some damn perks!

For this one - eReach has given me 2 - $25 gift certificates to use on their Big Deal site and I'm passing those along to the Food Hussy Fans!

All you have to do is post a comment telling me about one of the recent Big Deals you would have purchased - or one you'd like to see. Or just say something nice about me. That's right - you say something mean - you're not entered! Please also put an email or twitter username so I can get in touch with you if you're one of the winners!

Also be sure to sign up to get the eReach daily big deal in your email box and if you refer your friends you get $10 for each one that signs up & makes a purchase! (see the fine print on that one to make sure you get your $10).

And just fyi - I did pay for my Pirates Cove big deals...I'm doing all the giving away for you guys!

Next Friday I'll choose 2 random commenters and they'll get the $25!

Happy Commenting!

Pirate's Cove Tropical Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

Monday, June 7, 2010

BBQ for the Whole Fam Damily!

While my mom was in town we were trying to find someplace open for lunch at 11am on a Sunday. That is a lot more difficult than you'd think! After trying no less than 5 places - seriously - we finally found Smokey Bones open. At that point it was 11:50am and we were starving so we said - FINE DAMMIT WE'LL HAVE BBQ!

It's a chain - yes - I know - but we were really hungry. Really really hungry and had driven by 5 non-chains and couldn't take it any more.

First, because of the starvation, we got the Pretzel Bones. Big giant soft pretzel sticks with 3 sauces: honey mustard, queso and garlic parmesan. These were really great - we scarfed them down - and not just because of the hunger pains. Strangely enough - we each liked one of the sauces - I was partial to the honey mustard and Mom liked the garlic parm. Honestly - Larry's a straight pretzel guy - so he took little dips here and there across all 3.

The queso was very reminiscent of Carlos O'Kellys I just didn't love it on a pretzel. I do now want it on chips - so I'll be back for that!

Not sure why - all the photos have this angelic glow to them. It was Sunday though...

Mom got the Smokehouse Burger with onion straws, bbq sauce, bacon and cheese. Heart attack on a plate but tasty!

I can't remember prices either - they aren't on their online menu - I suppose because a burger in NYC is pricier than here in the 'Nati.

Larry got the 10 oz sirloin and actually ate all of his broccoli! It was cooked perfectly as well - which is nice.

I got the combo of Baby Back Ribs & 1/4 BBQ Chicken along with the loaded baked potato and Fire Roasted Corn. It was all damn good. The corn was soooo delicious - it definitely made me crave the summer corn that I'll be munching on. There are 3 sauces to choose from for the BBQ - I went with original and liked it a lot. There were plenty of leftovers which made for a nice lunch at work the next day.

The "loaded" baked potato was a bit of a disappointment - adding sour cream and a bit of chives is not loaded in my book.

Why Should You Go? Well for chain BBQ fare - it's fine - pretty good I'd say. I like Hoggys better but like this better than City BBQ.


Smokey Bones on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

My new favorite pizza is....BRUNO'S!

My good friend Jen lives outside the 275 loop - the horror! But there are a few hidden gems up there that I'm glad she's open my eyes to and I found a new one recently - Bruno's Pizza!

For all you Miami grads - you're saying - um duh - we know this already! But hey - Bruno's (originally in Oxford) has now expanded to West Chester and I'm glad they did. It's in a strip mall and I literally missed it when I drove past...

Not a great picture - sorry about the flash - but there's nothing more fun than walking in the front door and seeing a pizza tosser!

Jen told me we had to try the Bruno Dough ($6). It's fried dough tossed in butter, garlic and parmesan. Oh yeah - that sounds awesome! It was good - completely unhealthy for you - but damn good!

We got a large pizza and I honestly can't remember what the heck was on it! Jen's a vegetarian and Larry's a meatatarian - so I'm guessing a 1/2 and 1/2.

Although I can't tell you what was on it - I can tell you what I thought of it. I LOVED IT!

The sauce, the cheese, the crust - all of it. It is my new favorite pizza by far!!! There was a lot of cheese and it melted just right so you can tell it's good cheese - not the cheap crap. The toppings were fresh and tasty. The sauce wasn't bitter or sweet - it was just perfect. Really - this is my favorite pizza now!

Actually - I gotta figure out when we're going back - I'm hungry!

Why Should You Go? It's new, locally-owned and great pizza! The atmosphere is nice too. And the price is pretty average for good pizza. More than Dominos - but it actually tastes good!

Bruno's Pizza on Urbanspoon