Parkers Grill - pre-renovation

I almost feel bad posting this - but I took the pics and ate the food - so here goes. I went to Parker's in Blue Ash a bit ago. I didn't realize - but it's actually a chain - but not like McDonald's chain - they have 12 restaurants across the US.

The reason I feel bad about posting this is - they closed for renovations a week later and got a new chef! So this is a review of the "old" place although I can't imagine it changed a ton - but I'm not too sure. Their new chef is Ben Toney, formerly of Cafe Bella.

I'm doubting the outside changed - it sorta looks like a country club...very pretty setting.

There's also a big patio - I think they were redoing something to do with this in the renovation.

First up was homemade bread - very fresh and soft butter - win!

Jen got the Pizza & Salad ($8.50) with the Margarita Pizza (plum tomatoes, basil, 3 cheese). She was very pleased and it did look good. She let me try a bite of the pizza and I did like it!

I decided to try one of their "signature" items - the Parkers Dynamite Sticks ($9.95) from their appetizer menu. Dynamite Sticks are: Crisp flat bread, stuffed with seared gulf shrimp, applewood- smoked bacon, andouille sausage, red peppers and four cheese medley, served with spicy tomato/cheese sauce. That's a lot of stuff in one stick.

A few things to note:

* These sticks are huge - probably 10 inches each!
* They taste like a pizza roll. I'm sorry but there was no possible way to distinguish ANY of the ingredients listed above. It's like a chunky blenderfied substance in a deep-fried tortilla.
* They are good - but only as an appetizer - not a meal. There are some apps that can be a meal - but not this one. It was too much.

Service was good and our waiter noted by picture-taking and we discussed the blog, etc... That's when he shared the renovation info.

Why Should You Go? Well - it's a really nice place and very busy at lunch. I think it's sort of "adult" crowd as far as most people were over 40 that were there. So - not the blue hairs - but the salt & pepper hairs. I think Ben will bring some great changes as chef - he was great at Cafe Bella and I can't wait to go back and check it out post-remodel.

Parkers Blue Ash Grill on Urbanspoon

Joe's Crap Shack...oops I mean CRAB shack

Larry had never had real crab - kinda shocking to me - but we had to rectify this! So I decide a trip to Joe's Crab Shack was necessary.

It's right near Newport on the Levee in with Buckhead...

Larry got the Shark Bite to start with (combination of Bacardi Limón Rum, Skyy Vodka, blue curacao, sweet & sour, and a dose of grenadine). The grenadine comes in the shark...and you even get to keep the little guy!

It is sort of funny how pouring it in makes it seem a little bloody.

The view is nice...we didn't sit outside but you can...

Larry got the Mahi sandwich and really liked it. He'd never had that kind of fish before and was pleased. I tried a bite and it was pretty tasty. Thinking it was around $10...

I got one of the "Crab in a Bucket" things so Larry could try crab. It was expensive! Like $23 for the cheapest one...You got crab, corn and potatoes. There are 7 flavors to choose from - I got Garlic Herb. I think I got Dungeness - I know I got the cheapest - because I was already a bit shocked at the prices.

It was okay but I wasn't too pleased mainly because of the price. The crab was fine - but none of the legs were too sizable. The corn was flavorless. The potatoes were again - okay - but not great.

Larry did try some and he liked it. So I guess in the end - Mission Accomplished.

Why Should You Go? Well if you've never had crab - maybe. But really - I'd save up money and get some from the Raw Bar at Jeff Ruby's. THAT's the way to show off crab! I know with the price - we won't be back to Joe's. They do have funny shirts though!

Joe's Crab Shack on Urbanspoon


Quickie blog post just to announce the winners of the $5 gift certificates from Bruegger's! Thanks to for their Random Number Generator - the lucky five are...

1. Claudia
2. Chaskeh
3. Anonymous 1 (alaskajen)
4. Anonymous 2 (vgauntner)
5. Susan

Congrats to all of you...and just a note - I had 5 other entrants that didn't leave any contact information for themselves! You can't win if you don't tell me how to get a hold of you!!!! (This includes a fellow Hawkeye - I was rooting for her!)

I'll be emailing all of the winners to get their contact information and send out the $5 gift certificates.

I've got a giveaway coming next week too! Klosterman and Evol Burritos coming up...

New Favorite Place!!!! LBYC!

Sorry Pirates Cove - we have found our new favorite place and it is Ludlow Bromley Yacht Club!

LBYC is right on the Ohio river between Ludlow & Bromley, Kentucky right on Route 8. I'd heard about it for quite some time but Larry bought a car in Bromley and after driving buy it 16 times - we had to stop.

This is the view from the patio - the first night we went was rainy - but still - what a view.

I can't say enough awesome things about LBYC. We're now "regulars" on Saturday nights and typically sit at the bar. The wait staff are so friendly (and really buxom - it's like that Seinfeld episode) and the managers are attentive as well.

The music is much "younger" than Pirates Cove which is nice and they have bands on Saturday nights (maybe other nights too?). This place is also huge and it gets PACKED! If you're not there by 7 - you might not find a table.

But really - beyond the atmosphere - how's the food? REALLY GOOD!

Honestly - I was pretty surprised! The food at Pirates Cove is truly the downfall - I try different things but it's all mediocre at best. This food is actually GOOD!

Above are the shrimp kabobs with rice & veges ($9.75). The rice was fine - nothing to write home - I ate it. The veggies - totally frozen and a little underdone. So where's the good? Um the shrimp! They are HUGE and cooked perfectly and really flavorful! A little crispy, herby, buttery, salty and just plain delicious!

Larry got the shrimp basket with fries ($5.75 I think). Again - winner winner shrimp dinner! The batter is what is the winner here - it's definitely batter and not breading. The pile of shrimp is huge and it was just damn good!

Why Should You Go? The atmosphere is fun, yet non-offensive. The staff is friendly and attentive. The food is good. The scenery is great. Beware - if you're not there early - parking is a little crazy! But it's really a fun time!

Ludlow-Bromley Yacht Club on Urbanspoon

Seen it, drove by it, finally went in! Slatts Pub in Blue Ash

I've driven around Blue Ash but hadn't explored it foodwise until recently. I was doing some part-time work there and finally got the chance to hit up Slatts Pub. It's right near the "square" and in the midst of all the beautiful flowers.

Seriously Blue Ash - I never see people watering the flowers and yet they are constantly exploding all summer long?! Is it fertilizer? Do you water them with crack? What is the deal????

The art work in the restaurant is all fun photos/illustrations of the owner and his family. And you start out with some biscuits. They're pretty good - a little crunchy but the butter is either honey or apple butter - definitely sweet and soft.

I've gone a couple of times recently - so there will be a few different dishes shown. My part-time job boss got the pulled pork ($8) - said it was really good. I didn't feel it appropriate to taste his - so you'll have to let the photo be your judge. :-)

I got the Honey Ranch Chicken Salad ($10) and it was okay. I think the dressing lacked flavor but the chicken was tasty.

On this trip, my friend got the Steak Mediterranean Salad ($13). She seemed pleased and the steak did look good.

On a second visit I got the Reuben ($8). The corned beef was good and plentiful. Overall the sandwich was a little oily and could have used more sauce.

My vegetarian friend got the Express Lunch and had 1/2 salad and a cup of soup ($8). She raved about their tomato basil soup and the salad definitely looked great with feta, cranberries and walnuts!

Why Should You Go? If you're in the Blue Ash area - it's a nice sports bar with decent food. I don't that I'd make a special trip for it - but overall I had a pleasant experience.

Slatts Pub on Urbanspoon


Yes kids - that's right - it's Giveaway Day again here at I actually have a few things stocked up but this week I've decided it's Bruegger's!

In honor of their "4 Under $4" promotion they sent me 5-$5 gift certificates (maybe they should have sent 4-$4?) to giveaway to my readers.

They now have 4 breakfast sandwiches all under $4:

* Chipotle Spinach Egg Sandwich
* Western Egg Sandwich w/Roasted Vegetables
* Egg White & Sun-dried Tomato Sandwich
* Bacon, Egg & Cheddar Sandwich

You can find out more about each on their "breakfast sandwich" page - including nutritional info! (Um - after looking at the nutritional info - you might not wanna look!)

I hold a special place in my heart for Bruegger's because of college. I went to the University of Iowa and Bruegger's was the first bagel I ever had. I didn't like cream cheese at the time (wtf?) so I would always get a cinnamon raisin with butter. My best friend would often stop on her way to class and bring one for me. I don't think I could have made it through Chem 4:7 without Amy and those bagels! Who am I kidding - I barely passed the class anyway - the bagels made it bearable!

All that nostalgia aside - here I sit with 5-$5 coupons to giveaway. There's no restrictions and they're good at any location.

For the contest - tell me your favorite Bruegger's item. I'll get us started...

My favorite Bruegger's item - well I have two:

1. Bacon Scallion Cream Cheese - this stuff is so delicious! It's truly my favorite thing and I typically go when I'm craving it.

2. Everything Cookie - this is another killer. It's like a peanut butter-chocolate chip-coconut-oatmeal cookie all in one! They also have a "bar" but that's almost too much for me - the cookie is just right! I've been known to stand there for 5 minutes while they go in the back and get one for me out of the oven and package it - it's that good.

There you have it - now - it's your turn. Post your favorite item and a contact email or twitter name and you're entered!

Happy Posting!

Bruegger's Bagel Bakery on Urbanspoon

Coffee? Well no - but I did eat there!

Recently I got to have lunch with the lovely ladies from Cincy Chic and we headed downtown to Coffee Emporium.

It's right there on Central Parkway - you have to kind of look for it but the umbrellas and sidewalk sign sure helped.

Inside the wafting smell of coffee is very strong. There are quite a few tables but also there's a nice loungy couch area in the front too.

There's a big wall o' coffee too - I don't drink coffee but it smelled good.

The girls from CC got the chicken salad ($6.95) - this one had the side salad. I'm always wary of chicken salad - I hate the stuff with nuts and grapes and stuff - I don't really even know if this had that BUT the girls both loved it. This came with the side salad or fruit.

I got the OTR Grilled Cheese ($6.95) with the side salad. It came with rye, garlic spread, tomato, cheddar & swiss. It was pretty good - I could definitely taste the garlic in the spread. The dressing was tasty as well - the "salad" was just spring mix - maybe adding something to it would be nice as well.

Here's the Chicken Salad served with a side of fruit. Again - looked good!

I didn't try these - someone called me out for not trying all the food on a previous blog. I gotta say - I don't think it's right of me to say "Hey friend - can I eat your food?" I'll do that with Larry - but not when I'm on a business lunch or with casual friends.

Why Should You Go? It's definitely a nice different lunch spot in downtown. It's a little off the beaten path but there is a good deal of parking though - so that's nice. I'd go back...

Coffee Emporium on Urbanspoon

Gyro & Baklava Heaven!

Okay - I think I was Greek in a previous life - cuz I love me some gyros. No idea why - but I'm an addict. So when someone tells me there's a gyro place I gotta try - I'M THERE IN A HOT MINUTE!

Some friends told me that Sebastian's was the place I had to try. It's on the west side - so I was a little wary (mostly because I always get lost getting home from Glenway) but wow - so glad I went for it!

This is Alex - he owns the joint. His daughter was on the register...I love the big spits of meat! That thing in his hand is like an electric razor. He zips it down the spit as it's turning and into the pan - ready for my sammich!

I got the open gyro dinner ($8.75) that comes with the salad, pita, dressing & tsatsiki. The meat was delicious - probably the most tender I've had. The pita was crispy on the outside from being on the grill a bit. The salad was simple but tasty. The tsatsiki was my only :-( Greek Isles in West Chester has that hands down - it's very thick and flavorful. This was thin and watery.

Alex also came around with a pan of extra meat and asked if we'd like a few more slices - um hells yeah! I never turn that down. They were a little crispy and that was even better!

Larry got the gyro ($5) and fries ($1.55). He definitely liked the gyro - didn't think he'd eat it all but he managed. The fries were fine...but It's Greek to Me has this lemon seasoning they put on their fries that I liked a little better. (I told you - I've been to all the Greek places!)

I couldn't turn down a slice of baklava ($1.50). I'm not usually the biggest fan but I don't get to the west side too often - so I figured I should make the most of it.

Thank God I did! This was the best piece of baklava I've ever had. I did take it home since I was stuffed after the gyro dinner. It was so delicious! Light, fluffy, sweet, sticky - omg - wish I'd bought a few more pieces to take home! That will definitely take me back!

Also - threw this picture in because the place is small and check out that line! It's a little like the Soup Nazi when you order. I actually like it because you order and they don't take the next order until they hand you your food. Makes me feel like I'm the top priority - which I like.

They do a mean carry out business too! Because it's so small - I'd say 2/3 of the folks in line were carry out.

Why Should You Go? Well - if you're on the west side - you've probably already been. If you're not - then go. The gyros are amazing - as is the baklava!

Sebastian's on Urbanspoon

What the hell is a Timmy Dog? Pure delight - that's what!

Well I must say - I have a new favorite in town. And it is The Root Beer Stand in Sharonville. When I was a kid, my Dad would take me to the A&W at Sycamore Mall in Iowa City on a regular basis. I LOVED the little kid glasses of A&W Root Beer. So when Larry and I ran across this Root Beer Stand - we KNEW we had to go!

It's not a drive-in where they serve you at the car - but you pull in and go inside. There are probably 20 seats around the counter.

There Lar-dog sits at the's a very cute little place with paper menus on every corner.

Before we even looked at a menu - we got a big ol' pitcher of Root Beer. Set us back a whole $3! Best part is if you don't finish it - they'll let you take it to go. I don't know what it is but this type of root beer is always better than the stuff at the grocery store. Something with the "out of the tap" taste - it's just very different and much better.

The ceiling is adorned with hats of all colors and teams. If only we'd kept the Colts hat that the dog ate we could have donated it!

Here's the history - pretty interesting! Why retype it all?!

Also - I have to tell you about the pair next to us at the counter. There was a grandpa and grandson and midway through dinner the prior said to the latter, "I came here when I was seven!" His grandson looked at him in pure amazement... Needless to say I was a little fer-klempt!

And there it is - my new love - The Timmy Dog! ($5) This is a foot-long hot dog with (get ready for it) ketchup, mustard, onions, relish, sauerkraut, cole slaw, chili, hot sauce AND cheese!

I have to say - this sounded horrible - but it was DELICIOUS! I had to order it because it just sounded so odd - how couldn't I? It's a skinny fairly flavorless dog - but come on - do you really need a big honkin Nathan's frank when you have all that other crap?

So let me say - take a chance on this one!

Larry got The Big E Sandwich which was a hamburger with american cheese topped with ham & swiss ($5.25). It was fine but nothing special really. We have been back and he had a double cheeseburger and yeah - again - nothing special. So - maybe stick with the dogs - cuz they rock.

I had to put another pic of the dog - cuz you just can't believe all the stuff that's on it! I didn't bite off of it - just cut - so it's not gross - right? I was just still in amazement at the deliciousness on a piece of wax paper that was this hot dog at this point.

Lastly - I saw something on the menu called Swamp Water. What the hell is that? Ask and you shall receive. It's a mix of their non-carbonated orange drink and root beer. Not really my cup of tea but it wasn't bad.

The best part was the service. The girls are so friendly and sweet and really win you over. Full of information, free swamp water tasting and just great service.

Why Should You Go? Can I say anything more? The dogs are great and the root beer is even better!

Root Beer Stand on Urbanspoon