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Monday, January 31, 2011

Restaurant & Road Trip: York Street Cafe, Newport KY

Larry and I grabbed the Groupon for York Street a month ago or so and then my wonderful sister gave me a gift certificate there - so we knew we had to get to my favorite restaurant - and we even get to go a couple of times! 

As we were waiting for a table - they told us to check out the gallery upstairs. Gallery? What? WHO KNEW?! The owners wife is an artist and has a great variety of paintings. We had to check it out.

On the way up the stairs we found this - I knew I was in for a treat! I love this! 

This was in the stairwell - but the room itself - well all the lights were off! So rather than head back downstairs and have them turn the lights on - we had FUN WITH THE FLASH! We just walked around the room in the dark and took pictures.
First up - aw - kitty & puppy! 

The view of the city is great - we were up on the 3rd floor of the building. This would make an amazing loft apartment. 



Seriously - fantastic apartment possibilities! I guess the other half of the building does have an apartment and the staff said it's phenomenal. 

I am in love with this one! When we went back downstairs, the owner gave us a book to look at of his wife's art. It was great - she does custom art based on photos. We saw the real photos of Connie and her dog to match these paintings. I would love to have one of me and Larry! 

Very fun and whimsical!

We felt like members of the mob with the secret peep hole in the door so I made Larry pose for a picture.  We decided to head back downstairs and check out the 2nd floor.

Back down on the 2nd floor is a bar that's open for bands every now and again. They were gearing up for a Swing band this night. It's also the overflow if you're waiting for a table. Great lamp. I can totally picture my friend Rachel owning this!

Santa and his reindeer are up year round...very festive!

Finally our table was ready! 

We started out with the Dirty Hummus ($9) minus the melted cheese (still going strong!). This is hummus topped with olives, peppers and BBQ sauce. It's good but the BBQ sauce was a bit overwhelming. Larry prefers straight-up hummus but we did enjoy it.

I always love the teenie tiny bottles of Diet Coke - although I could polish off 3 of them - no free refills. :-(

Larry went for the Fresh Catch which for the day was Sole ($25ish). It's topped with spinach, artichoke and a marsala beurre blanc. There was a side of rice and broccoli to go with it. I must say - it was a bit saucier than last time - but from now on - I'm just ordering this - it was delicious. So there's the Official Food Hussy recommendation - just get the Fresh Catch - it's amazing!


I went for one of the nightly specials which was Blackened Tuna ($25ish) with the same rice/broccoli. It had a pesto/butter kind of sauce on top that was really salty. I wasn't a fan of the tuna - I like it more on the medium rare side whereas this was well-done. I will add too - the broccoli was delicious. I like broccoli anyway - but Larry even finished his - so it must have been good!

Why Should You Go? Well I've said before that I love this place! While I didn't love my tuna - it's still at the top of my list. Plus - if you go - be sure to check out the gallery upstairs. It's a wonderful date spot - cozy and intimate are two key words to describe York St!

VOTE IN THE POLL! Check the top left of the site - there's a poll on what restaurant I should go to for the letter C! I can't wait to find out where you send me!! A & B have been AWESOME! (B was Bangkok Bistro - review coming tomorrow!) I grabbed a nice variety from the letter C - Ethnic (Cumin & Chung Kiwha), Pricey Fancy (Celestial) and Homey (Campbells Barn, Clough Crossing). Where will you send me?! Vote now! Voting ends Friday!

I am really loving this journey and I'm only on the letter C. I've decided that YOU will select every restaurant for me and I will ONLY have restaurants I haven't been to! Vote Vote Vote!

York St. Cafe on Urbanspoon

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Recipe: White Bean Chili

It's Recipe Day again! This time I grabbed one out of the book for White Bean Chili. I had a chicken chili a few weeks back at Rick's Tavern and loved it. Since then, I've been craving it. While this is different since it uses ground turkey - it at least got me a bit of a fix for it.

I have no idea where this recipe came from. I've been tearing recipes out of magazines for years. This one doesn't have a magazine name on the bottom of the page. I'm thinking maybe a Fitness or Good Housekeeping - it wasn't a "cooking" magazine I don't think. I even Googled to no avail. It's pretty healthy though at only 292 calories per serving! (If you have issues seeing the ingredients - click to enlarge.)


I didn't have to substitute much here - the only thing I did differently was use a 24-oz jar of the northern beans - they're my favorite and instead of water/bouillion - I just used chicken broth.

Next time I need to see if I can find some medium green chiles - I always get these mild ones and they don't have any kick to them!

Brown the ground turkey, onion & garlic, then add the broth, beans, chiles, cumin and pepper - very easy! Let simmer for 20 minutes or so...

Mmmmmm flour and water slurry. Stir this at the end and serve - voila!


I'm still working on my presentation efforts...and the camera doesn't always help! The flash was too bright so we had to go natural kitchen lighting. I plopped some sour cream on top and had a few chips on the side.

Why Should You Make It: I loved it! There were 4 big servings and Larry - who isn't a big bean fan - even liked it. I've brought the 2 leftover servings for lunch this week - so that's always a plus in my book. It makes extra but not too much. I would add some hot sauce or spicier chiles the next time around as well as maybe try this with shredded chicken. All in all - very tasty comfort food! Enjoy!
s

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Road Trip: Perfect North

My husband recently talked about going sledding and I told him that I've never been. He was kinda shocked but my family just wasn't very outdoorsy. One day he woke up and decided we were going to Perfect North and going tubing. Now I'm a Project Manager for a living - I like to plan. He doesn't. I fought back a bit that I didn't have any gloves or snow pants or even a hat! But - I lost that fight - an hour later - we were on our way. 

He's stern when he's driving in the freezing cold...he's quite layered up though...

Here I am - doing the photograph that every 15 year old does - holding the camera out in front of herself. I hate when kids do that - but I did it anyway. He couldn't drive and take a picture. I was trying to look happy and optimistic - all the while - I was a bit scared! Yes - I was scared of snow and inner-tubes.

As I mentioned in my last Road Trip post I like looking at the surroundings when I'm driving. "Life is a journey, not a destination." - Ralph Waldo Emerson.

I'm finding out that I really want a big farmhouse. Every time I see one - especially with a wraparound porch - my eyes light up! This one caught my eye for sure...

Whenever I see old barns - I want to pull over and explore. The whole "trespassing" thing has always stopped me up until now...maybe someday I'll be a rebel and check one out.

I also love seeing houses that are basically falling apart and then realizing that someone still lives there! Sometimes when I see the dilapidation I go back and try and picture when the structure was brand new. Think of the pride on that day when a new house or building was completed - makes me sad to think how that feeling has been lost. (See there's more to me than just a love of ranch dressing!)
Oh here we go...Perfect North, inter-tubes, being flung down a hill by a minimum-wage earning teenager - HERE I COME!

This made me worry a bit...

Whew! There are rules! 

So it's $25 for 2-hours of tubing per person. You sign the waver, pay your $$, get your tag and you're off! Next - you grab your tube and head to the hill. There's a fantastic moving walkway that takes you to the top. It's the perfect outdoor activity - it requires no athletic ability! Here I was getting my first glimpse of what this was all about.

Those kids are flying!


Look behind Larry - the lines were HUGE! All in all though - it took about 20 minutes round trip for each whiz down the hill. Larry's very deep in thought deciding which hill to take.

They said this was one of the busiest days they've had - so I didn't think 20 min was too bad - the line did move pretty quickly.

Here we are right before my first time down the hill! 

 We're up next! 

video
And there it is - I'm tubing!!!! I have to say this was one of the most fun things I've ever done. I was kinda shocked that I liked it so much! It's not scary at all - it's really fun - and like I said earlier - requires no athletic ability. Kids and adults - we all had fun. Admittedly it wasn't quite dangerous enough for Larry - he wants to try snowboarding. I just wanna go back and go tubing some more. That's plenty of excitement for me!

If you haven't been - you should go! It is a blast! Although we were there on a day when it was in the 30s - which was perfect. The sun helped a lot. If it's 5 degrees - mama ain't goin tubin!


After our day of fun in the snow - we decided to stop into the casino. We were only 5 minutes away - so why not. Larry doubled his money - I lost all mine. Isn't that the way it always works?

What a fun day out on the slopes at Perfect North! Although it's not a cheap date - it was really fun and well worth the money. I can definitely say that it's something we'll do at least once/year.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Awesome Lunch in NKY! Miyako - sushi, hibachi + more!

My wonderful friend Tara at the NKY Chamber of Commerce has been bugging me to head to Miyako off Buttermilk Pike in NKY. Well finally - I had a group from work all wanting lunch and talked them into going.

One thing I notice is unique light fixtures - no idea why - I think I have ADD - shiny things catch my attention. These pictures aren't a great representation - but if you go - check them out.

This one I loved - looks very Mr. Roboto-inspired!

Their lunch menu is quite large - you can do anything from the hibachi to sushi to a bento box and lots in between. I chose the sushi lunch but still got soup or salad - good salad.

A couple guys got the bento box ($11) and I was JEALOUS! This comes with sushi, appetizer, entree and rice - all for $11! This is DEFINITELY what I'm getting next time.

Robin was trying out for Price is Right with his hand modeling skills displaying his sushi lunch. He was very pleased.

I went for the sushi roll combo (3 rolls - $12). It was good stuff - I liked the bottom 2 more than the top 1 but for the life of me - can't remember what the top one was.  I tend to like the sushi with the sauces. Their full sushi menu looked fantastic as well - but some of the fancy rolls are in the $12-15 price range.

Why Should You Go? Well I have to say - the sushi options in NKY aren't what they are in the Hyde Park/Mt Lookout area - there you can't turn your head without seeing a sushi place! This is a fantastic option for sushi and the other food. Everybody was happy with their orders and we had a great time. I'm sure the traditional Hibachi grill is fun too. I'm thrilled to have another great place near my job to have lunch! w00t! Thanks Tara!

Miyako on Urbanspoon

Monday, January 24, 2011

Giveaway Day! Cupcakes Anyone?

I have raved before about AbbyGirlSweets - the cupcake place downtown on 5th Street. 

AbbyGirl is a family-run business named after the littlest in the family and they make fresh delicious cupcakes every day for all of downtown Cincinnati (and more) to enjoy.

My favorite is by far and away the Strawberry Delight! The real chunks of strawberry make it the best! I'm usually a chocolate girl - but not here - I always grab one of these!

The great folks at AGS are giving away a $20 gift card to one of my readers! So enter below by telling me your favorite flavor from the list on their website!

As usual - post your contact info and you can get an extra entry if you tweet or Facebook the contest and leave another comment here letting me know you did so.

I'll draw the winner next Monday!

(p.s. still cheese free in 2011! w00t!)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Winner! Winner! Chicken Dinner!

So my good friend Lou and I decided to get together for dinner and I was dying for fried chicken. Put that with Lou living in NKY - we chose the Greyhound Tavern as our dining spot! It's at Buttermilk & Dixie on the corner next to Huntington Bank...if you're not familiar.

It's definitely an "old people" kinda place. If you're there at 430 - expect there to be a wait (I kid...kinda).

Started out with some bread...it wasn't memorable enough for me to even recall if I liked it or not.

I always like their salads - and there was no cheese! They have those sesame stick things on them - that's really the best part. And yes - ranch please!


Lou got the NY Strip ($24.75) - well done of course - and she was pretty happy with it. She's not much of a vegetable fan - so she went for fries and a baked potato. I love her! I tried a bite of the steak and I'm not a well-done fan but it was pretty good. I'm sure she would have a lot to say about the baked potato because she is a connoisseur but I'll just say she finished it. 

I got the fried chicken ($15.95) and her onion ring. The onion ring wasn't good - it was bland and soggy. The fried chicken - well it was a mixed bag. The dark meat was really great and juicy. I should have stopped there. The breast was dry as a board! I like their fried chicken but there wasn't much flavor to the breading. I had some Lee's a few weeks back and that stuff was SPICY! Comparatively - this is very very bland - but they do cater to the old folks...so I'm guessing that's why. I guess I'd like to find some with a little seasoning.

Anybody have good fried chicken recommendations?

Why Should You Go? If you're over 65, you'll love it! I'm kidding. If you like bland food - or have a big family dinner you're trying to plan - it's a good spot. It's homey and the wait staff is good. I think the prices are a bit high but it's a perennial favorite of NKY folks...

Greyhound Tavern on Urbanspoon