TACO LOCO!!!! (you have to say that like a game show host)

So while my mom was in town - we were all STARVING and came across TACO LOCO!!!

Now I'm not sure you can capture the essence of this in text but I have this uncontrollable speech impediment that when I say TACO LOCO I must put my hands in the air and speak like a Mexican game show host announcing what's behind door #3. 

And here I am shouting it in front of the restaurant - TACO LOCO!!!!

I tried their authentic tacos - loco style of course. I got a couple of chorizo and one mushroom I think (no online presence so I can't recall). I thought these were just okay. The chorizo wasn't my favorite and overall the tacos just weren't as good as Taqueria Mercado or La Mexicana.

Here is another meal - I think it was my mom's. It just had sort of a muted color - those were some gray avocados.

Sis got fajitas - I have to say - these were pretty flavorful and the tomatoes were fresh.

Why Should You Go? Meh - the prices were fine - but I really like Taqueria Mercado much better for authentic Mexican food (or La Mexicana if you're closer to KY).

Taco Loco on Urbanspoon

Who wants Cake Pops?

I love Twitter - it brings me updates on Big Brother and Days of Our Lives; it enters me into contests; it let's me chat with friends in far away places; and it brings me cake pops.

How does that happen? I chat with lots of people - foodies and beyond - and one fine day I was chatting with Talitha with Sweet T's Cake Pops. A few tweets later - we were setting up a time for her to bring me some pops! w00t for me!

Talitha brought me 3 different kinds of pops (top to bottom): Strawberry Lemonade, Red Velvet and Chocolate Covered Strawberry.

These were ALL delicious - like seriously - omg yum! My sister and I tried a couple right off the bat and then I decided (my butt decided) to take the rest to work. I was in a meeting and busted them out - the girls went nuts for them! 

Then my boss walks through (a dude even) and I offered him one - and of course - he accepted - I mean who turns down a bite of cake!?! A few minutes later - he comes back and says, "Whoa - those things are awesome!!!" Good job Talitha! 

I trotted the remaining couple around the office and they were happily accepted and quickly gobbled. 

Daisy even tried to convince me she should get one! 

These cake pops are delicious - if you're looking for a fun treat for a party or a friend - I would highly recommend Talitha. She's super friendly and will decorate the pops to suit. She has a variety of pricing depending on what you're looking for.

The best thing to do is contact Talitha via her Facebook page and tell her the Food Hussy sent you! (please - maybe I'll get some more!)

GIVEAWAY DAY! Frisch's Big Boy - $50!!!!

The generous folks at Frisch's contacted me and asked me if I'd like to try their new Primetime Burgers - and give you guys a chance to win a $50 gift card! Um YEAH!

They have three new burgers: Bacon Blue, Ham & Cheese and the Classic Cheeseburger. We had 3 people and tried them all! 

I did also notice they have a new Portobello and Turkey burger - which we almost tried those instead - but we were here for Primetime!

This was Larry's choice - the classic. 

Sis went with the Bacon Blue (and some onion rings). 

While I branched out to the Ham & Cheese!

The burgers were pretty good! They weren't the most amazing awesome burger we've ever had - but for a quick chain - tasty stuff! They were also considerably larger patties than what you find on a traditional Big Boy (my husband's favorite breakfast food - I'm serious!).

We did find with the blue and the ham - it sort of took until the end of the burger to really taste the flavor. I guess it all got smushed to the end of the burger when eating - but once I got to the ham - it was tasty. I really liked that they grilled it a bit - added a bit more flavor. 

They also now have a "haystack" which was shredded potatoes, bacon, onion, tomato, cheese and a side of their own ranch dressing. At $4.25 it's a good price for as much food as you get. We all 3 shared and noshed on this one instead of having a side of fries. 

Why Should You Go? Frisch's Big Boy is a staple of Cincinnati. They're well-known for the breakfast bar but we actually favor the burgers! I'm not sure these primetime burgers will replace the Big Boy for my husband - but I'm eager to head back and try the turkey burger too!

Now for the fun part - they sent me a $50 gift card to give away!!! $50!!! That's a lotta burgers baby!

a Rafflecopter giveaway Frisch's Big Boy on Urbanspoon

Frozen Lunch Review: Ranchero Braised Beef

Okay - let me say - most frozen meals are bland. I understand - they're feeding the masses - so it's what they have to do.

But let me say - if you like a little spicy - I found the one for you!!!!

Here are my notes:
  • Flavor - Spicy!! It's not too spicy to eat by any means but just the fact that it's spicy at all is a miracle! Even the sweet potatoes are spicy! A coworker recommended this and mentioned it had some flavor but I'm shocked by how much - for a frozen entree - good stuff! 
  • Meat - the chunks of braised beef are very tender and there's ample sauce. The portion of beef is a little skimpy but not too bad. 
  • Cooking - This is one of those "cook for 3 minutes then stir and cook 2 more" - I never do that - I just did 4:40 and it was just right. 
  • Cost - $2.99 (no sale, no coupons)
  • Nutrition - 240 calories, 4 grams fat, 540 mg sodium
  • Allergens - milk
  • Fullness Factor - due to the (in my mind) skimpy meat - I'll probably need my cracker snack this afternoon...but not too bad

All in all - very pleased with this one - not as good as my Mushroom Mezzaluna Ravioli but it definitely will be added to the rotation. 

Cooking Light: 2 Delicious Recipes!

So my sister has come home to roost for a few weeks while she's awaiting her return to the world of academia. While she's here - she's becoming quite the chef! She's sort of taken to making dinner in return for living here - I'll take that. 

So I handed her the July issue of Cooking Light and told her to git 'ta cookin! 

Larry is a big fan of ham/pineapple pizza so this was first up. I have to say it was AWESOME! 

She even used less cheese than the recipe called for. We did use FRESH pineapple which I think helped but Meijer didn't carry Boars Head ham - so I bought the packaged John Morrell Off the Bone Smoked Ham. We also used the store-brand small premade pizza crust (like Boboli). 

We picked up some bone-in pork chops on sale and found this recipe and she made that tonight. I have to say - this was also delicious!!!! She's really good about making side items and having enough vegetables and such - which I'm not. 

For this we had steamed broccoli and the grilled tomatoes on top. There was a balsamic glaze on the chops and it was sooo rich and good. I forget how much I love balsamic vinegar in cooking. 

So thanks to Cooking Light for these delicious recipes and thanks to my sis for being around to cook for us! 

Quickie Giveaway: $25 Skyline Chili - SKY-WAYS R BACK!

What does this look like to you? 

If you answered, "Heaven" - you are correct!

Skyline Chili's Sky-Ways are back for a limited time - until July 28 you can get 50% more cheese FOR FREE! 

In honor of the wonderful goodness that is six inches of cheddar cheese - Skyline is giving away a $25 gift card for you! I'll be drawing the winner on Tuesday morning - so there's not a lot of time to enter! Get to clicking!!!! 

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Product Review: Taco Bell's New Cantina Bowl

So Taco Bell has created "Cantina Bell" and is trying to play with the big dogs...barking up the Chipotle porch. How will they do? 

I guess some set up first - they have enlisted Celebrity Chef Lorena Garcia - who was oddly enough co-host of America's Next Great Restaurant with the guy that started Chipotle! She's supposedly making gourmet items for Taco Bell - with better ingredients. 

They are offering a bowl and a burrito as well as chips & guac. I tried the bowl with steak. The above is a photo - there's a dressing in addition to lettuce, beans, tomatoes, corn, guac and steak.

The verdict?

Awful. Completely and utterly AWFUL.

I know - some of the folks out there are going to comment "Well it's Taco Bell what did you expect?" Oh bite me.

I expected edible. This steak was NOT - it was really bad. I've eaten their steak in items before but this was just gross. It tasted like hard pieces of mud. Hard, crunchy, no flavor - like what I would think dog food tasted like. It was THAT bad.

The toppings were okay but they had none of that "fresh" feeling and taste you get from Chipotle.

So don't bother - and the price was barely less than the real deal.

A&A, P&S, P&T - what's with the abbreviations?!

I'm a fan of greasy diners that are random and generic - why? Because they're not always greasy and they're not always generic. 

Near Northgate Mall we came across P&S Restaurant in a strip mall next to a ghetto quick shop kind of place. What's with the initials? I have no idea - there's P&T, P&S, A&A - ????? Anybody know? 

But here's my favorite part about P&S is the bar in front of a faux brick wall - love it! You know it was built in the 70s and has not been updated since! Love it!

Larry is always interesting with his orders when it's really "brunch" time - he tends to order half breakfast/half lunch. He went for toast and ham for part A.

The ham was really good! I never think to order ham - but it was a real treat!

I went for an egg, sausage, toast and biscuits and gravy. It's hard for me to compare to Bluebird in Norwood cuz it's really just on another level. The sausage patties were okay - but a little dry. The gravy was again - okay - not as good as BB - but not too bad. It was similar to McDonalds - if you've had that - creamy but a little watery and the sausage was really tiny bits and overall - there just wasn't a ton of flavor. It wasn't offensive (some are) but it wasn't great.

Larry's Part B was...a steak hoagie! Not a surprise...it's his regular order. This was ginormous and really tasty!

And then something else I enjoy - is finding a backyard that is a wreck. I wish you could see the full size of this - it's like a "find it" game - there was like a boot on a table, garbage, a duck, and empty swimming pool, a tennis racket and God knows what else! I just wanted to sit and marvel - but Larry wouldn't let me.

Why Should You Go? It's a cute little diner and if you're up in the Colerain/Northgate area - it's worth a stop. While my review isn't raving - it's very very clean and the service was excellent. They were so friendly and we really enjoyed the atmosphere. The food was - while not my favorite - solid.

P & S Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Moerlein Lager House - an A+!

My mom came to town recently and we decided to take her out on the town and check out a new place. Larry and I had been wanting to try the new cool place on the river - so off we went to the Moerlein Lager House

It has some cool architecture and I loved just walking around the building - there are a lot of great angles.

The view - amazing!!! It was a little too hot to sit outside - but the view was still there. Just looking out at the Roebling bridge and the river - really great!

Larry, Mom and I all tried the Moerlein Golden Helles - it seemed to be the lightest beer which is what we all like. I thought it was okay - but I definitely had to get some lemons for it to sweeten it up a bit. It was a bit bitter for me.

We were hungry and wanted to try an app - so we went for the soft pretzels which are served with beer cheese and spicy mustard ($7). It comes with three which was perfect for our table. These were DELICIOUS! They were warm and crisp on the outside, soft on the inside, just salty enough - soooo good! The mustard was a little too spicy but the beer cheese was delightful!

Mom chose the Surf & Turf ($28) which had a 6 oz filet, lump crab cake, goat cheese & spinach risotto and some crispy onions. This was a HUGE plate and Mom definitely couldn't finish it. The waiter repeatedly told us it would be the best crab cake we'd ever tasted - and I'd say it was in the top 3. The steak also - amazing! Buttery and just melt in your mouth delicious!

Larry went to the more simple side with a BBQ Chicken Flatbread ($10). It also had roasted red peppers, gouda, mozzarella and carmelized onion. He enjoyed it - it was really big though and he couldn't even finish it all!

I had the Cedar Roasted Salmon ($22) - this was perfect! I seriously don't think I've had salmon this good. It was just a little on the medium rare side which is the best way to serve it. The red pepper relish was also a nice complement to the salmon. It was a little crunchy and a little sweet - good stuff!

The salmon came with a side of roasted tomato-goat cheese pesto linguini. Again - delicious! I was looking forward to a bit more goat cheese but the pasta and sauce was just delicious.

Why Should You Go? Well I have to say - this was one of the best restaurant experiences in Cincinnati. Our server was FANTASTIC! (John I think - but there were 3 - argh - can't remember - probably in his 30s-40s if that helps). He was attentive but not annoying - gave great recommendations - overall just right. The food - every bit was really delicious! I checked other reviews and there have been some spotty experiences but I can definitely say - our experience was wonderful. An A+!

Moerlein Lager House on Urbanspoon

Need energy? This is the best! Emergen-C! (Giveaway!)

I don't know about you - but I hit the nap wall about 10x a day! I just can't drink Red Bull and Mt Dew like I used to - but luckily I found something that gives me a kick in the pants without kicking the crap out of my heart at the same time! 

Emergen-C should sue Snapple because it truly is "the best stuff on earth"!

It's healthy and all vitamins!!! And let me tell you - one packet of this in a glass of cold water - and you'll chase the naps away! 

I use this stuff almost on a daily basis - the other beauty of Emergen-C is it's great if you're starting to feel a cold coming on. I have a serious case of acid reflux and can't do OJ - so I drink this and again - boom - cold - GONE! 

I just can't rave enough about Emergen-C. This is the original flavor but now they've exploded and have a ton of flavors: Acai Berry, Raspberry, Dragonfruit and much more. They also have a Kids version that's a little less potent. There are other versions for specific things (Heart Health, 5 Calorie, etc...) 

The other thing I like is they are a good company with good heart - they do a lot of charity work

If you haven't had the chance to try Emergen-C - you can give it a try for free on their site!

But of course - since I'm the Food Hussy- I'm having a giveaway! You'll get to try some Emergen-C for yourself - I think you'll even get to pick your flavors! Happy Entering!

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Mmmmm Deli Sandwiches @Silverglades!

Right now, we're a 1-car family (ugh) but when my husband drives me to work - it never fails - he's always driving by one particular place and saying "We need to go there!" - well we finally did! 

Silverglades! I've walked through the Findlay Market location many times but I work near the one at 8th & Sycamore. 

It's a bit overwhelming when you walk in - there's a big salad area and then the deli area, people everywhere! With the courthouse and P&G - it's a mad house at lunch. We finally figured out which line we should be in and jumped in quick.

So much stuff - side dishes, desserts, wraps, salads, deli meat & cheese - it's just overwhelming!

They also have specials of the day and hot food - but we had heard so much about the sandwiches - we had to try those first!

Hawaiian Bagel: Silverglades Home Baked Ham, Melted Smoked Mozzarella, and Pineapple ring served on a toasted Bagel. Served Warm

Larry went for the Hawaiian - he's a sucker for pineapple. He is STILL talking about this sandwich. He's not much of a bagel fan but theirs were so fresh and soft - he loved it. I tried a bite and it was really great - sweet but not too much. It just all went together perfectly!

Kelly Deli: Seasoned Peppered Pastrami served Hot with Imported Swiss Cheese and Boars Head Deli Mustard served on Marble Rye

I had the Kelly Deli - basically a Rueben without the sauerkraut & thousand island. It was pretty good - but the meat was AMAZING. 

Why Should You Go? The sandwiches we had were pretty darned good - especially Larry's - he always seems to make the better choice. The service was very friendly and the lady explained the set up to us a bit. It is overwhelming - so maybe the first time you go - avoid the lunch rush of 12-1. It's a great deli sandwich though - enjoy!

Silverglade's on Urbanspoon

Non-chain Pizza Downtown?

We have this awesome thing at work called SUMMER FRIDAYS - it's pretty fantastic. We get every other Friday off - w00t! 

That said - on the work Friday - it's pretty desolate - with five of us in the office - I asked the high ranking honcho if he was buying us pizza (jokingly) and he said "SURE!". DOUBLE W00T! 

Finding places to deliver in downtown is not so simple - I have a favorite place in Covington: NOPE. Coworker mentioned a place in Northside: NOPE. Then I came across Cincy By The Slice. I have driven by their Deer Park location a million times but never had time to go - finally!

The pizza we had to try was the Pickleroni! Seriously - pepperoni pizza with pickles!!!! This was good stuff! The saltiness of the pickles goes great with the pepperoni. We totally were not going to order it - but the paying honcho came back and said he was too curious now - and we had to!

We also got a veggie - it was fine. I have to say - I wasn't a fan of the crust - it was a bit tough and tasteless. The pizza was good though.

There's the honcho - folding and eating. He's a bit shy.

We also ordered a salad to go with the pizzas and that was huge!!! It was also really good with lots of veggies.

Why Should You Go: Well - I didn't love the crust - but that Pickleroni Pizza was damn good and I'd like to try that again! The staff was also extremely friendly and helpful - so I have to give them props for that. And - they deliver downtown!

Cincy by the Slice on Urbanspoon

GIVEAWAY: Dave & Buster's

The folks at Dave & Buster's contacted me recently about coming out to their grand re-opening in Springdale. They've done a big remodel on the front bar area and also added quite a few menu items. 

I only had my phone with me - but the front bar is cool - it's huge and all white with these giant long tables where you could have a big party - or have multiple groups all just sitting in a communal setting.

The main dining area has changed slightly but not too much. I love the signage - it's bold and simple!

We started with a couple of apps: spinach dip and mozzarella sticks. These were both pretty good. The spinach dip was very creamy and cheesy but not as good as some I've had that also has artichokes. The mozzarella sticks were Larry's choice - meh - they were fine - nothing exciting at all.

Island Grilled Trifecta
Skewers of honey-teriyaki-glazed sirloin steak, seasoned chicken breast and tender shrimp, grilled and served on a bed of spicy rice medley. Served with pineapple pico de gallo, teriyaki BBQ sauce, and mango citrus sauce for dipping. 

Since we got two apps - we split a main entree. While this isn't "new" it is one of their "faves" so we figured it was worth a try. This was just ok as well - the chicken and shrimp were really good - the steak was bland. The rice was really bland. The sauces were all fine but I didn't really love any of them - and I'm typically a sauce girl. 

But to be honest - the food is only half the deal and Dave & Busters - it's really about the GAMES!!!! 

They have a TON of new games - which are IMPOSSIBLE to take photos of with a phone. This is a huge touch screen game that looked really fun - but by the time we got back to it - our game card was empty. :-(

If you're not familiar with D&B - you eat dinner and play games. You buy a game card with points on it and each game has a point value. We spent $25 ($23 for points and $2 for card activation which is ridiculous to me!!!!!). We played for probably an hour with that money - so combined with dinner and a few beers - it was a $70 night out. (FULL DISCLOSURE: D&B provided me $50 in gift certificates.)

They also had a big light up Pacman game you can play against two others. This was Larry's favorite and man it was rough! You get 3 times and you're playing against each other - so it goes pretty quickly. The tickets are plentiful on this game (gotta love those damn tickets). He kicked my butt here 3-0.

My favorite game was Connect Four! I used to LOVE playing this with my grandpa probably every day. This is a giant life-size version and was a lot of fun! Again - it's a best of 3. I beat Larry on this one!

There were a ton of other games as well - trivia, claw and video games a plenty. We skipped around and tried a bunch of games once. Most of them Larry won...

They have two hoops games - which I love. The short hoops game is my favorite - it's just a short shot and the one most places have. I beat him on this one - WOOP WOOP! Then he found the 3-pt game and he killed me on it.

All in all - the games are definitely fun - and we came away with enough tickets for a drinking glass for the house. We almost had enough for a frisbee for dog...grrr...

Why Should You Go? Well - the food is just okay - it's typical standard bar food. The games are kind of expensive but fun. There are also a TON of pool tables and games of every kind - so it is fun and there's a good variety. It's not a cheap night out - so keep that in mind - but it is fun.

I do have one thing to comment on - if you don't bring a game card - they charge you a $2 activation fee. Really - $2 for a swipe on a piece of plastic that probably costs half a penny? We also had a bit of an issue with the counter girl and our gift certificates - but I have to say - the manager cleared it up immediately and was very courteous - so that was strongly appreciated!

Dave & Busters on Urbanspoon

And now you get the chance to try it for yourself! Dave & Buster's also gave me another $50 to give away to one of you! You'll have a week to enter and there are a lot of ways to do it. Enjoy!

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