Restaurant Review: Fireside Pizza - Walnut Hills

The girls at work and I are often looking for a new place to go to - Susie had the idea to try out Fireside Pizza in Walnut Hills.  

It's in the old #16 Fire Station - there's a big ol' garage door that opens up to the outside on nice days and a parking lot across the street.

The menu isn't large - but it's got enough. They do pizza - and...pizza. There are 6 combo pizzas and a create your own along with a couple of salads and drinks. You order at the bar and then are handed a record album as your table marker. Oddly enough - I owned that album as a kid. #notkidding #GoWillie

I love that they kept the inside so authentic and original. It would be cool if there were historical  photos hanging up as well. There are some pieces around but not of the space.

We got two pizzas - a 9" and 14" - we went for the 9" white pie. The White Pie ($7/$14) had extra virgin olive oil, provolone/mozzarella mix, shaved parmesan, fresh mozzarella, rosemary + garlic. 

The crust is very light and thin - with that wood fire grill crispness. I'll get to my thoughts on this pizza momentarily.

We also got a 14" Redlegger ($9/18) with red sauce, fresh mozzarella, pepperoni, red onion + roasted red peppers. We got half without the onions. This pizza was good - the sauce was VERY red - as in - very acidic. As someone that battles acid reflux - it's a plate of pain - but luckily I had my meds with me. We all liked this pizza but not as much as the other. 

And that said... 

Seriously - WHITE. GOLD. I mean - this pizza was heavenly. All 3 of us loved it - but I was kind of geekily ecstatic over it. It made me never want another pizza again.

It's odd because I just went to Italianette right before - and I love that - but this is such a different kind of pizza with the wood-fired oven. It's so crispy and light - and then all the garlic and cheese on this one - just fantastic!

Why Should You Go? That White Pie is decadent. The atmosphere is pretty cool as well!

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Restaurant Review: Krimmer's Italianette Pizzeria - College Hill

One of my FAVORITE pizza places is Krimmer's Italianette Pizzeria in Deer Park - so I was driving around with my hubby and was SHOCKED to find a brand new one open in College Hill!  

It's on Galbraith Road right near Hamilton Ave. It's also huge!! There is ample room for any large party or masses of crowds after Friday night football games.

The booths are huge! You could easily seat six and maybe 7-8! Look at my amazement!

We started out with breadsticks with cheese ($5.50). Larry ALWAYS wants these from LaRosa's but they're kinda hard and I'm just not a fan. These were PERFECTION! Super soft, super covered in garlic salt and delicious mozzarella! Definite - must order!

Then I got my staple - my favorite - TACO PIZZA! ($13.99 Medium) Now this may not appear to be taco pizza but it does have some assembly required. The thing I like about theirs is that it's actual taco style meat on it - with tacoey sauce and everything!

I will also give a thumbs up to their BBQ Chicken Club pizza - I'm not normally a fan of chicken on pizza but their is diggity!

Here are the taco pizza toppings. See I grew up with Happy Joes Pizza - they are the one and only other good taco pizza in the world - they do the sour cream and they have chips on top! Italianette is  lacking in chips - it's seriously disappointing (Hey Krimmers - seriously - give me a bowl of crushed Doritos - pleeeeeeeze!). So once you put it all together - you get:

Taco Pizza!! See sour cream is the key for this. I think next time I'll just bring my own Doritos or maybe they serve chips!?! OOoooh - they do have Pizza Box Nachos ($6.99) - so that's it - next time Taco Pizza with a side of nacho chips! Yes - Yes - Yes!!!

Why Should You Go? See last paragraph. :-)


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Restaurant Review: Firebirds Wood-Fired Grill, Mason, OH

Recently we had another new restaurant open in Mason - the Fields Ertl area is always expanding. This is near the Whole Foods/Dicks Sporting Goods at Deerfield Towne Center. 

Firebirds Wood Fired Grill has nearly 40 locations nationwide. 

 They have a huge bar area with table service and a gorgeous colorful bar...

Seriously?! They also have this thing called the Double Black Diamond - it is a big container of Svedka All Natural Citron Vodka that is infused with fresh pineapple for 21 days! It's definitely ready by now - so that is worth trying. 

I had the chance to speak with Stephen Loftis, the VP of Marketing for Firebirds. He shared with me how much they love their 100% wood fired grill - they love cooking over an open flame. Everything from Firebirds is made from scratch - which I love. They also have a butcher program and cut all their steaks in house!

LOBSTER SPINACH QUESO

Lobster, baby spinach, tomatoes, pepper jack cheese, tortilla chips • 11.95

First up we started with the Lobster Spinach Queso and I am just going to say right now - hands down - best thing we ate all night. It's not to say anything else wasn't good - but this was AMAZING! I would never have thought to put spinach or lobster in there but it was fantastic! This is the way to get my husband to eat spinach - he gobbled it! The lobster was also great too because there were actual bite-sized pieces in there! You know - so many times something will say lobster - but there will be one 5 centimeter-sized flake - no - this had multiple chunks! So good. I cannot say enough - get this for sure!!!  (They also make the chips in-house every day!)

FIREBIRDS BLT

Applewood-smoked bacon, roasted garlic ranch dressing • 7.85

I ordered a salad with my meal and chose the BLT. It was pretty good - the bacon was really crispy - a little too crispy - but all in all - good salad.

BABY BACK RIBS
Java BBQ sauce, steak fries, cider slaw • 24.25

Larry ordered the ribs and he loved them. We both skipped the slaw but the ribs were tasty - very tender and the sauce wasn't overly sweet. 
PECAN CRUSTED TROUT
Peach salsa and tortilla slaw • 20.25

I went for the trout - this was not my favorite. It looks a bit of a hot mess and it kind of was. The crust wasn't very crusted to the fish and the dish was overall very dry. The portion size was very large but I didn't care for it. 

After speaking with Stephen - I really wish I'd tried the steak - that is their specialty. I had just had steak the night before - so it was my mistake. :-( 

Creme Brulée Cheesecake  7.50

I really love Creme Brulée so I thought I'd love the cheesecake - it was fine - but not as good as just plain Creme Brulée

Firebirds is also deeply involved with Alex's Lemonade Stand. $1 of every purchase of Alex's Lemonade goes to fight childhood cancer. They raised $100K in June alone! 

Why Should You Go? It's a really pretty restaurant and the service was great. That queso was the best queso I've ever had - especially for fancy queso. I can't wait to go back for queso and then I'll definitely get the steak!!! 

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Restaurant Review: Midwest Best BBQ - Loveland, OH

My husband is one of the managers at the Milford U-Haul and every now and again - I'll head over to have dinner with him when he gets off work. He heard about Midwest Best BBQ from a customer and we decided to check it out since it was fairly close by. 

It's just up the road from Schoolhouse - it's BBQ restaurant and Ice Cream Parlor. There are probably 10 tables inside and ample parking on street and across the street.

Their menu is on the wall and they have a great BBQ assortment - wings, pulled pork, ribs and all the sides. I would head their early because they sell out of things quickly. They're only open Thursday - Sunday so mark that on your calendar.

Inside they also have a long case of ice cream as well as jerseys from every area local team. It's a very fun local feel. The owners are great - we chatted with them for probably 20 minutes and it felt like we'd known each other forever. They also bottle their own sauce - so you can always take some home with you!

We chose the HB Combo of 2 sliders, 3 wings & fries ($7.95). This came with sauce on the side - we both chose the sweet sauce. Now normally - I'm all about a pulled pork sandwich - until I ate here. The pork was fine - Larry loved it. But you see this something else in that picture - there's actually three of them!

Those wings - OMG - THOSE WINGS! By recommendation from the owner - I tried the G-Funk Wings - it's his special rub. They were DELICIOUS! There's a slight kick - but not too much (I'm not big on spicy) - but the flavor was just amazing! Zingy and rich and so good. Larry got the wings with BBQ sauce - but once he tried one of mine - he agreed - the G-Funk is where it's at!! I think I liked the dry rub aspect of it - I tend to like ribs & wings with the dry rub rather than all sauced up - but this was just delicious.

Why Should You Go? Well - the couple that own the place are FANTASTIC! And then - the food is great! So all around - it's a definite go-to. And yes - it's a little off the beaten path but trust me - those G-Funk wings are worth it.

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Road Trip: Kings Island Food Truck Festival with Sweet'N Low #DontHesitaste

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Sweet’N Low. I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

Last weekend I was invited to Kings Island to check out their Food Truck Festival and visit the Sweet'N Low truck. They were handing out free drinks and had cornhole set up (so Ohio) as well as providing a bit of seating and shade - which was MUCH needed in that heat! 

We tried Sweet Tea with Sweet'N Low at the truck. Now you might have missed them at Kings Island but they are going to be all over the country - be sure to check out the Sweet’N Low truck event calendar to see when they'll be in your area! 

The sweet folks at Sweet'N Low sent me a little pre-food truck gift - but you can get your own gift! If you stop by the Sweet'N Low truck in your area and mention FOOD HUSSY - you'll get a free gift! (Not the same one I got - but something fun for sure!)
They also have this SWEET contest going on - take a pic of yourself at their truck or with a pic of your favorite Sweet'N Low sweetened drink and upload to Twitter or Instagram with the #donthesitaste and #contestentry - you'll be entered to win money, prizes and more! 

“Don’t Hesita(s)te” is that moment when you hesitate before you dive into something sweet because you could miss out on something delicious. With Sweet'N Low - no need to miss out - so #donthesitaste! 

I brought my friend Dawn with me to Kings Island - it was my birthday after all - so we needed to buzz around and have some fun!  
We hit up some of the other food trucks as well - and of course - had to go Empanadas Aqui. I drool over the Carne Mechada. They see me coming and no to just get it ready. It's oh so good.  

I also got to meet Snoopy! His handler wasn't amused and looked at me like I was crazy and said "Um - you have 1 minute." Um - listen Lucy - I'll take all 60 seconds of that!!! 

Unfortunately it rained pretty much the whole time we were there - so we were able to sneak a ride on the Scrambler (the couches). I'm a terrible friend because I put her on the outside and squished her for 2.5 minutes. 

And I did want to go horseback riding for my birthday - unfortunately this wasn't the horse I was thinking of - but we still had fun. 

You can see I had my pink on all day in honor of Sweet'N Low. It's pretty crazy that one little packet is the equivalent to two teaspoons of sugar! And it's safe - folks like the American Diabetes Association and the National Cancer Institute have acknowledged that saccharin is safe to consume and can help in long-term weight management!

So be sure to check out the Sweet’N Low truck event calendar to see when they'll be in your area and if you haven't tried the little pink packet in a while - give it a whirl!

Restaurant Review: Jefferson Social at The Banks

I've been wanting to try Jefferson Social for quite some time - mainly because of one menu item: 

Taconey - braised Cincinnati chili short rib, all beef hot dog, mustard, crema, pico de gallo, cheddar cheese and house taco sauce. Yeah - seriously - a Taco and a Coney smushed together!!!! I mean - how can you NOT want to eat that?

What's funny is my boss said that was the last thing he would want to try - but I said - oh well - too bad for you! (Spoiler alert: I was right.)

Inside - Jefferson Social is a pretty cool place - exposed brick walls - big art everywhere - lots of places to sit or lounge.

So there it is - the Taconey ($4.50). Let me tell you right now - get this. Go now. Go tomorrow. Just go. Don't mess with the rest - just get this. Get one. Get two. Hell if you're real hungry - maybe get three.

There's no Cincinnati chili on this but the short rib is braised in it and it just oozes the essence of Cincinnati chili. So then slather that on top of an all beef hot dog. But we're not done yet - the mustard, sour cream (crema), pico, soft shredded cheddar and some house made taco sauce. It's rich and creamy and cheesy and has a bite to it - oh I just can't say enough. It's messy and drippy and oozy and just freakin awesome!

I also got the Social Supreme ($3.50) - this is a traditional American taco. Hard corn tortilla with seasoned ground beef, lettuce, pico de gallo, cheddar cheese and sour cream. It was fine - all well and good. Not the astounding shock of delicious that your Taconey - but still good.

I also got the Blackened Shrimp Taco ($4.50) - with blackened shrimp, chipotle slaw and mango habanero sauce. It was fine. But again - not the Taconey.

Oh my glorious Taconey. I'm kind of surprised I haven't been back. I might need to go back right now! And it was so good and so delicious looking that two of the people I was with got one after they ate their tacos! They admitted - they had to try it - and THEY LOVED IT!!! Duh - Food Hussy don't play when it comes to delicious ways to eat a hot dog.

Why Should You Go? Taconey.

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How do you #GrillOn?

A few weeks back I headed out on the Boone County Farm Tour and went to one of my favorite spots - Ryan Raised Farm. Now I'm typically a Certified Angus Beef gal after my tour of their farms (day 1 - day 2) - but I also love a small, local farm. 

I picked up some pork chops and flank steak - the flank steak has much less marbeling so I wasn't too sure how I would like it. Their cows are solely grass fed - which is the big movement right now. I marinated the flank steak in a packet of McCormick's Grill Mates Montreal Steak Blend.

Now my grilling set up isn't too fancy - but it's got a good view. We have a small charcoal grill in the back - but at least that little grill is next to a swimming pool!

It does remind me of the first time I grilled - we had a tiny propane grill with the little canister of propane. I had never grilled on my own - turned on the propane and didn't know how long to wait before I lit the grill. Oh yeah - I nearly burned my eyebrows off. The flash and pop of the flame scared the crap out of me!!! I then grilled up some of the best hot dogs of my life! (I was just happy to be alive so they tasted really good!) So I've graduated up to a grill with feet - someday - I'll get up to a big fancy grill. :-)

And I always have two companions when I'm grilling - Mysty is so photogenic - I could look at that face all day long. :-) She's so happy all the time and so sensitive. If I'm sad - she cheers me up - if I'm happy she prances around with a happy dance!

Wiener on the other hand - he can be photogenic - when he wants to be - but that long nose is a challenge. He is not sensitive. He is not caring. He wants love when HE wants it - but he is very snuggly. Overall - he's a little booger - rotten and barky - but oh how I love him.

So yes - there's my delicious flank steak and fresh corn from Green Bean Delivery grilling up - getting ready for Pop-Pop to come home from a long day at work.

And yes - like I said - the caring girl couldn't quite let me just sit there and grill without giving me a little kiss!

The flank steak only took a few minutes to grill up - I could have taken it off a couple of minutes sooner - but it was still medium so I was pretty happy. The flank steak is a fairly muscle-y piece of meat - so my normal method of pressing on the steak to check doneness was a little more difficult. It works wonders with a ribeye or strip steak.

The McCormick's Grill Mates seasoning was pretty good - you just mixed the seasoning with water, vegetable oil and white vinegar. I tend to like the ones with balsamic vinegar better but it was fine.
 
So how was the grass fed beef? It was good - it did still have flavor and the marinade was nice and light. It's also nice knowing where my food came from and knowing that it was responsibly sourced.

And any meal is great when you finish it off with fresh corn on the cob. Oh man so delicious! I will definitely continue to #grillon! What's your favorite thing to grill?