Monday, November 30, 2015

Restaurant Review (MUST-TRY!!) - Terrace Cafe @ Cincinnati Art Museum

A couple of months ago I checked out the Terrace Cafe at the Cincinnati Art Museum. Their new chef Christian Gill is AMAZEBALLS and I couldn't wait to go back. 

Of course - just by looking at him - you could imagine that we were instant besties. I came in and ordered the side salad with peppercorn ranch - that's my code for Christian to come visit me. It worked of course! We chatted and he told me about something new he added to the menu - he started with the words...braised wagyu brisket. SOLD!!! 

There it was on the menu - Manchego Pressed Tortada - I didn't even think for five seconds before ordering. How could I?! 

 Let me tell you - it was EVERYTHING. The brisket was tender but the star was the bravas aioli - it was juicy and spicy and zingy and fantastic. Oh yeah - and the artichoke salsa - ugh - just all of it was so good! Chef Christian came by to check on me - I'm not sure he understood my words - between the devouring and the drooling - but he got the point - I LOVED IT!

He said he's probably going to have this on the menu through the end of the year - so be SURE to head over and check it out - you won't be sorry! Oh man - that sandwich!!!

Thanks again to Chef Christian for his continued making of Peppercorn Ranch on demand for me and to the Terrace Cafe for the gift certificate to try it out again.


Friday, November 27, 2015

Recipe & Giveaway: Raspberry Lime Shrimp Tacos #LitehouseHolidazzle #ConnectLH

This review and giveaway was made possible by iConnect Influencer Management and Litehouse Foods. I was compensated for my participation in this campaign, but all opinions are 100% mine.

I know - we just finished Thanksgiving but I'm already looking forward to Christmas. Really - I just like presents and more holiday food. One tradition we started a while back was to have tacos on Christmas Eve. We try different ones every year. I think it's because it's so different than the traditional holiday food!

I started this year with a new twist - Litehouse Foods sent me this new Organic Raspberry Lime Vinaigrette Dressing and I knew it would be perfect with shrimp! I also got these new freeze dried red onions. It's pretty cool - they're instantly fresh when you add a little water to them - so they have a lot of flavor.

I decided this would be a great marinade combo - so I tossed a package of raw shrimp into a ziploc bag and then added the dressing and a few shakes of the red onion. Then - back in the fridge to marinate for a day.

Then I pulled out the grill pan and cooked the shrimp - remember to always use raw shrimp - much better flavor and you only need to cook them for about a minute on each side - so it's super quick.

I looked in the fridge to see what I could put with the grilled shrimp and found half of an orange pepper so I sliced it really thin and threw it on the grill pan with the shrimp. Then I grabbed a ripe avocado and a lime - oooooh this is gonna be good!

Seriously - if a plate has that much color - it has to taste good - right? It just looks fresh!

Another tip - always heat the tortillas in a fry pan - it takes 1 minute and makes such a big difference. I spray the pan with non-stick spray quick and then throw a tortilla in and flip quick. It softens the tortilla and adds a touch of flavor - so much better than bland & cold!

I topped the tortillas with shrimp, orange pepper, avocado, fresh lime juice and...

Feta cheese! I just thought the saltiness of the feta would be a good bite with the sweetness of the raspberry and orange pepper. This Simple Artisan Feta comes in a handy container already crumbled - so easy - to just pop it open and shake it on top.

So there's my masterpiece - I definitely think this is a Christmas Eve contender. I was ready to dig in - I just love all the colors - I had to put it on my most colorful plate just to be super obnoxious. :-)

And now I'm ready to dig in! I have to say these tacos were awesome! Super light and refreshing - the raspberry & orange pepper were sweet - the avocado was creamy - the lime and feta were zingy. I inhaled these and was wishing I had more shrimp!

Thanks to Litehouse Foods for letting me try their new products and now you can too! Below the recipe is a giveaway for these same three products! I made Shrimp Tacos with them - what will you create? Be sure to enter and share with your friends!

Raspberry Lime Shrimp Tacos

Ingredients

* Large Raw Shrimp
* Litehouse Organic Raspberry Lime Vinaigrette Dressing
* 2 Tablespoons Litehouse Freeze Dried Red Onion
* Nonstick cooking spray
* 1/2 Orange Pepper - thinly sliced
* 4 Tortillas
* 1 avocado - thinly sliced
* 1 lime - cut into wedges
* 4 T Litehouse Simply Artisan Feta Crumbles

Instructions

* Thaw & drain raw shrimp. Place shrimp in a ziploc bag and pour in dressing and onions. Seal and refrigerate for 2 hours or until ready to cook.

* Spray grill pan with non-stick spray and turn on high. Using tongs place each shrimp on the grill pan with space between so they can sear. Sprinkle the pepper slices between the shrimp. Flip after 1 minute. Remove from heat.

* In a separate skillet, spray with non-stick spray and heat on high. Add tortilla - heat for 30 seconds - flip - heat for 30 more seconds. Edges should be a little brown and tortilla may bubble up a bit.

* Make your taco! To the tortilla, add the shrimp, pepper, avocado and feta. Then squeeze a lime wedge over the taco for extra zing!

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

And if that's not enough - Litehouse has a great contest going on where you can win $1000 grocery card (who couldn't use that!) - and a coupon for $1 off to get you started!

http://woobox.com/g9iiou

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Giveaway: Skyline Chili


For every $25 gift card purchased at Skyline Chili from now until December 24, customers will receive a $5 gift card of their own. While gift cards can sometimes be perceived as unthoughtful, Skyline’s warm, inviting restaurants will guarantee the recipient has your name at the top of the “nice” list.
  • Treat your mailman to a warm meal of Skyline’s signature Coneys after his chilly route.
  • Give your college student the perfect study break with friends over 4-Ways and chili cheese fries.
  • Wow your co-worker with a Secret Santa gift of an after-hours meal of Coneys and a 5-way.
  • Show your appreciation for your child’s teacher with the gift of Skyline’s delicious chili spaghetti.

***The Giveaway***


1 winner will receive their choice of $25 Skyline Chili Gift Card to eat some warm, fresh chili themselves this holiday season!
Giveaway is open to US Residents, ages 18+ years of age (limited to one entrant per household).
The giveaway ends on 12/05/15.
Simply follow the Rafflecopter entry form below for your chance to win. Be sure to return tomorrow to complete the daily entries.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

The participating bloggers were not compensated for this post. We are not associated with any of the companies named above. No purchase is necessary to enter. Void where prohibited by law. The odds of winning are based on the number of entries received Open to US Residents, 18+ only. Limit one entrant per household. Confirmed Winner(s) (by Random.org) will be contacted by email. Winner(s) have 24 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. The sponsor(s) will be responsible for product shipment to winner(s) of this giveaway. My blog is not responsible for product shipment/delivery. This event is in no way administered, sponsored, or endorsed by, or associated with, Facebook and/or Twitter, Google, Pinterest, Instagram or Klout. This disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements. Entrants must only enter with either one email address, IP address and/or Facebook account, anyone found violating these rules will be disqualified. It is at the sole discretion of the admin of the giveaway if the winner has met the rules or not.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Restaurant Review: Brew House

I'm still working my way through Cincinnati Magazine's Best Burgers in Cincinnati list and here we are at a new place I had never even heard of! 

The Brew House is in Walnut Hills just outside of downtown. It's a small place but does have it's own parking lot. It's across from Parkside Cafe (a former Frisch's). 

Now - if you'll notice on the Cincinnati Magazine list - their burger is noted as The Big Jack at a cost of $6.50. 

So when we got there - it was a bit confusing because there's no Big Jack on the menu and nothing that is $6.50 on the menu. So I went up to the bar and asked the manager - I explained that I was a blogger and I'd read the article and blah blah blah. He explained that the menu had changed four days before the article came out and they had no idea the article was mentioning them. He also said the menu hadn't changed in years so they updated it and updated the prices (and by update - he meant doubled). I then mentioned that the website still had the old menu & prices and he immediately updated the website.

I was a bit surprised that since I went up and talked to him about he didn't say, "oh well hey - since you're giving us free publicity - let me give you the burger at the price you were expecting" - but oh well. I don't expect things for free - but this blog does serve as advertising that lives on for years. (Climbing off my soap box now)

In addition to the regular menu, they have daily specials - which we were definitely going to partake in.

The artwork is very unique - it's sort of kitshy and bad art - from sad clowns to embroidered daisies. The whole place is sort of a strange cross between a bar and a diner - but it seems to work for them.

They also - by the name Brew House - have quite a few great craft brews on tap. I was intrigued by the Kentucky White Ale because it's made by the same folks as the Bourbon Barrel Ale that my hubby loves so dear. This is a very light beer - I'll stick with my cider though. :-)

Dawn went for the Tally-Ho burger ($9) with onion rings, bacon and BBQ sauce. The burgers were pretty big and definitely filling. The burger itself was fine - not amazing - but pretty good.

Susie went for the special Taco Burger ($9.95) with salsa, lettuce, tomato, cheese and jalapenos. It almost seemed a little lackluster for a name like a Taco Burger - I wanted to see something a bit more ethnic - guacamole, sour cream, homemade salsa, something.

I went for the Cameron - which used to be the Big Jack - and went from $6.50 to $11. ELEVEN DOLLARS. Just absorb that sticker shock - now I have paid $11 for a burger many times - but the shock factor comes in when you're thinking - ooh I'm getting a cheap burger (ala Quatmans, Herb & Thelmas) AND it's amazing - then you walk in and pay double. Yikes!

The Cameron had two patties  and extra bun in the middle and cheese. So sort of a "big" Big Mac sans special sauce. But the cheese was the kind you get in individual plastic wrap - yuck. I'm a Land O'Lakes girl to the core - so this was hugely disappointing. It is a tall burger - but there really wasn't much innovative about it. It was a LOT of food though for sure.

Why Should You Go? Is it a good burger? Yes. (Now I'm saying "Welcome to Good Burger - Home of the Good Burger - Can I take your order?!") Is it a great burger? No. The staff was nice and it's a cute little place. If you go in knowing the prices - you're good.

The Brew House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monday, November 23, 2015

Recipes: Thanksgiving Made Easy with Local 12!

I love every time I have the opportunity to hang out with my friends at Local 12 - today I was making Thanksgiving dinner for breakfast! 


It's always time for stuffing! So if you were tuned in - here are the recipes we made! If not - let me tell you - these are the two EASIEST Thanksgiving recipes you'll make - and I promise they are both DELICIOUS! ENJOY!




Thursday, November 19, 2015

Restaurant Review: BJ's Roadhouse - Springdale

We've been driving by BJ's Roadhouse for years now at Tri-County Mall. We keep thinking - we need to go there - and then never do. Finally - WE WENT! 

BJ's has an outside entrance at Tri-County Mall and also has a location in Florence. I have to say - I was pretty surprised right off the bat. It is MUCH nicer and fancier inside than I thought it would be. I expected an Applebees type of atmosphere - much more sports bar - but it's not - it's NICE! I definitely think it's a step up from most of the chain restaurants I've been to. It's more like Maggianos or Cheesecake Factory.

They make their own beers & ciders! I was really happy to find out they make their own ciders. I have finally decided that I don't really like beer so I'm tired of drinking it. If I'm going to drink alcohol - I'm going to like it! That means sometimes I get champagne  - and sometimes I get cider!

I happily went for the Berry Burst Cider - ($6.25) sure it's a fancier version of a wine cooler - but I don't care - I like it! I was sure that Larry would get the HopStorm IPA - nothing but IPAs for this guy now - but he got cocky and said, "Well I'd like a Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale - but I bet they don't have it." Oh Larry - they had it. He couldn't believe it! So he got that instead. ($5.75)

He's a bit obsessed with Spinach Artichoke Dip ($9.50) - so anytime he's remotely hungry when we sit down - he gets that. Luckily their was cream cheese-based so it was good for him to eat. It was pretty good - not the best - but not bad either. Larry killed it.

I got the new Hickory Brisket & Bacon Burger ($12.95) - it was loaded up with BBQ sauce, brisket, bacon, jack & cheddar cheese, red onion & mayo. It was served with a side of super skinny fries! The burger was pretty good - it was really big, cooked well and loaded with toppings. I LOVED the fries and scarfed them down (with some ranch of course). 

A photo posted by Heather Johnson (@foodhussy) on

Larry shocked me and got Chili in a Bread Bowl ($9) - okay - where is my husband? Who is this person I'm sitting with??? He heard it was made with their Pirahna Pale Ale and had to try it. I didn't have really high expectations but I have to say - it was pretty awesome.

I'm using the Instagram image of it because it blew up my feed with over 40 likes! Larry was obsessed with it and kept raving about it all weekend. I like too that they sort of "garlic breaded" the lid of the bowl.

Why Should You Go? Good cider and it was some damn good chili.

BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

RestaurantS Review: Quatman Cafe X 2!

As I've gone on my Cincinnati Burger Trek - one of my favorites - if not THE favorite - is at #45 on their list. But it's definitely in MY top 3! And that is...

Quatman Cafe has two locations in Cincinnati - the original in Norwood and the newer one in the heart of old Mason. Even with my LOVE of Quatman - I had actually never been to the Mason location.

We were recently on a drive with Larry's mom and hungry and stumbled into Mason and I said - QUATMAN!!!!! And that's when Larry just sighed and knew it was over. If I'm within 3 miles of these delicious burgers - I MUST HAVE THEM!

I love that the Mason location has a tile mosaic in the same vain as the Norwood location.

The menu is ridiculously simple and I never understand why anybody even looks at it. Mom just trusted me and we all got the same order - cheeseburger, fries, extra pickles.

Why Should You Go? OMG - so good - like seriously so delicious. The burger is definitely like a "house-burger" that you'd make at home. The cheese is definitely Land O'Lakes American - the very tastiest. The fries are skinny. The pickles - tart. The plate - PAPER!

Quatman Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

And then - we got to talking and turns out my coworker crew hadn't been to Quatman either! Well - Susie had NEVER been (for shame!) and Dawn hadn't been in probably 15 years. Since it's relatively close to downtown - we had to go!

Here's the mosaic in the Norwood location - it's of the original owner. The restaurant used to be a grocery store (pre-Kroger) - they tapered off in much more recent times to just having a deli counter and now that's even gone. :-(

They recently remodeled the Norwood location - and when I say remodel - I mean - complete gut & overhaul. I actually think the new location has lost the "charm" of the old - but luckily - the food didn't lose any of its charm!

The other thing we love about Quatman is that they have no soda loyalty! They have it all! I think that stems from their days as a grocery store - but it's awesome - I could have my Coca Cola and Dawn could have her Diet Pepsi!

Even though it may look different - the crowd is the same - this table of retireds got there the same time as we did. Noon on a Wednesday and they were cracking beers and gnoshing on burgers. I kinda wanted to barge in and hang with them for the rest of the day!

And there it is - my burger perfection - yet again. Boom.

In a moment akin to the Springer Moment at the end of a Jerry Springer show - here's my moment of wisdom:

I think in the world of "how tall can we make our burger" and "what random crap can we put on our burger" there is something fantastic about a simple delicious beef patty with a thick slice of American cheese and some damn good pickles. To all those 7" high burgers out there - sometimes simple wins out. 

Quatman Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Restaurant Review + Giveaway: Rusty Bucket Corner Tavern

Every few months - I clean out my purse and it's magical when I do - I always find something - this time I found a pair of gift cards to...

Rusty Bucket! What does that mean? Free lunch for me AND YOU! 

Dawn got the Double-Stacked Quesadilla with blackened chicken, pepperjack & cheddar cheese, black beans, corn salsa and then served with sour cream, guacamole & salsa on the side. 

She liked it and the portion size was pretty big - she's a bit of a Quesadilla Connoisseur - so it got a thumbs up from her.

I had been craving a Patty Melt for some time - so I went for it - the 1/2 pound burger was topped with Swiss cheese, sauteed onions, Thousand Island dressing and served on grilled rye.

It was okay - the burger didn't have a lot of flavor and the rye would have been better slightly toasted. It was fair to midland for a Patty Melt.

The one thing I always like is their blue plate specials - on Sundays you can get a Kentucky Hot Brown - looks yummy!

While I wasn't loving my Patty Melt - they have a lot of great options - so enter and we'll see what you'll try?!

Rusty Bucket Corner and Tavern Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, November 16, 2015

Reminiscing over Deliciousness from the Cincinnati Food & Wine Classic

Earlier this fall I was given a Media pass (#bloggerperks) to the Cincinnati Food & Wine Classic

It's a HUGE annual event at Washington Park and trust me - you will gorge yourself like you've never done before. 

Tickets aren't cheap but the food is amazing. They have numerous tastings all weekend as well as seminars, classes and more. I would highly recommend subscribing to their email list to keep you updated for next year! 

When I go to a tasting - I have this NEED to taste each item. It's painful. The thing I've learned is to take a bite - if you don't love it - let it go. There will be more things you LOVE and you want to be sure and have room for them!

That said - I did have a few favorites - and the fact that this event was 2 months ago - and I still remember them - says a lot! 

First up - Taste of Belgium - it's not like they ever do anything bad - right? I'm not actually the biggest fan of the restaurant - but at these tasting events - they are at their best. I just had their grilled cheese at the Cincinnati Cheese Festival and it was everybody's favorite!

The waffles are great - they're very filling - but then throw on some pork belly, mustard, fruit and balsamic - and yeah - I'm guessing it's going to be tasty.

And yes, of course, it was. Everybody was raving...but again - it's pork belly on a waffle - do you really think that's NOT going to be good?!

Taste of Belgium Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Then - my absolute favorite of the night - like not even a close race for me - was...

was Renee Schuler from Eat Well Catering!

Honestly - I would never put all this together - I mean - who would? Roast, hominy, chilies, jalapeno relish and tomatoes?????

Oh - Renee would. And IT. WAS. AWESOME. Like - seriously - amazing. It was the epitome of comfort food. The creamy hominy tasted like the best macaroni & cheese I could ever imagine - and then you throw perfectly cooked roast on top. Ugh - Renee - I can't even tell you. Can I please have it again??????

Lastly I'm giving an honorable mention to Bouquet in Covington. 

They served us a delightful fruit salad. Now you say - fruit salad??? How is that a best of? Because when you have stuffed yourself full of every delectable dish in the entire city - and you're zipper is bursting and your feet hurt from standing and your belly hurts from combining every random cuisine on the planet - you are GIDDY beyond belief to find something delicious and LIGHT!!! Oh it was a refreshing end to my evening. So thank you Bouquet!!! 

Bouquet Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Food & Wine Classic was a great time and I highly recommend it - you'll love it!