Food Hussy Review: Spare Time Belly + Soul - Alexandria, KY

There's a place in NKY that I always wanted to go - strictly because of the building and the sign...

I love old time diners and am so happy this one has preserved it's look for all these years - Spare Time Grill is now Spare Time Belly + Soul.

And thankfully they kept the street sign too! These classic signs are so iconic - and the restaurant has actually been used in movies because of it's historic features. You may have seen it in "Fresh Horses" and more recently "Carol".

Their menu is small but they are open for breakfast and lunch. Breakfast has some fun specialties like the Benny - poached eggs on sourdough with turkey & avocado and topped with hollandaise. Lunch has sandwiches and burgers and PIES!

It still has the diner counter and a few tables lining it. It is TINY inside so you're better off going at maybe a slightly off time so you can get a table. The bathroom is actually accessed from outside (it's underneath the restaurant) - so you might go beforehand if you need to. Think along the lines of the Root Beer Stand on the inside - but with a few more seats.

I ordered their Burger of the Week - I can't remember everything - but it was a Garlic burger. The burger itself was pretty good - not the best but a good bun, cooked medium rare per my request and fresh toppings. I wouldn't say it was a Terry's Turf Club burger - but it was good. Soft bun too - and messy - which to me - is a good thing.

The onion rings were a big stand out - I love onion rings and these were tasty. I would have thought they were fresh - but if I have to judge by the Frisch's test (when you bite them - if the onion pulls out - it was frozen) - they weren't. I won't say that for sure - but they didn't pass the Frisch's test. Still - they were crispy and battered - which I prefer to breaded all day long.

All of this sounds good and we had a good experience with the actual taste of the food. Service though - is another story. It took 40 minutes to get our order. (I knew the time I ordered based on the pics I was taking and sharing.) Well maybe they take their time? They cook the food in front of you. Other tables came, ordered, ate and left in the time it took to get our food. Finally after 40 minutes I grabbed our server and she said it was coming. (She was nice - very young.) I couldn't imagine they would forget us since we were sitting at the counter - but I'm 99% sure they forgot or lost our order. That said - our food came probably 10 minutes later - with absolutely no apology. None. Not a word of even - sorry about the wait - nothing. Honestly - I was expecting for something to be taken off the bill because of the crazy wait - but AT LEAST an acknowledgement of the ridiculous wait. But no.

Why didn't we just leave? I was starving and really wanted to try it. At that point - we figured it would still be quicker to just wait for them.

Why Should You Go? Well - the food was good - but not worth the lengthy wait and the disappointing service.

Another side note that was funny - I saw an acquaintance there. He even said - out loud - "Ooh the food blogger is here!" Guess they didn't hear or maybe they didn't give a rats. Oh well - not like I expect to carry clout - but man this was rough!

Spare Time Belly + Soul Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Food Hussy Review: Taqueria Cruz - Covington, KY

I'm all about Taquerias - I feel like it's a personal mission to visit every one in the Cincinnati area...

And next up - was one with a menu item I've never tried before - guaraches - which I affectionately called a "long taco".

We came across Taqueria Cruz online and decided we had to give it a try. It's near the Anchor Grill and is sandwiched between an Ameristop and a laundromat - oh yeah - this is my kind of place! It is cash only - just fyi. There's a jip joint ATM at the Ameristop if you need it.

The menu has a decent amount of options - tacos, guaraches (long tacos), sopes, quesadillas, burritos, tortas and more. Hell you can even get a beer!

It's very small - there are a few tables in the first room and maybe 3-4 in the side room. They will come to your table and wait on you. Our server was super friendly - answered any questions we had and was really great. There were also many Hispanic people eating there - which gives you a sense of its authenticity and the fact that the food is going to be good.

Most folks got tacos - and you can choose from carne asada, carnitas, barbacoa, lengua (tongue), pollo, chorizo, al pastor and tripa (tripe). You'll need to pull out your Spanish for the menu - or ask our friendly server.

Everybody enjoyed their tacos - I don't think anybody was overwhelmed by them - but they were solid. And frankly they were probably a little better than Taqueria Gutierrez (in another part of Covington).

One of my coworkers saw online they had a lunch special - which was hanging right above our head - with two tacos and rice & beans for just $4! I mean - seriously - FOUR BUCKS! She got that and once we all saw (and smelled) the plate of rice and beans - and all immediately ordered them for ourselves. Yummy!

Then there's my guaraches - or long tacos. The tortillas were a little thicker and longer - you could almost roll these up. They had meat, cheese and lettuce. I got pastor and carnitas and they were really good. I would definitely get these guys again.

And I know - it's super American of me - but I like cheese and sour cream and luckily they were nice enough to bring me some.

Why Should You Go? If you want authentic - you have to go. It's also cheap and tasty!


Taqueria Cruz Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Food Hussy Review: Fridas 602 - Covington, KY

I love tacos. love. Love. LOVE. 


So pretty much anytime I find out about a new taqueria - I go - pretty damn quick. And I found another...

Frida 602 is on the main corner in Mainstrasse and has been open for a couple of years. The restaurant has a unique sense of design that I'm in love with!

The colors are so vibrant - even outside - I knew I'd love it! I've heard great things about the food too so I was really excited. I was meeting a former coworker and we only get to hang out a few times a year - so I was doubly excited - TACOS AND KELLEEN! WOOHOO!

Their menu has a lot of great options and it was hard to decide. A few things we didn't pick but almost did: short rib empanada (two of my fav things in one happy pouch), brussels sprout taco and tres leches cake.

Queso with chips ($8)

We started with queso - and thank you Baby Jesus that we did. It was amazing. The best queso I've had in so long. It's thick with lots of pull to the cheese - and peppers in it - just delicious. We kept eating it and saying - oh we should stop - but no - we kept going. I probably could have eaten the whole thing on my own - which it's not like it's a shock that I would eat a pan of cheese - but it's so good.

The decor is so fun - I would love to just take all of it home! 

Oaxacan Chicken Sandwich - mezcal & lime glazed chicken on local sourdough with avocado, queso fresco, and chipotle mayo ($11)

Kelleen got the chicken sandwich and enjoyed it - after all that cheese - she only ate half but hey - that just means leftovers!

Al Pastor Taco - spit roasted pork, al pastor sauce & pineapple ($4)
Gobernador - seared chile shrimp, bacon, shaved lettuce, tri-colored cherry tomato, aioli ($6)

I got two tacos - the pastor was pretty good - very saucy. The shrimp was my favorite of the two - it was really great - but when you've got shrimp and bacon - how can it be bad?

The tacos tasted good - but they were REALLY tiny. If we didn't have the queso - we could have probably eaten four tacos each. So just keep that in mind when you order.

Why Should You Go? The queso is worth it - hands down. The decor is super fun as well. I'll definitely go back!

Frida 602 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Food Hussy Recipe: Porkopolis Chips & Dip!

There are certain things that just SCREAM Cincinnati - Graeter's Ice Cream, Montgomery Inn Ribs, Gold Star Chili and...


GOETTA! 

I took a tour of Queen City Sausage a couple of years ago - so I have a lot of love for them - I recently was taught by a coworker how to cook goetta (thin & crispy) and he gave me an idea - which we'll get to. ;-) 

Then with the Sweet 16 in full gear (Xavier is playing as I type this and UK is tomorrow night!) - I wanted to make an appetizer that screams Cincinnati.

What's Cincinnati also called? PORKOPOLIS! So...away we go!

I decided to double up on the pork in this appetizer with GOETTA AND BACON!!!  

This dip is simple to make - and as usual - if you are missing one ingredient - swap it with something you have. I used cream cheese, pickled jalapeno, bell pepper, black olives, bacon and ranch seasoning.

But - where's the goetta??? Just wait!



I fried the goetta super thin and crispy until it's not bendy and made goetta chips! I can't take credit for the idea - my coworker said he knew someone that had done it - so I had to try it!

It's so Cincinnati - only here would someone make a chip out of pork?! 


I hope you'll try this while you're watching UK and be as Cincinnati as you can be!
Porkopolis Dip
    Ingredients
    • (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
    • 1 orange bell pepper, finely diced
    • 1/4 cup pickled jalapenos, finely diced 
    • 1 small can black olives, chopped
    • 4 slices bacon, fried and chopped
    • 1 package ranch seasoning mix
    Instructions
    1. In a medium sized bowl and cream cheese, bell pepper, jalapeƱo, olives, bacon and ranch package. Mix together until incorporated.
    2. Serve immediately with your favorite chips or store for up to 24 hours.
    Geotta Chips
      Ingredients
      • Goetta - semi-frozen
      Instructions
      1. Slice goetta as thin as possible - it helps if it's still a little frozen so it doesn't fall apart.
      2. Fry goetta on griddle - as you're frying it - flatten goetta as thin as possible. You'll want to keep flipping the goetta until it's not bendy - about 5 min. 
      3. Place goetta on paper towel to get any oil off. 
      4. Serve with dip.

      Food Hussy Guest Recipe: Artichoke & Spinach Dip!

      I don't normally just share recipes from restaurants - but today is National Chip & Dip Day! (Who knew?!) My favorite dip hands down is the HeluvaGood! brand - their Buffalo is amazing - and they sent me a recipe that I know is delicious so I wanted to share it with you! Enjoy! 
      Artichoke & Spinach Dip


      Makes 8

      INGREDIENTS:

      DIRECTIONS:
      1.       Preheat oven to 350° F.
      2.       Using your hands, squeeze spinach until as dry as possible.
      3.       Place in a medium bowl.
      4.       Drain artichoke hearts and squeeze out moisture in the same manner as the spinach.
      5.       Transfer artichokes to a cutting board and chop coarsely.
      6.       Place in bowl with spinach.
      7.       Add remaining ingredients and mix well.
      8.       Pack dip into a 4-cup baking dish.
      9.       Bake 30-35 minutes until hot and bubbly around edges.
      10.  Now dip! PRINT

      (This post is NOT sponsored - I just really love their dip and thought you would enjoy this recipe!)

      Food Hussy Restaurant Review: Generations Pizza, Wilmington, OH

      Every now and again the husband gets a wild hair and this time he said he wanted pizza but not in Cincinnati. Um - ok. Where are we off to? 
      Generations Pizza in Wilmington, OH - it's about 45 minutes from our place in Milford and it was findable on the interwebs and open - so that was all the qualifications we needed.

      We were a bit surprised at how new the building looked on the outside - it seemed to have undergone an outside makeover. The inside didn't look as new - it was spacious but nothing to write home about.

      We were both starving so we started off with some garlic cheese bread ($3.49) and was served with a side of cheese sauce and pizza sauce. I preferred the bread on it's own and what a bargain! 

      We then got the Kerry's Big Cheese pizza and a 2-liter (even got to take the leftover 2-liter home with us). I liked the garlic cheese bread more than the pizza - it was fine - loaded full of ingredients but the crust and sauce didn't impress me much (like I'm Shania Twain right there!?!).

      Why Should You Go? Well - honestly - it's nothing special. If I lived in Wilmington - I'm sure it would be a regular spot - but it was a fun little afternoon jaunt.

      Generations Pizza & Sandwiches Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

      Food Hussy Recipe: Strawberry Cacao Roasted Pork Loin Salad

      Tracking Pixel
      I'm not usually one to order a salad at a restaurant - I like cheese and butter and all things bad for me. But there's one restaurant that has changed my mind - Bite Restaurant in Milford - they make my favorite salad. I was on a mission to make a 30 minute meal and recreate that salad with a few Food Hussy tweaks! First tweak - the protein! I just received a package from Smithfield Marinated Fresh Pork and they asked me to create a quick meal and I and thought it would be the perfect match for my copycat salad.  

      http://bit.ly/2nsFw46
      Smithfield Marinated Fresh Pork is a favorite of mine - I always forget to take things out ahead of time - or marinate the night before. I come home and need to get dinner on the table as quick as possible - I ain't got time for marinade! Plus Smithfield Marinated Fresh Pork is made from 100% fresh pork with nothing artificial and it comes in a wide variety of flavors - Roasted Garlic, Sweet Teriyaki and now - Hardwood Smoked Bacon! 

      The thing I liked about the bacon in this is that it wasn't a flavor - it was ACTUAL bacon in the package and I was in like Flynn!!! 

      Since the prep work is done already - you just have to cook it the best way for you - whether it's grill, saute, roast or in the slow cooker. I find the pork loin is too lean for the slow cooker (the Smithfield Marinated Fresh Pork Roast is perfect for this).

      I decided to sear the pork loin on the stove top - this is super simple - grab the cast iron and sear on all sides. Look at all that bacon! Real bacon! With that - no oil needed. It only took a few minutes to sear. Then I popped it in a 375 oven for 10 minutes. (Side note: I only cooked half the pork loin since I was making this for two people - for four people - use the whole loin.)


      http://bit.ly/2nsFw46
      Now that my protein was ready to go - time to recreate my favorite salad - but with my Food Hussy tweaks of course. While the pork loin was searing and then in the oven - I was able to prep my salad ingredients.

      The original salad is the "Cacao comes from a tree, which is a plan...Chocolate is Salad" (crazy long name I know) The Bite version has spinach, dried cranberries, strawberries, cacao nibs, gorgonzola, pecans, cucumbers, red onions, tomatoes and balsamic vinaigrette. And I can have fun with that!!

      I kept a lot of the ingredients like strawberries, tomatoes and most definitely - the cacao nibs. See cacao nibs are one of those powerful foods - they have antioxidants, flavinoids, fight cardiovascular disease, lots of fiber, magnesium, potassium and they'll even improve your mood!


      http://bit.ly/2nsFw46
      Additionally - I used spinach and red onions - but then some more Food Hussy tweaks! I'm a huge fan of goat cheese so any chance to put that in something - I'm doing it. For the dressing - I have a killer recipe for Blueberry Vinaigrette that I use any time I can!


      http://bit.ly/2nsFw46
      And that pork loin - it's always perfect at 155 degrees (get a meat thermometer - they're super cheap and a life saver!) - you want that blush of pink in the center to be sure it's moist and oh so good.

      I can also tell you - this bacon covered pork loin was so amazing!! The bacon helps add even more juice and flavor - I mean - it's pig on pig! I'll take that any time!


      http://bit.ly/2nsFw46
      I cooked mine a little faster because I cut it in half - but you can always slice or cube the pork if you're in a super hurry. I think cutting it in half was perfect for this - and even if I was cooking the whole loin - I would still do that - just to cut the oven time down. And I always sear on the stove top first - gives it that delicious crust that you don't want to miss!


      http://bit.ly/2nsFw46
      My salad was perfection! It definitely reminded me of the great Bite salad - but I had it in the comfort of my own home and in less than 30 minutes from fridge to belly! Woohoo! I'll take that any day!


      http://bit.ly/2nsFw46
      The other thing I love about this salad is how complex it is. I would NEVER think to put all this stuff together - but when I do - it's amazing and it all works together - even with my fun tweaks. Plus - it's good for you!


      http://bit.ly/2nsFw46
      I hope you enjoy my creative salad as much as I do and the Smithfield Marinated Fresh Pork. With so many options - I could swap this out too - it would be great with Roasted Garlic and Herb or the Roasted Golden Rotisserie! Or you could do the Pork Sirloin Roast in the slow cooker and shred it for the salad as well! All the possibilities! And - Smithfield Marinated Fresh Pork products are available at your local Kroger, as well as select grocery stores nationwide.


      So I do hope you enjoy - it's super simple and delicious - which is all I want in a meal after a long day of work. You can also visit their site and enter your tips for getting meals on the table quickly in the Smithfield Real Food, Real Fast contest

      Strawberry Cacao Pork Loin Salad

      Smithfield Marinated Fresh Pork Hardwood Smoked Bacon and Cracked Black Pepper Tenderloin
      1.5 cups baby spinach
      1.5 cups romaine lettuce, diced
      1/2 cup diced strawberries
      1/2 cup diced tomatoes
      1/3 cup diced blueberries
      1/4 cup cacao nibs
      1/3 cup diced red onion
      1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
      4 oz goat cheese, diced

      - Preheat oven to 375
      - Sear the Smithfield Marinated Fresh Pork loin in a cast iron skillet at medium heat. Sear on all sides for just a couple of minutes on each side. 
      - Transfer cast iron skillet to the oven for 10 minutes more
      - While the pork is cooking, prep all your salad ingredients 
      - Toss all the ingredients from the spinach to the goat cheese 
      - Remove the pork from the oven and let rest, then slice
      - Add the blueberry vinaigrette dressing
      - Plate the dressed salad with slices of pork loin 


      This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Smithfield Marinated Fresh Pork.