Hungry Bros.


Left: Kevin Bacon Ranch fries at Volksfest; right: Vladimir Poutine at City Flea.

If you love fries (and who doesn’t?), this food truck is for you.

Hungry Bros. can be spotted at various goings-on around town (I’ve personally seen the truck parked outside of Volksfest at Listermann Brewing, The City Flea, Rhinehaus, Fountain Square, and it will also be in attendance for Liberty’s Bar & Bottle’s one-year anniversary celebration this weekend), which makes it really easy to find and have*.

The first time I had Hungry Bros., I ordered the Kevin Bacon Ranch fries, which is chicken, bacon, and ranch served atop waffle fries. While the dish itself was good, I was mostly impressed with the ranch. It really stood out. The second time I had Hungry Bros. was at City Flea, and I got the Vladmir Poutine (gravy, cheese curds, and a fried egg on top of crispy waffle fries), which was awesome. They even have waffle fry desserts (see: Waffle Fry Sundae and Maple Waffle Fries), which is a bit intimidating, but I’d be happy to try any of them. If the rest of their food is any indicator, I’m sure sweet waffle fry dishes — as opposed to savory — would be good. Though, they have more than just fries, so you can always order Lamb Sliders, fried pie, a Hipster Bagel, or anything else that happens to be on the lineup that day.

The menu changes frequently, so don’t expect it to be the same from visit to visit. But they often have the Vladimir Poutine, which is awesome. And the food and service are both consistently good, too. Big fan.

*You can also follow Hungry Bros. on Twitter and Instagram to keep tabs on where they’ll be next.

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Top This Donut Bar

We have build your own burritos and build your own sushi, but now we have build your own donuts located at University Station, the new development on Xavier’s campus. What a cool concept: you build your own donut as you walk through by selecting your pastry (there are donuts, cinnamon rolls, cookies, or rice crispie bars, and they also have a gluten free cookie option), then choosing your icing, drizzle, and topping. My first donut was designed with chocolate icing and peanut butter drizzle, and I also made a glaze-topped donut with crushed graham crackers for good measure.

While cake donuts aren’t my favorite (I prefer yeast), the donuts were good — fresh and not too dense. We really liked all the toppings we got too. BK opted for a white-iced donut with chocolate sprinkles and Oreos, as well as a donut with strawberry icing, rainbow sprinkles, and Fruity Pebbles. The latter was probably my favorite, although I loved my chocolate and peanut butter-topped donut, too. The icing was warm and fresh, which made for an even more delicious experience.

My absolute favorite part of the entire place was that they had four kinds of milk on tap: white, chocolate, strawberry, and almond. I love my milk.

Top This lived up to — and maybe even surpassed — my expectations. I really liked this place. There was ample parking outside (meters), service was great, food was solid, milk was cold, and we got four topped donuts, milk, and coffee for less than $11. I have a feeling that, with how close it is to us, this will become a regular spot.

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Real Experiences. Real Cincinnati.


I’ve recently started thinking to myself, “Why do I do this? What is the point in writing what I do?” In my opinion, many bloggers end up coming off as bragging about what they have and the places they can go; things they can do. And, while I do like to brag on my city and everything there is to do here, that is not my intent.

I like to think I am the antithesis of that. I’m not here to brag; I’m here to inform and encourage.

By going out to eat, experiencing events and goings-on around town, I want to be the real person who is sharing real experiences with real people. And not just sharing the unattainable, expensive jaunts and website sponsorships that leave readers wanting for food and goods they cannot buy or experience themselves. I am an unpaid blogging hobbyist who does all of this on her own time and her own dime (okay, and BK’s, too), and solely for the love of her city.

All of you can do this stuff, too. There is so much to do and see in Greater Cincinnati — so many events, parks, museums, activities, restaurants, breweries — you have to want to get out and explore for yourselves. I’m just here to give ideas.

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Weekend Recap: the one we drove to Indy for the day edition


Photos (left to right, top to bottom): pizza from Pi Pizzeria; drinks at Senate; Mexico City dog from Senate; my dog at Washington Park Dog Park; sunset image from outside O Pie O on Madison Road; Fishs Eddy Memo Notebook mug from Elm & Iron; Chili-dilla from Chili Empire food truck; Bold Fusion at Horseshoe Casino; Franklin enjoying Five Points Biergarten

So last week wasn’t as good diet wise as I was hoping. But it was awesome nonetheless. It included:

  • Eating diet-friendly FUSIAN for lunch (with spicy edamame on the side)
  • Bold Fusion, the largest young professionals’ event in the Greater Cincinnati area, at Horseshoe Casino
  • Trying Pi Pizzeria for the first time as part of Tour de Pizzannati
  • Purchasing a gift for friends from Park + Vine
  • Having lunch with a friend in from out of town at Senate
  • Checking out Elm & Iron, from where I bought an amazing new coffee mug
  • Walking on Woodburn (and spending time at The Growler House, Hi-Bred, The Woodburn Brewery and Taproom, and previewing O Pie O) before having Skyline Chili to end the night
  • Meeting with friends at Coffee Emporium
  • Taking Franklin to Washington Park Dog Park before grabbing lunch from Chili Empire and Hungry Bros. food trucks at The City Flea
  • A day trip to Indy for Sun King Brewing, BRU Burger Bar, and the P&G Gymnastics Championships at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
  • Enjoying a beer and DJ at Five Points Biergarten
  • Sunday Night Indian from Shaan to end the weekend on a really high note

How did you spend your time in Cincinnati this past week(end)?

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Weekend Recap: the entire week edition

Week-long update, 8/12/15

Photos (left to right, top to bottom): Eating Gilpin’s with BK at The Growler House; poutine from Senate; Mexico City dog from Senate; BK and me at Lumenocity; the crowd at Lumenocity; action shot of the light show at Lumenocity; “celebrating” Franklin’s eight-month birthday with a flight at Blank Slate; Nation burger and Tachos with a friend; Holtman’s Donuts for watching the Liverpool game at Rhinehaus

The past few “weekend” updates have seemingly been more of “week-long” updates, and this past weekend was no different. The past week included:

  • Lunch from Skip’s Bageldeli (asiago bagel toasted with egg and cheese for me; asiago bagel toasted with chicken salad for SIL)
  • My all-time favorite dish (garlic chicken and a veggie roll) for dinner from Bamboo Kitchen
  • A “B Good 2 U” chicken hoagy from LaRosa’s (only 410 calories and delicious!)
  • My final class of the “Intro to HTML and CSS” course I took through Girl Develop It – Cincinnati
  • Grabbing a beer and Gilpin’s steamed sandwich for a friend’s birthday at The Growler House: the Cincinnati Legend for me, Pride of Porkopolis for BK, and Flutternutter to share for dessert (Gilpin’s recently opened a “micro-franchise” at the craft beer bar, featuring five of their menu items)
  • Eating at my favorite restaurant, Senate (we shared poutine, the Mexico City hot dog, and each had a beer), before grabbing a beer at The Lackman and heading to Lumenocity (my favorite part of Lumenocity was hearing the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra play Walk the Moon’s “Shut Up and Dance”)
  • Having a Nation Burger, Tachos, and a beer at Nation with a friend before volunteering at the ArtsWave booth in Lumenocity Village (I was so amazed by Lumenocity Village)
  • Waking up to have a Glacial Mocha from Coffee Emporium while watching the “Opening Day” of Premier League soccer with friends
  • Taking Franklin to Otto Armleder Dog Park before having a flight at Blank Slate Brewing (loved the Pilsen Mosaic, which I’d never had before), then half-price sushi at Cloud 9 (the latter sans Frankdog)
  • Picking up a dozen donuts from Holtman’s to share with fellow soccer fans while watching Liverpool’s season opener at Rhinehaus
  • An early dinner to end the week on a good note at Arthur’s (I had Burger Madness topped with American and provolone, bacon, caramelized onions, and lettuce; cheese fries with ranch on the side)

There is always so much to do — and so many great places to eat and drink beer — that it is really hard to save money and eat healthily. I just have to take it day by day. Let’s hope that this week fares better than last.

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Favorite Five: RANCH!


I’ve made it no secret about how much I love ranch dressing — on any kind of carb, really, and especially if that carb is fried and involves cheese. In fact, I was recently told, “Your love for ranch is almost legendary at this point.” Almost?! I have some work to do. 

So here I am.

It is one of my life goals to try all the ranch I can. So far, here are some of my favorite local, house-made ranches in the area*:

  1. Steak Nina (Springfield Twp.)
  2. Pontiac BBQ (OTR)
  3. Fireside Pizza (Walnut Hills)
  4. Knockback Nat’s (CBD)
  5. Habits Cafe (Oakley)

Honorable Mention: Bacall’s (College Hill), Frisch’s (multiple), Ludlow Bromley Yacht Club (Ludlow, Kentucky), Zip’s Cafe (Mt. Lookout)

Have a favorite I didn’t mention? Spill. I need to try them all!

*LaRosa’s ranch is amazing, but it’s a national brand. Outback ranch isn’t local either. Neither is Pollyeyes, despite being the single greatest ranch I’ve ever eaten.

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Brunch at The Rookwood

Brunch at The Rookwood

Food (clockwise from left): Rookwood Benedict; Cream Cheese Biscuits with House-made raspberry jam; Bubbie’s Bagel; Vegan Burger; Biscuits and Goetta Gravy; Da Donut French Toast with pork belly on the side

We love to have dinner there and think the food is always great, so I can’t believe it took this long to finally try brunch at The Rookwood. But thanks to a couple of friends who suggested we go, we finally got to mark it off our list this past weekend.

The really nice thing about going with a small group of people was that we each got entrees and, in addition to the Biscuits and Goetta Gravy, Vegan Burger, Rookwood Benedict, and Bubbie’s Bagel, we also ordered and got to try Da Donut French Toast and Cream Cheese Biscuits with house-made raspberry jam.

Everything was good.

I loved what I got — the Biscuits and Goetta Gravy — and also really liked the Rookwood Benedict and Vegan Burger (I didn’t try Bubbie’s Bagel, so I can’t give an opinion there). The hash browns were great, and my personal favorite of the entire meal was Da Donut French Toast. It was as awesome as it sounds, though next time I’ll be sure to ask for syrup on the side because it got a little soggy for my liking and I don’t particularly like more syrup than necessary. The house-made raspberry jam was also really great.

Brunch was awesome and I’d recommend it to everyone. And if you skip beverages with your meal, it’s actually pretty reasonable for a nicer brunch in the area. I’ll happily go back for more.

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Weekend Recap: the “I’m so ready for the streetcar” edition

Weekend Recap: streetcar edition

Photos (left to right, top to bottom): Glow and Emergency Hop Kit from Rhinegeist; Huit barbeque pork lettuce wrap at Pig and Whiskey Festival; frites from Taste of Belgium – Rookwood; gin cocktail with Steigl from Lachey’s; ranch from Pontiac; Franklin at Neon’s; burger from Quatman; Fireside pizza (and ranch) delivered to The Growler House; twist cone with chocolate sprinkles from Putz’s Creamy Whip

We don’t always make an entire day out of going from place to place (to place to place to place) in the city, but when we do, it’s a stark reminder of how useful the streetcar will be.

On Saturday we had plans to check out the Pig and Whiskey Festival at Horseshoe Casino (see: barbeque and bourbon) and, after a little while hanging out, trying some food, and listening to live music, we decided to make a day of it — “Saturday Funday” as BK called it. As we made our way up the streetcar line (while walking, unfortunately), we made stops for a drink at Lachey’s; a beer, poutine, and some of the city’s best ranch dressing from Pontiac; another beer at 16-Bit; followed by a couple of beers with a friend in from out of town at Rhinegeist. I’d never had anything from Velvet Smoke or Huit, and both dishes (brisket frito pie and barbeque pork lettuce wraps respectively) were awesome. Likewise, I’d never been to Lachey’s, where I got to try a gin cocktail with Stiegl radler, and where our bartender was pretty great. 16-Bit was also pretty cool — had never been there either. But I’ll write more on that later.

The past week also included a national webcast and meetup at The Woodward; burgers from MOTR; another burger from Quatman Café; a couple of drinks on the patio with friends at Neon’s; Washington Park Dog Park with more friends, followed by Neon’s again, and having Fireside Pizza delivered to The Growler House as an appetizer to precede Suzie Wong’s; Code and Coffee with Girl Develop It at Fort Thomas Coffee; our first tryst with Taste of Belgium – Rookwood (I know, we cheated on the bistro); a quick (and nearly fruitless) shopping adventure at Rookwood Commons and Pavilion; and an end-of-weekend treat at Putz’s Creamy Whip.

Reading through this, I’m not only reminded about how ready I am for the streetcar, but I’m also reminded about how far I’ve come in the barbeque department. This must be what growing up looks like.

It was yet another busy weekend+ in Cincinnati, but now it’s back on track budget wise (dietary and financial) for me. At least until Lumenocity festivities gear up later this week.

Make it a great one, friends!

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Favorite Five: Burgers!

Favorite Five Burgers

Burgers (left to right, top to bottom): Senate Burger from Senate Pub; cheeseburger from Quatman Cafe; Zip’s Burger from Zip’s Cafe; burger from Renegade Street Eats; Streetcar Burger (BrewRiver GastroPub)

I am very passionate about cheeseburgers — of the gourmet persuasion and also basic cheeseburgers. It is rare for me to meet a cheeseburger I don’t like. Thankfully, around these parts, there are more than enough awesome ones. The conversations I’m currently having are a great reminder that I need to share the top five list of my favorites in the area.
[Disclaimer: I think most burgers around here are not only edible, but actually pretty good. These are simply ones that stand out above the rest in my opinion — of the burgers I’ve had so far, anyway. My journey is ongoing.]

  1. Senate Burger (Senate, OTR)
  2. The Gordo (Gordo’s Pub, Norwood)
  3. Barnsdale Burger (The Rookwood, Mt. Adams)
  4. Streetcar (or Natchez) (BrewRiver GastroPub, Walnut Hills)
  5. Zip’s Burger (Zip’s Cafe, Mt. Lookout)

Honorable Mention: Mini Madness and Boursin Burger (Arthur’s, Hyde Park), Burger Madness (Oakley Pub, Oakley), Cheeseburger (Silver Spring House, Symmes Twp.), Cheeseburger (Quatman Cafe, Norwood), Sausage Burger (Renegade Street Eats, food truck)

As I mentioned before, this is an ongoing journey for me. Thankfully I have this list to help me out. What are some of your favorite burgers?

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Week[plus] Recap

072915 recap

Photos (left to right, top to bottom): Zip’s Burgers and fries from Zip’s Cafe; drinking a Rhinegeist Hustle at Ludlow Bromley Yacht Club; breadsticks with cheese (with pizza sauce, garlic butter, and ranch dressing) at LaRosa’s; Franklin checking all the water out at Wags Park; beer from Rivertown (left to right: Lambic, Lil Sipa, and Blueberry Lager); Gyro Burger from Gabby’s Cafe; Goetta Burger from Slatts Pub; getting a tattoo at Handcraft Tattoo and Gallery; Santino Corleon performing at The Drinkery.

This isn’t a weekend recap so much as a recap of the past week+. I typically try my best to eat in and well during the workweek, and then let myself off the rails a bit financially and otherwise on the weekends, but I’ve flown off the rails a bit more over the past whole week. It was Cincinnati Burger Week (CBW) last week, so can you blame me?

Before CBW even started, BK and I enjoyed a nice Sunday evening dinner at Zip’s Cafe, one of our favorite burger places in the area. With regard to many types of food (pizza and ice cream included), I am of the belief that a restaurant must be able to master the basics (think plain cheeseburgers, vanilla and chocolate ice cream, and cheese pizza). That’s how I feel about Zip’s, and boy, have they mastered the basic cheeseburger.

In addition to Zip’s, my week in burgers included a trip to Slatts Pub for the Goetta Burger and a modified trip to Gabby’s Cafe. I say modified because, while I originally thought that they had their Gyro Burger on the CBW list, I learned that they only had their Black Bean Burger. We decided to go anyway, as it appears as #13 on this list, even though I didn’t technically satisfy a CBW requirement. A win all around.

But this past week has been more than just about burgers: I am currently attending a Girl Develop It – Cincinnati course; got to visit some great local shops in Corporate, Cincinnati’s premiere sneaker and clothing boutique, and Handcraft Tattoo and Gallery; bought cupcakes from Abby Girl Sweets for my dad’s birthday; had a beer at Rivertown Brewery; finally checked out the all-in-one pet amusement park that is Wags Park; ate dinner with friends at Ludlow Bromley Yacht Club; had a few beers at The Growler House; watched a friend perform at The Drinkery; tried brunch at The Rookwood; and finished the weekend with one of my local favorites: LaRosa’s.

This all happened despite having plans most of Saturday and Sunday. Further proof of how much there is to do in this city at all times. What have you done this past week?

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