I never realized how difficult it was going to be to get to a new place every week for an entire year. This particular week, I decided, was one where I’d get back to some places I really needed in my life. Making it my mission in 2013 to visit a new place every week for an entire year has its perks, that’s for sure. I would say, however, that my biggest gripe is that it leaves little room for repeats and for getting back to places I love. So, while I am a little sorry for not having an entirely new post for you, I am so happy I got to get back to my roots and some of my favorite restaurants. And hey, I’ll even throw in some places I didn’t get to go back to, but have been jonesing for since I went the first time.
I was lucky enough to eat THREE of my favorite meals this week:
Kyoto (Symmes Township) — I dare you to find a better bang for your buck for lunch. Date and I have unofficially made this our go-to restaurant for lunch dates and I can’t say enough good things about the quality and quantity. I’ve saved the details for here.
Mekong Thai Cuisine (Kenwood/Silverton) — Mekong features my favorite dish in the history of favorite dishes: Thai Garlic Chicken, which I get with no veggies (more chicken!), and with a veggie egg roll on the side. The veggie rolls are the best I’ve had anywhere, and come with the best sauce I’ve had anywhere. I get the Thai Garlic Chicken as a 1.5 on a heat scale of 3, and it is perfect every time (by perfect, I mean that sometimes it’s more of a 1, while other times it’s spicier like a 2, and either way I like it). Because I hadn’t had Mekong in so long, I decided to treat myself to Crab Rangoon as an appetizer. I think I gained 4–5 pounds in that meal alone, but Mekong is absolutely worthy of that “distinction”. And if you’ve never been to Mekong, I can’t recommend it enough.
Senate (OTR) — Mekong may serve my favorite dish in the area, but Senate is undoubtedly my favorite restaurant. And hey, it serves one of my favorite meals, too! Let me elaborate: Senate gets all kinds of love for its gourmet hot dogs. Don’t get me wrong—of all I’ve tried, they’ve all been outstanding. It is the Senate burger and truffle fries, however, that keep me coming back for more. It’s not hyperbole when I say that the best fries I’ve ever had in my life are the truffle fries from Senate. They are sublime. Additionally, the Senate burger is always cooked to perfection and is superb. Last time I was lucky enough to eat Senate, Date and I went on a double date with two of his friends, and they made* us try the Poutine. Now I want gravy running through my veins at all times because it was so delicious. (Thanks, friends, for enhancing slash ruining my life! Haha.)
Unfortunately, there were also a couple of places I didn’t get back to this week (or even recently, for that matter), and can’t wait to get back to:
Suzie Wong’s (Walnut Hills) — I’ve been here once and it was before my Mission started, and I have been wanting so badly to get back ever since. I experienced my first tryst with Bi Bim Bap when Date and I had our first rendezvous with Suzie Wong’s, and I absolutely loved it. He was nice enough to share his dish, while I had some kind of honey garlic chicken and rice. It was great, but the Bi Bim Bap! I need it in my life. And soon!
Taste of Belgium (OTR) — Our first experience with Taste of Belgium occurred after the Mission started, and we’ve been back twice since (making it three total trysts with this wonderful delicacy). I’d be hard pressed to find a better brunch in the city, and I’ve loved everything I’ve tried in the number of times I’ve been in the past 6 months. The chicken and waffles are a popular delight and, even though I would never order this dish otherwise, I highly recommend it from ToB. They do it right. Ever since, I’ve opted for the ‘Nati Crepe (crepe filled with egg, cheese, goetta, pepper, and onions), and I think that will be my staple from here on out … especially with Belgian frites on the side. What can I say? I’m a sucker for fries.
Yat Ka Mein (Oakley) — I think it’s clear that I really like Asian food. And Yat Ka Mein really does Chinese right. It’s a “noodle house” but I find myself always getting pretty basic fare (see: sesame chicken), as it is the best quality of “standard Chinese food” that I’ve ever had. The Crab Rangoon is tops, too.
And while I’m on the topic, some other Honorable Mentions:
A Tavola Bar + Trattoria (OTR)
Brew River (Walnut Hills)
Incline Public House (Price Hill)
Take the Cake (Northside)
Wildflower Café (Mason)
*Trust me when I say there wasn’t much arm-pulling going on here.