2013 At A Glance…

…or 52 glances, rather. Here is a comprehensive list of every place I went over the past 52 weeks (in order), with a short explanation to accompany each.

Week 1 — Virgil’s Café  Bellevue
Went for the cheeseburger since it appears on Cincinnati Magazine’s Top 40, but since I was pretty ill at the time, only ate a handful of bites. Loved the atmosphere and can’t wait to go back.

Week 2 — Take the Cake Cafe  Northside
One of the best brunches in town. Unfortunately,TtC will be closing its doors at the end of 2013.

Week 3 — Dusmesh  Clifton/Northside
While Ambar remains my #1 Indian place, I really liked Dusmesh. Its location/atmosphere are great, and the naan is pretty incredible, too.

Week 4 — Senate Pub  Over-the-Rhine
My favorite restaurant in the area. Love the atmosphere and all of the food. I can’t recommend it enough.

Week 5 — Taste of Belgium  Over-the-Rhine
Best brunch in Cincinnati. Still need to try it for dinner.

Week 6 — Kaze  Over-the-Rhine
Good for a date; great appetizers; nice atmosphere. Kind of pricey.

Week 7 — Brown Dog Café  Blue Ash
The best condiment I’ve ever had is from here (honey curry mayo). Really good burger served on a Blue Oven Bakery English muffin. This place gets packed, so make reservations (even for lunch).

Week 8 — Sammy’s Gourmet Burgers and Beer  Blue Ash
Sammy’s is okay. Definitely worth trying, and definitely worth having a couple of times if you’re in the area. Great lunchtime burger, but certainly not one of the best I’ve had in Cincinnati.

Week 9 — Original Pancake House  Montgomery
These are truly some of the best fluffy pancakes I’ve had. Gets crowded, so go as close to opening or closing time as possible. Or expect to wait an hour or two for a seat.

Week 10 — Ando Japanese Restaurant  Blue Ash
Very small, but very, very good. Some of the freshest sushi around according to Date, and the teriyaki salmon I had was phenomenal. A little pricey, even for lunch.

Week 11 — Tandoor Indian Restaurant  Montgomery
Fantastic customer service. You can order the entree you want AND get accompaniments from the buffet. They also have a frequent flyer card. Win/win/win!

Week 12 — Newport Pizza Co.  Newport
Skyline Dip pizza! Very good place and good ‘za. Top 5 in the area, if you ask me.

Week 13 — Zula Bistro  Over-the-Rhine
I loved the space, the restaurant is huge, and the service has always been wonderful. Don’t love the food.

Week 14 — Wildflower Café  Mason
Just wonderful. It’s tagline is “Local, Organic, Delicious” — Yep, yep, and YEP. A little pricey, but well worth the price tag for the right occasion.

Week 15 — Tacos Locos  Pleasant Ridge
Food truck with tortas the size of your head!

Week 16 — Lucy Blue Pizza  Over-the-Rhine
Pizza by the slice in a restaurant. Also open very late and serves alcohol (for those of us who like to enjoy our nightcap here).

Week 17 — Yard House  Downtown / The Banks
Fantastic view, good appetizers, okay food.

Week 18 — Moerlein Lager House  Downtown / The Banks
I unashamedly really love this place. Not only is the architecture wonderful and the views outstanding, but the food is really delicious, too (albeit a little expensive).

Week 19 — Panegyri Greek Festival  Finneytown
Best church festival in all of Cincinnati and the Greater Cincinnati area.

Week 20 — Music Hall  Over-the-Rhine
A Cincinnati institution—architecturally and otherwise. This is a must-see!

Week 21 — Newport Aquarium  Newport
A cool place to visit at least once.

Week 22 — MadTree Brewing  Kennedy Heights
One of the better breweries in the area. Also: food trucks are usually parked outside on the weekends!

Week 23 — Findlay Market  Over-the-Rhine
“Ohio’s oldest continuously operated public market and one of Cincinnati’s most cherished institutions.” Surrounded by incredible architecture and featuring some of the best food vendors and eateries in the Cincinnati area.

Week 24 — Incline Public House  Price Hill
Loved the view, food was pretty good, and the beer selection was extensive. Can’t wait to get back here to sit on the patio and try one of the pizzas (those looked amazing).

Week 25 — Wine & Canvas  Various
Really fun experience to enjoy drinks and paint with my girlfriends. Works wonderfully as a gift for a loved one, too. Wine & Canvas travels, so its location varies.

Week 26 — 21c Rooftop Bar  Downtown / Central Business District
Amazing view and architecturally and design-wise a really cool place. Its clientele, however, takes itself WAY too seriously and detracts from an otherwise cool experience.

Week 27 — BrewRiver GastroPub  Walnut Hills
I didn’t expect to like this place as much as I did, but Date and I have found ourselves back here a handful of times. Great apps, great beer selection, and pretty good entrees.

Week 28 — Barrio Taquileria  Northside
The food was alright, but the churros were amazing!

Week 29 — Kyoto Japanese Cuisine  Symmes Township
This place unofficially became Date’s and my #1 lunch spot. Kind of pricey, but well worth it for the lunch specials. Unfortunately, Date no longer works in the area, and we have reached the end of an era. I foresee many solo lunches here in the near future.

Week 30 — Repeat Offenders (Kyoto, Mekong, Senate, Suzie Wong’s, Taste of Belgium Yat Ka Mein)
These need no explanation. They’re all incredible and worth revisiting over and over again.

Week 31 — Pleasant Ridge Chili  Pleasant Ridge
You should absolutely get the gravy cheese fries, and you should probably not be sober (find one of those to drive you here at 2am).

Week 32 — Taste of OTR  Over-the-Rhine
A ton of really good restaurants all in one really cool place (Washington Park). I look forward to more of these in the future.

Week 33 — City Flea  Over-the-Rhine
This was one of my favorite events of the summer. Just fantastic. So many wonderful vendors in such a small area (Washington Park).

Week 34 — Rascal’s NY Deli  Blue Ash
Two words: whitefish salad. Get that as a sandwich and pair it with fresh-cut fries and you’ve got quite the delicious lunch combination.

Week 35 — Lavomatic  Over-the-Rhine
Loved the patio seating atmosphere and the overlook onto Vine Street. Food was okay.

Week 36 — Green Papaya  Hyde Park
Loved the Mango Fried Rice (spiced to perfection) and TaTa roll were awesome. I need to get back here.

Week 37 — Rhinegeist Brewery  Over-the-Rhine
My favorite brewery in Cincinnati. Good beer, food trucks, cornhole, ping pong, and good service. What else is there to ask for?

Week 38 — Chicken Lays an Egg  Northside
Coolest, most cost-effective vintage and consignment boutique in Cincinnati. Great for gifts or, if you’re like me, things to buy for yourself!

Week 39 — Koch Sporting Goods  Downtown / Central Business District
Cincinnati is lucky to have this quaint, kitschy, overstocked sporting goods institution at its disposal. They have everything from Cyclones jerseys to Reds and Bengals paraphernalia, to team patches to customize your own garb.

Week 40 — Abby Girl Sweets  Blue Ash
Loved this new location and its fantastic flavors. As someone who doesn’t love sweets all that much, I highly recommend this place.

Week 41 — Melt Eclectic Cafe  Northside
I’d had lunch here, which was really good, but I was extremely impressed with brunch I had here (French toast on challah), and the vegan chocolate cupcake was to die for.

Week 42 — Korea House  Symmes Township
The bibimbap was okay and the atmosphere was nice for a lunch date. Service was a little slow, however, and the five sides that preceded our stone bowl meals were incredible.

Week 43 — Brotherton’s  Mt. Healthy
One of the best, most cost-friendly breakfast dives in the Cincinnati area.

Week 44 — Sukhothai  Montgomery
Decent food and deliciously spicy. Not the best Thai in the area, but good nonetheless.

Week 45 — Zab Thai  Loveland
The Lady’s Purses were so, so good, and the chicken Curry Fried Rice and beef Pad Thai were pretty good as well. Also: BYOB.

Week 46 — KanPai  Blue Ash
The hibachi chicken isn’t as good as what I get at Kyoto, but the ginger dressing that comes with the salad is nothing short of incredible, and the hibachi chicken entree comes with white sauce, which is my favorite.

Week 47 — Hops House 99  Lawrenceburg (Hollywood Casino)
Really extensive selection of beer and great space, but the food looks about like every other glorified bar/restaurant.

Week 48 — Crafty Supermarket  Music Hall / Over-the-Rhine
I am still very impressed by this event and 1) I still talk about how much I liked it, and 2) I cannot believe this was its fourth year in operation. I will certainly be back in the future.

Week 49 — American Sign Museum  Camp Washington
This is absolutely my favorite thing I got to do/see in 2013. A fantastic space that is wonderful for anyone interested in type, design, nostalgia, or history. Truly a wonderful piece of history.

Week 50 — The Rookwood  Mt. Adams
I am so happy I finally got to try this place. Outstanding cheeseburgers (don’t judge me, it’s on Cincinnati Magazine’s Top 40 list!), wonderful service, and an outstanding atmosphere (rich with history) for a date. I can’t wait to go back.

Week 51 — Ei8ht Ball Brewing  Bellevue
Another really cool brewery gracing the Greater Cincinnati area with its presence. You can sit with your beer and hang out at the brewery, or you can pick one of 42 beers on tap to take with you as you peruse the wonderful aisles of The Party Source.

Week 52 — Amma’s Kitchen  Roselawn
Pretty good South Indian food that was very interesting to try for a change.  Its vegetarian-only menu is obviously very highly recommended to my non-meat-eating friends.

No go to www.tourdecincinnati.com and read about each of them in more detail. And expect a Best Of… list to ring in the new year!


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