Left: Tachos; Right: Quesadilla Burger and sidecar of Loaded Tots
There are plenty of cheeseburgers to try in the greater Cincinnati area and Nation was another great tryst with my favorite American delicacy. Nation is first and foremost a bar, but also happens to serve pretty good food. And a decent bar they are because they also serve jager bombs. I was sure to ask whether that was something they had because it is my primary criteria when judging bars in the OTR area (I know it is technically located in Pendleton, but work with me here), as very few serve jager bombs, Fireball, and flavored vodka. What can I say, I drink like a frat guy and don’t care for muddled, pulpy drinks. One point for the good guys. Another point for the good guys when I heard The Essex Green playing on their soundsystem — a song I’ve never heard in public, no less.
The space was pretty great. Not a huge bar, but plenty of seating, including an outdoor patio that was well lit with string lights and looked awesome. If it weren’t Hell°, we’d have considered sitting outside. Instead, the eight of us were fortunate enough to find seating in a secluded back room where there was also a TV to watch the NBA Finals as we hung out, drank beer, and had our respective burgers.
Nation featured order-at-the-counter (er, bar) service, which is my favorite, although the service we did have was pretty awesome. There were many things ordered at our table, including Tachos for an app (spoiler alert: they were awesome) and BK and I decided to split the Quesadilla Burger (pico on the side) and a sidecar of Loaded Tots (with extra ranch of course, don’t be silly). Aside from the tater tots being a bit too salty, they were generally awesome (tots, guys!). The Quesadilla Burger was really good, too, although I am really jonesing to try their namesake Nation Burger (there is a deal called The Hatchet, which includes the Nation Burger, fries, and Carrie Ale — Nation/Listermann collaboration and Nation’s flagship brew — for $12). Unfortunately, BK and I were not hungry enough to justify ordering all of the above. I also got to try Sweet Pot Tots and they were fantastic. I’ll likely opt for those in the future.
Everyone liked what they got (including the couple who had been about five times in the first week Nation was open to the public) and I’m really happy that there is a new bar and burger joint about five minutes down the road (and just around the corner from the others we were with). I will absolutely be back. Maybe even for jager bombs. And definitely for brunch.