In the years following my 52-week challenges*, I have loved the ability to return to restaurants I really enjoyed the first time. Below is a list of places where I either go regularly, often crave it, or both. (In alphabetical order, of course.)
BRU Burger Bar CBD
One of the best burgers I’ve had recently, this Indy-based eatery found its new home in the former Cadillac Ranch space at the end of 2015. Good beer selection, too.
What to try: Garlic Three Cheese Burger, Ahi Tuna Burger, and that ketchup!
Eckerlin Meats Findlay Market, OTR
Eckerlin has the best goetta around, and we all know how much Cincinnatians love their goetta. This full-service butcher also has stuffed chicken and steaks, grillable goods, deli meats, chorizo, varieties of bacon, and an expansive steak selection.
What to try: goetta, egg, and cheese sandwich ($3.50 apiece!)
Outstanding breakfast and lunch, beautiful interior, and order-at-the-counter service. Now open for dinner, too.
What to try: Breakfast Sandwich, Lemon Ricotta Pancakes, Grilled Cheese
Midway Cafe Ft. Thomas
Above average bar food, pretty decent beer selection, and good service; Last Call Trivia on Monday nights. Half-decent ranch, too.
What to try: wings (smoked then flash fried) with your choice of sauce, burger
Ono Grindz pop-up restaurant
I’ve only seen this Hawaiian pop-up eatery at Second Sunday on Main since I stumbled upon it at this past Asian Food Fest. Ono Grindz is slang for “Good Eats” in Hawaii.
What to try: Loco Moco and Spam Musubi
Red Sesame Food Truck
Korean BBQ food truck found at various places, events, and festivals around town.
What to try: Combo #1 Korean tacos and mini quesadilla (get it spicy!)
Renegade Street Eats Food Truck
I still eat Renegade all the time and often follow them around town. Their fried then grilled wings were even worth driving all the way out to Mt. Carmel to celebrate our engagement. They are in the process of opening a permanent location inside Listermann.
What to try: wings (fried then grilled) with teriyaki or 562 chipotle sauce, Sausage Burger
Wabi Sabi Covington
Rarely crowded restaurant with half price sushi, quick service, and good food.
What to try: shrimp shumai to start; Airforce, Dragon, and Sunday Morning (with sriracha) rolls
The Woodburn Brewery East Walnut Hills
Part of why we love The Woodburn so much is because it’s dog-friendly. There is also good beer, a beautiful space, TVs to watch sports, windows that open to the street on nice days, and light bites by Mazunte.
What to try: Pineapple Saison, Pale Ale, Steinpils, Belgian Wit
*In 2013 and 2014 I challenged myself to go somewhere new every week for the entire year. For those counting, that’s 104 places. That did not allow for many repeat visits at restaurants.