Thursday, October 30, 2008
here are my top 5 confections to keep:
-pixie sticks (or fun dip. any flavored sugar will do)
-smarties (gross, right? love 'em)
and the top 5 to pawn off on someone:
-lemon sweet tarts
-bit o' honey
-honorable mention: the handful of ritz crackers from the recently immigrated family who had not been informed about halloween.
so, what are your favorite and least favorite halloween treats? and what are you giving out this year?
one last comment - i loved dressing up for halloween. my favorite outfit ever was probably when i was scarlett o'hara, hoop skirt and all. when did kids stop trying? carrying a pillowcase and coming to my porch does not mean you are wearing a costume!
Sunday, October 26, 2008
i have purchased their salted rye many times at the westside country fresh market, but have never bothered to stop at the bakery itself. it is pretty delicious, especially lathered with butter. so we snagged the last loaf. brian chose several donuts, and as i was perusing the cases for my selection, i noticed a familiar-looking dark brown nubby donut coated in glaze. i asked the girl the name, and when she said clunkers, the clouds parted and rays of heaven shone down. i am pretty sure i heard the hallelujah chorus.
clunkers were my favorite donuts as a kid, discussed previously in comments here. we got them from lloyd's or floyd's (can't remember exactly) bakery on north bend, which closed forever ago. the baker called them clunkers because they would stay solid when dipped in coffee. i always picture the spelling in my head with a "k" instead of a "c" for some reason, but i assume it is probably with a "c".
i immediately ordered 4, 2 for me and 2 for my mom. driving home i could barely contain my excitement and had to force myself to not devour them all. i hoped they would be the same as i remembered.
the regina bakery clunkers did not disappoint. were they as good as the donuts epitomized by years of searching and dreaming? no. but they are pretty damn good, especially if you are a fan of cake instead of yeast. those in love with glazed yeast need not apply. they are heavy, dense, rich - definitely worthy of the name clunker.
if you chose to stop by regina some sunday morning, you have chosen wisely.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
my first question was, is this menu copyright infringement?
let's assume not.
luckily, there was no live music. in the past, conversation has been rendered impossible by an acoustic singer/songwriter type outfitted with an excessively loud microphone.
i think this place caters to a different crowd later in the evening so it was pretty quiet when we were there. yet another sign that i'm aging here is that i like to go places early and it to be quiet.......
we got our server to find the texas game on one of the tvs, and bonus...buckets of miller lite are $10 on saturday nights. score!
i want to say that the last time we were all there they had very affordable other drinks as well. i wouldn't go expecting a wine list.
our appetizer was the greek dip, a refreshing combination of feta, tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions. fried pita was the perfect dipper. look at that grease soaking into the wax paper!
the four of us have actually ordered this a few times and each time its a bit different but always tasty. the fried pita is the usual constant.
for dinner i choose the mushroom and swiss burger with a side of onion rings. onion rings are not the usual accompaniment for me, but these were good and hit the spot. there was minimal sliding of a slippery onion out of its fried skin. my burger had the promised mushroom and swiss, plus some gravy. the meat itself was a bit dry, but tasty. overall, the sandwich rates a 4. not exciting, but not entirely bland either. i'm also a sucker for mushrooms. and cheese. glorious cheese. i had slight food envy when i caught a glimpse of beth's gyro. the gyro was quite good. this isn't a place where you would expect to find a tasty gyro. it had a nice amount of feta cheese, olives (which i don't really prefer, but they are easy to pick off) tomatoes, lettuce and cucumbers. the sauce was on the side. it was a good sized gyro too. meat was tender and sliced nice and thin. i would order this again.
overall, this was one of the cheapest nights out we've had in awhile. the bar wasn't too crowded, so we had great service and the buckets of beer kept coming.
blondies is located on northbend in monfort heights across the street from the krogers. i remember year ago this place used to be a fantastic sam's where i got my hair cut.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Sunday, October 19, 2008
where, you may ask, did i find such a prodigious pumpkin panorama? no where else but the circleville 102nd annual pumpkin show. it is the sixth largest festival in the united states with an annual attendance in four days and nights of over 300,000. also known as "the greatest free show on earth", the pumpkin show features music, crafts, hog calling, the miss pumpkin competition, and food. lots and lots of food. the pumpkin chili and elephant ear were just a small sampling of the myriad of culinary creations offered by the vendors. the chili was flavored sort of like cincinnati chili, but chunkier with meat and beans. it smelled more like pumpkin than it tasted, but did have that cinnamony, spicy fall flavor. the elephant ear was of course delicious. you can never go wrong with fried dough, whipped cream, and sweet pumpkin topping. the pumpkintini (from tootles bar) was absolutely disgusting. it was a mix of vanilla stoli and some unidentified pumpkin liquor. it was the color of mcdonald's orange drink. it was left on the bar because i could not force myself to drink it.
and that large pumpkin pie? small by comparison to the 100th anniversary pie, which was 14 feet across and contained 795 pounds of pumpkin.
i was entirely impressed by the festival and the involvement of the town. other food highlights included cheese on a stick (exactly what it sounds like. deep fried.), birch beer (like root beer and cream soda had a love child), and glorious fried oreos and snickers bars (the origin of obesity in america).
yes, the above picture is a manhole cover.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
the price for my pho and the lime drink (which i don't recall the name of) was great - only $9.28+tip. for such a large meal, it was definitely a deal.
by no means am i an expert on vietnamese food, but i absolutely liked it enough to go back again.
any other suggestions for vietnamese in cincy?
Sunday, October 12, 2008
the coolest thing i learned all night? in the bowl of each specially made chimay glass (goblet really), there is a shield etched in the bottom. this allows the beer to effervesce. who thinks of these things?? For everyone out there who doesn't spend a great deal of time looking at the bottom of their glasses unless it is empty and you are expecting it to magically fill back up; mine didn't magically fill up, but did with the help of Jason and Annemarie. God love em' and the drunk monks who have blessed the world with their sweet nectar.
i have been told morton's has a fantastic happy hour (sliders!), and also late hour to catch the after theater crowd. they also are sponsoring a hamburger special on sundays to benefit make-a-wish. i definitely plan on returning. a million thanks to annemarie and jason from morton's and lauren from wordsworth for the opportunity. i was also pleased to see wine me, dine me and 5chw4r7z and meet buy cincy. We will be going for happy hour some time soon, at least that is the plan and for those of you who haven't been to Morton's, you should go. As JJ from Good Times would say, the place is DY-NO-MITE!
p.s. i just want you to know, i am not a total free food whore. i had the chance to go to eddie merlot's last sunday on the drug rep's dime and passed it up to hang out at home with my dogs. i'm just saying.
Saturday, October 11, 2008
so the food is ordered cafeteria style......you order your sides (hot or cold) and then your meat by the pound. we went with the moist brisket. the other alternative is the lean, but honestly its just not as good. out sides were the pinto beans and the creamed corn. normally i'm not a creamed corn kinda person, but let me tell you that this it the best stuff i have ever had. the meat is wrapped up and you're given a stack of loaf bread and 2 pieces of wax paper to eat it on. once at your table the sauces are available.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Sunday, October 5, 2008
beth and i were the first to arrive at 6pm. and when i say first to arrive, i mean for the entire restaurant. i guess reservations weren't warranted after all.
jessie ordered one of my second choices, which was the mediterranean plate. it also looked pretty yummy.
i ordered the fresh greens with a curry vinaigrette. it had local apples and a few other garnishes. the dressing was fabulous. sweet yet tangy. i was very satisfied. i second that - the dressing was fabulous.
the photo of beth's soup turned out really well. it even looks good to me, and i don't like beans that much. definitely not as much as beth.
i love beans, i could and often do eat them every day. this soup was exactly as good as you would expect. it was a white bean soup with basil.
finally, dessert, which in many ways, is the whole purpose of the meal for me. beth is somehow able to resist, but i never can. i was completely sold when our server mentioned the berry napoleon with lemon curd and basil and lemon sorbet.
looks and sounds fantastic, right? wrong. i was so disappointed. i'll start with the good aspects and move to the bad. the lemon curd was excellent, and the pastry flaky and enjoyable. the sorbet was interesting on its own. and there was pomegranate involved, which is fun and always evokes greek mythology for me. however, the overall execution, the harmony of the dish, was lacking. it was utter cacophony. there were too many competing flavors, too much tart and not a balance of sweet. i felt my mouth puckering. it was honestly almost unpleasant, overwhelming. but of course i ate it all anyway. i kept hoping i was just not getting the right combination in my mouth and eventually i would hit upon the bite that would allow me to see the genius of the dish. it never happened.
the spoonful of chocolate mousse i snagged from jessie was better, but still not great. very dark and rich.
overall, i thought nectar was extraordinary, ambrosial even, but next time i would skip dessert, which is really saying something for me.
i remember in my early 20s thinking the havana martini club was swanky and plush, with the dim light and humidor, older men in suits and cigars buying young ladies drinks, and smooth music like warm brandy. we would have cocktails there and finish up late night at shanghai mama's. it made us feel classy and sophisticated and adult.
much to my chagrin, my last visit to the club deflated these rosy memories. the dim lighting was still there, but the decor seemed stark and temporary. and there were men and music, but they were in jeans and gym shoes and dancing in a quite uninhibited fashion to dexy's midnight runners. i believe i may have seen a bachelorette wearing a 'suck for a buck' tshirt. we didn't even order a drink. we just bailed.
is it the new location? is it the general acceptance of jeans everywhere these days? or is it that my perspective has changed?
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
the slightly patronizing server made a big point of telling us that la chouffe is only available in cincinnati at jean-robert's restaurants. well, guess what, movado sporting beer wench*? we found it today at world market, less than 10 minutes from our house (i suspect jungle jim's also has it). i'd rather enjoy it on my deck than at twist anyway. i can wear jeans and a tshirt and pass out in peace. and for $4 less per bottle? hell yeah.
*actually our server was pretty nice, all things considered. i think there is a certain snobbery that needs to be projected in such a venue.