Findlay Market

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Tis the season that all the cool stuff is happening at Findlay Market again. I just adore this place so much. They have every kind of specialty food item you could want and super cheap fruits and veggies all locally grown. image this is what $35 will get you in veggies!! AWESOME!

image imageColonel De spice store is ridiculously awesome. You name it, they have it. Go and plan on spending most of the day. Between the great restaurants there, live music, and neat shops, you’ll want to make it a weekly tradition. Even if you are just stopping in, its a great place to go and see while in Cincinnati.

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Dogwood Art Studio

For Laurens 8th birthday all she wanted to do was have a canvas painting party. Finding a place that didn’t cost an arm and a leg was pretty hard to do. Most places wanted $25-$35 per kid with a minimum of 10 kids. Then I stumbled across Dogwood art studio. It was a minimum of 6 kids max of 8 and only $20/kid. Huge deal considering what I would be paying elsewhere.

Robyn was great to work with and the kids loved her. Here is some pictures of what they did. It all turned out so cute and she had a blast. I highly recommend this place. They also do BYOB paint parties too!

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Lawrenceburger- Indiana

We were over in Indiana for a bridal shower and wanted to grab lunch beforehand. I used Yelp to find some local restaurants. The first one was Lawrenceburger. (old Whisky Tavern) It had mixed reviews but I thought i’d give it a go. From the outside it looks like nothing special, but the inside is really cute, but a little small. We waited a bit for a table to open up.

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Lauren loved the free popcorn and peanuts.So much that she filled up on those and didn’t want to eat after that. I really liked the tables! Each one has a personal TV with remote. This was perfect as she was too full too each. She watched Family Feud while I ate.

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I ordered a burger with BBQ and goat cheese. The burger was thick and juicy, but could have used a little more seasoning. The weird combo was my fault. I really wanted goat cheese, but they didn’t have any sweet preserves or jam to put on it, so I thought BBQ would work since its sweeter. It didn’t. But like I said, that’s all on me. The bun was great, and those fries. HOLY HECK. best fries I have ever had! Sweet potato fries with a caramel dipping sauce. SO GOOD. I’m not over in Lawrenceburg ever, but if I ever am again, I will no doubt come back and eat here again. I’m dreaming about those fries right now.

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Oh yeah- and the sweet tea was great! Real sugared up southern sweet tea. I had three glasses!

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Tavern on the Bend

We were early to Laurens soccer game on the west side of Cincinnati and decided to stop into this little restaurant/bar in a strip mall. From the outside I had no expectations of the food being any good, but I was very surprised. The decor is just like a typical tavern would be. Bar, booths, sports memorabilia; the usual.

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The menu was on the smaller side but they had a great mac and cheese selection. I love mac and cheese!

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I went with the goetta mac because well, I wouldn’t be a Cincinnatian if I didn’t try it. But the Westside mac sounded awesome too. It was so good. I would put it on par with Keystones mac and cheese. There was more than enough meat and the rich beer cheese mixed perfectly with it. The portion looks small, but the meal is so rich, you’ll definitely be taking some home.

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The one things I was surprised with, was they dont carry wings. Lauren was disappointed, but she ended up with the pretzel sticks. They were good. Same bier cheese that was in the mac.

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You should check it out if you ever find yourself over in the north bend area. I read that Mondays are half price mac too!

Red Roost Tavern- Hyatt Downtown Cincinnati

Last night I went with Yelp to its Happier hour at Red Roost Tavern. I had never heard of this place before last night; now I’m bursting at the seams to go back! First off I can not say enough about how amazing the staff was. Like over the top awesome! That alone warranted a revisit before I even tried some of the wonderful food.

First was a champagne spritzer and a spicy quinoa salad. The salad had fava beans, tomato, asparagus, and a lemon vinaigrette. I didn’t care for this, but that was because I generally detest quinoa and the texture of it. Everyone else there seemed to love it.

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Then they served a tomato bisque, crabcakes, and asparagus with Parmesan and a quail egg. The crabcakes were packed full of flavor. Probably the best I’ve had in Cincinnati since the Oceanaire closed down. It tied for my new favorite with Jimmy G’s crabcakes! The bisque was also good, but I would have liked more goat cheese flavor. If you tell me its in there, I want to taste it. The asparagus with the egg was just perfect. It slid off the bamboo plate and made that perfect rich yolk flavor as it broke in your mouth. Great little hors d’oeuvres.

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The next thing on the tasting was the smoked habanero wings and the goetta croquettes. I am not one for too much spice, so the wing about killed me. I drank two glasses of water just to try and get the flavor out of my mouth. The meat was good and juicy; but the flavor was out of bounds for me. The goetta croquette was much more my speed. Perfect amount of breading to meat and the mustard on top was really sweet and balanced it out.

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Next was the veggie slider. This will be perfect for the vegetarian in your life. The “meat” was black bean mixture that wasn’t overpowering but gave a beefy feel to the slider. With that they served the Poutine. It was the traditional fries, gravy and short ribs, and cheese curds. It was good, but nothing will hold a candle to The Senates poutine.

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The only thing I really disliked was the grits with mushrooms. My friend Andy who came with me, however said this was his favorite thing. This is the first time I’ve ever eaten grits and the texture was too much like uncooked rice for me to enjoy it. But like I said, it was his favorite so it must be good for grits.

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Then the small entree courses came and they were OUTSTANDING! I would happily pay to come and eat either of these again. The salmon was crispy skinned, but perfectly cooked on the inside. And that lamb- ridiculous. I ate THREE pieces it was so good. Each piece was cooked differently but its hard to stay so consistent with small pieces like that.

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The evening rounded out with little mini desserts. A chocolate flowerless cake that was the moistest cake I have ever eaten. And this burger doughnut. I fell in love with this. I know Lauren will absolutely flip when we come back and she gets this. They dont serve it anymore, but the manager said to email him and they will special make one for her. I told you- the service was top notch!

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Why should you go? Because it is good and the service is one of the best I have ever had anywhere ever.

Green Lantern – Covington

This place looks like a hole in the wall bar in the middle of nowhere, but the food here is really good. We came down to karoke with my grandpas friend. Lauren loves to sing and its hard to find a place she can that isn’t too much of a bar. So we went here and until 9pm there are a bunch of kids and its a full blown restaurant.

It was surprisingly crowded, but I think that had to do with the UK game. My little lady and I both got to Karoke one song, but there was a long list of singers so we didn’t get another round before 9pm hit.

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The food is a bit of a surprise here because it is done really well. Not a fancy menu, its just your basic pub fare of burgers, wings, and sandwiches- but it was all done right.

I got the pub chips which are kettle chips with cheese and BBQ sauce on them. They are deliciously greasy, and bad for you yummy. These are beer soaking chips for sure, but man are they good.

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Lauren got wings and she liked them.

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My gpa also got wings but plain ones.

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My grandma got the Ruben and said it was really good. They come here to eat all the time and haven’t had a bad dish yet.

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You should check this place out on Wednesday nights for Karoke. Its a laid back, fun, hillbilly bar with good food. They do have a full bar but be prepared to drink beer or regular drinks. That fru fru stuff wont fly here.

Behle Street by Sheli

My mom and her friends rave about this place, so I had to swing by and try it. I really like the decor of the restaurant but my god is it small. The wood on the wall was very pretty, but I think it made the room look even smaller. The table that they sat us at for four people is the kind of table you get at a normal restaurant for 2. We had to put all the old plates and drinks on a nearby table because there wasn’t enough room. They also have a bar but it only houses two seats and the kitchen comes off of it. This will be better I think when its warmer and the outside can open up. The exposed duct-work and factory feel of the ceiling were neat.

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Our server was very nice and the food was pleasant too. I had seen all these fabulous pictures of the food, but none of it was available. It was all from the Sunday brunch menu, so I’ll have to go back and try that.

As far as food we loaded up on appetizers. First was the Roma Tomato Pizza. This was probably my least favorite thing we ordered. It was just pretty bland and the cheese was only in the middle of the pie, so you were left with just bread and tomato for the rest of it. I’d recommend to skip this.

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The bruschetta had mixed reviews. Katie didn’t like it at all, but I thought it was pretty good. The balsamic glaze tasted like orange peels though, which was weird. I asked the waitress if it was flavored with orange but she said no, so I’m not sure where that flavor came from. It was greasy too. I ate it, but I would try something else next time. (I saw someone else posted this on Yelp and it looked totally different and much better, so maybe I just got unlucky.)

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Everything else we had was great though. Ali got the rib basket. The meat just fell right off the bone and the BBQ sauce was delicious. I tried a bite and I liked this a lot.

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Lauren got wings (again.) She said they were the best wings shes ever had- ever! And they didn’t even have sauce on them! She ate the whole order and then wanted another. I told her we’d come back some other time and she could get them again.

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Kate ordered the turkey sliders. I didn’t try them because I don’t care for turkey, but she said they were really good.

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I went with the Chicken fettuccine Alfredo. It was super yummy. It now rivals Olive Garden as my favorite. Very generous portion that was enough for two meals for me. The sauce was decadent and savory, and the blackened chicken had just enough spice on it to not be overkill. I will definitely be back to eat this.

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I say you should go and try it out. I want to go back for brunch, because that menu looked amazing, but if you find yourself there on a non Sunday morning- eat the chicken Alfredo. It wont disappoint.