This month offers chocolate cappuccino Peeps cake with the Easter Bunny, vegetarian Gold Star for Lent and relaxed requirements for food stamps. What more could we ask for?
Not all Easter brunches are created equal, but if you go to Mokka, Grand Finale, Greyhound Tavern or Orchids at Palm Court, you know you’ll get a good one. This Easter, Mokka (500 Monmouth St., Newport, 859-581-3700) will offer a limited menu of Mokka brunch favorites like their famous French toast, a scrumptious batter of corn flakes topped with creme brulee pastry cream sweetened ever so softly, or the Goetta Avalanche with French dressing. Best part is that menu prices apply, so you’re not paying extra. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. with reservations for parties of 10 or larger.
The three-star Grand Finale (3 E. Sharon Road, Glendale, 513-771-5925), consistently voted the best brunch in town, is offering an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet with traditional brunch items such as biscuits and gravy and crepes and quiches, with the addition of fresh salmon. $17.50 for adults, $8.50 for children. 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Greyhound Tavern (2500 Dixie Hwy., Fort Mitchell, 859- 331-3767), known for its great brunch that includes awardwinning fried chicken, will offer a buffet 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
$19.95 for adults, $12.95 for children.
Finally, Orchids at Palm Court (Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza, Fifth and Race streets, Downtown, 513- 421-9100) will offer brunch with the Easter Bunny 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Made-to-order omelettes, chocolate cappuccino Peeps cake and exquisite dishes such as carved leg of lamb with mint pesto promise Easter bliss. The complete menu can be found at www.orchidsatpalmcourt.com. $42.95 for adults; $32.95 age 65 and up; $18.95 age 5-12.
Gold Star is offering a special vegetarian chili through Lent (April 12). With only 2 grams of fat per serving and loaded with vegetables, veggie chili can be eaten by itself or served Cincinnati-style as a Veggie 2-Way (with spaghetti) or 3-Way (with cheese). Sin without guilt.
SNAP, the new name for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Stamp Program, has expanded their eligibility requirements thanks to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. If you’re struggling to afford groceries these days and you have children, you can check your eligibility by going to www.GovBenefits.gov.
Here’s something life-affirming: In the last month, many restaurants have opened in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. Something to celebrate. But there have also been closings. Edgecliff Bistro, owned by restaurateurs Martin and Marilyn Wade, closed in mid-March, because they simply weren’t getting enough business. But other restaurants have opened, such as Virgil’s Café (710 Fairfield Ave., Bellevue, 859-491-3287), which plans to source locally, including wine; FUEL Coffee (2726 Riverside Drive, East End, 513-533-3835), a full espresso bar with natural fruit juice smoothies, a famous all-natural FUEL muffin with carrots and raisins and special “car and coffee” Saturdays, where you can gather at FUEL with other car enthusiasts; and Troy’s Café, (4877 Smith Road, West Chester, 513- 860-3206) where everything is made fresh and specials are offered daily, including the newly famous Troy’s Burger with bacon and cheddar, fresh fish and chips and comfort food like spaghetti and meatballs. Everything is less than $9.
SEND DINING NEWS AND TIPS TO HEATHER SMITH: firstname.lastname@example.org