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Free and Easy for July

By Anne Mitchell · July 7th, 2010 · The Dish

Have you heard about this? A Panera in suburban St. Louis is operating as a “Pay what you wish” restaurant. If you can afford to pay the full amount of the check, do; if you can’t, don’t.

There’s a word for that. Hmmm, what was it that guy used to say?

“From each according to his ability, to each according to their need.” You know, Groucho Marx! Or was it Karl Marx? Anyway, from what I read in USA Today (for which I did not pay, ha!), the socialist Panera took in $100,000 in revenue its first month. I love it! Yay, Panera!

Speaking of giving things away, when you’re at the Fountain Square Market on Tuesday, sample some of Joby’s Gourmet hot sauce on a chip — and then buy a trio of pork sliders and slather it on! This stuff is so freaking good, it’s worth spending whatever you can afford on a jarful of any flavor. But listen to this: Caribbean Classic, with habanero and serrano peppers, roasted pineapple, rum, onions and garlic.

Ha — made you drool! Also look for Joby’s at Findlay Market on Sundays, Wyoming Avenue Farmers’ Market on Tuesday evenings and at Keegan’s Seafood in Anderson.

All you Blue Oven Bread fans should try the other family ventures located in the happening little business district of Bellevue and Dayton, Ky. We gave Buona Vita Pizzeria (517 Sixth Ave., Dayton, Ky.; 859-261-6792) a try and loved the friendly atmosphere and nice beer selections. The salads were noteworthy in that they hadn’t been pre-made and pulled out of an ice-cold walk-in box. They were genuinely fresh and the homemade dressing was served on the side. The pizza crust was excellent and my only minor gripe is that I prefer a margarita without tomato sauce. The big, delicious basil leaves on top were a plus.

No gripes about the Frommeyer family’s other outpost, though. We loved Dolce Vita Cafe’s gelato and nice, handmade pizzelle cookies. I tried the avocado gelato that they had made on request for a local restaurant and paired it with another seasonal flavor that was a perfect complement. My son went with a traditional chocolate — smooth and rich despite the fact that it was low-fat. Again, friendly folks in a nice atmosphere. Stop by and give it a try. (517 Sixth Ave., Dayton, Ky.; 513-218-1022.)

Coming in July to Findlay Market: Pho Lang Thang (112 W. Elder St., Over-the-Rhine; 513-665-4839), a new Vietnamese eatery. I tried their goodies at the Asian Food Festival in June and I’ve been babbling on about how wonderful it was ever since. Best thing about the Banh Mi sandwiches is the generous use of fresh herbs, especially cilantro. I’ve been adding loads of lemon basil leaves to sandwiches at home since the weather heated up, and now I can’t go without. Summertime, and the living is free and easy!

CONTACT ANNE MITCHELL: dining@citybeat.com



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