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Staff Picks

By Staff · March 27th, 2012 · Eats
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BEST ORGANIC GROCERY DELIVERY:
Green B.E.A.N. Delivery brings the freshest local and organic produce and natural groceries right to your doorstep. This membership-based service requires you to sign up for a standing order with a minimum purchase of $35. Your standing order consists of a customized produce bin with a healthy variety of organic fruits and vegetables — they offer about 40 different produce options each week. You choose the frequency of delivery, and the groceries come directly to your door in a cute green bin. All you need to do is eat them! 513-761-BEAN, greenbeandelivery.com.

BEST PLACE FOR BOWLING AND A TACO:
Cancun Mexican Restaurant is the place to go for cheap, good Mexican, like when you want to eat a bunch of burritos but don’t have much money. They offer authentic Mexican dishes, homemade guacamole and a fantastic margarita. They’re also attached to Western Bowl and have an observation deck that overlooks the bowling alley. Eat a bunch and then bowl to pretend to exercise it away. Cancun recently opened a new location in Norwood to go along with its other non-bowling locations in Pleasant Run and Glenway Crossing. 6383 Glenway Ave., Western Hills, 513-574-1639; 4747 Montgomery Road, Norwood, 513-351-8777; 5034 Glenway Crossing, Western Hills, 513-347-6800; 11930 Hamilton Ave., Pleasant Run, 513-851-6372.

BEST FRIENDLY SUSHI SERVICE:
Like a Chipotle or Subway, diners at Fusian go down a line, building their perfect sushi roll along the way, and then seat themselves. Yet Fusian has more of a friendly and helpful staff than most full-service restaurants. No matter how long the line, these sushi slingers bust through a lunch rush like nobody’s business, keeping a clean dining room, stocked beverage station and upbeat mood all the while. On top of that, we’re willing to bet Fusian serves some of the healthiest, tastiest, freshest and most affordable sushi in Cincinnati. 28 W. Fourth St., Downtown, 513-421-7646, easycasualsushi.com. 

BEST VEGETABLE-INSPIRED CAKE:
With artful desserts designed by fourth generation Certified Meister Pastry Chef Armin Hack, Freida’s Desserts offers a wide selection of delicious treats: cakes, pies, cookies, French macarons, Schnecken, Wedding Cakes and the list goes on. One of their best cakes is their carrot cake, a deliciously decadent round carrot cake, full of hearty carrot flavor and texture, covered in a thick cream cheese icing and wrapped in an orange bow. Eating your vegetables has never tasted so good. 6927 Miami Ave., Madeira, 513-272-0939, friedasdesserts.com.

BEST COOKIES THAT SHOULD BE IN AN ART GALLERY:
Queen City Cookies are the definition of edible art. Each shortbread cookie is homemade and ornately hand-decorated. These cookies are designed so artfully, with delicate chocolate molds and hand-painted scenes, you might not realize they’re meant to be eaten. But not only are they delicious, they’re all-natural, preservative-free and use only the finest quality of ingredients. Word on the street is QCC will be expanding beyond dessert in the near future. Findlay Market, 124 W. Elder St., Over-the-Rhine, 513-591-0022, queencitycookies.com.

BEST BROTHERS IN THE FOOD BIZ:
Mama Frommeyer taught her boys how to cook and they’re doing her proud. Mark, along with wife Sara, sells breads at local farmers markets from their Blue Oven Bakery (blueovenbakery.com); Nick serves up his gelato and coffee at Dolce Vita (517 Sixth St., Dayton, Ky., 513-218-1022); and Joseph and Matthew run Buona Vita Pizzeria (441 Sixth St., Dayton, Ky., 859-261-6792, buonavitapizzeria.com) where all their efforts converge with delicious results.

BEST NEW INDIAN TAKE-OUT (NO OFFENSE TO KRISHNA):
Deep India is the newest spot to join the Clifton brotherhood of Indian restaurants, and its simple, cheaper take on take-out is welcome. Head to the counter to order, and then wait for your giant styrofoam container of saag to come out. You can either eat in at one of their fast-food-style tables or take your Goliath order home and make a few meals out of it. Efficient, flavorful, accurately spicy and they deliver to the Mount Auburn area. 211 W. McMillan Ave., Clifton, 513-421-6453. 

BEST PLACE TO GET YOUR CUTE LADY FIX WHEN GRANDMA ISN’T AROUND:
Judge Thai Express from only the exterior and you might wonder if you’ve mistakenly stumbled upon a shabby garden shed smack in the middle of Clifton rather than one of the most beloved hole-in-the-wall food joints in the city. When you walk in, though, prepare to be overcome by a sharp desire to jump over the counter and hug the little Thai lady taking your order. The staff is tiny; become even a semi-regular and they’ll know your order by heart and make you feel like you’re in their home kitchen instead of their business. Watch the cooks giggle as they perfect your meal over a steaming wok and pretend you’re part of the family; they’ll keep you coming back as surely as will the addictive pad thai. Come prepared — they only accept cash. 213 W. McMillan St., Clifton, 513-651-9000. 

BEST FLAVORS OF FROYO:
Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt originally came to Cincinnati in 2011 with two locations, and now a fifth is set to open at The Banks. Orange Leaf offers a delicious and healthier alternative to ice cream that offers more varieties than a Baskin-Robbins on steroids (though they rotate by the dozen or so). Look out for seasonal flavors like gingerbread, pumpkin pie and raspberry lemonade. orangeleafyogurt.com.

BEST COMBINATION OF BREAKFAST AND DINNER FOODS:
Taste of Belgium takes their Liege waffles (with their rich, vanilla flavored, caramelized sugar coating) and adds chicken on top of them. Deliciously self-explanatory. If you aren’t into meat on your waffles, the menu also offers sweet and savory crepes, a full bakery and a long list of Belgian specialties (salade Liegeoise, stoemp, frites). And now they even serve alcohol, with a huge selection of Belgian beers on draft and bottle. 1133-1135 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, 513-381-4607, authenticwaffle.com.

BEST HANDCRAFTED CHOCOLATES:
OK, eating too many sweets is never a good thing, but you can always feel good supporting Chocolats Latour. Shalini Latour makes fair trade treats using local ingredients and earth-friendly packaging. Plus, cocoa is an antioxidant, so they’re good for your heart! And these aren’t your typical chocolate-covered cherries. Flavors change seasonally, but a few unique examples are pink grapefruit and mint, ancho chile, smoked salt and almonds, orange tarragon caramel and Wild Turkey. Available at various Cincinnati businesses, including Findlay Market on Saturdays. 513-591-0085, chocolatslatour.com.

BEST USE OF A SWEET POTATO:
Jeff Ruby’s Walnut Street Grill offers many unique takes on classic American fare, like the Big Mac & Cheeseburger (yup, macaroni and cheese on a cheeseburger) or Steak & Cake (grass-fed filet mignon with a lump king crab cake), but its sweet potato tater tots are our fave. The light, sweet-n-savory tots blow French fries out of the park. And sweet potatoes are healthy, right? 631 Walnut St., Downtown, 513-241-0707, walnutstreetgrill.com.

BEST HEALTHY HANGOVER CURE:
Sometimes, after a long night of drinking, one tends to wake up feeling guilty about certain things that occurred the night before. Total Juice Plus + is the place you can go to at least feel better about what you just did to your body. Emil Mallat has been serving healthy and wholesome soups, salads, wraps and smoothies at Total Juice Plus + for the past 15 years. Eat a healthy wrap or fill your cup with a wheat grass-based smoothie to start your rehydration regiment. 631 Vine St., Downtown, 513-784-1666, totaljuicecincy.com.

BEST SEINFELD-WORTHY DELI:
You don’t have to be Jewish to love Rascal’s NY Deli. From pastrami to blintzes to knishes, Rascal’s has it all. Whether you’re in for breakfast, lunch or dinner, it’s all good, inexpensive and you won’t walk away hungry. So authentic, you’d think you were in New York City. 9525 Kenwood Road, Blue Ash, 513-429-4567,
rascalsdeli.com.

BEST BREAKFAST-N-BEER JOINT:
Sometimes the line between late-night eats and early morning breakfast is blurred. Thankfully, Joe’s Diner has conquered this pressing issue by staying open until 4 a.m. on weekends and serving breakfast and beer at all hours. You wouldn’t guess it judging by the classic diner-esque stainless steel exterior, but the chefs at Joe’s serve up really creative dishes. Treats to try at any hour: milkshakes, the Banker Burger with cheddar, bacon and a fried egg, the salmon BLT or chicken and waffles. And their crispy, seasoned fries are to die for. Disclaimer: Service can be hit or miss at times, but isn’t that a risk we all take during a brunch/bar crowd rush? 1203 Sycamore St., Downtown, 513-421-5637.

BEST FOOD PORN:
New online magazine and blog 513{eats} has the sexiest shots of local edibles around. Gina Weathersby and Ilene Ross cover food trends, local restaurants and chefs, wine, recipes — anything and everything tasty.

The stories are satisfying and the accompanying photographs are a treat to the senses — artful and well-crafted, just like a good meal. 513{eats} will leave you tempted to lick your computer screen. 513eats.com.

BEST USE OF UPSIDE DOWN TRASH CANS AND PIECES OF WOOD AS OUTDOOR SEATING:
Pho Lang Thang in Findlay Market offers authentic Vietnamese dishes including Banh Mi sandwiches (favorite: Banh Mi Chay — fried tofu on a baguette with garlic butter mayo, cucumber and cilantro), Pho noodle soups (love any of them) and Bun rice vermicelli noodles. They also offer Vietnamese coffee, a Vietnamese food dictionary and delivery. In the warmer months, you can eat in the hustle of the market at their whimsical, make-shift outdoor tables. 114 W. Elder St., Findlay Market, Over-the-Rhine, 513-376-9177, pholangthang.com.

BEST COMFORT FOOD ALL JAZZED UP:
Though most everything on the Keystone Bar & Grill menu is pretty awesome, our favorite is the mac & cheese, served in individual crocks and offered in the following styles: BB King (barbeque), Buffalo Springfield (buffalo chicken with blue cheese crumbles) and the Willie Nelson (that’s hot and spicy — not what you’re thinking!). You can also create your own decadent crock full of comfort. Better than your momma’s and half price on Mondays. 313 Greenup St., Covington, 859-261-6777; 3384 Erie Ave., Hyde Park, 513-321-2150. keystonebar.com.

BEST WAY TO VOTE WITH DOLLARS AGAINST FACTORY FARMS:
Snowville Creamery might be few hours north of Cincinnati, but the folks at this dairy farm are so good to their livestock they deserve some recognition. Their cows are outside in the sunshine, not locked up in concrete pens and eat grass, not scary mystery grub. Does that make their products a bit more expensive? Yes. Is it the best way to take a tangible stand against animal cruelty? Also yes. You can purchase their milks, half and half and whipping cream at Jungle Jim’s, Picnic and Pantry, Findlay Market and Clifton Natural Foods. 32623 State Route 143, Pomeroy, 740-698-2340, snowvillecreamery.com.
 
BEST PLACE TO GET SMOKED OUT:
Every hole-in-the-wall bar offers wings, but Knockback Nat’s serves amazing smoked chicken wings that draw a crowd. They slow-smoke these puppies out back until they’re fall-off-the-bone tender. Served in their own sauce, these bad boys are flavorful, meaty and delicious. Nat’s also has a huge selection of store-bought hot sauces if you want to get crazy — think novelty names like Flamin’ Butt and Das Fire Starta. Stop by on Monday nights — wings are only 50 cents a piece. Best enjoyed with an equally inexpensive beer, a la Hudy Delight. 10 W. Seventh St., Downtown, 513-621-1000. 

BEST HOMEMADE DINNER YOU DON’T HAVE TO MAKE:
Crock of Love delivers and prepares made-from-scratch, home-cooked dinners left on your kitchen counter to cook away in a slow cooker while you’re at work. All you have to do is come home and enjoy. Crock of Love does all the planning, shopping, delivery and cooking, and all meals come with an entrée, sides and condiments. Sample meals include Coq Au Vin with Green Beans Almandine, Beef Stroganoff with Noodles and Pulled Pork BBQ with homemade Cole Slaw. 513-404-7276, site.crockoflove.com.

BEST FRIENDS FOREVER STAFF:
There’s friendly, memorable service, and then there’s Dusmesh. Whether you’re a newbie or a naan-aholic, the staff at this Indian eatery always makes you feel welcome. Each time you enter to dine in or take a feast home, the Dusmesh crew is there to offer a friendly hug, a compliment and a genuine, “How was your day? What’s going on with you?” The best part: They always remember not only your order, but your answers. And when it comes to food, you can’t go wrong with some spicy curry or the lunch buffet. 944 Ludlow Ave., Northside, 513-221-8900.
 
BEST BOTTLE SHOCK:
Has there ever been more local excitement over a beverage than when Yuengling beer first came to the Cincinnati market? Thanks to some really good marketing (and a minor delay bringing it to stores), the Pottsville, Pa., brewski became a local sensation upon its introduction in bars and retail in late 2011, satiating the thirsts of local beer lovers who were apparently seriously craving that exotic Pennsylvanian flavor. Given all the over-the-top attention, non-beer drinkers can’t be blamed for wondering whether or not the beer company was conducting some sort of Willie Wonka-style golden ticket contest. yuengling.com.

BEST WHEATGRASS FIX:
If you cringed at the thought of wheatgrass, we get it — who wants to slurp liquid shrubbery? But if you’ve tried the power veg once and hated it, try giving it another shot (literally) at Huntergreengrass. Barbara and Edward Hunter grow their own wheatgrass and teach classes on how to do so. Their product is much more palatable than others we’ve tried, and it’s super healthy. Huntergreengrass also serves excellent juicing supplies, smoothies, soups and other vegetarian and vegan meals. Findlay Market, 1801 Race St., Over-the-Rhine, 513-316-4159, huntergreengrass.com.

BEST MEXICAN TWIST ON AN ITALIAN CLASSIC:
Mama Lo Hizo (Spanish for “mama made it”) features fresh Mexican favorites like tacos, flan and burritos, in addition to unique dishes like Mexican cornbread and, our fave, Mexican lasagna. Layered with beef and beans and topped with melted cheese, this dish is the perfect mix of Mexican and Italian. It’s not always available at Mama’s steam table, but you can grab a slice from the “heat and eat” takeout area. The next time you’re in, tell owner Mark Whitworth you’re a fan so he’ll serve it up more often. Findlay Market, 1801 Race St., Over-the-Rhine, 513-621-6262.

BEST SPOT TO KICK IT OLD SCHOOL:
Graeter’s gets most of the local ice cream spotlight, and it deserves the love, but we have to give Aglamesis Brothers props, too. The shop has been serving sweets to Cincinnatians since 1908 and hasn’t changed much since. The owners refuse to expand, glitz it up or do much by way of advertising and they still sell some of the best damned chocolate in the city, which they make in the back of the Oakley ice cream parlor. The orders come in from all over. Aglamesis is so retro it rocks. 3046 Madison Road, Oakley, 513-531-5196, aglamesis.com.

BEST WINERY IN YOUR BACKYARD:
A winery in Westwood? Yup. Henke Winery features 15 varieties of wine in a fun, unpretentious setting. Browse bottles, try a sampling or enjoy a perfectly paired meal in Henke’s dining room. Food Republic selected Henke as one of the top 10 urban wineries in the U.S. 3077 Harrison Ave., Westwood, 513-662-WINE, henkewine.com.

BEST BRUNCH ADDITION:
Brunch is like the 1% of meals — it’s not something we can all enjoy daily or even weekly, but everyone should be able to enjoy the unrushed, sweet and savory meal that makes day drinking appropriate every once in a while. Nicholson’s Pub introduced a Sunday brunch menu late last year and it was immediately awesome. They offer a changing menu of English-inspired dishes like smoked trout potato hash, chicken leg confit and sticky toffee pudding. And since no brunch would be complete without a fun adult beverage, we suggest their Bloody Mary with a meat straw — for $1 you can upgrade from plastic to a hollowed-out beef stick. 625 Walnut St., Downtown, 513-564-9111, nicholsonspub.com.

BEST NON-BACON BLT:
Bacon smells really, really good — even to vegetarians. The best way to enjoy the smell (and kind of the taste), without the pig, is to dig into one of Tucker’s double decker vegetarian BLTs. Two layers of crispy vegetarian bacon, juicy tomato and fresh lettuce sandwiched between your choice of bread. Gigantic and delicious. (And if you eat in, you can smell some real bacon cooking from any number of menu items). 1637 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, 513-721-7123.

BEST PIZZA PARLOR MAKEOVER:
Adriatico’s really kicked it up a notch with their recent relocation. Albeit, the old location was quaint, kind of run-down and a part of Clifton history, but the new location is fancy and awesome. They still serve the same pizza — fluffy crust, spicy sauce and all — but now they have a ton of beer on tap, eat-in tables and several flat-screen TVs. 113 W. McMillan Ave., Clifton, 513-281-4344. 

BEST INDIE DONUTS:
Formerly Ridge Donut Shop, Silverton Donut Shop has been independently owned and operated since 1989. One bite of a warm, fresh pastry will send you into a Homer Simpson-like euphoria. They keep it simple in Silverton — they make donuts every morning and once they’re out, they’re out. Call ahead to make sure they’re open and your favorite treats (we suggest eclairs, a.k.a. “cream honeymoons”) are in stock. 7414 Montgomery Road, Silverton, 513-793-0567, facebook.com/silvertondonutshop.

BEST NEW DOG ON THE BLOCK:
Formerly Lunch On Main, The Good Dog is a new addition to the downtown lunch scene. Jumping on the gourmet weiner trend, The Good Dog offers high quality hot dogs with creative toppings, in addition to tasty soups, sandwiches and sides. They use hot dogs from the local butchers at Avril-Bleh (and delicious vegetarian dogs for our meat-free friends) and have unique signature dogs like the Reuben Dog (Swiss, thousand island dressing, saukraut), The Samurai (mango chutney, Asian slaw, Sriracha, chow mein noodles) and The Kracken (hummus, tzatziki, peperoncini, kalamata olives, feta). They’re only open ‘til 3 p.m., so come early and check out all their specials. 633 Main St., Downtown, 513-381-2907.

BEST PICKLE PIZZA:
OK, Cincy By The Slice is probably the only place offering pickle pizza, but you have to hand it to them for introducing a new pizza topping in a time when anything and everything can go on a pie. Seasoned with salt and pepper, pickles kind of act like a vegetarian substitute for pepperoni (though their pickleroni pizza combines both, and it is also delish). CBTS promises “Always 100% conveyer belt free” stone baked pizza, so it’s fresh and light, not heavy or greasy. Their hoagies and garlic knots are also top notch. 825 Main St., Downtown, 513-621-3800; 7031 Plainfield Road, Deer Park, 513-791-6000,
cincybytheslice.com.

BEST NINJA OF BEER AT A CHINESE RESTAURANT:
Michal Wright of KungFood Chu’s AmerAsia will kick your thirst with his black belt selection of craft beers while Chef Chu karate chops you hunger with his Dragon Breath Wontons. Try one of their most popular brews: the Japanese Red Rice Ale with fruity sake flavors. 521 Madison Ave., Covington, 859-261-6121,
kungfoodchu.com.

BEST HOMESTYLE MEAL AT A RESTAURANT:
The meatloaf at Van Zandt’s is so yummy, you’d think your mom made it. Wash it down with another local product, Burnett Ridge’s Purple Trillium, which they sell by the glass. Their burgers are also out of this world. Coupled with a very friendly waitstaff, Van Zandt’s is a solid staff favorite. 1810 W. Galbraith Road, North College Hill, 513-407-6418,
vanzandttavern.com.

BEST LATE NIGHT SUSHI FIX:
You don’t have to resort to White Castle or Taco Bell to tame your fourth meal hunger pangs, and, lately, late night sushi is all the rage. Asian fusion joint The Painted Fish is open until 3:30 a.m. on weekends so you can enjoy a quality post-bar pigout. They offer tons of Asian-inspired appetizers, tasty tempura and entrees (mostly seafood), but sushi is king here — try the volcano or spider roll. Happy hours and plenty of half-price nights make The Painted Fish a tasty, affordable late night option. 3937 Spring Grove Ave., Northside, 513-386-9338,
paintedfishsushi.com.

BEST EXCUSE TO EAT A SALAD:
Washington Platform’s homemade Sweet Chili Vinaigrette Dressing is so delicious, it’ll make you forget you’re eating veggies. Forget ranch — this stuff should be drizzled on everything. It’s some of the greatest salad dressings ever, and we suspect it would make a great marinade, condiment or dowry as well. Try it on the Platform’s Findlay Market salad and once you’ve fallen in love, you can purchase a bottle to take home. 1000 Elm St., Downtown, 513-421-0110,
washingtonplatform.com.

BEST CHOCOLATE SAMPLING:
Some specially wrapped boxes are easy to identify: If it’s hot pink, it usually contains some Victoria’s Secret undies; a robin egg blue box with a white ribbon is typically home to a Tiffany’s diamond; and when most people see shiny gold with a red ribbon they can anticipate Esther Price chocolate. The next time you’re browsing for a box of chocolates for that special someone, enjoy the ample samples throughout the store. They’re free! 75-1 Montgomery Road, Silverton, 513-791-1833, estherprice.com.

BEST CHINESE CARRY-OUT THAT WILL BE READY WHEN YOU GET THERE (UNLESS YOU LIVE NEXT DOOR):
Dragon City features fast, reasonable food, friendly service and a College Hill location to pick up an issue of CityBeat (OK, shameless plug). They’ve got all your favorite Chinese classics, from General Tso’s chicken to Hunan beef. Quick, tasty and no-frills, just the way we like our Chinese grub. 1607 W. Galbraith Road, North College Hill, 513-729-2268,
dragoncityohio.com. 

BEST QUESADILLAS FROM AN AIRSTREAM TRAILER:
Though we are avid supporters of all food trucks, we have to play favorites and name Turophilia Quesadillas as our favorite addition in 2011. No more plain old chicken-n-cheese — Fallon Horstmeyer uses the quesadilla as a base for all types of cuisine: The Bobby Woo is sushi-inspired, there’s a cheesesteak option and one with barbeque beef brisket. She uses super fresh, local ingredients to make these creatively named, drool-worthy ’dillas. You’ll never see a tortilla the same way again. With warm weather, the trailer is back downtown and a permanent location is set to open on Short Vine mid-April. 513-317-7743.

BEST DINNER CLUB:
Nectar’s Julie Francis hosts regular dinner club events that celebrate a particular theme or ingredient. These fixed-price, multi-course dinners feature seasonal, local ingredients and, often, wine or beer pairings. They’re a great opportunity to enjoy new dishes and meet like-minded foodies. Check their site or Facebook page regularly to find out about the next event –— they fill up fast. 1000 Delta Ave., Mount Lookout, 513-929-0525,
dineatnectar.com.

BEST DO-IT-ALL BAKERY:
We appreciate restaurants and businesses that do one thing really well, but Cake Rack Bakery has mastered all kinds of sweets. From biscotti to bread, wedding cakes to breakfast pastries, everything coming out of Jeanette Werle’s oven is heavenly (in fact, the term “Cheesecake of the gods” has been tossed around). Werle is truly an artist who happens to work in edible mediums. If beautiful and delicious treats weren’t enough, Cake Rack regularly gives back to community; on certain days, entire sales go to a nonprofit organization. Findlay Market, 1801 Race St., Over-the-Rhine, 513-549-8623, cakerackbakery.com.

BEST PLACE THAT SERVES GOOD FOOD, THEN TEACHES YOU HOW TO MAKE IT:
Sushi Bears is a one-stop shop for Asian and Indian cooking. They feature a simple menu of sushi, stir-fry and a few classic Indian dishes, catering, Indian cooking and sushi rolling classes and a grocery aisle with takeaway meals and ingredients to make them. The classes are fun and easy to follow — a perfect idea for a unique date. You can even host a party and bring Sushi Bears chefs to your home. Findlay Market, 1801 Race St., Over-the-Rhine, 513-608-3980, sushibears.com.

BEST STAYING POWER:
We’ve been huge fans of The Rookwood restaurant since its latest stint starting circa 2009. Since then they’ve been consistently hitting the mark in every category, cementing their position as one of the best dining spots in town. They added a huge patio and lunch-time grill menu last year … like we needed another reason to eat there. The Rookwood Bar & Restaurant, 1077 Celestial St., Mount Adams, 513-421-5555, therookwood.com.

BEST NEWS FOR HOP HEADS:  
After winning the hearts and appetites of Cincinnatians at this year’s Cincy Winter Beerfest four ounces at a time, Great Crescent Brewery expanded its distribution to the Cincinnati area. The Aurora, Ind.-based small-batch brewery brings 20 years of brewing experience to its line of offerings, which include Aurora Lager, Dark Lager, Coconut Porter and Bourbon’s Barrel Stout. Pick up one of their signature 4-packs of 16-ounce cans at finer beer shops everywhere. You won’t regret it. gcbeer.com.

BEST ROUND OF LOCAL RESTAURANT MUSICAL CHAIRS:
OK, so let’s get this straight: Maribelle’s left its East End location to move into the former Hugo space in Oakley; Hugo plans to reopen in Mariemont; and a new restaurant, Brew City Gastropub, is going to take the former Maribelle’s spot. The result: Maribelle’s Tavern will reopen in Oakley in May; by this summer there will be a high-quality restaurant on both sides of the Mariemont Theater (Hugo on one side, the Quarter Bistro on the other); and the East End will soon welcome a restaurant that promises to cook with beer in just about anything. Sounds like everything is working out the way it’s supposed to. Maribelle’s Tavern, 3235A Madison Ave., Oakley, maribellestavern.com; Hugo, Mariemont Square, 513-321-4846, hugo-restaurant.net; Brew City Gastropub, 2062 Riverside Dr., East End, 513-861-2484, brewrivergastropub.com.

BEST PLACE TO PICK UP HARDWARE SUPPLIES AND FRESH-BAKED BREAD:
Living in the Clifton Gaslight District can be pretty convenient sometimes. You’ve got your coffee shop, movie theater, restaurants and a giant park right at your disposal. And even though everyone misses their favorite little grocery store, Ace Hardware is doing its part to appease those who miss picking up their Shadeau Bread right down the street. Ace carries Shadeau loafs and presents them up by the cash register, where you’ll also sometimes find a small fruit and veggie stand. What’s next? A bar inside the Esquire Theatre? Pleeease? Ace Hardware, 344 Ludlow Ave., Clifton, 513-281-9600.

 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
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