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Review: Rima's Diner

By Lora Arduser · April 30th, 2008 · The Dish
  Rima's Diner
Joe Lamb

Rima's Diner

Sundays in the heart of America are when we slow down -- we work in the yard, read the paper, have that second cup of coffee in the kitchen rather than the car. Sundays are also the day to go to breakfast. And while many people will hit the chains after church, might I be so bold as to recommend Rima's Diner (635 Madison Ave., Covington, 859-491-1818)

Rima's is a spin-off of a Russell Springs, Ky., restaurant called The Porch. The first Rima's Diner opened in Crescent Springs in 2004; the Covington location is the most recent addition.

On a Sunday you'll find quaint older women in hats, gentlemen that stop by their table to pay their respects and a laid-back staff with a sense of humor.

I was lucky enough to invite a friend who isn't originally from Cincinnati. When I ordered my breakfast, The Usual ($5.99), with Glier's goetta, she asked, "What's goetta?" Lord, that's like someone responding with, "What?" after a native Cincinnatian asks "Please?"

In case you're not a native, goetta is a German dish similar to breakfast sausage or scrapple and it's typically made of a mixture of pork, beef, steel-cut (pinhead) oats and seasonings. Glier's is made right in Covington.

I had a newbie in my hands, and I felt that it was my duty to introduce her to the glories of goetta. She only took a nibble, but she's been initiated. By September she might be ready for the Chicken Dance with a cream puff in one hand and a beer in the other.

The rest of my breakfast was a perfect slow-morning combination of eggs, crispy fried potatoes, a biscuit that rivaled the biscuits I swear by at Paula's Café -- so flaky and buttery there was no need to add a slather of the butter on top -- and coffee. The only thing that was missing was tomato juice, but you'll find a good substitute, ketchup, on every table.

My friend must have been a little farther along in her day, as she decided to have lunch. She lives by the food philosophy that you should play to a restaurant's strengthen, and Rima's homestyle menu suggested that a good choice would be the Traditional Burger with cheese ($6.49) -- a half-pound of angus ground beef with lettuce, tomato, onion and pickles and a side of French fries.

The burger, classified as "not as good as Arthur's but better than Arlin's," suited my friend. The bun had been grilled and was crunchy, the burger juicy and, as she requested, no mayonnaise came into contact with her plate.

Rima's does Kentucky proud. The homemade desserts and home-cooked food hit a spot we can't always find in our harried lives. Stop on by, settle into a booth and step back in time for breakfast, lunch or dinner one day.

Critic's Pick

Contact Lora Arduser: larduser@citybeat.com



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