He looked like a Tony, but when a regular came in and addressed our host as Bill, I realized my mistake. I asked the woman at the cash register and she informed us that Bill Fuerst bought Tony’s 8th Street Deli (326 E. Eighth St., Downtown, 513-564-9866) about three years ago and decided to keep the name.
Though I’ve been happy to see a few small ethnic restaurants pop up along McMillan Avenue in Clifton Heights during the past few years, I’ve found it hard to stray from my old favorites like Thai Express and Red Pepper. So I was happy to be assigned to review the quaint and colorful Tea N’ Bowl (211 W. McMillan, 513-421-9111).
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.
Housed in a former Frisch’s Big Boy, Parkside Cafe (1024 E. McMillan St., Walnut Hills, 513-221-2026) keeps it real with its own drive-thru window, soup and salad bar and what seems to be the original Frisch’s furniture. They must still have the same ice machine, too, because the ice was Frisch’s ice.
In food news, Restaurant Week, sponsored by The Greater Cincinnati Independents Group, will run March 16-22. Twenty-six restaurants will be part of the action, offering a three-course prix-fixe dinner menu for $26.09 per person.
If you like your burger with a little Magic seasoning, then you already know about Fatburger (3158 Madison Road, Oakley, 513-871-8722). This Southern California-based chain is partly owned by Magic Johnson and other celebs - including Kanye West, Pharrell, Queen Latifah and Montel Williams - and is franchising across the country.
As you might have already heard, Jean-Robert at Pigall's will be closing on Feb. 28. So if you really want to impress your date on Valentine's Day take her (or him) to Pigall's for one last fling; after all, Cincinnati might never get another four-star restaurant again. Enjoy it while it lasts. Also recommended: Primavista, The Summit, The Cincinnatian and 20th Century Theatre.
The old Jerusalem Cafe was a bit of a hole in the wall, but it has some mythical qualities. The new owner, Kaly Avwy, has spiffed the place up a bit and changed from a buffet-style venue to a sit-down dining experience. It even has free WiFi now. Best of all, the food is really good.
According to The Food Channel, the second-largest dining trend this year will be virtual food communities, which explains why I got an invitation to a virtual cookie swap this season. Has it come to this? I fear that soon food will exist solely in our imaginations.
I walked down to Flo’s Plate Full of Soul (133 E. Court St., Downtown, 513-421- 3567) from CityBeat World Headquarters last week with a couple staffers. The new girl in the office, a vegetarian, picked out a nice Thai place on the way to Flo’s as a backup. She suspected Flo’s vegetarian options might be minimal. When we arrived, we checked out the menu briefly, and she bid us farewell.
With its window display of brightly colored plastic entrées, a la Japan, iZen puts the play back into food. That's not to say they don't offer up serious cuisine. They do; they just deliver it playfully. Like the Cheese Burger Omurice ($8.95), an all-American burger paired with a Japanese fried-rice omelet, or Cheese Fried Rice.
This week's Dish offers a multitude of ways to party this season (some green, some decadent) from EarthSave's holiday dinner to uber-indulgent parties catered by Daveed's. If you like to mix your holiday mingling with social consciousness, start with EarthSave, which will host its holiday potluck dinner Dec. 14.
This week, The Dish is on a mission to make sure local families have food for Thanksgiving. Because of the flailing economy and lost jobs, local food banks are experiencing severe shortages, and some of our neighbors might be without Thanksgiving dinner this year.
I'm always up for trying a new Mediterranean joint, even if it is a bit of a drive. Taz Lebanese & Greek Cuisine in Mason is right smack in the middle of the Fields Ertle insanity in a building that used to house Fazoli's.
Every year my family and I eat Thanksgiving dinner at Paparazzi, an Italian restaurant in Boston. And every year I long for the antique drop leaf table that stretched across our old farmhouse dining room where we had Thanksgiving dinner during my first 30 years. Here are three great local options for eating out on Thanksgiving.