by Kenneth McNulty
Posted In: local restaurant
at 11:08 AM | Permalink
Strange how many times in my life I have started toward
something and then found myself at a very different destination. I ate Greek
food in Chicago, gyros to be specific, and asked, ‘How come you can't get these
in Cincinnati?’ Seemed like the next great thing to me.”
This is what guided Myra Griffin of
Myra’s Dionysus as she ventured to open her own restaurant near the University of Cincinnati campus in 1977. She wanted create a unique eating experience in the Cincinnati area. Kicking
off the next big thing isn’t easy, though, and to keep it fresh, Myra saw to it
the menu has an array of ethnic food.
“…I realized how little meat other
cultures used and how much better it was for you,” she says. “Thus I became a
much more vegetarian restaurant.”
When most people think of food in a
college town, greasy quick meals and sandwiches from McDonald's come to mind.
Myra didn’t want that. In fact, one of her main criteria for a location was a
college town, for open-minded individuals who would enjoy her healthy,
vegetarian alternative to standard college cuisine. “Healthy does not mean it
can't taste good,” she says. That’s what she strives to deliver for every meal.
Myra’s other point in opening Dionysus
was to craft an atmosphere where people could bring their families and enjoy
themselves, again a notion not widely thought of in a college town. One would
think more of fun drinking locations or places to get a quick bite but not
somewhere you’d bring a child.
Myra’s Dionysus is a place where one
family in particular has created a tradition — four generations have enjoyed Myra's cooking. That is service
that’s hard to compete with. Dionysus is a kinetic place as well. It’s always
moving forward, adapting new dishes to the proverbial arsenal. Myra enjoys the
challenge of coming up with new dishes. She draws on cultures around the world,
relishing in diversity.
“It has been a case of trying things,
if they work, keep them; if not, change,” she says. At Myra’s Dionysus, the goal
for the restaurant is to entertain people through atmosphere, customer service
and good conversation. Myra has her degree in education, so teaching her
employees was simply second nature. Seeing workers solve issues together and
have a great time doing it is what helps drive the business ahead of the rest.
Myra’s Dionysus is an interesting
establishment. It’s healthy, odd, has history but plays on contemporary trends.
Myra makes sure all of these aspects and more show off to the outside world to
bring in anyone willing to give one of her dishes a try. All Myra wants at the
end of the day is a good experience for people involved.
“The fun is in seeing others enjoy what
we have to offer,” she says.Myra's Dionysus is located at 121 Calhoun St., Clifton Heights. Go here for menu, hours and more information.
Pleasant Ridge spot aims to nourish both body and soul
4 Comments · Tuesday, March 23, 2010
As with any cuisine not executed well, vegetarian and vegan food can be underwhelming. And overcompensating for meat-based proteins with tofu and soy simulations can be an even more dangerous culinary game. Such are the challenges that The Loving Cafe in Pleasant Ridge struggles with: to offer healthy and ethical fare that's fresh, flavorful and satisfying.
Offering an eco and vegetarian friendly take on dining
1 Comment · Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Green Dog Cafe is exploding on the scene and so far has been met with mixed reviews. Why? Because it’s different. Seeing as it was started by veteran restaurateurs Mark and Mary Swortwood, who also started the Brown Dog Cafe in Blue Ash and Tinks Cafe in Clifton, the decision to forgo conventional table service in favor of a walk-up counter wasn’t made on a whim.
0 Comments · Wednesday, April 1, 2009
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.