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.
2 Comments · Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Does this ever happen to you: it gets so
hot that you just don’t feel like eating anything? Ha, me neither. Let’s
go celebrate summer with fresh, tasty food!
0 Comments · Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Summer’s all about festival food. There
are MainStrasse fests with brats and metts and loads of church festivals
with chicken dinners and cake raffles. One of my favorite summer
treats, the Asian Food Fest, returns to The Banks this month.
Mount Lookout Square bar highlights tricked-out sausages, craft beer and desserts
0 Comments · Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Now a month old, Wurst Bar in the Square fulfills its vision of a hip yet casual watering hole offering a well-rounded menu of inventive starters and soups, gourmet sausages, hamburgers and decadent desserts.
How Andrew Mersmann made his way from bussing tables to running Django Western Taco
10 Comments · Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Unlikely things that made an impact on
Cincinnati’s culinary scene: Andrew Mersmann’s mother gave him a cast
iron skillet for his birthday when he was a teenager
by Hannah McCartney
Posted In: Food
at 02:24 PM | Permalink
Eat a lot of food to find glory, fame, heartburn
If you're looking for your own 15 minutes of fame but find your skill sets are generally limited to things that are superfluous — or, in this case, possibly self-destructive — your best bet might be to take up one of these local eating challenges (these are the ones we know of — we bet there's a lot more of 'em) so you can achieve glory, superstar status and indigestion — right after you unbuckle your pants.Everybody knows Cincinnati is obsessed with food, probably because there's a lot of it around here. Good food, that is. Whether you want to show off, naturally induce hibernation, experience a lifetime's worth of a particular dish in one sitting or just want a good story to tell, there are plenty of opportunities to make it happen with eating challenges around the city. We’ve only added the ones we were able to confirm with the restaurant, but if you're dead-set on checking one of these out, it's probably a good idea to call ahead and make sure it's not a periodical offering. Be sure to let us know where we missed in the comments! 1) Ramundo's Pizza (Mount Lookout) – Two people split a 26-inch pizza with extra cheese and two toppings, with 10 minutes to devour the whole thing. It's an investment — the pizza costs $35 — but you get it (and heartburn) for free if you finish. 2) Blue Ash Chili (Blue Ash) – "No Freakin' Way Challenge": One person + 2.5 lbs. spaghetti + 2.5 lbs. chili. + 2.5 lbs. cheese + 1 lb. jalapenos + 60 minutes + $40 = the most extravagant and gut-busting possible way to prove your obsession with our city's trademark dish, Cincinnati chili. If you finish, it's free and you'll get a spot on the Hall of Fame plus a T-shirt. Losers go on the Hall of Shame, but you'll still get a tee for free. 3) Raniero’s Pizza (Cold Springs, Ky.) – Two people have 10 minutes to devour a 24-inch pizza, and each is allowed one 20 oz. cup of water. Beat the clock and get the pizza for free; beat the record and get a T-shirt, too. 4) Mecklenburg Gardens (Corryville) – The “Uber Terminator Challenge”: One person has an hour to put down a 3-foot long spicy mettwurst sausage on a hoagie bun, covered with peppers and sauerkraut. It’s $25, and free if you make it. You get a free T-shirt either way. 5) Padrino’s (Milford)– Four pounds of spaghetti and meatballs + you + 45 minutes. If you make it, it’s free; if not, $30. 6) Izzy’s (multiple locations) – “110 Reuben Challenge”: Of course, made famous a la Man v. Food: a super-sized potato pancake, more than 1 lb. of corned beef, a heap of sauerkraut, dressing and cheese, all inside a big loaf of poppyseed bread. You have 30 minutes to eat this monstrosity — it’s $19.99 — and if you make it, you’ll get it fo’ free plus a T-shirt and a photo on the Izzy’s wall of shame fame. 7) Guiseppe’s Pizza (Covington) “Legend of the Drunken Fireman”: Just you and a 20-inch, 20-topping, 7-lb. pizza plus 59 minutes. If you lose, it’ll set you back $50; if you make it, you’ll get it free plus a T-shirt. 8) Bard’s Burgers (Covington) – Two different challenges here: Go big with the Bardzilla — a burger with 10 1/3-lb. beef patties, 10 pieces of cheese, 2 lbs. of French fries and a 16 oz. milkshake (close to 7 lbs. of food). Free if you make it through in 45 minutes or less, $30 if not. Or, for the more timid, there’s the “Little Zilla” — beat the customer record to chow down one of two triple-stacked specialty burgers — the Kitchen Sink or the Widow Maker (eek) — plus an order of large fries and a milkshake, for a free meal.
Zula serves up creative flatbreads and Mediterranean plates in its spacious Over-the-Rhine location
0 Comments · Tuesday, March 26, 2013
The latest addition to the growing
Over-the-Rhine dining landscape has been touted as a mix of wine bar and
Mediterranean tapas restaurant. Chef Tsvika Silberberg recently opened
Zula at 14th and Race streets...
Boca group to offer accessible, high-quality dining at new trattoria, Sotto
0 Comments · Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Just as La Normandie was more casual than its upstairs neighbor (The Maisonette), calling itself a “tavern and chop house,” Sotto will be more approachable, both in atmosphere and price, than Boca.
0 Comments · Tuesday, March 12, 2013
If you’re looking for suggestions and want to
break out of your routines, take the leap of faith and go independent.
These entrepreneurs will love you for it.
Cincinnati' s favorite mobile eateries explore new options
1 Comment · Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Food trucks arrived in Cincinnati only
three years ago, but already a few are expanding into brick-and-mortar
locations. While some of these changes are in hopes of transitioning
into a fecund restaurant business, others are just trying to survive in a
competitive market in a city with limited spots to park and do