I’m usually skeptical of catch-all “Asian” restaurants that offer the cuisines of many countries under one roof. If I want good sushi, I go to a Japanese restaurant run by Japanese people. Good massaman curry? Thai Express, of course. I’m not saying that catch-all places can’t do a good job; they’re just usually not my first choice. But I kept an open mind when my girlfriend Casey and I headed to Mason’s Dao Modern Asian Cuisine on a recent Saturday evening.
It is definitely soup weather. Cold weather compels me to bundle up in thick, cozy blankets with bowls (or mugs) of hot, comforting soup. That’s just what I did (minus the thick, cozy blankets, sadly) when I visited Soup du Jour (6064 West Chester Road, West Chester, 513-874-7687) on a wintry, drizzly day last week.
Banana Leaf Modern Thai restaurant has so much going for it. The restaurant is located in a well-preserved historic building in downtown Mason. It is visually beautiful with boldly painted walls, stunning lighting fixtures and a gold-painted ceiling. Everything is in place for this to be a great dining experience. Everything, that is, except the food.
You have probably driven by Green Papaya on Wasson in Hyde Park and, as I had done for years, blankly stared at it as you waited for the longest light in the city to turn green. And, as you wait for said light, your mind will inevitably wander and you will take a mental inventory of similar Thai/Sushi places in the area. As I entered Green Papaya, I already knew what set it apart — ambiance.
CityBeat’s kicking off a new mid-month series of breakfast and brunch reviews with today’s look at the super-popular brunch at Take the Cake (4035 Hamilton Ave., Northside, 513-421-2772). Sunday is the only day that brunch is served (9 a.m.-2 p.m.), and it’s apparent that the customers build up lots of anticipation. There’s a real mix in the crowd — families, singles, couples — and it’s not all Northside neighbors.
When someone offers you the option of “Good news first?” or “Bad news first?” which do you take? I’m the kind of person who likes to delay bad news as long as possible. So, on the good news front, Sis’s Family Affair in Newport has plenty to offer. The staff is unbelievably friendly, not only to the regulars but also to our table of newcomers.
Dee Felice Café in Mainstrasse had a waiting list on Saturday night. Why’s that remarkable? Well, because it’s been two weeks since the Jazz club banned smoking and, once upon a time, the cool cats of Jazz would not have gone smoke-free without a fuss. So it was in a spirit of celebration that we sat at the bar on Saturday night, waiting for the music to start.
What are the signs of civilization? Indoor plumbing, a literate population and a good deli, right? There’s something about a real deli that’s big city and major league. If you’ve never eaten at a genuine deli, how do you understand half the jokes on Seinfeld? The black and white cookie, the marble rye — these are deli things.
Sunday is usually a day that you have to pry me off the couch, especially during football season. However, I had heard about the once-a-month New Orleans Jazz and Food lunch at Washington Platform (1000 Elm St., Downtown; 513-421-0110), and since whatever the Bengals did wouldn’t matter, I asked my friend Barbara to check it out with me.