Restaurants come and go, and the comings and goings too often are spaced remarkably close together — here today, gone tomorrow. So, when an 80-year anniversary is celebrated in the restaurant biz, that is a big deal. Sugar n’ Spice on Reading Road is an octogenarian this year, having been fo…

The idea of offering pizza at a bagel shop has led to a serendipitous development, according to Y.Y. Davis, owner-operator of Marx Hot Bagels. “We’ve been thinking about pizza for a long time,” he said, speaking about adding that item to other meal menu choices offered at his bagel-centric d…

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From scratch is always better where food is concerned, don’t you think? For Erika Hecht and her extended family, that is the essence of Sweet Butter Bakery, a new venture that tastes like success to me. Her “from scratch” recipes we tasted are marvelous. More about the tastes in a minute. He…

Ancient history? Today, January of last year—2020—seems like ancient history to many of us; those halcyon days before the corona virus pandemic grabbed the world by its collective throat. Truly ancient history, though, is part of our present days through the foods we eat, and the methods use…

The month of March (and into April as well) is ideal for trying the at-home convenience meals being offered by Kinneret Grill, according to Karen Chriqui, head of the up-scale eatery. For what remains of March and into April, Chriqui said this: “We’re going to be doing our brisket specials, …

Few of us may have the pipes to sing as did Julie Andrews when she intoned “these are a few of my favorite things” to the Von Trapp children in The Sound of Music. But most everyone has them—favorite things, that is.  Two of mine are pie and bread, and probably most diners-out feel the same …

Pandemics bring changes, no question. We all know about the hard times that have beset America’s economy, and perhaps nowhere is the pain more evident than in the local restaurant biz.  But there are some quirky upsides to report also.  One of those is the Izzy’s chain of eateries, where san…

For Johnny Chan 2’s proprietor, the question is not if but when patrons may once again grace the tables of the restaurant, eating in the dining area amid others doing the same. Safety of all concerned, diners and staff, is the deciding factor for Frank Shi, owner of the storied Chinese eatery.

Talking to restaurant owners is a fun gig, mostly. That’s because most owners have a fun time doing what they do, and it shows in the way they talk about their business. Sacred Beast’s Jeromy Lieb and wife, Bridget, are exhibit A.  Excited, passionate, enthusiastic.  

We have probably all heard the stories: people shipping Cincinnati’s famous chili or its stellar raspberry chocolate chip ice cream to Timbuktu, figuratively speaking, at least. Yours truly happens to know some of those wildly improbable international shipping stories are accurate events. Th…

Who would have thought it? In the throes of a crippling pandemic, sushi numbers are up at Asian Paradise. GM Rainbow, the single-named, vivacious proprietor at the eatery said this: “Sushi business is very good; increased now, during the pandemic, because people come here for dine-in and sus…

Donny Arnsperger of Walt’s Hitching Post is an appreciative guy. His words: “I just want to say thanks to everybody in the Jewish community for their support and their friendship.  They’ve been so good to us, coming here (during the pandemic), ordering carryout, even buying gift cards way ba…

We, the dining public may want to thank our lucky stars. For what, you ask? For steadfast integrity among some restaurateurs. These conscientious folks choose during this virally uncertain time to do the right thing because it is the right thing to do, regardless the monetary consequences. W…

In the halcyon world of tents, there have been the US Army’s “pup” variety, Barnum & Bailey’s Big Top behemoth, and countless other sizes, small and large. Now, in deference to an increasingly virus-averse public, China Gourmet has entered the fray with its own portable outdoor edifice. …

Anyone who has ever tried to grill lamb chops will know chops can be a tricky business — difficult to reach “just-right” on a grill alone.  The grill marks: yes, easy.  But will they be warm and rare on the inside? Not likely.  In fact, my experience is that to reach warm inside, one must sa…

When Y.Y. Davis came on the scene at Marx Hot Bagels—18 months ago now—he promised no changes to those aspects of the place that Jewish patrons loved. There was the egg salad; the tuna salad; the legion and legendary bagels, seemingly endless wire bins of them, all with bagel pedigrees that …

The whirlwind of virus issues swirling around the restaurant scene has a lot of us blown off course. Chef Brad Bernstein suggests that his Postmark restaurant has created a way you can find a safe harbor and enjoy a “nice meal,” a fine-dine meal, in a setting that suits you, your family, you…

Amid America’s pandemic disruption, one change in the retail business model has gone from fledgling to fully flowered and flourishing just about everywhere—that’s delivery to your door. Before Covid-19 came knocking, we diners-out might hanker for this or that food, and likely would pile int…

Talk about bucking trends.  Stone Creek Dining Company in Montgomery has adapted so well to current dining strictures that recently the chic restaurant is out-performing normal times, according to GM Andrew Schrier. “From a sales standpoint, the month of August we were even with last year, a…

A private table, nestled away from the madding crowd? Is that what you will find at Chez Renee when dining at this authentically French bistrot?  “Not exactly, but very close to that,” says Chef Laurent Degois.  He went on to say that he and his wife, Cathy, have placed partitions between ta…

Sugar n’ Spice’s new location at 1203 Sycamore Street in OTR is building new traditions among its downtown patrons, according to Chistopher “CT” Todd, operating partner of the 2-location eatery.  “For me, it is really awesome to see new families starting new traditions—people experiencing Su…

Carryout sales have always been a notch or two above the norm at Kinneret Grill, according to Karen Chriqui, who owns the place along with husband Avner. “We’ve always had strong carryout here, even dating back years before now. But these days, with the pandemic and all of that, the carryout…

Does the year 1298 of the Gregorian (aka solar) calendar mean anything to you?  If you are from the Middle East, cheek by jowl to Eastern Europe in the area that is modern-day Turkey, probably the date would resonate more.  In that year, Osman I is purported to have founded the Ottoman Empir…

Scholars of antiquity are unclear whether the “staff of life” is bread, or the wheat from which it has been made for millennia.  Clearer is that bread has been a more important, sought-after staple around here since March, when the pandemic took hold of our lives with a vengeance. Ward Bahlm…

News flash! Izzy’s five locations are performing better in 2020 than those same locations did in 2019! This, according to owner John Geisen, who said: “Sales are up over last year, so we can’t complain. Our stores are limited to 25 percent (capacity), so it seems busy from that standpoint. B…

Johnny Chan 2, the venerable Chinese restaurant that has won accolades as one of the best 100 of its type in these United States, is open for carryout business and curbside pick-up. Frank Shi,   the owner/operator and sometimes these days, chef, of Johnny Chan 2,  has put the emphasis on the…

Nobody can escape coronavirus realities these days.  So, what to do?  Sacred Beast’s Jeromy Lieb has as good an answer as we have come by in making the Restaurant Rounds these past six months (that’s right: a full half year already!).   “We have to stay positive with it; it’s the only thing …

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Want to take part in a naming contest and win a gift certificate to Marx Hot Bagels?  YY Davis and wife Rena of Marx Hot Bagels are searching for a good name to give their new cinnamon roll.  The roll is a coiled confection, but unlike your typical cinnamon roll, this one bakes up in the sha…

“We the people…” is a phrase that most American citizens have seen or heard in the classroom. It is, after all, the entrée to the preamble of the remarkable Constitution of the United States of America.  At the same time, those three words can be a stand-alone preamble that calls people to a…

Remember the parking lot at China Gourmet, behind the building and forming an apron to the entrance at the lower level?  Now, picture that space remade into an outdoor dining area.  Can you imagine it?  Al fresco dining at China Gourmet?  Tables dotting the space, walled on three sides? A su…

Just when you thought the New Normal had taken over every nook and cranny of your life, Rhino’s comes charging out of the world we knew before COVID-19 with a healthy serving of “Old” Normal.  Amazing as it may seem in today’s masked and distanced environment, Rhino’s kosher frozen yogurt op…

How is it possible to place an order direct to the kitchen of Kinneret Grill, with nary a word to anyone?  Assume you are a passenger in a car tooling down the highway, thinking what would be good for supper. Or you find yourself getting a bit peckish while walking in a woodland park Or mayb…

When life doles out lemons, the resourceful among us make lemonade.  Taking that maxim to heart is an excellent strategy for the COVID-19 miasma in which we find ourselves today.  Why excellent strategy?  The lemonade analogy likely is good for one’s emotional health, especially since you an…

If maintaining your health is top of mind for you recently, due to the omnipresent pandemic, now may be an opportune time to think more broadly about health as a lifestyle.  Many aspects of life contribute to human health, often based on the choices a person makes.  In the category of food, …

Sugar n’ Spice has opened new digs located at 1203 Sycamore Street in OTR, in an existing classic diner setting.  The Mayerson Group, owner of the original location, has opened the second location after renovating the space to coordinate with the ambiance at its original Reading Road locatio…

If ever there were a time to question everything of a social nature one thinks about doing, this is that time.  On the restaurant scene, the words are different from one eatery to the next, but most places must deal with the angst their patrons may feel in planning to dine out.  The folks at…

Andy Hajjar is an iconic figure on the Greater Cincinnati restaurant scene.  His newest venture, named Kabobske, is located on Short Vine in Corryville.  Kabobske is an anomaly—fast food that is healthy, fresh, made-to-order, and relatively inexpensive.  “We make everything fresh here, every…

What will you find when you enter the dining area of Amma’s Kitchen on Reading Road in Roselawn?  Masked servers wielding menus in a highly sanitized, socially distanced dining room, according to Mr. Raj, the general manager of the eatery.  “Yes, masked—everybody (who works there).  We are s…

“We have been really lucky!” is a phrase Breadsmith’s owner Ward Bahlman used at least a half-dozen times during a recent phone conversation about doing business in the throes of a devastating pandemic.  Being a “food” store in the vein of supermarkets and other retail food sellers, Breadsmi…

“Culture shock is the feeling of uncertainty, confusion or anxiety that people experience when visiting, doing business in or living in a society that is different from their own,” according to Troy Segal, writing about the business world in general.  He goes on to say: “Social norms can var…

Assuming COVID-19 does not slip us a mickey somehow, when diners-out read this article they will be able to dine in when dining out at Brown Dog Café. The preceding sentence is not gobbledygook, nor obfuscation or convoluted syntax—it is fact! The State of Ohio, according to Governor Mike De…

With William Shakespeare, it was: “To be, or not to be?  That is the question." With restaurant GMs, the question has become: “To open, or not to open?” For Rainbow, the single-named GM at Asian Paradise, that is the question with which she has grappled.  “I not sure what to do—to open when …

From sources such as Woody Allen movies and Buddy Hackett appearances on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, we learn many things.  One such enlightenment is the ubiquity of Chinese take-out among Jewish diners, and, more generally, in the wider world of American eateries. In this time of t…