Would you believe I've lived in this town 12 years and had never been to a Taste of Cincinnati? Until today, that is. I worked at the CiN booth (and sneaked some free drinks) from 3 to 6, then hung around and made a pest of myself (and sneaked a few more drinks) until about 10.
The verdict? Tonnes of fun. I might have to go back tomorrow to try some of the stuff I missed (like the Best Damn Dish, that soup from Arloi Dee. I'm not going to attempt to spell it). But here's a rundown of what I did sample:
- Black and bleu tuna salad (Indigo): This was a delicious blend of tuna chunks, bleu cheese, lettuce and some sort of vinaigrette. It was pretty small for the price, but I kinda prefer it that way, so I don't fill up on just one dish.
- Pineapple fritters (Ron's Roost): Deliciously greasy! I think I gained half a pound with each bite.
- Reuben wonton (Holy Grail): Great - like an eggroll, but filled with corned beef and sauerkraut. Mmmm ... salty. The Holy Grail guy told me they hand-wrap them - as if there's someplace where Reuben wontons are sold in bulk.
- Chicken and teriyaki steak (Melting Pot): I always love the Melting Pot, and this was no exception. Eating just a bite of their little fondue bits made me want to go there again, which I guess is the point. I was explaining to Jeff (friend, Enquirer-mate, fellow foodie) how Melting Pot meals work: how each table has a built-in hot-plate, and each course is a different fondue, and you cook your meat in boiling water (or chicken stock, or simmering wine) right there at the table. Awesome.
- Water (Cincinnati Water Works): Ahhh. Water. Four billion years old, yet still so refreshing. And this particular water was free, free, free!
- Meatball on a stick (Bella Luna): The flavor was fine, but I gotta say, I've had better meatballs. The texture was what got me on this one: I'm used to ground-beef meatballs that my teeth slice through easily. This meatball was tough, kind of like sausage. I don't think I'd order it.
- Raspberry cloud cake (Courtyard Cafe): $3 got Jeff a hefty slice of this vanilla-ice-cream-raspberry-sorbet-Oreo-crust confection, so I generously offered to help him eat it. I'm so selfless.
Oh, yeah, the bands were rockin', too. More on that later, maybe.