On the Road Eats: Cincinnati, Ohio

I have something to share with you.

I got lucky.  I was able to fly into Cincinnati rather than Dayton for my recent business trip which saved me over 40 minutes in commute time.  Of course I went to Chowhound to get recommendations for dining and booked a stay at the newer Renaissance in the city.

Senate
Yup, Triple D filmed here but that was not why I wanted to visit.  I like the OTR area and they had poutine on the menu.  So of course, I started with the short rib poutine and had a pork belly grilled cheese.  Super rich food so I didn’t finish all of it but a great spot to try. They are known for their hot dogs so I guess that will be next time!
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Jean-Robert’s Table
I was told that this was one of the better restaurants in town and they were right….the atmosphere was casual and it was a short walk from the hotel.  I was dining with a colleague that is great to do the foodie thing with(he was with me in Austin for a trip last year).  We decided to share the two appetizers – escargot prepared in a classic style and the Foie Gras with peach(both specials for the night).  Both were delicious.  For my meal I ordered the skate wing the keep things a little lighter rather than the lamb or steak special. We both enjoyed the meal and decided to skip dessert and head to Graeter’s!

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Graeter’s
There was a line out the door and my colleague had never been.  Last time I was here I tasted the Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip so I recommended he try that…after all, it is their most popular flavor.  I had to try the Salted Caramel.  The weather in Cincinnati was super comfortable compared to Texas and it was the perfect way to end a long day of travel and meetings.

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Green Papaya
We had a meeting northeast of the city and I wanted to eat somewhere close by rather than have to walk and deal with downtown parking.  I asked at the Renaissance for a recommendation and Green Papaya was mentioned.  Great Thai food…I’m in.  It was not as good as Cafe Thai in Southfield, MI but it was just as good if not better than some spots I visit here in Dallas.  Another great meal in Cincinnati!

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Frida 602
Flights were delayed.  And now I had two hours to do, hmm, eat.  I had already driven to the airport once to drop my colleague and decided to stop in Covington for dinner, just on the other side of the river from Cincinnati.  I had done a little homework and saw that Bouquet was written up as one of the best restaurants in the Cincinnati area.  But I walked by and decided last-minute to try something brand new.  I wanted tacos, I guess I missed being home.  I arrived at Frida 602 with colorful picnic benches, artwork and tables.  I was one of three tables to be there early but the place started filling up and I know why.  The food was great.  I started with the Al Pastor tacos and the amazing server was great to order me a single brussel sprout taco, the highlight of the whole night.  Brussel sprouts, chickpeas, peanuts all on a taco…..fantastic!  I ended with the Tres Leches dessert with toasted marshmallow and headed to the airport happy.

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Renaissance Downtown Cincinnati
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Out of all the Marriott brands(excluding Ritz), I love Renaissance.  They just feel more like me.  The interior of the hotel makes me a little happier and the boutique feel is not like a standard chain hotel.  From this hotel, I was able to walk to both of my client appointments, dinner, ice cream and I felt safe.  I will be back the next time I am in town!

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My Daughter and the Barefoot Contessa

I have something to share with you.

Last week we had two “snow” days in Dallas – and when I say snow, I don’t mean to insult those in the North.  But for us, they shut down schools and told us to stay off the roads. My daughter decided Barefoot Contessa on Food TV was a very exciting way to spend part of the first afternoon(as did I) and Ina taught us how to make an Ice Cream Bomb.  So of course, when school was closed for the second day, we got creative.

I immediately remembered the homemade strawberry frozen yogurt recipe I saved on Pinterest so I grabbed out my Ninja, frozen strawberries(a must have to make smoothies in the AM) and a few other ingredients.

We looked through the freezer and decided to use Lemon Frozen Yogurt and Vanilla Ice Cream(both Jeni’s) to make the center of the “bomb”.  Next time, we will use different colors as the lemon and vanilla look the same.

So, if you are looking for a new idea for a lazy afternoon, and want a fun dessert for dinner, try this!  Hopefully yours comes out better than ours did.

Step 1:  Freeze your large bowl, get all of your ingredients and let the ice creams soften before using.(We made our strawberry frozen yogurt so this was step 1 for us.)
Step 2:  Fill the large bowl with your first flavor and insert the medium bowl to shape the dome(be careful to leave ice cream/yogurt at the bottom-see pic below since I messed up!) Freeze.
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Step 3:  Remove the medium bowl once the first layer is frozen, fill with the next flavor, cover with the smallest bowl and freeze.
Step 4:  Remove the small bowl once the second layer is frozen, fill with the next flavor, smooth the top and freeze.

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Step 5:  Using a knife, separate the outer layer from the bowl(you can also run hot water over the sides to loosen it).  Then invert onto a plate.

This is a great recipe because you spend 20 minutes doing and 45 minutes or so waiting for the freeze so there is plenty of time to do other activities and cooking doesn’t get boring!  During the breaks, we did Lego Friends, Leapfrog reading and cleaned up the playroom!

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And the result, my “bomb” bombed– it looked messy and the center didn’t freeze enough(maybe it was the fact I used frozen yogurt instead of all ice cream) BUT, it tasted good!

My next “snow” day dessert is going to be an Ice Cream Sandwich cake….looks even easier and then I can invite over some friends in the neighborhood so everyone can enjoy!!

 

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I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for….

I have something to share with you!

I’m a working mom and I travel for my job a few times a month.  In order to make work travel a bit more enjoyable, I explore the local restaurant scene.  With a five year old, the main dishes on our kitchen table are chicken, pasta and pizza.  I do experiment a bit and some nights it’s like being at a restaurant where my husband and I have one meal and my daughter has another(usually cheese tortellini with grated cheese).  But when I am on the road, I like to EAT!

Before a trip, you will find me on OpenTable, Chowhound, Eater, Epicurious and numerous other food blogs and websites.  Checking out the newspaper and magazine for the city is a great place to see restaurant reviews.  I don’t have to go to the fanciest restaurant in town(although sometimes they do have the best happy hour) but I always avoid the larger national chains.  And for me, dessert is a very important meal!

Do you like Ice Cream?  I have been to some great ice cream shops.  An article in one of the food magazines caught my eye one day that listed the must try ice cream shops and a few were in cities that I travel to for work.  SO, how could I not stop by for a visit.

Let me tell you about Jeni’s………if I am headed to Ohio, I make a stop each day of my trip to get Riesling Poached Pear Sorbet.  It is amazing.  I can eat it on a hot summer day or in the middle of a blizzard.  I just get this happy feeling.  But they have other amazing flavors too.  Brambleberry Crisp, Salty Caramel, Seasonal flavors like Sweet Potato with Torched Marshmallows.

 

They now sell Jeni’s at Whole Foods in Texas but only a limited selection of flavors.  But I cannot get the Riesling Poached Pear Sorbet so I guess I will be headed up to Columbus before the end of the year!

 

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