This last weekend I took another trip down to Cincinnati to celebrate my father’s birthday. It was the first time in over 20 years that I didn’t have my trusty Timbuk2 bag in the back of the car with all my work equipment, “just in case.”
You get used to being on-call, and sometimes, I forget I no longer am. When it clicks, I get a little bit of a rush of freedom, knowing my day/evening/activity isn’t going to get interrupted by a client needing something right then and there.
So the “Football” I’ve been carrying all these years is being retired, and I can’t say I’m sad one bit about it.
Short post this week as it’s already Monday & I have a full week ahead of me. I didn’t want to break the weekly streak, so I needed to put SOMETHING on here! Longer posts are in the hopper for upcoming weeks.
Shorter post this week as I have a lot going on these days. I’m planning a trip to Toronto in the next couple of months and the Canadian entry requirements seem to be a moving target. As of last week, Canada now requires you to get pre-approved with an app called ArriveCAN. Hopefully, nothing else changes prior to my visit. I’m holding off on making actual reservations until the trip gets closer, just in case they lock things down again.
Have you tried ClusterTruck yet? Chris Baggott, formerly of Exact target, and founder of ClusterTruck, and Tyner Pond Farms, is on to something. In my opinion, he’s completely changed the delivery industry and has reliably, and deliciously, fed me for the past several years while working in Downtown Indianapolis.
The key to ClusterTruck’s success is technology. In a nutshell, they don’t start making the food until they know they have a driver ready to pick it up as soon as it’s done cooking. This results in hot and fresh food every time. In fact, the only issue I’ve had out of the approximately 100 orders was a Cuban sandwich that they forgot to press. It was still hot though! The delivery radius is small but they have kitchens scattered around Central Indiana and Columbus, Ohio. I’m fortunate to be in the delivery area of one of them just about every day.
If you’re curious, you can use my referral code and get a discount on your first order (Full disclosure, I get a $5 credit on my account too).
And finally, Gastro Obscura had an interesting video titled A Legacy of Wine in Cincinnati that details the history of winemaking in the Cincinnati region.
Kate MacDonald is on a mission to make wine that connects to its place, and that’s just what she’s done with Skeleton Root. This winery was created to resurrect American heritage grape varieties that filled her hometown of Cincinnati in the mid-1800s, starting with the wines that put America on the map: dry still white Catawba and Catawba bubbly.Gastro Obscura
Last week it was 73 and Sunny on Monday, and 45 and rain on Thursday. So I think the coats need to be kept handy for the next few weeks, especially with you see what’s coming up this week.
Just got back from a visit to see family in Cincinnatti and visited a new BBQ place called Pig Candy. They celebrated their 1st anniversary, and every order came with a complimentary bottle of their white BBQ sauce. I tried the Brisket special (topped with cheddar and caramelized onions) with macaroni salad as my side and a local brew to wash it all down. The brisket was tender and juicy, and the macaroni salad had a lot of diced vegetables and a lot of flavors. I would not hesitate to order this again. I’m looking forward to cracking open the white BBQ sauce and trying it on some grilled chicken this week.
No trip to Cincinnati is complete without a stop at Jungle Jim’s. There happens to be one on the way to visit family, so it’s an easy stop on the way home. I focused on some new Asian sauces this trip, and I may be reviewing them in upcoming blog posts.
And finally… The Wall Street Journal had a follow-up to the short video we shared last week regarding supply chain issues. This one is about 45-minutes long and goes into great depth on all the things that have to happen to get that USB charger from the manufacturer to your doorstep. It’s more complicated than you think!
I took a quick trip down to Cincinnati to visit family, and I had to make a stop at Findlay Market on the way home. Findlay Market is located in the city’s heart in an area known as “Over the Rhine” (OTR). As expected, it was pretty busy on Saturday, especially the Saturday before Thanksgiving.
OTR has seen its share of issues over the years, it’s been in the midst of a gentrification effort for as long as I can remember, and the transition has been a slow one. In the same block, you can see homelessness, drug use, high-end boutiques, and cars costing well over $100k cruising the streets. It’s pretty surreal, to be honest.
Findlay Market has a nice mix of outdoor seasonal markets and brick and mortar shops ringing around a large indoor market lined with various shops along its long central corridor. You can shop at the various meat, seafood, and produce stalls, as well as a couple of bakeries and a world-class spice shop.
One of my favorite vendors, Kroeger & Sons Meats, has been replaced by the “LK” sausage counter in the indoor market. LK does the old vendor proud by continuing to offer a huge selection of freshly made sausages, smoked meats, and other pork products. This is THE place to shop for some of the best sausages around.
LK is Findlay Market’s premiere sausage destination. Founded by two local Cincinnatians, John Knodel and Ryan Lillis, LK offers more than 40 varieties of handcrafted sausage as well as smoked meats, fresh pork products and seasonal offerings. Launched in 2020, LK has taken over the iconic space once inhabited by Kroeger & Sons Meats. LK is focused on celebrating food and community, with top-notch service.https://www.lkfindlaymarket.com/about
With over 40 types of sausages available, it’s tough to pick the right one. Luckily LK had a bracket challenge earlier this year, listing all their varieties and how they rank against each other. I ended up walking away with a nice mix of flavors and some sweet and spicy mustard too.
Before leaving the market, I stopped at another favorite along the north side of the outdoor shops, Dean’s Mediterranean Imports. Here you can find various spices, oils, and Mediterranean staples such as olives and pita. On this trip, I picked up a couple of new condiments (both LOW CARB!).
If you find yourself in Cincinnati and have some extra time, I encourage you to check out Findlay market and the OTR area. It’s got something for just about everyone, and you’re sure to find some great food to take home and try.
That’s it for this week. Turkey Day is just a few days away, along with an extra day of football. I’m looking forward to a 4-day weekend and hope to get more recipes added to the blog during that time. See you next time.
I hope everyone had a great Father’s Day last weekend. I took my son down to Cincinnati to have a cookout at my dads house. While there we stopped by the Tri-State Warbirds Museum to check out some amazing aircraft, all of which are airworthy and regularly see flight time.
Of course it’s Not a trip to Cincy without checking out Jungle Jim’s of Micro Center (or both!).
Keeping it short this week as I just realized I had not published the post from last week. More fun stuff to come over the next couple of weeks!
I had one of those rare occasions where I could hop in the car and disappear for the day and visit my family in Cincinnati. Met up with my Sister for a local’s tour of the regentrification project occurring in Over The Rhine (OTR). Local’s always give the best tours and like to share what they love about their city. Today was no exception as we proceeded to eat, walk, shop, and admire the surroundings.
Having just received a 64GB iPhone 5s it was time to put it through its paces and see how it worked as an everyday point and shoot. So far I’m pretty happy with the results, especially the low light capabilities.
On a recent visit to the Queen City my daughter and I decided to have a late lunch at the Hofbräuhaus in Newport Kentucky. This place is a German Style beer hall complete with the traditional “Oom-pah Band” and can get quote crowded in the warmer months. Good thing they have a big Bier Garden out back to keep the riff raff at bay.
From the Hofbräuhaus Newport website:
Fun and friendly is the atmosphere in the Bier Hall, with live music and about 250 soon to be close friends. There is also a quiet dining room for those who want to simply come and enjoy the delicious Bavarian fare. Many dishes are prepared with ingredients specially made locally for the Hofbräuhaus or imported from abroad. The Bier Garden, with freshly planted trees and shade awnings, will seat an impressive 400 guests. The view is of Newport’s waterfront with the Cincinnati skyline as its backdrop. [MORE]
This place is huge and it’s always full of people drinking the awesome beers from Germany (some are also brewed on site). On a previous visit I caved and paid the $10 premium to take home my very own glass stein that holds 1 liter of beer (about 3 bottles worth). It’s kind of like the big glass you get a Mexican restaurants, if you can’t lift it you’ve had enough to drink… When not using my $10 Liter glass for my favorite malted beverage it doubles as a great flower vase (one the cat’s can’t knock over!).
The Menu at Hofbräuhaus is very German focused (obviously) with some kid friendly choices mixed in. This visit I opted for the Bauern Pretzel Sandwich ($7.99) “A mound of Ham and Swiss Cheese served on a Sesame Seed Pretzel bun, and topped with our Signature Homemade Bier Cheese”. It was like a bastardized ham and cheese sandwich and the combination worked. The Bier Cheese was the star of the show and it’s good on just about anything (including your shoe if you drink enough).I almost forgot that I tried a cup of their Hofbräuhaus Bratwurst Chili ($3.99) “Our Homemade semi-spicy Chili”. This was definitely NOT the traditional Cincinnati chili but it was quite good (even if it did have beans in it)… (ha). I would order a bowl of this if they had that size available on the menu.
My daughter, who us a big Wiener Schnitzel fan chose the Bier Cheese Chicken ($14.49) “Tender Grilled Chicken Breast topped with Bier Cheese, Sweet Peppers and Onions, served with Mashed Potatoes”. Again, the Bier Cheese was the ingredient that put this dish over the top.For dessert (who can’t say no when the kids ask for dessert?) we split the Windbeutel ($4.99) “Bavarian Cream Puff with Chocolate Sauce and Powdered Sugar”. When my daughter posted a picture on Instagram she had over 100 “likes” before the night was over. We liked it very much and since it was not overly sweet it’s probably going to be my dessert of choice on our next visit. One thing that’s happened more times than not lately is we were seated at the same table as we were 6+ months earlier. I know it’s a coincidence but this is not the first time that has happened in the last year (at other places). I always find it odd when that happens.
If you’re looking for a place where you can enjoy some great beer, traditional food and some good music you should check out the Hofbräuhaus in Newport Kentucky. Don’t worry about bringing the kids, they’ll love the place and they can be loud without bothering anyone in the room.
Note to Self: Stop using your camera phone and use your DSLR… Indoor pix with a Blackberry usually suck!
Final HDR image of the Cincinnati Skyline at night. This one is not as vivid as the other two but I still like it. Cincinnati is hard to shoot because all of the good vantage points are very hard to get to at night.
Here’s another HDR image of the John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge that connects Covington, KY and Cincinnati, OH.
I had the opportunity to spend some time in Cincinnati over the weekend and spent part of that time playing with a new type of photography (new to me). HDR photography uses multiple photos set at various exposures (over/under the correct exposure). Once combined the images reveal a lot more detail than the properly exposed image.