Guestblog: Seven Days as a Grieving Bengals Fan

A new Bengals-related editorial guestblog has come in from Bradley! I learned a lot from this post, not only about the Bengals but about my brother's insane post-game rituals. It makes me yearn for the Cyclones to start up again!! Thanks for the post, my sports correspondent!

After the crushing defeat we were handed in New England a couple Sundays ago, I was moved to put together a piece on my process of what happens after a Bengals loss. My own K├╝bler-Ross model, if you will. Though, I'll admit having a successful baseball team helps the bounce-back a little. How 'bout them Reds?

Day One:
Game Day

I've been pumped for game day all week, and it's finally arrived. The people all around town are dressed in orange and black, yelling Who Dey at each other in any instance they can. My brother is already awake and sends me a large list of statistical data concerning a Bengals victory.

I sift through my feed reader while wearing my Thurman jersey, casually smiling at the Cincy Jungle game previews, and reading some of the NFL.com's comment section to get fired up. A quick prayer to the football gods, a sacrifice to the offensive line, a tribute to the secondary and a fast for the strength of our pass rushers.

Nothing can stop me from believing in a victory, even when it's absurd to do so. You'll hear me spout things like "one pick-six and we're in position to tie it up." I'll quote obscure statistics as through I've been cornered, and only the use of numbers can save me. "Yeah, well, Tom Brady's three-step drop gets 7.8% slower on the second snap of every 4th-quarter drive." But as my brain refuses to accept the outcome, I have already started the grieving process for the week's showdown.

It was game day.

And for the rest of that day, I generally refuse to talk about it. I just block it out of my mind. I take up interest in the other teams playing, desperately searching for one of my number twos to be doing well. Bears, Wildcats, Texans, anyone. As long as somebody who I don't hate is doing well, I can block out the Bengals for one more day.

Day Two:
Yeah... Well...

I've woken up in a somber mood. And despite the huge stack of bandwagon Facebook statuses I could repudiate, I still don't want to talk about it. I've turned my attention somewhere else, to somebody else, to something that's not football, as though it's some social conspiracy movie where I turn my head and with glassy eyes say, "What Bengals? The Bengals haven't played in thirty years! Stop being silly, honey!"

But deep inside I know that the other fans are loving it. They're torching effigies of players in their favorite bars. They're blogging about how good it feels to have taken a shit on the losers of the NFL. They're high-fiving each other as they fill their fat f**king faces with anchor-themed beer and chow-dah. They're taking everything I hold sacred about my team, and turning them into bad puns and stupid forum signatures. And I know, for one fleeting moment, that Tom Brady stands in his boxers in an apartment high above the Foxborough skyline, looking out of the window, and cracks a slow smile.


Day Three:
Fantasy Wrap-Up

The third day can add additional insult to injury if you're not careful with how you play it. And after one such fantasy football game of literally beating my opponent by .01 points, you get the sense to let the game finish before you start to make your judgments. Hence the waiting.

So as day three rolls around, most of the fantasy sites have solidified in their results. The games are tallied up and you get the bittersweet satisfaction of a little W by your team's name, or crushing abysmal feeling of the little red L. But either way, Bengals players have made their impact even in your virtual game. And trust me, no matter how many times you've played fantasy football, that week's opponent never starts one of your team's under-performers.

Day Four:
The Madden Game

I've finally reached the fourth day of a Bengals loss. That day of all days is the most important, and the most childish of all sports-related rituals. I play Madden, and as you may have guessed, it's the rematch game I wish my real team could have actually played.

And you start to get this feeling; trust me. It's not until Palmer has thrown for his 300th yard, or Benson has made his 5th rushing touchdown and after your kicker has more receptions then their top three wide-outs combined. You get this feeling that everything is going to be okay. That your team is finally the insanely over-hyped killing machine that you think they are. Er, thought they were.

Final score: Bengals 89 - Patriots 3

Day Five:
Scrutiny

I'm finally out of my slump on the fifth day, and it's finally time to take a good hard look at what actually happened. I have to look at every pass, every run, and every kick to determine what truly went wrong for my team. The more technical I can get, the better.

Passing logs comparative to the average for Palmer, for all quarterbacks, for Brady. Average YAC for receivers, passer ratings, and game film for just how fast Bernard Scott hit the hole. At the end of the day, I'm a lean, mean, statistics-quoting machine. By day's end, I know just whose head should be on a silver platter.

Day Six:
Mounting an Offensive

The previous day is crucial to the sixth day, as I finally turn my attention to the opposition. Now armed with a quiver full of data, I can set out on a journey to set the record straight. No tweet is left unguarded, no status unchecked, no e-mail unanswered as I fly solo on my mission to conquer the nay-sayers. I march to the top of the hill and firmly plant the flag into the sand, declaring that this is where our season stands. (And, you know, some slurs toward the other team's players. Sorry, Wes Welker.)

And for that small amount of time, I don't think I could be prouder to be a Bengals fan. Then again, being 19, I have yet to see the Bengals win a playoff game. We'll talk then.

Day Seven:
Forward Progress

By the final day I couldn't even tell you the score of last week's game. What? We lost? Whatever, it's a new week.

It happens that quickly. In just 144 hours I've already forgotten about last week's game in anticipation of the following week's gridiron match-up. My fantasy team's roster has been selected and checked twice, and I'm back to my pre- pre-game rituals. I've gathering all the ingredients for the brewing process of hating this week's opponent. And I suppose it isn't until now, finally, that able to fully accept a Bengals loss.

I mean, even if it was a team we could have beaten.

J-Ride Pedicabs: Contest!

I fell in love with pedicabs-- tiny taxis powered by people on bikes-- in both Austin and San Diego. Dan and I have talked at length about what a perfect addition pedicabs would be to Cincinnati, since just about anywhere you'd need to go is within a quick bike trip.

It sounds as though we are getting our own pedicab service: J-Ride!

Since it sounds too good to be true: the first person to send me a snapshop of a pedicab on the street will earn bike fare for a trip!

Cincinnati Bell FiOptics - a year later

We are coming up on a year since my original FiOptics install and I wanted to build another post around that. The FiOptics posts get a lot of traffic and we continue to receive comments on these posts regularly, even though the last post is dated February of this year.

Since that last post we have purchased a new condo in the Gateway Quarter and I was able to have my Cincinnati Bell FiOptics service transferred to our new place from Clifton. That in itself turned into a huge headache, but I think it was primary because it is a new service and at the time nobody had transferred their service before and the processes weren't 100% worked out. Anyway, after some headaches, mis-scheduled techs and confusion we got it moved and the tech they eventually sent out was a really good and really helpful getting things sorted out and had me back online in about 20 minutes.

Just as with our previous install, this one has been pretty rock solid. The internet rarely, if ever goes down, and if it does it is back up within minutes vs HOURS of downtime we quite often experienced with Time Warner Cable.

The internet is killer, 20Mb service and it screams. Everyone loves that part.

The part everyone continues to hate is the television service. The DVR GUI is still pretty buggy, even after some minor updates (it's maybe 10% less horrible than it was). The on-demand functionality continues to be a headache for most people. Ours works... sometimes, more than often requires a reboot and even then it's ungodly slow to load, if it loads.

I think the real issue is that most of us are coming from well developed and established television services. The DVRs from Time Warner and DIRECTV are well polished and mature products. On it's own, Cincinnati Bell's television service does the basics and does them well enough. We aren't in a walled garden though and when you come from a service on another provider that is polished and mature, that is where the CB stuff really looks bad. It's like going from your iPhone to a Motorola StarTac. Does it work? Sure. Does it do what is advertised? I suppose. How's it compare to that iPhone you had? It doesn't, and thats the problem here.

Because of some of my ranting on here and on Twitter I got a couple GUI/firmware and DVR hardware upgrades early, however at this point the software you have on your stuff is the same as mine and we all know it's not much of an upgrade. It did fix a few a few bugs that were pretty significant and I'm glad Cincinnati Bell was on that. The question though is what is next, because this service still is lacking when you start comparing it to the competition. From some recent comments it sounds like CB may be moving to Motorola DVRs, however I am assuming the software is more or less the same as the Cisco boxes.

Right now there's a debate in our condo building about this very topic and the solution some are looking at are DIRECTV. I'm not a fan of satellite dishes or having to swap services, but the DVR is really bugging people and they're getting tired of waiting. DIRECTV even has an iPhone app that lets you control it from anywhere. Very cool stuff.

I'd like to clarify that the problems with the Cincinnati Bell DVR is more than GUI deep. I was told a few stories by CB techs that people would cancel the service upon seeing the GUI because they thought it was ugly, or something along those lines. I think that's a rather idiotic thing to do without even trying it, as it's pretty much the same GUI as Time Warner had maybe 5 years ago. Could the GUI be better? Sure, but to me there are more serious problems with functionality, stability and usability that trump an ugly GUI. A few problems I've had lately are just the overall lag in moving between menu's and options. It used to be a whole lot worse, but it's 2010 and I think our expectations on anything digital are much much higher than they used to be. If Apple can squeeze everything an iPhone can do into a device the size of my palm, certainly a device as bit as a DVR can be faster and smoother and more reliable.

I really hope Cincinnati Bell is listening to its customers, reading the blog posts, the comments and various reviews. There's a lot of good feedback out there and based on my contact with Cincinnati Bell I'm sure they are doing just that. I just wonder what the next move is gonna look like for this service and if it will come in time for some of their customers.

website: http://cincinnatibell.com/fioptics/

MidPoint Music Festival 2010

Midpoint Music Fest was last weekend, in case you live under a rock and managed to not hear about it. This year they had over 250 music showcases going over the three days. The music was spread across 25 or so stages throughout the central business district and Over-the-Rhine.

We picked up three day passes earlier this summer at Fountain Square and managed to catch a few good shows during our time wandering the streets of Cincinnati listening to music fill the streets.

Here's a quick rundown of the stuff we managed to see.

Thursday - First up was a trip to the Know Theatre to see Nathan Holscher. The plan was to stay for Jessica Lea Mayfield, but her show was cancelled so we headed to Grammers to see Best Coast. From there we went to Jack Potts to see Walk the Moon, who put on a pretty incredible live show.

Friday - we took this night off and were at Music Hall for the Cincinnati Pops

Saturday - Started off at Mixx to see the Koala Fires, then checked out Chocolate Horse at Below Zero. After that we wandered down to FB's to watch Bourtros setup, but since they were running late we took off and headed to the CAC to catch A Place to Bury Strangers who were probably one of my favorites, even if they had to endure countless power loss issues.

I know some people who were trying to cram a dozen or so bands in per-night, which would have made for some crazy nights. We opted to just check out a few here and there and not live by any real set schedule. It worked out well and I think next year we might do the same, but maybe start a bit earlier and plan for all three days. Definitely one of my favorite Cincinnati events and if you haven't attended before be sure to check it out next year.

website: http://www.mpmf.com/

Cincinnati Pops season opener with Idina Menzel

Art is my number one connection with this city, and a huge part of my "re-adventure." While I love the new(-to-us) restaurants, shops and events that Dan and I take in, the easiest way for me to fall in love with Cincinnati over and over again is through art, art, art.


Through my much-beloved Enjoy the Arts* subscription, I managed to snag three tickets to the Cincinnati Pops season opener... on opening night... third row center... for half price. (Guh.) My mom, my guy and I were itching to get back to the symphony, especially as Idina Menzel was their guest performer.

The first act was Idina-free and super-short... which I lamented, a bit. The Pops began with a tribute to a symphony member they'd recently lost, which reduced my mom and me to tears within the first few notes. After a moment of silence, they transitioned into a selection of Broadway tunes, such as the overture from West Side Story, but it was over far too quickly. Yes, I was anxious to see Ms. Menzel, but this symphony is incredibly talented and I could have listened to them all night.

(I suppose there are plenty of opportunities for that, yes?)


And then there was Idina Menzel. Menzel's act was much longer, but it was over in the blink of an eye. Menzel is the kind of woman who owns a stage-- you can tell she grew up as an actress, not solely as a chanteuse. She was ribald and goofy at times, though she also displayed perfectly controlled moments of grace and charm. You could get whiplash watching her change character between pensive lounge singer and goofy new mother. (Idina Menzel has a one-year-old boy, Walker, and anecdotes and toddler-songs dominated my least favorite part of her set.)


The best moment in the night-- I'll say "for me" but I think it'd be hard for anyone to argue-- was toward the end, when Menzel set down her microphone and powered through "For Good" from Wicked, a capella and peering into the audience to make sure she was connecting with the people in the nosebleeds. It's moments like that which take a performance to a higher level, and I think it was more than just the Wicked fans who were touched by this moment of engagement.

My seats were so close to the stage that I could read the pianist's song book to see what she was going to sing next. I think I've been spoiled.

Cincinnati Pops website: http://cincinnatipops.org/Home.php
Idina Menzel's website: http://www.idinamenzel.com/
Enjoy the Arts website: http://www.enjoythearts.org/

*Enjoy the Arts, which I've mentioned over and over again, makes me feel like I am robbing the artists sometimes, because I get such insane deals (and frequent free tickets) to local venues. As I was explaining to my mom, I can't wait to grow into the artistic benefactor I hope to be some day, and be able to support programs like this so that people like me can get hooked on the arts at a young age.

Painting the Street; ArtsWave


Dan and I were set to volunteer for ArtsWave's "Painting the Street" event... until I got knocked out by a bit of food poisoning. Whee!

We were able to slip downstairs to see the progress the community was making, however. We ran into friends like JT Barse and Jenny Kessler-- Jenny had been volunteering all morning to help coordinate the painters, and she said that the painting was going much faster than the team had anticipated.

It was incredible to see so many people flooding 12th Street! It's a road I pass every day on my commute-by-foot to work, and I hope the paint (and the interest in visiting this new street mural!) sticks around for a while.

Here are some of the great shots Dan snapped on our visit:








That last picture was snapped from our balcony, to give you an idea of how close to our "backyard" this new community project is. Yea!

ArtsWave website: http://theartswave.org/home

Joe's Diner - revisited

We posted about Joe's Diner on Sycamore a while back and wanted to post a follow-up about our visits since their 'soft' opening. We have been back 3 or 4 times since and have really enjoyed each visit. Their menu is a lot bigger than it looks and even on our last visit, my fifth visit to Joe's, I was finding things I had never even noticed on the menu. Lately we have had friends and family specifically request to go there when they are visiting downtown, which is a rare thing. Usually people come down and leave the food choices to us because they tend to not know the options, so Joe's must be getting some decent press.

Last time we visited I also finally tried the chicken and waffles that get much praise on Urban Spoon. I've never had that combo before, so it's hard to truly judge, but it was really good and they make a fine waffle.

I think they are still finding their footing a bit with the way things run, but each time we visit they seem to be getting better. It seems like it's really becoming a neighborhood diner; the staff are all very friendly and there's always a good amount of people dining when we go in. We'll definitely continue visiting and hope Joe's is here to stay.

Joe's Diner on Sycamore on Urbanspoon

Gregory Maguire at the Cincinnati Public Library

Gregory Maguire was just here! (Seriously, as it's only 8:30pm as I write this, he might still be signing books the library.)

Maguire-- best known as the author of the Wicked series-- popped by the downtown branch of the library this evening to give a presentation he called "My Wicked Origins," and to sign books for his adoring fans. I'm always amazed that events like these are free, since to me they're a lot like concerts but for writing, complete with roadies and tech checks and backstage passes. (This event did have a "backstage" option-- for a $100 donation to the library, you could meet Mr. Maguire for dinner and a chat beforehand. A "very cool fundraiser," as Dan put it.)


I was the first one plopped in a folding chair, because I am a nut. I read to pass the time, and just before 7pm, they ushered on a couple of students from the SCPA to belt a few songs from the musical version of Wicked. (For the diehard among you: "The Wizard and I," followed by "For Good.")


(Pardon for the poor photography-- I remembered the book I wanted to have signed, but not a decent camera. Priorities!)

Gregory Maguire was engaging, funny, and flawlessly-timed (he had one piece of his presentation set to music). I feel that, in the same shoes, I might have been fatigued to be talking about a book I wrote 15 years ago, but Maguire completely owned it and melted the hearts of his Wicked-loving audience.


Dan also had a great time, which is important to include as he is not the Maguire nutter that I am. :)

Interesting though tangential: Idina Menzel (the original Elphaba, from the Broadway cast of Wicked) is performing at Music Hall this weekend.


Gregory Maguire's website: http://www.gregorymaguire.com/

Holiday Auto Theatre


When's the last time you've been to a drive-in movie?


For me, it had been a couple of years. For Dan, it had been practically forever-- and that simply could not stand.

I'm on the email list for Holiday Auto Theatre, one of only maybe two remaining drive-ins in the area. When they announced a throw-back Disney night: Toy Story 3 and The Absent-Minded Professor, I knew we had to make a night of it. Dan and I tossed a few blankets in the car and headed up to Hamilton.


What a gorgeous evening! We were one of the first cars through the gate, and chose a beautiful spot in the dead center of the car park-- in close proximity to the snack stand, of course. As the sun set, a manager in a golf cart scooted around, making sure that SUVs didn't park in spots that would obscure other drivers' views.

Finally the world grew dark and the movies started. Holiday plays all the vintage ads, interstitials, countdowns, you name it-- it adds something special to what could be just watching a movie outdoors.


The stars need to align for a beautiful night at the drive-in, but they certainly aligned for us. The weather was gorgeous, and-- if you can believe it-- we were even able to see stars! Actual glimmering stars!

Holiday Auto Theatre website: http://www.holidayautotheatre.com/

Cincinnati Comic Expo 2010

The first annual Cincinnati Comic Expo happened last Saturday at the Cintas Center at Xavier University. Having a comic show in Cincinnati is a blessing for anyone who has been traveling out of town for them over the years. I believe the closest shows were in Columbus, but you had to go to Chicago or further for some events.

For a first show the turnout, in terms of vendors and attendees was really great, so great that the date is already set for next year. They have secured the Duke Energy Center downtown for it, although I think a lot of us were hoping to have it at Union Terminal, but a proper convention center is ok too.

If you missed it, you should make a point to attend next year, as I imagine it will be bigger and better.  The vendors we talked to were really upbeat and impressed with the turnout and I'm sure this success will only make people more enthusiastic for the next year.

Reminder! Cincinnati Comic Expo is Saturday


Hey, just a quick reminder that Saturday is the Cincinnati Comic Expo at the Cintas Center - this is the first year for it, so be sure to attend. Tons of great sessions and speakers, not to mention a growing list of exhibitors and vendors! Our favorite, Clifton Comics will be there as well, so be sure to swing by and say hi.

For the most up-to-date information about the show visit their website: http://www.cincinnaticomicexpo.com/

4U Urban Fashion Boutique

4U Urban Fashion Boutique

First, let me say this: it is downright odd to walk into any store in the Gateway Quarter and not be warmly greeted right away. I think it is more of a testament to the Quarter that I feel this way, than a demerit against 4U Urban Fashion Boutique that I was not immediately chatted up.

4U Urban Fashion Boutique

4U Fashion Boutique is the clothing shop that occupies what was once Outside. Not gonna lie: I miss Outside quite a bit, and it was hard even walking into that building again. But once you're inside, it's hard to imagine that there were ever bird feeders, terraria and grills strewn about-- it is completely transformed into a very chic little outfitter.

4U Urban Fashion Boutique

I'll admit to being a bit of a clothing cheapskate, but the prices at 4U were much lower than I'd expected. The items were all very unique, hip, well-made, and desirable; while the store does seem to be catering to the stick-figure body type, I still found quite a few items that I wouldn't mind introducing to my closet. They also manage a much larger men's selection than you typically find... well, just about anywhere.

4U Urban Fashion Boutique website: http://www.4uboutique.com/

Loveland Castle

In Europe you will find Chateau Doue la Fontaine, which dates back to 950 AD. In Ohio you will find Chateau Laroche, who's construction started in 1929, and may be completed sometime in this century.

Erica has made comments before about how anyone from Europe would roll their eyes if they saw us getting excited about restoring buildings from the 1800's and I couldn't help but wonder what their reaction would be to the Loveland Castle.

For anyone who hasn't visited before, the castle was built by Harry Andrews. A medic during the first world war, he returned to the United States and decided to build a castle for the Boy Scout troop he led, inspired by the castles he visited around Europe after the War. Harry was an interesting character and according to the website was even declared dead after the War, prompting his fiance to marry another man before he was declared un-dead.

Since his second death in 1981 the castle has been under the care of the Knights of the Golden Trail, which was the name of the Boy Scout troop that Harry led in the 1920's. Work continued after he passed and they continue to repair and carry on the work Harry started.

Visiting the castle is interesting to say the least, and I'm sure it was a crazy experience for young kids in the Scout troop. The entrance area is full of historical information about Harry and the castle. You can tour most of it and for $3 it's worth it to explore and look around. If you have kids I would say this is a must see, as I can imagine kids would have a blast there. For adults its interesting and probably a bit strange, but worth seeing nonetheless.

Hours vary depending on season, so check the website if you plan on visiting. The site also contains some more detailed history and facts about the castle, as well as about Harry, all of which are interesting reads.

website: http://www.lovelandcastle.com/

Upcoming! (Late September, October)

Dan and I just made the overwhelming mistake of opening our Google Calendar to see what was coming up soon. Oh my lawd, are we ever slammed with stuff to do!

In case your October and late September don't look as rich and fun as ours do, here's a roundup of the events we're planning on taking part in. Many of them are free, and even more are walkable from downtown!
How are you filling the next month and a half?! Any must-sees that we've missed?

Guestblog & Flying Pig #10: Werkhaus

Quite some time back, an awesome reader contacted me because she'd found one of the elusive piggies. She promised to snap a pic next time she saw him, and here we have 'im! Thanks, MaryWernke!!


Werkhaus Pizza & Pasta has a red, white and blue pig which stands close enough to the road that it looks like it is waving at passing drivers. At one time it must have been a “Super Pig,” because there is a design on the back of its shirt that looks like it was once a Superman “S.”

Up close, Super Pig is not faring well in its exposure to the elements, with chipped and faded coloring and some cracks as well. Was there a time frame when these pigs were created that said how long they would last outdoors? I hope that there is a way to maintain these statues for a long time, as I like them and their cleverness very much.

As for Werkhaus, it is located at 3637 Werk Road on the border between the city of Cincinnati/Westwood and Green Township/Bridgetown. The owner is Mike Westendorf. The restaurant is a remodeled wood frame house and sits across the street from the back entrance to Toys 'R' Us.

Its main entrees are pizzas, hoagies and other pasta dishes. A small plate of spaghetti for lunch is $5.99, while the most expensive items are the large (13-inch) stuffed pizzas for $18.99. I chose a small (8-inch) original crust pizza for lunch. Its name was The Werks! (I do love the possibility for puns with this name), with pepperoni, sausage, onion and green peppers, and I substituted black olives for the bacon. It was delicious and I ate the whole thing!

Carryout is available and there is also a catering menu. Telephone number is (513) 451-9911 and its website address is www.werkhauspizza.com.

Cassano

Cassano
On a recent visit to Fairfield for a friends birthday we ended up at Cassano Pizza King. I've been there a handful of times with friends, but this was Erica's first time. From what I've heard Cassano's is a pretty popular chain up near Dayton, but doesn't have much of a presence in the Cincinnati area.

This location is in a small shopping center off route 4 in Fairfield. The restaurant is definite a bit dated, although the shopping center itself has had a pretty recent facelift. I actually used to visit this shopping center weekly when I was taking guitar lessons at Buddy Rogers during my high school years. Cassano's is next to where the music shop used to be.

The restaurant isn't anything fancy, you order your food at the counter and service is pretty quick. I've only ever had pizza there, but they also offer an assortment of other options, such as subs and a few italian staples. The pizza is very thin and tends to be on the greasy side. Overall it's pretty decent if you like truly thin crust pizza.

One odd thing is that this location isn't listed on the actual Cassano's website, but it's definitely a real place, perhaps an independent franchise or something. If you're in Fairfield and want a quick and pretty cheap bite to eat give it a try.

website: http://www.casssanos.com

Cassano's Pizza & Subs on Urbanspoon

Washington Platform

Washington Platform plays a key role in my love for Over-the-Rhine: it was the place where Dan took me to eat lunch on the first day we visited OTR together, and before I visited Findlay Market for the first time.

Washington Platform

Yes, that was over a year ago! What of it?

Since moving downtown, Washington Platform is the place that Dan and I reserve for when guests come in for lunch. It's not a far walk, the food is delicious (with plenty of kid-friendly options, which tends to be a big factor), the service is friendly, the atmosphere is comfortable, and it's the kind of place where you can stay for hours and talk if you want.

Washington Platform

Naturally I forgot to take pictures of the food on our last visit, but there are plentiful options, especially if you're in the mood for something different. For instance, I love their roast beef sandwich on pretzel bread. They have (or tend to have, from time to time) a wicked wing selection. Dan likes the Dixie chicken, with cheese and bacon and that awesome pretzel bread again.

They own a coffee company now, Muddy Cup, and some family members who sampled the coffee really liked it. So if that's your thing, hurrah.

They also tend to have a ton of events going on, so check the website.

Chocolate bomb

That dessert, by the way? The "chocolate bomb," and my stomach trembles just thinking about that monster. (Yum.)

Washington Platform website: http://www.washingtonplatform.com/
Washington Platform Saloon on Urbanspoon

Demetrios IV

I was having a rough day, and we were cruising for lunch options in Mariemont. Dan pulled into Demetrios.
ME: "Have you been here before?"
DAN: "Nope."
ME: "But you don't like new things!"
DAN: "I know, but you do."

I love this guy, kids.

Demetrios IV menu

Demetrios is an odd little spot. I had no idea it was even there; Dan used to live in Mariemont and was much more familiar with the area, but he'd never stopped in.

It's, uh... how do I put this?

It's a place for old people THERE I SAID IT.

Demetrios IV

The thing is: hot spots for blue-hairs tend to be right up my alley. Demetrios IV was no exception. As Dan perused the menu I eavesdropped on conversations about grandkids and taxes (no joke) as people sipped coffee and noshed on plates of eggs. I was very at home.

If you hadn't guessed from the name, Demetrios is owned by a Greek family. Thus, if you order the chili, don't expect the Texan kind. (Yea!) I had a 4-way (spag, chili, red beans and cheese)-- it was in the Gold Star tradition. (Double yea!) Dan had some kind of chicken-cheese-bacon fiasco and he enjoyed it.

Demetrios IV

This is not a place for out-of-this-world dining, but it's a comfortable spot with family photos on the wall and comfort food you can count on. It was delightful new find, and I can see myself there again. Maybe even for the 4-way.

Demetrios IV on Urbanspoon