This morning we were having a discussion, with our trainer, about the restaurant business, here in Cincinnati. It seems to us that things are holding up very well, and that except for a few instances, the places we frequent are serving as many customers, give or take a few in either direction, as they were previously. This should be viewed as good news, at least, for this segment of the economy.
Another point he made, was that young people, instead of giving up candy, alcohol or smoking for Lent are giving time or money to those less fortunate than themselves. If this is a national trend it is certainly a sign of maturity and sharing.
Back to my food reporting:
A week ago we went, with a young friend and her 5 year old twins, to "Gordo's Pub and Grill", 4328 Montgomery Road Cincinnati(Norwood) OH, 45212-513-351-1999. "Gordo's" is a bar with table service and a menu that is larger that just "bar food". Their specialties are Burgers but the menu ranges from Crab Cakes and baked mixed Mushrooms to Ribeye and also Shrimp Linguini.
I choose the "Jean-Robert" Burger. The owner and chef used to work in Jean-Robert's kitchen. It is a half pound burger with a mix of bacon, onion compote, blue cheese and mixed herbs topped with a grape and goat cheese compote. The topping is lightly applied, but sufficient, so the meat flavor is predominant. It is served with "steak fries" and even though I ordered them "well done" I would rather have the thin FF's. Marilyn had the "Pub" Burger, which in other venues is a cheese burger with lettuce, tomato and onions. The two 5 year old's had chicken strips and Mac&Cheese, the later being very good. The other adult had a BLT, good but nothing special.
They have a full bar and a large array of beer's. The crowd is more upscale than I had imagined and all the table were full.
After dinner, with two 5 year old's, it was mandatory for a stop for Ice Cream, and that night we gave our business to a Norwood UDF. The outstanding desert was Marilyn's scoop of Vanilla Carmel crunch, a winner.
We have been out twice to "Pelican's Reef", one a Saturday and one a Sunday, and both times they were full. I reported in "Bits and Bites" on the Sunday meal and this past Saturday night I had an excellent grilled fish sandwich with Cajun seasoning. I am ashamed that I did not write down the fish but is was something starting with a "C" which makes it's home in the Florida Keys. Some food reporter,I.
Yesterday lunch was at "J Alexander" in Rookwood Commons. Again I have reported. They were full, with people waiting in line for tables to turn. I had very tasty Artic Char, one of my favorites, done to perfection on the grill with a lemon butter topping.
It is my hope that my observations of decent to good business bodes well for the restaurant business and the economy in general. A toast to the glass half full.