Sunday, January 31, 2010


Several years ago "The Little Owl" on the west side of lower Manhattan popularised the slider( mini hamburgers served on a small bun). They became a big restaurant item, even though "White Castle" had been serving their version since the 1920's or 30's. We have had sliders of beef, pork and seafood. One of my favorites being the Walleye Sliders at the "Green Mill" in Bemidji, MN. Now "Otto's" 521 Main St. Covington KY-859-491-6678 has added a "Kobe Beef" slider to their offerings.
Thursday night 5 of us went to "Otto's", our other family dining room, for dinner, and as it turned out the evening. On a week night "Otto's" is a gathering of regulars and "new bee's". All are welcome. Table turnover is at a very leisurely pace, if at all. We started with their wonderful "friend green tomato's", in my opinion the best in the area, after which the kitchen wanted us to try the sliders, which were introduced that day. At present, the nice size beef patty is presented with one of 3 sauces; a spicy pesto, a tomato onion jam and goat cheese and a sharp Cheddar with fresh tomato. I hope my memory is serving me correctly as I didn't take notes and now 3 days later there is a high likelihood that I am leaving out or mixing things. Ask you server to review, and go from there. We all enjoyed this new item and in fact one of the others ordered another order for her dinner which came with crispy sweet potato fries and a Honey dipping sauce. The rest of the dinner was up to their usual standard. I had a sizable iceberg wedge followed by "shrimp and grits", the other male a tenderloin and Marilyn and the other women split their always excellent tilapia
Unfortunately, for the waist line, they then brought 3 desserts which are now "in house" baked. An out of this world Apricot Bread Pudding with shaved white chocolate and a Carmel sauce, a flowerless chocolate cake rich enough for the most ardent "chocolatholic" and a creme brulee which unfortunately had not "set up". The latter was too runny for my taste but one of the others thought it was just the way she liked it. Go please everyone.
If you get the feeling we had a fun, outstanding evening that is an understatement.

Wednesday noon I had lunch with a business companion. She loves Mexican food and so we tired "El Toro" in the Hyde park shopping center. This is the first entree into Cincinnati for a family chain based in Champaign IL, who operate 8 "stores" in central Illinois. They have taken over a large space, formerly operated as a breakfast and lunch competitor to "First Watch". "El Toro" has been there about 4 weeks. They are open for lunch and dinner with a full bar and a very large regular menu. It is handicapped accessible.
We decide to split an order of Tamale's and one of Poblano Peppers, plenty. Both arrived with such speed that we hardly had time to sample the chips and very good salsa and sip our drinks. The food was served hot and was taste and not too highly seasoned. Price, including a generous tip was $9 each. I certainly will return and hope that the service and food remain at this pleasant level for a mid-sized chain or any chain for that matter.

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