My family and I enjoy spending time occasionally out at Summit Park in Blue Ash. When the park first opened there wasn’t much more than a playground a grass fields. Now there are restaurants, an observation tower, nature playscape, and much more!

Inside

Inside

After letting the kids get their energy out early on afternoon day, we stopped into the Brown Dog Cafe for brunch, which is offered on Saturday and Sunday from 10-3. I’m not the biggest fan of brunch menus typically due to the overwhelming amount of eggs that are typically on the, but Brown Dog had a nice variety of offerings, so I agreed to give it a try.

View

View

Inside and outside dining options are available, both with a view overlooking some of the parks main features. We settled into our high-backed booth and enjoyed the views on a pretty but chilly morning. I started with a Kentucky mule, a favorite of mine that combines bourbon, lime, mint, ginger syrup, and soda. There are also a variety of other craft cocktails that are worth a try!

Flyin' Hawaiian

Flyin’ Hawaiian

As I mentioned earlier there is a good variety on the brunch menu, including brick oven pizzas. I went with the Flyin’ Hawaiian with house smoked local pork belly, pineapple, red onion, house BBQ sauce, and local cheddar cheese curd ($16). This was a really good pizza and the toppings were of the highest quality.

Monte Cristo

Monte Cristo

My wife went with the Monte Cristo, which was great since we actually shared these plates. This sandwich combines ham, turkey, and Swiss between grilled French Toast and served with fresh fruit ($13). This was also really good, though the sourdough bread made for French Toast that was a little lighter than I was expecting. Something a little more dense might really make this excellent.

Our kids were happy with the chocolate chip pancake ($8) and the breakfast plate with one egg, bacon, ham, or turkey sausage, and toast ($6). The dinner menu looks fairly pricey making Brown Dog a candidate for a suburban date night, though we are much more likely to enjoy brunch or lunch again in the future.

Brown Dog Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I have a lot of memories of Mt. Lookout Tavern from college, but none of them are centered around a dining experience. Back then it didn’t seem like a good place to grab a bite, but the reinvented MLT has surprised me by offering really good bar food.

Inside

Inside

The inside has changed a lot since those college days. There are more tables that I remember, though it does seem like the tables can now be moved out of the way for the late night bar scene. The bathrooms could use some work though, as those don’t seem to be have been updated yet.

Chicken Philly

Chicken Philly

For lunch I went with the Chicken Philly with sauteed banana peppers, onions, and mushrooms topped with melted provolone and mayo on a hoagie roll ($9.49). I was really surprised by the good quality of this sandwich, and it was very filling. I also had added a side of freshly prepared onion rings for $3.

Hot Pretzel Bites

Hot Pretzel Bites

There is no kids menu to speak of, but our little ones were happy ordering from the appetizer menu. Two of their favorite items are at the top of the list, hot pretzel bites with MLT bier cheese ($6.49) and mini corn dogs with honey mustard ($5.99). Both were large servings and the kids had no complaints.

Mini Corn Dogs

Mini Corn Dogs

My wife ordered a build your own quesadilla ($5.49 to start, veggie fillings $.50 each, meat $1.99 each). Nothing out of the ordinary here, but again another solid option for a decent price.

Quesadilla

Quesadilla

On another visit I thoroughly enjoyed the buffalo chicken wrap ($8.99) and the loaded nachos that were enough for an entire family ($7.99, $2 to add chicken). MLT has been added to our neighborhood rotation of restaurants for a solid lunch or dinner.

Mt. Lookout Tavern Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

If you haven’t yet tried anything from the Brown Bear Bakery in Over-the-Rhine you need to head there right away. Well don’t do it today as they aren’t open on Tuesdays, but get there before weeks end. While there are plenty of great bakeries in Cincinnati, Brown Bear is on another level.

Counter

Counter

My wife and I grabbed a quick bite as a late breakfast and quickly decided to split the cinnamon roll and the savory brioche (both $5 each). The cinnamon roll is what brought us there in the first place, but the brioche stole the show!

Baked Goods

Baked Goods

The gooey cinnamon rolls are served with plenty of icing on top as well as orange zest to kick it up a notch. This was a delicious offering, but once I tried the savory brioche I had an immediate favorite. The light and fluffy bread is covered with goat cheese, spices, and topped with pepitas. It is the perfect combination of flavors and left me wanting more!

Brown Bear Bakery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Located in the Anderson Towne Center, Latitudes Bar & Bistro has been open for over a decade with the current owners at the reigns for the last nine years. The outside of the building is warm and inviting, but the inside was quite dark and had a different feel to it than I was expecting.

Inside

Inside

My family and I arrived for an early Sunday lunch and found the restaurant nearly completely empty. We didn’t let this deter us and grabbed a table near the stage that is used for nightly entertainment. Our service was fast and super friendly.

Mediterranean Platter

Mediterranean Platter

We started with the Mediterranean Platter filled with falafel, spanakopita, hummus, pickled veggies, and pita bread ($12). This was a ton of food for my wife and I and it was all of such great quality. This could easily feed a group of four as a solid starter for your meal.

Buffalo Chicken Flatbread

Buffalo Chicken Flatbread

My wife and I also split the buffalo chicken flatbread with a ranch base, chicken, red onions, crumbled blue cheese, mozzarella cheese, and drizzled with ranch dressing and hot sauce ($11). Again, this was a filling flat bread and the taste was excellent! We ended up taking a good portion of this home after eating our way through the appetizer.

Cheeseburger Sliders

Cheeseburger Sliders

Our son enjoyed the cheeseburger sliders with fries ($5). Sunday is also kids eat free day, so our bill at the end was really cheap! These looked like high quality burgers and our son was happy and really enjoyed the fresh cut fries as well.

Chicken Bites

Chicken Bites

Our daughter enjoyed the chicken bites, which are essentially boneless wings without sauce, served with fries ($5). I’m sure most kids would enjoy this plate, but our daughter actually preferred the Mediterranean platter.

While the restaurant space is a little odd, the food at Latitudes Bar & Bistro is great, the service was superb, and we all left happy. When we are back in the area we will not hesitation to visit again.

Latitudes Bistro & Lounge @ The Omni Hotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Recently we completed a landscaping renovation with Young Entrepreneur Landscaping LLC. Our old cracked concrete walkways were the primary motivation behind the project, but like so many other projects once we started looking to replace that we decided to include some others.

Before Front

Before Front

Before Back

Before Back

Our old back paver patio was in need of repair or replacement, and our front steps also needed some TLC. When the project was complete we had new matching Unilock pavers installed all the way from the front sidewalk to and including the back patio. We also had new custom built stairs up to the front porch complete with a new railing. And of course once this was all done we needed new sod planted to clean it all up.

New Stairs

New Stairs

New Walkways

New Walkways

New Patio & Sod

New Patio & Sod

Owner Barrett Weckel was very easy to work with and had great ideas for our space. It was all executed to perfection by partner Nate Record and his two-man crew in a couple of weeks. They all worked very hard to make sure we were completely satisfied and were quick to make any adjustments as the project unfolded. We couldn’t have been happier with the entire process and all of their hard work!

I was recently invited to a blogger dinner at Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers. I had dined at Freddy’s once before, but this was the first time taking the entire family. It was on a Tuesday, which is their family night with balloons, toys, coloring pages, and the best part – a free kids dessert!

Inside

Inside

We started with the cheese curds, which came highly recommended by our host. Their cheese curds are premium white cheddar cheese, lightly covered with butter crumbs and fried to a gooey golden perfection. About the size of a tater tot, the cheese curds can be popped into your mouth and savored, with or without a dipping sauce. A great start to our dinner!

Cheese Curds

Cheese Curds

For my meal I tried the new spicy chicken sandwich. This it normally just topped with pickle planks, but I chose to have it loaded with more veggies and some Freddy’s sauce on top. The sandwich has a nice cayenne pepper kick – a kick, just enough for those looking to spice it up a bit, but not too hot for those who typically shy away from all-things spicy.

Spicy Chicken Sandwich

Spicy Chicken Sandwich

My daughter enjoyed the kid’s cheeseburger meal, which includes a small order of fries and a drink. The small order of fries is not really small at all. We had so many fries at our table, and my wife didn’t even order any.

Kid's Burger

Kid’s Burger

My son enjoyed the grilled cheese meal. Normally this is a a mix of Swiss and American cheese, but they were happy to make his with just American. Everything at Freddy’s is cooked to order, so while it can take a bit longer to prepare, it is always fresh and just the way you like it!

Grilled Cheese

Grilled Cheese

After finishing our meals, we were all treated to our choice of frozen custard desserts. Frozen custard is smoother and richer than ice cream, thanks to a time-tested churning process that minimizes ice crystals and excess air.

Custard Machine

Custard Machine

My daughter was so excited to make her own dirt n’ worms sundae with vanilla custard, Oreo cookies, gummi worms, whipped cream, and a cherry. I went with the chocolate brownie delight concrete with chocolate custard, brownie, hot fudge, whipped cream, and a cherry on top. A concrete is Freddy’s fresh and creamy frozen custard blended with mix-ins like chocolate fudge, caramel, candy pieces or fruit. The name “concrete” came about because the finished treat is so thick it can be served upside down!

Dirt 'n Worms

Dirt ‘n Worms

We had a great time at Freddy’s and now is your chance to win a $50 Freddy’s gift card!

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Freddy's Frozen Custard and Steakburgers Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

While I don’t make it down to Taft’s Ale House very often I do like their beers. I was happy when they opened Taft’s Brewpourium about a year ago. It’s closer to home and easier for my family to get to. Also I much prefer the pizza menu over the beef heavy menu at the Ale House.

Tomato Pie with Mozzarella

Tomato Pie with Mozzarella

The Brewpourium is in an old warehouse style building with lots of open space for both kids and adults to play. There is shuffleboard, darts, giant jenga, cornhole, etc. Picnic table seating is available throughout the space. They primarily serve apizza, which is also called New Haven-style. Essentially it is thin crust and rapid fired.

BBQ Pork Pie

BBQ Pork Pie

My wife and I split the BBQ Pork Pie with pulled pork, Cherrywood Amber Ale BBQ sauce, smoked cheddar, red onion, jalapeno, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, and cilantro ($20 for 16″). I really enjoyed this pizza and it was more than enough for the 2 of us. In fact we took half of it home with us.

Knots

Knots

Our kids split a tomato pie with mozzarella ($8 for 10″) and also loved the house made garlic knots ($6). On later visits we have been known to get two orders of knots, as everyone in the family really enjoys them. I will also say that The Roebling pizza with ricotta is awesome! We are definitely fans of the Brewpourium.

Taft's Brewpourium Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Since moving to Hyde Park the nearby Buffalo Wild Wings was my go to spot for wings. But now that Buffalo Wings & Rings has opened up I have a new favorite spot. The location is tucked back in Oakley Station and is in a brand new building. The inside is large, open, and very clean. There are plenty of seating options available with a large bar, high top tables, booths, and smaller tables.

Inside

Inside

My wife has never been a fan of wing restaurants, but one great thing about Wings & Rings is that there is plenty of variety on the menu. Take this southwestern veggie burger for example, with cucumber, avocado, cheddar jack cheese, chipotle aioli, lettuce, tomato, and pickle ($9.99). The black bean patty was nothing out of the ordinary, but the toppings definitely kicked it up a notch. She was also happy to get steamed broccoli on the side instead of fries or chips.

Southwestern Veggie Burger

Southwestern Veggie Burger

On our first visit I went with the buffalo chicken club with fried tenders in hot sauce, applewood-smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato, and bleu cheese dip ($9.99). Their buffalo tenders are outstanding, fresh fried and juicy. This is a great sandwich and the potato wedges on the side are also tasty.

Buffalo Chicken Club

Buffalo Chicken Club

In many return visits my go to order has become 3 tenders in hot garlic-q sauce with a side of bleu cheese dip and celery ($7.29). My kids are fans of the mini corn dogs and the chicken tenders. My daughter loves that she can get a kids salad on the side with her meal. We are all big fans of Wings & Rings!

Buffalo Wings & Rings Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Wheel started as a pop-up restaurant hosting private dinners and they have expanded to now offer takeaway orders four days a week. All of their bread and pizza doughs are hand mixed and baked fresh daily. And the menu changes daily.

Outside

Outside

The Wheel is pretty well hidden on the eastern edge of Oakley on Brotherton Road, tucked between homes and small apartment complexes. There is a small parking lot, or street parking out front.

Inside

Inside

The brick exterior actually doesn’t look much different from the neighboring four family homes. The interior is clean, new, and modern. Menu boards are updated daily with the offerings of the day.

Tomato Pane

Tomato Pane

I couldn’t decide between the two pane offerings of the day, so I ordered a slice of each! The tomato pane is amazingly delicious! The stewed tomato sauce for this is super thick and also contains oregano, garlic, and olive oil. It is lightly topped with cheese and dried herbs.

Coppa & Peppers Pane

Coppa & Peppers Pane

The coppa & peppers pane had a base of the same thick crust, a little tomato sauce, and provolone. The coppa is a salami like meat and was complimented with banana peppers. This was also a good slice of pie, but I have to recommend that you try the tomato if you can only handle a single slice. Two slices was more than I could finish for my lunch.

The Wheel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Americano calls itself a burger bar, but they have more than just burgers to offer. My family and I visited on a random Saturday evening while we happened to be downtown for a sporting event. We arrived at 5:30 to find no wait for a table, which was good for us as we were somewhat in a hurry.

Outside

Outside

They are located on Race street just a block away from fountain square. They have a small patio space and a much larger inside dining area. There is a somewhat large bar that flanks the northern wall and booths fill the majority of the remaining space.

Inside

Inside

The kitchen occupies the western portion of the restaurant. It is open air and view-able from the majority of the restaurant. We happened to be sitting within close view, which provided a little entertainment/distraction for our elementary aged children.

Kitchen

Kitchen

We all split an order of pretzel and beer cheese to get started. The pretzel was of good quality and I loved the beer cheese. It was a little too spicy for the kids though, but they were happy to enjoy the pretzel on its own.

Pretzel & Beer Cheese

Pretzel & Beer Cheese

Though there isn’t a kid’s menu posted on their website, they do offer a variety of selections for the little ones. My son enjoyed the plain cheese burger ($6) along with a side of fries ($4). My daughter had the kids mac n cheese ($5). Only tried the fries, which were freshly fried and cooked to perfection!

Kid's Burger

Kid’s Burger

My choice for dinner was the grilled spicy chicken sandwich with pepperjack cheese, lettuce, pico de gallo, and jalapeno aioli ($13). I upgraded the included side of fries to hand battered onion rings ($3). I really enjoyed the chicken sandwich and the onion rings were obviously hand breaded and fried to order. Delicious!

Grilled Spicy Chicken Sandwich

Grilled Spicy Chicken Sandwich

My wife enjoyed the housemade veggie burger patty of farro cannellini beans, topped with caramelized onions, brie, tomato, arugula, and mayo ($13). The farm greens side salad was included and was fresh and of decent size. The veggie burger was outstanding and we really enjoyed the toppings as well.

The Veggie Burger

The Veggie Burger

Overall we had a very nice dinner at Americano. The prices are a little higher than normal, but that often comes with an excellent location downtown. This will not be a monthly stop for us, but we will definitely be back in the future.

Americano Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato