The past couple of years my strategy for the Taste of Cincinnati has been to show up early to try to avoid the large evening crowds. The hard part in doing so is that the temperatures can sometime be really warm in the early afternoon, such as this year. In the end we only made it for about an hour and a half, but I was still able to sample most of what I had wanted to try.
First up this year was the fried peanut butter and jelly sandwich from Strasse Haus in Covington. This was the “Best of Taste” in the appetizer category. My mom found this right away and I stole a bite of it after letting it cool. It really was delicious, and this comes from someone who wasn’t a big peanut butter and jelly kid growing up. It would be a little hard to actually share as an appetizer (and I don’t even see it on their menu) but it was good nonetheless.
Next was an item on my agenda, du jours black bean burrito, the “Best of Taste” winner in the vegetarian entrée category. This restaurant operates inside the Gateway One building on Elsinore Ave. It appears that there is an affiliation with the former Courtyard Cafe. Anyway this burrito was excellent! I was really surprised at how much flavor was involved with what appeared to be a rather standard vegetarian dish.
From there we headed down toward the food truck area at the far east end. Food trucks were a new addition this year, though only three of them were on site (plus Queen City Cookies and Cold Stone for dessert). The three were Pizza Bomba, Cafe de Wheels, and Taco Azul. Since I had already had the other two, I decided to try a slice from Pizza Bomba.
My brother recommended the mac and cheese pizza to me, which he had the day prior and really enjoyed. However that seemed a little heavy for the hot afternoon. Instead I went with a slice of pepperoni. After a couple of minutes wait my slice was ready for me to eat. The crust is made on the truck, cooked perfectly, and tastes wonderful. The small pepperoni slices were abundant and tasted great, as did the cheese and sauce. I really enjoyed this slice of pizza and hope to find their truck again soon.
At this point we were all getting hot and decided to move on, but not before I stopped to try the new Rondos from LaRosa’s. According to their Facebook page, “Rondos are the pizza version of the cinnamon roll.” This was not my first time having pepperoni rolls, as they were a favorite of our at Wyman’s #5 in Denver. And while not as great as Wyman’s version, the Rondos were good. The spinach Rondos won an Award of Excellence.
Overall it was another successful visit to the Taste of Cincinnati!