Archive for the 'Food & Drink' Category

Captain Lou’s – South Haven, MI

During our summer travels we stayed just across the Black River from Captain Lou’s in South Haven, Michigan. Despite Yelp reporting that the bar and grill was not good for kids, my wife and I decided to stop in for an early dinner one evening with our early school aged children.

Across River

Captain Lou’s sits right on the river so you can watch the boats come and go. It is directly next to the drawbridge which opens up every half hour to let the large boats through. So there is certainly plenty to see and occupy the kids with.

Outside

Nearly all of the seating at Captain Lou’s is outside on docks. We grabbed a table as close to the water as we could, but ended up toward the back of the main dock. I imagine in the heat of the summer this would be a very popular place and be filled to capacity often. I did notice a back section of outdoor seating that was already closed for the season.

“Inside”

For dinner I had the drawbridge turkey wrap with fries and a pickle spear ($9.50). Nothing remarkable sticks out in my mind about this wrap. I did appreciate that they put it on the grill for a minute to try and crisp up the outside. It actually could have used another minute or two of this.

Drawbridge Wrap

My wife went with the perch tacos  with chips and salsa ($10). The chips and salsa were average at best, but she said that the tacos were good. They were packed with plenty of fresh perch. I did not try the tacos but from what I’ve read these are one of the more popular items on the menu.

Perch Tacos

My son had the cheese burger with fries ($7.50). This was a high priced kid’s meal, so maybe that is why this place gets flagged as not kid friendly. They do offer a limited kids menu, and there are plenty of fried appetizers that should provide something for even the pickiest eaters.

Kid’s Burger

This was a fairly pleasant experience with a good outdoor dining experience. The food was average to good. I would like to see more draft beer options, the bottle selections didn’t seem to be the freshest. Overall it was not my favorite place in South Haven but a good time was had by my family.

Captain Lou's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Delicio Coal Fired Pizza

Friday for our family often means pizza night. Most of the time that means delivery from one of many area chains. This Friday would be different as we met friends at Delicio Coal Fired Pizza near the campus of Xavier University. Delicio had another location in Montgomery, but that has closed.

Inside

Delicio offers large areas for both inside and outside dinning. With so many tables I’m not sure you’d ever encounter a wait list. I was pleased to find out that happy hour runs Monday through Friday from four to seven, plenty of time for $4 craft drafts!

House Salad

My wife and I split a large house salad ($9) to start. The salad itself was large enough and fresh but unremarkable in variety. The Gorgonzola vinaigrette was tasty, but I don’t think I would go the salad route again.

Carnitas Pizza

We also split the shareable size carnitas pizza with creme fraiche, braised pork, spicy pickles, red onion, and house cheese blend ($13 during happy hour). This was certainly an interesting combination that I had never seen before. And while I enjoyed that for a piece or two, the pickle flavor eventually became too overpowering, and I like pickles. We had leftovers to take home, and this did not reheat very well at all, so keep that in mind.

Overall the food was average, but the happy hour pricing and kid friendly atmosphere will likely bring us back again in the future. The $6 personal size cheese pizza is reason enough for a repeat visit.

Delicio Coal Fired Pizza Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Narrow Path Brewing

The Cincinnati area currently has 45 breweries open and brewing beer with even more on the way. One of the newer to join the group is Narrow Path Brewing in Loveland near the Little Miami Scenic Trail. I grew up in Loveland and my parents still live there, so I am happy to see a brewery close to their house. With the bike trail in their back yard, I imagine that they will be busy during the warmer months.

Bar

The brewery is really just one open room with the brewing equipment taking up more than half of one side. There is a bar taking up another corner of the space and a large communal table eating up most of the rest of the space. The outdoor area out back is large and even seems to be getting some use in the cold with a firepit.

Decor

The beers I sampled were all pretty good. The vanilla cream and the Dred Lokt stout were my personal favorites on tap during our visit. I look forward to a return visit soon as it seems they are still tweaking the beer choices and there are a lot that I have yet to try available now.

Pint

Maribelle’s eat + drink

My wife and I took advantage of a night without the kids to give Maribelle’s eat + drink a try. It is kind of surprising to me that we haven’t given them a try before due to their location being located fairly close to our home. But I think it boils down to while Maribelle’s is not kid unfriendly, they do not offer a kid’s menu and one of ours is a really picky eater.

Outside

We started with a couple of their house cocktails, the highlight being the new fashioned ($10) with Bulleit rye, chicory, campfire bitters, and orange zest. I really enjoy a nice rye whiskey and this take on a class old fashioned cocktail was very tasty!

Cocktails

For dinner my wife went with the black bean burger with muenster, spicy sour cream, greens, tomato, onion, and house pickle ($15). This comes with your choice of side and my wife immediately picked the sweet potatoes with honey, goat cheese, and candied pecans. Both were excellent choices and fairly unique. The goat cheese with sweet potatoes was like nothing I’ve ever had and made for a sweet and creamy side.

Black Bean Burger

I decided on the chicken and ham sandwich with Gruyere, truffle aioli, arugula, and tomato ($17). For my side I chose the fries with rosemary, shaved Parmesan, and truffle aioli. The sandwich was full of fresh and well prepared ingredients, but the fries stole the show. I loved that the truffle aioli was served on the side as this can be a polarizing ingredient.

Chicken & Ham Sandwich

Our service was spectacular and the food was overall very tasty. We will definitely be back again in the near future!

Maribelle's eat + drink Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Pies & Pints

Pies & Pints is a small chain of just over a dozen restaurants, started in West Virginia and now in five states. There are now three locations in the Cincinnati area, with The Banks location being open almost a year now. This location is in the newest section of The Banks to open in the block where GE and Radius now call home.

Outside

My wife and I stopped in for dinner after an afternoon event downtown. We quickly decided to share a salad and a pizza. First up was the Spinach Salad with red onions, Gorgonzola, red grapes & sunflower seeds, tossed in house vinaigrette or creamy Gorgonzola ($8 small, $12 large). We went with the small size which was plenty for two to share. The greens were fresh, and the toppings were plentiful. I really enjoyed this creative combination!

Spinach Salad

As far as the pizza goes, we picked the Cuban Pork with caramelized onions, fresh pineapple, jalapenos, feta, cilantro & creme fraiche ($15 small, $25 large). Again the small size was enough for two and we even had a little leftover for the next day. Again I found the toppings to be plentiful and a rather unique combination of flavors. I enjoyed the jalapeno heat mixed with the sweetness from the pineapple and caramelized onions. With so many choices on the menu I would probably try something different on a future visit, but this is a very solid choice.

Cuban Pork Pizza

Overall we enjoyed our visit to Pies & Pints. The draft beer selection was really good, though our server was not very familiar with many of the offerings. Despite that fact the food was prepared rather quickly and drinks stayed full. I’m sure we will be back again in the future.

Pies & Pints Cincinnati Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

MOD Pizza

MOD Pizza is a chain of over 200 restaurants across the country specializing in fast and casual pizzas. Their Cincinnati location has been open about a year in Oakley Station. Another location will be opening soon in Anderson’s Cherry Grove Plaza Shopping Center. There is also a location on Liberty Way in West Chester.

Inside

Orders are placed at the counter. The first decision is whether to have a pizza or a salad. Either way an individual serving size will set you back $7.77. You can choose from 10 signature pizzas, three salads, or create your own.

Oven

They use a gas-fired oven to cook at 800 degrees in a matter of minutes. When orders are ready the staff will call out your name for you to pick it up from just outside the kitchen area. During my visit the restaurant was not too crowded and my order was ready just moments after I collected a local draft beer and found a place to sit.

Caspian

For my lunch visit I went with the Caspian pizza with mozzarella, Gorgonzola, BBQ chicken, barbecue sauce, and sliced red onions. The sweet sauce complimented the tangy cheese very well. The pizza was cooked perfectly, with just the slightest bit of char on the edges of the crust. This was a really good pizza and I look forward to trying some other creations soon.

MOD Pizza Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Pirate’s Cove Tropical Bar & Grill

Pirate’s Cove Tropical Bar & Grill has been seasonally operating for 24 years on the Ohio River at the Four Seasons Marina. They are closed now for the season, but towards the very end of the summer my family and I stopped in for our first dining experience.

Inside Outside

There is no inside dining here, but nearly every seat has a roof overhead. The open air allows for you to view the yachts coming and going in the marina. There is a large bar and plenty of tables around the outskirts of the large space. A live band was playing during our visit near a sandy area that adds even more tropical island ambiance.

View

For lunch I decided on the Cuban Classic with roasted pork loin topped with cheddar jack, peppers, and onions served hot pressed on Cuban style bread ($14.50). I also subbed in onion rings for $2 extra. The pork loin was well cooked and thick sliced. Aside from the bread this is not an authentic Cuban sandwich, but it was actually really good.

Cuban Classic

Overall the prices are slightly higher than normal, but the views are hard to beat. Plus the quality of the food was great and there are plenty of choices on the extensive menu. We will likely be back again next summer.

Pirate's Cove Tropical Bar & Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Brink Brewing Company

The Cincinnati brewing scene continues to grow and I am struggling to keep up with visiting all of the new options around town. One that I have visited and should be at the top of your list if you haven’t is Brink Brewing Company. Brink is on Hamilton Avenue in the heart of College Hill and opened up earlier this year.

Bar

My family and I spent the better part of an afternoon here. There is a really large communal table in the center of the room that provided plenty of space for our group and another group on the other end. My wife tried a flight of beers, and let me sample them as well, while I went right for a pint of one of their three IPA’s that were on tap at the time.

Flight

The tap list changes often and none of the IPA’s that I sampled appear to be on the current list. Each of them were quite good, and I especially liked their Like A Boss the best. But what really stood out for me were the samples of darker beers. Their Brown Ale was one of the better that I’ve had and the Moozie Milk Stout seems to be a regular on the menu.

Logo

They do not have a kitchen but there are plenty of places nearby (with menus inside) for carryout or delivery. They also often have food trucks on the weekend and live music on Friday nights.

Labels

Brink is a wonderful addition to College Hill and is now one of my most highly recommended smaller breweries in town.

Blue Goose Sports Cafe

The Blue Goose Sports Cafe is pretty much the only sports bar in Sharonville, and it happens to be conveniently located in the heart of the tiny downtown area. The inside is covered in televisions making it the place to catch any game in this part of Cincinnati. And even if you don’t have any sports viewing to do, the sports bar menu is varied enough for anyone with a wide variety of burger, sandwiches, and salads offerings.

Outside

For my only visit to the Blue Goose I enjoyed the chicken Parmesan sandwich for lunch with crispy onion straws on the side ($8.99). This sandwich is a crispy breaded boneless chicken breast topped with tangy marinara and melted mozzarella cheese, served on grilled garlic sourdough bread. It was nearly like an entire chicken Parmesan dinner, just without a side of spaghetti.

Chicken Parmesan Sandwich

The serving size was large, the price was affordable, and the food was plenty good. I would likely be a more regular visitor to the Blue Goose Sports Cafe in Sharonville if my family lived any closer. Fortunately I have plenty of sports bar options much closer to home.

Blue Goose Sports Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wicked Hickory

The Wicked Hickory food truck has been serving up smoked meats for at least a couple of years. Their menu is unique in the way that their meats (pork, brisket, and chicken) are served. Once you settle on your meat you pick the style from the choice of bun, tacos, pita, BBQ bowl, or nachos. And then you pick the toppings with choices like southern slaw, picnic slaw, island slaw, wicked style, or Texas style.

Truck

I ordered the pork BBQ bowl style ($9), which means the pork was served over red beans and rice. I also picked island slaw for the topping, which combines pineapple, jalapenos, cabbage, and cilantro. This was really good and even with all of the toppings I could still taste a bit of a nice smoky flavor in the pork. The beans, rice, and pineapple all worked really well together.

Pork BBQ Bowl

I also ordered the chicken tacos for my wife ($9 for 2). This was ordered topped with southern slaw that featured cider vinegar, cabbage, and carrot. This was also a solid choice, but overall I preferred the pork to the chicken. Smoked chicken tends to be a little dryer, so the wet cider vinegar was a good topping to compliment and the flavors combined well. This one needed a little extra sauce to truly bring it all together.

Chicken Tacos

Wicked Hickory has solid smoked meats, which are essential for any BBQ spot. And the creativity they have put into their menu offerings helps to distinguish them from other BBQ restaurants.