the categorical days: Food

December 06, 2005

more goods from trader joes

Not M&Ms

I'm really not getting kickbacks from Trader Joes, but my brother does work at the store here in town, and he gives us insight to new things we might like.

And I really like the chocolate covered sunflower seeds.

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December 05, 2005


from the freezer

Trader Joes makes shrimp and vegetable tempura (they're in separate boxes) that taste better than a restaurant. But I can make these anytime wearing whatever I like, and they go great with Sunday afternoon football.

Not your normal pigskin fare, but it is just as bad for you.

The Bengals won, making this fella unhappy:

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November 27, 2005

No turkey, please

Good with grilled cheese

If I have Turkey with mashed potatoes one more night, I'd have gone postal. So tonight I broke out the Campbells.

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November 10, 2005



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October 29, 2005

Liquid Cereal

Natural and artificial fruit flavors

Lady Behind Counter: Huh (insert beat) This costs as much as one of those energy drinks.

Me: It's made with real cereal.

Zoom in to see can in fridge where it will probably stay until someone throws it out or drinks it.

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July 25, 2005

Camp Detox

with S'mores

Even though it was super-dooper gross hot this weekend, I went camping.

A fairly level site under cover of trees afforded some break from the sun's rays, but the humidity was ever present.

Every drink just went right through the skin, soaking clothes. Hanging things up didn't even get them dry.

Heat bonus: I think I've lost weight along with many toxins and the s’mores were perfectly gooey.

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May 10, 2005

Dessert compartment

...Just another sheep boy, duck call, Swanson, idiot song of Donkey Kong...

I remember TV dinners growing up, they were special diversions from my mom's cooking. The little dessert thing with the cherry goop that burbled up over the crust in its little aluminum compartment.

Oh how I tried not to eat it first.

Thank goodness there's the wikipedia to pick up where Encyclopædia Britannica has blank pages. I can now find out that these meals started in Omaha, Nebraska in 1954 as a way to use up leftovers.

Aside from scarfing down a Healthy Choice entree today, I made buttons and stuff for the web and am thinking it's time to put away all the winter clothes.

Oh and my mom's cooking is now the special diversion.

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April 23, 2005


(This) chewing gum is really gross

Imagine you left Jolly Ranchers in a bag next to Fruit Stripe gum for a good piece of time and you'd get this latest concoction from Wrigleys. Oh, and when the flavor goes away after 30 seconds, it will be a hard glop of tasteless un-chewable crap in another 30.

I really need to make a category for junk food.

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March 30, 2005

Lemon of a beverage

According to their site (really) “Natural lemon flavored water beverage - that's flavored... y'know... um... naturally.”

I'm trying to drink more water. Sometimes on the go, I'll cringe and pick up a bottle. When I saw this new Dasani with lemon, I thought it was a great idea.

I should've read the label closer.

I almost spit it out. I was hoping for something natural and refreshing. Turns out it is a diet beverage in disguise with all the aftertaste and chemical overtones.

The ingredients: Purified water, citric acid, natural flavors, sodium polyphosphates, potassium sorbate and potassium denzoate, sucralose, magnesium sulfate, acesulfame potassium, potassium chloride, salt.
And what is sucralose?
An artificial sweetener that's about 600 times sweeter than sugar. Sucralose is already being used in Australia and Canada under the brand name Splendar. This crystalline, free-flowing sweetener is both water soluble and stable, making it appropriate for a broad range of foods and beverages.

I guess simple water with lemon juice can't sit on the shelf.

Regardless, this stuff is crap.

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March 29, 2005

Peanut butter sandwiches aren't that cool to look at

This thing begs to be touched more than a Nintendo DS

<< Rewind to Saturday

I got up on Saturday to meet a handful of folks for PB&J, just like I said I would. In hindsight, this place is boring because you can make all of it at home, and with better peanut butter. Better meaning less natural, more sweet.

Paul was first and it took me a second to recognize him through the dark sunglasses. Which was nice because that meant there was some sun out. He's never had peanut butter before and he still hasn't. A fetching character nonetheless. I'm glad he skipped the auto show to visit.

Davis came next and I immediately asked to put a fingerprint on his PlayStation Portable. What a handsome number — the PSP was cool too. Nintendo better pull some magic plumbers out of their butt if they want to keep their freakish corner on the handheld market.

Thor and Art followed suit shortly thereafter and we got our brown bagged lunches. Art and I ordered the Elvis (grilled peanut butter with bananas, honey and bacon) and I'm surprised neither of us choked to death. That thing was thick and sticky.

We sat in Washington Park as clouds rolled in and put a dip in the temperature. It was tough to part company as I felt we were just getting started, but there were tickets to a matinee of Shockheaded Peter.

Cramming is stupid. Next trip, i'm tacking on more days to relish.

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March 29, 2005

Prime Burger

Food is a wonderful memory

It poured down rain yesterday in New York City. Buckets of wetness that splashed around the streets and collected in the pits of the subway stations, creeping up the legs of folks with pants that were fashionably too long. Like darkened transparent leg warmers.

I got a five dollar umbrella along with Lydia as we wound our way to her corporate studio after a fine breakfast I'll talk about with photos at some other point.

By day four I was comfortably balancing on mass transit and eschewing the strong allure of cabs. I managed to find my way uptown for a burger with Thor and Nayland.

Thor has the most fetching umbrella. Again, best represented with a photo but to keep things simple, I'll just offer a glimpse of the Prime Burger interior. Paneled walls with matching clock, and an egg cream — perhaps my first — but things are fuzzy pre-blogging + google. Maybe I've had one before... Tastes like a YooHoo fresh from a cow with soda dispenser udders and a diet heavy in Hersheys.

We sat in chairs formed in a U shape with swiveling individual desk-like tables.

It was so... from-another-time. Much like all of this trip to NYC — it seemed like a bygone era muscled it's way to the surface with modern twists. Ornamental tiles and white earbuds.

Service was too fast — and I forgot conversation, but we managed to pair the basic burgers with talk of steam boys and wrestling lesbians.

But that was yesterday and now I'm home, thanks to the Social Security card I shouldn't keep in my wallet.

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March 21, 2005


The daisy cookie taunts me

Nice meeting about some identity design work down at a coffee chain this afternoon.

I stopped myself from buying the decidedly spring-like cookies on display, as I figured they may be too sweet.

In doing so, i've come up with Photorexia : (fō'tə-rĕk'sē-ə) n. — An eating disorder that is characterized by taking photos of desired foodstuffs to avoid feelings of guilt, depression, and self-condemnation.

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March 01, 2005

Dinner Club: Vincenzos

Because photos of food can be boring

For Dinner Club, man that sounds stupid...It's like everything demands some semblance of branding. Some social vernacular... Anyway, for Dinner Club this month, we went up north to a part of town where no one lives. We invaded a joint called Vincenzos for a night of italian foods.

I don't particularly like going out for italian, as it's one thing I make with some consistency at home. This is likely due to the shelf life of most ingredients.

I can only speak for myself, but no one seemed entirely displeased with their meal. I quite enjoyed the salmon in heavy cream sauce over some type of pasta.

I would recommend though, order salad dressing on the side and ask to keep entrees light on the sauce. The enthusiasm from the kitchen is best tempered.

Filed under: Cincinnati, Food | | Comments (0)

February 08, 2005


If pastry is overheated, frosting/filling can become extremely hot and could cause burns.

I'm walking through the grocery store pleased as punch with the contents of my cart. A whole boatload of healthy crap and fresh foods.

But then I get to the cereal aisle and there's these yellow tags on the PopTarts—my loyalty card would get the big box for a song. And there was Mr. Incredible looking at me, with all those pow-zap candy sprinkles and that Incrediberry Blast filling.

After eating half of one, I believe the box might actually taste better than the foodstuff inside.

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February 04, 2005

Anchor Grill

This photo isn't blurry, it's like that in real life.

If you ever close down a bar in Cincinnati and require food, check out the Anchor Grill in Covington Kentucky. Vittles are standard greasy spoon fare. The bacon cheeseburger I got was tasty with super thick crispy bacon.

They also serve goetta, which if you don't know what it is, there's another reason to visit Cincinnati.

The real beauty is connected to the juke box.

A little animatronic band behind a plexiglas stage, yellowed by smoke, springs to life. Somewhere along the line, a Barbie was added to sexy up the display. She jerks back and forth out of time with the rest of em. It's precious.

Anchor Grill - Open 24/7
438 W. Pike St.
Covington, KY
(859) 431-9498

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February 03, 2005

Dinner Club: Sake Bomb

Put the sake on chopsticks over a glass of beer. Pound the table. Chug.

There's a fancy place called Beluga in Hyde Park. It's so hip, the hostess dude wears his t-shirt on the outside of his button down. Well, this is hearsay, as I've never eaten at Beluga.

The connection between Beluga and this new sushi joint is a fella named Charlie. He used to work at the shi shi place, now he's at Sake Bomb. A much more casual affair.

We had a good turnout for dinner club and filled up two big tables. Luckily, the checks were divided by table thanks to the most courteous wait staff. We knew this would be a nightmare to divvy up how much everyone owed along with tips, but it wasn't.

The food? All over the place, but nothing was bad. Tasty in fact. I won't vouch for the freshness of the sushi, but my miso soup was fantastic, along with a nice ginger dressing on the house salad. Tempura and negimaki appetizers were good, but perhaps a touch greasy.

Overall, I was pleased with the meal, but doubly so with the company. If it was cheaper, I'd go there more often.

Charlie's Sake Bomb
3672 Erie Ave
Cincinnati, OH 45208

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January 06, 2005

Oh my chicken soup with ramble

Yeehaw for scanners, but I’m going to need to get some fresh pens

I've almost depleted the stockpile from the heavy snow—it’s down to canned goods now.

Yesterday, I broke out the Chicken Soup with (wild) Rice which seemed appropriate for a chilly (albeit rainy) day. As I stirred the pot, I drifted back to when I was a kid, scrutinizing Maurice Sendak's Chicken Soup with Rice: A Book of Months while singing along with Carole King on the record player.

You can't shake these things.

So I stir, and hum along to myself, remembering how much I loved Sendak's style, and how a recent conversation with a friend prompted me to consider helping her illustrate a children's book. With my chops rusty from the other day, one thing led to another and I started to think about drawing—a skill I feel that anyone can learn.

I started by tracing, then emulating. The classes of my youth, where craft won over composition. On to college where I feel I really learned how to see for the first time and translate it through my fingers.

That memory alone could occupy an entry all unto itself where I thank a professor from Ohio State by the name of Mike Arrigo. (Thank you Google)

Anyways, all these things swirling around as the soup heats and smells like metal.

All this stuff, linked to this very moment.

Baffling really. And nonsensical at the same time.

The soup was fine. Not much to write about, and the crackers were sort of stale (even though my brother taped the package closed — who else would do that?)

Save for the Zestas, the other thoughts, those made for a nice lunch hour.

SPECIAL BONUS: listenA clip of Carole King singing the song.

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January 05, 2005

Dinner Club: IHOP

At the "Center of Cincinnati" in Oakley

Rain soaked, waiting for enough tables to get clear for us, we had a good turnout for dinner club on this dreary night.

Everyone else's food looked pretty okay (those that got their food), but my egg yolks had a green tint. The bacon had an aftertaste that made me think, "best sold by sometime in 2004." The pancakes were cold—and they didn't even bring out the carousel of syrup.

I'm sure it's hit or miss with places like this, but breakfast is a hard meal to screw up. If I can do better than a restaurant, then it's not one I'd likely visit very often.

The good part in all of this? The company. Everyone was in fine spirits and I got to sit with folks I don't get to sit with very often. There were new year's eve stories to share along with various hazards of the snow storm we had a few weeks ago.

[UPDATED] Oh, and I did take photos, but with my friend's camera, so there's a placeholder up there. I quite hate it. But after looking at the real photo, I think I'll stick with the horrible doodle from memory.

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December 25, 2004


This should be interesting

My day began at 5:30 a.m. where I had to dig my car out with an ice scraper to do some carpooling for those stranded by the weather events. On my way home from dropping everyone off at their destinations I helped a fella jump a dead battery and bought beer.

Because you can never have enough beer.

Now as Elf repeats on digital cable, I need to start cooking.

I haven't ruined a turkey for a few years, so I figured it was time. After I prepped it, I went to light the gas stove and it didn't seem to pre-heat. Restarting pilot lights, especially in the bowels of a range requires contortion and matches taped to kabob sticks as I cower off to the side, fearful I may lose my eyebrows.

That would've been a more entertaining image.

Now it's lit though and I hope the smell of turkey fills up the joint.

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December 19, 2004

Take 5

It's no marathon bar, but it'll do

There's been lots of candy bars appearing this year. Mostly variations on old favorites: Inside out Reese's Cups, Kit Kats of miscellaneous chocolate ilk, and the biggest thing would be the jumbo-fication of every bar into super sizes—completely unnecessary in my book.

But Hershey's hat a quiet hit appear late in December. Take 5 is a combination of pretzels, caramel, peanuts, peanut butter and milk chocolate.

I don't like mixing my chocolate with pretzels, though I've long heard that chocolate and salt go together like Shoo-bop sha wad-da wad-da yip-pi-ty boom de boom.

This combination works though. I should stock up on ’em incase they don't last more than a few months.

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December 18, 2004


John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge

Scalea's Ristorante, Covington, KY—Where was that little trigger in my head that would've told me to put the fork down tonight? No, I had to get the pork chops that could've fed a small family. The other half will be lunch tomorrow.

And I really needed that tiramisu, clueless it would be a 7 inch square tower—quite a bargain if you look at things that way.

I actually loosened my belt quietly under the table as coffee was served.

The night was brisk, bordering on bitter cold. But clear, and I parked near the river and took the photo of this bridge. Nicknamed the humming bridge, as the metal grating makes a weird vibrating noise as you drive across. It made an appearance in the movie Rain Man.

Nice historical information about the bridge at

Filed under: Cincinnati, Food | | Comments (1)

December 09, 2004


Cincinnati style

Have I mentioned how Cincinnati has an obsession with chili? Or was that some online conversation somewhere along the line? At this hour, my brain has no concept of what happened, what I've written or what I'm saying at this very moment. I really try not to repeat myself, but it's all a blur. Music, movie, food, travel, something geeky, repeat.

I do know this: we have more "chili parlors" than any other city in the country. It's not your normal chili. It's brown. Lots of meat. Beans optional. There are rumors that cinnamon and chocolate are part of the secret ingredients.

They call this Greek style and it is usually served on coneys (hot dogs) or spaghetti in the following variants:

3-way: Chili, Cheese (shredded cheddar), and spaghetti
4-way: All the above + onions
5-way: All the above + beans

I don't normally order this out anymore, as my favorite variety is found in the freezer section at most local markets. Empress Chili is the best in my book, and maybe it's because I let it simmer a while and thaw. I call this cooking.

If you ever find yourself in the Queen City, try it, just once—see how your bowels fare and then decide.

Maybe this is why my shirts are so tight...

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December 08, 2004

Dinner Club: Kona Bistro

Left: Grilled three cheese with tomato, red onion & chipotle puree on thick white bread
Right: Butternut squash & pear soup

How quickly a month has passed. Time to get with friends and celebrate each other without the challenge of gifts. Tonight we had fifteen folks convene at Kona Bistro's new location in Oakley.

The menu is eclectic with a good smattering of vegetarian fare. For this part of town, the casual atmosphere is a nice change of pace. I still prefer the paintings on the wall in their first restaurant up in Oxford. Prices are also a little more reasonable than other joints in the area.

I went with the "Chipotle barbecued tofu fillets grilled & served over white cheddar mashed potatoes paired with a cilantro, corn & red pepper saute." Sounds fancy, it was just damn spicy though.

I enjoyed stealing chips from my neighbor Anne from her meal pictured above. (The tuna tofu wasn't much to look at)

I think this place excels with sandwiches, though the pork entree to my right looked tasty. Had I known what "roulade" was, I might've had that instead. Overall though, thumbs up. The amount of growth in this neck of the woods is staggering, it's good to see some independently owned places appearing.

On that note: At the end of dinner club, we try and come to a decision about where to meet next. A resounding round of nods for IHOP. We're finally getting them (again) in Cincinnati. All chains aren't bad.

Technote—Searching for "Kona Bistro" on Google yields way too many links to AOL guides and other reviews. I'm guessing this is because of: No meta data in the header, overuse of graphics for type, poor linking from other sites. It's likely new so it needs some time to root, but I wish search engines would sniff out domains that matched the string and pushed them higher regardless.

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November 10, 2004

Choosing sides

Not big on fries

Wendy's, at least the one I went to today, had a new thing... You no longer have to get fries with a combo. You can choose a side salad, chili or baked potato.

Now this is progress.

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October 26, 2004


Extra ginger sauce please.

We used to go to Benihana for everyone's birthday. That fell to the wayside this past year, but we've all been having hankerings for it and finally were able to carve out a Monday where most folks could make it.

So this was for all the birthdays, and it was good.

A couple young faces at the table seemed relatively entertained by the spectacle. It probably won't sink in at their age, but for me, this place is imprinted on my taste buds.

Lunch is the time to go to this joint. Prices are more reasonable, and the portions are not ridiculously large. Service is swift to the point of abrupt. If you don't ask for a drink, then you'll have water. Chopsticks are optional.

And you can get the ginger salad dressing to go by the quart.

P.S. Mom, have me over, I picked some up—and you were missed by all.

Filed under: Cincinnati, Food | | Comments (0)

October 22, 2004



After years of living without one, I now own a microwave. I didn't really miss having one, as I prefer how an oven cooks things.

I never minded having to boil water for tea or oatmeal. The device just fell into that category of unnecessary.

So I inherited it from the studio. Now I can make popcorn and soften butter lickety-split.

How boring.

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October 11, 2004

Rousters Apples

Them apples

There's a place out near where I grew up called Rousters that has the best apples. This orchard has crafted a particularly sweet and crunchy variety with a juicy white flesh and a freckled matte skin. They call 'em Krispy, and I've never been able to find their equal in the produce aisle of any supermarket.

Sometimes you have to get on a waiting list just to buy a bag of them.

Called em up today and they said they had them available. So I hit the road and rolled down the windows to let in the fall air, drove through tree covered backroads under the changing leaves, and picked up a huge bag and a half of these things, along with two gallons of cider.

I made some deliveries and got back home right around dusk, and I'll be honest, I hadn't stolen a bite of one yet. I was sort of afraid that maybe they didn't taste as good. Perhaps my memory twisted them into something that was no more, or never was.

I'm glad to report, my memory is perfectly intact, I've several cores to prove it.

Filed under: Cincinnati, Food, Nostalgia | | Comments (2)

September 29, 2004

Lunch at Potluck, again

Can't get enough of this place

This is the meatloaf sandwich from Potluck. The creamy tomato basil soup compliments any sandwich on their lunch pairing special. Most meals come with redskin potatoes with those big chunks of salt. Never fails to make the stomach happy.

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September 16, 2004

Betty Crocker would not be pleased

I should've stuck with Toaster Strudel

I tried to make soft boiled eggs.
I failed, but succeeded in making hard boiled eggs.

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September 08, 2004

Dinner Club: Hooligans

Nachos with plastic salsa container

There needs to be nacho innovation. They're a mess. All the glop is on top and the chips get buried. Maybe a nacho bar for the table, separating everything into neat containers with spoons.

Aside from this mess, the monthly get together with friends for vittles went quite well. Often the first Tuesday of the month conflicts with volleyball night for many of the folks, so we decided to combine the two.

I had pot roast, since it was the daily special and I figured it was made that day. Super salty gravy paired with sweet carrots and a hint of cinnamon steamed to mush.

Hooligans is pretty much Hooters without the orange shorts. There's still busty broads, pantyhose and chicken wings. Outside, they've got a nice big sand volleyball court.

We finished our meal with little time to digest and see Team Love (I think that was what they called themselves) win their lot. Why that name? 'Cause it's lame and that's funny.

Filed under: Cincinnati, Food, Friends | | Comments (0)

September 06, 2004

Food and stuff

Awaiting caption Coleus

Last minute call on Sunday revealed my mom was gonna cook up some food.

My brothers were there and we had burgers, corn on the cob (which I cut off the cob), baked potatoes that seemed genetically altered and steamed broccoli.

The best part? Tomatoes from the backyard. Perfectly red and heavy with flavor.

After dishes were done, I sat on the back porch and chatted with my mom a good piece. A nice breeze made all the beautiful plants and flowers sway a little while white butterflies flitted around.

PhotosI took few photos, and none of the tomatoes.

Filed under: Family, Food | | Comments (0)

August 28, 2004


Bedside table discussion

I forget where I heard this, but it's stuck with me ever since... I think it was an interviewing tip.

When you have a meal with someone, observe when they season their food. If they immediately put salt on their vittles before tasting, they might be the type that jumps into something without thinking.

The alternate lesson here, not all hospital food is bland.

Filed under: Food, Pondersome | | Comments (0)

August 20, 2004


The cereal aisle is getting longer and taller.

Quietly creeping in while low-carbs stole the spotlight, freeze dried fruits is it? They've taken over the breakfast aisle.

Generally, I like 'em, but my eyes start to cross when there's too many options.

I was feeling like I should err on the healthy side at the store, so I got Total 'cause it has 100% of my daily vitamin needs.

I put in real bananas to cover up the cardboard taste.

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August 13, 2004


Imagine life without butter.

Yesterday the movers came to the studio and loaded up a truck full of couches and chairs and furniture and a slew of other unwieldy things.

We divvied up the stuff over four stops and I finally have my CDs back home. The collection spans back to high school and I cringe sometimes when looking at it, but when a wild hair sprouts, I can satiate some arcane aural need.

I also got the fridge from the office, replacing the used thing that came with my joint. Not only did it have mold in the gasket, but it died last month. The freezer kept things cold-ish (but not freezer cold) and the fridge part was simply a cool dry place. I couldn't keep dairy products at all.

So last evening, before the soreness from lifting set in, I went to the grocery store and got butter and milk. A late night hunger pang struck and I made pancakes.

They were the most delicious things in the world.

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August 04, 2004

Dinner Club: Andy's Mediterranean Grill

Fun with food

Dinner club came and I forgot... I sat there clueless fiddling on the computer when the call came. "Where are you?"

Ooops. Folks ordered for me as I slipped on some shoes and high-tailed it to Andy's Mediterranean Grill, just in time for hummus and pita appetizer.

The food was good. Seemed more like vittles you'd find in a food cart on the street, but the atmosphere was nice. Got to meet a new person, and I think we gave her ample crash course into our dinner table conversation.

At some point, hand jobs were mentioned.

It wasn't me.

Filed under: Cincinnati, Food, Friends | | Comments (0)

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