Yes, apparently I was delusional to think for a moment that as long as my mother was in town the food frenzy would come to a halt. It made more sense that we would carry on this long food feeding in New York, but I was utterly amazed that she could find so much food in my little ole Cincinnati.
Monday started bittersweetly. It was good and bad. Great that I had those cider donuts that had been rolled in powdered sugar and were ready for us to nibble on them. Bad because here I was again eating donuts. We made coffee and took the donuts to the sofa and we sat there once again gabbing. This time it was donuts instead of a French baguette. Really yummy homemade donuts that I had warmed. Bittersweet, I tell. A pleasurable few moments on the lips and a lifetime on MY hips.
I can’t recall what happened between donut eating and lunch my guess is that my mom was moving things around in my condo. This jar should go on this table. That vase should go on this one. Why are all your orchids in one place? Shouldn’t you spread them out across the rooms? To which my response was: “Have we met? Do you know me? Why would I have all the orchids together? I AM LAZY!!! I don’t want to have to walk all over the condo with an ice cube tray feeding the orchids when I can feed them all at once in the same place! I know, I know. That is lazy!
I took my mom to the Mediterranean place on Ludlow that my friend Beth had introduced me to a few months back. We ordered a falafel and a gyro. This time I asked him the correct way to pronounce it. He said it is Guy-row. But he pronounces it HERO.
I didn’t care for the falafel. It just didn’t have a lot of taste for me. I know people love them. There was a falafel place on 17th Street in Manhattan next door to my favorite salad joint called CHOP’T. The line for CHOP’T was ridiculous at lunchtime on a weekday but it moved fast. The line for the falafel joint was even longer. I tried it once and didn’t care for it then but it was worth trying again. You have to try everything at least twice is my motto. You just never know if the first time you try it it is the best quality so try, try try again. I ate an oyster down on Sanibel Island each and every time I came down here from age 14 to 20 something. I never liked them. My stepdad could not fathom that concept so he said keep trying them. Finally, I had Oysters Rockefeller with spinach and cheese broiled. I fell in love with them. I never come here and not eat them. And I now always eat them raw. All it takes is for someone to prepare it in a way that speaks to you. Now, I tried a sea urchin twice and I still don’t like them. I tried one in Hong Kong at this famous Parisian chef, named Joel Robuchon’s restaurant. Then again at another restaurant in Hong Kong. Still didn’t like it, but I tried it. TWICE!
As we were leaving the Mediterranean place, I noticed the baklava. I love baklava. Good baklava is really good. I have a friend with “connections” to the Greek festival in Cincy and he once said to me. You have to try the baklava with chocolate. Sounds great! So here I am and there is a rolled up version of baklava instead of the usual triangle. It had dark chocolate drizzled over it. I pointed it out to my mom who claimed she was too full but said get it if you want. I took a bite, she took a bite. I took a bite and she took the last one. Yes, that was REALLY good!! Then we went errand hopping around town. My mom had decided on a bra at Knickers of Hyde Park. She was so excited for the life changing bra. We went to Costco. Much more fun to go with my mom than my dad. She actually lets me wander the aisles. My dad does not. I know I sound like I am 5!
That evening she decided that we should try a Cincy tradition. One that neither of us have ever tried. We went to this rundown dive called City View Tavern up in Mt. Adams. Mt Adams reminds me of San Francisco just 1000 times smaller. I always wanted to live in Mt. Adams growing up in Cincy. It seemed so cool and hip. City View had a spectacular view of downtown Cincinnati and it is known for having some awesome hamburgers.
I ordered something called the Lagerman burger with swiss cheese, caramelized onions, horseradish on a rye bun. I should have gotten one that had the addition of Russian dressing but instead I put ketchup on it. It needed a little something else. It was yummy. The lady cooking the burgers was nice. I would definitely go back there. Actually, it is a great place to take folks visiting me. Now, that I don’t live in NY. The only folks that come visit me are my mom and my friend Jules from Indy.
When I lived in NY, with no space and guests had to sleep on a fold out futon. Everyone showed up! I mean everyone! Now, that I have a proper guest bedroom with real beds and a guest bath, no one shows up!
We went home and being the people who needed a bite of something sweet. My mom had a portion of a chocolate flourless cake a leftover from a Cincy restaurant called Trio’s. She went to with friends one evening. Nights ago! She could make a slice of cake last a week. I am lucky if I can make it last 15 minutes! The cake was good! Really, dark, sweet, rich and good. If I am going to eat chocolate cake I want flourless dense chocolate.
Tuesday we went back to Jean Robert’s French Crust because my mom really wanted to try his cappuchino. She also wanted another croissant. He does make great croissants. I had a pain du chocolat. I learned to eat those in Paris so that is what I call them. Funny to learn something in French before English. Translation is a chocolate croissant. It was good, but I have had a better one elsewhere. I just can’t remember where? I guess I am going to have to go to various spots in town and try them till I find it so I can tell you. Did I tell you I can rationalize anything! Almost!
Then this is so silly but my 84-year old friend Vivian and I have been watching HOMELAND. A show on HBO about terrorism. We keep getting on the library sign up for the DVD’s of it. We once waited four months for a DVD of it. Well, the next one of course showed up when my mom was here. So, I went up to Viv’s one morning while my mom slept and went back during the day and we finished the disk. Crazy, fun show!
That evening we went to a restaurant called Anchor on the corner of Race & 14th that overlooks Washington Park that years ago would be considered a really scary block and now is just beautiful. The restaurant is great looking and the outside eating area would be great on a warm night.
I ordered the Trout BLT that was served with these incredible looking onion rings. It was quite the presentation. I am not an onion ring girl. Wait a second. Kinda a non-sequitor here. Now that I think about it, I think it was just lettuce and tomato. I don’t remember tasting the bacon. Either they forgot it. I ate it in a few bites or it was so subtle I missed it. I liked the dish. I didn’t think it was worth the price but it was good. My mom ordered the calamari and that was very good, but she was initially impressed and as she ate more she wasn’t, but not sure why.
We went home and I ate ONE tiny Lindt 70% dark chocolate square. I need to hold back somewhere….somehow.
My mom hurt her back and so we had to delay our trip down South.
We started out with my mom sleeping late to see if she could alleviate some of her back pain. We were all set to leave on Wednesday but smartly decided that she was too sore to leave that day.
She woke up entered the living room and the first thing she said to me was “We need to find another restaurant!” I wanted to look at her and say, Are you flippin’ kidding me Mother? How can you keep eating? OH YES, you eat like a bird; you eat two peas, one carrot stick and are full. I am the one eating all this food!
I made breakfast. I had made her favorite coffee, which is a blend of Fresh Market coffees, which includes the following flavors vanilla, cinnamon, hazelnut and cinnamon. Then I defrosted and cooked some kielbasa sausage. She thinks it is not a breakfast sausage, but to me it can be whatever and whenever it wants to be. Then I made a childhood favorite. I call it an egg in a hole. You take a piece of bread you cut a hole in it. I melt butter in a sauté pan. I throw in a pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper. I basically toast the bread on both sides. After the second side is toasted. I crack an egg into the hole and let it cook till it turns white and then flip the toast with the egg in the center and cook it till it whitens almost toasts on the second side. Then serve. You poke the yoke and smear the contents ALL over the toast. It is like ordering fried egg and dipping the toast in it, but this way easier and better.
Then I called the place across the street that has an indoor pool and I am happy and thrilled they told me I was too young to swim there. I asked if my mother could and they said yes is she pays a $50 initiation fee and filled out a packet of 50 papers. I am being facetious, but not by much! So, I called the good ole’ YMCA. I was so impressed. Here I have my mother here for not even 24 hours till we leave this popsicle stand. She just wants to float on a noodle and see if she can get some back relief. The folks at the joint across the street were going to make a seemingly simple request cumbersome, but the good ole YMCA acted and reacted the way folks would have handled it 50 years ago and a BIG kudos to them. This is what they said. “Sure, come on down! Do you have your own noodle? Great! I will give you a guest pass. DONE! I was very impressed!!! We went. They couldn’t have been nicer! Yeah, YMCA!
We came home. I took my sister to visit Trouble. Trouble lost her dog Lucky in the last year. A member of her family had found the dog on the street and knew Trouble would love him. They named him Lucky because he got so lucky! She babysat Dulce a few times and so I brought Dulce up to visit her and say goodbye before we left town.
After a little R &R, it was time to hit the food trail again. My mom found this place called the MAIN BITE in Covington, KY. The menu looked great, the waiter was nice, but the food missed the mark. It was such great ideas but the tastes were off.
The first thing we ordered was a reuben flatbread which was a baked flatbread of homemade thousand island, corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss, and caraway seeds. First of all, I mostly tasted the caraway seeds. TOO overpowering. Then too much sauerkraut. I am not a fan of sauerkraut but a reuben without it is not a reuben. Then not enough Russian dressing. If the portions had been better the taste would have been better.
The next thing we ordered was the hot wings lettuce wraps. It was lettuce cups of shredded chicken in a buffalo sauce, celery, cucumber, carrot w/ home-made bleu cheese dressing. The presentation was good, but not the easiest thing to eat if you wanted to eat it with your fingers. If you want it to be wraps, wrap it and call it wrap. If you want it to be lettuce cups and they can be eaten with a knife and fork, call them lettuce cups. I love chicken wings. These were too spicy and I love spicy. Again, another great idea that missed the mark.
Then we went to Holtman’s for donuts. My mom got a fried Danish, which was yummy. I ordered the cheese crown AGAIN, but this time with cherry topping on it. I liked it better without the cherry topping. I loved their cherry topping but on the cheese Danish it took away from the awesome flavors of it.
Then we each had a big glass of milk a cup of decaf coffee and went to bed to rest for the big drive to Florida in the morning.
Enjoy! Eat, travel, laugh…often….