The Foodie Report
Ruminations on food, cooking in and eating out in our area.

It's entirely possible to be a vegetarian in Porkopolis. Pop culture reporter Lauren Bishop blogs about products, recipes and restaurants she's tried for others who eat meat-free. E-mail her at lbishop@enquirer.com.

Nicci King is an unabashed foodie and the Lifestyle/Food editor in The Enquirer's features department. She loves to discover new food faves, and she's on a daily quest to answer one burning question: What's for dinner? E-mail her at nking@enquirer.com.

Enquirer Weekend editor Julie Gaw tends to order the same dish every time she eats at a restaurant, but periodically ventures out to discover something new and fabulous. After living in China, Hong Kong, the Philippines and Thailand for more than 8 years, she craves tasty Asian food. E-mail her at jgaw@enquirer.com.

Food/dining writer Polly Campbell loves every quirk and secret of Cincinnati's food personality, and is on a constant lookout for something good to eat. Keep an eye out for her restaurant picks, or see how she's progressing toward becoming famous for her apple pie. E-mail her at pcampbell@enquirer.com.

Communities reporter Rachel Richardson is on a mission to prove vegetarians eat more than lettuce. She shares both her graduate work on American food culture and food-related news.. E-mail her at rrichardson@enquirer.com.

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Monday, February 04, 2008

downtown restaurants

OK, you want to talk about my downtown restaurant story. Have at it.
I will say that I wrote it because people kept saying to me "Are all these restaurants going to survive?" I think it's great to have so many new places to eat--but I do worry that there will be fallout from the competition and it will be the chains who remain, the little guys who don't make it.


at 10:04 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

The premise of your story was would all the NEW restaurants survice downtown. The only problem I had with the premise of the story was lost when you included restuarants that weren't new (Paula's, Javier's, Morton's and Havana, which all are existing restaurants that moved more visable locations) or one's that aren't mainly restaurants and are bars first (Cadillac Ranch, Sully's, The Lodge Bar, Twist, and McFadden's/Black Fin) or one that isn't really a restaurant (Graeter's, which serves ice cream and pasteries and was reopening).

Without these "new restaurants" your story doesn't have that much of a premise or bite too it!

Something I think you should hit on is the expansion of choices in type of food, price and hours. Pot Belly and Mythos are both cheap restaurants that are open later than the typical lunch place downtown. (Mythos put a sign out last week that they will be opening for dinner M-S soon.)

The opening of restaurants that stay open later and provides a wider selection of choices is a sign of a strenghtening area. Unfortunately, as is typical of Enquirer writing, you decided to take a negative stance and support that stance with some very far fetched definetion of new restaurants. Take out all the "new restaurants" that aren't really new or restaurants and you don't have your negative story or at least it is a very weak story.

at 12:30 PM Blogger WestEnder said...

Well, the point about restaurants that changed locations might be fair, but I'm not sure about the "restaurants" vs. "bars" point. Isn't it just semantic nitpicking, i.e. it's easier to print "restaurant" in an article than "food service establishment."

at 12:54 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Polly, no one really cares what you think anyway! You're time has come and gone! The Enquirer needs to find a new food critic!

at 1:49 PM Blogger Nicci King said...

How is asking a question taking a stance, let alone a negative one?

Did the story say, "Oh, these restaurants are gonna flop because there are too many!" No, it discussed all the growth/changes in the landscape and asked the question that lots of restaurateurs are asking of themselves. Ignoring the question/issues surrounding a downtown that is not exactly known for being of the hustle-bustle variety after 9:00 p.m. would help nothing.

I would agree that, in this case, the tone of the headline did not reflect the proper tone, but Polly had nothing to do with writing the headline. The story told hundred of thousands of readers "There are now so many dinner and lunch options downtown that a person could eat a meal at a different place seven days a week for almost three months without crossing the Ohio River or Central Parkway."

As a person who loves downtown growth and longs for even more of it, I think that sounds pretty positive...

at 2:10 PM Anonymous TJ Jackson said...

Nicci, I am sure you folks who get your paychecks from the Enquirer are not allowed to call a moron a moron or a coward a coward, so let me do it for you.....yeah, you two anonymous folks! First off, that's mighty brave of both of you to say such nasty things under the cloak of anonimity! Second, neither of your points are supported by any evidence, standing up almost entirely on your own bile and nastiness. Absolutely Pathetic.

Next time, consider standing up for yourself, making a coherent point, and (if you disagree with the point the blog entry makes) attack the point(s) rather than the person.

Or, even better.....go find a hate site on which to spew your venom, and good riddance

at 2:20 PM Blogger Mary said...

I'm sure that Polly can someone disagreeing with her, but is it necessary to be so hateful and then post anonymously? Oh, and you're means you are not your. At least Polly can write a coherent sentence.

at 11:32 AM Anonymous vudutu said...

Amen, TJ, amen. It's so sad, the negativity and hiding behind the anon name, hopefully we are all here because we love food and want to encourage not discourage our local food chain. Constructive criticism is one thing but outright nasty comments don't help anyones day. Perhaps calling ourselves a civilized society is a bit of a stretch.

It's like all the nasty comments about the JR groups recently, so sad. Hopefully we can all rise above this and move on. Perhaps you all should edit this stuff out or at least require registration and login.

As to all the competition in downtown and Polly's questions, bring it on!

at 8:06 PM Blogger Mary said...

Whoa there vudutu. Most of the people who left comments about the Jean Robert group--myself included-identified themselve. Sheesh, my comments even include a picture. You're the one posting anonymously. Our comments about his restaurants are completely valid and any restaurant group worth their salt would be well-advised to listen to what customers are saying about their restaurants--the good and the bad. Sorry if this forum can't always be as Pollyanna-ish as you would like.

at 1:31 AM Anonymous Rich Brockelmann said...

Well said Mary!! Is the anonymous vudutu perhaps the manager of Chalk or Jeanro, and is thus being overly defensive?? Enquirering minds want to know....

at 10:23 AM Anonymous vudutu said...

No I am in no way affiliated with the JR group, I do know him, I admire him for what he has done for food in our town. Can you imagine the food scene in Cincinnati without him? I shutter to think, if he has done nothing else he has raised the bar and stimulated the scene. Do I know folks who work for him, yes and so far like them all.

I was referring to the more vicious comments like the directed at Polly. Mary I don't have any problem with your or any constructive criticism, do I think any restaurant folks worth their salt should listen to what customers are saying, absolutely. At the same time I heard of one local restauranteur (not JR related) who quit reading this blog because of caustic comments. Chefs and food service people take a terrific beating, doing this has to mentally challenging, to be expected to perform night in night out, and to have your rep hinge on one bad dish is tough. I would not want to do it but I am glad they do and try to support them.

Do I think JR is paying enough attention to his babies, no, do I think some of the more recent iterations of his establishments are off the mark, yes, do I think they are a little too cutsie, yes, do I think they are struggling to find identity, yes.

I read this blog for a long time before I posted a comment, one of the reasons I did not was what I thought were pretty tough comments. One of the reasons I did was to join the community and hopefully help improve it. Heck if you cant take the heat get out of the kitchen.

Mary I am not posting anon, you can read my other comments, no I am not a Pollyanna but I like to think we have evolved to a civilized society, call me optimistic. As to a picture, the internet, like the word is a tough, scary place, I don't think it's a good Idea to be that "out there". But I'll be glad to show up at the Foodies Happy Hour and buy you a drink, When is that by the way? Hopefully anon has not scared Polly off and she will show up sans menu.

at 11:05 AM Anonymous Steve said...

One would think that restaurantuers would have a tougher skin. How do they react when they get a negative review in the Enquirer, City Beat, Cincinnati Magazine, etc? Do they stop reading the paper or restaurant reviews??

It's a tough business, and as the old saying goes: "If you can't take the heat, then get out of the kitchen".

at 12:39 PM Blogger Mary said...

Thanks for your response vudutu. I agree with Steve though. I worked in restuarants for years and I found that chefs and kitchen workers in general are some of the most thick-skinned bad a***s around. Being able to accept criticism and either learn from it or ignore is part of being working in a profession that deals with the public on a daily basis. Also, except for the occasional amount of vitriol this blog is friendly and nice to the extreme. It practically drips wholesomeness. The banter on here is usually fun. Try reading some political blogs sometime if you really want to experience nasty, hate-filled rhetoric. And just so I'm not perceived as some Jean-Robert restaurant hating wingnut, I'm eating at Jean Ro's this weekend. For the most part I like his restaurants. I'm just concerned that the quality and service is slipping as his mighty empire grows.

at 6:09 PM Anonymous vudutu said...

LOL Mary, I gave up political blogs, I get political touretts! If you are going to to Jean Ros with just one other person I suggest sitting at the bar, Jen and Jeanie are great and you server is there full time.

at 7:43 PM Blogger Mary said...

Yes, and Jeanie is my neighbor too. If she doesn't give me good service I know where to find her. :)

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