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.

Powered by Blogger

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Your table is ready online

Thanks, Foodie Report readers Tom and Brian for your help with this story. Westender just posed a great question: What do you think about dining out on Valentine's Day? As he rightly says, it's a night that draws a good number of rookie diners -- people who tend not to eat in restaurants very often. Is service affected? Is quality? Sure, it's the second-busiest night for restaurants. Managers are quick to point out that that doesn't mean the restaurant is at capacity. Most reservations are for two people, so those big tables are unused and four-tops become two-tops.
Will you treat your sweetie to a special dinner or night on the town? Or do you have horror stories from V-Days past?
An interesting aside: In Korea, there are two "Valentine's Days." On Feb. 14, women dote on their sweeties; a month later, on White Day, men reciprocate. And singles and those who eschew the holidays celebrate Black Day on May 15.


at 12:38 PM Blogger RadioCarla said...

My husband and I did the Valentines Day dinner out exactly once and swore never again. Since then, we do Valentines Eve out (when the restaurants are fairly quiet) and then have nice dinner at home on Valentines Day. It's double the enjoyment for half of the hassle!


at 1:58 PM Blogger Stepf said...

Fred and I celebrated our six-month anniversary with a bottle of wine, a baguette and far too many steamed mussels. Little to no work, tons of food and a great memory. Carla, I'm with you. The less hassle the better.

at 2:09 PM Blogger WestEnder said...

FYI, I am not a chick. I am a dude. A dude who likes food.

at 2:24 PM Blogger Mary said...

I'm making dinner for the suitor on Valentines Day, including Nigella Lawson's completely tacky heart shaped cake (she says it looks very Frederick's of Hollywood). It's an amateur diner night and not worth the hassle or the expense to me. When I was a server Valentine's Day was the absolute worst. I recall working at the now defunct J's in Hyde Park on a Valentine's Day that fell on a Saturday night. We took reservations for a first, second, and even third seating, but couples parked their tushies for hours. The restaurant was completely packed, people were angry, the kitchen was slow, and on Valentine's Day people think that they are the only in love couple in the world. My sympathies to anyone who has to work in a restaurant on Valentine's Day.

at 2:27 PM Blogger Mary said...

radiocarla, that is a darn fine idea! I'll bet very few people go out on Valentine's Eve.

at 2:47 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about the day after Valentine's Day? I'm hoping for less of a crowd than Thursday, plus I can enjoy it more without worrying about going to work the next day. Anyone have any experiences?

at 3:47 PM Blogger Stepf said...

Dude, I'm so sorry for that. I posted without editing. Doh! Forgive me? I'm eating humble pie now. (Sorry, had to make a food joke!)

at 4:36 PM Blogger Rachel said...

The husband and I don't really celebrate Valentine's Day in any special way. We show and celebrate our love for each other every day. We went to Cafe Istanbul a few years ago for V-Day and it was so crowded, that we decided never again to brave restaurants on Feb. 14. And he knows the only flowers I like to receive either come potted or by way of a gift certificate to Lowe's so I can throw them in my garden.

I personally love Twisty's take on Valentine's Day.

at 6:27 PM Anonymous TJ Jackson said...

Stephanie - you ate mussels?

I thought you were one of the vegetarian editors...

at 6:43 PM Blogger Cin Twin1 said...

My husband and I decided to celebrate Valentine's Day this weekend instead of Thursday. I like to celebrate with a bottle of wine or champagne, but I don't drink during the week. (One of my rules.) We decided instead of going out we would make one of the following meals. That means doing the shopping, chopping, and cooking together! Here are my menus:




BTW, does anyone else out there think Valentine's Day is a hallmark holiday? I always argue everyday should be "Valentine's Day" Tell everyone you love them aka mom, dad, sis, husband, dog, foodie friends, etc. Love yall!

at 7:44 PM Anonymous Xenu said...

Good God, I would NEVER dine out on V-Day. It's strictly amateur night. Restaurants are packed, servers are stressed out and the tips are usually poor, kitchens are overworked, and the food never up to snuff and there are rubes everywhere.

With VD on a Thursday this year, a lot of people will be celebrating on Friday, so you've been warned. We made the mistake of dining out a few years ago when VD was on a Thursday in 2002, and it was awful. Our waiter even warned us when we were seated about a lot of VD'ers in the house. Never again. we are cooking at home both nights.

at 7:57 PM Blogger Julie said...

I'm making dinner for the boyfriend-- seared scallops, some sort of sauce, some kind of risotto (leaning towards truffle), some sort of salad and chocolates from Greenup for dessert. Restaurants on V-day? Never again!

at 11:40 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's nothing like a blog nazi who censors and deletes comments, even though the comment in question does not contain profanity, nor is it abusive to anyone in any way.


at 10:13 AM Blogger Stepf said...

Anon, 11:40: Was a comment deleted? What happened?
TJ, Yes, I ate mussels. I eat fish and seafood sometimes. :)

at 10:20 AM Blogger Mary said...

Xenu--VD, that's great! And kind of appropriate too if you think about it. Be sure to protect yourself this year against VD.

at 5:07 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stepf: If you eat fish, you aren't vegetarian. Even the International Vegetarian Union defines a vegetarian as one who doesn't eat meat, poultry and/or fish. You may eat a predominantly vegetarian diet, but you aren't vegetarian. This is kind of an sensitive issue amongst vegetarians who don't consume any kind of animal, including fish.

at 6:17 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stepf's bio on the blog says she enjoys vegetarian food as well as sushi. It doesn't say she's a vegetarian.

at 11:06 PM Blogger Stepf said...

You're right. I'm not vegetarian; I'm pescetarian. But seriously, could there be a more pretentious term in the English language? I usually just say that I don't eat meat. When I don't feel like offering detail or don't want a hassle, I say vegetarian. (Also, to my parents, who won't touch seafood, I am vegetarian.) My diet is pretty much vegan aside from fish and plain yogurt or kefir, so I'm pretty happy with it. I'm quite aware that it's a sensitive issue among vegetarians. However, food should be about happiness not criticism and boasting about superior diets. I forget that sometimes, and I think a lot of other people do, too. Since you brought it up, I stopped eating meat at first out of laziness, because I lived alone and hated the mess. Then on the infrequent occasions I ate it, I was ill. A year and some months into my journey toward a healthy life, I'm meat-free. How long does one have to be meat-free to be vegetarian? Can I be a vegetarian in training? Or perhaps a fledgling vegetarian? I once read the phrase "a vegan who takes vacations" and liked it. Thanks, Anon 6:17. You rock! And Julie, that dinner sounds delicious! He's lucky to have you!

at 11:07 PM Blogger Stepf said...

P.S. Mary, how does a cake look "Frederick's of Hollywood"? Take pictures, please! (Of the cake, that is!)

at 11:28 PM Blogger Mary said...

I shall Stepf. It's from her book, Feast. Apparently it's a double layered heart-shaped cake with a raspberry cream filling and chocolate ganache. Fresh raspberries are used to garnish the edges of the cake. Sounds sexy huh?

at 8:59 AM Blogger WestEnder said...

On the subject of vegetarianism (for lack of a better term), I've found that there's quite a spectrum. Vegan, no red meat, only fish/seafood, etc.

I know people who won't eat meat for moral reasons, but won't hesitate to buy leather. I always thought that was odd.

I had a friend who came up with an interesting system: she wouldn't eat anything that took care of its babies.

at 9:46 AM Blogger Stepf said...

WestEnder, I like your friend's approach. :) Neglect your young and become dinner.
Mary, that sounds fabulously delicious. I'm very fond of chocolate and raspberries. Fred has a jazz trumpet lesson tonight, so maybe I'll have time to whip up something good for dinner.

at 3:23 PM Blogger Julie said...

Thanks, Stepf! I'll be posting pics on my blog when I've finished. The dinner has already changed-- now it's polenta instead of risotto. :)

at 4:50 PM Blogger Rachel said...

I had a friend who came up with an interesting system: she wouldn't eat anything that took care of its babies.

Ha! That's a good one. I know others who say they don't eat anything that had a face.

Anon 5:07, Vegetarianism has a lot of subsets these days - pesco, lacto-ovo, lacto etc.. - and I think it's just easier for most folks to call themselves vegetarian instead of trying to explain the qualifiers to a public who is largely unfamiliar with the terms.

Stepf, I kind of see where Anon 5:07 is coming from and I don't think the intent was to boast or criticize. For many people, vegetarianism is a deeply spiritual and/or political choice. Calling oneself a vegetarian while eating any kind of meat is kind of like calling yourself a Christian and then renouncing God or Jesus. I can see how this would be offensive to people who hold these kinds of beliefs.

I saw this kind of, well, judging for lack of a better word, a lot in my Cincinnati vegetarian group. Except there, even vegetarians were looked down upon (in a sense) by vegans, and both vegans and vegetarians were equally looked down upon by the raw foodists. My husband and I are vegetarian and while we won't purchase or prepare meat for dinner parties or family gatherings, we generally don't proselytize our dietary choices or foist our beliefs on others.

Mary, that cake sounds awesome. My co-reporter made a raspberry white chocolate mousse for Valentine's Day. The link to the recipe she used is here .

Post a Comment*

Links to this post:

Create a Link

* Our online blogs currently are hosted and operated by a third party, namely, Blogger.com. You are now leaving the Cincinnati.Com website and will be linked to Blogger.com's registration page. The Blogger.com site and its associated services are not controlled by Cincinnati.Com and different terms of use and privacy policy will apply to your use of the Blogger.com site and services.

By proceeding and/or registering with Blogger.com you agree and understand that Cincinnati.Com is not responsible for the Blogger.com site you are about to access or for any service you may use while on the Blogger.com site. << Home

Jim Borgman
Today at the Forum
Paul Daugherty
Politics Extra
N. Ky. Politics
Pop culture review
Who's News
Roller Derby Diva
CinStages Buzz....
The Foodie Report
Classical music
John Fay's Reds Insider
High school sports
UC Sports
CiN Weekly staff