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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Friday, March 21, 2008

Taza = Love

As a loyalist of the long-closed The Buzz Coffee Shop, I admit I had my doubts when I first saw the signs for Taza, which replaced the long vacant building at 2900 Jefferson Ave. in Clifton. Like so many others, The Buzz was my home away from home, a welcome respite throughout my undergraduate years, offering sagging but comfortable couches and a relaxed, Bohemian atmosphere with enough caffeine to make look Richard Simmons look lethargic. Could another coffee house there ever compare?

There is no comparison - Taza is not only much nicer than The Buzz, it's hands-down the best local coffeehouse I've been to. And this is coming from an avid local coffee house connoisseur. Taza holds the same appeal of the Buzz - a casual, welcoming atmsosphere and great brew - but is immensely more sophisticated. College kids will no doubt flock through its double doors, but unlike its predecessor, they won't dominate the demographic.

A group of Clifton locals opened Taza in January as a "comfortable 'third place' to meet up with old friends and make new ones." The not-for-profit group showcases local creative and performing talents and plans to offer a monthly "Friends on a Mission" mini-grant to community service groups in need of funding. For a calendar of events, check out its website or MySpace page.

The food menu is limited now to fruits, soup and muffins, but the chalkboard sign promises a light lunch menu soon. Hopefully extended evening hours are in the works, too. Current hours are 7 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday.

(Barista Shane Strouse pictured in first photo)


at 12:11 AM Anonymous Mia said...

As a fellow "lover of Buzz and Taza skeptic", I must say, this place is SERIOUSLY amazing. Everything they do somehow benefits something great from the fair trade coffee to the organic granola that they make themselves! Not to mention the obvious good the non-profit will do. They are all about community and it shows. This community definitely needed a place like this.

at 9:23 AM Blogger Taffy said...

When you go to Taza, definately try the "dirty" tea. I never realized coffee AND tea could be combined into such an amazing beverage. I lovit, lovit, lovit. Taffy

at 3:14 PM Blogger Julie Gaw said...

Love the naming conventions. In Hong Kong that same "dirty" tea is called "yin-yang" cha (cha=tea)!

at 9:51 AM Blogger Brian Siegel said...

Taza simply rocks, and you have to check it out for yourself to experience it, words aren't enough. Great coffee, people, environment, art, aura, and they represent great values there as well. The best of all worlds. If you were around for the "Buzz" days, they maintained some former entities of the old place, and simply transformed it into a modern and wonderful place to gather. A must see and addition to places to meet with a friend. "Creativity, Community, and Coffee", great concept!

Brian Siegel

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