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, May 12, 2008

Best of Taste event

"Best of Taste" is today, and open to the public. This is the pre-Taste of Cincinnati event where the "best of taste" awards are given. 23 restaurants are participating and going for awards in six categories: appetizer, soup/salad, entree, seafood entree, vegetarian entree and dessert. One of those winners is designated "Best Damn Dish."
After the judging, the event is open to the public from 5-8 p.m. It's $25 per person and you can sample as much as you want. It's $10 for veterans; all proceeds go to the Cincinnati location of the Fisher House, a foundation that provides free lodging to the families of hospitalized military personnel.

It's being held in the Duke Energy Center's third-floor atrium.

The restaurants who'll be there are: Arloi Dee, Balboa’s Philly Steaks & Pizza, Bangkok Bistro, Bella Luna, Buca di Beppo, Buffalo Southwest Express, Burbank’s Real Barbecue, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, City Barbecue, Courtyard Café on Main, Indigo Casual Gourmet Café, La Petite France, LaRosa’s, Laszlo’s Iron Skillet, Mama Vita’s, Market Street Grille, Montgomery Inn, Pit to Plate BBQ, Pompilio’s, Shanghai Mama’s, Taz Restaurant, Washington Platform, and Wertheim’s Restaurant.

Taste of Cincinnati itself (which includes more than these restaurants) is Memorial Day weekend May 24-26. It's noon-midnight on Saturday and Sunday, noon-9 p.m. Monday. Admission is free, and you'll find it along 5th Street, downtown.


at 11:43 AM Blogger Kasey Marcum said...

You can buy tickets online for Best of Taste by going to:


at 12:52 PM Anonymous TJ Jackson said...

please....please....unlike last year......please do not give any awards to entrys from chain restaurants.

Keep in mind - this is taste of *Cincinnati*.

at 1:15 PM Anonymous Si said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

at 1:23 PM Anonymous Stepf said...

Yes, please say NO to national chains. It's Taste of Cincinnati!

at 3:07 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do the Taste of Cincinnati organizers even TRY to get new restaurants involved? It seems like it's the same places every year. Why aren't any of the new downtown restaurants involved - Nada, Via Vite, etc? Also, no Jean Robert restaurants? How can we have a Taste of Cincinnati without him? I also think it was a big mistake to move it so it would be close to Fountain Square. It's too cramped now and the entertainment spaces were much better along Central Parkway.

at 3:46 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is keeping local restaurants away? It seems like if they pick up a newspaper, they know that the event is coming, and if it would be good for their restaurant, they would sign up without having the city hold them by the hand and applaud them into registration.

I'll bet JRobert has better things to do than hang out under a tent, schlepping foie gras on a stick to belching hillbillies.

at 4:18 PM Blogger Polly Campbell said...

It's really a commitment. It's extremely hard work , and you have to staff the Taste booth as well as your restaurant. I don't think the format really shows off upscale food so well.
I don't know what the line up is for this year yet. I know they were trying to sign up some new ones.

I like the event being more in the heart of downtown, showcasing the Square, but i agree that it is more crowded and cramped.

at 9:32 PM Blogger Jaime said...

I understand why a lot of local restaurants choose not to participate....I worked at a restaurant that used to participate in the Taste and they actually lost money. The cost to schlep all the food and supplies down there as well as pay employees to man the booth all weekend was high. They did it to gain exposure not to make money.

at 1:46 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...


Load. Of. Sh*t.

at 8:52 AM Anonymous vudutu said...

RONFLMAO "schlepping foie gras on a stick to belching hillbillies"

at 7:16 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have read the comments with great interest and amusement! I am a local restaurant owner. I participate in the taste because it is good for the community, my restaurant and inspite of the long hours and hard work, it is a fun event. Now, is Taste the same event that was held on Garfield Place 20yrs ago, no way. However, please stay away from what restaurants participate and which don't. If you are not in management or ownership, anything you might think is pure speculation. Many of the restaurants mentioned in some of the listings are not interested because they don't do this type of event period. One would have to ask each of them why. Do you think we don't make every effort to get these people to participate? As for the Best of the Taste, we are working on it. Chains and Indpendents should not be judged in the same category and there is discussion about this. I love the passion of this blog and hope to see this continue.

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