2017 wasn’t the best year on record.
I had a lot of personal stuff going on, between some family illness and the end of my marriage, so frankly, writing wine me, dine me hasn’t been a priority.
Also, I radically changed the way I eat: cooking at home, low carb, and eating out a lot less, which has resulted in some positive changes in health, but a little bit less to write about.
That doesn’t mean I’ve abandoned food (or writing) entirely. Cincinnati has had some amazing food additions this year, and I’ve managed to make time (between redoing my condo, hanging with my Frenchies, travel for work and trying not to go too insane) to try quite a few of them.
Here, in no particular order, are my five favorite food finds in 2017.
The Pony: Wings
I eat pretty low carb these days, and The Pony’s wings have become a most-Fridays tradition. Available traditional Buffalo (mild, medium and hot) or my favorite, barbecue (or hot barbecue, which is a combo), they’re 10 meaty wings for $12, or 20 for $20. They also have a great beer selection, reasonably priced cocktails and a nice house rose.
Longfellow: Thai Red Curry
This item was, at one point, available only on certain days (and during certain hours) and was a rotating curry selection (I had the Indian version one day with Polly Campbell, and tried a bite of the Thai once as well). It’s the perfect addition to a small but mighty bar menu.
CWC The Restaurant: Char Cheddar Burger
This burger is based on a burger that Caitlin Steininger, chef and co-owner of CWC: The Restaurant, got on vacation. It’s a thick burger covered with gooey cheddar sauce, and it’s one of the best burgers I’ve had in a while. They have a small portion for kids, but the regular portion is great for an adult who just wants to be a big kid for a few minutes. CWC’s menu is ever-changing, but everything I’ve had there has been phenomenal.
The Bagelry: Everything Bagels (and schmear)
For the longest time, aside from Marx Bagels, you just couldn’t get a good bagel in this town. This year, bagels have been coming out of the woodwork, and my favorite is The Bagelry’s: chewy crust, just the right amount of softness, and the right size. It’s good with cream cheese (their bacon chive is particularly good) and makes a tremendous egg sandwich. Check their website to find their latest pop-up location.
Pig Mack at Pontiac
I’ve been doing a lot of “no bun” ordering (sorry, kitchens across the city) but this is my very favorite item that doesn’t even need a bun. The Pig Mack at Pontiac is two patties of pulled pork, cheese, onions lettuce and special sauce and it’s the best interpretation of that Mickey D’s classic I’ve had. It’s great with a bun too, mind you, but for those of us going low carb, it’s a tasty option that makes you forget it’s supposed to be a sandwich.
And a bonus:
Cinnamon Bun at Brown Bear Bakery
I’m totally bandwagoning on this one, but everyone (literally) is right: this is the best cinnamon roll you’ll put in your mouth. A little orange zest cuts the sweetness, and it’s enough to share (though you won’t want to). Get there early on the weekends, because they sell out fast.
I’m looking forward to what 2018 will bring: how about you? What were your favorite bites this year?