In a city of very nice people, here were some of the nicest:
- Courtney Tsitouris, a local food blogger and videographer who is chronicling the burgeoning food scene in this friendly city.
- Jose Salazar, the chef at renowned restaurant, The Palace in The Cincinnatian, who gave me some huge purple asparagus to bring home.
- Nick Dietrich, a kind stranger who spent three hours of his time running me around Cincinnati, making sure I didn’t miss any of the good eats and the people who make and sell them.
- Michael Link and Annette Meurer from Joseph Beth Booksellers.
Places and people not to miss at the wonderful Findlay Market:
- Eckerlin’s Best Butchers: they have their own cows.
- Blue Oven Bread: so sad I only brought home four of their handmade English muffins.
- Colonel De Gourmet Herbs and Spices: The Colonel (who by the way looks exactly like you think he should) has spices from all over the world, including some crazy concoctions of his own like Gouda Powder, Grilled Fruit Salad Mix, Grapefruit Powder, and Simon and Garfunkle (you guessed it: parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. Ba dum bump).
- Not in the Farmer’s Market, but not too far away: Shadeau Breads, home to some serious foccacia, schnecken, salt-up rye breads, and on Saturday only, babka.
Pork products that I brought back from Eckerlin’s:
- Goetta, a local delicacy made with beef, oatmeal, pork, onions, and spices
- Thick-sliced hickory smoked bacon
- Sausages with cheese, onions, and other good stuff, named “Who Dey” sausages
Other places of note:
- Graeter’s Ice Cream: this is not new news, but boy is it good. The black raspberry chocolate chip is all that it is cracked up to be.
- Over-the-Rhine for Final Friday: a cool area of town, and on the last Friday of every month, the whole place turns into a party. The retailers serve snacks and drinks, and you can be surprised by things like a vintage clothing fashion show being held in the courtyard of a church.