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Help! Quebec City to Havre St. Pierre (Mingan) & Natashquan- delicious and casual

Hounds! I've been all over the board (and almost everywhere else!) and I could use any assistance you can offer. My wife and I are coming up in July via New England and are driving from Quebec City to Natashquan to pick up the supply ship to Labrador. I'll admit that food wasn't the reason for the trip :) but we are hoping to find some good local places to eat en route. If needed, we'll just check out what we can when we get there but would love your recommendations. We love just about anything local and interesting, all price ranges (though I suspect in this area casual will be the way to go).

On our first day out from Quebec City we are driving to Baie Comeau via the North Shore. Lunch could be anywhere from Baie St.-Paul (a few recos on the board there) to Tadoussac (where I saw Le Bateau recommended). I suspect dinner will be in Baie Comeau unless there's anything else in the vicinity.

On day two, we drive to the Mingan Archipelago in Havre St.-Pierre, where we'll stay all the next day, too. Thinking lunch likely in Sept-Iles. I could use big help in either place, including lodging in Havre St. Pierre. (Best I can find is Motel du Havre, who isn't returning my calls or e-mails at the moment.)

And on day three, we'll finish the drive to Natashquan where I fear it will be whatever's available at the ferry dock. But help appreciated there, too!

Thanks in advance, guys!

Need Your Help: One Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

This is an excellent start! All of these sound like great choices! Is dinner at Colborne Lane a lengthy affair? That's normally a good thing but given this looks like a fast paced day. I'm hopeful we can make it work because it looks fantastic!

As for later into the evening, we are definitely not picky but would love a place with"real" food (ie not frozen/deepfried/microwaved). Hoping there's someplace fun or interesting nearby!

As for our food tastes, we go for almost anything! When we travel we're always on the lookout for something "local.". These days that seems most often to mean ingredients (which is great) but I mostly mean local color, the kind of place where you learn about the character of a city by visiting. For example, when I go to New York, I'm not usually at the five-star opulent meals- I go to Brooklyn for modern hand crafted food and end the evening at a taco joint. :). Overall I'm looking for food quality with a side of character. Whether that be "Canadian," French, vietnamese, or African actually doesn't matter.

So far these have been tremendous picks- thank you! Anyone have other thoughts?

Need Your Help: One Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Hounds!

I am once again throwing myself upon the mercy and kindness of my Chowhound friends to help me girlfriend and I maximize our 24 hour Toronto experience. I've read lots of the posts here and have some good ideas but with Toronto being such a spread out city, I wanted to check on some locations and distances.

Our homebase for the day is on the west side of downtown at the Hotel Victoria (Yonge and Wellington, near the King subway station). I need to plan against four specific meal options:

LUNCH: We're arriving just in time for lunch, so would be great to go somewhere near the hotel. Looking for something really interesting that could serve as an introduction to fall eating in Toronto. Ideally someplace walkable from the hotel-- uniquely Toronto, no chains!

EARLY DINNER: We're thinking of heading to Mississauga for an afternoon draw at the Curling World Cup (very excited about this!) and we could either eat dinner after the event somewhere out there (the event's at the Hershey Centre), or on the way back, or even at/near the hotel.

LATE DINNER: We're also considering heading to a rock show at The Phoenix Concert Theater on Sherbourne, right off the streetcar line. We'd be looking for someplace where the kitchen is open until at least midnight on a Thursday night that's either in the neighborhood of the club or somewhere on the way back to the hotel.

BREAKFAST: We're not big breakfast-out people, but if there's something near the hotel that gets rave reviews (I've seen a couple really positive breakfast reviews on the board but didn't know where those places were relative to us!) it might lighten our spirits on the way out of town!

So I know it's a lot to ask, with these four meals, but I can tell you that looking around on this board can make all of the difference, and it's improved my visits to all kinds of places. I'm not super picky, but I do want to get the best possible experience in Toronto and since I only make it up there every few years at best, I'm looking for good, interesting, unique, and earnest food. No stars or 5 stars, doesn't matter if the food's good. What do you think? Can you help? THANK YOU THANK YOU!

The Two-Hour Challenge: Solo Dinner tonight in Back Bay

Well, I must tell you that Hamersley's was a TREMENDOUS experience. The weather was perfect (got back to my hotel literally moments before the downpour started) and the food was even better! I had a really lovely fresh beet salad with olives, feta, and romaine, followed by that amazing roast chicken. I'll admit that I was prepared to be a lot more adventurous, but this was a PERFECT early fall meal, and getting a little bit of thigh meat with the roasted garlic and some parsley-herbed skin... tremendous. Thanks to all of you for helping me end up with something truly special!

Sep 29, 2009
rotary11 in Greater Boston Area

The Two-Hour Challenge: Solo Dinner tonight in Back Bay

Wow, gang, thanks for the tremendous advice! Just booked a table at Hammersley's at 8- you've got me very excited! I'll report back...

Sep 28, 2009
rotary11 in Greater Boston Area

The Two-Hour Challenge: Solo Dinner tonight in Back Bay

Hounds! Through a lack of planning and a bit of new information, I have learned that I will be in Back Bay tonight on business. It looks like it could be shaping up to be a beautiful night, so rather than eat in my hotel (the Sheraton on Dalton) I'd like to walk somewhere interesting. My criteria: walking distance (but I am willing to walk a half hour for the right kind of place), someplace where solo diners won't feel crazy-out-of-place (even though I a very content solo diner), someplace ideally with good people watching, and someplace that serves genuine food- delicious, local, and unpretentious. Price range doesn't matter, quality does.

So, what do you think, Hounds? Can anyone spare me from ordering room service or ending up at a random tourist trap?

Sep 28, 2009
rotary11 in Greater Boston Area

Help! Alone in Moscow, with co-workers in Ekaterinburg

Hounds--

I have relied on the inspiration of my Chowhound friends and colleagues to prep for many previous trips, and I have found the guidance from this group of people to be truly exceptional. But this time, I've got one I'm not sure if there's any solving!

I've got a 2-week trip upcoming to Russia. It's a week-and-a-half trip to Ekaterinburg (also sometimes spelled Yekaterinburg) and I've added 3 days on to Moscow by myself for sightseeing. The issue is that I have no idea where to dine. Specifically:

In Ekaterinburg, I'm looking for interesting dinner places (and maybe a couple of lunch places) that don't cater exclusively to tourists (if there are any there!) and have at least decent food quality. Nothing that will break the bank, but some good and reliable choices. To save my life I can't find a single post on this million-plus population town on Chowhound!

In Moscow, I'm looking for authenticity, but even more than this I'm looking for good dining options for a solo (male) traveler. I don't mind venturing into the neighborhoods with a phrase guide but a place where the staff speaks SOME English certainly would be appreciated. I'm just trying to find a way to absorb some food culture while I am there and not get lulled into something that's touristy because it's easy. I'm staying at the Moscow Marriott Grand Hotel but would be willing to take the Metro if it's worth it.

Can anyone help? THANKS IN ADVANCE!

Jul 08, 2009
rotary11 in Europe

Indiana Roadtrip Advice! Cincinnati to Grand Rapids: I-74, IN-9, I-69

Hounds!

I'm writing because I've spent some time surfing the midwest boards and while I've found some interesting suggestions, I can't quite find the kind of help I'm looking for. Last year, I asked for your help to identify the perfect roadside food stops between Cincinnati (my hometown) and Detroit along I-75. As a result, I've eaten well from Dayton to Toledo and several tremendous places inbetween.

This weekend, I take a trip to Grand Rapids and will be going through Indiana, specifically I-74 up to Shelbyville where I'll take Indiana Highway 9 north to Anderson, and I-69 through Fort Wayne and into Michigan. Some of the specific towns I'll pass are:

Harrison OH, Lawrenceburg, Batesville, Greensburg, Shelbyville, Greenfield, Anderson, Muncie, Gas City, Marion, Fort Wayne, Auburn, Angola, and a couple towns in Michigan (Coldwater, Marshall, Charlotte)

What I'm seeking is AUTHENTICITY with a side of convenience. Someplace where I can experience local food and culture and ideally not have to venture too far from the highway to make it happen. Happy with anything from dives to fine dining, if it's real.

What do you think? What are the "can't miss" stops?

Thanks so much!

A (first) weekend in Singapore-- your help needed!

Hounds--

Perhaps you can help-- you always have before! I've got my first ever trip to Asia next week and I'm in the process (as with any great trip!) of identifying where and how to plan my eating. Although I'll be traveling with a work contingent, I'm pleased to say I have an entire weekend in Singapore to myself! And I am looking for your CAN'T MISS dining destinations. A couple of principles:

1. I may be dining and traveling solo for these
2. I'm an English speaker which I think should be OK for dining in Singapore.
3. I don't need to eat in restaurants (though I will)-- I hear the food stalls are very worth my time...
4. I'm "reasonably adventurous" but am not interested in drinking snake blood. :)
5. Would be good to eat at someplace that is easy to get a cab to, and take a cab from, or near appropriate and fun destination.

As for kind of food-- I know there's no single "type of food" in Singapore, so I'm mostly just looking for what's best! I've never been to southeast Asia, India, or anywhere else of the like, but I love the food I've been exposed to from there. Oh, and I'd love any tips you have in general on getting around there, foodwise. I know there have been lots of posts on this board, but I did a look before posting and didn't find quite this question-- so I'll turn it over to you Hounds, who have been SO helpful to me in the past!

PS-- I'll also be traveling to China (Guangzhou, Shanghai) for several days and will have an opportunity for a meal or two in Narita Airport in Tokyo. I'll make separate posts on the appropriate boards, but VERY happy to have your opinions here, too!

Best of Narita

Hounds!

As a part of an Asia itinerary (which I'll post as appropriate in the China and Asia boards), I've got a couple of hours at Narita airport and am game for what are the can't miss dining options while I'm there! I'll be on Northwest (arriving from the U.S.) and Singapore Airlines (bound for Singapore) and I've got one layover in the morning and one in the evening. What can't be missed? I'm an English-speaker and somewhat adventurous and would like to sample what there is to be had! Welcome your thoughts...

Jun 13, 2008
rotary11 in Japan

Easy dining in Shanghai, Guangzhou

Hounds--

Perhaps you can help-- you always have before! I've got my first ever trip to Asia next week and I'm in the process (as with any great trip!) of identifying where and how to plan my eating. I'll be traveling with a work contingent, so I won't have too much opportunity to sneak away when I'm in China. I've got a couple of days each in Guangzhou and Shanghai and am looking for your CAN'T MISS dining destinations. A couple of principles:

1. I may be dining and traveling solo for these
2. I'm an English speaker but don't speak Cantonese and Mandarin. I know this will make things tougher.
3. I'm "reasonably adventurous" but am not interested in drinking snake blood. :)
4. Would be good to eat at someplace that is easy to get a cab to, and take a cab from.

As for kind of food-- I'm looking for the basics and the classics of each region's food. And any tips you have in general on getting around there, foodwise. I know there have been lots of posts on this board, but I did a look before posting and didn't find quite this question-- so I'll turn it over to you Hounds, who have been SO helpful to me in the past!

PS-- I'll also be traveling to Singapore for several days and will have an opportunity for a meal or two in Narita Airport in Tokyo. I'll make separate posts on the appropriate boards, but VERY happy to have your opinions here, too!

Roadtrip: Best food choices b/t Cincinnati and Charlottesvile/Richmond VA (US-52 and I-64)

Well, I just wanted to report back on the very successful results of my trip! Thanks to all of you, I not only had a great time enjoying a little springtime weather, but I ate very well indeed!

On the way out, I stopped in Huntington at Fro-Stop and it was excellent! The hot dogs and burgers were fine, but it was the onion rings and the root beer (frosty mugs, no less) stole the show. I also got a "snack" in Lexington VA at Kenney's. Thank god I had my GPS with me or I never, ever would have found it. (How is it still in business?) I enjoyed a "sauce burger" and reveled in the history of the place... they've still got several of the old fliers and promotional materials up around the place.

In Charlottesville, I ate at Zocalo which was a good (though not exceptional) Mexican restaurant. The fish was outstanding there. And I'm pleased to say we made it to Jinx's (Pit Stop) BBQ. Honestly very good sandwiches. The ribs looked like they may have been just a touch overdone, but it made for some great pulled pork. Despite Jinx's claims to the contrary, I found it to be a bit Carolina-style, where the focus is on the meat and preparation, not on spices, rubs, or sauces. Worked for me-- tiny little shack putting out some nice food.

On the way home, I stopped in Charleston WV at the Blossom Dairy (which I saw recommended on a number of other posts) and it too was awesome. I was surprised at how good their deli sandwiches were.

All in all, it was a great trip and I'd recommend all of these!

Roadtrip: Best food choices b/t Cincinnati and Charlottesvile/Richmond VA (US-52 and I-64)

Hounds!

I'm writing to seek your perspective on how I can dramatically increase the joy of an upcoming roadtrip. I'll be traveling with a friend from Cincinnati, OH to Charlottesville, VA (and possibly all the way to Richmond). Our route will probably take us on US-52 from Cincinnati to Huntington, WV, where we'll catch I-64 for the rest of the trip.

I'd like to know about places of note that are worth time and attention. As with many of you, I could care less about how many stars the restaurant has-- if it's a great hot dog or BBQ place, I'm in. An amazing four-star French restaurant? Bring it on. My only requirements are that it needs to be unique, and representative of the best of the regional cuisine on display in the area! It would be great if some of the places were near the highway and worthy of a quickish road stop, but am also willing to get off the beaten path a little bit for someplace that is worthy!

For the uninitiated in this area, here are some of the towns I'm likely to pass through:
-Cincinnati, OH (my hometown, I've got a pretty good feel for this one)
-Portsmouth, OH
-Huntington, WV
-Charleston, WV
-Lewisburg, VA
-Lexington, VA
-Charlottesville, VA (will be spending a few days here, so particularly interested in this one)
-Richmond, VA

Let's roll out your favorite places, no-holds-barred! Let's have a debate about the REAL issues-- pork or beef? Informal or formal? Greasy or healthy? That's something we can all get behind!

Thanks in advance for setting up this roadtripper to have maximum enjoyment on my visit, which is only a little over a week away!

Best Mexico area to vacation for food (and culture)?

What an interesting and extremely helpful series of responses! All three destinations sound lovely, and to be honest I had discounted the DF based on what might be some misperceptions of traveling there. After reading these posts, I'm considering anchoring myself in Mexico City and potentially doing a couple of day or overnights to Oaxaca and/or Morelia (both of which sound outstanding). Do you have any practical suggestions for reliably traveling to one or the other without incurring expensive airfare costs? Is there regular train service, for example?

I think I will do a little research on each destination, which likely will create a few new questions, but I think this is a GREAT start. If others have additional suggestions, keep them coming in!

Thanks to you all, more soon...

Mar 09, 2008
rotary11 in Mexico

Best Mexico area to vacation for food (and culture)?

DiningDiva--

This is EXTREMELY helpful, thank you! On the map, it appears that Oaxaca and Veracruz are not that far from each other-- would you recommend a trip there if I made it to Oaxaca? I've heard it is a very vibrant city...

Any recommendations from others?

Mar 08, 2008
rotary11 in Mexico

Best Mexico area to vacation for food (and culture)?

Hounds!

I need your help. I did a little search of this Mexico board and didn't find the answer to my question, so I'm hoping you can help. I'm planning a SOLO vacation of 4-7 days to Mexico and am trying to decide where to target. Outside of the U.S. border towns, I don't have any traveling experience in Mexico. Probably most important to me is to be in an area with really outstanding food culture where I'll be able to try a number of things. (Of course, I'm not talking about "resort" food culture, but rather where you can find amazing things on the street and in local restaurants.) Having a couple of cities close by that I can get to with this is top priority.

Also important:
-Reasonably safe for solo (male) traveler
-Presence of sea and mountains is a plus
-Would love some good history/ruins, too
-Not ridiculously/unbearably hot in the summer (I may not be able to make this one work)

So, Hounds, what do you think? Can you help steer me to the right region/cities? You haven't let me down before!

Mar 08, 2008
rotary11 in Mexico

Anchorage/Fairbanks airport layover dining

Hounds--

My wife and I are visiting Alaska next month and at various points in our trip, we will have long (4 hour) layovers at the Anchorage and Fairbanks airports. We're very open to leaving the airport to venture out nearby and have a unique dining experience. What would you recommend? We probably won't be in super-nice clothes (normal jeans and nice shirts), so someplace casual but interesting would be great. In particular, the Anchorage stop would be our last Alaska meal, so would be great to make it memorable.

Also if you know, it would be great to know if your choices are open late-- I think our Anchorage layover starts at 9pm...

Thanks Hounds!

Jul 14, 2007
rotary11 in Pacific Northwest

Vienna Beef (or similar) @ retail in Cincinnati?

Hounds--

I've been scouring the boards looking for an answer to my question and am having no luck, so I'll throw this out there. I know the boardmaster may want to move this board to "Home Cooking" but I do need very specific advice for the Cincinnati area.

I am having a big party next weekend and I want to serve Chicago dogs, one of those foods that must be tried to be believed. I've looked all over, and so far as I can tell no one sells Vienna Beef at retail (and their website confirmed this). I could choose to drop $50 after shipping to get a Chicago dog kit shipped to me, but what I most need is that all-beef, snap-when-you-eat-it dog that is the center of the experience, and I'm hoping I can find it without laying out that kind of cash!

So here's the question: what's the closest I can do buying them here in Cincinnati? Assuming VB isn't available, what do local stores here carry that will come closest? I can search "all-beef natural casing" at the store and see what they have, but I'd drive a little bit to get the good stuff!

Thanks in advance for your help!

Mail-Order Food for the All-American Cookout

This is a very interesting idea-- where can I get some good crawfish flown in from?

Jun 26, 2007
rotary11 in General Topics

Mail-Order Food for the All-American Cookout

Hello Hounds--

So I've got an interesting question to pose to you today. This summer, I'm celebrating a milestone birthday by throwing a real All-American Cookout for a number of my friends-- I did this last year and it was a real hit. The biggest hit of all was the Rendezvous pork ribs I had flown in-- I think folks liked having something fun, "foreign," and authentic. I'm considering expanding the concept to other great regional treats. I'm wondering what ideas you've got for foods that are tasty, interesting, summer-ish, and 100% American! Could do protein, sides, drinks, desserts, you name it. While I don't want to spend tons, I am willing to drop a little cash for something really great and authentic.

So that's it. What's YOUR favorite American cookout mail-order food secret?

Jun 26, 2007
rotary11 in General Topics

One night in Charlotte/NC: On the hunt for BBQ

REPORT BACK: First Charlotte Trip

Well, fellow Hound friends, thanks to you all I had a very good food day today. I was worried it wouldn't be-- my flight into Charlotte was very late last night and I was getting a bad omen. Even though I didn't get dinner last night, today made it worth it.

For lunch, we went to Jade, an Asian fusion/sushi place near the Ballantyne complex. (Thanks, carolinagirl71!) We had sushi that was far above my expectations for Charlotte, and I'd happily go back there anytime.

After work, we went to happy hour at Table, and while I thought the menu was just a touch pretentious, the food was very good. We tried a few of the appetizers-- calamari, a veggie pizza, and a lovely cheese plate-- and all of these passed muster with my fellow diners. Also enjoyed some well-mixed mojitos.

So, this took us to around 7:30pm when our little group broke up. Rather than drive the 10 minutes to the hotel, I put on some music and drove to Lexington for a second dinner-- I was not to be deterred!

The drive was shorter than I had expected, and it was very easy to spot. Rather than be a tiny shack, this is full-fledged establishment. I'll admit, I was considering telling you all how much I liked it (regardless of whether or not I did!) because of the investment of time to get out there. But thankfully, no need to lie-- it was excellent! I got the "large tray" of sliced and chopped pork (with hushpuppies and slaw, of course). The pork was moist and delicious (especially the chopped pork), the sauce was sweeter and more tomato-based than I had expected (that must be the western Carolina style), and the pork didn't always need it. The slaw was interesting and very good, and a great pairing with the sweet tea. I got a peach cobbler to go (on the recommendation of the waitress) and it was OK, but looked like they may have used canned peaches.

Overall, it was a simply excellent experience-- checking out the smokers in the back after dinner made me appreciate it even more. Well worth the trip! Next time (next month) I may make it out to Bridges to try something a little different, or explore out a little further east to get the different styles. But to all those who haven't been out to Lexington, go! It's a must for any real 'cue lover.

THANKS to you all for your great recommendations-- my co-workers and friends felt I knew more about Charlotte dining than they did!

Jun 20, 2007
rotary11 in Central South

One night in Charlotte/NC: On the hunt for BBQ

Well, you guys certainly have me interested to extend my trip to Charlotte! : )

So, one final question. My first night's flight time got moved. Now I'm landing at 9pm. Pretty much rules out a first night roadtrip. I'm staying near the airport so wouldn't want to travel too far, but anyone got ideas for takeout I could take back to my room? Anywhere within 15 minutes or so of the airport would help me beat hotel food. Will report back later in the week!

Jun 17, 2007
rotary11 in Central South

One night in Charlotte/NC: On the hunt for BBQ

GREAT replies! I feel like I'm getting a good sense for what to look for. I think I'd like to make my way up to Lexington #1 my first night in town. Only question is, how late is it open? If I had a flight land at Charlotte around 8pm, any hopes of getting up there before they close?

My trip's coming up next week, so I'll keep y'all updated...

Jun 11, 2007
rotary11 in Central South

One night in Charlotte/NC: On the hunt for BBQ

Hounds--
We're definitely on the right track! I'll be staying out in the "business suburbs" near 485 and 521, south of the city (near Ballantyne Resort area, I think). I figured I'd have to drive to get anywhere interesting. : )

So, lunches will be a little tricky but I think I can swing a way to get downtown and your recommendations all sound great. As for other meals, I'm actually very versatile. I don't mind eating wacky or exotic, or it can be "down home good." My only requirements are "authentically local" and good quality. I could always use an education about what other local cuisine options are in town. Obviously a choice south of town will be more palatable if I've got folks with me! As for budget, it's likely on the company dime, so not really an issue. Don't want to overpay, but if the food's worth it...

Thanks for all the interesting ideas! Let's keep 'em coming!

Jun 07, 2007
rotary11 in Central South

One night in Charlotte/NC: On the hunt for BBQ

Hounds. I have a dilemma of big proportions, and I need your help.

Within the next month, I will have 2 nights of business travel (1 night each on two trips) in Charlotte, a city I do not get to very often. I need a gameplan.

For background, I am a barbeque freak, and I appreciate virtually every style. My favorite BBQ restaurant (and maybe my favorite restaurant in the world) is Rendezvous in Memphis where a slab of dry-rub ribs is heaven, but I can enjoy brisket and sausage at County Line in Austin, and a trip through Kansas City. But NC BBQ has only been enjoyed at a distance, and I fear it hasn't been given a proper chance.

So, my dilemma has two parts:
1. While I'm in Charlotte, what are the must-dine BBQ experiences? I've heard good things about Bar-B-Q King and Bill Spoon's. I'm not looking for fancy, but I do face the Eastern/Western NC dilemma. Frankly, I'd like to try a little of each.
2. Is it worth it to break from my group and drive the hour up to Lexington for dinner one night? I can do it if it's the "mecca" folks say-- I'm one to make "food pilgrimages"-- just want to ensure the 'que is better!

So that's it. Let's say I had 2 lunches (in Charlotte) and 2 dinners (Charlotte or driving distance). How would YOU spend it?

Jun 06, 2007
rotary11 in Central South

Interesting (non-exotic) food near N. Attleboro (S. Boston, Providence)?

Wow, what great responses! (I knew my fellow hounds wouldn't let me down!) You've given me enough great suggestions that I'll be set for several visits to come! I was there Thursday night and we took one of the early suggestions and went to Porto Bello's in Attleboro. It was simply lovely. Beautiful restaurant, nice atmosphere, reasonably priced, and very high quality. Highly recommended! Now to plan a trip to get back and try some other places!

Interesting (non-exotic) food near N. Attleboro (S. Boston, Providence)?

Hounds,

I've got an opportunity and hoping you can help. I'm a Midwesterner that will be up in the greater south Boston / Providence area for a couple of evenings and am looking for food ideas. While I'm a pretty adventurous eater, I'll be with some folks that like more mainstream (read: American, Italian, Chinese-American, etc.) food. However, I want to avoid chains and bad food to whatever extent possible. What to do! I'd be very open to ideas of local places that meet these characteristics-- we're able to do anything from "casual" (jeans and a button-up) to "nice" (business casual). What do you think? Can you help? (If it helps, our "base of operations" will be N. Attleboro.)

Thanks!

Dining Scene: Pittsburgh vs. Cincinnati

I like the way you classified some restaurants as being "older" (presumably more traditional?) places versus newer. Sounds like what is missing is fine dining in a modern/refined setting. I've noticed this area to be lacking in a lot of "central U.S." cities, including Cincinnati, with one or two exceptions.

I had read there was a concentration of Italian restaurants in a couple of neighborhoods, but interesting that they're scattered all over. I think Cincinnati is in a "chain-only" Italian climate!

German food in Cincinnati is abundant, but not always of top quality. Many folks point out the Hofbrauhaus (owned by the Munich hall of the same name), but frankly the place is kitchy and has as much American on the menu as German. (Fun atmosphere, though.) Mecklenberg Gardens is truly great German, but most of the others are just OK. By the way, why is it that every German restaurant feels "old"? I'm sure it's not that way in modern Germany!

Other thoughts from folks that can weigh in one way or the other?

Apr 23, 2007
rotary11 in Pennsylvania

Re-Post from PA Board: Cincinnati vs. Pittsburgh Dining Scene

This is interesting. I agree the Cincinnati "downtown" scene isn't fantastic-- a couple great restaurants (I'd put Nicola's and Pigall's in that camp), but the choices are four-star or no star.

Out of curiosity, what's your Cincy steak pick? There certainly are a lot of choices, but not all of them are good. I do wish we had decent Italian food here!

Re-Post from PA Board: Cincinnati vs. Pittsburgh Dining Scene

(Re-posting this on the Midwest board so that Cincinnati diners see it). The link to the original: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/393804. Post your feedback there, if you can.

)

===================================

Pittsburgh and Cincinnati diners--

This week, I was having a debate between the various dining scenes in Cincinnati (my home) and Pittsburgh (my friend's home). We were trying to decide how to describe each city's strengths and weaknesses in dining. We're both pretty "boundary-less" diners-- we'll happily eat great roadside grub and pub food, and also go to four-star restaurants (IF the quality is worth it!).

So, here's how I described Cincinnati's dining scene: great for cheap local food (chili parlors, barbeque), great for high-end dining (Pigall's, Boca, Nicola's, etc), OK for some kinds of ethnic (Indian, sushi), but pretty much lacking in the "middle range" of the spectrum.

And as for Pittsburgh, I heard: really good casual and bar food (brewing company), good Italian, some decent ethnic in certain neighborhoods, but not great for fine dining.

Problem is, neither one of us knows the other's city very well! Thought I'd put it out to the intelligencia of my fellow Hounds. My questions:

-Which city has the edge in Cuisine?
-What are the pros and cons in your mind?
-Finally, just to understand your tastes, what are your favorite dining spots in each town?

These cities are alike in so many respects, interested to see if the same is true of dining!