I actually went to two locations – OTR (Over the Rhine) and Riverfront (Riverfront). There are many more locations than that evidently, which is what Bakersfield next door explained as well. They have hit their stride with both quality product and stunning notoriety driven by moi (of course) and the great people over at the Food Network, coupled with local support and I’m sure a slew of awards of their own by being a solid part of the Cincy food community.
I strolled by the Riverfront to have a couple beers before venturing out to Terry’s Surf Club, which of course would eventually turn into a night in Covington, Kentucky for a night cap but I wouldn’t have known that at the time!
(Aw all my Cincy Riverfront pictures)
I went into Taste of Belgium the first day for a few drinks and would return a couple days later to eat. I figured I would pace myself and save room for dinner but who doesn’t like a couple Belgium beers before eating a big burger?
There is something just so extremely impressive about having the exact glass to fulfill the pour for that particular brew. Meaning my Kwaremont had a glass by Kwaremont for the exact glass they would want me to imbibe with! Same with the Kwak, where interestingly enough the bottom of the glass is so rounded it would be unwise to have it attempt to stand on its own, hence the stand that was handcrafted or perhaps whittled. Both beers were exceptional, and I may favor Belgium beers among all others for quality, smoothness, and overall alcoholic content.
After finishing the first beer and moving along to the next beer, my conversation with a pleasant but odd fella and the bartender commenced, which moved from a tight selection of topics like:
- Why the odd patron knew more than the average MLB Third Base Coach about MLB
- Why the odd patron and I appreciated Comet Ping Pong in DC so much, the Pizzagate scandal that followed, all to the general genuine awe of the bartender observing banter of such esoteric matters
- Why the bartender was now actually the active general manager of the entire establishment by having won his first fantasy football league at the bar, which evidently resulted in him acquiring said position. When he called out this affirmation to the general manager that was there, she briefly considered playing along but obviously didn’t feel like partaking in any half-spirited sarcasm.
- How someone took advantage of Taste of Belgium’s “All You Can Eat” arrangement they have one day out of the week, and some sort of big racist Santa-looking dude can eat like 200. I don’t know maybe I made that one up.
In between all this, I was having a fairly thorough conversation about whether Lena Dunham was the worst person ever or just pretty awful, so the overall mood of this particular hour block was quite scatterbrained and transfixing.
I did the typical “What would you do if you were me and wanted to go out tonight?” but his response was an obvious tour de hospitality within a couple blocks, so I was going to save that for the next person, who would end up being my future bespoke-esque uber driver.
When I got around to actually dining here a couple days later, the menu was frankly quite expensive. I knew I was about to eat at Senate across the street as well (I really do mentally prepare myself for back to back meals since I’m not a huge eater nowadays), so I wanted to play it a little cool (on my tummy). So their special was a waffle sandwich with turkey, pepper jack, tomato, lettuce. Hey I’ll have a waffle sandwich, that must count for something.
I liked what was going on with the semi-decadent bun replacements. Kind of like the doughnut and burger arrangement, but far less nauseating. My true qualm in this situation is using obviously packaged turkey. I mean really people if I’m going to have everything else be house made, humor me with an attempt at the turkey or at least something like Boar’s Head. HUMOR ME! MAKE ME LAUGH.
I’d go here for the drinking of quality beers and maybe a dessert waffle. If I want to drop $14 bucks on a meal there may be a few more options. I know it’s not fair to judge an entire place off of obviously something that wasn’t a specialty, and frankly just a lunch special. But hey, first impressions go a long way and don’t make it a lunch special if it ain’t special?