The best use of a refurbished restaurant goes to Parkside Café , who turned an abandoned Walnut Hills Frisch's into a brunching delight.

While the layout and furniture remains familiar, Parkside added some violet decor and new carpeting to add a bit of class to this former chain. It's just the right amount of tweaking to give it character, but not totally overhaul the building.

During the weekends, the signature double buffet tables are open filled with everyone's breakfast favorites plus fresh fruit and salad. Customers can also order off the menu. Whatever you choose, the prices are very reasonable and two people can dine for under $15.00.

Blueberry pancake with whipped cream cheese topping
Goetta, egg, and cheese sandwich with a side of tots.
Scrambled eggs with cheese and bacon

The best thing about Parkside is that it is a true community restaurant. Other diners in Cincinnati attract certain demographics. Here, everyone blended together: young, old, professionals, families, people coming from church, and people working off a hangover.

Make Parkside Café your next stop for a weekend breakfast (or brunch.) It's one of the friendliest, tastiest local diners in town.


Behoove yourself to take an unbridled adventure with War Horse, the latest show at The Aronoff presented by Broadway in Cincinnati. It's like the Old Yeller of theatre... but with a horse.

Known for its puppetry of a life-sized horse with mechanical parts moved by hand, the star of the show is Joey, a mixed-breed wild foal who befriends a young boy, Albert, after his father acquires him at an auction.

Photo courtesy of Broadway Across America

I'll admit, I was a little weary of seeing a wire-framed skeleton shaped into a horse. At first glance, it seemed bewildering, but after five minutes of watching Joey, the graceful mechanics of the puppeteers made me believe I was watching a real, live horse. The mannerisms, breathing, hoof-stomping, neighing, and gentle nuzzling were spot on.

Photo courtesy of Broadway Across America

As Joey grows into an adult horse, Albert trains him and tames the wild foal to be his friend. When Albert's father hastily sells Joey to the British Army during World War I, Albert enlists to bring him home.

While separated, both Albert and Joey go through the trials of war which are depicted with a raw passion throughout the play. One thing that makes War Horse different from most Broadway shows is its minimalist set, which consists of some minor props and backdrops. Scenes change through strategic positioning of actors and the projected sketches show on a backdrop above the stage. This was also the first Broadway I've seen which didn't focus on singing. An occasional folk song was sung a capella accompanied by an accordion. Though it's not a traditional Broadway show, War Horse is a strong contender among some of the best theatre I've watched.

Photo courtesy of Broadway Across America

The most breathtaking moments were the army enlistment scene at the start of World War I, as well as some of the battles and the innovative portrayal of the casualties in the field. I also did not expect to see multiple life-sized horse puppets in the play: four horses in addition to Joey make their way onto stage throughout the show. And yes, the more horses, the more incredible the scenes progress!

Photo courtesy of Broadway Across America

I tend to be a fan of the "small detail" characters, like the dog in Peter Pan. For War Horse, I was delighted whenever the goose puppeteer made appearances on stage, usually as the comic relief on the farm.

Photo courtesy of  Brinkhoff/Mögenburg

War Horse is a visually imaginative masterpiece that will tug at your heartstrings and leave you shedding tears for a boy and his horse. This is also a great play to share with a theatre-hesitant man who has yet to experience Broadway. It will entertain him with heavy action and wartime stories, and weave him into the solemn songs and intricate plot.

Photo courtesy of Broadway Across America

War Horse runs at The Aronoff from March 26 – April 7, 2013.
Tuesday- Friday at 8:00PM, Saturday at 2:00PM and 8:00PM, and Sunday at 1:00PM and 6:30PM.
Tickets range from $28 – $83


One of our longest anticipated stops on our 2013 tour of Friday Fish Fries was Immaculate Heart of Mary in Burlington, KY. With high praises sung from parishoner and fellow fishie James Pilcher, we ventured south to try IHM's signature dish: the Tommy Boy Cod Sandwich.

#FFFCincy Rating:
4 of 5 Fishies

The Tommy Boy:
Fried Cod stuffed inside a grilled cheese sandwich on rye topped with horseradish and tartar sauce.
Thomas Bartlett, an IHM parishioner who invented the Tommy Boy sandwich.
"I wondered what would happen if we put a fish fillet inside that grilled cheese."

And yes, he is eating a Tommy Boy in the photo.

Queuing for food
Junior High bake sale desserts
Adventure Mom wields the tongs with her boys at IHM's condiment bar
filled with Izzy's pickles, horseradish, cocktail sauce and more.
Crab cakes, fried shrimp, mac n cheese, coleslaw, and The Tommy Boy Sandwich.
Now that's a crab cake!
Caramel Pecan Brownie

The food at IHM Burlington was incredible as the Tommy Boy lived up to its hype. The sandwich was the perfect guilty indulgence of melted chedder and fried cod with the horseradish and tartar sauce adding the right amount of zing. A new item to the menu, the crab cakes were made of huge hunks of meat and was well-seasoned. This one's definitely a keeper for next year. I really enjoyed the fried jumbo shrimp too.

All of the food is hand-breaded or made from scratch. One of the simple highlights of the meal was the mac n' cheese. The Fish Fry group had just been discussing how out of all the fish fries we've attended, none of them had an outstanding mac n' cheese. IHM Burlington gave us salvation.

 "Scratch Mac n' Cheese" contains four different kinds of cheese and is then topped with baked cheddar. It's the much yearned for gooey inside, crispy on top variety of mac n' cheese. If you're searching for this fabulous side, look no further than Immaculate Heart of Mary!

Our happy fish fry group.

Andi met an elderly woman while in line who was wearing a large, metallic fish necklace. It had moveable parts and its open mouth doubled as a bottle opener. That woman is pictured above, standing.

We also met IHM's chef, who is known as the "Halibut Hero." By day, he works as a food supplier. His experience in the industry is what makes IHM's fish fry so tasty... or maybe it's the Easter Bunny in the kitchen?

Many thanks to James Pilcher for encouraging us to try out his church's fish fry.
We had a wonderful time!

Immaculate Heart of Mary hosts their fish fry from 5:00PM - 7:30PM every Friday during Lent.
Free parking lot. Cash only. Domestic beer. Junior High bake sale desserts. Check out the menu.

Bingo night also happens during the fish fry, so stop by afterwards for a game!

Follow our Friday Fish Fry adventures on Twitter: #FFFCincy


A group of transit enthusiasts and urban explorers gathered one sunny Thursday morning to walk the route of the Cincinnati Streetcar. With construction beginning Spring 2013, many changes will be underway to the landscape of Downtown and Over-The-Rhine. Once a month, Noel Prows organizes the walking group to view and document the development of light rail in the Queen City.

Our goal is to walk the entire route in a morning, something that can be accomplished in 2 - 3 hours. In March, we focused on the Over-The-Rhine portion between Central Parkway and Henry Street.







Local contractors from Loveland are being utilized for the Streetcar project.


Streetcar signposts like this once marked stops on the route.
Unfortunately, all but one have been torn down by anti-streetcar folks.
The bend at Henry Street where the streetcar will turn to head South.