Frequent diners at Qdoba come for the eatery’s signature flavors, but they may not know how far the staff travels to obtain them. Qdoba’s staff visits various parts of Mexico on a regular basis in search of flavor combinations that later enhance the shop’s burritos, quesadillas, and taco salads. Among these blends are ancho-chili barbecue, gumbo accented with cilantro rice, and the three-cheese queso, a creation that took 47 tries to perfect. Along with sought-after flavors, Qdoba’s staff members pride themselves on their painstaking preparation of fresh ingredients, from fire-roasted tomatoes to mouth-watering poblano peppers.
A lengthy lineup of traditional game-day fare and a sports atmosphere captivate fans at Fox and Hound - Bailey's, where the kitchen remains open as late as its neighboring fully stocked bar. Chefs cook until the wee hours of the morning and always until the bar closes, baking Bavarian pretzel starters, crafting towers of onion rings, and preparing hand-battered chicken tenders that are cooked until they are golden brown. They blend their own seasonings to sprinkle over grilled-to-order burgers, and draw from a diverse roster of cheeses and toppings to crown their wood-oven-inspired flatbreads.
While manning the bars, bartenders tap into a stash of libations, such as UV Whipped vodka and Patron Silver tequila, to mix their specialty cocktails. To further foster a sporting ambiance, high-definition TVs glow with sports games and custom music-video playlists, and guests partake in pastimes of ump bashing, billiards, or competitive people watching.
Overseen by classically trained chef Jenn DiSanto, Fresco's busy kitchen churns out fresh, made-from-scratch meals for people with little time to cook. Clients can view the weekly menu online before calling ahead to place their order or stopping into the storefront to mime their favorite foods. Dine on Mediterranean chicken, sautéed with shallots, olives, and white wine and served with orzo (a value of $15 for single servings or $50 for family size), or opt for the vegetarian pasta alla Norma (a value of $13 for single servings or $45 for family size). Locally produced ingredients are used when possible, and simple reheating instructions come with the meals, so no Kelvin-to-Fahrenheit conversions are necessary.
The founders of Eclipse Coffee and Tea sought to create a more personal and welcoming space than what they found in franchised coffee shops. So they invite their patrons to curl up on one of their couches with a coffee drink made with beans from Cincinnati roaster Seven Hills Coffee. The baristas craft hot and cold beverages, including signature lattes flavored with milk chocolate, caramel, almond, coconut, and even peanut butter, making for a drink that's sweeter and more convenient than stirring a cappucino with a candy bar. At lunch, patrons enjoy specialty paninis or the create-your-own sandwich option, directing staff to build custom sandwiches with Boar's Head cold cuts. Baked goods from Ashley's Pastry Shop, which has served the area for about 30 years, are made fresh daily for breakfast or dessert.