Within Anand Indian Restaurant's bustling kitchen, a team of culinary alchemists carefully blends herbs and spices for its diverse range of Indian dishes. The chefs call upon North Indian traditions to craft tandoori plates, where a special clay oven locks seasoned juices inside cuts of meat better than a mime gives directions to the highway. Meanwhile, South Indian recipes forge Uttappam, Indian-style pancakes crowned with chilis and vegetables, and dosa, thin rice crêpes bundled with savory fillings. Meanwhile, more than 20 meatless dishes offer mouthfuls of creamed lentils, house-made cheese cubes, and sweet baby carrots imbued with light spices.
Taz’s menu of authentic Mediterranean cuisine serves up classic Middle Eastern eats in the heart of the Midwest. Start off with an order of creamy hummus, served with a warm pita ($4.95), or take a pita swimming in a sea of flavorful baba ghanoush, a smoky dip made from roasted eggplant ($4.95). After training taste buds with an appetizer, unleash them on a tender chicken kebab sandwich, served with a veggie-stuffed pita ($5.25), or the herbivore-friendly falafel sandwich ($4.25). Classic Mediterranean gyros lure diners with a siren's song of cucumber sauce, diced tomato, and herbs (7” $4.95, 8” $5.50). A wide variety of teas, such as yansoon, green, and sage ($1.50), as well as fresh juices made with guavas and mangoes ($2.50), wash down the sunny Levantine flavors and cleanse palates of freeloading genies.
Creating a custom-made wine is a lot more rewarding than producing questionable homemade toothpaste. At Tino Vino Vintners, the 6- to 10-week process begins with you “researching” (tasting) wine varietals to determine what you want yours to taste like. Five tastings will introduce your palate to its options in a round of speed dating for the taste buds. Next, the desired grapes are crushed, pressed, concentrated, and mixed with reverse-osmosis-filtered water, yeast, and other ingredients under the supervision of a winemaker. The winemaker will watch over your mixture’s progress during its two to three weeks of fermentation before stabilizing the wine with an optional clarifying agent and racking (removing sediment). Once your wine has been bottled, you may either pop it open and have a party or stash it away to let it age as gracefully as Burton Gilliam.
Though the family-oriented grill's atmosphere mostly recalls a comfy Mexican restaurant (down to the homemade chips and salsa greeting you at the table), the menu touts tastes from across the globe. Try the signature Hawaiian-style ribs ($13.99 half order, $24.99 whole) marinated and grilled in a secret-recipe Jack Daniel’s barbecue sauce, or take a Bavarian turn with the mett-n-kraut ($12.99), a German-style minced pork with sauerkraut on rye bread. Otherwise, opt for something more Italian such as the homemade meat or vegetarian lasagna ($12.99). Classic Tostado's burgers ($8.49) with your choice of toppings (including mushrooms, bacon, barbecue, and Swiss, Provolone, or American cheese) and reubens ($8.99) bring the around-the-world menu back home. True to its name, though, Tostado’s also serves up Mexican dishes that range from familiar burritos ($9.99–$11.99, depending on filling) and quesadillas ($9.99–$11.99) to the creative Mexican hot dog ($6.99), which comes with sour cream, mustard, and pico de gallo.
Amidst an atmosphere of spirited patriotism, Grande Ole Pub nullifies hunger with a menu loaded with savory wraps, sandwiches, soups, and salads. Introduce taste muscles to culinary brawn with a beef burrito adorned with enchilada sauce and cheese ($8.99), or kiss kissers with a spicy chicken and black-bean wrap ($8.95), fortified by contingents of rice and a napkin inscribed with the Scoville scale. Louisiana Purchase gumbo ($8.99) celebrates prodigious acquisitions in a meaty ensemble, and the cottage cheese and tomato salad ($4.95) houses a vegetarian dog pile inside a hollowed-out tomato.
Among the city's best bars and nightclubs according to CityBeat's Best of Cincinnati poll, The Comet draws crowds with live music, a menu of classic Mexican favorites, and a massive selection of suds. Start a salutatory mouth soiree with a plate of nachos crowned by cheese, sour cream, black beans, and jalapeños ($7.50), or begin with a salsa sampler featuring a quartet of house-made salsas, one for each of your taste buds ($5). Like savory, soft piñatas, chicken, beef, or tofu burritos come stuffed with black and/or pinto beans, rice, cheese, and salsa ($6), and chile con queso gives tortilla chips a refreshing dairy bath in white-cheese dip ($4). A Sunday brunch starting at 11 a.m. helps give the weekend a flavorful hybrid-meal finish.