Conceptualized by Chef Joshua Steven Campbell, a Cincinnati native, Mayberry and World Food Bar bring creative tastes to the community without ever pressuring the community to adopt creative eating techniques in return—traditional methods such as teeth and forks are acceptable. Mayberry's modest, warm atmosphere invites patrons to feast on fancified versions of classic comfort food such as the Sloppy Josh sandwich (slow-cooked beef with rosemary and spicy mustard, $7) for lunch, paired with a tater-tot casserole ($3). Transitioning palates to dinner hour are elegant small plates such as pepper-bacon-wrapped pork medallions sweetly accompanied by barbecue chickpeas and goat cheese ($10) and the restaurant's herbed flatbread with guava, kalamata olives, and feta cheese, which can be made with lamb or with minted tofu for vegetarians ($10).
Kroeger and Sons, as its name might imply, has been family owned and operated since 1972, though it recently passed to a new family equally dedicated to the art of the sausage. The meat market offers some 40 different varieties of sausage every day. Load up on Kroeger and Sons' super lean hand-made chicken sausages ($5.99/lb), southern sagey breakfast links ($3.29/lb), or hand-packed German franks in natural casing ($4.99/lb). Break out of the sheath with a whole pork roast ($4.89/lb), piggy chops stuffed with cornbread ($4.49/lb), and thick- or thin-cut hickory-smoked bacon ($3.99/lb). If you're still beneath your daily pork quota and need one more pig tick to satisfy your bacon boss, then nosh into Kroeger's extra-thick baby back ribs ($5.89/lb).
At Herbs & Spice, mad cooks are sure to find whatever concoction they need to complete their meat-reanimation experiments among the sprawling cornucopia of spices and spice-related merchandise. The shop is also home to owner and longtime spice aficionado Colonel De Stewart's line of hand-blended spices, Colonel De Ray, watched over by the mustachioed Colonel himself, both in the flesh and on a hand-painted sign hanging above the spice counter. Always ready with recommendations drawn from a lifetime of cooking experience, not to mention the all-knowing tapeworm curled up in his ear, the Colonel will happily act as your jungle guide through more than 500 herbs and spices.
Taste of Belgium follows an authentic family recipe to make its waffles out of thick dough and coarse Belgian beet sugar. A specialized cast-iron press then crushes the dough into its distinctive waffle shape and caramelizes the sugar in the process. This gives the waffle a rich vanilla flavor and a delightful sweetness that doesn't require syrup. As such, you can eat waffles on the go without plates, forks, or Catholic guilt.
As a British expat, tea is something Kathleen Kern takes very seriously. She's traveled the world in search of the finest tisanes and blends, bringing back from her journeys the knowledge—and products—that make Churchill's Fine Teas distinctive. It's Churchill's eclectic stock that led to it being honored for the Best Tea Selection by CityBeat's Best of Cincinnati's voters in 2014.
With more than 250 teas to choose from, the possibilities are seemingly endless, and tea aficionados and newbies alike can both explore, learn, and, of course, drink tea. For those interested in learning more about the many nuances of brews, classes and tastings illuminate subjects ranging from creating custom tea blends to pairing tea with chocolate.
Roxx Electrocafe, located near the UC campus, boasts three 42-inch televisions and a massive 73-inch-wide screen that display heated bouts of digital competition across the café's spacious interior. Fourteen powerful gaming computers ($4/hour) enable activities such as cooperative robotic testing in the depths of Portal 2 or competitive right-clicking contests on the battlefields of League of Legends or Heroes of Newerth. Late-night hours yield to marathon console-gaming sessions of Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Halo 3, and Rock Band ($4/hour)—all fueled by iced coffees ($2.50) and smoothies ($4), which ensure proper hydration and appropriate glottal lubrication. As the café's four Xbox 360s, four Wiis, and PlayStation 3 enchant eyes and coordinate drill teams of button-pressing thumbs, comfortable chairs and modern décor invite board games or study sessions.