Wake up with dishes from Giminetti's breakfast menu. Fork through a fluffy stack of syrup-drenched pancakes ($3.50 for stack of three) or opt for a cheesy omelette ($4) with melted sharp cheddar. Brownies ($2), white-chocolate macadamia-nut cookies ($0.75), and monstrous Danishes ($1.50) tempt sweet teeth. For midday meals, try the vedgewich ($5.50), an array of tempting veggies (grilled onions, mushrooms, bell peppers, tomatoes, sprouts, cucumbers) and savory provolone plopped between slices of multigrain rustica and slathered with a liberal dose of horseradish mayo. Subs, hoagies, burgers, and paninis appease meatier palates.
As a young Lebanese man living in Cincinnati, Andy Hajjar found himself longing for the tahini, mint, and feta flavors of his family’s home cooking. Once his mother and brother joined him in the US, the three of them decided to start a deli. Their corner establishment quickly burgeoned into an award-winning restaurant, Andy’s Mediterranean Grill, where they continue to share family recipes without asking relatives to adopt every diner first. Their talent with seasoning lamb—which they grind, chop, marinate, and even serve tartar, if a diner orders in advance—landed Andy on WCPO Channel 9, where he showed the audience how to make lamb burgers. When preparing skewers of charbroiled tenderloin, cilantro-flavored sea scallops, and flatbread pizzas, the kitchen also relies on fresh ingredients and house marinades. Diners can also sip dozens of beers or wines, including some from Lebanon, Israel, and Turkey, as they relish the old-fashioned coziness of a wood-burning stove and the modern joys of a flat-screen television. On weekend evenings, belly dancers appear, and on any evening guests can lounge on black-and-red striped cushions in the wood-paneled hookah room. The Hajjars also sell marinades, salad dressing, and Turkish coffees through Andy’s International Market, which helps customers stock the pantry in their own apartment, home, or sandcastle.
The chefs at Mt. Adams Pizza are more than happy to let you create your own pizza from their collection of more than 30 toppings—including buffalo chicken, gyro meat, vegan sausage, and roasted red peppers. But they’ve also engineered a selection of specialty pizzas, including the white Diablo Chicken pizza, which they load up with buffalo chicken, blue cheese, and jalapeño peppers. They can craft gluten-free pizzas smothered in vegan cheese, as well as vegetarian-friendly pizzas. Gyros, calzones, and Italian-inspired hoagies round out the menu. The chefs keep cooking until 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, when college students are most in need of a study break.
Twisted Sisters Cafe isn't your run-of-the-mill shopping mall pretzel place. Sure, you can enjoy the shop's soft, chewy, fresh baked pretzels dressed in butter and salt or all dolled up with cinnamon and sugar, and you'll also find a range of dipping sauces such as jalape?o cheddar. But for an added twist, Twisted Sisters' chefs can also turn any pretzel into a sandwich, stuffing them with fillings such as roast beef, chicken salad, and veggies. For a full meal, guests can also pair their savory treats with a steaming hot soup or a cinnamon dessert knot, the latter of which are also available frozen for take-home.
Brewing a good cup is an art form, and Mrs. Teapots has some of the best leaf-steepers in Northern Kentucky. Try sweet or fruity teas such as Bavarian chocolate crème, Forever Yours almond amaretto, and peach apricot, or sip a simple Earl Grey. High-strung leaf drinkers can mellow out with decaf offerings or try whatever unusual brews were just added to Mrs. Teapots carefully curated selection of domestic and imported leaves. One of Mrs. Teapots' friendly servers can help you choose an electrifyingly tranquil tea that dances upon your tongue and steams down your throat to warm you from core to crust.
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.