At It’s Just Crepes, you’re encouraged to eat with your hands. That’s because every crepe on the menu is folded into what Soapbox Cincinnati calls "a convenient to-go style," eliminating the need for knives, forks, or tiny plate-side catapults. Instead, diners bite straight into the golden-brown bundles, which are stuffed with fillings both savory and sweet. The smoky BLT, for instance, oozes with pepperjack cheese and chipotle mayo, while sweet crepes pack in classic flavors such as Nutella, strawberries, and brown sugar. Utensils can come in handy, however, when attacking one of the eatery’s fresh salads, which meld fresh spinach, chopped romaine, and other greens with diced veggies, cheese, dried fruit, and slices of meats.
Co-owner Keven Paizannoglou founded the first It’s Just Crepes with his wife and partner, Karrah, after realizing how much he missed the crepes he’d enjoyed in his native Greece. Now, more than 20 employees serve up the delectable treats from three trendy dining spots decorated with blue and orange hues and contemporary white furnishings.
Gilpin's lets their diners do the work—when it comes to thinking up and naming each of the shop's steamed sandwiches. After that, the kitchen staff gets to work creating the menu's 70+ sandwiches, burgers, pizzas, steamed salads amid a casual atmosphere. It's so casual and rustic, in fact, that it's playful: the restaurant is outfitted with old-school Nintendo system.
In the morning, chefs playfully fold buttery breakfast croissants over piles of cooked eggs, turkey bacon, and pepper jack cheese. During the afternoon and evening hours, the staff builds sandwiches on pretzel buns, French and honey wheat hoagies, and gluten-free bread. They construct grilled cheeses from dill havarti and Doritos, pair veggies with hummus, and top piles of meats—from smoked pulled pork and bacon to roast beef—with hot sauce and garlic cream cheese. But sandwiches aren't the only food steamed by the team at Gilpins. To leave exteriors soft and the cheese perfectly melted, they also steam cheeseburgers, pizzas, and salads.
Tom + Chee co-owners chef Trew Quackenbush and Corey Ward are revolutionizing the grilled-cheese sandwich every day. What once was two slabs of boring bread and a simple, stupid slice of cheese has been reinvented by their kitchen, which churns out a menu of gooey sandwiches mentioned by the Today show and feasted upon by Man v. Food’s Adam Richman. Most famous for a sandwich that combines glazed donuts, the eatery also fills an assortment of breads with gourmet cheeses such as brie and smoked gouda, crunchy potato chips, and cherry peppers. They recommend sandwiches always be dipped, which is why chefs tirelessly ladle bowls of tomato-based soups from bubbling pots all day long.
Street lamp–style lanterns rise from the wooden shoulders of burgundy booths, casting low light over the casual eatery. Round six-top tables accommodate larger groups who come to Nick & Tom's Restaurant & Bar to enjoy conversation over meals brimming with homestyle comfort.
Steaming entrees include chicken pot pie, char-grilled flatiron steak, and pork chops glistening with bourbon glaze. Half-pound burgers support mini piles of melted cheese, olive relish, and sautéed mushrooms, and creamy alfredo pasta supports the incessant practice schedules of competitive baton twirlers.
Chef Sean Daly's passion and appreciation for the low-country lifestyle is at the heart of Hugo's success, manifesting itself as a fine-tuned menu that infuses comforting southern classics with upscale sophistication. Warm up your appetite for elegance with a first course of scallops with cauliflower, arugula, bacon, and truffle ($13) or a plate of braised pork belly with jerked sweet potato, endive, and sherry vinegar ($11). To remove evidence of any extra bites that you stole while your tablemate's back was turned, cleanse your palate with a crisp second course of frisee salad with cranberries, blue cheese, apple, and tasso vinaigrette ($9). Decadent main dishes include free range Amish chicken with brussel sprouts, potatoes, house bacon hash, and brown-butter chicken jus ($23) and shrimp 'n' grits, which simultaneously softens the echoes of cavernous bellies and fulfills shrimp fantasies of foraying their ocean experience into careers surfing atop a creamy concoction of white cheddar cheese, tasso ham, and herbs ($26).
A savory selection of hot paninis ($6.95) begins with your choice of bread base. Try a turkey reuben on focaccia, ciabatta, wheat, marble rye, or baguette. Vegetarians can opt for the mother burger, a veggie-based patty stacked with tomato and lettuce on wheat toast (6.95). Earlier eats at Enzo’s include the hand-held convenience of grilled breakfast burritos ($4), including the roma (scrambled eggs, salami, provolone, hash browns, and spicy tapenade) and the salchicha (sausage, cheddar, and a side of salsa). Snatch up homemade cookies, muffins, brownies, and marshmallow treats to take home and hoard in your sugary-smelling bomb shelter for post-apocalyptic snacking.