BB Riverboats began with a deceptive motto and a fleet of zero. In 1977, Ben Bernstein opened a restaurant in a converted steamboat, whose motto was “The Romance of Riverboat Dining.” Intended as tongue-in-cheek, the motto instead confused customers, who arrived hoping for a scenic cruise down the Ohio River. To placate his clientele, Ben Bernstein went into business with riverboat industry veteran Betty Blake, and BB Riverboats—named for their shared initials—was born.
Now run by Bernstein’s son, BB Riverboats has increased its fleet to three vessels, including the Belle of Cincinnati, a riverboat outfitted with Victorian details and two climate-controlled decks. On daily cruises down the Ohio, historical narration complements the scenery, while passengers play swashbuckling games and learn to read treasure maps on family-friendly pirate cruises. On the company’s dining cruises, visitors drink in the scenery while noshing on a Hawaiian buffet spread or sampling award-winning wines from StoneBrook Winery. Additionally, holiday cruises honor occasions from Valentine’s Day to Thanksgiving.
Sandwiches include the savory classic BLT on wheat and the satisfying roast beef with swiss on a French roll. There's also a tuna-salad sandwich and a veggie option for non-meat eaters. Or, build a chicken Caesar wrap in a traditional or spinach-herb tortilla. Create your own sandwich or wrap and build a lunch box to suit your needs with a seemingly unlimited amount of check boxes. Nab this side deal to settle lunch for the water-cooler changing team, or just get it yourself and stash a whole week's worth of lunch in the air ducts.
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Signature service: Seafood catering service
Staff Size: 2–10 people
Average Duration of Services: 1–2 hours
In a Midwestern city that's hundreds of miles from the ocean, it can be hard to find fresh seafood. But Coastal 864's chefs hope to change that by bringing lowcountry crawfish and seafood boils to landlocked patrons. In their mobile kitchens, they cook everything from fresh crawfish imported from Louisiana to shrimp to blue crabs in a lemongrass stock, then toss the spice-rubbed morsels in a garlic butter sauce. All of their boils come with sides of roasted corn, kielbasa, and red potatoes.
They also offer drop-off catering for events such as birthday parties, holiday gatherings, and tailgates, giving patrons a break from the traditional game-day food of hot dogs cooked on a hot car radiator. Plus, they pair their Cajun creations with domestic and imported beer.
After years of honing his culinary craft at restaurants, feeding droves of people with catering companies, and engineering his own line of sauces and seasoning blends, Chef Jason Perkins brings his bistro fare to various locations around the city with his food truck, Eat! Mobile Dining. The bistro on wheels enlivens quick workday lunch breaks with eclectic fare, such as fruit and cheese plates, pasta, pan-seared jumbo scallops, and grilled-paneer sandwiches, made from fresh, seasonal ingredients. Eat!'s blue and white truck zips to catered meetings with custom menus or scopes out busy streets, looking for hungry passersby and carriage horses to feed. Perkins also offers a personal-chef service, sating appetites with his usual fare or preparing meals and hosting cooking classes in clients' homes.
Inside HoneyBaked Ham, chefs uphold the same traditions that Harry J. Hoenselaar created more than 40 years ago. Back then, he chose individual hams, cured them in his secret marinade, and smoked them over hardwood chips before offsetting the earthy flavor with a crisp, sweet glaze. To this day, the staff makes the signature bone-in hams one at a time and glazes them in the shop.
To go with the meats, the kitchen whips up classic side dishes and desserts, such as the sweet-potato souffl?. For less formal feasting, party trays and packed lunch boxes fuel business meetings, backyard grad parties, and lengthy end-zone celebrations.