Smoke scented with flavors such as mango, pineapple, and cherry wafts through Aladdin Restaurant and Hookah Bar as patrons linger over waterpipes as late as 3 a.m. Besides Al Fakher and Starbuzz tobacco, skilled staffers also blend house mixes with names such as Bubble Yum and Candy Drop, and can even fit hookahs with heads made from hollowed-out pineapples, watermelons, and other fruits. The kitchen also crafts a full menu of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern fare, including kebabs, gyros, and Turkish coffee.
GameWorks fosters friendly competition between kids and adults by surrounding pizza, draft beer, and half-pound burgers with a mosaic of interactive pursuits. Each location holds more than 150 arcade-style games, which include racing and shooting challenges from Sega as well as lower-tech classics such as pinball.
Bred on Louisiana-style cooking, local restaurateur Grant Gieseler was dismayed by the lack of quality southern fare in the Cincinnati area. He and his business partner Blake Gieseler founded Bayou Fish House to introduce the area to fresh fried fish and hearty gumbo. Diners can grab meals to go or kick back at the bar or seating area and tell exaggerated tales about the biggest fish they ever ate. The eatery's walls sport a paddle, a life preserver, and various aquatic tchotchkes to remind fish of their home.
In 1589, Duke Wilhelm V of Bavaria established a Hofbräuhaus, or "court brew house." Made in compliance with the Bavarian Beer Purity Law, pours for Wilhelm and his court were made with only three ingredients: hops, malt, and water. More than 400 years later, the brewers at the American Hofbräuhaus still abide by those rules and recipes. Wilhelm's ghost and a living German brewmaster supervise Hofbräuhaus' in-house production, which yields four year-round varieties, as well as seasonal specials such as an Oktoberfest beer.
To complement those classic quaffs, cooks craft traditional German cuisine from local and imported ingredients. House-made bier cheese smothers Bavarian-style nachos, bacon and mushroom sauce covers schnitzels, and red apple kraut pairs with sauerbraten's slow-braised beef. Diners can dig in and practice their best "Prost!" inside a traditional bier hall, where flat-screen TVs surround wooden communal tables and live accordion music frequently soars to the rafters. Hofbräuhaus also hosts guests inside a quieter dining room or on the bier garden, a shaded outdoor perch overlooking the Newport waterfront and Cincinnati skyline.
Sis's on Monmouth treats guests to a feast for the senses, with the strains of live country and folk music serenading diners as they dine on hand-breaded cod sandwiches, Texas-style chili, homemade meatloaf slathered with brown gravy and ketchup, and taco salad served in a crisp tortilla bowl. While enjoying the music of local songwriters, customers chow down on hearty pub fare, or can order catered meals of spaghetti and meatballs, roast beef, and lasagna.