The Cincinnati Roadfood Crawl, Day 2

The day started for me at Golden Hands Bakery in Mariemont. I had with a glazed doughnut (just short of Hot Now sign lit quality) , most of a rich, rich Schnecken

and a taste of a nn excellent sticky bun
golden hands sticky|700x576
They have a formidable array of pastries, and a constant line. this is a good spot.
Then on to the large and fascinating Findlay Market. I headed straight to try 2 Cincinnati specialties, spicy goetta (with fried egg and cheese sandwich)

and a spicy mettwurst sandwich.

both at the century-plus old Eckerlin Market. Both were packed with flavor. Each worth a 100 mile drive. 200 miles. The goetta is a German meat dish, distant kin to scrapple and livermush, but without offal (or sage). The mettwurst looks like a hot dog but it’s a cold-smoked raw sausage with lots of garlic, pepper, and other spices. Little cocktail hot dogs hope that they can grow up to be a mettwurst rather than a pedestrian brat.
Then to fried fish from the Alabama Fish Company, a carry-out, from which we took the food back to tables inside the Market

The frying was very good and it was impossible to get a photo of the fish with no hands reaching in – without sacrificing my own share.
Then a frolic and detour – not part of the planned itinerary – to a Jewish deli, Izzie’s. My Spidey Sense told me to exercise caution so I just had a non-spicy goetta on rye

which was pretty good. The quality of the deli meats generated a lot of hilarity from those who chose pastrami io corned beef. We should have stayed with he program. Then to a bakery North College Hill --that I skipped, and on to a mid-afternoon lunch/dinner at Lake Nina, a wonderful old school bar-restaurant in West Cincinnati. Lots of new-to-me-foods like hot slaw (cabbage vinegar =, and bacon, but not hot)

mock turtle soup made with ground beef, ginger snaps, and lots of spices – good not great

fried pickle strips (I prefer chips, but there were much better than spears)

amazing onion rings

fish log ( very large pice of cod fried)

jack salmon (actually grilled walleye)

and I forget what else. this was a wonderful place, with everything fried virtually grease-free. What a great place!
I skipped the scheduled quick stop at Putz’s Creamery to head straight to Mr Gene’s Hot Dogs in Cumminsville.

All were good examples (the chili dog was a less spicy mettwurst and stood out) . I’d never had a Chicago dog before, and it seemed overloaded, too busy, with the hot dog far in the background – especially of the pickles. And the peppers were surprisingly tame. The people at Mrs Gene’s are as sweet as can be.
After an hour break we went to Mesopotamia. I arrived a little late – I do have a li=fe outside of food --and quickly lost track of the various foods. The dessert, however, I’ll never forget – easily, easily the best baklava I’ve ever tasted. It wasn’t over-packed like most baklava so that the flakiness of the phyllo could really shine, and it had much more pistachio than usual.

Also memorable were a marinated tomato dip

and the borek

and an excellent stuffed cabbage. At he end of the meal the chef came up to great applause and talked about her craft, her trip to the US, and her feelings about food binding peoples together. It was lovely and moving. in a way. Others went to Golden Gelato. I did not.
This was a great day, and I was starting to get my Roadfood Crawl sea legs, and getting to know a very diverse and friendly group of people. I was loving it.


FYI – I spoke to a friend who read about the Crawl on my blog and he was stunned to hear that 38 people participated in some or all events. He thought it might have been 6! We usually had 20-25 for the big meals.


It’s not really a German dish but more some German settlers have taken some inspiration from some related (but still quite different) German dishes like Pinkelwurst etc

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Thanks, honkman!