Polly Campbell had a lot of best-ofs this year. Sometimes she found the best of a particular meal in town. Sometimes she would tell us some wonderful stories about the best things that make Cincinnati … Cincinnati. And sometimes their thoughts on a restaurant or trend were just the best parts of our year.
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It may sound like a cake job eating and writing about food, but it sure isn’t. And can you imagine anyone who could do better than Polly? We don’t believe that.
Here are the best stories of the year on the Cincinnati dining scene:
The best restaurants in Cincinnati
The Story: These are the best restaurants in Cincinnati
It was a tough job that took years of research, but Polly combed her head and picked out the best restaurants in Cincinnati. The ones who hit the quality mark. To qualify for this list, restaurants had to offer full service, offer a wine list and cocktails, take reservations, and serve a varied menu.
The best bistros in Cincinnati
The Story: And the best bistros in the greater Cincinnati area are …
A bistro is a restaurant with French or American dishes, refined in its execution but unfussy in its presentation, dishes with soul. Not good food, but no bar food either. There is probably an excellent burger on the menu. And not Italian, because that’s a different list. There are many restaurants that fall into the bistro category. In no particular order, these are the ones who do it best.
The best fried chicken in Cincinnati
The Story: And the best fried chicken in the greater Cincinnati area is …
It is practically impossible to choose a BEST because there are so many good options. But Polly was able to reduce it to her three best choices. You won’t be surprised by your choices. But who needs a reason to read and look at pictures of delicious roast chicken?
The best burns of the year
The Story: What If Our Food Reviewer Has A Bad Day? (Hint: she has some feelings)
I mean everyone has an extensive list of animal sleeves. Polly isn’t the one to complain, but she makes notes of common complaints. She collected them for our pleasure.
Our favorite was “Pictures of Chefs with Crossed Arms”. What we got them to recreate for the story after constant persuasion.
The best Olive Garden review you have ever read
The Story: After 23 years as a food critic, I finally went to Olive Garden; Here is my review
In Polly’s words, “Apparently there are two types of people in the world: people who love Olive Garden and people who love to make fun of people who love Olive Garden.”
After eating at the popular chain restaurant with two people visiting REAL Italy … she set the record with her “Can’t we all just get along” approach. * Best read with a side dish of salad and breadsticks. Extra dressing.
Best best friends
The Story: Meet Jean-Roberts Secret Ingredient To Fight Cancer. His name is Dennis
Jean-Robert de Cavel fought cancer with his best friend by his side. And as it turns out, laughter really is the best medicine.
Negative life is pointing to you when you don’t giggle over the “Oh, it’s not me, it’s him” story from the hospital waiting room.
The best cincy way to eat for a full month
The story: Polly ate Cincinnati chilli for a month. She learned that
Yes, she ate Cincinnati chilli for a month. Or more. Not exclusively, but still.
It started as an idea of figuring out what the best chili was in Cincinnati. But we pulled back from such an inconsistent decision and it became a fascinating jumble of anecdotes depicting the many faces and places that chilli salons mean to us in Cincinnati. And how chili holds us together against the world.
The best profile of a Cincinnati symbol
The Story: The Stories of Buddy LaRosa
What makes Buddy LaRosa, who is now almost 90 years old, the icon he is? Family, generosity, a little insecurity, and a pizza Cincinnati will give you.
Polly spent some time with Buddy and he sure had a lot of stories to tell.
The best things to eat at the new Downtown Kroger
The story: Here’s what you can eat in the new Kroger food hall.
They know that if you haven’t been there before, you really want to go to the new Kroger. And you can turn it into a whole day. Food, drink and grocery! Polly’s note: the ramen are real.
The best ice cream that we often forget to appreciate
The story: do we even realize how great it is to have UDF?
We may celebrate our super premium brands, but United Dairy Farmers is Cincinnati ice cream. Polly gives us the ball. Got it? Scoop? OK. Keep going.
The best way to drink in Loveland
The story: Drinking on rooftops is officially one thing in Loveland
Loveland, where the Little Miami Bike Path crosses Loveland Avenue, is an outdoor summer destination for Greater Cincinnatians. Let’s remember last summer … and look forward to the days of eating and drinking outside in the sun in 2020.
The best story for Lent
The Story: The best fast food fish sandwich is an obvious choice
Did you know the McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish Sandwich was invented in Cincinnati? Sure was … by Lou Groen in 1962 to save his hamburger restaurant in Monfort Heights.
Well, to this day, it’s Polly’s favorite fast food version of the favorite fasting collection. Thanks, Lou.
The Story: The Best Things Polly Ate In 2018th
She’ll soon be rounding up her best meals of 2019, but for now, chew on that from her 2018 roundup.