Taste of Cincinnati: New site, new restaurants, same great time!

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Taste of Cincinnati, the nation’s longest-running free culinary arts festival returns May 27-29, 2017, featuring 34 restaurants and 18 food trucks. More than 250 menu items will be available for you and 550,000 of your closest friends. Taste of Cincinnati takes place on Fifth Street in downtown Cincinnati, from Main Street to Sentinel and beyond to the ramps of I-71 and Columbia Parkway. This is a shift, two blocks east, from Taste of Cincinnati’s previous location.

25 percent of this year’s restaurants and food trucks are brand new to Taste of Cincinnati, including the delicious delights of such places as Mazunte, Tickle Pickle, Che Restaurant, Wicked Hickory and the Chili Hut. Additionally, Cincinnati institutions will be on hand, like Izzy’s, Busken Bakery, Eli’s BBQ, Tom+Chee and C’est Cheese. Find a full list of participating restaurants and food trucks at tasteofcincinnati.com.

“We’re proud, to once again, bring new concepts to Taste of Cincinnati, while still incorporating your longtime favorites,” said Cynthia Oxley, director of Taste of Cincinnati. “Nine new restaurants will join Taste of Cincinnati and four new food trucks will be part of Rhinegeist Food Truck Alley on the Fifth Street Ramp to Columbia Parkway.”

Taste of Cincinnati’s newest attraction is the Findlay Market area, which will take over the Fifth Street ramp to Interstate 71. Vendors from Findlay Market and “foodpreneurs” from Findlay Kitchen will take shifts, serving delicious fresh-cooked dishes, throughout the weekend. Findlay Market is Ohio’s oldest continuously operated public market and one of Cincinnati’s most cherished places.

In addition to amazing food, Taste of Cincinnati promises 60 bands and entertainers, throughout the weekend on five stages. Taste of Cincinnati runs 11a.m.-11p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, and 11a.m.-9p.m. on Memorial Day Monday. If driving, park as far north as Findlay Market or south at The Banks and take advantage of the new Cincinnati Bell Connector streetcar or Red Bike bicycle sharing system.

The Cincinnati region is a vibrant mix of cultures, and its food scene is receiving national attention. Make sure to experience Taste of Cincinnati, rich in tradition and alive in the times.



Being an OSU girl… It warms my heart every time I see the city skyline driving north on I-71. The close drive to Columbus, the familiar sites of the outlets knowing we are almost halfway.  My home for five years… Yes five (I really had fun in college!).

We needed a mini escape, and Columbus was the destination. One night and two days…perfect. First stop is always Katzinger’s Deli. Located at the edge of German Village, stocked full of delicious NYC style meats, cheeses and breads. Don’t skip the pickles! A minor oinkfest.  We headed over after to German Village Guest House…a wonderful bed and breakfast tucked quietly in the cobblestone neighborhood with old world charm. What an incredible suite/apartment!!! We were wowed…four rooms!!! Decorated with such taste….stainless kitchen with granite, stone-inlayed, walk-in shower…I swear I’d live there! We totally loved the little touches also, from the homemade cookies, granola, snacks, fruit, drinks…all included.

Time to sightsee and head up the road a bit to “Short North”.  Stopped at the North Market, a bit like Findlay Market, but all inside. Great international food vendors, and so many local vendors also.

The timing for this getaway was perfect as I’d heard so much about Gallery Hop Saturday.  Gallery Hop takes place the first Saturday of each month, and most of the galleries and shops stay open pretty late into the night.  We shopped our way up and down High Street!

It was time to head over to The Pearl for a bite (and a bit of Basketball!). Well, maybe more than a bite!!! Sampled so many delicious items on the menu… And the perfect bottle of wine. We dined on many yummy things! The lamb meatballs and the Pub Burger were the standouts along with the Devils on Horseback…- crispy little bacon-wrapped dates and “aged” molten cheese with a neat, shallot-y sorta chimichurri sauce. Heavenly.

After a wonderful night’s sleep (you can’t imagine the “continental breakfast” waiting in the kitchen…fresh fruits, home baked treats…so much!) we headed over to Skillet, a farm to table culinary find, also in German Village, with a dear sorority sister and her wonderful hubby. As fun as it was delicious!!!!

I must say, I still adore Columbus. Go Bucks!

Living downtown just got more luxurious: Welcome to @580


Downtown Cincinnati living has been the latest trend, and with the opening of @580, it just got better. Located over Prime Cincinnati at 580 Walnut, these luxurious apartments are just what the discerning downtown dweller is looking for.

A former office building, it’s now been renovated to feature 179 incredible apartments, including 13 prime penthouses on the 14th floor that offer two levels of living space plus a 700-square foot terrace and secure access. Cincinnati has yet to see apartments like these! The views from each balcony (the largest you’ll find downtown) are stunning: you can see Mt. Adams, the Ohio River, the West Side, the South Side, the North Side…you name it, you can see it – and it’s a beautiful sight to behold. Each apartment features high end finishes (think granite countertops, sleek appliances, those incredible balconies) plus outstanding amenities like a Wellness Center with Fitness on Demand, an outdoor dog park, roof top lounge, underground parking, doorstep trash removal and a business center, just to name a few. Add in 24-hour a day high level security on site and special living incentives to residents and you’ve got a place to live that is unrivaled anywhere in town.

Plus, you can’t beat the neighborhood! You’re right over one of the best steakhouses in town, Prime Cincinnati, and then you’re in walking distance to wide variety of incredible restaurants, shopping and activities. This is sophisticated living in an urban locale – and you’ve got to see it to believe it.

Floor plans, pricing and lease options are all available on www.cincinnati580.com. And head’s up, Key Magazine readers: if you mention this story, @580 will waive your application fee AND offer you your first month’s rent free on any lease one-year or longer. How can you pass that by? Take a tour and see what downtown Cincinnati living is truly all about, at @580.

Hypnotic entertainment to be found at Carnegie Hall in Newport


Just across the Ohio River, one short block from Newport on the Levee, is Carnegie Hall. No, not the one where you need to practice, practice, practice to get there! This Carnegie Hall was built in 1898 by American philanthropist and steel tycoon Andrew Carnegie, and was the home of the Newport Library for over 100 years. But now it’s an elegant and sophisticated special events venue. The stunning Italian Renaissance-style architecture has been completed restored: The Gilded Age is alive and well at Carnegie Hall.

In addition to being the perfect place to host a wedding, rehearsal dinner or other special event, Carnegie Hall is proud to offer the talents of a Master Stage Hypnotist every Friday and Saturday night. Each week a different hypnotist takes the stage to bring a night of pure fun and entertainment to the audience; these are hypnotists who have headlined in Las Vegas, been on television and performed on cruise ships. Audience members are given a chance to volunteer to be a part of the show, and what results is the funniest night you’ll ever experience! It’s all in good fun, of course, no one is ever put in a bad light, and it’s the perfect night out for anyone age 18 and up.

Shows are Friday and Saturday nights at 7:30, and last an hour and a half. To get tickets, or more information, just go to https://www.newportcarnegie.com/. For a night to remember – and the best laughs of your life – get to the Master Hypnotist Show at Carnegie Hall!

FC Cincinnati, Raising the Bar in 2017

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FC Cincinnati, the second-year professional soccer organization, commanded the attention of the soccer community around the country after a phenomenal inaugural season that saw an electric atmosphere, record-breaking attendances that surpassed several Major League Soccer organizations, exciting soccer on the pitch and culminated in a visit by MLS Commissioner Don Garber.


In 2017, FCC looks to raise the bar. Off the field, the franchise’s goals include expanding the FCC fanbase and continuing its efforts in becoming an indelible part of the Queen City fabric. The Giveback Program returns for a second season with additional clubs and organizations signed on to participate to receive a portion of the tickets sold through their efforts. The club continues to partner with many organizations in the Greater Cincinnati area to increase its involvement in the community.


On the pitch, with an eye on raising the USL Cup, FCC made several off-season roster moves that will take advantage of the newly-renovated Nippert Stadium field which now meets MLS standards and can play host to U.S. National Team fixtures. Fans can expect to see an increase in goal production, courtesy of a dynamic attacking third brought in to capitalize on the additional space. Returning a core group from the 2016 season, FCC has added several players from both the continental U.S. and international talent.


New to the FCC experience? Check out The Bailey, where FCC’s most ardent supporters sit. Follow the sounds of drums, chants and songs and look for tifos, fans decked out in orange and blue and the presence of orange and blue smoke and get caught up in the excitement that is FC Cincinnati!

Mecklenburg Gardens is the hotspot for FC Cincinnati fans

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Cincinnati’s oldest restaurant, Mecklenburg Gardens, is famous for its Beer Garden, which is now the place for FC Cincinnati’s largest fan club, Die Innenstadt, to hang out before soccer games. The members come hours before every game, enjoying beer and appetizers, and then march together as a group to Nippert Stadium and sit in their section in The Bailey. And that’s not the only club that drops by: fans of German soccer team Bayern Munchen also get their pre-game on at Mecklenburg Gardens. If you’re a soccer fan, this is the hottest place to be!

It’s not just soccer Mecklenberg Gardens likes to cheer on…they are big UC Bearcat fans too! For every football and basketball game(except Sunday games), Mecklenburg Gardens provides a free shuttle to and from the games. Start the fun off by grabbing a snack or some dinner and a refreshing beer and then hop on the shuttle and enjoy the game knowing you don’t have to fight the parking lot crowds.

The Beer Garden also features a trivia game night on Wednesdays and music on Friday and Saturday nights. It’s a cool and shady place to relax (on hot nights there are misters out to cool you down), have a drink, enjoy some food and just absorb the atmosphere. You can also hold special events for up to 120 people in the Beer Hall, which offers a big screen tv, and is right next to the Beer Garden – perfect for enjoying your event inside or out. They often host weddings, private parties, receptions and birthday parties in the Garden, and upstairs they offer a more intimate space for meetings and occasions with smaller crowds.

Mecklenburg Gardens is more than just beer. They have always had the best in German cuisine on the menu, and it has just been redeveloped by Chef Brett Crow; Crow has worked for Jean-Robert and is now the chef at L in the Great American Tower. A long-time family friend of the owners, Crow consulted with them to create a brand-new menu that is sure to please any palate.

Locals and visitors alike rave about the Mecklenburg Gardens experience, so be a part of it and make plans to dine (and drink!) there soon.