Sunday, June 13, 2010


19 E. 7th Street
Downtown Cincinnati
UPDATE 3 May 2011: This restaurant has closed.
Normally when Steve and I want to watch English football we head to Molly Malone's in Covington. Matches kick off around 8 a.m. over here (1 p.m. GMT) so the early start time means it hasn't gotten time to become too smoky. We knew that wouldn't be the case for World Cup action, and we'd caught quite a few matches at BlackFinn four years ago - or perhaps it was still McFadden's then? - but anyway we decided to make BlackFinn our destination for the USA v England match on Saturday afternoon.

BlackFinn American Saloon

I hadn't been to the restaurant in quite some time, mainly because the last time I visited there were only overpriced appetizer options for the vegetarian diner, but a quick perusal of their online menu showed that they now offer a black bean burger in addition to standard veggie-friendly appetizers like spinach & artichoke dip, salads, and fried cheese type choices.

Of course the lure of World Cup footie on the several dozen large flatscreen and tabletop HDTVs was the main draw for Steve and his English mates, but BlackFinn's half-price pint special - an astonishingly good value for money - certainly added to the festive afternoon. Two dollar pints of Smithwick and Guinness?! What?! It figures that I had volunteered to be the designated driver. Such rotten luck.

Monterey Black Bean Burger

The restaurant's Monterey Black Bean Burger ($6.95) scores well, and the addition of guacamole and bean sprouts makes for a refreshing change. The wilted spring mix and bitter endive weren't good teammates to the other toppings however, so they got the red card treatment and were sent off.

Steve opted for the Ultimate Bacon Cheddar Burger ($6.95) and was not disappointed. Topped with four slices of applewood smoked bacon, cheddar cheese and crispy fried onion strings, it's a thick and juicy two-handed affair. Seasoned fries come standard with all burgers, but there is nothing standard about them. I'm not a huge fan of french fries but wow, these batter-dipped potatoes are seriously addicting.

The Ultimate Bacon Cheddar Burger

While the result was a draw thanks to England keeper Robert Green's embarrassing error in the 40th minute, there was spirited but friendly banter between the two teams' supporters throughout the match. When England's Steven Gerrard scored in the fourth minute we sent a round of drinks to a table of USA fans, and 36 minutes later they reciprocated with a shot of Gentleman Jack in our direction. Believe me when I say that level of opposing fan camaraderie would not exist in similar pubs and bars in England. My husband and his mates found it very refreshing.

Sent by some Yanks after England's keeper crapped out

BlackFinn Restaurant and Saloon on Urbanspoon


Liz said...

I just recently started following your blog. I haven't been eating red meat for at least 14 years, but a few years ago phased back in some poultry and fish. I dined at The Green Dog Cafe ( on Columbia Parkway (maybe half a mile east of The Precinct, in the new shopping (?) center with Bruegger's) and while the menu is small, it's all local and does have some veggie options. Just a suggestion for a future trip!

Veggie Option said...

Hi Liz - thanks for reading!

I reviewed Green Dog Cafe awhile back and wasn't too impressed. ( Perhaps I just chose the wrong thing and based on previous visits I haven't been too eager to return but maybe I'll give them another shot.

Allison said...

Blackfinn also has a couple vegetarian options during their happy hours! I agree with you that the regular menu is boring and very much for carnivores, but I recommend the roasted vegetable flatbread in the afternoons!