Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Giminetti Baking Company

Giminetti Baking Company
2900 Gilbert Avenue
Walnut Hills
Tel: 513-751-7655

My husband and I began training for the Flying Pig Half Marathon back in February and one of our goals was to tackle different sections of the course so that we wouldn't have any surprises come race day. We weren't too worried about the flat sections around Paul Brown Stadium or Downtown, but Mount Adams and Walnut Hills seemed a bit more daunting due to the inclines, so we focused our attention there.

Over the ensuing weeks we passed Giminetti Baking Company many times. The heavenly scent of freshly baked bread beckoned but we were in training, so we vowed to give the place a try after the Pig was over.

Giminetti Baking Company

The bakery/café is located at the corner of Gilbert Ave. and Chapel St., next to the Thomson-MacConnell Cadillac dealership and across the street from the Easter Seals Work Resource Center. The building, with its distinctive green awning, is tidy inside and out.

Customers order at the counter and pick up their selections when their name is called. Chips and a pickle spear are included in the price of the sandwiches. They also offer several sides; the pasta salad and fruit salad are vegetarian-friendly, but the potato salad includes bacon. They also serve up several types of soup, and usually at least one is vegetarian.

Clean and bright inside

I had checked out their online menu before visiting, so I was surprised to see a very different menu in the café. While the online menu lists several vegetarian sandwiches, the in-house menu only had one, although their build-your-own option can obviously be made vegetarian too.

As well as sandwiches, Giminetti also sells freshly baked pizza slices (not listed online) which I have to say smelled divine. I'm definitely going to try one on my next visit. I opted for a vegetarian panini filled with sliced tomatoes and basil pesto. It was supposed to have sliced avocado on it, but instead the sandwich was slathered in commercially-made guacamole. It was very messy to eat and wasn't what I was expecting. Had I known it would come with guac instead of fresh avocado, I would have chosen something else. As for the pasta salad, well, it was alright but didn't really suit my taste. I found it overly mayonnaise-y and bereft of vegetables. The bread was nice - not Servatii's nice, I hasten to add, but it has good flavor and crunch.

Vegetarian panini with a side of pasta salad

Although my visit was somewhat disappointing, I think this fast-casual café has promise; they seem to have adapted their menu to suit the area in which they are located, and that's understandable. They have a very strong carryout service and the restaurant is comfortable for those dining in. Employees are friendly and efficient, and the food is good - even though there were variations between what was listed on the menu and what I got. As long as the variations don't include meat, I'm good.

Oh - and yes, we finished our first ever half marathon!

We did it!

Giminetti Baking Company on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Eat Local for the Globe

Last year I had the pleasure of attending the first-ever Eat Local for the Globe fundraising event for Findlay Market and had a very enjoyable time dining on locally raised fare prepared by some of the area's top chefs, and drinking locally made wines while mingling with fellow locavores.

I'm pleased to hear that there will be a second annual Eat Local for the Globe event. It is scheduled for Thursday, June 9 from 6 PM - 10 PM. The event will be held at Findlay Market and all proceeds benefit the Findlay Market Fund. It's a fun event supporting a good cause. Hope to see you there!

The event includes:
  • Dinner by the bite prepared by Findlay Market's own talented chefs from Fresh Table, Skirtz & Johnston, Bouchard's, Gramma Debbie's Kitchen, and Pho Lang Thang
  • Dessert provided by Dojo Gelato and Taste of Belgium
  • Regional wines from Harmony Hill and more
  • Variety of Christian Moerlein beers
  • Craft cocktails prepared by Molly Wellman using regionally-produced spirits
  • Music provided by WNKU's popular "Mr. Rhythm Man"
  • Raffle items
  • Complementary event poster
  • An opportunity to tour the Findlay Market District and hear about plans for its ongoing revitalization
Tickets are $50 per person and can be securely purchased online here. You can also follow the event on Facebook.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Indigo Casual Gourmet

Indigo Casual Gourmet
2053 Dixie Highway
Fort Mitchell, KY
tel: 859-331-4339

Situated in an old house along Dixie Highway, Indigo is reminiscent of an English Public House. From the boldly colored walls and dimly lit sconces to the green floral carpet and worn wooden floors, it has all the makings of a true British pub - right down to the indifferent service.

Indigo Casual Gourmet

Cozy interior

I think we were just unlucky. How one acts and dresses says a lot about the individual, and let's just say that our server was grossly unprofessional and unprepared. The other server in our section had it together; she was friendly, helpful and attentive to her tables. Ours wasn't. A couple seated ten minutes after us (with the "good server") had already finished their salads by the time our server bothered to trudge over and take our order. She acted like it was a big inconvenience when we asked for a refill on our water, and we heard her verbally harangue a diner at another table. When dinner finally arrived half an hour later my Rigatoni Florentine ($10) was barely warm, leading me to suspect that it had been sitting around awhile. Not wanting to wait any longer, I decided not to send it back and instead tucked in; and it was very, very good.

Rigatoni Florentine

Steve chose the Blackened Chicken Wrap and unfortunately was less than wowed by it. He thought it lacked any discernible flavor and at $13 was more expensive than it should have been.

Blackened Chicken Wrap

The menu leans heavily toward pastas and pizzas, with a good selection of sandwiches thrown in, and it was a pleasant surprise to see over 40 vegetarian items listed. I could quite happily eat my way through the entire lot. Maybe I'll do just that at the Hyde Park location, but I'm not exactly eager to return to Fort Mitchell.

Indigo has been in business over 20 years, so I can't imagine that what we encountered at this independent eatery is normal practice. It's a shame that our experience wasn't as good as it should have been, because the food itself showed promise. Restaurants need to realize that first impressions count.

Indigo Casual Gourmet Cafe on Urbanspoon

Sweet Basil

Sweet Basil Thai Cuisine & Sushi Bar
2331 Buttermilk Crossing
Crescent Springs, KY
tel: 859-331-0666
Well presented, tasty, no fish sauce, friendly, efficient service

Sweet Basil

Tidy and bright interior

Tofu triangle appetizer with sweet & sour sauce

Chicken satay with peanut sauce

Tofu-broccoli stir fry with Thai pepper garlic