Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Moerlein Lager House

Moerlein Lager House
115 Joe Nuxhall Way
Tel: 513-421-2337

As much as I love beer - and Christian Moerlein in particular - I cannot recommend the new Moerlein Lager House to readers of this blog because of the abysmal vegetarian selections on the menu. We eagerly visited on opening day Monday, and what a disappointment! Vegans get diddly - not even a salad, and vegetarians are relegated to appetizers: parmesan garlic fries ($7), a plate of soft pretzels with a gloppy Velveeta-style cheese sauce (not vegetarian!) and horseradish sauce ($7), deep-fried pickles ($8), or lager bread ($7). The caprese flatbread ($9) is the lone veggie entree on the lunch menu; there isn't anything at all on the dinner menu. It's a real shame that the signature restaurant at The Banks didn't take us into consideration.

The building is lovely, the view amazing and the beer is awesome. Just don't plan on having a meal there if you don't eat meat.
Moerlein Lager House (open 2/2012) on Urbanspoon

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sky Galley

Sky Galley
Lunken Airfield
262 Wilmer Ave.
East End
tel: 513-871-7400

Steve and I are once again training for the Flying Pig Half Marathon and have been scouting out a few new routes to add a little variety and give us a change of scenery. On the advice of a friend, we headed out to historic Lunken Airfield to check out their fitness trails. While there, we happened across Sky Galley, a restaurant and lounge located inside the airport terminal.

Sky Galley

We really weren't expecting much out of an airport diner, but were pleasantly surprised. On the Sunday afternoon we stopped in, the place was buzzing with a good mix of local old timers, pilots, well-groomed elderly ladies, families with small kids, and fitness fans finishing their workouts. We nabbed a table next to the large bank of windows overlooking the runways and settled in to perusing the menu.

Entrance to Sky Galley

There aren't many vegetarian options. I was bemused that they don't even offer a veggie burger, since that is usually the one thing vegetarians can rely on when dining out. The vegetarian entrees offered are a cheese & veggie quesadilla ($8.95), and linguine in garlic wine sauce with a side salad ($12.95). I opted for the latter, while Steve chose a grilled chicken sandwich with Swiss cheese, mushrooms and a side of fries. He was frightened off of his first choice, the Jack Daniels grilled chicken with bourbon hot sauce ($7.95), because the server warned him that the sauce had a "real kick" to it. Fair enough.

Linguine in garlic wine sauce

I thought the garlic wine sauce on my linguine was really nice, if a bit salty. I was glad that the dish came with shredded Parmesan on the side instead of topping the pasta, because it wasn't needed. The pasta came with sauteed onions, red peppers and mushrooms, and several over-boiled chunks of broccoli. Not bad, but not great. Steve was noncommittal on his sandwich but had better things to say about the hand-cut fries.

Grilled chicken with Swiss and mushrooms

While Sky Galley doesn't serve up anything out of the ordinary, there are extraordinary things afoot at Lunken. Flamingo Air offers an hour of sexy time in the air with champagne, chocolates and one very discreet pilot for $425. The Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) also calls Lunken home. Flamingo Air's president, David McDonald, is the organization's national director. And if all this crazy sexy stuff is a little too much for a city renowned for its stodgy sensibilities, the terminal itself - a paean to Art Deco - is oh so cool and well worth checking out.

Sky Galley on Urbanspoon

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Recipe: Potato Soup

There is nothing quite like the warming quality of a hearty, home made soup on a cold winter's day. This potato soup recipe is dead easy, cheap as chips and utterly delicious. It comes courtesy of my mom; she has been whipping up batches for over 60 years. I am hesitant to say how many servings this recipe makes because it depends on the size of the potatoes, but we usually get around 12 servings out of it.

Mom's Potato Soup


  • 10-12 potatoes, peeled and diced
  • water to cover
  • 2 small onions, diced
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 ribs celery, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Cup half and half
  • 1 Cup vegetable broth (I swear by McKay's)

Potato Soup ingredients

1. Place potatoes, onions, garlic, and celery in a large pot or Dutch oven. Pour in just enough water to cover the potatoes. Add salt and simmer about 30 minutes.

2. Remove 3 cups of potato mixture and mash thoroughly, then return to pot. This thickens the soup while still leaving lots of satisfying chunks. If you want a creamier soup, go nuts with the immersion blender.

3. Stir in half & half and broth. Heat through.


After running out of McKay's seasoning recently, I realized that it is not an easy item to locate in the Cincinnati area. I came away empty-handed from all area groceries, including Whole Foods, Trader Joe's and Jungle Jim's International Market, and the shipping fees on the company's website are simply too high. I ended up stopping by Health Foods Unlimited while visiting family in Dayton, as it is the only place I have been able to find it consistently. Before we moved to Newport, Health Foods Unlimited was my go-to grocery for all things vegetarian and healthy, and I'm quite happy to continue giving them my custom - but if anyone knows where I can buy McKay's seasoning in town, please let me know!