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There are a few things you can count on when you visit your old neighbor and friend Jessica. Good food. Good wine. Good conversation. Sadly (but also excitingly), she and her hubby Pete recently moved to Eugene, where Jess started a doctorate program at the University of Oregon. Home of the Ducks. What a great mascot.

Although we were missing Pete, we had such a lovely time in an awesome city. We biked the town, hiked a butte, did some important work at the Pizza Research Institute, and had a mellow but memorable ladies night out. Thanks for everything. Until next time…

Pizza Research Institute

Pizza Research Institute: for the betterment of mankind.

PRI Eugene

That homeless guy in front of the PRI - or was he?

spencer butte

On top of Spencer Butte

pesto pasta

pesto + orzo + kale + crusty bread

ladies night

Jessica doing the Steve Jobs pose

Three Way, Anyone?

No, no, no. Not that type of three way. Get your mind out of the gutter, reader.

Even though it feels like we left Cincinnati so long ago, I had to post one last thing about the Queen City before I moved on. If you know me at all, you’ll not be surprised that this post is about FOOD. I’m not sure if people think of Cincinnati as a “foody” town. I imagine most do not. But if you grew up there as I did, once you leave, you realize there are some key items missing from your newfound food choices.

First and foremost is the obvious and probably most famous Cincinnati classic: chili. Whether you are on Team Skyline, Team Gold Star, or one of the many other restaurants in “the Nati” that serve chili, the first layer is always spaghetti. Second, chili with many spices including cinnamon and chocolate. Finally, a heaping mound of finely shredded cheddar cheese. A three way. You can add beans or onions for a four way, or both for a five way. But whatever you do, don’t forget the oyster crackers.

cincinnati chili

There is chili under that pile of queso.

Next up is one of my favorite breakfast foods of all time. Goetta (pronounced ‘get-uh‘) was brought to the area by German immigrants. Given Cincinnati’s large German heritage, this comes as no surprise. Sausage is mixed with pin oats, thereby extending the meat to feed more people. This is something that you have to try to believe. The taste is amazing and it’s leaner than sausage alone. Something like 99% of the goetta in America is sold in the Cincinnati area. They even have a festival dedicated to it.

Glier's Goetta

Glier's is the best.

Cooked Goetta

Slice. Cook. Devour.

Every town has a favorite pizza, and in Cincy there’s no questioning the most popular: LaRosa’s. Start with a thin(ish) white crust, tomato sauce that’s very pasty and sweet, and top with provolone cheese. Brilliant. I still remember the number from the commercials, “347-1111 LaRosa’s!” Perhaps I remembered that number all too well during my weeks home, as my pants seemed a bit more snug when I left than before I arrived.


Brought to you by Buddy LaRosa

For a sweet tooth and a smile, Busken Bakery’s smiley face cookies always do the trick. So simple, sugary and soft. One bite and all thoughts of your diet will go out the window. Not much else to say except, if you like sugar and smiling, eat these.

Busken Smiley

So cute.

Busken Smiley Bite

So tasty.

Last but, oh-so-very-not-least, is Graeters Ice Cream. My personal favorite is Black Raspberry Chip. I have to admit that I haven’t tried many of the other flavors because I’m so obsessed with this one. That delicious French Pot ice cream and the most insane chocolate chips I’ve ever seen in ice cream. Semi-sweet, soft chunks. Soft. Not tooth-breaking. It’s not a rarity to find chips 2 or 3 inches big.

Graeters Ice Cream

I scream. You scream.

Graeters BRC

If you don't have them, beg your local grocer!

There. My top 5 Cincinnati foods. I’ve just professed my love for Cincinnati food publicly. I could easily have a part two, but don’t think my waistline would appreciate it. Until next time, Cincy. I’m off to ride my bike now.