Two things I learned while traveling through the Cincinnati, OH/Bellevue-Newport, KY area: a Kentucky Hot Brown for dinner at Buckhead Mountain Grill, and Cincinnati's famous Graeter's Ice Cream for desert is a great way to spend an evening.
It was a great choice; we enjoyed the atmosphere, the river view, and the food. I ordered a local favorite – the Kentucky Hot Brown, an open-faced sandwich featuring Texas toast, roasted turkey, Mornay sauce, bacon strips, tomato and parmesan cheese. Jane and her friend Shelly showed up as we were finishing dinner and gave us a quick history lesson, explaining that the sandwich I had eaten originated from the chefs at the Brown Hotel in Louisville in 1923, improvising it for a customer that wanted a change from ham and eggs.
We lingered over dinner, enjoying conversation with friends, and although Buckhead was filling up around us, our server remained attentive, giving no indication of wanting us to finish up and move on as often happens in busy restaurants. They gave us a great meal, reasonably priced, and leisurely eaten.
As we were finishing dinner, Jane and Shelly convinced us to accompany them to a Graeter's Ice Cream Shop in nearby Ft. Mitchell, KY. Weren't so sure we wanted to drive any further, but on a hot summer evening, after a long day on the road and a great meal at Buckhead, Jane promised us we would not be disappointed. Cincinnati's famous local ice cream turned out to be well worth driving the extra miles.
We had not heard of Graeter's until this visit. This local favorite has been around since the 1870's, and is some of the best ice cream we've ever had. The process involves the French Pot method, making only two gallons at a time, resulting in a superior blend of rich, creamy flavors, often including large chocolate chips – a winning combination any way you look at it. If not for Jane and Shelly we would have missed out on this exceptional treat.
Buckhead Mountain Grill and Graeter's Ice Cream – a fine combination for good eats in the Cincinnati area – with or without expert tour guides Jane and Shelly.
Buckhead Mountain Grill
35 Fairfield Avenue
Graeter's Ice Cream
301 Buttermilk Pike
Fort Mitchell, KY
Larry Manch is an author, teacher, guitar player, freelance writer, and columnist. His books include: 'The Toughest Hundred Dollars & Other Rock & Roll Stories', 'A Sports Junkie', 'The Avery Appointment', 'Between the Fuzzy Parts'.
He also writes about baseball for Climbing Tal's Hill, food and travel on Miles & Meals, and music/guitars on The Backbeat.
He lives in Central Texas with his wife and family.