Local Love: Celebrating The Queen City of Cincinnati
When we arrived in Cincinnati we weren’t sure what to expect, but we knew it was a “Queen City” and that the people would be friendly, which is key to us.
We met up with Jud from Meijer and three of our Shipt shoppers — Corey, Christin, and Maritza — bright and early Tuesday morning and they all agreed that we should start the day at Taste of Belgium, a Cincinnati icon featuring homemade waffles. The server recommended the liege waffle and chicken, which we ordered, in addition to a goetta sandwich (when in Cincy!), strawberries & cream waffles, and on the healthier side, avocado toast.
Afterward, we wandered around the Great American Ball Park (home of the Cincinnati Reds), swung on the swings at Smale Riverfront Park, and posed in front of the Queen City sign as we wondered to each other how many “Queen Cities” there are in the US. (So far this is the second Queen City we’ve launched in after Charlotte, North Carolina.)
After that, our thoughts turned back to food and we made our way to Findlay Market, wandering in and out of the various vendor stations (eyeing pounds upon pounds of goetta, pickles, cheeses, and other interesting Queen City fare).
We always love to check the local barbecue out, and Corey, who moved to Cincy six years ago from North Carolina, told us Eli’s BBQ was hands down the place to go. We were curious as how to compared to our hometown favorite Birmingham, Alabama, joint, Saw’s BBQ, and you know what? It was on par.
After pigging out on meat, jalapeño cornbread, mac and cheese, and grits, we were beyond full and happy to have gotten bottles of Ale-8 to wash it all down with. And, luckily it was a perfectly sunshine-y day, the kind where you regret having worn a long-sleeve shirt.
We knew we wanted ice cream to cool us down but we needed to digest a bit, so we checked out the recently revitalized Washington Park, joked about jumping in the interactive fountain, and marveled at the city’s awe-inspiring murals.
Upon walking around downtown, checking out the city’s newest boutiques (we may have bought a t-shirt or two, because you can never have enough city-themed t-shirts: are we right?!), we decided it was time for ice cream. Because let’s be honest, when is it not time for ice cream?
According to the locals a trip to Cincy isn’t complete without a trip to Graeter’s, so of course that’s where we went. After all, we had to experience these infamous chocolate chunks ourselves. Apparently, chocolate chunks are added into the ice cream as it’s made, resulting in chocolate that’s neither too firm nor too soft. (Yeah, we love geeking out about food facts like these.) Everyone raves about the black raspberry chip, but we made sure to sample as many flavors as we could. Need we say more?
After stocking up on Graeter’s chocolate bars we knew it was 5 o’clock somewhere so we made our way over to 1215 Wine Bar & Coffee Lab, ordered an adult beverage, and talked about our day and how fun and cool Cincinnati is. Oh, and did we mention the murals?
We wrapped up our tour with a new-found love of Cincy — of its people, its yummy, quirky cuisine, and its unexpected charm. We’re so happy to have landed here and can’t wait to get more goetta and black raspberry chip ice cream soon!