EAT (out)

Hot Dogs! Yep, Hot Dogs!

It’s high summer and summer and hot dogs go hand in hand. And, it just so happens that July is National Hot Dog Month; in fact, today, July 26th, is National Chili Dog day! So, naturally, I had to go out exploring hot dogs in the Cincinnati area.  These franks are more gourmet than your typical backyard barbecue dogs (unless your barbecuer happens to be a master chef).  While we did taste a lot of great hot dogs on our own hot dog tour, for this post, I’m going to focus on three of my faves: Eli’s BBQ, Mr. Gene’s Dog House, and Piper’s Cafe.  

Eli’s BBQ (east side and OTR):

  • Locally owned and operated
  • Took me a long time to try a hot dog here because I love the ribs (but that hot dog is oh so good)
  • Dogs served on toasted buns
  • All beef dogs are topped with slaw, barbecue sauce, and pork chitlins
  • Great texture and taste; sinfully messy and gloriously good
  • Comes as an order of two
  • Can eat inside or sit outside under the big tent

Eli’s all-beef, flash fried dogs.

Mr. Gene’s Dog House (west side):

  • Another locally owned and operated business 
  • At 56 years it’s a west side staple
  • Walk up windows (eat in car or tables out back)
  • Hot dogs and sausages are sourced from Queen City (also local)
  • Love the Chicago-style dog fully loaded (onions, peppers, tomatoes, pickles)
  • Great Italian Sausage topped with sauteed onions and peppers
  • Super nice kick in the Hot Chili Cheese Mett

Mr. Gene’s Chicago-style dog.

Mr. Gene’s hot mett and Italian sausage.

Piper’s Cafe (northern KY):

  • Located in Covington (Mainstrasse)
  • Again, all beef hot dogs (uncured)
  • Walk up windows with tables outside for sitting
  • So many interesting choices (we kept going back for more)
  • Love the Reuben Dog because the sauerkraut has a nice crunch from the cook on the cabbage 
  • The Bat Masterson is the most interesting (sage, worcestershire sauce, and spicy mustard); has almost a wasabi taste; plus, dog split down middle and grilled open face
  • Chili dog is a Tex Mex kind of chili made with goetta and topped with white sharp cheddar (my fave chili dog for sure)

Piper’s Bat Masterson and Reuben dogs.

Piper’s chili dog.

I know many locals are die hard coney fans so I decided to stay away from talking about the typical Cincinnati cheese coney because everyone has their opinion about which restaurant is best!  Not originally from Cincinnati, I learned all too quickly about that great Cincinnati debate.  So, if you have a favorite place to get a gourmet hot dog, I’d love to hear about it! Or, if you’re like my dad and an all beef hot dog is a lunch time staple, what do you take on your dog?

GO THERE (Mr. Gene’s, Piper’s Cafe)!  TRY THAT (Chicago-style dog, Chili dog)!  

Piper's Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

EAT (out)

Red Feather (Brunch)

Red Feather, an American farm-to-table restaurant located in Oakley, is one of those restaurants that exceeded my expectations.  It’s clean and beautiful inside! I love the exposed red brick, the perfectly set table with white linens, and the open kitchen.

Our visit to Red Feather was brunch with friends; we enjoyed the entire experience. We started with the biscuits and a trio of jams: pineapple pepper, rhubarb compote, and peach. These biscuits. I know I’ve said this before, but I don’t get geeked out about biscuits; however, when I find delicious, slightly sweet, crunchy on the outside and melt-in-your-mouth on the inside biscuits that also remind me a little bit of cake, I’m all in! Add to that a beautiful jam and the appreciation just increases.  There was lots of nodding in agreement and “mmmm” happening while we ate.

Just before we finished our biscuits, complimentary beneignts arrived.   I see what you’re doing there Red Feather with that stellar service. Speaking of stellar service, our waitress pretty much anticipated all our needs.  My friend even called the restaurant later to let them know how much we enjoyed our experience. 

The four of us ordered different dishes and no one was disappointed. Let me highlight the standouts:

Croque Monsieur (ham, bechamel, gruyere, brioche). I’m simply going to quote my friend Sean for this one: “this dish is like if a fat ham sandwich had sex with mac & cheese and then they had a sexy, tasty, French baby!” Get the idea? 🙂

BBLTE (Bacon, more Bacon, lettuce, tomato, and an over medium egg).  OK- I made up the name.  And yes, bacon is always good, but this bacon is thick and crisp and packed with flavor. I also don’t think I can ever eat a BLT without the E (slightly runny egg) again. It’s a BLT game changer.  Messy? Yes! But often the best things in life are.

Hash Mess (pork belly, avocado, bell pepper, breakfast potatoes, spinach, ranch, cheddar cheese, sunny side up egg, pico de gallo).  When I saw this come to the table, I was jealous it went to my husband and not me.  Thankfully, he shares.  This is one fine tasting skillet breakfast with the perfect arrangement of ingredients (and plenty of cheese to hold it all together)!

I cannot wait to return to Red Feather for dinner. My first order will be pork chops! I’ve heard more than one person raving about those pork chops and I know when to take a hint! Hopefully my dinner date will order oysters because I’ve been told those are delish here as well. Red Feather will be a repeat restaurant for sure.  

P.S: There was a build-your-own Bloody Mary bar at brunch! Fun.

Tip: Make a reservation. (Am I the only one that appreciates restaurants that still take reservations?)

GO THERE (Red Feather)! TRY THAT (biscuits, Hash Mess, Croque Monsieur)!