Browsing Category

EAT (out)

ALL/ EAT (out)

Osaka Ramen House

There’s a new restaurant in my neighborhood and it is a welcome change from the many chain restaurants lining Beechmont Avenue on the east side of the city. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not above a chain restaurant. But, I do love supporting small businesses. Plus, most of the time, if I’m eating out, I want ethnic food. This is why I’m super excited about Osaka Ramen House in Anderson Township.

Menu Board

In all honesty, I was a bit skeptical when my husband suggested we try Osaka the first time. Anderson is not always the first to get adventurous restaurants.  But, when you love ramen (deeply love ramen) and the drive is less than 10 minutes, you go!

The restaurant itself might be small, but the flavors are mighty! So how good was it? We’ve been back several times and have taken other people with us.

Tonkotsu

I love that Osaka is a sit-down restaurant with a fun interior.  Service is fast and friendly and the menu isn’t overwhelming.  We’ve had several different dishes, each very good; if I were to boil it down to my favorite, it would be the Tan Tan Noodles. The Tan Tan noodles feature pork in two ways! It packs the perfect amount of heat and spiciness while the other ingredients like egg, bamboo shoots, and scallions, round out the noodles beautifully. It’s very filling! And with all good ramen, the heart is in the broth and this broth soothes my heart in all the right ways! Runner up: the Seafood Ramen! Delicious!

Tan Tan Ramen

Just in case your idea of ramen is the 10 for $10. packaged version sold in local grocery stores, this is different. Way different.  I highly recommend you go and try Osaka Ramen House. And, be sure to say hi because I will probably be there, too!

GO THERE (Osaka Ramen in Anderson Township)!  TRY THAT (Tan Tan)!

ALL/ EAT (out)/ EXPERIENCE

Cincinnati Area Farm Stands and Farmers’ Markets

Nothing says summer like home grown tomatoes, fresh sweet corn, and delicious watermelon.  And, nothing reflects those flavors of summer better than buying fresh from local farm stands and farmers’ markets.  Now, I’m not going to hit on every single market in and around Cincinnati, but I will let you know some of my favorites!  Most importantly, I just want to encourage you to go out and try a bunch because nothing compares to the quality of buying super local and super fresh.  

Farm Stands:

Farm stands are typically located close to a farm; sometimes in more rural areas, but not always.  Many of these, like Turner Farm, Shaw Farm, Kinman Farm, and Burwinkel Farm, are open daily.  While some farms focus more on eggs and meats, others highlight produce.  If you have kids, most of these farms have fun activities for children!  Personally, I love Burwinkel Farm in Ross, OH.  Depending on where you live, it might be a bit of a drive, but it’s worth it.  The best sweet corn, watermelon, berries, and tomatoes I’ve had yet this summer have been from Burwinkel.  Absolutely summer at its best! 

Farmers’ Markets:

Farmers’ Markets are typically bigger in size and scope.  These are often festive gatherings full of people and can include live music and ready-to-eat food from vendors.  At farmers’ markets you can also shop for much more than fruits, meats, and vegetables. Along with farm fresh produce, you can find jewelry, fresh cut flowers, soaps, locally roasted coffee, sweet treats, salsas, and so much more. You will probably spot some familiar faces from local businesses like Blue Oven Bakery, Street Pops, O Pie O, La Terza Coffee, and Bridges Nepali Cuisine.  And, there is at least one market every single day of the week.  I haven’t been to all of them yet, but here are some great ones:

    1. Hyde Park– Sunday mornings, 9:30-1:00
    2. Loveland– Tuesday afternoons, 3:00-6:30
    3. Northside– Wednesday evenings, 4:00-7:00
    4. Fort Thomas- Wednesday evenings, 3:00-7:00
    5. Madeira– Thursday afternoons, 3:30-7:00
    6. Milford– Saturday mornings, 10:00-2:30
    7. West Chester- Saturday mornings, 9:00-1:00

Why Shop Local Markets:

So why not just shop at the grocery store?  I mean, it is more convenient, right?  The thing is, you’d be missing out on the freshest produce picked at its peak (which means you get the most nutritional value and flavor)!  I also love that I’m supporting local farmers and I know where my food is coming from.  Plus, shopping at farmers’ markets connects you with the community.  What better way to discover local businesses?!  Extra bonus?  I eat much healthier when I’m grabbing greens and colorful fruits! Can I get an amen?

Supporting Local:

I guarantee you will discover some new favorite places that keep you coming back to those markets.  I’ve got quite a few.  Right now I’m craving some zucchini bread from Diane’s Heavenly Delights!  And last week I had the best lemon blueberry bagel from Five One Three Bagel Co.  Open my fridge and you will find some perfectly crunchy pickles from Pickled Paradise. Oh, and a couple days ago, when it was crazy-steamy-hot outside, my cutie patootie nephew Sam devoured a Street Pop gourmet creamsicle!  Yes, he shared a bite or two with me!

Tips Before You Go:

  1. Bring bags for your purchases
  2. Bring a cooler if interested in buying meats, eggs, pastas, pickles, etc. 
  3. Bring cash (most accept cards but not all do)
  4. Have a list but also come hungry

If you have a favorite farmers’ market or local farm, please share it with me!  Or, if you’re a frequent shopper at other places that focus on local produce, I’d love to hear about it!

GO THERE (Local farms and farmers’ markets)!  TRY THAT (fresh produce, supporting local businesses)!