Sunday, July 18, 2010

To Market, To Market

John and I love a good farmers' market. There's a decent one in downtown Dayton (quel surprise!) and there are a number of smaller ones sprinkled throughout neigboring communities. But, when I read about the Findlay Market down in Cincinnati, I thought for sure we had to go check it out. Findlay Market has been in existence since 1852. That's a long time, yo. It's a Cincinnati institution, or so I'm told. Even though it's nearly an hour drive south, I thought that was worth it in my effort to be a tourist in my own state and also find new and exciting things to do. There was also a second reason to make the drive to Cincy, more on that later.

The only downside to Findlay Market is that it's in the not-so-classy neighborhood of Over the Rhine. But, having adjacent parking lots and going on a Saturday in broad daylight, I figured it'd be teeming with people (I was right) and that we'd be safe (right again). Check out all these beautiful flower boxes on a building near the market. Vibrant, yes?

I was hoping for an experience akin to the West Side Market in Cleveland that I know and love. This was similar, though smaller. Mostly I was on the hunt for ingredients for a Saturday date night in. We settled on fresh ravioli filled with smoked mozzarella. These were absolutely delicious, though not super healthy. There were a lot of fresh pasta and ravioli varieties. It was hard to choose. Meat and cheese counters were abundant. I wanted some blue cheese but the line was really long and I couldn't really tell if they were calling numbers or if you just took your chances.

Man, did it smell good in the market! There were a lot of prepared food vendors but we had our sites on other lunch options (again, more on that later) Of course, there was a ton of fresh produce that all smelled so fresh. The prices, for the most part, were good. I am not a big pepper person but the red bell peppers were only $1.00 That's a steal!

We got some peaches for a recipe this week, tomatoes for Bruschetta to go with the Smoked Mozzarella ravioli, a gigantic cucumber, and I couldn't pass up the Bing Cherries. I love fresh cherries! Great for snacking. A successful trip to the market to be sure!

By the time we finished supporting the local farming economy, we had worked up quite an appetite. I had plans, my friend, to visit another Cincinnati institution, Montgomery Inn. Montgomery Inn is a well-known BBQ restaurant and since we love BBQ like we love farmers' markets, we were all inn. Get it? There's a location down on the river in a boathouse, though that's not the original M.Inn. We got a little lost going the 6 miles through downtown Cincinnati to the restaurant but that's no surprise. A GPS and 2 different sets of printed directions couldn't be foolproof with me at the navigation helm.

Finally we found the restaurant. We pulled in and thought the fact that there were no cars there at 12:30 on a Saturday was probably a bad sign. I swear on their website it said that they were open for lunch at 11:00 am. Well, I don't know what I read but they were definitely closed and not to open until 3:00 pm. BLAST! We had both been looking very forward to this meal and saved up calories all week for a BBQ blowout. It was not to be. We went across the river into Kentucky to Newport on the Levee and ate at Claddagh Irish Pub. We've always enjoyed Claddagh and there isn't one near us however, you always leave there feeling disgusting because the menu isn't the healthiest. This time was no exception. I felt pretty defeated. And to top it all off, my car started making a strange noise that I'm not super comfortable with. Fingers crossed that noise goes away on its own!

So, all in all a good little Saturday, even if our lunch plans did fall through. Sadie had a great time at doggie day camp and our dinner was delicious. We watched Up in the Air after dinner which was also really good.

We have plans next weekend and don't need to be tourists but I'm already plotting for the weekend after that. Where will we go next?

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