Things To Do In Cincinnati, Based On The Experiences Of The Jessweins

Reviving Traditions

One of our favorite things to do is to travel close to home. We love visiting friends and family in Chicago and South Bend. We’ve attended sporting events in Milwaukee and St. Louis. And while the pandemic made us skip a couple of years, one of our favorite summertime traditions is driving to Cincinnati for the weekend with our friends Chad and Emily. The weekend trips in the past have included going to Reds baseball games, plenty of bar hopping, and even a stop at my personal favorite, The American Sign Museum. Now we have done this trek enough times that there’s plenty of opportunities to try to new restaurants and hotels; however, there are some aspects of these trips that we don’t change. We have always stayed at the same downtown Hampton Inn, there are about three or four bars/restaurants we always have to stop at (more on those a little later), and we always have a few drinks with Emily’s parents.

I’m usually pretty reluctant when it comes to change, but sometimes, its necessary. As a result of this most recent trip to Cincy, a change in hotels is necessary for future visits. It’s a little disappointing to be honest, as I did set the record at that Hampton for the most breakfast omelets eaten in a sitting.  But much like my stomach lining after I set the record, a change in venue is also in order. The hotel itself was in disrepair, with holes in the ceiling and dirty carpets.  Then there is the whole part where they checked us out of the hotel in error on that Saturday morning (our stay was reserved until Sunday).  We do have options for next year and can’t wait to see what kind of breakfast spread they have.

At least our room came with a comfy, reclining office chair and a view.

How To Mix The New With The Old

Our first stop upon getting to the Nasty Nati was at a restaurant called Sacred Beast Diner. It came as a recommendation from one of Erin’s coworkers, and Cincinnati native, Rachel.  We shared a plate fries that had cheese curds and a lobster sauce on them and while Erin enjoyed a fancy cocktail, I enjoyed the champagne of beers, on ice, and in a 40 oz. bottle. Why? You may ask, because we’re classy people, obviously! After getting settled in at the hotel, we took advantage of happy hour (something we don’t have in Indiana) and went for drinks at the apothecary themed bar, Sundry and Vice.  The drinks were fantastic and I think Erin really enjoyed the ambiance. So after spending less then four hours in the city, we’d already tried two new places we had never been before with another new one on the docket for dinner.

Pharmacy stuff in a bar?!?! Of course Erin found it.

Continuing with the trend of mixing new experiences with our traditional ones, we met up with Emily’s folks, Allen and Bridget, for dinner (tradition) at a Polish restaurant (new).  Wodka Bar is an Eastern European inspired bar and restaurant that lived up to the hype that Emily had been giving it. If you didn’t know, I’m half Polish on my mother’s side and love a lot of the traditional cuisine. This place was really good and we enjoyed catching up with Allen and Bridget on what would be the first of three get togethers with them.

Wodka Bar Menu. So many delicious options!

The Saturday of our Cincy trips is traditionally treated as a drinking marathon. Staying hydrated and making sure to eat are essentials. You can imagine our disappointment when we showed up for the Hampton Inn breakfast buffet expecting an omelet smorgasbord, to lay down a good base, and instead we had our choice of cold eggs and moldy muffins.  The day would improve from that point on and it started with meeting up with Allen, Chad and Em at Rhinegeist Brewery. It was a good thing we brought an umbrella and a change of clothes, because it rained the walk over. But like I said, things were already improving because I had a beer in my hand even though I would’ve preferred a belly full of omelets.

How To Complete A Marathon Fueled By Tacos And Pale Ales

If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it. And that’s exactly how we treated most of Saturday. After Rhinegeist, a place we try to hit up every visit, we went to Tafts brewery, another Cincy staple for us. Tafts is cool. Its located in an old church and has a lot of drink options. This is important when you’re day drinking with someone as picky as Erin!

Bellied up to the bar at Tafts and discussing important world topics. Psyche, we were debating NSync vs. Backstreet Boys.

After Tafts, the group decided to recharge the only way we know how…..with Mexican food. Gomez is great because it has veggie options for Erin and Emily and good size meat portions for Chad and I. A quick bite and we were back in the race. Next up was Homemakers and a drink I think Erin has become a little obsessed with, “Grandma’s Dirty Ashtray.”

Maybe not my grandma’s but definitely resembles one of my dad’s ash trays as a kid.

We finished up our pre-soccer game portion of the marathon at Pins. It may not sound glamorous, because we normally try avoid chain restaurants, but we had always gone to 18-Bit arcade bar in the past.  The arcade bar merged with Pins, so we had to go and check it out. And it wasn’t for nothing, we learned that if you pour pop rocks into a cocktail, it explodes!

Pre-Explosion Pop Rocks

After getting cleaned up, Erin and I headed to the hotel to change and get ready for the FC Cincinnati vs. NY Red Bulls soccer game. I’ll say this, Cincy soccer fans are passionate. The game itself was a lot of fun. I think Chad might disagree a little because he was pretty distracted by a “Chatty Kathy” in the form of a young soccer fan sitting in front of us. And there was the part where both FC Cincy goals were scored while Erin and I were in the bathroom! Free tip for FC Cincy ownership, put some TV’s in your bathrooms!

Chad, myself, Erin, and Emily. Not pictured: Chatty Kathy Kid

We were exhausted after the game, as you can imagine, and the finish line was in sight. Our finish line consisted of one more stop, a place called Mecca.  The only thing very memorable from this place was some writing in the women’s bathroom. Chinese delivery to our hotel room isn’t exactly how marathon runners recover after a race, but it did the trick for us! Sunday morning, we grabbed brunch at B&A Street Kitchen and headed home. After picking up the dogs from the kennel and assessing our health, we seemed to be in pretty in good shape. No hangovers, not too many aches or pains, but I did end up with some blisters. What marathoner hasn’t finished a race with a few blisters? Well, mine might have been a little self inflicted by not choosing to wear socks with my shoes. Until next time Cincy!

This article has 1 comments

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *