There is no question that Cincinnati, Ohio is jam packed full of brilliant burgers, sausages, and steak joints, but if you are looking for something just as delicious and on the go -yet vegetarian, check out The Whole bowl on Ludlow Avenue. Not only is this vegetarian walk up window full of flavor, it also has gorgeous food presentation, and is fast af. I am definitely one for park outings this Summer, give me a blanket, some pellegrino, a basket full of yummy eats, and I am one happy mama. The whole bowl is the perfect fit for just that outing, a fast lunch or dinner, a vegetarian alternative or staple, and just eats that make you feel good. If you look good after eating The Whole Bowl, even better. When I opened my bowl, dubbed “it’s like eating a hug” everything was gorgeously placed, and THE FLAVOR and the feeling of eating fresh is just as important as the ability to receive your order in a flash, if not MORE important. It is undeniably nice and rare to find vegetarian and vegan friendly eats that fill you up, and have that heat or spice associated with marinated eats that I have grown accustomed to while living in the NKY and Cincinnati area. I ordered the Big Bowl, a comforting and healthful mix of brown rice, black and red beans, guacamole, avocado, cilantro, sans the black olives, Tillamook cheddar, sour cream, salsa, and Tali Sauce. It was a 16 oz bowl full of delicious goodness and completely filled me up for the entire day (and I am one pregnant hungry woman ). If you are looking for not so much goodness, check out the bambino bowl, a 12 oz. eat to go. All bowls are nut, gluten, wheat, hydrogenated oil and guilt free – with vegetarian and vegan options.
The Whole Bowl Location //
Walk-Up Window, Door Dash and UberEats (no seating) 364 Ludlow Ave. Cincinnati, OH 45220 Open Daily 11 AM – 9 PM (513) 751-2695
If you can’t go to Hawaii this Summer, you may as well pick up some seriously authentic eats fromKeAloha’s Kitchen, Located in Covington, Kentucky. This walk up maybe small in size, but large in flavor, and will invigorate your taste buds with much needed Hawaiian Ohana. So lets start on what to order when making the drive over the Ohio river to Covington, Kentucky. We ordered the Kalua pig, Hawaiian style marinated pulled pork with cabbage and onions. Definitely also order the Pineapple -teriyaki brisket, the tomato-cucumber salad ( my favorite salad this summer when paired with meats, so refreshing ). Also, step outside of your comfort zone if you have not had Hawaiian food before, and check out the large loco moco, two all beef patties on top of a bed of rice, smothered in brown gravy with two eggs over easy. Try the spam musubi and the pineapple teriyaki short ribs. As if your order list isn’t long enough ( mind you I am pregnant, so I am down for all the eats right now, if you would like to chop of your order into a couple different trips the “norms” should do that 🙂 As always to drink pair it with a Hawaiian sun, or head next door to eat and drink at Pandemonium – a bar which is connected to KeAloha’s. You can also find the owners and family members of KeAloha working there, so literally it’s family in both establishments. So check out mom and pop eats from Hawaii, KeAloha’s Kitchen food is more than ono, ‘ONO (ō-nō) In Hawaii, it describes food as delicious.
Check out the story of KeAloha’s Kitchen //
The name Kealoha’s Kitchen is in tribute to Val’s brother, Rudy Kealoha Abafo, who died suddenly at the young age of 51 in 2008. It was a dream of theirs to open up a restaurant one day. Kealoha’s Kitchen is Val’s way to take Rudy along with him on this new journey. The food is Hawaiian inspired dishes from Val’s childhood. We hope our friends and family will also come along with us on this new adventure! Enjoy some ono (delicious) food and share in the Aloha with us!
Stop by the KeAloha restaurant located at 3428 Decoursey Ave, Covington, KY 41015!
Want to know what has been getting me through this heat wave, the Good plates EateryHUGE COLD FRIED CHICKEN sandwich with Pickles, and their garlic aïoli. I also cut the heat wave when I take the biggest bites of their pasta salad right after a bite of the sammie. The PASTA SALAD is a rotini, Italian Dressing, Red Pepper, Broccoli, and my other must have to pair, their CORN & TOMATO SALAD – Corn, Tomato, Jalapeno, Feta. My additional favorite side of the moment is their SWEET POTATO & BLACK BEAN QUINOA – Roasted Sweet Potato, Black Bean, Pickled Red Onion, with homestyle BBQ.
This weekend we in Cincinnati, Ohio and NKY finally have a reprieve in the heat wave, which will give you some time to venture out of the house and stop into Good Plates to pick up food or dine in for that Father’s day outing or just a weekend rendezvous. Having spent some of my childhood in deep Kentucky in the Summer, fried chicken and pasta salad, were staples. So when I bit into Good Plates thick and I mean thickems, fried chicken, it was a bite into my childhood from the Hot Summers of Kentucky.
This Sunday we plan on fly-fishing, if the weather stays in the 70s, and whats perfect for fly fishing, to go’s from Good Plates, located in Cincinnati, Ohio in the Clifton Heights area. If you have ever made fried chicken from scratch, you know those legs and breasts take some time to get that o so perfect crisp, and of course you do not want to dry out that chicken. Good Plates has the same at home fried chicken taste, but better. A juicy chicken, a crunchy outer layer, with pickles and that garlic aoli sauce, that makes licking your fingers acceptable. Now everyone has their take on fried chicken, if you have made the fried chicken from scratch, then you most definitely have your tricks of the trade. Good Plates has perfected my most favorite Summer lunch of the moment, with this classic made to eat at a luncheon outing or during a work break (which is what I do at the gallery) no fork and knife needed. Good Plates, gives me all the tastes of my childhood, with updated nods, and food presentation that appeals to my adult creative food obsessed side.
Summer is officially in full swing, which means that Ice Cream is in order! As a pregnant woman living in Covington, Ky this Summer, I gladly did my research for this post. I came up with some of my favorite local ice cream + gelato must- try places to cool down for the Summer. I will be guiding you to an ice cream parlor located in Fort Thomas, Kentucky all the way to the neighborhoods of Cincinnati, Ohio. Again, I must say while doing this research, biased or not, we have a lot of great ice cream and gelato places located in the tri-state, and bluegrass state as well. What is your favorite ice cream or gelato flavor? I like anything with sprinkles, but I am partial to pistachio, coffee /chocolate chip, and of course the Graeter’s Ice Cream classic, Black Raspberry Chip. It does help that Graeter’s Ice Cream is located directly adjacent from VADA GALLERY, for any of my emergency ice cream needs – and as a pregnant food writer, I have ice cream needs.
New Home and finding our way into Kentucky Derby Eats //
In my last blog post we announced many exciting moments happening in our lives, the arrival of baby Dielding in October, the grand opening of VADA GALLERY May 14th, and also even more exciting news that Franz and I bought a new home, located in the Historic Licking River District of Covington, Kentucky! We have lived in the downtown Covington area on Covington Avenue for about four years, and we will be moving just a couple streets away from where we are living now. However, I must say that it is completely more than exciting to call a piece of Covington, Kentucky our own, in an exciting but crazy time to buy. It is comforting to know that Covington is a gorgeous historic and beautiful growing community, full of new restaurants, boutiques, books stores, and more popping up! I’m also getting into researching a bit more about Kentucky and with that I absolutely do know that the Kentucky Derby is next weekend and decided to dedicate this post to the new home and appetizers for Derby weekend.
Our Victorian home was built in the late 1800s, and is a brick home, with 14 foot ceilings, and hardwood floors throughout. We will be taking our readers on the journey of remodeling the kitchen and the basement, venturing into some cosmetic adjustments for the baby nursery, ripping out the bathrooms, and adding an outside dining area, garden, and movie viewing area in our little city fenced in backyard.
This Spring we announced that Franz and I are pregnant!!! We cannot explain to you how elated we are for this bebe to arrive. Our due date is in our favorite month of October, on the 18th of this year! We cannot wait to welcome this little prince or princess into our world. We did find out the gender, however we have to leave some element of surprise for our friends and family 🙂 We can’t wait to meet you little one! We have been trying to get pregnant since we got married in Asheville, NC this passed Summer and unfortunately faced a miscarriage prior to this pregnancy, as many people do, it was one of the hardest experiences of our lives. Thankfully, our rainbow baby surprised us and we become pregnant! I changed a lot of my lifestyle, went to bed earlier, stopped the cocktails, handled my anxiety with many different coping mechanisms, amped up the healthy eating and luck found us. “Rainbow baby” is a term usually used after a miscarriage takes place, and I must say this bebe has brought so much change in our lives, in my body, in my heart, and in my mind. The term “Rainbow baby”, for our little one arriving this Fall, is an understatement. With that we are in then process of prepping for the bebe, and are actually closing on a house and will move this May 25th, in the Hauntingly gorgeous area of Covington, Kentucky. We are so excited to get the baby room ready, design and flip this late 1800s house, curate our city backyard, and stretch our arms a bit. We have lived in the downtown Covington, Ky area for about four years now, and love the food scene, history, and the cobblestone lined roads, access to Cincinnati with the charm of Kentucky, and now we get to call a piece of history our own in prep for our little pumpkin.
VADA GALLERY GRAND OPENING IN THE HISTORIC CLIFTON GASLIGHT BUSINESS DISTRICT
As if the bebe’s arrival this Fall isn’t exciting enough, on May 24th from 5-10pm we will be celebrating the long awaited VADA GALLERY GRAND OPENING! This truly is a dream come true as I grew up in the Gaslight area of Clifton before moving to Wyoming, Ohio and spent many years walking to Ludlow after school at Annunciation, going to movies at the Esquire Theatre, and eating all the cheese crowns from Virginia Bakery (when it was open) all the coffee from Sitwell’s coffee house, and of course pints upon pints of ice cream from Cincinnati’s well known Graeter’s Ice cream. May I also add that we have the best Indian cuisine and the best Skyline location on Ludlow as well. Everyone knows their Skyline order, I however, have a favorite Ambar India order.
Join us for the VADA GALLERY Grand Opening located in the Historic Clifton Gaslight District. We are so excited to welcome you into our art gallery to view fine art, including oil, acrylic, and mixed media paintings, ceramics, home decor, textile art, art history books, art history themed puzzles, hand picked antiques, jewelry, candles, art supplies and more! Find our fine art gallery just adjacent from Graeters Ice Cream off of Ludlow, on 3408 Telford street MAY 14TH, from 5pm – 10pm. This has been a life long dream come true, to open in the coveted area of Clifton, for VADA GALLERY owners and married couple Virginia Blair and Franz Diedling. View paintings from artists Trish Weeks, Cedric Michael Cox, Donna Talerico, Brian Beck, Jim Effler, Jacqueline Sullivan, Elliot Jordon, Josie Gearhart, ceramics duo Magpie and Molly and more! Every other month VADA GALLERY will showcase local and international artists, this Grand opening will give our clients and future clients an inside look at some of the artists we represent and their pieces. Be the first to meet represented artists and owners, buy local art and home decor, and enjoy music and drinks at this highly anticipated art opening.
With Spring in Cincinnati, Ohio we are faced with a mix of 60 degree weather one day, and snow the next, you never know what you’re going to get in this wild Midwest city. With that, a big hearty breakfast, full of bacon, biscuits and gravy, and even quiche are still in the mix in our household, even as the warmer months seem to sneak up on us. Growing up in Cincinnati, Ohio I was thankful enough to experience southern classic breakfast favorites, when visiting my Grandfather in Russel Springs, Kentucky, and East Coast favorites from living with my semi-suto mom, who grew up on the East coast, in Upper East side Manhattan, NYC. Both experiences and flavors have definitely defined who I am to this day. Needless to say I love to cook, below are a couple recipes that I absolutely resonate with and adore. Wondering where my cookbook is, O honey it is almost finished, but today I am going to put a spotlight on some other famously delicious recipes who have made its way into my heart and stomach. Happy cooking and eating!
With the closing of the month of February, black history month to some has come to an end, but what if we keep the momentum going even past this month. What if we can learn through different mediums of visual art, through the lens of different film directors, composers, cinematographers, sound engineers, artists, art historians, dancers, writers, performers, and those that advocate for those that do not have the platform to have a voice. What if our minds are not closed, except to hate and racial injustice. With what is going on in the world, with Russia and Ukraine, we must also see there is much work to be done everywhere. War has been amongst us, whether or not it is declared by mass media, and social media. Injustice is still spreading, most recently people are being turned away at Polish borders based on the color of their skin, not even just based on their nationality, yet the media is just showing the support in the welcoming of Ukrainian refugees into Poland, but which refugees is what we need to put a spotlight on. Awareness of injustice may not be easy for some to wrap their minds around, but what if a different medium of knowledge is brought about, through film. I myself learn through visual stimulation as well as audio, but that may not be the case for all. Below is a list of movies that have transformed my mind as well as life long friend Chloe Beck’s, whom is now the Director Of Equity, Diversity & Inclusion for Moulin Rouge! The Musical on Broadway, from when we were children to present day. Remember, the children are looking towards the adults to “do the right thing”, can you say you are helping to create change, or staying silent in a bubble that even you are not breaking….
The past couple of months have been a snow storm of adventures! Getting married, honeymoon, plans for opening VADA GALLERY in OTR in the Spring, the start of the VB in the City podcast, Mochi coming into our lives ( our 9 pound pup) and traveling in between all of the chaos. Franz has also been working away editing films for concerts at Fretboard brewery, booking music acts at the brewery as well as being ast manager, art dealer, and cookbook taste tester. To say we have been busy, is an understatement. Also, music, food, beer, + art lovers, stay tuned for an upcoming announcement regarding Fretboard Brewing Co. + a VADA GALLERY concert + art show coming this Spring! With all of the commotion, this birthday I wanted to head to the mountains, for some down time and to chill the F out…
With the end of January, we did just that, and celebrated my birthday in Asheville, Hot Springs, Black Mountain, + Old Fort, North Carolina. The trip started off with a bang, with us arriving in Old Fort at a container house we booked through airbnb (Click here to book this spot) , where we celebrated the Bengals going to the Super Bowl! This is truly the year of the tiger. After a much needed trip to the One Stop, a local concert venue in Asheville, NC, the rest of the birthday time was spent writing and lounging, and also a bit of hot tub soaking, surrounded by the mountains. Needless to say I have completely fallen in love with these mountain towns since we were married in the area this past Summer. We can’t wait to keep coming back to try more local eats, hikes, and explore more galleries. With all of the r + r in these mountain towns, through various trips, I am happy to say I am almost finished with the VB IN THE CITY cookbook…finally. With every experience, and more and more travels, recipes seem to be just flowing, so sorry for the delay of the cookbook, but it will be worth it.
Even with feeling a restart in momentum through mountain air and love, there is still something about seeing the Cincinnati, Ohio skyline driving through Kentucky, in cut of the hill, on your way back from the Southern States, that makes home, really sweet home.
This Valentine’s Day we will be supporting local in the Cincinnati, Ohio area and I hope you all will too. Now here is the tricky, yet wonderful part, which restaurant should you venture to? Even though the weather may seem icy, the kitchens are fiery in this area of town, and are more than ready for you love birds. Below are my top picks for VALENTINES DAY 2022 in the Cincinnati, Ohio :
Cincinnati, Ohio VALENTINES DAY 2022 TOP RESTAURANT PICKS //