Saturday, September 12, 2009

Good Eats: Cold Turkey

Yesterday, I ate for the first time at Cold Turkey. It's on Sixth Street in the space formerly occupied by Frisch's. And it won't be the last time I eat there. The menu is really straightforward (intentionally so): seven-dollar sandwiches and salads; four-dollar soups, and two-dollar sides. I know some will think seven bucks is too much for a sandwich, but try one and then ask yourself: is this worth two dollars more than a foot-long from Subway? The answer is yes, yes, yes, oh-my-gosh yes.

I had their ultimate grilled cheese sandwich. Three kinds of cheese, molasses-cured bacon, lettuce, and tomato--though I had it without the tomato. The molasses-cured bacon? Amazing. They should use it on all of their sandwiches. Or maybe they should use it instead of bread. Or just bring me a big plate of the bacon.

My friend had a different sandwich (I forgot which, but it also came with the bacon, and he concurred in my assessment of its porkiliciousness). He also had a bowl of their turkey noodle soup, which he said was quite good. And the sandwiches came with cajun pretzels, which packed just the right amount of heat.

The restaurant's atmosphere is perfect. To an extent, I think it's filling a void left by the departure of Kaldi's. The walls are filled with the works of local artists, and they (the art) are all for sale. There's also live acoustic music. While we were there, a pianist was performing (I'd assumed it was a recording until we reached the back of the restaurant and saw the piano). The pianist was CCM grad Della Enns, and her performance was quite wonderful.

The service was great, although--apparently to prove that I'm not just getting old, but curmudgeonly as well--I wondered aloud to my friend whether our server's employment was in compliance with child labor laws. (It was a joke--she was wonderful: she knew the menu, was attentive but not overly so, and was very friendly.)

And Cold Turkey's hours are also great: on Friday and Saturday nights, they're open until 6 am (which I believe makes them officially the kitchen open latest downtown). It's too bad I didn't know that a couple weekends ago, or I would have insisted on a pilgrimage following the Cincinnati Imports Debauchery Happy Hour. With a restaurant serving food that good open that late, local Waffle Houses may go out of business.

Next time I'm there, someone remind me to try the brownie. Those looked good, too.

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