Theresa and I fumed for a bit about the flash incident at the baby octopus tank, but we finally had to just chalk it up to human nature and move on.
After we'd finished seeing all the exhibits at the aquarium we headed for the exit, and I had to laugh (but only because I don't have kids) at the fact that in order to reach the exit one must first pass through the massive gift shop, which was a wonderland of high-priced irresistible toys, enchanted begging kids and their caving parents.
I did consider it just a wee bit iniquitous on the part of the aquarium to highjack parents in this fashion after they'd already spent all that money on the entrance tickets. An adult ticket to the Newport Aquarium costs $23 (though Theresa and I got a discount through her work) and a kid's ticket is $15, so you get a couple of parents and a couple of kids and you're talking some bucks. Maybe that's why that old f*rt who flashed the baby octopus felt so entitled. Not, of course, that there was any excuse for what he did.
Aw, well, I guess all the money the aquarium brings in does go to keeping the aquarium critters afloat. Still, I'm glad I didn't have to try to make it through that gift shop with kids in tow.
After the aquarium we decided to seek out some lunch on the levee, where we came upon what
Theresa swore was one of the best eateries in Cincy (but not in Cincy, of course, as we were still in Kentucky), Tom + Chee, a fast-foodesque (you order up front then they make it and bring it too you) restaurant that specializes in grilled cheese sandwiches.
Aw, but,what grilled cheese sandwiches they are!
There are probably a dozen different kinds of grilled cheese options on the menu, though Theresa and I opted to split a tom+chee, the store's $4.95 signature sandwich which is cheddar, mozzarella,
tomatoes, and a really tasty garlic seasoning on sourdough bread.
Was it good? Ohhhhh yeah! In fact, that tom+chee has knocked out of first place the unforgettable three-cheese grilled cheese sandwich I once had at a bar called Floyd's in Chicago. (Though that three-cheeser is still a close second).
We also split a large Caprese Salad (I think it was $8.95), which was a beautiful-looking (and tasting!) salad of tomatoes layered between slices of mozzarella on a bed of greens and generously garnished with basil leaves with balsamic vinaigrette served on the side.
However besides fancy but structurally normal cheese sandwiches, Tom+Chee also has a substantial menu of these grilled-cheese doughnut concoctions:
Is it just me or does a grilled cheese donut rank in the realm of cullinary abomination right up there with the Ohio State Fair donut burger?
In truth, I didn't notice if the grilled cheese donuts were selling last Saturday or if people were sticking to the sort of thing people normally put in their mouths, but the almost-out-the-door (but fast-moving) line last Saturday attests to the popularity of Tom+Chee.
After lunch our plan was to drive back across the river to Cincinnati and see some of the actual city. We were planning on checking out a street art show in the Mt. Adams neighborhood, but while sitting in Tom+Chee at the bar that ran along the restaurant window and watching the world go by we realized that we'd lost our mojo for an afternoon of more walking around. Having noticed that there was an AMC on the the levee walking mall I suggested that we skip the art show and catch a movie instead. Theresa was all for blowing off the art and doing a movie.
So we caught the matinee of "Lucy" a science fiction film starring Scarlett Johansson and Morgan Freeman. "Lucy" had gotten pretty good reviews, but I gave it a zero, as in not positive, not negative, just, well, zero. Theresa liked it, though, so I guess I was missing whatever it was that made people like this movie. I'm often missing whatever it is that makes people like some movies.
After the movie we headed towards home but stopped first at a half-price book store near Theresa's neighborhood since Theresa needed some reading material and I wanted to look for an Italian grammar book and dictionary as I'd decided to start learning Italian from CD's while driving around in my car. So far I can say "Hello", "Good-bye," "My name is Patti" and "There's an exhibit on Leonardo da Vinci at the museum". (C'e una mostra su Leonardo da Vinci al museo"). Which will come in handy just in case anyone wants to know where there's exhibit on Leonardo da Vinci. All I have to do now is figure out where the museum is.
Anyway, I did find a dictionary.
By the time we got home and had sat around for a while it was time to think about eating again.
Theresa suggested that for dinner we go to an authentic Cincinnati chili joint called Blue Ash Chili that had recently brought Cincinnati more acclaim by appearing on the TV show "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives". Of course, this place wasn't actually in Cincinnati, either, it was in the suburb of Mason.
It was a cute place, though, with a kind of retro motif:
Only problem was that after Theresa and I sat down we realized that neither of us was in the mood for Cincinnati chili.
So Theresa had a pulled pork sandwich, which she said was really good, and I ordered a gyro salad which was, eh, okay:
But then, who goes to a famous Cincinnati chili restaurant that's not in Cincinnati to order a gyro salad?
To be continued....
by Patti Liszkay
Buy it on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BTPN7NYY
by Patti Liszkay
Buy it on Amazon:
"Equal And Opposite Reactions"
by Patti Liszkay
Buy it on Amazon:
The Book Loft
of German Village,
Or check it out at the Columbus Metropolitan Library
I am a traveler just visiting this planet and reporting various and sundry observations,
hopefully of interest to my fellow travelers.