Cincinnati - a quick review
Last weekend, I had a pre-planned road trip to Cincinnati with two friends and a baby. Cincinnati is about a 4.5-5 hour drive from Chicago and thus, totally manageable for a weekend getaway in the Midwest. I have to admit that I was not super excited about Cincinnati the city, but excited about the friend time and the Flying Pig marathon and half-marathon that my friend and I were running. I was in charge of finding the restaurants and the post-race brewery, and I feel like I delivered. So, without further ado, our favorites from the visit.
MadTree Brewing - My coworker (and friend!) recommended this brewery because she knows one of the founders. We arrived at about 5 pm on a Sunday and the place was so busy but we found a spot at a communal table with a friendly couple. There is outdoor seating in a beautiful beer garden, children are welcome, DOGS ARE WELCOME, there are tons of beers on tap and plenty of beers and merch to buy to go. There's also a pizza place onsite to cater to all of your eating needs and it is reasonably priced, tasty, and had a fairly large menu. My friends and I all opted for flights at Madtree and got to taste a wide variety of beers. There really is a beer for everyone at this brewery. I tasted two sours, an unfiltered IPA, and a juniper-flavored pale ale. I ended up buying a raspberry chocolate stout to go. All of them were so good. My friends all loved their beers too. The crowd was fun, the space was great. Highly recommended if you're in Cincinnati.
Maplewood Kitchen and Bar - I would really like to come back here. The interior was really simple and classic and it was a huge space, so it was really busy. There was a bar, a coffee bar, and a great menu of healthy options. All three of us ordered grain bowls of some sort and all three were delicious. It was downtown, walking distance to the stadiums and river, and would be good for a group, family, or date.
Americano - pre-race dinner was eaten at this low-key for daytime and dinner but probably loud at night burger bar. All three of us ordered burgers - Gina and I still had our races to go and didn't order beers but Michelle did and she approved of the beer menu. The burgers were good and so was the service. It was right next to Maplewood.
Holtmans Donuts - On our way out of town, we stopped for a donut each (and coffee!) at "Cincinnati's best donut shop". There were so many options to pick from but I went for the coconut donut, my go-to option when I can't decide. I don't like filled donuts and even though I love chocolate, I don't really like chocolate donuts. It was super tasty and the coffee was good too. The best part was that it was in a super cute neighborhood called Over The Rhine. If I went back to Cincinnati (not ruling it out) I'd want to spend more time in this neighborhood.
I was pleasantly surprised with Cincinnati, which leads me to believe I just like traveling anywhere or that you can find fun places wherever you go if you do a little research. It isn't difficult. Every place has its charms.