Foodie Friday // Sammy’s Craft Burgers + Beers

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My recent venture to Sammy’s craft burgers and beers, located in Blue Ash, and owned by Sammy Flores, has creations in burgers that make gourmands eyes gorge.   Let me introduce you to one of my favorite burgers in Cincinnati right now, the BACON-JELLY craft burger. This great tower of loveliness is topped with house-made bacon onion jelly, gouda cheese, and fresh field greens. We sat at the bar, where Brad at Sammys then directed me to another insanely amazing palette changer, the JUICY LUCY burger – set up with Smoked BBQ,  bone marrow, sharp cheddar, bacon, smoked BBQ sauce, onions, jalapeno straws, smoked KY bourbon sauce, served with chicken BBQ mac & cheese that is damn brilliant.

Ash makes gourmet steak burgers with a blend of brisket, short rib, ball tip, and tri tip that is ground locally, hand-pattied, lightly seasoned, and char-grilled to order. Served on a Allez Challah bun with choice of beer battered french fries, or cole slaw as a side. This place is a mixture of casual bar dining with insanely curated local and gourmet craft burger list and an amazing beer list complete with a  full bar.

ABOUT SAMMY’S

Meet Sammy Flores, restaurant owner and soccer player.  As a child he aspired to be a professional soccer player and succeeded in Mexico. At the young age of 18 he joined his first professional team, Oro,  he then moved to the United States at the age 24 in 2003. His first job was working at a chain restaurant starting in the culinary world washing dishes. Sammy spent two years working, seven days a week, non-stop, to earn the money needed to obtain his next goal of owning his own restaurant. In 2005 El Pueblo was opened.  After immediate success, he opened, Sammy’s Gourmet Burgers and Beers in 2009. With amazing hard work and brilliant artistrty in combination with local ingredients,  we are able to enjoy mouthwatering creations that are constantly changing – O and there is an amazing beer selection. Check out a special Burger every month, and drink specials every day – 

Monday: Sammy’s Red Ale, 32oz $4.00
Tuesday: Frozen Margarita $4.00
Wednesday: House Wine $3.00, Sangria $4.00
Thursday: Cocktail of the Day $5.00
Friday: Beer of the day $5.00
Saturday: Beer of the day $5.00
Sunday: House Made Bloody Mary $5.00

Crowler Fill Up $10.00 and up
FC Cincinnati BloodOrange IPA duringgane$4.00
Sammy’s Red Ale, 32 oz during Cincinnati Reds game $4.00

SAMMY’S CRAFT BURGERS & BEERS

513-745-9484

4767 Creek Road
Blue Ash, Oh 45242
View Map

Monday-Saturday:
11:00 AM – 11:00 PM
Sunday:
11:00 AM- 9:00 PM

SAMMY’S MENU

Our full menu is online and downloadable!
View Menu

BEER MENU

30+ craft beers on tap. Try them all!
Beer Menu

https://www.instagram.com/sammyscbb/

Foodie Friday // PINK AF RADISH, CUCUMBER & SMOKEY TABASCO GAZPACHO

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Happy Friday creatives! The end of Summer is upon us, yet the weather is still scorching hot. Cool down with this cool soup that is not only delicious, but pretty damn cute as well.  I love my Summer staples of hot dogs, cheeseburgers, ice cream, pie, fried chicken, any and all the picnic foods, yet I do still tend to always make at least one batch of gazpacho every Summer. I stumbled upon this RADISH, CUCUMBER & SMOKEY TABASCO GAZPACHO over at anisasabet.com, and knew I just had to share this perfectly pink recipe with all of you. Make sure to head over to Anisa’s blog, to show this Austrailian some love. She is an amazing photographer and food stylist, who helps brands bring life to their offering through visual storytelling and creative direction.

PS I have so many amazing new posts coming up featuring new and seasoned restaurants and Chefs from all over the United States and beyond.  I really feel that art is everywhere, especially when it comes to cuisine. So go ahead, and play with your food!

Ingredients (serves 4):

  • 8 cucumbers, de-seeded, peeled & roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 & 1/2 bunch radishes (about 12 small)
  • 200g greek yoghurt
  • Good splash red wine vinegar (I did 1/4 cup as I like it tangy)
  • 1 can butter beans, drained
  • Very good splash smokey tabasco sauce
  • To serve: chives, olive oil, sea salt & pepper

 

Directions:

1. In a blender, blend together all the ingredients. Pop into the fridge to chill for 2 hours. Serve in bowls, topped with fresh chives and a drizzle of olive oil, and sea salt & pepper.

Storage: soup will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Peace + Love,

V

Empowering Wednesdays // Featuring Lindsey Swadner – Owner of The Hub

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Continuing the Empowering Wednesdays series, may I introduce Lindsey Swadner, owner of The Hub, located in the heart of the historic Over-the-Rhine. The Hub is Ohios first neighborhood bicycle retail shop and bar, and is one of my favorite hang-out spots in OTR.  You can have your bike repaired, shop for a new bike, or just sit back and enjoy the selection of beers and drinks like “The Dude” patron, xo cafe, vodka, and cream, or for hot days, their “Pear Mule” Tito’s, pear syrup, ginger beer, with chilean pear garnish. Read below to learn about Lindsey, and her amazing story:

1. Please let our readers know your full name and a bit about your background, school, where you grew up, where your current location is now, and your occupation.

Name: Lindsey Swadner
Background: Among owning The Hub, I am also about to receive my BA in Art
History and Fine Arts, with a certificate in Historic Preservation from UC DAAP. My
research is mainly on the topic of Jewish art during the Holocaust and also modern day
fascist symbolism within political compaigns. I also am the operations manager for
Digital Rhine Development, a company I’m very happy to be apart of. I grew up on a farm out in Milford, then Sycamore. but I’ve lived in OTR for about 7 years now. My
mother and grandmother both grew up down here and it’s home.

Being a woman businesses owner in the historic OTR, how has The Hub helped shape who you are today? What do you wish to instill in future female business owners?The Hub has helped me shape my viewpoint of a person’s role in creating community. Being a woman business owner I believe this is a little different due to this being a bar. Being a woman and having dangerous experiences within this culture of drinking made me more adamant on how to protect those within the environment I have created with the help of all of my friends, and employees. The Hub also has taught me about how to support those around me, to accept those around me and also how showing up is half the part of creating any positive relationship. Essentially, I think community built on the standards of acceptance, protection and inclusion is so important.
I think that leading by example for others, business owners-community members-etc, is
so important in the act of instilling values. I think inclusion is the most important
aspect, and I want to get that across within this environment. Mike, from Longfellow puts it best, “All are welcome unless you do not welcome all”.

How has your personal background shaped your life as the owner of the Hub?

My personal background is mainly that of storytelling, that’s what art and art history is. I want to share and create a space for others to share their knowledge and stories as well-
that’s what a community does at its finest. We grow, share and heal together. When I first came to OTR I was accepted by a fantastic community in a space that no longer
exists due to large developmental greed that exists in this community space. I felt
with my background and passion for this I was able to create something of value. I also
think that Chuck Walden is largely apart of this aspect of storytelling. He’s the main
booking agent here at The Hub and he is such a large part of what we do here. If we are
metaphorically a body he is the brain to the operation of this portion of what we do.

Now with that being said I’ve always been a very competitive person. I actually was 1st in the State of Ohio for Retail Merchandising and 14th internationally in 2012. I really only competed off of a bet- which I won. When originally building The Hub I was working with someone who wasn’t very positive in the building experience so I had to use this same method of pursuing my dreams. Treat it like a bet, build it like there’s no tomorrow and just dont stop. I think I’m still on this track, though maybe in a better more organized way. I also ran into many issues with the other development companies that I had to overcome using the same methods of personal advancement, but betting myself as a motivator. I guess when you find a method of drive that works for you it’s best to stick with it.
Please tell our readers about your involvement with the LGBTQ+ community?

We’re an inclusive environment, who believes wholeheartedly that everyone belongs. That everyone has a right to be exactly who they want to be- we believe in leading by example, do what you want to see in the world.

 Why do you feel it is important for the youth and young professionals of the world to be involved in the growth of small businesses throughout our country and the world?
Everyone has something fantastic to offer. A new perspective, an idea or a solution to a
problem. With the ever changing climate, politically, technologically and culturally
everyone has the ability to create change and grow in ways that were not previously
available. I also think that by involving youth we set up the ability for healthy
relationships with themselves; we have to teach children and youth that they have the
ability to change and advance the future in ways that we (including I) may not be around
for. Everyone has something to offer, by creating opportunities for personal growth and
creation we show that this is valued and supported which only furthers drive of
everyone. Again this goes back into community, when your community is rooting for you and supporting you, there is so much more drive, love, passion and exchange of ideas.

What is your signature style?
Lately I’ve been dipping into some reds and green hues, feels like Christmas in July but I
like it. Mostly I just wear all black. Working in the industry has taught me that I will spill things all over me all the time and it’s just the best way to prevent showing that. I’ve also
been taking a lot of style inspiration from some of my friends. Big fan of bike shorts and
sports bras right now due to my friend Maria, I’m also into cropped band tees due to my
friends Charlotte and Ivan. I just thrive off of others, my friends inspire me.

What are some sustainable living tips for living in the city, big and small?
Find a good AC unit and take care of it. Treat it like it’s your best friend. Also, of course,
shop local. Findlay Market is wonderful, New York Grocery is as well (They have great
dried mango slices). Biking to either of these places is not only good but fun! Most
importantly get a bike! Bikes are a fantastic source of transportation and exercise.

 What are some of your favorite things about living in Cincinnati, Ohio?
The underground tunnels that were here during prohibiion. Yeah, other cities have them, but with ours – I’m where George Remus was years ago, while he was running a
smuggling empire. We have some super cool history here. I’m also very excited about the
Over The Rhine Museum ran by Anne Delano Steinert, I went to one of her talks recently
about early age plumbing/outhouses/etc. and just fell in love with what she’s doing.

How do you feel no matter what age we can impact our social circle and beyond, to create a dialogue for empowerment and equality?

Creating a dialogue of empowerment and equality comes from the fact that no matter that age we all deserve to be empowered. We all can push each other to be the best and
speak up for those who are categorically looked down upon by the government, police
and so forth. Everyone offers a new perspective on how to advance and create a better
living environment for all- we can benefit from listening and acting with each other no
matter what age and experience they come from.

Tell us one thing the readers may not know about The Hub.

We have a beautiful painted over skylight, just look up. I restored that myself and fell off
the ladder only one.

What books would you recommend right now?
500 Nations, it has a great history of the community that was here before us (and that has been drastically harmed by the government- past, future and present tense for the government).

What are your favorites from the past week?
Restaurant: Frida

Store: Libby (She has the best earrings and rings)

Quote: “Were not accepting verbal apologies this year, only changed behavior”

Music: Three Legged WorkHorse- This Will Destroy You
Artist: Nick Cave (Always Nick Cave though)
Tell us about something exciting happening soon at the Hub.
WE HAVE KARAOKE BACK!!!! It’s August 23rd, be prepared to party, we also have a
large front patio area coming in late August

A positive and a negative memory of you career, current or in the past?
Positive: When the city was re-doing the sidewalks we had metal planks installed to enter the business. Ian Bulling skated across it and Robert Howley did a wheelie on his
mountain bike off of it. It was great.
Negative: Watching all of the fights that happen Saturday night down here, they’re all
negative, dangerous and unnecessary.

If you could choose to have dinner with anyone in the world who would it be and why?
Probably Elizabeth Warren, she’s got it all together and I’m just in awe of her and her
compassion and care for community support and creation.

What advice do you have for those looking to open up a business in the city of Cincinnati.
Look at what’s already going on in the community you’re looking to be apart of, the
market here is really overflowing with businesses. Not everyone needs a brick and
mortar. However you also have to participate and support the community you’re stepping into- they were there first, you’re an addition.

Check out the Hub on Facebook <<<< 

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Saturday Morning Three Cheese Spinach Quiche

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Looking for a breakfast dish for Saturday morning brunch? Check out my take on the classic Quiche Lorraine, complete with shredded cheddar, gouda, mozzarella, asparagus, ham, onions, green peppers and more. When I lived in France, I would venture to different cafes weekly for the search of the best quiche lorraine. In my search for flaky egg,ham,and fromage goodness, I was able to pick up some killer tips during my stay and travels in and around Tours, France. Scroll below for the recipe that will make you want to get up just a little extra early on Saturday mornings. Enjoy readers!

 

Peace + Love,

V

 

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • 3 shallots, minced
  • half of a white onion, diced
  • 3 bunches flat-leaf spinach, thick stems removed and leaves roughly chopped
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 8 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated (about 2 cups)
  • Mozzarella cheese, grated (about 1 cup)
  • Cheddar cheese for topping
  • Healthy pinch of oregano
  • Healthy pinch of chili powder
  • healthy pinch of rosemary
  • 1 recipe Basic Pie Dough for Spinach and Gruyere Quiches, fitted into two 9-inch pie plates
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1 green pepper
  • Diced ham 2 Packages of 8 OZ.  
  • 5 stalks of asparagus
  • 5 pieces of smoked maple bacon
  • 3 cups half-and-half
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

DIRECTIONS

For the crust // – 1 recipe Basic Pie Dough for Spinach and Gruyere Quiches, fitted into two 9-inch pie plates

For the Filling //

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with racks set in upper and lower thirds. In a large skillet, heat butter over medium. Add shallots and the white diced onion, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 1 to 2 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, oregano, and to spinach to skillet as will fit;  and toss, adding more spinach in the skillet as room becomes available. 
  2. Transfer spinach mixture to a colander. Press firmly with the back of a spoon to squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Take the cooked bacon, pat dry with a paper towel, chop and also set aside.  Now time to prep each crust for the filling, place the baked crusts on a separate rimmed baking sheet. 
  3. In a separate large bowl, whisk together eggs, chopped bacon, spinach, the cheeses, ,half-and-half, nutmeg, oregano, rosemary, salt ,pepper and chili powder to taste. Dividing evenly, pour egg mixture into crusts.
  4. Arrange baking sheets on racks, and bake until center of each quiche is just set, 55 to 60 minutes, rotating sheets from top to bottom halfway through. With five minutes remaining, add cheddar, gouda, mozzarella topping.  Let quiches stand 15 minutes before serving.

Travel Guide // Day Trippers in Yellow Springs, Ohio

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Travel Guide / Yellow Springs, Ohio / Part One

This past weekend we decided  to explore small town America. I have traveled  around most of Europe, but I still have a lot of America to explore and see. So, we packed up the car and drove to a town called Yellow Springs, Ohio. Yellow Springs is located only about an hour and 20 minutes away from Cincinnati, Ohio; which is perfect for a day trip or two. This love town is known to host local and global artisans, the best tacos, a gorgeous waterfall, festivals, music, the oldest tavern in Ohio, coffee houses, Sunflower fields, amazing local breweries, and more importantly, Yellow Springs, Ohio radiates happy vibes.

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If you are looking for a little Summer staycation to boost your creativity, head to Yellow Springs, Ohio to reconnect to yourself, earth, and relax.

Walking around this town I couldn’t help but feel a sense of hope. The charm of the city has everything to do with the love it exudes to everyone, including and especially mother Earth.

Love, Culinary expression, Hard Work, Recycling and upcyling are definitely a focus not to be missed, and one of which other small towns and even larger cities should take note. As if this town wasn’t trippy enough, as soon as we turned onto Xenia Avenue, I had a flash back of my Grandmother taking me to this little lovely town when I was little, visiting some of the same stores. It was a completely full circle moment, one that made my Grandmother a bit cooler than I thought. The Summer and Fall are the most amazing times to come to this town, and with the foot traffic I can see why, everyone is smiling! We arrived in Yellow Springs during the start of Pride 2019 weekend at the end of June, and the energy of the town was absolutely amazing.  The amount of creativity hidden in its shops and culinary arts, is refreshing. This town bounces out stereotypical ideals of what small town America is, and redirects the brain to show you what it should be and what Yellow Springs continues to be, filled with love for all, which is another reason why I love Yellow Springs. When arriving to this town, you need to make sure to expect the unexpected.

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I highly recommend finding an Airbnb in the area,  (or outside of Yellow Springs, if the town is booked – CLICK HERE for a highly recommended Airbnb,only 18 mintues outside of YS ) and stay the night. Head to Yellow Springs early in the day, before your hike, to check into your Airbnb – or if you’re more on the traditional lodging side, check out The Mills Park Hotel.

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Some of our favorites from Yellow Springs are Yellow Springs Brewery, Ye Olde Trail Tavern, Emporium Wines & Underdog Cafe ,  Miguel’s Tacos ( (behind Asanda Imports ), @wildflowerboutiqueys 🛍)   Spirited Goat Coffee House,   HaHa’s pizza, and more.

 

(Make sure to check the blog back soon for part 2 of Yellow Springs Travel Guide –  jam packed with even more eats, trails, waterfalls, shops, and breweries from this perfect little town).

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We knew we wanted to check out the Yellow Springs Brewery when searching where to stop in this town on our way up, so we headed there for our first stop. Walking up to the Yellow Springs Brewery, I couldn’t wait to go inside. The excitement built up as we passed a dope food truck, called Hunger Paynes, serving up croquettes – parked right outside the Yellow Springs Brewery doors. As I went through the doors, I was able to  sneak a peek into the brewery, on our way to see what creations were going on in the tap room. We also were lucky enough to meet up with Yellow Springs Brewery brewers, Jon Vanderglas and Rebekah Little / cellar. Being able to talk with them about their process, and receive a behind the scenes look inside the brewery, was more than gracious, inspiring, and bad ass of their team to do.

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I love writing about this industry, but I love the people behind the creativity even more.  Being able to actually walk back and see new brews in front of our eyes was a great introduction to this welcoming city full of flavor and continued revival of love.

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Miguel’s Tacos // Yellow Springs, Ohio

FOOD! This town has some amazing options for vegetarians, vegans, and even the carnivores in your life. My top picks for part one of the Yellow Springs Travel Guide are  Miguel’s Tacos ( (behind Asanda Imports ), Ye Olde Trail Tavern, Emporium Wines & Underdog Cafe + HaHa’s pizza. 

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SHOPS! My favorite shops in Yellow Springs, Ohio for part one of this Travel Guide are  Wild Flower Boutique, where you will find some of my favorite festival looks in all of Yellow Springs, Asanda Imports, The Epic Bookshop, and  The Tibet Bazaar, where you will find amazing Napalese shoes, tapestries, handmade books, paper and more.

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 Wild Flower Boutique

We plan on going back to this love town very soon to hike, and explore even more.  Stay tuned for interviews from new breweries, Chefs + Restaurants making a difference,  trails, and shops, for part 2 of our Yellow Springs Travel Guide on the blog very soon.

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Peace, Love, and Happy Travels,

V

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Local Spotlight // Riverside Korean Restaurant

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Insta pot good👘 🍜So many amazing eats at Riverside Korean Restaurant, located across the river in Covington, Kentucky 🔥🔥🥟🥢 I loved everything about this experience and definitely can’t wait to go back again. Make sure to prepare to take off your shoes and definitely dine in one of their fantastic tatami rooms. You’ll feel like a queen. I started with the Goon Man Du 군만두 Pan fried dumplings (7pcs) filled with vegetables and tofu. We then decided to dive into the Bul Go Gi Jun Gol 불고기전골 a
Beef soup with bulgogi, dumpling, tofu, daikon radish, zucchini, mushroom, hot pepper, onion, green onion and sweet potato noodle – the experience, amazing flavors, and team, make this restaurant one of my new favorite places to eat in Kentucky and Ohio🍜

HOURS //

Lunch: Monday-Friday 11:30am-2:00pm

Dinner: Monday-Thursday, Sunday 5:00 – 9:00pm

Dinner: Friday-Saturday 5:00 – 10:00pm

 

LOCATION

512 Madison Ave

Covington KY 41011-1506

Click here for Website 

CALL 859-291-1484

 

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