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Arnold's Bar and Grill (Cincinnati)

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A small treasure in downtown Cincinnati.

The place doesn't just look old. When it opened in 1861, things were a bit different. But the front door is still in place, and to go through it is to feel a bit like going through a time warp that knocks upwards of 145 years off of the calendar. The bar is the same as the one that served the first drinks at Simon Arnold's daytime saloon.

Along the wall opposite the bar are small booths for two, on the other side of a narrow walkway. That walkway, past the bar and to the left, leads into another room, a dining room for the restaurant, and beyond that is the patio for dining outside.

We opted for eating inside, in a booth in the dining room. The booth is made of wood, a deep, dark hue, that is the same as the tables and chairs that adorn the place. Among the decorations on the wall was the head of a deer, noticed by my companion who then proclaimed the deer in possession of a toupee. “I never imagined that I'd say that,” she added.

I started with a pint of Guinness—and a well-poured pint it was, arriving in a reasonable amount of time and with the pattern of a clover atop the head.

Looking over the menu was a treat. “All items $4.30” it said. “We don't have any on the menu but consuming raw food product may cause illness or death. The lady from the board of health said that I had to say that. And she said that I could say that she's the one who said that.”

In the end, I did not use the menu, choosing instead the Turkey Dinner Special. It was delivered in due course on rectangular plates. The special was very tasty, turning out to be a classic, done just right, and delivered with class that lacked pretension. It could well have been a metaphor for the entire experience.

Created by cmcurtin
Last modified 2007-06-23 09:56 PM
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