Derby City Anniversary: Cincinnati Weekend

The Bread Man and I got married on the 4th of July at his request.  I think he just really liked the idea of it at the time, but it’s worked out nicely for us because no matter what, he always gets a day off of work when we can celebrate.  It’s become our tradition to go out of town for at least a weekend, and this year was no exception.

Since we just got back from Myrtle Beach, we didn’t want to travel too far, so Bread Man planned a relaxing weekend in Cincinnati to go to the Soak City water park at King’s Island.  We went to Holiday World for our first anniversary, so it was a nice throwback anniversary event.

We left a little later in the afternoon and planned on just going to dinner and checking out some big grocery store Bread Man had been to before and thought I would enjoy as a foodie.  We found a local dinner place called Troy’s Cafe and it was AMAZING.  They advertise that they are a casual place with a professional chef, and you could tell that the food was created with care and expertise.  I had their famous fish tacos, and Bread Man had a grilled chicken sandwich.  We both shared their homemade chips with their secret sauce.  It was so good!  If you’re ever in the Mason/Cincinnati area, I highly recommend it.  Good food, nice atmosphere-it was casual, but felt like fine dining.

 After dinner we headed to this crazy grocery store–Jungle Jim’s.  If you’ve ever been there before, you understand why this was a special trip!  If you haven’t been there before, you need to figure out a way to get there.  It was great!  There was a regular grocery section when we first walked in, but then we kept going.  This place has everything!  Deli, bakery, seafood counter, international sections–it’s ridiculous.  The international section is split into different nationalities, too, so there is literally something for everyone there.  I even found cans of haggis in the Great Britain section! There was also a whole aisle of chocolate. Oh, yes, these are my people.

The next day, we went to Soak City.  We really enjoyed it!  I had been there once before, but it was Bread Man’s first time.  We had a great time!  We rode all the slides (even the scary ones that make you feel like you’re just falling down), did the wave pool, and Bread Man even rode the surfing simulator.  Unfortunately there are no pics of that–it was pretty hilarious.  Obviously, it’s hard to be successful, and he gave two valiant efforts.  While he was in line for his second try, he was asking the middle schoolers in front of him for some tips, but just couldn’t fight the current.  I did not attempt it because I’m a wuss!  The slides were about as adventurous as I could get.

After the day at the water park, we headed to a place called Pappadeaux.  Neither of us had ever heard of it, and we were really impressed.  The service was good and the food was great.  We shared fried alligator for an appetizer and it was phenomenal.  I had never had alligator before, and honestly I felt a little weird eating it, but it was delicious.

I had grilled scallops and shrimp with sauteed spinach and a mushroom risotto–oh. my. word.  It was amazing!  The risotto was creamy and well-seasoned, and there were bits of mushroom that added so much more flavor than I expected.  The spinach was great, too, which surprised me because I generally don’t like cooked greens–too bitter for me.  I’m sure the spinach was cooked with butter or wine or something unhealthy, but I chose to believe it was healthy.

Bread Man got pan-fried fish with green beans and a cheddar risotto cake.  He loved it all, too.  I had a bite of his risotto cake, and it was so rich and so good. It was a dish that you have a hard time finishing because of the richness, but that you really want to finish because it’s the most amazing thing you’ve ever had.

I definitely recommend Pappadeaux, but you have to know going in that you’re going to spend a lot more money than a typical night out.  The entrees were all priced around $22 minimum, which is more than I am comfortable with, but, hey, it was a special occasion.

What a great, relaxing weekend with my husband of 6 years.  It’s been a wild ride, but I wouldn’t want it any other way!


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