There's a Different Kind of Fungus Among Us...

I've lived in Cincinnati almost half a year now and just this past weekend, I finally made it to one of the restaurants I've wanted to try basically since I moved here.What took me so long, you ask? Well, it wasn't exactly for lack of trying. Bakersfield OTR is located in the trendy Over-the-Rhine neighborhood of Cincinnati. We've stopped more than once but decided that the wait was too long. The first time we ended up across the street at Senate - the closest thing to gourmet tacos being gourmet hot dogs. ;-)
This time we decided we were determined to wait it out - it was only a 20-30 minute wait to be seated, so we walked around a little bit and checked out some of the nearby shops.  We had been lucky enough to find a broken meter to park at, so we weren't worried about time. And Bakersfield (similar to Senate) takes your number and calls you when your table is ready so you have a little bit of freedom while you wait to eat.

Bakersfield OTR has a limited menu focused on their exotic tacos. The selection includes 8 tacos, two of which are vegetarian.  The one I was most excited to try was the Huitlacoche -this is a fungus that grows on corn and is considered a food delicacy in Mexico. I'd first seen huitlacoche used in a cooking show challenge on the Food Network, so when I saw that it was offered on Bakersfield's menu, I couldn't wait to try it.

We got two each of the vegetarian options. Below, the top tacos are the Rajas - poblano, fresno, bell pepper, ejotes, chihuahua, queso fresco, and cilantro. The tacos pictured at the bottom are the Huitlacoche - corn truffles, roasted poblano, corn, onion, cotija cheese, and cilantro. We loved both of fact, if we didn't have other places yet to go, we would have gotten some more to go. Have I mentioned just how much I love the gourmet taco trend?!?
 To go with our tacos, we also had a bowl of Corn Chowder and the Bakersfield Margarita.
While we were downtown, we figured it would also be a good time to try out another place we've had our sights on for a while. Hello Honey was an 8-minute walk down the street and we were happy to find them open for once.  It seems that we've always ended up driving by them while they're closed.  
And even though, it had started raining by the time we left to head back to the car, I am so glad we finally made it to Hello Honey! We were encouraged to sample as much as we liked - everything was so delicious, it was hard to make a decision. Francisco ended up with Espresso Hazelnut and another delicious flavor - and I made him ask for it to be topped with a Toasted Marshmallow. OMG, this is THE perfect touch for any bowl of ice cream. You can watch them toast the homemade marshmallow using a mini-torch right before your eyes.  I had a Banana Toffee sundae with Maple Hazelnut Crunch ice cream. The only thing that would have made it more perfect was if I'd added a toasted marshmallow of my own. ;-)
Left: Banana Toffee Sundae; Right: Double-scoop topped with toasted marshmallow


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