Birthday Eats

At this point, I'm sure it will be of little surprise that my birthday involved a LOT of good food!  I tend to stretch my birthday into at least a week-long celebration - usually this just boils down to a week+ of making really bad but oh so good meal decisions. Sadly, my birthday was on a Monday, so I tried to make sure I made the most of the weekend prior to it...starting with a visit to Nada in downtown Cincinnati! I've wanted to come here for a reallllly long time now, but the husband kind of hates Mexican food AND downtown, so this was double-trouble for him. This is where the birthday power definitely comes in handy! And truth be told, he ended up loving the food!
I had a Nadarita, the House Margarita made with tequila, Triple Sec, lime juice, and honey. It was strong and tasty - my favorite kind of margarita. We shared the Mexican Mac 'N Cheese, Boca Fries, and Vegetarian Tacos - everything was delicious!  The only thing I was disappointed about was that we had purposefully timed our visit to take advantage of Happy Hour Specials...but later learned that Happy Hour was only if you were seated at the bar. I much prefer a happy hour policy that extends to the whole restaurant...we all want to be happy, am I right?!

Since we were already downtown, I figured it had been too long since my last visit to Hello Honey, my fave ice cream shop in Cincinnati.  We sampled several flavors, and I ended up with Espresso Hazelnut topped with a toasted marshmallow. LOVE!
Later that evening, I spotted some deer outside the condo, and I was trying to get a few good pics. Unfortunately, the lighting was poor, and I'm still not that familiar with our new camera, so yes,the pics kind of suck. :-P But I'm standing at the window, and Francisco is doing something in the background, and I eventually turn to the side and exclaim 'holy crap!' cuz' my brother is standing there. Apparently, he decided to drive down and surprise me for my pre-birthday weekend. I was definitely surprised - I was not expecting him to be standing there!
The next morning, Francisco ran downtown to pick up some of our favorite local donuts from Holtman's.
Then we decided to make the 1.5 hour trip to Columbus, OH to have lunch at Melt Bar & Grilled. We had first visited Melt on National Grilled Cheese Day, and we LOVED it. I ended up ordering The Dude Abides, which features meatballs, fried mozzarella wedges, basil marinara, provolone, and romano (and yes, almost everything can be made vegetarian - or even vegan!). Francisco ordered My Big Fat GYRO Meatloaf, and my brother got the Cleveland Cheese Steak. We all went home with leftovers, and let me tell you that I could probably comfortably make four meals out of this sandwich. It's a tremendous value!
We walked over to the North Market briefly and were planning to stop at Jeni's on the way back, but there was actually a little Scoop Shop at the Market, so we all sampled a bunch of flavors, and Francisco and I ended up sharing the Pineapple Upside Down Cake Buttermilk Frozen Yogurt.

After we made it back home, Francisco gave me a few gifts to open. I received several yummy flavors of Jeni's that he had picked up at Whole Foods - including my fave flavor, Goat Cheese with Red Cherries.  I also got some new games, so we had some new entertainment for the evening.
We are well-stocked on ice cream now, for sure! All in all, it was a quiet pre-birthday weekend filled with good food and company!


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