Stuck in your office during lunch? No problem. LunchLobby will bring the restaurant to you

This is one of the more innovative things happening in Greater Cincinnati. In what may sometimes seem like a saturated restaurant market, LunchLobbycincy, a tech-driven startup, is carving out new space and delivering a 3-way win. They’re helping area restaurants, office workers, and proving out their business model. I’m heartened to see their platform avails the same opportunities to the young food entrepreneurs (Findlay Kitchen, Mortar Cincinnati, etc.) as it does to the more seasoned ones. A total win for this city’s food industry. Thanks to Josh Campbell of Django Western Taco, Brian Jackson of Eli’s BBQ, and John Kallenberger of Roll On In for sharing their experience and perspective.

Photo by G. Yek: Phil Leisure, co-owner of LunchLobby

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New Noodle & Hot Pot restaurant near Kings Automall serves up seven kinds of soup-based delights

What this restaurant offers is nothing short of cuisine immersion. Come hungry, be prepared to cook your food at the table and eat like a “local” (as in Chongqing, near Sichuan). Best to come with a group of hungry eaters; that way, you get to sample more variety. Not all soups are spicy but if you’re a “spicy” thrillseeker, I’d recommend the “nine-box spicy” soup. The use of beef fat and more than 25 different ingredients in the stock sets the flavor and heat level off to the stratosphere. I mean it–it’s pretty much liquid fire.

Photo by G. Yek: Noodle & Hot Pot’s bone soup, left, and nine boxes spicy soup, with assorted ingredients.

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Pumpkin Sticky Rice Balls (南瓜汤圆)

Just in time for Thanksgiving, traditional Chinese sticky rice balls get a New World makeover with the incorporation of pumpkin. Pumpkin, a staple in “New World” America, gives these sweet, chewy rice balls their own identity. This recipe centers on pumpkin–two ways. The first (and easier) variety is to simply incorporate the pumpkin into the sticky rice dough. The second variety uses the pumpkin as a filling and involves a couple extra steps including a slightly more involved preparation of the pumpkin filling. Either way, these sticky rice balls are perfect to share with friends and family, and may even put a smile on a few faces.

Photo by G. Yek: Pumpkin Sticky Rice Balls (done 2-Ways) served with Ginger Infused Light Syrup

Click here for more: Recipe for Pumpkin Sticky Rice Balls

Here are 9 great Thanksgiving dining options if you can’t — or don’t want to — eat at home

Food and Thanksgiving go together like hand and glove; traditionally, the two would leisurely converge at home with family and friends. But that’s not always the case for everyone. Here are my recommendations for eating out this year. There’s a little something for everyone including those who may have to work on Thanksgiving.

Photo from WCPO File

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Artisanal cheesemaker sets up shop in Lebanon

We are fortunate to have artisans like Cecilia Garmendia of Lamp Post Cheese. While many people can turn out cheese (with enough workshops and tutorials), few are inspired to tease out the “terroir” of the cheese through the patient research and development of unique cultures inherent in raw milk. This is still work in progress but she is on it. Ultimately, this will translate to cheese that echoes the flavor of the land. Oh by the way, Cecilia has a PhD in biology which is to say, she’s got the science covered.

Photo by G. Yek: Cecilia Garmendia in the Tasting Room

Click here for more: Lamp Post Cheese

The Divine Lady of Mid-autumn Festival

It’s that magical time of the year again.Tomorrow, the Mid-autumn Festival will shine with a gorgeous full moon, and many families will gather to eat tasty mooncakes and gaze at the moon. Kids will parade around with pretty lanterns in the moonlit night. Heres the recipe for “doll” mooncakes if you’d like to make your own. If not, Asian stores are well-stocked with mooncakes of all sorts.

Photo by G. Yek: “Doll” Mooncakes–a popular mooncake variety among kids

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Eat My Globe Podcast: Things You Didn’t Know You Didn’t Know About Food

If you’ve amassed food knowledge that’s more than 80 countries deep, written three books, become a celebrity on TV, and regularly write for various media, what comes next? For Simon Majumdar, it’s podcasting. On Oct. 1, we will all be treated to his wit, encyclopedic food knowledge and quick humor–delivered with a dash of English panache.

Photo by Sybil Villanueva: Simon Majumdar at work

Click here for more: http://www.pollymagazine.com/pollyonline/eat-my-globe-podcast/

Inside Deeper Roots Coffee, Part 2

Perhaps the real story here is how this very chill, low-key group is doing tremendous things by way of coffee–all right here, in West End. If you’ve ever had Deeper Roots Coffee, you’d have tasted their meticulousness; call it coffee science. And if you’ve ever met the founders and doers, you’d have probably also picked up the heart behind all that they do.

Photo by Deogracias Lerma: Deeper Roots partners (from left to right): Ryan Doan, Les Stoneham, Courtney Robinson, Adam Shaw.

Click here for more: Inside Deeper Roots Part 2

Click here for Inside Deeper Roots Part 1

Three local restaurants receive national exposure

It’s not easy to be that chef or restaurant that offers incredible food, provide top-notch service, and be exemplary stewards of the community and environment. Which is why this is a big deal. For the three restaurants in Cincinnati and northern Kentucky that made the cut in Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery (TL&CC), the honor is immeasurable. It’s equivalent to taking a seat at the table with such icons as Alice Waters and Dan Barber.

Photo provided by Anne Sullivan: Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery USA Edition book cover

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Archways to Opportunity: Local students take advantage of McDonald’s tuition assistance program

I have a soft spot for education. For some students, the prospect of racking up student debt is crushing enough they sadly turn away from college. In this story, Alyssia Kelley is absolutely right–she advises college-aspiring students to “take the time to learn and explore the options…there are many, many resources out there.” McDonald’s Archways to Opportunity can be a helpful resource for some, as it has been for this dynamic young lady.

Photo provided by Kelley: Alyssia Kelley (L) and general manager Chaz Himes (R) at the Maineville McDonald’s.

Click here for more: Archways to Opportunity