Mediterranean King on Clifton Avenue: Great Food, Great Atmosphere

Mediterranean King is located at 3307 Clifton Ave., which is very near the corner of Clifton and Dixmyth, on the same side of Clifton Avenue as Bruegger’s Bagels. Because the storefront is small and inconspicuous, I was surprised to discover that on the inside the Middle Eastern restaurant was both spacious and attractive, with exotic music that’s just barely audible adding to the atmosphere.

In other words, if you want to sit down and experience a meal in an environment that’s relaxing and aesthetically pleasing, I recommend Mediterranean King. On the other hand, if you’re on the run, Mediterranean King can be counted on to deliver quick and affordable foods that are much tastier than you would expect when you read those adjectives.

I tried their chicken kabob and falafel sandwiches and loved them both. Typically I find falafel way too greasy, but with theirs all I tasted was falafel. They serve a buffet Monday through Thursday from 11 am to 2 pm (and Saurday from noon to 3 pm), and on Monday through Friday they also have a special that they announce on their Facebook page. Every day the special highlights food from a different country, including Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Palestine and Jordan. Continue reading “Mediterranean King on Clifton Avenue: Great Food, Great Atmosphere”

Vote Clifton!

Hey folks, here’s a chance to show some support for the best neighborhood in Cincinnati. City Beat’s new Best of Cincinnati Readers Poll is now upon us, and Clifton pops up all over the place on it. The ballot is organized into six major sections: Eats, Shops & Services, Arts & Nightlife, Public Eye, Jocks and Urban Life. You don’t have to vote in every individual category, although you can if you’d like. The Clifton choices include (but are not limited to) Arlins, Habaneros, Aquarius Star & Om Café, China Kitchen, Bogarts, It’s Yoga, Sitwells, Clifton House B & B, The University of Cincinnati, Burnet Woods (for best hiking trail), and many others.

At the top of Urban Life is the category of Apartment Community. That’s where you have an opportunity to vote for Tudor Court Apartments, which are owned by Gaslight Property. Tudor Court has been part of the Clifton experience for longer than any of us have been alive, and Gaslight Property, a family-owned business located in the Gaslight District. The owners grew up in the Gaslight District and still live there, and they’re strong supporters of the community.

Here’s a link to the City Beat poll:

Aquarius Star & Om Cafe

It’s been three years since Aquarius Star & Om Café opened at 329 Ludlow Avenue, which is long enough to make its presence felt. From the beginning the cafe has stood out as a “green” café that featured direct trade coffee, authentic European espresso and healthy food with fresh, locally grown and organic ingredients. It also sells incense, crystals, jewelry, and (a hot item, by the way) “Ski Cincinnati” t-shirts.

Three years is long enough to become a staple in the neighborhood; it’s also long enough to take stock of how things have gone thus far and make some changes to better serve customers. When I spoke to the owner of Aquarius Star & Om Café, Lydia Stec, she mentioned that the store’s hours are going to change. Right now it’s open 8:30 am to 5 pm every day, but starting March 1 their hours will be 7:30 am to 7 pm every day. Continue reading “Aquarius Star & Om Cafe”

Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel is Playing at the Esquire

The documentary Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel is now at The Esquire Theatre. Diana Vreeland was a famous and extremely influential fashion editor of Harper’s Bazaar from 1937 to 1962 and editor-of-chief  at Vogue from 1963 to 1971. I attended this documentary about a woman who acted as a guru in the women’s fashion world even though I rarely give much thought to women’s clothes, or for that matter men’s clothes, even though I wear them. When it comes to matters of style, I appreciate well-designed cocktail glasses and elaborate swizzle sticks; sleek blonde furniture, the more modular the better; old stereo components; and 1950s album covers with photographs of jungle imagery, spaceships, or people enjoying cocktails. Where men’s clothes are concerned, I like vintage skinny ties and porkpie hats. That’s a short and unimpressive list, but nonetheless I enjoyed Diana Vreeland. Continue reading “Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel is Playing at the Esquire”

Beer Tapping at Olive’s on Wednesday, January 23

A quick note to beer drinkers and food-lovers: at 6 pm on Wednesday, January 23 a beer tapping will take place at Olive’s on Ludlow. “Two Brothers Beer Tapping” said the sign I saw when I walked into Olive’s last night. When I asked the waitress, she said that this was a first for the Clifton restaurant/bar; they have a new manager who’s eager to try some new things, and if people come out for the first beer tapping, they’ll keep having them.

Two Brothers is a brewery out of Illinois that can currently only be found in five states. So, we’re among the lucky few. You’d be even luckier if you could walk to and (especially) from Olive’s. Gaslight Property has several properties within walking distance, including among them Tudor Court Apartments; 3405 Telford, which is above Graeter’s; and the Jonathan Apartments at 451 Ludlow. You can call 513.861.6000 today to set up an appointment to look at one of these spaces. Continue reading “Beer Tapping at Olive’s on Wednesday, January 23”

New Nelson Slater LP Out on Vinyl!

Last night my friend Nelson Slater dropped by accompanied by his loyal and sometimes cantankerous canine Riley Martin. The three of us chilled out and played records, which is nothing new, except this time something special was on the turntable.

More than 35 years have passed since Nelson released his first LP, Wild Angel. The record was produced by Lou Reed, who roomed with Nelson at Syracuse University. The two of them played together in bands before the Velvet Underground formed and then remained friends. Since Wild Angel Nelson has continued to play music, and lots of it; every time I visit his house I see stacks of cassette tapes that contain music he and his cronies have taped over the years. But a new, full-length LP on vinyl has eluded him—until now, that is. Continue reading “New Nelson Slater LP Out on Vinyl!”

Annunciation School Open House To Be Held on Sunday, January 27

Open house will take place Sunday, January 27 from 12:30 to 2:30 at Annunciation School in Clifton. This is an exciting time for the school—it’s approaching its 100-year anniversary—and principal Cindy Hardesty encourages families to visit so they can find out what’s special about Annunciation School.

“Faculty will be on hand to give guided tours,” she said. “Come see what we’re all about. We’ll be accepting open enrollment beginning on Monday, January 28. We’ll be accepting applications for preschool through eighth grade. Many classes are at or near capacity, so don’t wait too long.

Located at 3545 Clifton Ave., Annunciation is a staple of Clifton that benefits from a convenient and centralized location that encourages a strong sense of community. Many kids walk or ride bikes to school. Continue reading “Annunciation School Open House To Be Held on Sunday, January 27”

The New iswhat?! Album is Called things that go bump in the dark

things that go bump in the dark is the new full-length release by Cincinnati’s iswhat?!, a hip-hop band that has toured the US and Europe and performed with major jazz artists, among them Archie Shepp, Oliver Lake and Hamid Drake. It’s a fine record, and I’m happy to report that, along with being available as a CD or a download, this full-length release had come out on vinyl. Locally the CD and LP are available at Shake-It and Everybody’s; online you can buy it on cdbaby and iTunes.

If you’ve caught ishwat?!, chances are you’ve seen Napoleon Solo Vox fronting a trio. On things that go bump in the dark band members change and band sizes fluctuate with each song, and others artists share some of the vocal duties. My sense is that Napoleon is still the mastermind behind the music, but, like Kip Hanrahan, he constantly shuffles musicians in order to make the words and music come to life.

More than half the cuts feature Hamid Drake, who happens to be one of the best drummers in the world. He’s also one of the most versatile, and he’s as comfortable laying down a hip-hop groove as he is playing avant-garde jazz with Ken Vandermark or Peter Brotzmann. Continue reading “The New iswhat?! Album is Called things that go bump in the dark”

Brian Kelly Receives His Comeuppance

Not so long ago a Great American by the name of Bill Cunningham placed a curse upon Brian Kelly, once the coach of the UC Bearcats football team, and we all know why that curse was placed.

Many of us wondered when the curse was going to kick in. During his first season as the coach of Notre Dame Brian Kelly won a game or two, and then at times he won two games in a row! That doesn’t sound like a curse.

And then this season where Kelly won game after game after game. It was as if he had forgotten how to lose; it was as if he were invincible.

Or so, at least, he imagined—and so others imagined who overlooked the fact that he had a wimpy schedule.

Last night he did not have a wimpy schedule. He played Alabama, and he got whooped so bad that everyone watching knew that Bill Cunningham’s curse had finally come true. Continue reading “Brian Kelly Receives His Comeuppance”

Don’t Forget Renter’s Insurance!


Because this blog is connected with a rental company, I sometimes address issues renters face. Recently I decided to track down an old friend in order to ask her about something you might not think about when you rent, but you should. Renter’s insurance doesn’t cost a lot, and that’s especially true when you bundle it with other types of insurance, as people tend to do. Because Alea Bruggeman has been a good friend whose upbeat attitude lifts my spirits whenever I run into her, I recommend her unconditionally as an agent for renters insurance as well as other types of insurance. In order to contact her, call 513-985-9300 or email at I also recommend checking her website,, for more information. Her office is located at: 9737 Kenwood Rd, Blue Ash, OH 45242, and her office hours are 10am-6pm M-F and Sat 9-12 (with evenings and additional hours by appointment).

An agent with American Family Insurance in Blue Ash, Alea has been a Clifton resident for six years. Alea attended Xavier University and holds Property, Casualty, Life & Health licenses from the State of Ohio.  Alea is also a member of the Greater Cincinnati Relocation Council and in her spare time. She enjoys listening to many types of music, traveling, helping others in need, and doing volunteer work for various organizations in the area. The Alea Bruggeman Agency aspires to be a great community resource, providing exemplary customer service and professional advice to clients. Recently she responded to the following email questions:

So let me get this straight. When I rent in an apartment, my possessions aren’t automatically insured through my landlord?

Your landlord’s insurance doesn’t cover your belongings such as electronics, collectibles, video games, clothes, jewelry, etc so if you suffer a loss, the replacement cost could be quite high. Continue reading “Don’t Forget Renter’s Insurance!”