I don’t go out much. I don’t want the extra empty calories, water weight from too much salt, and high prices. Saying that, I do indulge sometimes and thought that I would share what’s not too high calorie, what’s not worth it, what is worth it, etc. So, here is my first review, Local 127 in downtown Cincinnati. Of course, your mileage might vary, and I hope it does. However, this is not a dieters’ delight, mon freres. In a nutshell: too many “novelty meat” high calorie choices, too much foo-foo PC cooking.
Local 127 in Downtown Cincinnati-
Local 127 is so fashionable and PC that you mentally check yourself for any offending raiment as you walk in. The service is really lovely though, all of the personnel make you feel as if you are eagerly anticipated without being foppish or intrusive. The interior is nicely decorated, a bit dark but comfortable and the theme isn’t overwhelming.
The menu is brought. It is quite extensive for a one side menu. It’s Local, Fresh, Organic. Don’t forget: It’s Local.
OK, I get it. Now on to what’s for dinner. Well…uh…uh…uh….
If you like hog bellies, chicken necks, half cooked duck, liver, toes, innards and “novelty meats” you will get a huge kick out of Local 127. Really. They do know their way around parts which I never cook.
The wine list is OK. I ordered a wine from Alicante in Spain (due to the fact that my Spanish teacher was from there). It came. It was fierce. It had the tang of “been opened for a while” backing up the experience. BUT the waiter was very nice about it, and brought me a glass of Innocent Bystander whilst taking the Spanish wine away and off the check.
Innocent Bystander was considerably more expensive but forgettable, alas. Not bad but…
Back to the search for something edible. Pickled this, poached that…nothing particularly normal to eat, and I wanted normal. My eyes lighted on meatloaf with “cheesy grits”, mushroom gravy, and homemade ketchup. OK, that was normal and I ordered it.
The salad we split was divine! It came with a paper thin flatbread smeared with a tang-less garlic comfit. The greens were fresh, the mandatory goat cheese was nice, the watermelon pickles were not unpleasant, the dressing was perfect. If the rest of the meal was to be this good, I was in luck.
The advent of the entree was nigh. Mine came in a ceramic pan with high sides which made it slightly hard to cut and eat. However, it was a thing of beauty. A rather large square of well seared meatloaf looking like a coveted end piece. I dug in, I was hungry.
It was lukewarm at best. This was not the piping hot meatloaf it should have been. It was good but good isn’t excellent. This one had obviously been sitting there waiting for the other entree of the duck cooked in sous vide style (as I am sure the poe homage to hipsters).
It was good. Did I mention it was local? The cheesy grits were a puddle without any evidence of grit-like objects there. The mushroom gravy was excellent, tasting like mushrooms should taste with great strength and character. Homemade ketchup? Hard to screw up.
Underwhelming. I was hungry so I tucked into it in earnest. Quelle horror to see that the inside was pink! Was this thing cooked? It looked cooked, it had to be. I asked and they had heard that before. It was some special process the chef put upon the loaf which made the interior raw pink. It’s cooked all the way through, honest.
It felt cooked in my mouth, not the over yielding smoosh of raw hamburger but a good resistance to my teeth. I ate it all.
And it was good.
My date had the duck and pronounced it “the best duck I have ever had”. That is very high praise from him as he is The Sniffy Eater deluxe. The skin was crispy, the interior was as close to raw as you could get and still eat it without calling the EMS guys to save you. He loved it. He is ultra temperature sensitive and complained not a bit about its being cold. He was very happy indeed and ate all of his dinner. Every speck.
The duck was cooked sous vide. Sorry, I am tittering. He loved it and that is all that counts.
We ordered coffee and it came in a French Press. It was accompanied by whipped cream in a cup, a variety of sugars and sugar like objects. No liquid milk or cream or half and half. It was piping hot BUT it was not real strong. Not at all. Kind of cafe Americano strength.
I left less content than I could have. It was a fun experience and on many levels it was great.
I woke up at 3:45 a.m. and had a huge debate with myself as to whether or not I was going to throw up. The debate continued for quite some time. I managed to keep down my expensive meat loaf and a few sips of water but that was real. Real real. I suspect that the meat was cooked some “new fangled” way and that all the bacteria were not quite rendered harmless.
It could have been: canapes from the prior engagement, unwashed hands on a glass or piece of cutlery, a stray lettuce leaf which missed the sprayer, or the meat just wasn’t really cooked enough. I will never know but I am really not in love with Local 127. Yea, I know it’s local local local.