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Destination the Senate in OTR:

Gourmet hot dogs in a classy joint

By Joe Carriere
On September 28, 2011

The restaurant The Senate in Over-the-Rhine (OTR) is slumming it with the dogs, and you should, too. That doesn't mean it's in a bad area; rather, The Senate is

located in a cool area of the historic Cincinnati neighborhood where there are a handful of unique restaurants and artsy hangouts. And as for the dogs? Well,

The Senate specializes in crafting elaborate gourmet hot dogs that capture both the imagination and the taste buds.

Their menu ranges from their authentic take on the Chicagostyle dog, to the Trailer Park dog wrapped in bacon with American cheese, coleslaw and Grippos— Cincinnati's favorite barbecue chip—crushed on top, to the

Hot Dog of the Day (such as the Ashton Kutcher—wood grilled beer-soaked mettwürst topped with avocado creme fraiche, roasted sweet peppers and queso fresco), you can get just about anything you're craving right on top of the all-beef American dining classic. If you're not a hot dog person, don't worry—there are plenty of other great items on The Senate's menu. The burger is delicious, as any

pub's should be, and there are other tantalizing sandwiches and entrees offered as well. Vegetarians (as well as anyone else craving a unique mix of greens) can enjoy various salads and everyone can enjoy some duck fat fries, which pair well with just about everything else on the

menu. For those of legal drinking age, there is an impressive selection of cocktails, wines, bottles and drafts.

If you're loyal to Cincinnati breweries (OTR is a historic brewing district, after all), there are several local brews, including Christian Moerlein and Hudepol. There is also a variety of imports from England, Belgium, Canada and more. OTR is by far one of the most historic neighborhoods in Cincinnati, and The Senate, with its bare brick walls and concrete bar top, looks the part of a wellworn, no-frills-added pub without feeling decrepit or unkempt.

The simple setting of tables, chairs, hanging lights and the visible kitchen against the back wall fills the unadorned space without trying to be fancy or ornate; the food is extravagant enough to complement the simple arrangement

of the space. For those of you who have been reading the Newswire since last spring, in case my review of MOTR Pub didn't entice you to visit OTR for a cool, unique dining

experience, here's another possible destination in one of the coolest, most underrated areas in Cincinnati.

For those of you who started reading the Newswire more recently, consider this a suggestion to expand your appreciation of this great city by checking out all the fun, unique places for which you never thought to look.

Cincinnati has a lot of rich history that deserves to be explored and a new food joint is never a bad place to begin. You may be surprised at what you find in OTR and in many of the other historical districts the Queen City has to offer.


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