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J. Kevin Wolfe


China Chef

It’s gotten so bad that kids are beginning to think that Chinese and buffet are one word. China Chef remains a holdout—here you actually get what you order fresh from the wok and you don’t have to take your chances on something that’s been sitting two hours under a heat lamp.


When Becky left for college I swore off Adriatico’s. Thirty years later I can see my boycott hasn’t hurt their business any. Her personality matched her blonde hair: baby soft and a little too free. I was already in college but she provided all the adventure that I could handle.


I can’t think of another restaurant named after a condiment. There is no restaurant called Ketchup. Mayo has a clinic, but no eatery to its credit. OK, there’s La Salsa. But I maintain that salsa isn’t a condiment.

Boston Butz

Shame on you. You thought I would stoop so low as to joke about Frank’s and Sandy’s last name and say the place is owned by a couple of...but I won’t stoop. Boston Butz serves the unlikely combination of pizza and pulled pork.

Greek To Me

We’ve driven down to Erlanger from Blue Ash for a leisurely lunch, despite the important meeting at 2. But the lot’s crowded and there’s a long line. It’s looking tight. “It’s good,” James says. Jess takes it in stride, as always.

Blue Ash Chili

Figure this one out: It’s a chili parlor that serves beer. Good—you can sober up with the chili after the beer. But they’re only open until 8:30 p.m., long before you would ever have one too many or need to sober up.

Alreddy Coffee & Café

Coffeehouses and real food usually don’t go together. Where can you get a decent espresso and an egg? But Alreddy Coffee & Café merges coffeehouse and restaurant into an unpretentious vintage Sharonville building.

Aponte’s Pizzeria & Family Restaurant

Jersey-style pizza? Whazzup wit dat? New York–style, Chicago-style, California-style: It’s all so confusing to the feeble Midwestern mind. The Jersey-style pizza that Tony Aponte hand tosses is a lot like Queens-style pizza: a big, crisp, microfine crust under a thin layer of sauce with extra tang, topped with a delicate layer of a potent whole-milk cheese.