Editor’s Letter, July 2023: Fried Chicken All Around

It’s a little jolting, in a good way, to be reminded that different and distinct worlds exist outside of your own navel-gazing routine—even in a city like Cincinnati.
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I ate at the Greyhound Tavern for the first time a few weeks ago while doing fried chicken research for this month’s “Cluckin’ Awesome Fried Chicken” section. I’ve driven on Dixie Highway in Ft. Mitchell a few times before, but I’d never stopped at the tavern. Gaggles of multi-generational families filled every room, including one with what looked to be the parish priest.

Throughout the meal I wondered about the vast number of guests and chickens that had come through the front and back doors, respectively, over the years. I tried picturing the people who used to ride the Green Line streetcar out to Ft. Mitchell and get off at the end of the line right there. I imagined all of the birthdays, weddings, christenings, and funerals have been memorialized in those rooms.

The tavern felt like a little world of its own spinning in orbit around the city’s core. People who ate at the Greyhound as kids now bring their grandchildren along. Our server seemed like someone who’s worked there his whole life. And while everyone was perfectly pleasant to my wife and me, they clearly hadn’t missed us over the previous 35 years I’ve lived in Cincinnati; their world thrives just fine without us.

I had a similar feeling a few weeks before while visiting a sandwich shop in Deer Park for another research project. I kind of knew where I was going driving there, but not really. And when I settled in, the place was friendly enough, the food was good, and there were Big Red Machine posters and neon Hudy Delight signs on the walls—all the comforts of home. And yet I’d never stepped foot in that neighborhood before.

It’s a little jolting, in a good way, to be reminded that different and distinct worlds exist outside of your own navel-gazing routine—even in a city like Cincinnati, which can often feel homogenized. There are new people, new restaurants, and new experiences to discover in Ft. Mitchell, Deer Park, and 100 other places if you’ll just look up from your own bellybutton every now and then. GPS can help you get there.

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