Friday, May 27, 2011

Guest Blog: Cabana on the River

For this week's guest blog, our good friend Matt ventured to a great outdoor restuarant right next to the Ohio River.  It looks like a great place to try for a night outdoors and the food doesn't look to bad either. This is definitely a place I'm going to try this summer for a night on the river!  Thanks Matt! 

It was a warm and beautiful Friday evening on the Westside of Cincinnati, yes, the Westside of Cincinnati.  For those who aren’t aware, that is a major no-no for an Eastsider like myself to venture that far into enemy territory.  But for the burger they have, I’ll take my chances.  If you didn’t guess from my last comment, I have been here before and will come back again.  Is that all I need to say?

Cabana on the River is a place that is perfect for an afternoon/evening when the sun is shining and you want a cold beer.  The atmosphere is almost like no other place I have been in Cincinnati.  The entire restaurant is open with only a tent/roof over a portion of the tables.  It sits directly next to the Ohio River in Saylor Park.  For a point of reference, Saylor Park is near the airport, but on the Ohio side. 

My wife and I met my mom, sister, her husband AJ and their son Mason at Cabana.  Since I had been here before I knew there wasn’t going to be any exciting decision making process with my meal.  I knew going into the evening I was going to be eating their white chicken chili to start, followed up with their CAB (Certified Angus Beef) burger with pepper jack cheese.  I know, nothing too exciting and it sounds like typical “bar food” but delicious. 

We did go out on a limb with our appetizer and order pickle chips and mesquite bbq quesadilla rolls.  Yes, I had two appetizers, soup and my main course.  The pickle chips and quesadilla rolls were decent.  They were “bar food”. 

As for my beer of choice, I’m on a “microbrew” kick, so I went with a draft of Leinenkugels Honey Weiss Bier.  Not impressed.  It tasted like 3am keg beer.  The beer you don’t want to drink but have to because there is nothing else to drink. I had a second just to be sure, but sorry, again not impressed.  Now onto the next course, one of the main reasons I go to Cabana, the white chicken chili.  Now I am no food conesouir, so I can’t tell you how and why a certain food tastes good or why the ingredients all “work together”, but I do know it is delicious.  Nothing special about the presentation, just a bowl of damn good chili with some crackers on the side.  The cheese on the side was an added, unexpected bonus.
The main course, my “CAB” burger did not disappoint, as usual.  The burger is literally as big as my face, as you can see, it takes two pieces of cheese side by side to cover the pattie.  I asked for the burger to be cooked medium-rare and I’d say it came out somewhere between medium-rare and medium, not bad.  But for a burger so big, it is very juicy, tender and tasty.  I have only finished the burger once out of three times I’ve tried, this not being the one.  Sorry, I’m not sorry, I enjoyed it on Saturday too.  There is nothing special about this either.  Just a big, very good, juicy burger. 
Sometime before I started attacking my burger, I switched to a new beer, Cabana Red Ale.  Better.  I’m a fan of red ales and this one was decent.  The switch was well worth it.
I can’t comment on everyone else’s food unfortunately because I had enough to talk about regarding my own food.  Next time I go back, I’ll probably get the same thing again anyway!  Why mess with a good thing?!?!
There is nothing about Cabana that is trying to impress anyone.  Just a huge deck on the river that serves cold beer and good food; suprisingly good food.  You’ll see all sorts of people there.  No matter where they come from everyone is there to enjoy the weather, the food and cold beer with people they care about.   I recommend giving it a try, you might see me there wrestling with the CAB burger yet again!


Cabana on the River on Urbanspoon


  1. I'm from Iowa - Leine's is a favorite and the Honey Weiss is my favorite! hahahahaha I always throw 1/2 a lemon in with it and love it. My friends would ask if I wanted some beer with my lemon. Sorry you didn't like it!

    I'll have to check this place out. If you haven't been - you should check out Ludlow Bromley Yacht Club - it's awesome!

  2. And go for the Shrimp basket at LBYC - good stuff - simple but good!

  3. Thanks Heather! My friend was actually just talking about LBYC this past weekend and we were discussing when to go try it some time. We opted for Pirate's Cove instead, so a review on that to come :) I'll keep in mind the shrimp basket!