intro written by Ilene Ross
Bob Schwartz is the face behind the ridiculously popular “5chw4r7z, the ethos of downtown.” The blog is no-nonsense, gets right to the point, and is always filled with Bob’s beautiful imagery. We asked Sharon Rudd, author of the blog “Eggplant to Go” to have a conversation with Bob to give us some insight into Bob’s love affair with the Queen City, as well as some of his and wife Erin Marie’s favorite places to eat, and she graciously agreed. ~Ilene Ross
Photographer and blogger-about-town Bob Schwartz chronicles the evolution of Cincinnati, often through the lens of food. A fan of cycling, architecture, twitter, sports, the streetcar, coffee, beer, and a good cigar, the multi-faceted creator of the blog 5chw4r7z shares how he fell in love with his adopted hometown, some favorite haunts, and a recipe for a really cool dinner party.
You’re a big supporter of Cincinnati, but not a native. What brought you here?
How long did it take you to fall in love with the Queen City and what were some milestones in that courtship?
One of the things you demonstrate as a photographer is that truth, and beauty, are in the eye of the beholder. What perceptions about Cincinnati have proven accurate? What surprised you once you got to know the city?
How has food played a role in your becoming part of the Cincinnati community and what it has to offer?
How did you get into blogging and photography, and how do you see yourself evolving with both since you moved here?
The tag line of your blog is “The Ethos of Downtown,” where you live, and you blog a lot about nearby Over the Rhine, too. Yet you also get out into a lot of other neighborhoods in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. If you couldn’t live in downtown or OTR, where would you like to live and why?
Besides the streetcar, what’s on your wish list for Cincinnati?
Were you much of a bus rider or bicyclist before you moved here? How did you become involved in the advertising campaign for the local bus system, Cincinnati Metro?
Over the Rhine is undergoing a restaurant explosion. Given the other places you’ve lived and traveled, and, heck, your own personal food preferences, anything you’d like to see added or deleted from the mix?
You seem to enjoy discovering the history of Cincinnati. What are some cool things you’ve learned, and do any of them involve food or beer?
Imagine a perfect day for you in Cincinnati. Where would you go, what would you do, who would you spend it with, and most importantly, what would you eat?
If you had an unlimited budget, where in town would you go for a great meal?
What’s your favorite guilty food pleasure in Cincy?
You travel back to Northern Ohio, to the beach, you’ve been to Europe. What Cincinnati foods do you miss when you’re away?
Cincinnati has quirky weather, but once in a while we hit that sweet spot when it’s not too cold, not too hot, and not too humid. What would be your ideal meal on your deck? And what would be your ideal picnic and locale somewhere out in the city?
Without asking you to pick favorites, could you suggest a place or two you’d recommend people check out in these categories? Extra points for places outside downtown/OTR and any “hidden gems” you think deserve more attention.
A good place for a quiet chat with a friend over coffee: Collective espresso
Have your tastes in food changed since you moved to Cincinnati?
Graeter’s ice cream, Montgomery Inn ribs, La Rosa’s pizza, and Cincinnati-style chili have been traditionally associated with Cincinnati for years. What would you like our “new” food reputation to be?
You sometimes blog about friends who are talented cooks and your dinners together. What, in your opinion, are some ingredients of an unforgettable dinner party?
Sharon Rudd shares her enthusiasm for the Cincinnati food community on her blog Eggplant To Go, and facebook.
She is also staff writer/publicist for Tom+Chee.
Ilene and I missed the inaugural food fight this past November, so we were excited to make it to the second (of no doubt many more to come) hosted by Mike Florea and Leigh Enderle of Maribelle’s eat + drink.
written by Ilene Ross
It was standing room only as Chef Mike Florea introduced the competitors for the second Food Fight. Reigning champ Josh Campbell, Roland Eliason, and Drew Fisher took their places behind the line and began to create dishes based on their mystery basket of crawfish, chuck-eye steak, British fruit cake, Chinese bitter melon, special crab chips, and fresh sumac. Fisher-line cook at Metropole-walked away with the win and headed to round 2.
Round 2 had Aaron Drahmann, Matthew Buschle, and Dana Scott Adkins tackling their basket of extra soft tofu, dried mango, white Zinfandel, hybrid striped bass, frog legs, and apple butter, with Buschle-Chef at Virgil’s Café- coming out on top.
Final round-Buschle and Fisher went head to head over boar rack, chorizo, bamboo worms melba sauce, Kabocha squash, and vegan Monterey Jack cheese, with Fisher taking the final prize, a custom trophy created by Chris Weist of Cincy Sharp.
A quick stop to one my favorite restaurants a couple weeks ago for a bowl of creamy, chowder resulted in my running back to my car to grab my big girl camera.
This gorgeous, artisan crafted glass chandelier was not not hanging when I was photographing food, people and interior details over the summer for the restaurant’s new website, which you can see right here.
As someone who believes you should only, ever, add things around you that you love, I was so impressed that Derek has been adding pieces of personality to his restaurant only as he comes across them, and
And, because this is a food community, how about some images of Chef dos Anjos’ beautiful food of which you can enjoy at The Anchor while sitting under Ahslie’s beautiful light. Beauty all around!
photos ©Gina Weatheraby