Where to go for exotic eats


It’s a Saturday evening and you’re going to eat out.

You’re tired of Taco Bell, Chipotle, and Five Guys and you just want to try something new.

That task may seem hard amidst the corporate food chains with restaurants all over the West Side, but there are actually quite a few exotic restaurants in Elder territory, or at least near it. For instance, there are Greek, Thai, and even Indian restaurants to explore. With knowledge of such exotic eateries you can impress your friends or show a girl how sophisticated and cultured you are. Whatever your reason, give one these unique restaurants a try.

Baba Shwarma Grill- 4028 Harrison Avenue     4.5/5

Baba Shwarma’s Grill in Cheviot is the mecca of Mediterranean food on the West Side. Located on Harrison Avenue just before the start of Bridgetown Road, one can sample delicacies from Greece and the Middle East.  The most prominent dish at Baba Shwarma’s is the gyro, a traditional Greek dish.


The most important feature of the gyro is the meat, which is beef, pork, lamb, veal, or chicken that is cooked on a rotating vertical split. Strips of meat are sliced off and wrapped in pita bread. It is often topped with tomatoes, onions, and tzatziki sauce, which is strained yogurt mixed with cucumbers and spices. Baba Shwarma’s also serves Greek fries, which are French fries topped with feta cheese and olive oil. If one wants a light meal, there is a Greek salad which includes peppers, tomatoes, and feta cheese.  Its location is a comfortable driving distance for any Panther and one can even stop at Cone Zone for ice cream, which is directly across the street. At Baba Shwarma’s Grill, you can great authentic Mediterranean food, without the cost of a hotel room and plane ticket.

Thai Taste- 5120 Crookshank Road          4/5

If you are looking for cuisine of the Asian Far East, then Thai Taste should hit the spot. Located on Crookshank Road, this restaurant not only serves traditional Thai food, but also your Chinese favorites and even sushi. An essential dish at Thai Taste is their filling Pad Thai.


Pad Thai consists of Thai rice noodles stir-fried with egg, ground peanuts, and bean sprouts. Another great Thai delicacy is the Mee Ka Ti. More sophisticated and complex than the Pad Thai, the two most basic components of Mee Ka Ti are steamed noodles and fresh vegetables, which are topped with chicken and egg.

The chili paste and coconut milk sauce also give the dish a unique but pleasant sweet ‘n spicy flavor. For a good starter, the delicious egg rolls are also a must have. Not to mention that you are given fortune cookies, customary for most East Asian restaurants. While it’s location on Crookshank is not the best place for a good restaurant to sit, it is just over two miles from Elder and isn’t a very far drive for almost all Elder students. If the Far East is calling you, head on down to Thai Taste for a scrumptious meal.

Amol India- 354 Ludlow Avenue      4.7/5

Clifton is home not only to UC, but also to an array of Indian restaurants. Arguably the best of these eateries is Amol India, located on Ludlow Avenue. Established in 1996, Amol India is one of the Cincinnati area’s oldest Indian restaurants. Even though it delivers, it is an experience to go to the restaurant itself. It even has a lunch buffet every day, which is a great value. When it comes to the cuisine, looks can be deceiving at the buffet. Many people would unfortunately turn down the orange, brown, and green stew-like dishes without even tasting them. One of the most popular dishes is the chicken tikka masala.

tikka masala

The chicken tikka masala is a warm stew in which baked chicken breast is served in an orange sauce containing tomatoes, cream, and many other spices. Another one of Amol’s most popular dishes is the saag paneer. The saag paneer is a delicious spinach stew that also contains ginger, onions, Indian spices, cream, and chunks of cheese. While the green delicacy is not the most appealing to the eye, the unique sweet ‘n salty taste it has is sure to keep you coming back for more. These and most other dishes at the Amol India can be served over wholesome basmati rice tossed with peas. Another important addition to any meal is naan, a flat and airy bread that is baked in a tandoori clay oven.


You can even get garlic naan and also paneer naan, which is stuffed with Indian cheese. For desert, kheer is an excellent choice, a savory and sweet rice pudding flavored with a dash of cardamon seed. Even though Clifton may be a bit of a drive, the great Indian food at Amol India is certainly worth it.