Best of Taste 2019 includes pork grenades, smoked lamb nachos and Cambodian tacos

Plus a serving of 'Can't it be May 25 yet?!'
Posted at 7:58 PM, May 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-07 20:11:50-04

CINCINNATI — Already drooling at the thought of Taste of Cincinnati 2019? Us too — and it’s only going to get worse now that we have a complete list of judges’ favorite entries in the annual food festival. Try reading phrases like “smoked lamb nachos,” “white chocolate raspberry cheesecake cupcake” and “bacon-wrapped shrimp kisses” without feeling a little hunger pang.

In the lead-up to May 25, when the festival will take over Downtown, we can at least feast our imaginations. The best-of slate bestows Best Dessert on the apple quince bread pudding at Alfio’s Buno Cibo, gives Cambodian eatery Mahope two bests for its tacos, and conjures equal parts intrigue and intimidation by awarding Best Entree to something called a “pork grenade” from Covington BBQ spot McK’s Chicks.

The full list of winners is as follows:

Restaurant Best Dessert
Third Place (tie): Spumoni Cannoli – Pompilio’s 
Black Forrest Cake – Oakbrook Bakery
Second Place: Crème Brulee – Market Street Grille
First Place: Apple Quince Bread Pudding  – Alfio’s buon cibo
Restaurant Best Appetizer
Third Place: Bacon Wrapped Shrimp Kisses – McCormick & Schmick’s
Second Place: Gnocchi Bolognese – Alfio’s buon cibo
First Place:  Lightning Wings – Revolution Rotisserie
Restaurant Best Soup-Salad-Side
Third Place: Thai Papaya Salad – Sawasdee Thai Cuisine
Second Place: Gods’mac Grippos Mac & Cheese – Tickle Pickle
First Place: Cambodian Chicken Taco - Mahope
Restaurant Best go Vibrant!
(This is a heart-healthy category for items low in fat, trans fat, cholesterol and sodium.)
Third Place: Buns N Roses Black Bean Burger with Cashew Cheese – Tickle Pickle
Second Place: Poke Cupcake – Poke Hut
First Place: Cambodian Portobello Mushroom Taco - Mahope
Restaurant Best Entrée
Third Place: Gourmet Mac & Cheese – Market Street Grille
Second Place: Brisket – Just Q’in BBQ
First Place: Pork Grenade – McK’s Chicks
Food Truck Best Dessert
Third Place: Turtle Fried Cheesecake – Hungry Bros.
Second Place: White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Cupcake- The Cheesecakery
First Place: “Make it a Sundae” Brownie – Sugar Snap!
Food Truck Best Appetizer
Third Place: Smoked Lamb Nachos – Wicked Hickory
Second Place: Lobster Poutine – Harvest Mobile Cuisine
First Place:  The Stroll – Adena’s Beefstroll
Food Truck Best Soup-Salad-Side
Third Place: Sprouts – Harvest Mobile Cuisine
Second Place: Brisket Mac – Wicked Hickory
First Place: 12 hour Braised Brisket Bowl – Texas Joe Tex-Mex
Food Truck Best go Vibrant!
Third Place: Strawberry Chicken Taco – The Tin Man Grill
Second Place: Pink Lemonade streetpop - streetpops
First Place (tie): Swordfish Kebab with Molasses Glaze – Screaming Goat
Fruit Punch streetpop - Streetpops
Food Truck Best Entrée
Third Place: Jerk Chicken Nachos – Just Jerks Ena’s Jamaican Grill
Second Place: Cheesy Garlic-Style Italian Beef – Adena’s Beefstroll
First Place: Smoked Rib Tips – Sweets & Meats BBQ.