CINCINNATI — It’s just another Friday afternoon at Dutch’s in Hyde Park as the bar and bottle shop's staff clear empty plates and glassware left behind on nearly every table by a ravenous lunch crowd.
“Yeah, it was pretty busy today,” said Patrick Hague, chef de cuisine at Dutch's, which is located at 3378 Erie Ave. “Friday and lunch is usually pretty solid.”
The reason for the heavy traffic is a tasty one. Dutch’s offers a $12 burger lunch special every Friday.
The deal includes a diner-style hamburger, Hen of the Wood chips and a pickle. For an additional $3 to $4, people can wash down their burger with a specially selected craft beer that changes each week.
“We use beef from Windy Brick Farms just outside of Cincinnati,” Hague said. “We pick it up every Wednesday and it’s ground up a half an hour to an hour before service.”
Dutch’s isn’t the only restaurant with great regular weekly specials though. Check out this beginner's guide for any burgeoning foodie:
Keystone Bar & Grill has built its own tasty reputation with its most popular and longest-running weekly special – half-price macaroni and cheese Mondays.
All three of Keystone’s Greater Cincinnati locations offer this deal on any of the bar’s specialty macaroni and cheese dishes. The only caveat is people must also purchase a drink, which isn’t that bad since each Keystone features fully-stocked bars and soft drinks.
Mac & cheese Monday has proved so popular that Keystone's owners opened a quick-serve Mac Shack on Calhoun Street near the University of Cincinnati featuring a menu almost entirely dedicated to mac & cheese.
The Mac Shack also offers a half-price mac special every Monday.
Libby’s Southern Comfort in Covington is a relative newcomer to the Greater Cincinnati food scene. Owner Brad Wainscott opened Libby’s at 35 W. Eighth St. in January with a promise of affordable down home dishes.
Delivering on that promise, Libby’s started offering a two-piece fried chicken plate every Tuesday for just $10.
“We started this special probably about a month and a half ago,” Wainscott said. “It comes with two sides. And you can get either white meat or dark meat. People seem to love it.”
The special has become popular enough that customers can expect a short wait to get a table, especially if Libby’s outdoor patio is closed due to the weather.
Luckily, Libby’s bar offers its own Tuesday special if there is a wait for seating.
“We do $5 bourbon slushies and Clarissa’s frozen Moscow Mules,” Wainscott said. “So, you can get a frozen slushy and chicken dinner for $15.”
The Fiery Hen is another newer restaurant banking on the flavor of its fowl to draw a crowd.
“Every Wednesday night, you’re able to come into Fiery Hen here and grab wings for $0.75 a piece,” according to owner Dan Swormstedt. "So that means you can come in for one wing or you can come in for 100 wings.”
Swormstedt opened Fiery Hen in January at 26 W. Court St., Downtown and launched “Wings Wednesday” shortly thereafter.
He said Fiery Hen’s dry-rubbed wings have “a little bit of spice, a little bit of sweetness.” Each wing order comes served with one of six dipping sauces.
“Our dry rub, that’s something that we’re really proud of,” Swormstedt said.
Guests can also enjoy $12 buckets of domestic beer on Wednesday as they watch whatever game is playing on one of the bar’s televisions.
Sometimes it's best to hold back and reward oneself toward the end of a long work week.
With that in mind, make sure to savor the French Lunch Tray at Jean-Robert’s Table. This four-course lunch special for just $16.50 is served 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday at Chef Jean-Robert de Caval’s Downtown eatery at 713 Vine St.
The lunch tray’s set menu changes each week. The following week’s French Lunch Tray is typically posted on Jean-Robert’s Table’s Facebook page every Friday.
(Read Dutch’s Friday burger deal described above.)
While it’s a challenge to find a genuine “meal deal” on what is perhaps the most popular day of the week to dine out, there’s one classic option that’s been on the menu for years.
Quatman Cafe, which first opened at 2434 Quatman Ave., in 1966, continues to offer one of the best burger specials in the Queen City.
Every Saturday, the cafe in Norwood and its second location at 224 W. Main St. in Mason dish out a cheeseburger, fries and drink for just $7.50.
The no-frills cheeseburger is grilled to perfection and also draws quite the lunch crowd on Thursdays and Mondays as well.
The choices of competing Sunday brunch specials in Greater Cincinnati are about as endless as a bottomless pitcher of mimosas.
Greyhound Tavern's Glorious Sunday Brunch in Fort Mitchell though is guaranteed to leave you full.
The tavern, which is owned by the father of the proprietor of Libby's Southern Comfort, rolls out its brunch buffet from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Guests can gorge on an array of breakfast foods that include local farm fresh eggs, casseroles, sausage, goetta, bacon, biscuits, gravy, home fries, waffles, pancakes, seasonal syrups and topping for $18.25.
The buffet also offers Greyhound Tavern's signature fried chicken, green beans and other classic southern dishes.