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Brunch is a special time for all of us.  It’s a time where both the early risers and the late arrivers can join together under one roof and share a magical meal.  For some it’s a family gathering, for weekend warriors it can be the perfect mix of hangover cure or the start of a Sunday Funday. Brunch doesn’t care if you’re in the same outfit that you fell asleep in from the evening before, and brunch understands if you need a little champagne in that glass of OJ. 😉  Do you find yourself struggling to decide either breakfast or lunch? We are here to help you make these decisions. Come with us on a journey to the brighter side of brunch.

This beacon lights the Kentucky side of the Ohio river, in the city of Bellevue. Located on Fairfield Avenue,  commonly referred to as “The Avenue,” this small bistro is truly a gem of Greater Cincinnati brunch spots.  When you initially walk through the doors, you might get a coffeeshop feel with the smaller tables and limited seating but don’t be mistaken, this little bistro’s about the business.  One of my favorite parts of the Bellevue Bistro is that it is so small.  It’s a cozy spot on the Avenue with a lot of character and delicious brunch fare. Locally roasted Lookout Joe supplies the coffee,  art by local artists line the walls, and you might spot a few pieces Star Wars memorabilia scattered around the room giving the bistro some quirky character.

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The Bistro’s menu is beautifully designed, but with a strong variety of choices.  It pays homage to the Queen City displaying a picture of the Island Queen, a steamboat that would take passengers from Cincinnati to Coney Island Amusement Park in the late 1800’s to early 1920’s.   The front of the menu is divided into three sections: Breakfast Bakes, Benedicts, and Other good stuff – classic brunch fare with some colorful Bellevue flare.  The back of the menu features salads, a couple soups, and a variety of sandwiches, and the bottom, signature drinks including cocktails!  So grab yourself a mimosa or a “Vincent Vega” an espresso/cola eye opener named after the Pulp Fiction character, and don’t be confused on what’s for brunch.

Let’s talk about the bakes. All of Bellevue Bistro’s bakes are plated atop potatoes served on a sizzling hot iron platter with two fried eggs on top, but these bakes are more than just some potatoes and eggs.  Each variation of the bake has its own unique identity and the menu offers more than a few options, so there’s something for everyone here. The smashed potatoes with crispy corners and steamy centers serve as the perfect base for whichever bake you may fancy.  The Bellevue offers a classic combination of locally sourced Meiner’s Meats goetta with sautéed onions and cheddar jack cheese. But if you want something on the sweeter side, you can get the Sweet Potato bake which still includes goetta, spinach, marshmallows and pecans. There are a couple vegetarian options in the section, but for my meatitarians out there there’s the Fette Sau. Roughly translated as “Fat Pig,” this porkulent platter includes 3 different pig meats with tomatoes, peppers, and cheese earning its spot on the menu as the meaty gold mine.

As delicious as the bakes are, the eggs benedict are not to be forgotten.  This section offers different variants of brunch over biscuits, not in a traditional biscuits and gravy fashion, but in a classy and decadent manner.  They give their rendition of the Hot brown, an open faced turkey sandwich with Kentuckian roots, along with one that has a little of their own brilliance in the Bellevue hot brown. This unique sandwich is an open face ham sandwich that constantly will have your tastebuds walking the line of spiced and sweet through the banana peppers and a lovely pepper jelly that slowly melts over the center of the sandwich when it comes to you.

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Following the bakes are some sandwiches and a whole lot of other mouth-watering stuff.  The bistro offers decadent french toast dishes, potato cakes, and even a breakfast burrito.  For cheese heads they have the goetta grilled cheese or the brie grilled cheese.  They also include the classic french sandwiches Croque-Madame and  Croque-Monsieur, which come out oven baked to perfection.  All options are equally delicious, and are sure to hit your pre-brunch hangry nail right on the head.

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One of the things that you have to take in to note is the size of the Bistro. It is small, so seating is limited.  It’s not super ideal for a large group but for a couple or a small family  this is the perfect spot. It’s not somewhere where you go for a quick bite, in and out the door. This is the kind of place where you sit down with a special someone to enjoy an elegant, filling meal and escape the hustle and bustle of the downtown Cincinnati.

If you find yourself craving some tasty brunch but want to get away from the loud city, or are feeling something a little off the beaten path of pancakes and waffles, come down to the Bellevue Bistro.  This Kentucky brunch beacon is sure to light your day up.   May your coffee be fresh, your goetta be gucci, and here’s to the brighter side of brunch.

Michael Villareal is initially a tad aloof, but warms up pretty easily with the assistance of whiskey. He’s an expert level enabler, travel fiend and sock aficionado. He enjoys flipping ice cream and thinking of all things food.

He honestly doesn’t understand why karaoke isn’t more widely accepted in the United states, and he struggles with remembering the words of any songs, including those he’s written. Actually, words are hard for him but he just likes to make people hungry by talking about tasty things.

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