Aglamesis Brothers

It has long been considered something of a scandal that I, a Cincinnati native, had never been to Aglamesis Brothers, the local ice cream and candy shop on Madison Road in Oakley. That fact has been so dark and shameful that local newspapers, magazines, and broadcast news outlets have refused to even mention it.

The sordid tale finally came to an end last Saturday evening, when the lovely Robin and I, with our friend Ted, paid our first visit to the remarkable Cincinnati tradition.

It was founded in 1908, as The Metropolitan, in Norwood, an Eastern Cincinnati community. The Aglamesis brothers, Thomas and Nicholas, churned all of their ice cream flavors by hand and delivered to fashionable Norwood homes.

In 1913, according to the company website, "the brothers opened their second location in the Cincinnati community of Oakley. Built with marble imported from Portugal and embellished with exotic Tiffany lamps, tile floors, sculptured ceilings and an authentic player piano, the store was considered a charming gathering place." Still family-owned and operated, it remains a treasured gathering spot in quaint Oakley Square.

Aglamesis Brothers was written up by Bon Appetit magazine as one of the last authentic ice cream parlors remaining in the country.

The lovely Robin seized the day and ordered--and devoured--the "Banana Classique," which lesser ice cream joints might call a banana split. But it was truly classique, no doubt about it. I had a couple scoops of chocolate ice cream, as I consider that the best way to judge the quality of an ice cream concoction (I used to help on my dad's Mr. Softee truck, so I'm something of an expert). And Ted had a hot fudge sundae, which apparently passed the test, too, as he refused to share any of it with others in the party. 

It was all a delight, and a long-overdue righting of an egregious wrong. Aglamesis Brothers is located at 3046 Madison Road in Oakley. Their other shop is on Montgomery Square, at 9899 Montgomery Road.  

Habits Cafe

The lovely Robin and I joined our old friend Ted (and I do mean old) for dinner tonight at Habits Cafe on Madison Road on Oakley Square (in Cincinnati). We loved the ambiance of the place, very "neighborhoody," and were seated instantly upon entering around 5:45 on a Saturday evening.

The Habits Cafe website describes it as "a great neighborhood Bar and Grill located on the east side of Cincinnati in the heart of Oakley Square." They boast what they call "a robust and full menu including our signature appetizer Potato Rags, Burgers ground fresh daily from a local prime butcher, massive orders of Fish and Chips, Desserts and an extensive Dinner Menu that changes as the year goes on....We also stock a killer beer cooler [and] a nice little wine list."

I loved my order--a Mediterranean salad with grilled chicken, leafy greens, craisins, red onions, nuts, and a balsamic dressing. Robin had "Mama's vegetable soup" and grilled cheese, and Ted had a steak salad. 

The service and food were both excellent, and well worth a return visit. Habits Cafe is open daily from 11 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. It is located at 3036 Madison Road.