09 July 2007

Vinyl: OTR, Cincinnati, OH

(I originally posted this review in April, but I think that Vinyl has since stopped serving Brunch on Sundays. As you can see, this was probably a good move on their part.)

Vinyl occupies what used to be the Diner on Sycamore on the corner of Sycamore and 13th Streets in Over-The-Rhine. They updated the space, from what used to be a dark and traditionally styled diner, to a modern space with soft pastel leather booths, graphic wall covering, contemporary furniture and flat-screened TVs.

Quality of food: 1.5
Quality of coffee: 2
Service: 2.5
Atmosphere: 2
Alcohol: too expensive to bother with
Overall value: 1.5

I should start off by mentioning that when Vinyl opened up at the end of last summer, I had really high hopes. This restaurant is just down the street from my apartment, and so I really wanted it to be good. I wanted it to be cool, and interesting, and affordable, and most of all, tasty. The brunch menu for the first several months of its existence looked like it could be all of these things.

Then sometime in late fall, they changed head chefs, and the brunch took a turn for the worst. They went from having colorful, mouth watering dishes of Eggs Benedict and Ranchos Huevos and waffles to having colorless, side-free dishes that are overpriced and frankly, not that great. Observe:

Oh sure, they have sides that you can order. They range from Indian Turkey Sausage ($4, tough and cold) to potatoes ($4, unimaginative) to Toast and Jam ($4 for two slices and something stringy that poses as jam) to "Tropical Fruit Salad" ($4, see below).

This whole experience is just heartbreaking for me. The service is fine and the diner itself is lovely but neither of these things can rescue Vinyl's brunch. Brunch is about socializing..... about dragging yourself out of bed to treat yourself to a meal that encompasses both breakfast and lunch because technically it is too late for either......it's about being loud and staying tipsy and eating greasy hash browns because you can.

Brunch at Vinyl is a waste of time and money. The food isn't good, filling or worth the extra cash that you have to shell out for it. What's worse is that all of the interesting people that you hope to entertain yourself by watching whilst eating brunch have stopped coming to Vinyl, probably because of all the reasons I have already mentioned.

I'm not sure what they can do to turn Brunch around at Vinyl....but until they do, I'm going to have to keep driving someplace for my favorite meal, because I'm not going back here.

1 comment:

Christopher said...

Nice review.

Just the other day I was considering checking that place out because I still have an add from about 8 months ago that I cut out of City Beat stuck to my refridgerator.

It's now undconsidered.

And I'll be throwing away that add.