Frankieleeee's Blog

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Posts Tagged ‘Lunchbunch

August 9, 2012 Lunch Bunch at Emma’s Soul Food, Harrison Avenue, Western Hills (Cincinnati).

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Around the corner from Emma’s Soul Food Restaurant in Cincinnati. Shack on the outside but definitely not on the inside. Criptographics. 2012. flefoto.

Soul food. How life has changed from the days when soul food, or country food, became the bill of fare for us folks who couldn’t afford better cuts or more expensive vegetables. Now the yuppies are trying to take our food away from us, denying us of yet another part of our identity. I saw in a paper last week where a high class soul food restaurant was opening in the Cincinnati area.

120809 It’s a lonesome street, is Harrison, looking out the front door of Emma’s Soul Food. Criptographics. flefoto

120809 I have regrettably forgotten the server’s name. He was kind and helpful and skillful.. The menu was functional although handwritten – penmanship C+. Criptographics. flefoto

120809 More of Emma’s I-don’t-know-their-names: the two guys in the background are the chefs. We all enjoyed our lunch, although the jury is out as to whether/when we, the discerning Lunch Bunch, will return. Criptographics. flefoto



People in the big house over there ate pork tenderloin and hams and tender cuts of ham. From the same pigs, the poor people who helped kill and dress the hogs got what would probably have been thrown away for fed to the dogs any. Hog head for head cheese where you take all the skin and stuff, grind it up and make a poor man’s lunch loaf. Pig ears, one of my favorites, to boil for sandwiches. Pig feet. Pig tails. Brains? Nothing better than pig brains scrambled with eggs.owe

there were the poor white relatives of the hog owners who gratefully accepted the charity of leftover pig ears, feet and ribs, a piece of loin or two to supplement the 5 pounds for a dollar hamburger meat at Schofner and Thompson (half bread and other filling). And we loved our food, rarely realizing we’d been relegated to the bottom of the balrrel of pork bounty, especially our black friends? who lived over yonder in the holler and who dasn’t say “no” to whatever request, or to whatever compensation was offered.

120809 I have regrettably forgotten the server’s name. He was kind and helpful and skillful. Criptographics. flefoto

Today my 29 cent a pound pork ribs are, what 3 or 4 dollars?

Fat back, for example, has become an integral part of a gourmet dish. Who can afford fatback now?

And everything else is rising sky high in price.

So whadda we eat now that we can afford.

Used to get a soul food plate for 2 or 3 dollars; today it’s 10-17 dollars.

They’re stealing from us again.

I only hope the same ingenuity from Africa, Scotland, Ireland and a few countries in Europe, will come up with alternative affordable food for our tables which by nature of our lessening incomes must be provisioned with less and less.

Which all leads me to Emma’s soul food Restaurant on Harrision not far down the street.

I don’t like to take the LunchBunch to the west side; it’s too easy to go close to home. Except now with my COPD, I am forced to. And we’ve found some pretty good places that even Bob hasn’t blown up in his imagination before we left. Five Boroughs. The Chinese Restaurant. Ron’s Roost. Giovanni’s and Emma’s.

Strangely, Emma’s had been open on Harrison Avenue, a major thoroughfare, for 8 years, and CB and I had never heard of it. Almost literally a hole in the wall. Clean. Good fresh food, but not what I would call a souldfood restaurant.

A compromise between Europe and Africa. A compromise.

120809 Unnamed server and Willie establish a temporarily strong bond. The fish was good. The ribs not barbecued but baked we were told. Criptographics. Flefoto

I’ve worn myself down writing this …. I’ll finish tomorrow.

120809 CB can’t hardly wait fer the grub. See the hunger in her eyes, the expectations. Criptographics. flefoto

Any of you ever been to a hog killing where nearby Negro laborers, who lived in tiny villages among farms in the county, were called to help and given hog guts (chitterlings), ribs, heads and the like for their hard day’s labor.

120809 CB can’t hardly wait fer the grub. See the hunger in her eyes, the expectations. Criptographics. flefoto

And we haven’t even touched on barbecued possum and fried raccoon, rabbit, squirrel, edible birds and the like.


Is the story as simple as someone stealing my Dad’s (on my father’s side) and my Grandmother’s (on my mother’s side) recipes and selling them to the highest bidder once they had sampled their rich (fatty) goodness, increasing demand for the junk food which had heretofore feed us at the bottom of the food chain, which, in turn raised prices to fit big time eateries.

120809 Willie and Bob and CB and I found more than guffaw hanging in the air inside Emma’s . “Did you hear the one about……?” Criptographics. flefoto

Will we, too, be relegated to dog food dinners?

“With or without cereal bits, ma’am et mister? I do recommend the pseudo wheat germ flavor.”

120809 Beautiful flowers to top off the tasteful decor of Emma’s street side windowsill. Criptographics. flefoto

120809 Out back. The end of it all! Bury it quick and bury it deep, matey, afore it spreads over us all. Criptographics. flefoto


Written by frankieleeee

August 26, 2012 at 9:24 pm

Lunch Bunch August 23, 2012. Eating with the seniors at Giovanni’s in the verdant (except for Giovanni’s) western suburbs of Cincinnati.

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I actually got out of bed yesterday. What an adventure! There I was lying in that damned ole hospital bed on a Thursday morning when I felt this quirky tug on my gut (sorry, could not differentiate between small and large). “Must be Lunch Bunch pangs,” opined CB. “Willie and Bob must be spelling you to get themselves out of having to come to us and play Scrabble on your hospital bed.

120823 And the seniors have it! Giovanni’s, that is. And always welcomed personally by Tony the server (whom I sometimes refer to as “Bob”). Casual is good. Food is good (except for musty taste of bread and Bruschetta). Company is GRRRRReatttt!!!!! Criptographics. flefoto

120823 Bob and Tony in back; Willie and fle in front. CB in back of the camera. Criptographics. CBfoto

Giovanni’s Italian Family Dining. Where old folks go to shovel down the soft, yet delicious; the bland, yet tasty, proooducts of the Giovanni Emini family. Courtesy of the scoops provided by the pound by Tony Enimi, son of the family. Scoops unlimited! As tony performs his Russian dance Kazachok

Fleet of foot, master of the kazachok, Tony Emini, master of all the tables he surveys at Giovanni’s (and he surveys them ALL). Only hands of family touches the food, none of strangers, they say, airily, self-assuredly. 120823. Criptographics. flefoto

120823 All Lunch Bunch is served family style; every order is shared, except, on occasion, Bob’s eggs. Here CB passes the me a share of the salad which I immediately mixed with sausage and spaghetti and stuff, for roughage purposes only, of course. Criptographics. flefoto

120823 CB in the middle and at the ready! Criptographics. flefoto

120823 Willie with tales from Enosburgh Falls (VT), Indian Lake (OH), just above Dayton OH, Colorado, Albany, and King’s Island, not to mention her most recent adventures at the dentist’s office. Criptographics. flefoto

120823 Our Table: see the ripples of laughter? Criptographics. Bobfoto

This hospice thing has become a pain in the ass: I truly never know when a Lunch Bunch will be my last, either in-house or in an eatery. It’s a tad frightening to know that there is a relatively small finite number of Lunch Bunches in my future.

But that’s whining. Actually, I’m grateful for the time I’ve left to spend with friends and work on real and imaginary projects.

120823 A picture on the wall in Giovanni’s. Criptographics. Flefoto

120823 A picture on the wall in Giovanni’s. My favorite among them all. Criptographics. Flefoto

Time to make believe I can still …… (fill in the blank)

Oh, me! Oh, my! What will they ever do without me? Aaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh! Ooooooooooooooooooooh!

Bob, Willie, CB and I comprised Thursday’s Lunchbunch. Bob stopped along the way and brought us all some fresh tomatoes. God, are they good. Thank you, Bob.

Willie got up early for a dentist appointment and, wouldn’t you believe it, I forgot to admire her new work.

She was almost biblical in that she went first to “prepare a place for us” at the usual table served as usual by Bob Enimi, son of Giovanni. Ordered appetizers: sausage in sauce, fried calamari, and bruschetta.

120824 And I in my bib, wolfed and wolfed til my tongued lolled and lolled, to the delight of my paid-audience in Giovanni’s, except for the one fellow who threw back his five dollar coin along with what seemed like a peck of overripe tomatoes mixed with mnure-rich soil from which they had come the week previous. Criptrographics. bobfotot

Even though a busload of seniors beat us to their tables, and even though only Tony was there to serve, he served like a mothuh and nobody had to wait… not even us latecomers.

Let’s see, I had spaghetti and sausage (pretty good), Bob had a cheese pizza (delicious), CB had ziti alfredo (okay) and Willie had lobster ravioli (i donated my portion to the hungry children in Appalachia; others froze theirs to be examined at some distant future time).

Ever try to divide one medium to small piece of tiramisu among 4 people all of who who wanted the biggest piece? especially Willie and me? Good stuff and Bob’s Cannoli wudn’t half bad, either.

A testament to the taste of Giovanni’s: Willie took John Lasagna for dinner and I brought sausage (homemade, of course) and tiramisu for CB’s and my dinner. No leftovers were allowed to languish.

Back to CB’s and my apartment for some Scrabble (copyright til you die) and leftover Rodney root beer.

120818 The contraband, dear Cincinnati, in Bob's closely guarded cooler, is tomatoes - precious, fresh, ripe, unrivaled in taste for a quarter-century. Tomatoes. Thank you, Bob. Thank you, my friend. As he also enters our apartment building to smash us lesserlings like cold flies under his swift Scrabble (copyright til you die) fists. Sometimes, however, he finds surprises in his stocking, like the sock aimed at his eye by CB and Willie and even me on sparse occasion. Criptographics. flefoto.

120818 The contraband, dear Cincinnati, in Bob’s closely guarded cooler, is tomatoes – precious, fresh, ripe, unrivaled in taste for a quarter-century. Tomatoes. Thank you, Bob. Thank you, my friend. As he also enters our apartment building to smash us lesserlings like cold flies under his swift Scrabble (copyright til you die) fists. Sometimes, however, he finds surprises in his stocking, like the sock aimed at his eye by CB and Willie and even me on sparse occasion. How cold and lonely these buildings all seem without the softening of human warmth or love or breath or something like that, eh? Criptographics. flefoto.

I won a game.

I also lost a game that Bob says I probably could have won.

Twelve years almost every week we’ve played Scrabble (copyright til you die) and have yet to agree on almost anything about Scrabble (copyright til you die) EXCEPT that we all like it, especially Willie who continues to chase it with a will and with every centime she can borrow from Farmer Jack’s.

The downside is the next morning (today), that damned ole elephant showed up again and sat on my chest until mid-afternoon when I finally managed to calm her/him down by practicing my breathing without my C-PAP mask.

120823 Back at the ranch, Bob, Willie and CB prepare for the weekly Scrabble scrap. Can Bob keep that smirk intact through the afternoon? Stay tuned, dear viewers, and ye may see yet. Criptrographics. flefoto

120823 Nebulizer. Nebulizer. Drugging up to boost my Scrabble (copyright til you die) I.Q. Won one. Lost one. Won the first one which means Scrabble (copyright til you die) drugs don’t have long enough effects, do they Bob? Criptographics.

120823 Willie and I shooting each other. Criptographics. flefoto

All is well and I am already swelling with anticipation for next week at Eastgate, willing to spend some miserable time in bed to combat edema in my legs in order to make the trek on Tuesday.


Written by frankieleeee

August 24, 2012 at 10:56 pm

20120611 Lunchbunch takes quick, secret lunch to Starlite in Kettering.

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Criptographics. fotobybob. 20120811 Starlite Diner. Kettering MI. wilflebobcee

Together. Again. One by agonizing one, we slip and slither into Kettering’s Starlite Diner for a sip and a bite and a piece of pie out of sight of the prying eyes. Hat brim pulled low to conceal flecks of sugar and flower and incipient madness. I’ll be damned! but it does seem the older we get the busier we become, some (Wilie, CB) externally, some (fle – me) internally and one (BOB) as busy as he has to be unless it is cat-connected. Willie is back from her place in the glacier. Surreptitiously. For a lunch, probably because she knows how wide a swath of warmth her shadow spreads on those days of communicating with the otherwise misunderstood.

Rumor is Willie is so short of time she’s being forced to take dirty underwear back to Vermont, says she might persuade John the Mighty to clean up her clothes while she  continues to clean up for the life they will have and live and love and luxuriate in. ‘Course she hasn’t got  lot more of her mom’s bushes to trim; most of them are in the city’s incinerator, gone to a far far better place.

Written by frankieleeee

June 11, 2012 at 12:53 pm