The Bar at the Palm Court is one of my downtown favorites. Inside the historic Netherland Plaza in Carew Tower, it boasts high ceilings, intricate metalwork, and some impressive Art Deco. The cocktails are inventive and potent, the bar food is great, and the bartenders are always friendly.
But one of the best things at the Bar at the Palm Court isn't something you'll notice when you first walk in. Not listed on the menu, it's a secret passed between regulars. "Psst, hey! Ask for the pork belly sliders. You'll thank me later."
Made with Dean Farms pork belly, savoy cabbage, carrots, and sesame aioli, the perfectly cooked piece of pork sits on a buttered and toasted bun, with large, housemade seasoned potato chips partitioning each of the three sliders. Sandwich or not, this is some of the best pork belly I have ever tasted. The ratio of lean to fat is perfect, and it's crispy, yet tender. The smaller size of the sandwiches balances the richness of the contents, so you don't feel foundered after you've finished them.
Despite their clandestine reputation, there's no secret password or handshake necessary to place an order. Though it may help if you smile and ask nicely. You get three sliders for $9, and you'll also want to order the garlic fries with some decadent truffle mayo.
Bar at Palm Court
35 .W 5th St, Cincinnati, OH 45202 (map)
About the author: Laura Arnold is a Southern native living in Cincinnati with a weakness for barbecue and a small cheese problem (that there's never enough room in the refrigerator for it all). You can follow her adventures with her husband David on their blog, Cincinnati Nomerati, or on Twitter at @cincynomerati.