Tuesday, January 29, 2008

BEST OF CINCINNATI

Four places in or near Cincinnati that you might not be aware of, but should be:

BEST GUN STORE:
Peterson's Gun Shop
11338 Reading Rd, Sharonville



When you tire of looking at endless rows of the latest tactical offerings that debuted at SHOT and wish for something a bit different - drive over to Peterson's for a real treat. While they do have a respectable collection of new handguns, it's the items inside the back counter that you should spend some time studying. You'll likely find a treasure or two, whether you're looking for a vintage revolver or a more modern used weapon.

The pricing is fair, and the store offers 90-day layaway. If you're concerned about the reliability of their used guns - don't be. They have a gunsmith on premises to examine things before they're offered for sale, and offer a money-back guarantee on their used guns.

It's a small shop, and may not look like much from the street... you may have even driven past it and not noticed it. Nor do they do heavy radio advertising like the large store/range just down the road. But their large, unique selection and great personable service make it the perfect destination on a Saturday morning.

BEST INDOOR RANGE:
Shooter's Supply
3450 Richardson Rd, Independence KY



Shooter's is relatively new to the scene, and I'll admit a bit of trepidation in revealing their location... they almost seem like a well-kept secret; a place that real gun owners go to shoot with others of their kind, instead of having to deal with long lines and the occasional questionable customers at the range a few miles north of Petersons. ;)

To be fair, I've done a lot of shooting at TargetWorld. The staff is very friendly, and I'll quickly admit they've always treated me more than fairly - both when I've used their range or purchased guns. But as with many things, popularity tends to bring population - and on many weekends, waiting 30-60 mins for a lane is not unheard of. Also unfortunate is the condition of the range. It's not uncommon for multiple lanes to be "down", and the customers range from older gentlemen with excellent skills, to college kids perfecting their spray-and-pray technique.

Such is not the case at Shooter's.

The range has excellent lighting and plenty of room behind the firing line. It's kept cleaner than your basement, and I've yet to see a lane out-of-service. You'll find your fellow shooters will be a bit more mature in their attitude and safety practices, as well quite friendly should a conversation arise.

Extra bonus: if you reload, you'll have no problem sweeping up your brass as there's nothing cluttering up the range and most customers I've seen are very good about policing their own brass. Finally - if you enjoy shooting rifles larger than rimfire, Shooter's may be just your ticket. While they don't allow higher-velocity rounds such as 22-250, feel free to bring your .223 AR15.

While the store doesn't have the the wealth of inventory ala TargetWorld, you'll find that their range is worth the drive.

BEST SUSHI:
Wild Ginger Asian Bistro
3655 Edwards Road, Cincinnati



For years, I had a rule about eating seafood in the Midwest: I didn't. Growing up 30 minutes away from the Gulf of Mexico gives one a different opinion of "fresh seafood" compared to the fare in Ohio. But every rule has an exception, and in this case it's in Norwood.

It's fresh, it's tasty, and the prices are - well, strangely affordable. It's fairly packed around lunchtime, so if you're hoping for some quiet conversation over a Spicy Tuna Roll - prepare to hear quite a few conversations in addition to your own. However, once the food arrives you'll have little time to talk... the flavors will win the contest of talk vs eat.

If you happen to have a lunch partner that doesn't enjoy the perfection that is raw seafood - not to worry, as there's also an extensive menu of noodle and rice dishes. I highly recommend the Thai Garlic Chicken. PF Chang's does have its merits, and Bangkok Bistro does have a loyal following... but if you truly want the best Asian food, you'll be at Wild Ginger.

BEST LIVE ENTERTAINMENT:
Shadowbox Cabaret
Newport on the Levee, Newport



Shadowbox isn't a bar with live entertainment; more accurately, it's a theatre that happens to serve drinks. While I could type a couple of paragraphs describing the stellar entertainment value, I really wouldn't be able to do it justice. It may be the best live music and sketch comedy presentation you'll ever see in Cincinnati.

If you're hoping to impress your date/girlfriend/boyfriend/spouse (and don't mind more adult-oriented humor) Shadowbox is hands-down going to earn you some Cool Points. But consider yourself warned... if you're anything like me, don't be surprised when you go from being a "first timer" to nearly an "all the damned timer".

Note: this list is Bethy-approved.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nice blog...

I took your suggestion and went out for dinner to Wild Ginger for some sushi. While the food was good, it was hardly the best in town. And fairly expensive at that. I suggest you go down to Miyoshi in NKY (Houston/KY18). Their sushi is to die for and the sushi chef is a trip. On top of that they are less expensive! Post a review after you check them out.

Anonymous said...

I have just made my last trip to Peterson's Gun Shop. I have been there three times and I have never met ruder people in my life. They act as if they have all the business they need and new customers are not welcome. My first trip was over a year ago and their attitude problem is not new.

Thanks for the blog, Duane

Unknown said...

How the hell could you recommend Petersons Gun Shop? Are related to the old bastard that runs the place? Your credibility is zero dude.

Worst business I've been to in my life. If old, dirty, dusty firearms that are marked up 20% more than new ones is how you like to shop, this place is for you.

thorn said...

Hi Mark,

I wrote this over 2 years ago, and at the time I'd purchased 2 guns from Petersons over a 4-6 month period: a very clean Gen1 P99, and a like-new 10/22.

The Ruger was around the average going rate for what you'd pay at any other shop, or a Goodman show, and the Walther was $50-75 lower than what I've seen on Gunbroker or the average classifieds section of a gun forum. Trust me - they were very fair deals that I was happy with.

Between the prices I paid, their layaway plan and the fact he offered me a return guarantee if the gun failed (within 14-30 days, I can't remember now), I've always had a good experience there.

I've since moved to Florida, and haven't been to their shop in over 18 months. I'm sorry to hear that you (and Duane, posted above) didn't have the same experience that I did. Perhaps their shop has declined since I was last there, or perhaps my visits were not the norm that other people have. But every time I went in - whether buying or just checking out their inventory - I got a friendly greeting and some nice conversation.

And FWIW - no, I'm not related to the Petersons.