In celebration of the Cincinnati Bengals returning to the Super Bowl after an absence of more than three decades, I will post a unique Queen City Flavor Experience each day until the big day. Many regions of this country developed food or drink preferences that have withstood the national big brands swamping America with their saturated marketing and bland sameness. I grew up in and around Cincinnati and all of these brands stuck with me as I traveled far and wide to live in other places. If you’ve never lived in or traveled through Cincinnati, these brands may surprise you and some people, on first taste, don’t fall in love with them. But to me, they are the flavors of my youth and I love them dearly. Let me explain…
Montgomery Inn has just two restaurants in the Cincinnati area. For such a small presence on the ground, they hold an outsized hold on Cincinnati hearts. They have a hefty menu but they are best known for their Montgomery Inn Ribs and their barbecue sauce that goes with it. Their original restaurant in the suburb of Montgomery and their beautiful Boathouse on the Ohio River are places for family celebrations and special gatherings year round. You can read about their history and their menu at their website:
One fun special tie in with the Super Bowl. Founder Ted Gregory took over a restaurant and bar in 1951 that reportedly had mediocre food but a good place to gather for drinks. His wife would prepare food at home that was brought in for Ted and his friends. One night she made barbecue ribs with a homemade sauce that was an immediate hit and was soon added to the menu. They were so good that local media dubbed Mr. Gregory ‘the Rib King’ and his silhouette, with a cute crown and hefty cigar became their logo.
Some 70 years later the Bengals drafted our new quarterback Joe Burrows and our Super Bowl chase began in earnest. One of Joe’s most famous images was smoking a big cigar with his teammates at LSU after winning the college football championship donning a backwards baseball cap. That silhouette is now an alternate temporary Montgomery Inn Ribs logo. May he have another chance to light up a cigar this Sunday.
I always like to keep some Montgomery Inn product on hand, especially when I make my own famous ribs (look for my FrankenRibs Recipe on this blog – a lot of work but delicious). It is indeed the best barbecue sauce in the world.