If you’re in Price Hill and looking for a non-chain home cooked breakfast Amir’s Fish and Chicken is a good place to try. For many years the location at 3900 Glenway Avenue was Sam’s Chili. But new owner “Mike” Mahmoud Rasras carries on the tradition, serving Cincinnati style chili and fried fish and chicken. But don’t ask for bacon with your eggs, because Rasras cooks halal , which means no pork. You can get turkey bacon with your eggs any style. And, even though pork would make you think that they wouldn’t serve the other Cincinnati breakfast meat – Goetta – you’d be wrong.
Amir’s serves Cincinnati’s only halal all-beef goetta. And I’m told by a patron of today’s St. Anthony’s Lebanese fest that it’s very good! This person was surprised how good it was without the pork. And she was surprised a Middle Eastern person would try or even know how to make our Germanic grain sausage. But it’s fairly similar to the Lebanese dish called Kibbeh, which was also served at today’s Lebanese fest. It’s beef and spices mixed with cracked wheat instead of pinhead oats. Rasras knows his West Side customers well, and knows that if he serves breakfast it must come with goetta, which he makes himself. Just like the early Macedonian chili pioneers who listed to their customers’ requests for shredded cheddar cheese atop their chili mac to make the three-way, another Middle Eastern chef is making a Germanic dish for his customers.
The Rasras family had run Al Amir Mediterranean Restaurant downtown on 8th street, which opened in 2010 and then closed around 2017. They were known for having one of the best gyros in town, which they still serve at Amir’s in Price Hill. After closing the downtown restaurant they moved up the hill to the Glenway Avenue location which relies on carry out business, but has a few booths inside for sit-down service.
It amazes me how I am still discovering new house made goetta in Greater Cincinnati. I tally this one on my list of new goettas to try.