Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Keystone Bar and Grill:

I mentioned to my Mom at Nada that I wanted to go to Keystone grill in Covington and she gave a less than stellar opinion of it. I had planned to meet Liz there eventually, but if my Mom was right, I wanted to check it out first.

On Sunday morning David and I drove down to Covington for brunch at Keystone. David and I encounter similar problems in most Covington and Mainstrasse bars and restaurants and bars that also are restaurants. Keystone was no exception.

1. Smoking. I know that many Ohio smokers are still upset about the smoking ban, but I find it really nice to go out to a restaurant or bar and not reeking of stale cigarette smoke. It gets in my hair, seeps into my clothes, and makes my eyes itchy.

2. Old architecture is very nice, but often bars in old buildings do not have a foyer of any type. This means when you are sitting by the door, every time someone comes in, you get blasted with cold air. It’s a much bigger problem in the winter months. Also, usually no non-smoking section. Just a big room with high ceilings that turns into a smoke tank.

Update: Dan, the owner of Keystone has helpfully informed us that there is a separate room for non smokers. We weren't asked of our smoking preference or notified of the option when we came in the door by any of the staff on our visit, otherwise we would have made a bee line for it. So if you visit and want a smoke free brunch, ask where the art room is. We also returned for another visit and sat in the smoke free section, and it was not bad at all. The food was also excellent, and I've heard they make an excellent bloody mary.

Exhibit A: Lack of foyer

We looked at menu and David decided to get the Gravy train, composed of goetta, eggs, biscuits and gravy with home fries.

I wanted to try a crisp, which is like an omelet. Instead of eggs, though, the crisp uses hash browns. Crispy, delicious hash brown potatoes. I chose the meat lover’s crisp, stuffed with goetta, bacon, cheese and sour cream.


Gravy train
David noticed a booger or something on the inside of his glass at this point and was horrified. It took us a little while to flag down our waitress and get a clean glass. I inspected mine very closely—it was fine.

At that point the door opened and a draft blew a gust of cold air on us. Someone else lit up another cigarette and we both smelled a really weird smell. We were honestly unsure if someone had just dropped a huge fart or if we had just caught of wiff of someone else’s breakfast.

Those problems aside...

David liked his gravy train and I really liked my crisp. The cook at Keystone knows how to cook their potatoes. They were crispy, not burnt. They hadn’t added a bunch of onion, which is a complaint I sometimes have with hashbrowns.
I was only able to finish half my crisp and took the rest home. Goetta was cooked well. If I could get the crisp to go, I’d probably get it often. However, I imagine by the time I got it home it would be significantly less crispy.

My issues with Keystone aren’t really with the food, although I felt they were important to point out. I can say that the food is delicious. So grab your friends for a nice, smoky breakfast when it gets a little warmer.

Keystone Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon


  1. Laura,
    As the owner of The Keystone Bar & Grill I would like to thank you for the compliments to our food. I would also like to let you know we have a non smoking area. Actually a whole room we call the Art Room. It is separate and far away from the bar area and the front door so you can be smoke free and warm. Again, thank you for the nice comments.

  2. Thanks Dan! I've updated our post to include that information.


I try to be honest, fair and keep a good sense of humor in my posts--I would appreciate if you follow the same policy with your comments.