Cincinnati has many restaurant institutions. Invariably, most people know about the most prominent of them, Greater’s Ice Cream and Skyline Chili have so many locations around this part of the state, they’re the easiest to remember for sheer muscle memory. There are other, smaller institutions which nonetheless hold huge influence. Since 1951, Montgomery Inn has been one of them. The inn itself sits in the eastern suburbs of the city, and now it operates a pair of branch locations and a very notorious boathouse, which according to its site is the most popular restaurant in Cincinnati. 800,000 customers a year can’t go wrong.
Montgomery Inn is notoriously known as “the ribs king” and you probably best recognize the name from its “world famous” barbecue sauce which you can find at convenience stores the world over. The ribs are everything you’ve ever heard of; delicious and savory and served in a tangy sauce that is so good, it’s like candy. It’s a perfect balance of sweet and tangy. They’re so succulent and delicious. Ribs are one of my favorite foods and there are no doubt among the very best outside of Kansas city itself.
Apart from barbecue, Montgomery Inn is also well-known for its “Saratoga chips,” which are homemade potato chips meant to eat with fries. They’re absolutely great. Montgomery Inn has plenty of specialties on its extensive menu to cater to a variety of others, much of it seafood. From shrimp to calamari to fish of all kinds, they match the pork and chicken on the other side of the menu well. With so much great stuff to try, it’s hard to know where to begin. I have to suggest, of course to try the barbecue here first (the sauce out of the bottle does the real thing no justice, believe me.)
The environment is outstanding. It’s not your average barbecue house. While Montgomery Inn does have a bar and a pervasive sports theme about it, the sports culture of Cincinnati shines through. There are dozens of jerseys signed by the most famous of American athletes, and footballs of all kinds and a variety of jersey from the evolution of the Cincinnati Bengals team. A diehard fan would do anything to come to a place like this.
With a great environment, great service and an outstanding menu, Montgomery Inn is a classy little piece of Cincinnati culture and a great opportunity to get a very Cincinnati experience. It’s a staple of Cincinnati culture, and a must to try for anyone hoping to explore the town.
- Keep in mind the difficult parking situation in the area. There is valet parking, and I’m reasonably sure it’s the only place you can reliably find a spot.
- Barbecue is the best item on the menu to be sure, but look out also for great seafood.
- Try the Saratoga chips if you get the chance; no other potato is quite the same.