Originally posted by yonkersnyc
First things first, T.J. thanks for your reviews of several places downtown to eat. I have tried many a place and agreed with your opinion most of the time (except for the Gondola Pizza place). Having grown up in NYC and living here in Cinci for the past 2.5 years I am confident that Gondola pizza is nothing close to NY pizza.
As for my main point, I agree with luebster. The new place on Vine called Balboas is the place for hard core pizza lovers fro the east coast. Went there twice this week after reading luebsters review and the cheesesteak is the best in Cinci. No one touches this place and there ingredients. Talked w/ the manager for a couple of minutes and he said they import their main ingredients from the east coast. The sad part for Gondola pizza is that this prime NY style pizza joint (Balboas) is right around the corner from them. The manager said they are opening til 4am on Thurs, Fri, and Sat starting next week. Thank god, no more Shanghai Mama for a little while
Hi yonkersnyc! We seem to be from the same neck of the woods growing up - I grew up in Yonkers and fondly recall real NY crust pizzas! I had missed word on Balboa's - I will have to try it soon - I live a bit away from downtown and normally avoid downtown due to traffic and parking - being retired for some time.
Here is an article I found on Balboa's opening/history:
Business Courier of Cincinnati - February 11, 2008
Friday, February 8, 2008
Cheesesteak joint Balboa's knuckles into Dink's downtown Cincinnati space
Business Courier of Cincinnati - by Lisa Biank Fasig Staff Reporter
Dink's, the downtown luncheonette that brought low-priced Frito pies, gravy fries and Chicago dogs to office workers, is changing ownership to become an eatery dedicated to Philadelphia's best-known foods.
Owner Kent Vandersall, who opened the Vine Street eatery in April 2006, is selling his lease and expects the deal to be completed by next week. His last day will be Feb. 8. The new owner, former Subway franchisee Harish Sonecha, plans to reopen March 3 as Balboa's Philly Steaks and Pizza.
For Vandersall, the move was more about time than business. As the general manager of the Phoenix downtown, he's been pulling down two full-time jobs.
"It's just too much work," he said.
Sonecha and his partner, Tej Thakar, will specialize in authentic Philly cheese-steaks, with the meat and bread flown in from Philadelphia. They also will make New York-style pizzas, with the dough coming from the East Coast, and lastly, they will sell Tastykakes, the snack cakes made and sold in Philadelphia.
This is the second Balboa's for Sonecha, a Philadelphia native. He opened his first location last November in Indianapolis, where he had operated several Subway franchises. He also had operated some franchises in Cincinnati but wanted a change of pace.
"We've all had enough of the franchise stuff and decided we want to do things the way we want," he said.
Debi O'Dell, general manager at Diamond Properties, which owns the building at 628 Vine St., said Sonecha signed a five-year lease after looking at other downtown sites. She hooked him up with Vandersall.
"I know that Kent was interested in giving up his business," she said.
But Vandersall, who is from Long Island, N.Y., said he'd do it again. "It's been a blast," he said. "I don't regret anything."
. Call: (513) 337-9435.
********************P.S. On what page is luebster's review of Balboa's found on in this thread?