Behle Street Cafe, Covington

Talking 'Bout Our Generation

I spend a great deal of time in the bathroom when I'm at Behle Street Cafe. Not because of my gender or any gastrointestinal problem, but because I love the large, circular mirror in the women's restroom. Originally hung in Glass Menagerie, it's approximately 5 feet in diameter and is refinished in a light wood.

I wouldn't mind decorating my home like Behle Street. One of my favorite paintings, "Café Terrence at Night" by van Gogh, hangs with prints of other famous paintings. The mantle and walls display movie stars like Marilyn Monroe and James Dean as if they were extended family. Comical salt and pepper shakers, including a dog and a hydrant, occupy a glass cabinet. (They were on the tables until people began to take the pieces.) The jukebox regularly features members of the Rat Pack, Nat King Cole and Barry Manilow, although within the past year Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears and other teenyboppers have been added.

The music is a good representation of Behle Street's crowd.

On the Saturday night my boyfriend and I decide to go, there are couples and families along with high school seniors decked out for Homecoming.

Considering the crowd and the prime time we arrive, we're lucky to wait only 45 minutes. During past visits, I've noticed that Behle Street has outgrown its prime location (nestled between the Embassy Suites Hotel, Northern Kentucky Convention Center and Covington Landing). In the cozy quarters here, servers, hostesses and guests pleasantly excuse themselves, but it's only a matter of minutes before you feel like you're in everyone's path.

We're seated at one of the tables on the patio. I request one of the special heaters be lit next to us because I'm wearing a summery top. Within moments, it feels like we're sitting next to a campfire, without the smell or the smoke.

The servers are attentive and courteous, often joking with regular customers and satisfying even the pickiest diners. I recognize most of the staff on Saturday, including our server, Joe, and my favorite waiter, Del. Tommy Behle, the owner, appears between our salads and the meal and stops at several tables to shake hands and chat.

As for Behle Street's menu, I recommend everything on it, which is why I don't hesitate to send friends here. My boyfriend, who worships the Rib King as much as the next Cincinnatian, is satisfied with Behle Street's barbecued selections.

On this night, he opts for steak and potatoes. I decide on pork chops and green beans, one of my favorites. The rest of the menu is equally as traditional — pastas, salads, burgers and a different Home Cookin' selection each night.

After dessert, I linger for a few extra minutes in the restroom to admire the beautiful mirror. Although Tommy has turned down my request before, maybe I'll ask again if I can buy it. That way I won't be spending so much time in his bathroom.

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