Palomino: Great Lunch at a Good Price

Written By Caroline in Reviews

Palomino - Incredible Pepperoni Pizza by Caroline Wik

The Incredible Pepperoni Pizza at Palomino

Considering that it’s not often that my niece and nephew get to go downtown, and we all love Asian food, I thought we’d give them a tour and then stop by Rice Rocket. Rice Rocket recently moved to Main St. in Cincinnati abandoning it’s old location in West Chester. We got there at 2:28 p.m. and according to the door they close at 2:30 p.m. Well, not wanting to look like jerks we decided to go elsewhere.

I remembered that Palomino has an “all day happy hour” special on food and drinks, and so off we went back to Fountain Square and the Palomino – on the second floor in the Macy’s department store building. I hoped I’d be able to find something to please all of us, and oh did we find such – and at a fantastic price.


505 Vine St.
Cincinnati, OH 45202

Rating: 4 out of 5 plates
Hours: Lunch: Mon-Sat 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Dinner: Sun-Thurs 4 pm. – 10 p.m.
Fri-Sat: 4 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Price Range: Lunch: $5-$10
Dinner: $10-$20

Palomino Euro Bistro on Urbanspoon

We wandered into the lounge and found a seat right at the window where we had a great view of the square and all the people wandering around. The bartender came over and gave us the lunch menus and the happy hour menus. Seeing that we had kids with us, he mentioned that one of the Jonas Brothers (who?) and his wife and mom had apparently just left a couple minutes prior to our arrival. Apparently, I know how to pick a place that even celebrities go to!

Palomino’s happy hour menu is fantastic for anyone who wants affordable, great food. Obviously there are the drink specials (a good variety for only $4), some fantastic appetizers that range from $4-$8, and 12” brick oven pizzas for only $5.

The bartender brought over some bread and a tomato dip to start, and we ordered a pepperoni pizza. Their water was not the best tasting and needing something to quench my thirst from it being a hot day I decided to get a strawberry lemonade (really easy to make, and super delicious. I’ll post a recipe for it one of these days).

After a rather brief wait, he returned with our pizza, which was a thin crust, brick oven pizza. If it were just Adam and me, I’m sure he could have eaten the whole pizza and I only needed a slice or two to be happy, but since there were four of us we split the pizza evenly – everyone got 2 slices. It was a really good pizza, maybe not the best that I’ve ever had, but it was still really good – and for $5 you can’t beat the price.

Palomino - Bread and Herbed Tomato Dip by Caroline Wik

Bread and Herbed Tomato Dip - Fantastic!

I’ve heard some negative things about their service, but for our visit we were pretty pleased. Considering that there were a handful of other guests there the food came back pretty quickly and the bartender was friendly and attentive. I can’t really speak for much of their other menu items for dinner or lunch, since I haven’t ordered off them, but I’m eager to go back sometime to try them. However, I know I’ll be back to try the only happy hour items.

Here’s a rundown of the options (these may change every so often)

  • Drinks ($4): All Draught Beef, Sycamore Lane Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon.
  • Drinks ($5): Cranberry Mojito, Pomegranate Margarita and Candied Apple Drop.
  • 12” Thin Crust Brick Oven Pizzas ($5): Prosciutto and Roma Tomato, Incredible Pepperoni, Sausage and Roasted Mushrooms, Roma Tomato and Basil and Rotisserie Chicken.
  • Appetizers ($4-$8): Tuscan White Bean Dip, Crisp Calamari, Sicillian Meatballs, Manila Clams, Pigs in Blanket, Dungeness Crab Artichoke dip, Potatoes Gorgonzola.
  • Flatbreads ($8): All Flatbreads.

The menu for Palomino is available online, so you can always check it for any updates.

Should we try them out for dinner sometime too or stick to the happy hour specials? Know of somewhere better? Tell us in the comments!

Verdict: If Nothing Else, Go for the Happy Hour

Palomino’s all day happy hour special is great: affordable delicious food – all under $10, and drinks between $4-5. The pizza as well as the appetizers are delicious, and can feed a couple people pretty well unless one is particularly hungry – then you should get your own item.

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