Going to a Reds game, which I did last night, often means first stopping off in Mt. Lookout (about a ten-minute drive from the stadium along Columbia Parkway) for a dee-licious, ground-in-house-daily Zips Burger.

As the menu shows, this place--which opened in 1926--is a real classic!

It's so cool and dark in Zip's that when people first step in from the sunshine, they inevitably stumble 'till their eyes adjust. And what are their eyes adjusting to? Vintage-ness in all its old timey glory--and that includes a "beer train" that shuttles around the place, making a circuit above the tables.

The burgers are justifiably famous here, but they've also got great mettwursts, too. Luckily, some genius fused the two grease-tastic proteins into one beautiful sandwich, justifiably called "The Girth Burger." Man, do I love that thing!

Lots of people have been describing the current Reds/Cards series--a battle for first place in a pennant race about hot as the Cincy weather--as the most significant games ever played in Great American Ballpark; as I made my way into the stadium, I could feel the air was charged with anticipation.

I grew up a Reds fan and I love Cincinnati. With its hills and river views, it's a really neat-looking old city with tons of character. Still, there's things about Cincy I find hard to defend.

Before the first pitch could even be thrown to a Reds batter last night, a wild fight broke out. It looked like a particularly large and vicious rugby scrum and lasted a longish while. Unfortunately, the Reds came unglued thereafter, making me wonder if the brawl was a stunt cooked up by LaRussa and Yadier Molina (not a fan of either, but you gotta admit, they know what they're doing) to unnerve the younger/less experienced Reds. If so, it certainly worked!

BTW, if it were up to me (and thankfully it's not) I would MOST DEFINITELY have thrown the first pitch to Molina straight at his noggin. If that sounds harsh, so be it, but that would have prevented his home run that re-ignited the Reds' ensuing meltdown; and besides, that's how baseball's always been played.

Will probably do some more Venice stuff tonight...