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Eating with her Mouth, Speaking with her Blog PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sara Celi   
Wednesday, 14 July 2010 05:52

Eating with her Mouth, Speaking with her Keyboard 
The voice behind The Food Hussy blog, shares her newfound love of Cincinnati with her readers by writing about her life, one meal at a time. 

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Since Heather Willard started writing The Food Hussy blog two years ago, she's been eating her way through Cincinnati. It seemed to her like starting a blog was an obvious step for this self-styled foodie.

 

Willard majored in journalism at the University of Iowa. "There are so many more dining options here than in Cedar Rapids, where I am from," she says.

 

Heather started the blog one night after attending a Cincinnati E.A.T.S. event at Lavomatic in Over the Rhine. She just recently had moved to Cincinnati from Iowa.

 

"I really had no idea if anyone would read it. I thought it would be a fun hobby," Willard says. But she wrote up a review and posted it about Lavomatic anyway. So on that night, The Food Hussy was born.

 

Over the months, it's become the 36-year-old's online identity and "moonlight" identity, she says. Willard centers her posts for The Food Hussy on restaurant reviews from places all over Cincinnati. She'll try chains and locally owned spots but never blogs about the same chain twice. In that way, she's able to combine a desire to explore the neighborhoods of Greater Cincinnati with her love of gastric treats, she says. Each restaurant post is usually a written review accompanied by a few photos. 

  

"I'm not a chef," she says. "I eat out frequently, and I love trying new places. I always like seeing what food 0110Fence_INSTORY.giflooks like before I eat it, so I figure other people might like that too. My camera is always in my purse."

 

And like any good food critic, Willard does have a favorite food genre. She loves Mexican, she says. "That's what I could eat every day," she says.

 

It means she gives Newport's La Mexicana Restaurant her vote of favorite place to eat in the city. "It's so authentic and their guacamole is amazing," she says. 

 

All this eating out and writing has done more than satisfy Willard's stomach. It's given her a pretty good assessment of some of the hidden spots of the city. The food she craves most is a bacon cheeseburger from Terry's Turf Club, she says. Her favorite secret spot is the Ridge Donut Shop in Pleasant Ridge. Her favorite date spot is Newport's York Street Café, and the place she keeps going back to is Mekong in Deer Park, she says.

 

As the blog has taken off, it's also given her an opportunity to give feedback to Cincinnati's restaurants. Because she's just a general customer most of the time, restaurants don't know right away that The Food Hussy has darkened their door. While Willard has a good experience most of the time, there have been meals that have come out subpar. The blog is a great place for Willard to give restaurants feedback they might not otherwise get.

 

"Some restaurants need a wakeup call," she says. "Reading what real people have to say about their business might help them improve their service and food quality." So if you read The Food Hussy, you'll see the occasional negative review. 061410VALLEYVIEW.GIF

 

"I tell it like it is — the good, the bad, and the ugly. Some restaurant bloggers only do positive reviews, but I feel like that's only telling half the story," Willard says. Honesty is something readers have come to expect, she says.

 

And so this hussy will keep writing. It's her passion, she says. It might even be paving a new business path for her.

 

"I've decided I've eaten and been on the Internet for 10,000 hours so I should try and make something of it," Willard says. "I'm in the process of starting a new business of consulting with restaurants on their social media presence. I have my site up and have started working with a business here and there." And that business that lets her follow her food passion is FOODspeaks, a local restaurant consulting firm.

 

She may be only one voice, but The Food Hussy's voice will no doubt keep getting louder as her online (and offline) presence grows stronger.



PHOTO CREDITS
Photographer: Neysa Ruhl
Model: Heather Willard
Location: Lofts@4120

Sara Celi -

Sara Celi is a contributor to Cincy Chic and a reporter for FOX19. Send her an e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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Last Updated on Monday, 19 July 2010 04:35
 

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