If you are looking for cool, cutting-edge cuisine and suave decor in a serene environment, move along; there’s nothing for you here. Herb & Thelma’s, a Covington institution since 1939, is all about camaraderie, cold beer, and burgers. Kickin rock music competes with the boinging of a pinball machine. Service is friendly, neighborhood-tavern casual.
Hamburgers, hand-fashioned daily, are crusty-edge, tender patties, best accoutered with pickle and onion, and maybe some cheese. They come on soft potato rolls and are accompanied by bags of potato chips. (No deep fry here!)
While burgers are universal, some items on the menu are a reminder that Cincinnati (just over the river) once was nicknamed Porkopolis. Bratwurst and Mettwurst — both Queen city favorites — are secured from a Covington butcher. The fried bologna sandwich, which consists of two thick rounds, is Southern Ohio all the way.
Beyond burgers and sandwiches, Herb & Thelma’s is known for bean soup and chili as well as a grilled (not breaded & fried) fish sandwich. The beer menu, featuring local and imported bottles, cans, and draughts, is significantly longer than the food menu.
If you want dessert, choose from among a Snickers, a Reese’s cup, and a Hershey Bar.