Now that Labor Day weekend is over, here are some of OUR labor of loves.. tastefully speaking, of course. That is the theme of this week’s Food Adventure Article They are the 30 best foods of the Miami Valley that you probably haven’t tried.
Little known Dayton Foods that are underground classics.
Now that you know the skinny, let’s get down and dirty with our Thirty.
These are the are the 30 DAYTON MUST EATS You gotta Try, Before You Die:
1) THE SPLIT FILET SERVED WITH DRAWN BUTTER at THE PARAGON: This steak isn’t on the menu, so you have to request it. It is a little known secret that will melt in your mouth. Perfectly cooked, the sinful act of dipping the steak in drawn butter is something for royalty. Try it and see why the Paragon Supper Club is a fixture in Centerville.
2) CHICKEN MONTEREY from FLAVORS: Healthy meets savory in this dish. Honestly, one of our favorite meals in the Dayton area. The food is consistent. Why? Quality, fresh ingredients. Chicken Monterey is a solid dish every time. It is served with a side of tortilla chips and the amazing garlic sauce (now available at Dorothy Lane Market). And guess what, it is a healthy meal. What more can you ask for ?
3) SPRING ROLLS WITH VERMICELLI NOODLES at LITTLE SAIGON: The best $8 you will ever spend. Dip into the giant bowl with a pair of chopsticks and enter a Food Adventure. Vermicelli noodles, topped with diced, vegetarian spring rolls. Under the noodles, is a surprise of bean sprouts and lettuce. Served with a side of vinegar sauce and topped with chopped peanuts, this little know Dayton gem is your go to for Vietnamese Food.. Trust Us ….
4) THE CAROLINE STEAK at THE CAROLINE RESTAURANT: You will be in awe of the special, stainless steel knife served with the meal, but don’t take it home like some others have… Choose the handmade sweet potato fries as a side dish and an appetizer of whiskey or bourbon mushrooms, and this will be one of the best meals you will ever have. We have to mention that the great staff makes The Caroline a perfect places for a date, party, or special occasion.
5) BLACK BEAN BURGER at CHRISTOPHER’S RESTAURANT: We have never been black bean burger fans, until we met Chef John at the Centerville Farmer’s Market. We tried one that was being grilled at the market, and was converted. We respect the black bean now. The burger is large, hearty and filling. We recommend adding a slice of cheese. It satisfies your carnivorous cravings.
6) 10 EGG OMELET FROM TANKS: One of the things we learned growing up in Dayton, is that there aren’t many late night eateries. Thank God for Tanks. If you love breakfast, they serve it any time of the day. This is a delicious omelet that will bust your gut, and you wont eat the potatoes or toast that comes with it. If you have a normal appetite, we recommend the 6 egg girly omelet. The omelet has a multitude of ingredients, and whatever Tanks decides to throw in that day.
7) GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICH with WHITE CHEDDAR and APRICOT CHUTNEY from MEADOWLARK: One of the most simple sandwiches, is one of the most satisfying. Ohio Northern Cheddar and apricot chutney make this incredible cheese sandwich. Served on Dorothy Lane Market Artisan Bread, you have a guaranteed winner here. After you it it, you will find yourself trying to replicate it at home.
8) CHEESE AND ONION SANDWICH from CENTRAL PERC: For the adventurous, we give you a British Sandwich. How do you get one? Ask the owners who grew up in a small village in England to make it they way they way grew up with..ahem.. the “proper” way. They will probably throw some butter and Branston Pickle on there (you may want to google this pickle). Your breath will be horrendous, but you will be happy. On a side note, Rosie the pastry chef is insanely talented. An incredible sandwich and tea room that is open limited hours, and accepts Cash Only.
9) BLACK N BLEU BURGER from SEAJAX: The new kid on the block, this burger is a symphony for your taste buds. We have been all over like Terry’s Turf Club which was supposed to be the best Ohio burger per Guy Fieri, but we think this one is better. Spend $8 and get a “corporate hamburger” (thank you Michael R Hawk), or spend $10 and get a handmade hamburger with swirled bleu cheese that will knock your socks off.
10) THE BOURBON BURGER from BRIXX ICE CO.: This is one of our favorite burgers in the world. It is a burger with bourbon glaze on it that makes you cry “hell yes.” Great patio for the divas, but we prefer the bar stool seats and chowing down. Thanks to childhood friend, owner/chef Chris Bhai for the developing a sauce that makes this burger a “must eat.”
11) HUEVOS RANCHEROS from SUNRISE CAFE: We crave this incredible breakfast dish from the best kept secret in Yellow Springs. The dish is corn tortillas, topped with eggs, and a black bean sauce, garnished with fresh salsa and sour cream. Dont go hiking, instead, grab breakfast here. They trumpet the fact that they have no deep fryers, no microwaves, just kick butt food. Worth the trip to organicville.
12) SUMMER IN A BOWL SALAD from OLIVE, an URBAN DIVE: Local freshness, local ingredients. We absolutely love it. If an artist made a salad, it would be “Summer in a Bowl.” We can’t put the ingredients on here, because the ingredients are seasonal. Olive, only uses top quality materials. Open your mouth and prepare to be dazzled. It wont bust your budget or your pant line.
13) CALAMARI APPETIZER at FRANCO’S: Get the deep fried option dusted with Parmesan cheese and olive oil. The Big Ragu, the king of fried food, usually says “Oh my god” in a over dramatic tone when they are served. This is a tradition, when preparing for a big Italian meal at Franco’s. Stay hungry my friends…
14) THE PAELLA from EL MESON: Watching them prepare it is half of the fun. Listening to owner Bill Castro explain his passion for food and the pivotal role food plays in life is a great experience in itself. Chef’s sprinkling rice and seafood shells while walking around the huge paella pan and flirting with the crowd. By the time the dish is served we have teased our eyes and the aroma is amazing. We love this family and their food. Try this place out, if you haven’t, you aren’t experiencing Dayton.
15) WHOLE, DEEP FRIED TILAPIA at TACO LOCO: You can go to another restaurant and get this dish for $30 or you can get it for $8 at Taco Loco. The dish that will freak your friends out, but leave you one happy foodie. If you can stomach a whole fish on your plate looking at you, then this one is worth the stares… literally. It is delicious and simple.
16) THE GRILLED PEACHES with GOAT CHEESE at LILY’s BISTRO: A seasonal treat that should be on the menu every month. A stellar dish that steals the show at any meal. Drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette dressing, this memorable side will blow your mind. Thank you Lily’s for making us crave this on a daily basis….
17) THE RAW OYSTERS at SWEENEY’s SEAFOOD HOUSE: The Big Ragu has tried oysters from coast to coast and north to south. He concludes that the best raw oysters on the planet are at Sweeney’s Seafood. Served on the half shell, these are chokers, not for the squeamish. Grab a bottle of hot sauce and one of their micro brews and sling em back like a champ!
18) SPINOZIAN DELUXE PIZZA from SPINOZA’S: Homemade, fresh dough with Italian sausage, pepperoni, black olives, bell peppers,mushrooms and fontina cheese. The pizza is always good here. The crust is exceptional. Pair it with one of their great salads and listen to a live band and sip on some local beer. Not many people know about this place, but the ones that do, love it!
19) THE LAND AND SEA BLT at HARVEST MOBILE FOOD TRUCK: This sandwich kick so much azz, that it won $10,000 for best dish at a Food Truck Rally. Applewood bacon, smoked salmon and a ciabatta roll. Then Harvest adds a sauce that is the money shot. Follow this truck and see why poeple track them down all over town. Chef Patrick continues to blow us away with cluinary creations.
20) LOX & CHEESE CREPE at CREPE BOHEME: An ingredient list so simple, so good. Salmon, capers and cheese all wrapped into a handmade crepe right before your eyes. One of the reason we go to 2nd St. Market is to savor the crepes at Crepe Boheme. Sabine is the ultimate crepe master, and her works of art will never let you down. This is the real deal, a chef making the crepes.
21) THE PARIS OMELET at BUTTER CAFE: Love breakfast? Love mushrooms? We suggest a spin using egg whites, goat cheese, a bit of onion and lot of mushrooms. You haven’t lived until you take a bite of this omelet while overlooking Brown Street. Guess what? It is affordable and a protein powered breakfast.
22) SHRIMP and SCALLOP NEWBURG at THE DOCK: A creamy alfredo dish, with penne pasta. This is like a pasta bake. It is rich and delicious. Can’t afford a trip to Florida? Escape to The Dock in Enon and buy yourself a dinner dream, just like being on a pier.
23) THE RUCK from THE DUBLIN PUB: This is a dense beef brisket sandwich that is simply incredible. The brisket is steamed in Guinness Beer. Topped with glob of cheese and onions, it is delicious. It is a filling, guilty pleasure. After eating this, you may want to call Richard Simmons to chase you around the yard in his ball hugging shorts and burn off the calories. Or go hiking for his physique.
24) THE GYRO at CHICAGO GYRO’S and DOGS: Forget the fries, the sandwich is all you need. Loaded with meat, perfectly seasoned, it is a master piece as-is. The atmosphere used to be sketchy at the old location, but the new location is kid friendly. The gyros and dogs are still the same .. good food. This place flies under the radar, and is an unsung Gyro..get it ?
25) DEL MAR TRIO at EL RANCHO GRANDE: Want a great dish, at an unsuspecting place? The order the Del Mar Trio at El Rancho Grande. It consists of grilled lobster, tilapia and shrimp sprinkled with cheese on a hot fajita plate. Served with tortillas. Orgasmic.. yeah we said it.. Order one of these dishes and tell us we’re wrong.
26) COW PATTY ICE CREAM from YOUNG’S JERSEY DAIRY: We love this chocolate amazingness, and our friend Caryn Snyder says it is “the ultimate cure for PMS.” It is dark chocolate ice cream, chocolate cookie pieces, chocolate covered toffee pieces and mini chocolate chips. The cones are piled high and worth the drive to hippie Utopia.
27) THE PIZZA at SOFT ROCK CAFE: Yes, a karaoke bar has some decent pizza. We don’t know if it is the thin crust, the cheese, or the toppings, but the pizza is addicting. Our tip is to get at least 3 or more toppings, and try not to burn your mouth, the pies come out HOT! Also, *** please note their kitchen is only open Thursday through Saturday at 8pm for weekend indulgence.
28) FISH WITH CHILI SAUCE at THAI9: This huge filet of golden fried fish is topped with a spicy chili sauce, and plated with a small amount of sauteed veggies. The taste is slightly fiery and incredible. The chili oil soaks into the fish, yielding the flavor, but keeping the crispiness. A little known dish, off the beaten path, at a restaurant with a very extensive menu. Try it !
29) THE PLAYBOY ROLL at KABUKI: Nothing says fun like a couple of grown adults trying to blow out a flaming sushi roll. The roll contains Shrimp Tempura, Spicy tuna, and asparagus topped with cooked shrimp and a sweet glaze sauce. It is then “barbecued” at your table, by being served on fire, inside an aluminum pouch. The spectacle is one thing, but the best thing is whats inside the fiery roll of foil. The answer is a scrumptious taste of Japan, right here in Dayton.
30) THE PRETZELS from K&R PRETZEL BAKERY: These should be a Dayton Icon, but not many people know of this secret place at 1700 Flesher Ave. Like a scene from Willy Wonka, the pretzel machine is fed a hand twisted raw dough pretzel, the dough is mechanically dipped in water, then hand salted before it is baked on a conveyor belt. The machine is as long as a limousine, and it is fun watching the finished product come out at the end. It is even more fun to eat the results: A soft pretzel, that is the best we’ve tasted.
These are our 30 DAYTON MUST EATS, You gotta try before you die. Little known secrets, and favorite hidden gems. DID WE LEAVE OUT ONE OF YOUR FAVES? WHICH ONE? Is there one on the list you disagree with? Are some of these items, your favorite too? Please comment below!