Archives for posts with tag: restaurant

I like my job just fine, but you need a break from time to time and recently I decided to take a half day to relax a little before a big, scary Monday.  I still wanted to have my semi-monthly lunch date/Secretary therapy session with my friends Tina and Megan so after I was off the clock, we headed to Sake on Miller Lane in Vandalia.  I hadn’t been there since I was probably 13 or so and nothing had really changed, which was nice.  The place is still a lot of fun and I love how they don’t skip on anything even though it’s lunch.

We might need to work this place into our normal rotation of restaurants because after lunch at Sake, it really feels like you’ve been away for a while.  Without noticing it, they get you entertained, well fed, and out the door in plenty of time to get back to work (unless, of course, you took a half day).

7260 Miller Lane
Dayton, OH  45414
(937) 898-9834

Nothing beats a delicious brunch in the morning when you know you will be doing yard work for the bulk of the afternoon.  It sort of gives you permission to get the thing on the menu you know you shouldn’t get (in my case, waffles) because you’ll sort of work it off later, right?  It was precisely this logic that lead my husband and me to Starlite Diner on a recent Sunday to carb up for the hard work ahead.

I love Starlite Diner because as old fashioned as the decor is, it’s very consistently so.  The food is tasty but not necessarily good for you, which is a trait that all the best diners share.

Starlite Diner (Belmont Location)
2627 S. Smithville Rd
Dayton, OH  45420
(937) 293-4000

I don’t normally like to write about chains but this place was really, really good and it came very highly recommended to me for many years.  As a part of the UD area shops and restaurants, Dewey’s Pizza has a following of devoted customers who have all been telling me to try it for a long time so on a Friday night, my husband and I gave it a shot.  I loved the selection of draft beer and the fact that they might be the last place with Oberon on tap at the end of the summer.

Even though the specialty pizzas looked awesome, we decided to each order our own calzones because we had been talking about calzones a lot for some reason lately.  I loved mine (green peppers, pesto, and spinach) and I’m not ashamed to admit that I ate pretty much the whole thing even though I realize it’s a whole pizza folded in half.  (Ok, I’m a little ashamed, but not much.)

Dewey’s Pizza
131 Jasper Street
Dayton, OH  45409
(937) 223-0000

Before seeing The Godfather II at the Michelob Ultra Cool Film Series at the Victoria Theatre, Beth and Kayleigh decided to go out to dinner (yes, for Beth’s birthday.  Don’t worry, she already knows it’s excessive).  I decided to tag along and they didn’t stop me so we headed to Roost Modern Italian in the Oregon District.  Having only been to Roost for a very yummy brunch, I didn’t really know what to expect for their dinner menu.  I was thrilled that they had so many vegetarian options but sad that they had very little to comply with my diet.  Since I was already there and sitting down and it was such a nice day, I just went for it and had a pasta feast.  It was totally worth it.

We sat on the patio to partake in the ambiance of the Oregon District and among other great things, saw one of my friends from high school sitting in and half out of a window across the street.  Since he couldn’t hear me, I made sure to tell him that we were worried he would fall out of the window via Facebook.  Technology is a wonderful tool for people who worry too much like me.

The weather was perfect for dinner on the patio and I hope we get a chance to go back before it gets too cold to enjoy it.  Since we had late spring weather in March, who knows if autumn will be early, too?

There are few places that make me quite so immediately happy as South Park Tavern.  Their food is awesome – they even have whole wheat pizza crust!  I love the beer selection, which changes constantly with all drafts written on a giant black board by the bar.  Their bottles and cans are well received because they sell some cheaper favorites people can’t always get at every bar (Schlitz, Old Style, etc.).  South Park Tavern frequently has live music, but if you’re not into the band, you could always enjoy the night air in their patio seating.  One of my favorite aspects of South Park is that the staff all seem to get along really well, which makes the whole vibe of the place very calm and friendly.  I swear, sometimes you walk into a restaurant and feel the tension immediately, whereas here you can walk in stressed and leave completely relaxed.

South Park Tavern
1301 Wayne Avenue
Dayton, OH  45410

After a long string of cookouts, it finally rained and I finally got a sit-down meal in a restaurant for the first time in a long time.  My husband and I stopped in to Jimmy’s Italian Kitchen because I had always heard that the place was amazing.  First of all, this place is very small but also very popular so seating can be difficult.  Second, the food is amazing.  I especially love the little garlic rolls that come with the meal.  Third, the service is beyond terrible.  Honestly, this is the worst service I’ve had in a very long time.  If you love good food and have a lot of tolerance for being ignored and gallons of patience, this is the place for you.  Those of you with a short fuse, steer clear (maybe go to Fazoli’s?).  I am a patient person but the poor service really upset me because it put a damper on an otherwise great evening with my husband.  I don’t know if I’ll go again unless I’ve had a snack and a few glasses of wine before I get there.

This was my favorite part of the experience – the placemats:

1915:  Italy entered World War I on the side of the Allies.

1940-1943:  World War II.

World War II just happened, ok?  Let’s not go into details about “sides” and so forth.  Completely unnecessary…oooo, look!  Free elections!

Sigh, Italy.

Jimmy’s Italian Kitchen
3002 Woodman Drive
Kettering, OH  45420

Right now my favorite brunch place is Olive, an Urban Dive for their concise and flavorful menu, byob policy, and insistence that local is always best.

I recently tried Olive for dinner and loved it!  I ordered the chickpea – brussels sprout soup followed by tofu-veggie kabobs with gluten-free cookies for dessert.  The staff is so helpful and attentive – they make suggestions when you’re not sure what to order and help parents decide what to order for kids because they don’t have a designated kids menu.  Seating is limited (Olive is located in the old Wympee at the corner of East Third Street and Wayne, if you’ve never seen it, it’s tiny) so they always recommend that you make reservations if you know you’re going there ahead of time.

I can’t recommend this place highly enough, if you haven’t tried it yet, go now.

Olive, an urban dive
416 E. Third St.
Dayton, OH  45402
(937) 222-3483

So as it turns out, I like German food!  I went to Boulevard Haus mostly because I wanted to try German food for the first time and had heard that BH made vegetarian dishes.  I ordered the vegetarian sampler to try a little of everything and loved it!  Now, if only all of the Oktoberfests in the area would start serving vegetarian cabbage rolls, I would be all set.   I read the reviews of Boulevard Haus online before I went and have to agree that the service was a little slow considering we were one of three tables, so I would recommend this restaurant to groups and families who are looking for a quiet place to catch up, eat, and drink (they have a great beer and wine selection as well as a full bar with a creative seasonal drink menu).

Boulevard Haus
329 East 5th Street, Dayton, OH 45402
(937) 824-2722 ‎ 

Vandalia is not a city for people who enjoy the finer things in life.  If you prefer drinking wine, listening to classical music, enjoying artwork, eating exotic cuisine, etc. Vandalia is not for you.  Our only venue to enjoy a high-brow evening was Cork & Vine, a wine gallery and lounge.  I had frequented Cork & Vine, celebrated personal victories over wine, the election of Obama over a cheese tray, birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, etc.  It was a beloved bar to the community.

Sunday, my friend Jes and I decided to catch up over a drink at Cork & Vine.  We ended up having several more drinks (including a prosecco, 2 white sangrias, a sweet tart martini, and I’m not altogether sure what Jes ordered…) and didn’t leave until long after they closed.  In our celebratory mood and slightly inebriated state, Jes forgot her photo album she had brought to show me.  “No problem,” she reasoned when she got home, “I’ll go Monday after work and pick it up.”  Unbelievably, it was closed when she tried to retrieve it Monday.  Even more unbelievable is the explanation:  they just closed.  No rhyme or reason.  The servers showed up on Monday to discover they no longer had jobs, the customers drive by to see if there is a sign or something to explain the sudden closing.  Jes and I are left to wonder, how we could be Cork & Vine’s last customers ever?

The Dayton Daily News reported that the closing has to do with the owner not making enough profit to continue the operation of the bar section and will instead be expanding the liquor store next door.  This may have to do with the fact that the liquor store was recently issued a license to sell alcohol to businesses and restaurants. Read the full article here.

It’s really a shame that we lost such a gem.  Where else can I get a cheese tray?  Honestly?