Stars: A panoramic views of downtown Dayton
Stars is the rooftop restaurant and lounge of the Crowne Plaza Dayton. Here you can eat good food with good price and to have views of downtown Dayton and the Miami Valley.
The staff is friendly and the service very fast.
Favorite Dish: The menu at Stars offers a good choice of food. I tasted a Grilled Salmon with mashed potatoes, grilled vegetables and caesar salad. Very good! From the windows of the restaurant you can have a nice view over Dayton by night.
- Food and Dining
Boston Stoker: Local Coffee Shop not to miss
Ok so it isnt in Boston, but it is a nice local Dayton Chain. I particularly like their catch line! "Coffee Makes you Smarter than you Actually Are" The coffee was nice they give you some sturdy cold beverage cups. Seriously the heavy plastic cup still hasnt broken and I use it all the time, months later. The ladies and gentlemen behind the counter are friendly and playful.
Favorite Dish: They have a variety of types of coffee. I am not sure I had a particular coffee I liked the most, I didnt go for the coffee but the environment. Most of my friends will call me horrible for that one as they adore their coffee.
- Food and Dining
Quaker Steak and Lube
I have been a fan of Quaker Steak and Lube since back in the days when there was just one location in Sharon, PA. Since then, our favorite place for wings has expanded around 40 locations, mostly in PA and Ohio, but also Florida, West Virginia, Virgina, Tennessee, Iowa, Georgia, South Carolina, New York, North Carolina, and Canada.
My last visit I ordered a single order (10) of wings and their sirloin steak sandwich with fries. The wings are pretty expensive at $8 for 10, but they are great, especially their cajun, golden garlic, and Louisiana Lickers. The steak sandwich had lots of tender cubed meat, though it was a little blandly flavored. The fries are good, especially when dipped in the extra wing sauce.
While I got my meal to go, the restaurant was full on this Friday night with one half of the restaurant watching sports at the bar, while the other half was singing karaoke.
Don Pablo's Mexican - Fairfield Mall
I didn't see Don nor Pablo when I visited this national chain restaurant near the mall in Fairborn. I did have some good, relatively inexpensive Mexican food in a nice, family friendly environment. We arrived and were quickly seated way back in the far corner opposite the door, in the large, high-ceiling dining room. It was a bit breezy and chilly in the large room on this cold, rainy night.
I had a Tecate beer and the Numero Uno Favorito... a crunchy fajita taco, an enchilada, and a soft chicken taco with beans and rice, and of course, lots of chips and salsa. The meal was a cheap $9 and the food was all pretty good.
Don Pablo's started in 1985 and now has 45 restaurants in 15 states.
We were in downtown Dayton's Oregon District searching out dinner when my friend said, "how about some sushi?" I said absolutely, thinking a cosmopolitan city that produced Erma Bombeck must have some good sushi, probably right downtown! We pulled up the nearest sushi restaurants on our smart phones and began driving. Seven miles later, downtown Dayton was long in our rear view mirror, and we arrived at Akashi sushi. From the outside this restaurant is decorated like a traditional Japanese house, and it sits next to one of those suburban kung fu parlors. Inside there is a sushi bar, about 20 tables and a section that looks like Elliot's house from ET, covered in clear plastic sheeting as if it is under investigation for harboring aliens.
We sat at the sushi--where the sushi chefs and waitresses were actually Japanese--and were impressed by the authenticity of the place, with the menu partially in Japanese. We started with a huge Kirin Ichiban beer and miso soup, then ordered several rolls and nigiri. The sushi slowly started to trickle out to us over the next hour. We started with a fried shrimp roll and several pieces of tuna and salmon nigiri, all of which was the highlight of the meal... the rest of the sushi we had only went downhill from there. Our next rolls were the spicy tuna and their beef roll, both of which were horrible. The meal should have been saved by the rainbow roll, the most expensive, and often best item at a sushi bar, but the white fish (sea bass?) was lacking texture and pretty horrible. Finally when we were stuffed and just chatting, they brought out our last huge roll, which was the fried chicken roll. It was tasty, but arrived so late in the meal that we were too full to enjoy it.
The service is pretty good, but the sushi runs on the expensive side with their featured rolls $13 or more, and their nigiri about $2 each piece. At those prices all of the fish should be perfect, but it was of a low quality.
Skyline Chili - Fairfield Commons Mall, Fairborn
Skyline Chili is a local favorite from nearby Cincinnati. While the signature chili has a good flavor and plenty of spicy kick, I did no like the smooth, creamy texture that was a bit like mashed potatoes and gravy. I also was confused by the slight cinnamon flavor that made the overly blended substance taste a bit like baby food.
I went to Skyline at one of their new fast food locations near the mall in Fairborn, OH. I went through the drive through and ordered a simple 1/2 pint bowl of their famous traditional chili. It cost about $3.30 and was ready in seconds. Luckily their smoothly blended chili mixture came with two bags of oyster crackers to give it some semblance of substance and texture.
I guess this is a pretty good, cheap meal, but I will always wonder how they get meat and beans ground up into such a fine, runny liquid.
Valkyrie cafe at Air Force Museum
As far as museum cafeterias go, this one is about as lame as any other. Their only options are basically burgers, hot dogs, and a few fried foods like French fries and chicken strips. Most of the food is pre-made, and has probably been sitting for hours. We arrived around noon, and the cafeteria was almost empty despite a good crowd at the museum.
I grabbed a double cheeseburger and fries off the warming rack for about $5, plus a fountain drink for another $2. I loaded the burger with fresh veggies just to get a little healthiness from the meal.
All in all, it is pretty basic food at a fair price. Besides, there's nothing else nearby.
The Valkyrie Cafe is named after a USAF prototype aircraft called the XB-70 Valkyrie, a high-altitude, high-speed, nuclear-capable bomber built and flown in the 1960s.
Favorite Dish: The best part of this place is the view of the aircraft displays out front.
Logan's Roadhouse - Fairfield Commons, Fairborn
Logan's is a chain steakhouse of the Lonestar and Longhorn variety--all are generally middle-grade steak restaurants that are family friendly with good prices. Logan's looks a little cheaper from the outside, but the food is pretty comparable.
Four of us ate here one night, mainly because we were shopping next door. We each had steaks, some with grilled shrimp, some with bbq ribs. Each of the meals came with fresh rolls, salads, and two sides, and of course the peanuts were free! We also split an order of their nachos, which made for a huge meal, at a reasonable price of about $25 per person.
The steaks, particularly my medium-rare sirloin, were good and tender, but the ribs were a little overdone and dry. The service was excellent, and our waitress, Beth, did an outstanding job of keeping us fed and happy.
Logan's is a chain that began in 1991, and at one time was owned by Cracker Barrel. Today Logan's has about 168 restaurants in 20 locations.
Giovanni's Pizzeria & Italian - Main St Fairborn
Where's the place to go on a Friday night in Fairborn, near Dayton? How about Giovanni's Pizzeria e Restorante Italiano on Main Street in this little town? In business since 1953, this large but cozy restaurant is overflowing with locals on a Friday night, with people waiting in line at the door.
We stopped in for an early dinner and were lucky to get one of just a few remaining booths. I started with an Italian beer, while my friend had a house wine. We both decided on the parmigiana: one veal and one pork. Unfortunately they were out of pork, so we settled on two chicken parms. Our meals started with tasty salads with good garlic Italian dressing and lots of cheese, and a basket of soft Italian bread. Our meals arrived quickly, and the food was really good; big, thick chunks of chicken breast, lightly breaded with spaghetti noodles and a delicious red sauce. After the meal we had coffee and pie bringing our total bill to about $20 each.
The staff and customers were friendly and the food was good and plentiful... this place is obviously a hometown favorite.
They also have what looks to be great pizza that comes in 7, 9, 13 and 15 inch pies... dine in or carry out only; no delivery.
Taqueria Mixteca - Dayton's Historic Inner East
Ever drive around Dayton's "Historic Inner East" neighborhood? You probably don't want to drive in this area unless you are one of the blue-collar workers at the local factories, or you are just rushing through. Not that it's a terrible place; it's just that there isn't much reason to stop here.
We were driving through on our second day in town looking for a restaurant and were coming up empty. We saw an old white-haired guy with a long white beard (who looked more than a bit homeless) and his woman (also a bit down on her luck) both carrying cases of beer. My friend stopped and asked where we could find a good restaurant. I think they thought we were gonna steal their beer, but when they saw we were friendly, their eyes lit up as they pointed us to a Mexican place, "close by, on third street." We followed their directions, and about three blocks away, was this hole-in-the-wall little Mexican joint, that looked packed.
We wandered in and grabbed the last available table. The poor little Hispanic waitress was very busy, so one of the cooks grabbed our drinks. Later the waitress came and got our orders: a Mexican sandwich called a "torta" and an order of three enchiladas. While we waited we munched on chips with a variety of dips including red salsa, green salsa, ketchup, and mustard (I'm not making this up). The food arrived after only 15 minutes or so, and the portions were huge considering that most prices were under $5. The food was also excellent with tender, well-spiced meat and crispy vegetables.
The only minor problem was the overworked waitress, but what did you expect for a $6 or $7 lunch in what is basically a diner?
Foy's Rock & Roll Grill - Main Street, Fairborn
$2.50 for a quarter pound hamburger? $3.50 for a half pound of meat? What a deal, and what a great dive. No doubt this is the best place in town. How do I know? About half of the locals in town were here for lunch on a Monday!
We were drawn in by the red neon in the narrow building facing the town's short Main Street. Once inside we grabbed one of the last remaining booths by the door. The waitress quickly got our drink orders while we scanned the menu, then we ordered their standard burgers and fries. The food was out in about 15 minutes... the burger was thick and juicy with lots of fresh toppings, and the fries were crisp and lightly seasoned.
Some of the unique decor in the establishment includes a full-size Elvis statue and two Harleys.
Just down the block is Foy's Halloween Store, which doesn't look like much from the outside, but it claims the state of Ohio's largest collection of Halloween costumes and supplies.
Donato's Pizza - Fairborn
Donato's Pizza, described by a friend as "Serves a 'St Louis style' pizza - thin crust with provolone cheese; it's interesting to try once." The first Donato's was established by a guy named Jim Grote in Columbus, Ohio in 1963... not sure who Donato was, however. Today Donato's has some 170 stores, mostly in Ohio, bust also in Alabama, Indiana, Kentucky, and North Carolina. A few years back, Donato's was actually purchased by MacDonald's before eventually returning to the ownership of Jim Grote.
I called late on a recent Sunday night, and was happy to discover they were still open past 10pm and could deliver. I was a bit disappointed when I mentioned my hotel name, and the guy on the phone insisted that I give him the complete address; I had to hang up then call back a few minutes later. When I finally had my full address, I called back and ordered a large, thin-crust "founder's favorite" pizza that comes with provolone, ham, sausage, and banana peppers, along with a 2-liter of Diet Pepsi for just over $20. The pizza arrived in about 45 minutes, still warm and fresh. The dough was thin and very tasty, and the toppings plentiful. The odd thing was the tiny little rectangle slices, many of which were just enough for a single bite, others maybe three bites. Maybe this can be a good thing, but not when you are watching football and have no plates handy--I had to keep running back to the kitchen to get another tiny piece between plays.
Terra Cotta Cafe: Independent downtown coffeehouse
The Terra Cotta Cafe is a pleasant little downtown coffee house and cafe, popular with students at the nearby University of Dayton. Good bakery items in the morning. It's just down the street from the Doubletree.
- Food and Dining
Central Perc: Charming Brunch/Lunch Cafe
A short drive from the center of Dayton, Central Perc is actually in suburban Oakwood, but its location in a shopping district makes it feel rather more urban than you might expect. Central Perc is run by an immigrant couple from England who have brought over some of the best aspects of the classic English tea room, and added some delicious soups and sandwiches to make this a very pleasant place for a mid-day repast.
They serve REAL CLOTTED CREAM with their scones. I can't stress enough how wonderful that is. You can live in the USA for YEARS and never find a cafe or tea-room that serves REAL CLOTTED CREAM. It's a treat!
- Food and Dining
Cafe Boulevard: More a Bistro than a Cafe - but Quite good!
Cafe Boulevard is a good choice for dining in the Oregon District, close to central Dayton. I came here in a group of eight fairly sophisticated diners who were attending an academic conference in the central city area, and we were all pleased with the service, atmosphere, and menu selections on offer. I had Beef Wellington, and it was excellent. (Not many places have Beef Wellington on the menu any more, so this was a real treat.)
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