Thai Nine: Really Good Thai
Here's a restaurant that I found out about from VT! It came highly recommended, and it certainly lived up to expectations. Nice decor, better than average service, and a wide ranging menu that includes both traditional favorites and some unexpected noodle preparations.
The name comes from the fact that the food may be ordered with your own preferred level of spice-ness, on a scale from zero to nine. I ordered a "4" which was plenty spicy for my midwestern palate!
- Food and Dining
The Grub Steak: Awesome Steaks, Service, Atmosphere
This is a wonderful place to go for an unbelieveable steak. The ambience is relaxing (they say back in the day the Dayton Mafia used to meet here). Service is outstanding. You never have to worry about looking fpr a server, because they will have you taken care of before you know you need something.
There is a security guard that patrols the parking area, so safety is not an issue.
You walk in these beautiful stain glass doors and that sets you in the mood for the rest of your dining experience.
As far as dress, we were dressed work casual, but did see some people in jeans and some in suits.
Favorite Dish: They are known for thier steaks and thier "princess ribs". The ribs aren't normal ribs. They are rib meat served on skewers, tender and tasty. But, I would highly suggest the steaks. I got the filet and rib combo and my mouth is still in awe. The hubby got a 20 oz Kansas City Sirloin that was done to perfection. Not one bit of fat could be found on it. One of the other girls in our group got filet tips in mushroom sauce. There was so much mushroom sauce the hubby poured some of it on his steak just for bonus points. We all left happy, relaxed, and very happy tummies! The house dressing is a garlic parmesan dressing. It is excellent, but should come with a warning label (My breath was toxic after it for the rest of the night). One of the other guys got the ranch dressing and he said it was the best ranch dressing he had ever had.
BW3's: Excellent Wings!
This place is mixed between a McDonalds and Sports Bar. Inside is a bar and several television sets playing a variety of sports channels. You have to order your meal at a counter and pay and take your meal to your seat. You also have to get your drinks from the bar. Seems kinda weird but it cuts the cost of the food as they don't have to pay servers. Great concept but you need good wings to keep the people coming back.
Favorite Dish: WINGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! oh and BEER!
The wings are plentiful and you have many many many choices of sauces for your wings.
- Road Trip
Bamboo Grill: innovative Chinese
Unlike most Chinese restaurants in this area, this place has authentic, rather than formulaic, food. It's not the order-by number, 200+ choices that we've come to expect. The decor is minimal, but very interesting, showcasing some of the owner's pieces from China. Service has always been outstanding, and they have a small wine list too.
It's adjacent to an ice cream parlor, and there's a small, cheaper movie theater just up the street. There are various shops and restaurants (even a few bars/coffeehouses) around Troy's fountain square, so you can make an evening "out of the city" by coming up here. It's probably less than 30 minutes from Dayton.
Favorite Dish: My favorite is "flaming chicken"...I can't remember what it's called...but they light it up w/diluted 151, and it's GREAT. Lots of vegetables, huge portion, amazing flavor. The noodle dishes are really good too...and a rare find at most places. My family is addicted to the soups--my sister goes crazy for the corn soup.
Jim's Doughnuts: mmmm...Dooooonuuuuut....
This place is open 24 hours, it has a counter and some booths, and the doughnuts are super cheap. Atkins dieters, be damned!
They have seasonal choices like pumpkin doughnuts, and a big selection of cruellers and fritters, that you won't find at a lot of places. Of course, they sell milk, coffee, and juice too.
Favorite Dish: My favorite doughnuts are custard-filled, or with jimmies (sprinkles).
- Budget Travel
- Family Travel
- Road Trip
Tipp O' The Town Family Restaurant: Mom & Pop...homestyle deluxe
This place is the real deal. The owners live a mile from the place, and all five family members (plus the occassional cousin) work there. Places like this are hard to come by now, what with the advent of corporate whores like Bob Evans, Cracker Barrel, and Big Boy...this one has survived for over 16 years.
The menu has burgers, salads, spaghetti, some steak, grilled and fried chicken, pork chops, sandwiches, "down home" stuff like chicken friend steak, liver and onions, and hot shots/manhattans, fish, and incredible home-made desserts. Surprisingly enough, there are a several vegetarian and even a couple vegan (spaghetti, salad, side dishes) options. There's also great breakfast (my favorite meal), and they open at 5:30am....
Favorite Dish: The battered cauliflower is awesome...the best I've ever had. This place is famous for the all-you-can-eat fish on Fridays and Wednesdays...it's really good. The burgers are hand-pattied, comparable to Fuddrucker's, but without the hefty price tag. As an added bonus, this place uses cholesterol-free frying oil, and will cook your food without oil...as well as fulfilling most other special requests.
The biscuits and gravy is the best EVER, and I loooove the entire breakfast menu. It's super cheap too, and they make custom omelets. Desserts too...yum...if you're a chocolate fan, have the BIG FAT chocolate cake...it's HUGE!!! and soooo good.
- Family Travel
- Budget Travel
Marion's Piazza: Dayton's best pizza...you HAVE to eat here
This place is great. There are multiple locations in the area now, and they all have black and white photos on the walls of the various famous people who have dined there. In addition to pizza, they have hoagies/grinders/subs (whatever you want to call them), chips, and I believe some salads. The crust is pretty thin, the pizza's sliced into small squares, and the toppings go all the way to the edge. It's delicious! All through college, I'd have to hit a Marion's on my breaks back home.
This isn't super-cheap pizza, but you definitely get quality, and a mound of toppings. It's worth it.
The smoking and non-smoking sections are clearly separated, beer is served, and you don't have to tip here, since you order everything at the counters (pizza at one, beverages at the other).
Favorite Dish: I always get a pizza with ham and sausage. Their ham is like chipped/shredded, and it's the crumbly sausage...not that ball-looking stuff that most places have. The only place I know that I can get that combination.
- Family Travel
Jay's Seafood: Innovative and FRESH seafood
Jay's is a local institution. Their seafood is SO fresh, and the menu is pretty innovative, while still serving old stand-bys. Steaks and chicken are also available. The desserts are to die for! The building is old, with a huge wood bar. Service is a little slow for some people, but I didn't mind...it gave me time to talk with my friend and enjoy the atmosphere.
Favorite Dish: The seared tuna steak...fresh and delicious, and the sauce is drizzled on the plate, rather than drowning the delicious fish.
I also enjoyed the blackened tilapia when I had it.
Thai 9: Dayton's only Thai, Sushi too!
The interior of this restaurant is stunning. It's in an old building, with exposed brick and rafters. Carved wood accents the bar and dining room. Very classy, visually rich.
Service is fairly attentive, good, but nothing special.
The food is good. It isn't the best or most authentic Thai I've ever had, but it is very good food. As Dayton's only Thai restaurant, they could certainly do a lot worse and still draw return customers. I am a fan of the noodle dishes, while most of my friends prefer the various curries. You can choose your spiciness on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being almost sweet and the 10 of some dishes burning your cheeks and gums. Friends who have tried the sushi report that it's very good. However, there are several other Japanese restaurants in the Dayton area that are probably more authentic. Also, almost the entire menu is available as vegetarian.
Overall, I've recommended this restaurant to many people, and have brought several "virgins" to Thai 9 for their first experience with the cuisine of Thailand.
Favorite Dish: Pad Wun Sen...I love the thin, clear noodles! The vegetables and your choice of chicken, pork, tofu, or shrimp are cooked just right, and it's always arrived hot and well-presented. The peanuts and bean sprouts make for a nice crunchy accent.
- Arts and Culture
- Food and Dining
Seoul House: Seoul House
The Seoul House is my absolute favorite place to go for Korean food, outside of Korea. It was actually even better than some of the places I did go to in Korea.
From the outside, this rundown building can be decieving. It will look like no one is there. In fact, if you get there before 5pm, there won't be anyone there. So get there around 5:30, so you beat the smokers and people there to drink.
Inside, it is tiny. It looks like a bar. Probably because it is a bar. More people go there to drink than to eat. Which is too bad, because the food there is incredible! They have the usual assortment of Korean Specialties, Kalbe, Bulgogi, Bibimbop, various soups and fish things, even appetizers. And to wash it all down, the only place in Southern Ohio which has Korea's finest, OB Beer.
Favorite Dish: This is going to sound hard to pronounce, because it is. It is called Samgyupsal. Basically, it is little strips of pork which are brought to you, along with a grill (not because they don't want to cook it for you, but because it is better when it comes right off the grill, plus, its traditional Korean.) So, you take these strips, dip them in a sauce, wrap them in lettuce with some rice, a little garlic, some hot sauce and maybe a piece of kimchee or one of the little side dishes that come with it. Then you pop the whole thing in your mouth and crunch away. Sounds odd, tastes amazing. Especially if you like food that has a salty taste.
The Pine Club: The Pine Club
The Pine Club has the reputation for the best steak in Dayton. There are stories of Presidents who have waited in line there, and how some celebs order it to go and have their "people" Pick it up for them if they are nearby. It's very good. I like it. I am not saying it is the best steak ever, but it is very very good.
As a student at the University of Dayton, I get to go to the Pine Club a lot! Not because I am a student, but because I am close. I actually took out a student loan to be able to afford places like this while going for my law degree. Not a great idea as far as debt goes, but quite a tasty way to get through college.
Favorite Dish: I love the Porterhouse, but it'll run ya 26 bucks. One of the tricks of the Pine club is the carryout. You can get one of the best hamburgers ever to go, priced under ten or a steak sandwich for about 13 with all the trimmings. All the kids at UD do that at least once. (Go Flyers!)
The Grub Steak - Dayton: The Grub Steak - Dayton
The Grub Steak does not serve Gubs, they do serve steak though, and it is gooooood! It is a typical steak joint, but perhaps requiring dress a little better than the sizzler. Prices are average, compared to like a Lone Star, or a Champs. If you like meat, and I know you do, (unless of course you are a vegatarian, then you probably don't, but I digress....) this is the place to go for steaks and Ribs in Dayton.
Actually there is a really good soul food joint in West Dayton that has better ribs. But this place is in a neighborhood where someone isn't going to point a gun at you or try to purchase drugs from you.
Of course, if you are looking for the best ribs in S.E. Ohio, check out the Cincinnati pages for Montgomery Inn. It is worth the drive too.
Favorite Dish: The full slab of baby back ribs. Forget Chili's, this is where you go if you are on the North side of Dayton for Ribs!
Skyline Chili: Skyline Chili
Having moved here from Canton Ohio, I was not prepared for the Southern Ohio fascination with Chili. Not even good Chili. It comes in two brands, Skyline, and Gold Star. Both are aquired tastes. Let me begin by saying, there is no beans in it (good!) and they ad chocolate to it (strange.)
Aparently Chili is greek food. Yeah, I never saw that one coming either, oh well. But there is a lingo that goes with it. A coney typically comes with chili, the hot dog, a warm wet bun, mustard and a ton of onion. See the menu for variations on that. Then you get into...and I am not making this up a 2-way, 3-way, 4-way, or 5-way. And yes, this is a family restaurant. A two way is Chili and Spahetti. Not as disgusting as it sounds actually. 3-way you add cheese, 4-way you add onions, the 5-way you add beans. Then you also have the other traditional greek items such as burrito's, garlic bread, baked potato's and chicken wraps.
Favorite Dish: My favorite item is actually the Garlic Bread with Cheese. Get a large order and a small bowl of just the chili to cover it in, and you are going to be happy.
Three way's are also good. (again, I mean the chili.)
The only thing I would caution you about is that it doesn't taste like chili you have had anywhere else. Texans hate it! So did my stomach for the first couple of trys. But after a while you enjoy it, and strangely enough crave it. They put an addictive chemical in it which makes you crave it fortnightly.
Cafe Boulevard: Cafe Boulevard
One of Dayton's little hidden secrets is this spot, the Cafe Boulevard. It has French quisine, and a slightly American attidude. Great Martini's! There is a separate lounge area, but it is not very big. Mostly people go for the food. It is not a five star place, but it isn't all that much more expensive than an Applebees or the usual American junk.
The Menu and information on everything from a very interesting wine list, to the chef is on the web page. The menu changes seasonally, but has always been good no matter what time of the year.
Business casual will work most nights, but Fridays and Saturdays you will probably feel out of place without a jacket and tie.
Favorite Dish: It's all good!
China Cottage: The Best Chinese in Ohio as voted by some magazine
It strikes you as odd that this little German building is home to what is considered to be the best Chinese food in Ohio. But once you enter, you in an unmistakenly Asian atmosphere. There is not really a dress code, but a collard shirt and a pair of dockers will make you feel at home.
The good thing about China Cottage is that it has an upscale feel to it, but not the price of a Thai 9 or Jays seafood. There is no bad thing. The service has always been great, and the food even better. This is not a typical buffet or hole in the wall chinese place. People go here for Prom.
The food runs the usual chinese route, everythign from fried rice to General Tso's chicken. But, it is the specialties that make it worth coming back for. Some of the harder to find menu items include a Rock Salt Pork, Mala Beef, and for the seafood types, a dozen ways of serving Prawn.
Favorite Dish: The Mala Beef. Bet without the Mushrooms though. It is a very spicy dish with green onions, beef, hot peppers and garlic in a brown sauce. Makes your head sweat, but makes your mouth happy. If you like spicy, you haven't lived until you have had the Mala Beef.
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