Thursday Thoughts #16

Thursday Thoughts

Last week I shared our favorite kid-friendly activities to do in the Southwest region of Ohio. Today I’m sharing our favorite dining destinations. … And my favorite quilt shop.

Best Places to Eat in the Dayton, Ohio Area

Oregon Express

We didn’t get to check out a lot of the restaurants in Downtown Dayton because of the kids, but we made an exception for this bar! For Christmas 2014 my parents gave me tickets to see Wicked at the Schuster Center, with the promise that my mom would travel up and baby-sit Firecracker. We searched for a place to go do dinner before the show and settled on the Oregon Express for pizza. This was some of the best pizza I’ve ever had. Thin, crispy crust with a lightly sweet sauce and cut into squares like all thin crust pizza should be! We loved this pizza so much that we had to go again, so we chose a random time (2-3pm) when a one-year-old wouldn’t be a bother. It’s a bar so there wasn’t a highchair in sight. The waitress was very kind and patient with the toddler running around the empty establishment.

Pies and Pints

Pies and Pints was another favorite {and kid-friendly} destination. Their pizza flavor profiles are unique and you can even do half-and-half on their large pizzas of the specialty pies. The Chicken Gouda (smoked gouda, chicken, bacon, and chipotle crema) was a staple and could almost never be beat by any other flavor we tried; though my husband always jumped at the chance to order a Thai when we had enough people for more than one pizza so that the coconut wouldn’t contaminate my slices. Their kid’s pizzas are a great size, usually yielding 2-3 meals, and they come to the table as soon as they’re ready rather than waiting for the full order. Turns out there are multiple location in OH, WV, and KY.

Spinozas

Keeping with the pizza theme here. You’d think that’s all we eat! And sometimes it seems like it. But you’ll never hear me complain about it. Spinozas is attached to the mall and therefore is another kid-friendly eatery. They’ll even provide some raw pizza dough for kids to play with while waiting on the meal. Their Spinoza “Swirl” Bread is my absolute favorite thing on the menu, and Firecracker agrees. Their pizzas are very unique and my husband’s favorite is the Yin Yang, a crazy combination of Chorizo, Gorgonzola, and glazed walnuts. They also have pizzas with bases of hummus or garlic oil instead of tomato sauce. I like their well-sized Baruch’s Favorite salad which contains dried cherries, Brie, and glazed walnuts tossed in a raspberry vinaigrette with a slice of cinnamon flat bread.

Meadowlark

I can only speak to Meadowlark’s brunch menu, but I can tell you it’s amazing. We went twice, each after our sons’ baptisms. Their menus are seasonal and everything is made from scratch. Firecracker was baptized in May of 2015 and on the menu was a fried green tomato sandwich that changed my life (okay, not really), but I have been craving that perfectly crafted sandwich every day since. Treat was baptized in March of 2016 and that beautiful sandwich wasn’t on the menu yet. Their liver pate was sensational, though.

La Colombiana Restaurante 

When we had some previous coworkers from Florida travel to Dayton on business we met up with them at La Colombiana in Beavercreek. The food here is all made to order so be prepared to enjoy the company of your eating companions while you wait for your order. The staff is very friendly and attentive. I promise that the wait is worth it. We took my parents during our last weekend in the Dayton area and my Dad absolutely loved it. While the cuisine is different from Dominican cuisine, the flavors are comfortingly similar. The portion sizes are huge and very well priced. The Arroz con Pollo is large enough to feed two people and full of flavor. For a great assortment of traditional flavors try the Plato Tipico, it’s also enough to feed two. Their empanadas are great to share with the table or enough to be a meal for one.

King Garden

It took us a long time to find a good take-out Chinese place and King Garden in Beavercreek finally fit the bill. Their Mongolian beef is almost perfect, the onions are sweet and charred and the beef is tender, it doesn’t get a full 100 points, though, because the onion to beef ratio isn’t right, there isn’t enough meat! But maybe I think that because Firecracker ends up taking most of it.

Graeter’s

Graeter’s is an ice cream chain in the midwest that began 145 years ago in Cincinnati, Ohio. My step-grandfather, Grandpa Ray, grew up in the Cincinnati area and his kids would ship him Graeter’s ice cream down to Florida after he’d married my Busia. I now know why! The black raspberry chocolate chip is my hands down favorite. To be fair though, I never got a chance to try the seasonal Cinnamon in November/December or the Key Lime in August.

101 Beer Kitchen

One of the reasons we preferred the Columbus Zoo to the Cincinnati Zoo is because of the 101 Beer Kitchen and their Loaded House Made Tater Tots. Their menu changes based on the season but their featured pizza was a hit according to whoever ordered it. And their steak, when on the menu, is cooked to perfection.

Fabric Shack

fabric shackAs promised, I couldn’t leave Ohio without finding a favorite quilt shop. The winner here is the Fabric Shack in Waynesville. This shop was worth the 30-40 minute commute. It has an impressive collection of batiks, a great children’s section, and other beautiful novelty fabrics I’d not seen anywhere else.

 

 

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