Sam & Ethel's - Western Burger
  • DAYTON — Serving Main Street Tipp City and not a bit more fuss than is necessary, Sam and Ethel’s is a little local diner that seems to be something of a county favorite. Just north of Dayton are a number of little highway towns with a lot of charm but not a lot of notoriety to the averave traveler outside of Dayton. Because of that, a lot of little hidden gems lie in wait up there, waiting to be discovered. Sam & Ethel’s is one of those gems.
  • Dayton dining — 193 Reviews

Clubhouse Sports Grille - The "Walter"

Clubhouse Sports Grille

Serving the small town of Monroe that straddles the ever-growing Cincinnati region and Dayton to the north, Clubhouse Sports Grille is just off the Interstate 75 corridor and convenient from either town. But this spot seems to be more popular with the locals of Lebanon, Middletown, and other areas in between the cities. While it’s got a large potential audience, the grille seems to serve the patrons of the newly-opened Miami Valley Gaming racino just a few miles away. It’s got a lot of burgers and sandwiches to be tried, and I found a few things I liked.

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Bratwurst Burger

Archer’s Tavern

The name of this Centerville Tavern hearkens to the early history of the south Dayton town, but Archer’s Tavern is relatively new, having opened in 2010 as the creation of three local guys looking to make a neighborhood watering hole. And they’ve succeeded, I think, in putting together a menu concept that is very simple and familiar to the Midwestern palette, but at the same time every menu item has one little twist that really makes it rock. And for an easy dime, too. A solid spot for some beer and grub in south Dayton.

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Hunger Paynes Food Truck - Croquettes

Hunger Paynes Food Truck

Dayton’s growing food truck scene has given birth to some places that serve pretty fascinating foods. Chef Andrew Payne has brought in one of these new ideas, launching Hunger Paynes Food Truck last September, an experiment in new American cuisine with some interesting inspiration from French sources. You’ve probably heard the name a few times before you stumbled on the place, they seem to have an active marketing presence and they’ve started showing up all over town. But the food is worth a try.

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Los Reyes - Quesadilla Rellena

Los Reyes

There are a lot of small, independent Tex-mex chains around the Dayton area, and Los Reyes is nestles in a strip mall just off Dorothy Lane in Kettering. It’s got a basic layout familiar to so many like it – a little bar in the back serves margaritas as a big dining room has space for groups big and small, and a sizable menu for various favorites in the Tex-mex repertoire. The food is a good basic iteration of tis genre but other than that I struggle to find anything about it worth a return trip.

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ButterCake Babe’s Coffee Cafe (Nashville, TN)

ButterCake Babe’s Coffee Cafe

As the resident coffee shop and bakery at the food court in Nashville’s farmer’s market, X is a delicately personal operation, adorned with colorful knickknacks and little things to make it feel more homey. The shop offers a small menu of coffee and other mixed drinks, as well as a variety of goods baked from home. Shopping in the always-busy market can be tiring, and especially in the colder months it means a lot to have something to warm up with. You’ll want to know which times to stop by for a drink, but if you’re here at the right time, it can be a good experience.

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Blue Sky Buffet (Goodlettesville, OH)

Blue Sky Buffet

A Chinese buffet serving the northernmost Nashville suburb of Gallatin, Happy Moon Buffet does a simple brand of Americanized Chinese cuisine, with a variety of seafood dishes as well as chicken, beef and pork dishes with a number of different iterations. This buffet is a place to get food in quantity, and it seems to pride itself on a higher level of quality than some of the other Chinese buffets around Music City. I’m not sold on that pitch, though.

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Douglas Corner Cafe - Pizza

Douglas Corner Cafe

Nashville’s innumerable dive bars are a scene in of themselves, and Douglas Corner Café, which is on the city’s southern side along 8th Avenue, is just one of them. This bar is mostly a spot to enjoy some good music, but you can also find a small menu of drinks and food on the menu. I’m a fan of the scene, and I like the music here, but you should definitely plan to eat before you arrive.

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Bacon & Caviar BBQ - Smoked Burger

Bacon & Caviar BBQ

Downtown Nashville’s farmers market is a scene that draws a ton of tourists and locals alike to cash in on produce and other trinkets and goods made in the Music City. A centerpiece to the year-round market, its food court consists entirely of small-time restaurant stalls and operations. One among them, B & C Market BBQ (short for Bacon & Caviar, with several locations around the city) is the chief soul food option for the market, offering smoked pork, chicken, and beef dishes of many kinds. It’s inexpensive barbecue too, relative to the other options for this food available in town. Whatever the cause to be nearby, this is a good place to eat.

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Warped Wing Brewing Co. - Microbrews

Drinking Guide: Breweries of Dayton

Dayton’s got a craving for microbreweries.

Craft beer and breweries have been on a strong upswing in Dayton over the past few years, and I’ve been here to watch as they set up shop, one by one. Where do you find craft beer in Dayton, and what do you drink? I’ve made my way to all of the breweries and sampled what they have to offer.

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Star City Brewing Co. - Microbrews

Star City Brewing Co.

Star City Brewing Co. is one of the new microbreweries which has sprung up recently in Dayton. It’s no secret that microbrews are a craze these days, and the historic Peerless Mill property in downtown Miamisburg has been given new life with small-batch brews, the inspiration of three local beer fanatics. The brews themselves aren’t exotic or strange — instead, they are many of the traditional kinds of beer preparation styles, just done so with a great degree of quality. I like what I taste here, and the staff and company makes it an endearing experience.

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