A new concept in finer burgers, Flip Side specializes in nicer burgers, milkshakes and craft beer. It’s a concept borne out of Ohio and totes Ohio-raised, grass-fed beef. With a minimalist concept inside and a menu that espouses quality, it’s here to challenge the finer burger standard with a localized take. All in all, the food and experience aren’t too bad, but the spot is a bit pricier. It’s the cost to be paid for good local cuisine.
Amid the many restaurants and nightlife spots you can find in downtown Louisville’s “Fourth Street Live” section, you will spot this higher-scale restaurant specializing in Neopolitan pizzas and Italian kinds. Marketed with an artisan food focus and featuring an ornate bar evoking something from Rome, the pizza spot is part of a larger push to move the well-known downtown nightlife area into the nicer restaurant realm as well. While the bar gives an atmosphere that is definitely different from what can be found nearby, the pizzas can be hit and miss.
A brand new concept from experienced Columbus restaurateurs known for the popular Red Velvet Cafe downtown, Bonifacio is a full dive into Filipino cuisine, something very unusual in a full service restaurant in Columbus. For many this will be one of the first times they can try the specialty dishes offered here, and that’s a good thing. The East Asian and Spanish influences on The Philippines have always meant delicious food combinations, and the different way of thinking plays very well here.
While there are a few Asian-themed buffets around Dayton, what Osaka Japanese Steakhouse offers the region is a very unique experience. Opened in what has for several years been a series of family dining restaurants, this one is a higher-priced buffet of Far Eastern cuisines you won’t find in many other places around town, and certainly not all under one roof. From Peking duck to octopus, frog legs and, yes, a sushi conveyor belt, this spot is a place to go when you’re feeling like a very adventurous experience.
Springboro, Ohio gained a craft beer shop when Crooked Handle Brewing Co. opened near Dorothy Lane Market and with a special focus on bringing a comfortable place to drink and enjoy craft beer. There are a few other sports bars in this strip, so instead the place is something of a more relaxed environment with fewer distractions, a place where you can talk to the bartenders and make a few new friends. All told, it’s a pretty enjoyable experience.
A private club in the heart of downtown Dayton, the Engineer’s Club of Dayton is a members’ organization and gathering place in a historic downtown building. Founded for Dayton’s thinkers and intellectuals by big names including Charles Kettering and Orville Wright, this spot hosts private events and other kinds of functions. The environment rings of history and the walls are decorated of the many exploits of Engineer’s Club members over their lifetimes, but the breakfast and lunch service is worth a try if you can find someone to get you in.
A tiny little dive along the main stretch into downtown Fairborn, Ohio, Yung’s Cafe is one of the only restaurants in Dayton dedicated entirely to serving up Korean food. Run by a small transplant family and really popular with the Southeast Asian community that has found its way to Dayton, this cafe has foods that you won’t easily find in many other places. And for that, it’s a wonderful place. Well worth a visit if you’re new to the cuisine or want something that reminds you a bit of Seoul.
Greenville, Ohio is about as small-town-America as they come, and this border town between Dayton and Indianapolis is home to a lot of wonderful experiences you would only find in a place like that. Its homely charm extends to the local restaurant scene, where charming unique concepts abound. One of the main coffee shops in town, The Coffee Pot has it all—good coffee, nice drinks, baked goodies and soups and sandwiches that will keep you coming back for lunch, as well. This is the right kind of coffee shop to spend the afternoon relaxing with a good book or conversation.
A new downtown Dayton spot that is built for convenience, Marilyn’s Grill does a quick menu of sandwiches that are easy to go. Re-purposed from an old chain restaurant, this is one of few restaurants that is open a bit later than many of the other places downtown, and set amidst the big downtown offices and bringing in people of all kinds, but I’m not convinced about the place. A little bit of the food, a little bit of the decor.
As the product of a lawyer-turned restaurateur, Designer Dogs offers gourmet hot dog options for the diners of the Mall at Fairfield Commons. A food court is a simple place to start something great, and this little stand definitely delivers something really fun on the front end. Gourmet hot dogs are a tricky thing to pull of and be worth the money, but this place does them in a very memorable way, I have to say I am impressed by what I have tried.