The Dayton Mall area is home to dozens of restaurants, many of them chains and many of them independent. While it’s been known as an area where lots of restaurant concepts come and go, the spot is also one that the better restaurants tend to stick around for a long time. Hazel Grille, which has been open for a year and a half, looks to be off to a good start. A casual bar concept, the wide-open concept of this bar makes it the kind of place where you can bring a group of people and enjoy some bar food with a crowd.
The restaurant has a pretty wide menu of bar foods, a little of this and a little of that. Of course there’s a menu of burgers and bar food, but there’s also an over-arching Italian menu to the place, it’s got some pasta and Italian dishes in a pretty simple bar format. In fact, the spot has appetizer mini-breadsticks that people love.
I thought I would give a try to a bar favorite: The Catfish. Fried catfish is one of those things you can find at a lot of bars in the Midwest and the South, but not as much so in Dayton for some reason. I liked the fish though, it was huge and a bunch of pieces of it came for cheap. Lemon and tartar sauce along the side complemented the flavor a little too. The fish is crispy on the outside, soft on the inside and in all it makes for a great thing to try. I tried the fries on the side, too, which are thick-cut steak fries topped with just a little bit of pepper. Good stuff.
The atmosphere of the spot is really nice. It’s sort of a laid-back place where a lot of people seem to congregate and where there’s a lot of regulars and a crowd that likes a low-key type bar. It’s good to see that kind of following, and the food seems to cater more to families and groups. The wood-lined interior of the spot seems to fit well with the family-oriented suburbs that make up south Dayton. In all, the spot was a safe place for decent food.
- All of the food here is in extra large portions, so expect to get a lot of food and to take it home.
- The food is a decent price and it comes in a good amount of time.
- The spot is definitely more of a family-oriented place, it’s a bar but it’s a place where groups should go.