Oregon District has a lot of bars with a lot of good bar food, and when you first walk through downtown Dayton’s main nightlife spot, you might not at first set your sights on the small operation that is Lucky’s. But make no mistake, this spot is much beloved by Dayton city-dwellers. Whether they’re making use of the spot’s extensive tap list or just looking to sample one of the burgers or sandwiches that fill its menu, people come to this spot in droves. The hype leaves you wondering, is it worth a try? The answer is yes.
Lucky’s menu is your typical bar fare, lots of fried appetizers, burgers and sandwiches to go around. But the food is above average. Among the items I really enjoyed:
- Avocado & Goat Cheese B.L.T.: Well, this is a B.L.T. sandwich, of course. But what makes it so interesting is the ingredients they picked. Smoky, crispy bacon topped with goat cheese and avocado. You wouldn’t expect that texture to be such a hit, but it lands perfectly with the crisp of the veggies and bacon. Toasted bread goes a long way, too.
- The Cobra Burger: One of the set of burgers you can give a try here, the Cobra has a Thai theme. Once again, the last possible set of ingredients: peanut butter, cilantro, cucumbers, siracha and jalapenos top this baby. Wish the beef patty was bigger, especially considering the price of the burger, but you do savor the unusual mix of flavors in every bite. A very multifaceted dish.
- Falafel: Served up in a warm pita with lettuce and a warm mayo. The crisp falafel is a light and vegetarian dish and it has so much flavor packed in.
- Seitan Gyro: Another example of the great veggie options here, served with veggies and taziki sauce. The seared Seitan is as good in texture and taste as lamb.
- Ale-Soaked Chips: Not your average potato chip to be sure. These are soaked in an IPA craft beer from Cincinnati’s Rivertown Brewing Co. before being fried. A great taste! Hoppy chips. Who would have thought?
- Buttermilk Oat Pancakes: House-made batter, heavy on oats and crispy on the outside, soft on the inside. It’s served with syrup made with Toxic’s Brew Co. beer.
- Bloody mary: Served spicy or not, but the best part is the bar of veggies, cheeses, meats and other things you can custom-top on the drink.
- Chicken salad: The sandwich is good with that nice thick salad, with big chunks of chicken and the distinct Lucky’s mayo. It’s better than ever.
- Bagel, egg and cheese sandwich: This bagel sandwich comes with your choice of sausage or bacon and a cheese. The bagel comes topped with an herbed cream cheese that makes it oh so good.
What’s better, the ingredients are often easy to spot out with vegan friendly options — meat replaced with such alternatives as seitan. Dayton’s got an increasingly conscious dining scene, and it’s refreshing to see restaurants responding to that.
The taproom has sort of a community feel to it; it’s narrow, low-lit and yet full of regulars who crowd its barstools on the weeknights. The food comes fast and the service, even when rushed, is pretty friendly. The price points for much of the menu are below what you might find at other bars — with the exception of the burgers which are a bit over. One way or another, the complexity of the flavors is something to behold. Lucky’s is a really neat place, one where a lot of locals go to drink. But consider a bite here!
- This is a good spot to try if you’re into craft beer, because a lot of good local and national names are on tap on a frequently rotating basis.
- A lot of the items on the menu are vegan friendly, so this is a good spot to try if you’re looking to avoid.
- Suggest a smaller group here! Lucky’s is pretty small and there are only a few tables for big groups.