Buckhorn Tavern

8800 Meeker Road
Dayton, OH 45414
websiteBuckhorn Tavern (Clayton, OH)3 stars

Far from the excitement in south Dayton, Buckhorn Tavern feels a lot like a rustic lodge, nestled a bit off the beaten path in Clayton. The low lit, slightly smoky interior is filled with regulars and locals and the chandelier is made of deer antlers, but make no mistake, the food here is some of the most down-home good stuff to be tried here in town. This steakhouse should not be passed up.

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The menu is a lot of the usual bar food, but the prime cuts are treated with expert attention. Some of the best:
  • Ribs: The ribs here are cooked to a super tender, past falling-off-the-bone perfection. The pork is still juicy though, and the ribs are perfectly slathered in a very vinegary Southern barbecue sauce. Bring a napkin, these tender babies are tasty, but messy.
  • Ribeye steak: One of the many options of steak you can taste here, this one’s got a bit of gristle on it, but the steak is still juicy. I ordered it medium rare, which a lot of steak houses have a problem perfecting. This one did not, perfect pink in the middle, still charred outside, and a little bit smoky. A great cut of meat, cooked masterfully. It’s served with some haystack onions, I don’t think you really even need sauce to top this beef.
  • Mashed potatoes: The potatoes are heavy on the pepper, but they’re extra fluffy with some garlic and cream that give them a soft consistency and a flavor that’s hard to match. I highly recommend them with some coleslaw or something to serve as a counterpoint to the sharpness of that pepper.
Service at the spot is great, it seems to be a pretty small restaurant, and it’s always full of regulars. But the people who come in here seem to love the place, a lot of local businesses support it, and at the end of the day the people are very friendly. Food comes in an average time, but it definitely seems to work out well, because the prices are very reasonable, too.
Altogether the place is a rustic experience, kind a like a small-town lodge, but the food is really spectacular. Kind of reminds you of something that you might cook on your backyard grill, but it also kind of reminds you of the stuff you’d find at a great steakhouse. All told this is a pretty good spot to visit, and while it might not be easy to see from the road, but you’d hate to overlook it.
  • Buckhorn doesn’t have a strong web presence, but it has a lot of specials to try on a menu that you’d see when you step into the restaurant.
  • The bar is very popular, they serve a number of mixed drinks, and some good beers on tap too.
  • Parking is first in the front, you can park in the back of the restaurant, but make sure you know where you’re going, because some of the neighbors may tow.

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