The latest take out spot to open in downtown Dayton, CJ’s Fusion Express replaces another former take-out spot and is one of the few Chinese food options in downtown Dayton. Not authentic, to be sure, but the spot does offer something that is unique to downtown, in food that is fast, a-la carte, take-out ready and very convenient. It’s got a niche and an audience, and I think the place should not be ignored as an option for downtown.
Barbecue: anywhere you go in Nashville, you’re almost certain to find some great options for smoked meats. Drifters BBQ, just east of the city, is a nightlife spot that offers live music, good craft beers, ample patios for games and a great menu of affordable barbecue dishes. I would primarily call the spot a good nightlife option and place for music near downtown, with the added plus of good food that is served late into the night.
A Tex-Mex focused bar near the border of Dayton proper and its upscale Dayton neighborhood of Oakwood, Carmel’s Bar & Grill is a neighborhood bar a little off the beaten path in one of the city’s neighborhoods and it’s a place that seems to bring out a very local crowd. With an expansive patio and a menu that is part pub grub and part southwest specialties. The spot has a lot of menu items that people love, and a lot of reasons that its locals love to come back.
Chappy’s Taproom, one of the more popular suburban bars in south Dayton, is a place to go for a great sense of variety. Not only does the spot sport dozens of kinds of beers on tap and plenty of bottles, but the spot has a wide variety of items on its menu worth trying too. Barbecue, fried chicken, burgers and pub food; you name it, Chappy’s has got it, and does it in a really great way.
As restaurants go, often the goal is to make something over-the-top delicious like you can’t find anywhere else. Little City Grill, nestled in Cleveland, Ohio, has seen success doing just the opposite; it’s the kind of place where you go to enjoy meals that remind you at home. A lot of red-blooded American classics make up the heart of the menu, including steaks, barbecue, and a huge array of breakfast foods and specials that keep people coming here early in the morning all the way into the evening.
Right on the cusp of the Oregon District in downtown Dayton, Smokin BBQ is a tiny store right between the Central Business District and the heart of the city’s night life. It appeals to the locals as a place that serves barbecue at a decent price, one of few businesses to do so downtown and survive as it has since 2005. It’s also the place that is open very, very late. Four in the morning to be exact. The name is simple, the store is simple and the menu is to the point, and it’s a charming little dive.
A Chinese food buffet just north of downtown Bowling Green, Old Town Buffet serves up a cheap and convenient option for lots of food. This spot seems to cater primarily to the surrounding community, and less so to the college population to the south. Old Town serves up a lot of fan favorites as far as Chinese buffet food goes, but some of the dishes are much better than others.
Adam’s Rib is a small barbecue joint serving the Ohio-Indiana border town of Eaton, a small house with a gravel driveway on the edge of town, with a smoker outside. Real simple operation. Oh, and also, they seem to have a food truck, which extends the business on the weekend. As far as Athens, Ohio, even, because I spotted the truck there before I actually discovered the spot in Eaton. The people are great, the food is simple, small town barbecue, and it’s very convenient.
Beaugard’s Southern Bar B Que is a smokehouse in Wilmington, southwest Ohio, that specializes in Memphis-style barbecue, with sandwiches, seafood and soul food as other specialties. It also seems to be one of the favorite places in town, crowded during meals and still cooking food made to order. The restaurant looks simple from the outside, and it looks simple from the inside, but the flavors are good old-fashioned barbecue.