A bit off the beaten path in Beavercreek east of Dayton, The Wellington Grille caters to a bit of an older crowd but it’s still filled up pretty easily even on weekend nights. This Americana-style grill and steakhouse isn’t too formal a place to visit, but it’s kept a good reputation as an approachable meal. Perhaps the interior could use a refresh, but the food you have here will be a familiar and comforting thing. This spot has been around for a few years and doesn’t turn a lot of heads, but it’s a good date night spot.
Eccentric. Colorful. A resort. All of these things describe the collection of beach themed decor and busy dining areas that is The Dock in Enon. The seafood restaurant has a ton of quirk with it, designed to make you feel like you’re at a beach in the middle of southern Ohio. For all that excitement, the place does a pretty good job with the seafood dishes it offers, and the pleasant experience the place brings grows on you pretty quickly. It’s easy to miss it for its location in a small town, but it’s also so much fun, it’s worth a little trip.
Serving downtown Dayton now for more than a decade, The Wine Gallery sits on the bank of the river as an upscale spot where people like to visit after a show in the arts venues or to enjoy time with friends and try a new glass of wine. It’s a cozy place to bring a group of people, with a patio to enjoy and, nicely, food that is tasty while not breaking the bank.
Ollie’s Place has generated quite a bit of excitement in the months since it has opened in the south Dayton suburb of Centerville, Ohio. The spot brings the Dayton suburbs something they will surely love; a craft beer and whisky bottle shop with a connected tap room and restaurant. Take a step into the low-lit environment here and you’ll be immediately struck by the welcoming atmosphere. Not only is it a retail place to grab some craft brews, but it’s a place where you can relax and spend some time with a quality menu of bar foods perfectly matches to the extensive tap wall.
While it was founded with humble roots in 1996 in a suburb of New Orleans, Another Broken Egg Cafe has since embarked on an extremely ambitious growth spurt, with now close to 70 locations planned or opened, many of which breaking into new markets all over the country courtesy of franchising. Among those recent introductions, the spot has opened in Ohio and some of the other major cities in the Midwest, bringing its own style of breakfast food and southern-fused seafood dishes. I like the idea, it’s new for this area, but some of the technique does give me reason to worry.
As one of countless seafood stands along Fort Walton Beach, Florida close to the highly-trafficked areas of Destin and Pensacola, The Original Waterfront Crab Shack cuts a pretty simple image along the marina just off the outer islands. While it sits a bit away from the areas tourists traditionally go, this spot is not to be overlooked, both for its waterside view and for its popularity with the local crowd, who seems to prefer the lower-key atmosphere over the loud, crowded tourist spots a few miles away.
Just a few miles up the road from Destin on Florida’s Emerald Coast, Fort Walton beach largely avoids the mass of tourists that inundate it’s sister city. But this town, while a little lower key, totes some under the radar local restaurants too. If you’ve never been to a beach, you need to know that fresh seafood is a completely different ball game from what you have inland, so the more little dives you can find to feast on seafood, the better. Hightide Restaurant is just one of those, along the Miracle Strip it’s a great place you might miss on Okaloosa Island.
One of the bars in the middle of Dayton’s Oregon District, Blind Bob’s is sort of a dive bar concept which tends to be popular with younger people and the Oregon District neighborhood. It’s a nightspot with a kitchen that is open late, but more importantly it’s a music venue. On top of that, Blind Bob’s is a family business run by an actually visually-impaired Bob Mendenhall, who just might be the friendliest person you’ll meet. The bar is easy to like, and the food is a pretty good plus.