The Buffet at Monte Carlo

In Vegas, they say it’s all about the buffets. Indeed most casinos on the strip have one, and you can walk right in and eat without gambling. In fact many are comped right to your room. Such is the case with The Buffet at Monte Carlo. Most used by the guests of the hotel itself the place has a plethora of options it serves for lunch and dinner. Of course, this casino was created by MGM as more of a budget option for the strip. You’ll find the buffet matches. In quality, not price.

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Osaka Sushi & Hibachi Bar

While there are a few Asian-themed buffets around Dayton, what Osaka Japanese Steakhouse offers the region is a very unique experience. Opened in what has for several years been a series of family dining restaurants, this one is a higher-priced buffet of Far Eastern cuisines you won’t find in many other places around town, and certainly not all under one roof. From Peking duck to octopus, frog legs and, yes, a sushi conveyor belt, this spot is a place to go when you’re feeling like a very adventurous experience.

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China Garden Buffet

As many years as it has stood in Springboro, China Garden Buffet has been a spot for inexpensive eats, and an all-you-can-eat Chinese dive that attracts plenty for its quantity of dishes. You can get a variety of dishes here — sushi, chicken dishes and seafood as well as plenty of veggies — to try on that buffet. It brings in a decent crowd from Franklin and Springboro for cheap eats, but leaves something to be desired.

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New China

Primarily serving the neighborhoods of East Dayton, New China is a discount Chinese takeout restaurant the focus on getting convenient, quick Chinese food to local residents from its relatively small storefront along Linden Avenue. The spot has a number of specials for take out or delivery with a pretty typical menu for a Chinese spot. Not a whole lot of surprises in store at this place, but you will occasionally find a bright spot on the menu. The food is timely, and it’s inexpensive, and I suppose that’s all you can really ask for.

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Opening week special: Ginger & Spice Asian Bistro

Just opened on Brown Street, Ginger and Spice Asian Bistro is Dayton’s latest take on noodles. It’s the latest in a recent trend of pan-Asian noodle houses opening around college campuses in this part of the country, driven in part by convenience and in part by the higher popularity of fast-casual Asian dishes that are packed for convenience. Ginger serves up styles including Korean jam pong, Chinese lo mein, pad Thai and Vietnamese pho. Of course there may be some things here the average Midwesterner might not be accustomed to, but this spot has a lot to offer.

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China Dynasty

While there are a ton of good restaurant options in the Dayton area, especially with Chinese food, there are not a ton of places that focus on a quality dine-in experience. Most are priced for convenience or set up as a take-out or delivery business. This spot actually is one of the few Chef-owned Chinese spots in town, and Chef Stephen can often be found walking through the restaurant and making sure everyone’s food is perfect. This is one of the older spots in town too, having opened in 1995 and rolling along ever since, as the Centerville area has developed all around it.

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Tik’s Thai Grille

Tik’s Thai Grille is a popular Dayton establishment with three locations on the east and south of the city. Founded by Siriya “Tik” Sirpol as a way of introducing the city to Thai food, it’s since seen a measure of success for its clean and formal concept, quick and unusual Thai food, and pleasant service.

The newest location opened just a few months ago in Springboro. The departure of the former tenant, China Village, has left a hole in my heart. I really liked that place, though I’m glad a new, better-managed restaurant is now in its place.

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Thai 9

You might not be able to tell from its plain-looking building, but Thai 9 Thai and Sushi Restaurant is often mentioned as one of the best Asian cuisine places in Dayton. The Thai food place is situated on the edge of downtown and the Oregon District — where many of the city’s more cultured establishments are situated. Spend any decent amount of time around this city, and you’re certain to run into one local or another who swears Thai 9 has the best food they’ve ever eaten.

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Pho Mi

Pho Mi has many of the dishes commonly found at Vietnamese restaurant. Pho noodle soups, rice vermicelli Bún dishes served with fried, spring roll-like Chả Giò. The vermicelli bowls are especially good. Fresh vegetables and steamy noodles are hard to hate. The meats are cooked well enough, though I prefer them cooked more thoroughly. The basic Vietnamese dishes are good, though they could use a little more seasoning or something. Anything, really. Some of the vegetables are a little too raw without a new flavor to change them around. It’s a nitpick, but it really does taste like something you could make at home without a distinguishing taste.

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Timmy’s Wok

Timmy’s Wok of Loveland, Ohio (which is apparently unrelated to restaurants of the same name in Hamilton and Dayton) is a small Chinese place for a small suburban Cincinnati town. It’s also a relatively recent addition, coming as the growing 275 corridor area has grown from a remote forest to a residential and commercial suburb of the city. Designed for fast, friendly and affordable takeout, Timmy’s Wok tends to cross my mind whenever I’m driving through Loveland. Is it good enough for a detour? Maybe. Just maybe.

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