I Tried It: Under the lid with Blue Apron

Blue Apron is all the rage these days, but what’s under the lid here? Just about everyone is taking advantage of ready-to-eat meals these days, so what does it take to be a Blue Apron lover? I gave it a try. Most all of the options require next to nothing on your part for preparation … Continue reading

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AMK Chicago

Setting up shop in the nice Bucktown neighborhood in northern Chicago, AMK is a nice, more modern bar with a focus on good American cuisine, cocktails and whiskeys. The memorable interior of the bar gives way to a solid menu of good sandwiches, small plates and pizza. Make a point to grab a cocktail before you get your meal, it’s a bit of a pricier place, but the experience is worth it. This kitchen is a perfect one to try on a date or out with a few friends.

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Carver’s Steak House & Chops

A much-loved steakhouse that serves the southern Dayton region, Carvers Steak House & Chops strives for a simple, elegant experience. With a low-lit interior and a focus on very professional service, this fine dining destination hits the classics — good steaks, good cocktails, seafood and classic American foods. While a lot of new restaurants come and go, and trends rise and fall, places like Carver’s endure with a consistent experience and an austere reputation. The prices here are on par with a fine dining experience, but for the south suburbs of the Gem City, this spot tends to be a favorite.

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Engineer’s Club of Dayton

A private club in the heart of downtown Dayton, the Engineer’s Club of Dayton is a members’ organization and gathering place in a historic downtown building. Founded for Dayton’s thinkers and intellectuals by big names including Charles Kettering and Orville Wright, this spot hosts private events and other kinds of functions. The environment rings of history and the walls are decorated of the many exploits of Engineer’s Club members over their lifetimes, but the breakfast and lunch service is worth a try if you can find someone to get you in.

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Basils on Market

Opened just off the square in downtown Troy, Basils on Market is a significant departure from the Night Sky Coffeehouse which formerly occupied this space. While it keeps the same intimate and cozy interior feel that made the former space so comfortable, this new concept goes instead in the direction of a high-quality bar with a menu of pub grub and an appreciation for the local arts scene. Good to see local artists are still represented in the space, but now you’ll want to take a look at that menu, too. The dishes you’ll find here are definitely worth a detour.

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Cork Wine & Dine

A newer concept which has recently opened at The Greene shopping center in Beavercreek, east of Dayton, Cork Wine & Dine is the resident wine bar of the development, and offers a variety of light cuisine to go along with an extensive selection of wines of all vintages and nationalities. Newcomers to wine and connoisseurs alike are apt to find a pleasant evening in the warmly lit, classy interior of Cork. The food which goes along with it is pretty good, so you may quickly find this quiet little concept growing on you.

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Firebirds Wood Fired Grill

It’s a furiously growing concept out of Charlotte, and as soon as you step foot into Firebirds Wood Fired Grill, the smell of smoked hickory fills your nose. This concept is a sleek and modern take on the mid-priced steakhouse restaurant, with plenty of comfort food favorites on tap for diners. Like many in this category, you tend to find only one or two locations to a city, but what it offers in quality and experience is above the bar. Firebirds has a great, well-rounded menu of steaks and sandwiches, and its presence seems to complement upscale shopping centers very well.

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Tanks Bar & Grill

You hear a lot in Dayton about the little dive bars that the locals love. Always near the top of the list is Tank’s Bar and Grill, a spot along Wayne Avenue which isn’t big, isn’t conspicuous and isn’t very aggressive about marketing itself, but people love it still. Word of mouth tends to be the way that you first hear of Tank’s, and it’s often a surprise to people: a dive bar near downtown that makes good breakfast? It almost sounds like an oxymoron. But Tank’s delivers.

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Chappy’s Taproom & Grille

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.

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Hibachi Grill & Supreme Buffet (CLOSED)

Hibachi Grill & Supreme Buffet is an expansive buffet option serving Kettering in the suburban region of south Dayton. At the confluence of Wilmington Pike and Stroop Road, it’s a popular site for the neighborhood and attracts a lot of folks from the area for its convenience and the wide variety of foods that it serves. Still, though, my experience on the dishes here was mixed.

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