The Golden Lamb Inn

The famous Golden Lamb Inn of Lebanon, Ohio has been in business for over 200 years, and counts among its thousands of satisfied customers a dozen United States presidents. Once a stagecoach stop on the road to Cincinnati, this spot still operates as a hotel, restaurant and bar stop with some very classic and long-loved dishes. Step into the country kitchen and you’ll find an experience that is something like a museum, something like an old tavern lost in time, but still serving great food. Golden Lamb is a landmark well worth a stop in Lebanon, and the food delivers.

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Carmel’s Southwest Grill

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.

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12 South Taproom & Grill

The recent expansion of America’s thriving craft beer industry has attracted not only a ton of new taprooms to Nashville, but also plenty of other bars with a focus on finding and serving the best of those craft beers. Capitalizing on the expansion of the 12th Avenue South area, the 12 South Taproom & Grill features a menu of pub grub favorites to enjoy with a variety of craft beers from the south and beyond. Not only Nashville’s top beers, but dozens of beers from around the country are on tap. There are a lot of good things to try here.

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Wheat Penny

On its face, Wheat Penny is one of the newest pizza places in Dayton, but this downtown stop near the Oregon District strives to be much more. It’s the brainchild of local restaurateur Elizabeth Wily and capitalizes on the innovation of the kitchen seen at the successful Meadowlark restaurant in Kettering. With a slightly different feel and a whole different focus — not only good pizza, but interesting and creative preparation for vegetables — Wheat Penny has moved in on the Wayne Avenue restaurant scene in a big way, and in spite of exceptional competition in its proximity, this new concept delivers.

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Dominic’s Italian Restaurant

Just south of Cleveland, in the quaint town of Medina, is Dominic’s Italian Restaurant. This pizzeria, bar and Italian food destination offers a pretty wide variety of foods to try, both for carry-out and delivery to the nearby streets. Everything from pizza and wings to pasta, and even fried chicken. For a relatively economical price, you can get a ton of food; enough to feed a family, actually, and so that’s the biggest draw.

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Milano’s Atlantic City Subs

When I first spotted Milano’s Atlantic City Subs, I was certain it was a chain, so I avoided it. The place is clean, colorful, and very commercial looking. Only later did I make the pleasant discovery that Milano’s is a successful Dayton-based sub restaurant opened in 1969 near the University of Dayton, and which has only recently expanded to three locations in the Dayton area. It’s an exciting startup, and I’m sold on its delicious potential.

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Elsa’s Mexican Restaurant

Another small tex-mex chain around the Dayton area, Elsa’s currently operates four locations around the town. It’s got a different feel to it than some other tex-mex places; it feels almost more like a family bar than the average place does. You walk in and are greeted immediately by a dominating drink bar, and on either side, seating, televisions, and an arcade. With a lunch buffet it’s undoubtedly a very way to sell a business. Unfortunately, for all the other things going on around the place, making good food seems to have gotten lost somewhere.

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