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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Yaffa Grill

A dive restaurant in Fairborn across the street from Wright State University and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Yaffa Grill is a pretty simple restaurant operation and attached grocery store serving Mediterranean cuisine. Busy during the lunch hour for its variety of fresh food and relatively healthy options. This place is all made for convenience, whether you want carry out or a quick buffet. The food here is fresh and pretty good.

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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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Station House

While the Station House is a part of the expansive St. Leonard Franciscan Living Community south of Dayton, the restaurant is very much open to the public, and in fact it’s a spot that is frequented by people local to Centerville as well as the many residents of the community. While the Station House strives to be a restaurant where you can try just about anything, it succeeds best in bringing a laid back feel to lunch.

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Citilites

As the resident restaurant serving the Schuster Performing Arts Center in downtown Dayton, Citilites (pronounced ‘city lights,’ it took me a few tries to figure out) is a class establishment. For performances, it hosts both lunches and dinners, but the store is most popular during the work day, as a spot for business meetings among the downtown companies. It’s got a variety of foods for a variety of customers, and the menu seems to change regularly. Generally though, it’s upscale dining, served best with a nice glass of wine. Odds are, if you’re from the local business community, you’ve attended a few big events in this restaurant.

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Dayton Racquet Club

Perched high atop Kettering Tower, Dayton’s tallest skyscraper, the elite Dayton Racquet Club is a members-only social establishment with a number of amenities, the most remarkable of which is a restaurant and lounge on the building’s 29th floor. It’s at this exclusive club that Dayton’s elite rub shoulders whether it’s for a gathering of business leaders over breakfast, a light lunch with a source, or cocktails after hours. The Racquet Club is good to its members, and the food here, matching the view, is top-notch.

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Vinoklet Winery

The hilly Colerain Township of Cincinnati’s West Side is easy to get lost in, but travel the winding roads long enough, and you’ll run across a place like Vinoklet Winery. With an eye on quality dining, this spot makes a line of its own wines and also features many high-end events and music. It’s a serene environment, lost in the foothills, with a warm fireplace and low-lit dining spaces. I can’t think of a nicer place to bring a date.

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Claddagh Irish Pub

This chain of Irish Pub restaurants has about 15 locations around the Midwest, most of them aiming for a mid- t0 high-market for pub food and drinks. Claddagh goes for sort of a dark, close-in British bar, lined with fireplaces and old bottles and other trinkets, despite that most of the restaurants are in fact located in nice developments with a patio and a nice view. Claddagh has a lot of the right ingredients, a lot of the right preparation methods, but some of the bar’s technique could use improvements.

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Sleepy Bee Cafe

The Cincinnati suburb of Oakley has a vibrant night life and a large population of active young people, so it’s no surprise that a healthy breakfast place opening in the middle of the main stretch generated a lot of hype. And bee puns, which you will find none of here. Indeed, Sleepy Bee Cafe has an innovative menu that is sourced as locally as possible, and since it opened last month it’s been pretty typical to see a crowd waiting outside. Unfortunately, the early reputation of the place has been tarnished online by what in my experience has been well-founded criticism of the service.

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Uno Chicago Grill

With a little over 100 locations, mostly based in New England, Uno Chicago Grill is generally a fast-casual concept with a heavier emphasis on the bar. Many are located downtown, many have an outside porch, and many have a ton of space to handle lunch and evening crowds. The chain was founded in 1943 – in Chicago, to be sure – and claims to be the very chain that invented the legendary Chicago-style deep dish pizza.

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