La Sandwicherie

It’s very easy to miss this small little stand when you’re on your way to Miami Beach, but it’s definitely worth noticing. A group of French nationals created the stop, a walk up counter with plenty of options for enormous sandwiches served on baguette or croissant and ready to walk and eat with. When the food is served quickly, this makes for a convenient and fast option to grab food and hit the beach, as opposed to the many restaurants in town that sit you down and make you wait a while.

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Cassano’s Pizza

Dayton Ohio has a variety of local pizza places, and several of the biggest chains have a lot of local exposure. Cassano’s, toting itself as the Pizza King, is definitely one of those.  The recipes, inspired by Vic Cassano and his family, here you will find thin crust pizza, subs, bar food and lots of love from the locals. In each of the smattering of locations around the Miami Valley, you’ll find a spot where the food comes pretty quickly and there’s a small dining room to enjoy it, but much of the business is done to-go. I like the things that I try here, this makes for a pretty good experience of inexpensive, comfort food that screams Dayton.

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Nashville Hot

While it hearkens to the very favorite dish of the Music City, Nashville Hot (In Dayton, known as “Mike’s Nashville Hot” for the franchise owner) is actually founded in Cincinnati. The product of Tom+Chee’s David Krikorian and including former Bengals player Brad Cousino, this group is focused on taking hot chicken — a cuisine much beloved in Nashville but relatively unknown outside of that city — and popularizing it for a wider audience. Hot chicken is a sensitive thing for die-hards, but what the chain is offering is a great introduction to a dish many will not have tried before.

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Texas Beef & Cattle Co.

Quietly set up as a barbecue joint to serve the Wright Dunbar neighborhood, Texas Beef & Cattle Co. has quickly become a local attraction with a line out the door. And there’s a good reason for that, because people from downtown, where there are plenty of other dining options, are headed this way for the chance to try some of this food. West Dayton has had its struggles to be sure, but there are new businesses finding their way here that are changing this neighborhood with the quality they offer. This is one of them.

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Burntwood Tavern

In a remarkable sign of growth, the Burntwood Tavern opened its doors just in 2010 and has since expanded to about 10 locations throughout suburban Cleveland. “Chef driven, guest focused,” each location has a self-described “rustic” interior made principally of reclaimed wood with a menu focused heavily on wood-smoked and wood-fired dishes. Grilled meats of many types, sandwiches and more, all served up on friendly portions. There’s something to be said for this kind of modern kitchen and finding a great niche. It’s nice to see this spot grow so fast.

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Smoky Bones Bar & Fire Grill

Smoky Bones is a Florida-based mid-sized restaurant chain that has enjoyed some popularity throughout the United States for a few years. Mostly it does Kansas City-style barbecue with a variety of meats and a host of “Yankee sweet “sauces. In the south, barbecue chains tend to be pretty popular, but the north has a smaller number of chains with takes on the American classic. So how does this one stack up? Well, it depends on what you order.

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Der Bake Oven

Berlin, Ohio is often thought of as the capital of Amish country, far from the beaten path in the northern part of the state and full of little shops. Bakeries. Furniture stores. Little local antique shops. Kitch decorations. It’s a place to get away from the complications of modern life and enjoy some of the old-world simplicity and hospitality. Small town America produces places like Der Bake Oven appear in towns like this and make them extra charming. Along Berlin’s main stretch and open bright and early in the morning, it’s the kind of charm you don’t want to miss.

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Remember When Tea Room

A charming pink house in Southwest Ohio’s quaint Waynesville, Remember When is a gateway to a bygone era, evoking the very friendly and all too uncommon art of the afternoon tea. Literally run out of the house of its owners, you will find every dish made by hand and every item a but of a personal touch. Once you understand how the place works you wilk find it a very pleasant place to try.

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Critic’s Special: Raising Cane’s

Oilman-turned-fisherman-turned-restaurant owner Todd Graves did more that open a restaurant when he created Raising Cane’s. This chain has attracted a cult following and wherever it goes, people get crazy. This week its first location opens in Dayton, Ohio, and opening day was met with lines out the door and a drive through that has a constant security detail, with traffic headed around the block.

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Central Perc European Cafe

For 20 years the main stretch of Oakwood has been served with a very friendly little coffee shop called the Central Perc European Cafe. Coffee shops and smoothie stations have popped up around it in the time since then, and you could still drive right by this little shop without seeing it unless you knew exactly where to look. But it’s one of few really nice British tea houses in the Dayton area, and the menu here is definitely worth discovering.

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