A chain that usually can be found in nice suburbs of cities across the United States, The Melting Pot bases its menu off of a pretty different menu item: fondue. Whether food is being cooked in cheese, or a hot broth, or you’re feeling a dessert and the food is in chocolate, the restaurant specializes in the simple love of a romantic dinner meant to be shared among a couple or a small group of people. It’s not a place where you go lightly, the prices are a bit higher and the attire is certainly a little nicer, but the end result is a very pleasant experience.
Nestle the way in the suburbs of North Columbus, Mr. pot only sells one thing: Chinese style hot pot. This is a unique kind of eating that lets you cook meats, seafoods and vegetables in a boiling broth and then dipping them in a sauce of your choice. It’s an immensely popular dish in Asia but this kind of cooking really hasn’t penetrated its way to the United States, except on a small scale with restaurants like this. Come hungry, this place will fill you up quickly.
A dive bar serving Cincinnati’s West side, Tavern on the Bend can be found just off Interstate 74 near Monfort Heights. This local sports bar features a menu of burgers and other sandwiches as well as 20 craft beers on tap. The sandwiches are named for different celebrities, famous characters and big personalities. And indeed, the food here has a lot of personality. This spot is a safe local place to grab a bite to eat and some company.
The newest addition to the Oregon District, and the creation of husband and wife team Natalie and Jack Skilliter, Corner Kitchen opened in a long-vacant space at the corner of one of Dayton’s most loved nightlife spots as a place where people can go to get something upscale but down-to-earth. The deliberate craft of its owners is apparent in the restaurant; each dish looks pretty simple from the outside but gets more complex as you dive in; and in the end the food here really delivers something that downtown Dayton has been craving.
It’s the re-imagining of a familiar location for Dayton residence, but Caddy’s Tap House is a whole different kind of watering hole in his predecessors. The spot has a focus much more on craft beer, good food, and socializing. There’s definitely a sports bar aspect to it, but I’d say that this is more of a spot that you really like to go to enjoy some time with friends. The food here, though, can’t be ignored. Caddy’s makes a lot of great pub food in house, and its versions of these dishes make for really delicious fare.
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.
As one of the flagship businesses of The Greene shopping center in east Dayton, The Pub is an attractive take on the English pub concept. The upscale restaurant sports a massive bar stocked to the gills with a varieties of beers, malt liquors, cocktails, and an abundance of English foods and dishes cooked and meant to be eaten with a good drink. There are a lot of great businesses in this area, and to be sure there is still competition in the bar scene, but The Pub may well be my favorite. It’s the kind of place where time and again, it will never fail to impress you.
Demos has a few locations around Nashville, it’s been a popular purveyor of Italian cuisine for quite some time. With its wide variety of delicious steaks, pasta and seafood available at relatively reasonable prices, this is a nice semi-casual place where you’ll find plenty of families and large groups feasting on delicious dishes on a cheap dime. The real charm of Demo’s is it’s such a people-friendly place; it’s always warm here, the service is always exemplary, and all in all the founding family did its job well; there’s an unmistakably contagious good mood that pervades this place as I come back year after year.