Located just north of Fairborn and Huber Heights, the Mel-o-Dee is along the small strip that is the business district of New Carlisle. The restaurant is very hard to miss with the famous sign lighting up the way. While many other food options are available in the major cities nearby, and a few in town, Mel-O-Dee is worth the short drive.
The restaurant was opened in 1964, and run ever since, by the Childers family. They are currently on the 3 and 4th generations. The place feels like it has been updated, and yet kept the same ever since opening. If you want a fancy modern chain restaurant, this is not the place. The decor however does not feel inauthentic and cheesy. Everything works nicely to give a small town ascetic. The atmosphere is of a local restaurant where people will come before a football game, or after church, and discuss the town’s mayor, with the mayor probably at the next booth.
When we went the food was amazing. The menu consists of Breakfast, sandwiches, and Dinner. The menu is nothing too fancy but has enough options to satisfy all but the pickiest eater. The selection is a reminiscent of a menu found in the 70’s and 80’s before current food trends started to take over. When we went the special was Baked Swiss Steak. It was a great traditional meal that many a place has forgotten. The bread, as with most items, is simple and fresh made daily in house. The daily specials change from time to time and the online menu does not do justice to the selection at hand in store.
Mel-O-Dee is famous for its broasted fair of chicken, pork, or fish. Broasting is a style of cooking that is a mix of pressure cooking and frying. It is famous in central and southern Ohio. The food comes out crisp, not extra crispy, on the outside and juicy on the inside. The overall effect is similar to frying, but different enough to be memorable. Mel-O-Dee takes pride in their broasting and has a whole section of the menu dedicated to it. If one has never had broasted foods before, Mel-O-Dee is a great place to begin. They even have carryout buckets up to 1000 pieces.
The prices of food may have gone up since the 90’s, but are still are the cheaper side of most sit down restaurants. The decor and feel of the place has not changed much since then. So for a good old nostalgic feel of small town Ohio go to Mel-O-Dee. As they say “Our Food will put a Mel-O-Dee in your Heart.”