Food

Resturants reviews and edible things!

Mel-o-dee diner sign

Mel-O-Dee

2350 S Dayton-Lakeview Rd, Carlisle
New Carlisle, OH 45344
http://www.melodeerestaurant.com

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 3/4th generation. The place feels like it has been updated by kept the same ever since. 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 an style of cooking that is a mix of pressure cooking and frying. It is famous is 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.”

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Al’s Woody’s Diner

9 N Wood St
Wapakoneta, Ohio, OH 45895

On a trip to the Armstrong Air and Space Museum in Wapakoneta we decided to try something new for lunch. We really wanted something local and good. We decided to try out Al’ Woody’s Diner. What we noticed first is that is not a huge place and that it seemed everyone knew everyone. The menu ranges from burgers, pizza, sandwiches, to dinners. The menu also has lots of local advertisements in it, so one more reason it seems this place is connect to the community.

When we went it was lunch time and we took the last seats at the bar. If we would have waited we could have gotten a table. The place seemed to have a lot of locals and just the right amount of seating for everyone. The over all look was local Wapakoneta with a major kick to Ohio State University and the buckeye state. “Woody” in the name refers to former coach Woody Hayes.  The inside was not over done and a sports bar, but retained it’s local diner/restaurant feel.

At lunch they have a buffet. This is mostly Pizza and Fried Chicken. We had Burgers and Chicken sandwiches. The food was standard and nothing to fancy on paper. But was exactly what one would want from this type of diner. It was well prepared and came out quickly enough to be able to get back to work or the museum. We started with the Giant basket of onion straws and lost track of time. They were more than enough to share with 2 people or a group. The taste was of onions but not overpowering. The breading was well balanced with the insides to make for a great french fry substitute.

The food was good. It was well prepared and had a touch of homemade to it. Nothing felt “bagged” or factory prepared. The staff was friendly and service great. The selection was good and the price just right. The next time you visit Armstrong Air and Space save some time to go down the street to Al’s Woody’s Diner.

Bears Mill

6450 Arcanum Bears Mill Rd,
Greenville, OH 45331
https://www.bearsmill.org

Bears Mill in Darke County is one of the last water powered mills still in operation in Ohio today. The 4 story mill has become more of a museum than a full day to day mill. The mill still mills tho.

Bear Mill has a shop on the first floor with a wide variety of kitchen utensils, pottery, decor, and ever chaining selection of art. Of course the shop also offers a selection of grains milled on site. The shop is a nice place to get a gift, or even just to get something for oneself.

The difference between Bear Mill and other local shops is in the mill itself. The mill is still in operation and during certain times one can actually see the grinding going on. When the miller is away the museum still is informational. The four floors are full of informational placards and pictures of the older days. Along with the working equipment are artifacts and items to support the story of how a mill works. One of the unique things about Bear Mill is that it has both the old buhr stone along with newer roller mills. Most mills discarded the old stones when they got the new rollers. The fact that the mill has both is a testament to the history that is preserved at the site.

Along with the beautiful mill are the acres of land surrounding it. Take a hike along the powerful Greenville Creek and see the force that drives the wheels inside. Sit and enjoy the sounds of the water and nature at the gazebo near-by.  Bears Mill has something for everyone.

Maid Rite

125 North Broadway St.
Greenville, Ohio 45331
http://maidrite-greenville.com

Right down the street from the Garst Museum is the Famous Maid-Rite. Named Best burger in Ohio at times, but the award like the meat in the sandwich, is loose.

The meat in a Maid Rite is closer to a dry sloppy joe than a hamburger. It is steamed and seasoned, not fried. It is slightly sweet and will fall off the bun. The size is not quite a slider but with the looseness of the meat not quite a full sandwich. Two will be only slightly more than an average hamburger. The Maid Rite is not the only sandwich the restaurant has. For a more filling option the Big Jim is a maid rite with cheese and a slice of ham. They also have chicken salad, egg salad, and just ham, and ham and cheese sandwiches.

Along with the sandwiches are drinks and chip options, and desserts. The chips are Dayton’s own Mike Sells. The drink menu is large. Fountain drinks, bottle and sports drinks, and even something for the older folks (beer) are all available. The dessert menu includes traditional shakes, malts and sundaes.

The building is small and has limited seating. Not a problem at times, but seating can be an issue at meal times when the place is busy. In a hurry? Try the drive through. Want something to remember the place by? They sell hats and t-shirts in store.

Maid rite as the name says is maid right. The loose meat sandwich will leave one full and happy while the local atmosphere will leave one reminded of simple times in Greenville.

Schmidt’s Sausage Haus: Updated!

Original Post: Schmidt’s Sausage Haus

NEW: Food trucks (http://www.schmidthaus.com/sausage-truck/)

Schmidt’s Sausage Haus is still serving the classic German fare it has for over 100 years. They still have the Autobahn Buffet. They still are in the old building that fills up on weekends and is hard to park at during busy hours. They have added a food trucks to help with this problem.

We have not been to the food truck yet, but have been to their tent at local fares. The food is just as good as at the original location and the cream puffs just as large. The food trucks are outside of  business most days. They have more than one truck and generally spread through out the city pretty well. They also have a truck tracker and schedule on their website. On weekends in the fall they are with everyone else in Columbus at the OSU games. So where ever one might be in Columbus they are never to far from good German food.

Tip: Visit Schmidt’s on most social media platforms @SchmidtsCbus.

Jungle Jim’s: Updated!

Original Post: Jungle Jim’s

The Original Jungle Jim’s is still as Jungley and Jimmy as ever. The food and craziness inside is still as mind blowing as ever. The outside has expanded to include a mini mall with a few restaurants and stores. While they are nothing too unique they help to enhance the overall experience.

NEW Location added:
4450 Eastgate South Drive
Cincinnati, OH 45245

The NEW and exciting update to the Jungle Jim’s franchise is the location on the other side of Cincinnati in Eastgate. The new store is even more zany than the original location. This one doesn’t just have a store map, but almost requires one. The large aisle that runs through out is great for getting from the front door to the registers, but is not so helpful if one goes down a smaller aisle and reconnects to it at some other point. Of course this being Jungle Jim’s, half the fun is getting lost in the endless selection.

The attractions from the original store are included in the new one. Sometimes they are even beefed up, such as in the candy section and honey sections. It seems as if the company knew what made the original a hit and simply expanded on it. The “Hot Sauce and Fiery Food” section is almost 3x as large. Candy section is twice as large. Aisles are now large enough for two lanes of cart traffic.

While expanding some sections Jungle Jim’s also made sure to make the shopping experience a good one. The store seems designed more from entrance to cash registers than the original one.  This is great for the shopper looking to experience everything. This is not so good for a person who is looking to get in and out in a hurry. But hey who goes to Jungle Jim’s expecting to get out in a hurry? This is the type of store that needs exploring and the new layout its great at helping that.

So for a shopping experience like no other visit the Original or NEW location of Jungle Jim’s.

Tip: Eat first. The place will make you want to buy everything and being hungry does not help.

Grass Skirt Tiki Room

img_0362This is going to be a mini celebration review.

Address: 105 N. Grant Ave, Columbus, Ohio

Website: http://grassskirttiki.wcom

Rating: ****

The Grass Skirt Tiki Room is one of those fun places to eat, drink, and discover. The atmosphere is matched by the great food and drinks. This restaurant is not huge, so it could get busy. we went in the late afternoon on a summer day and the place was not crowded. So if crowded is not your thing middle of the afternoons are good. The Grass Skirt is a bar type of restaurant, so late nights could be fun with a group of friends.

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If you loved the Kahiki, and are looking for something to fill its place, this is it. The whole place, as the name suggests, is tiki themed. Very tiki themed. It is fun and festive. The decor is almost over the top, but stops at just the right point. There is a real laid back feeling to it. This does not mean your treated poorly. We were treated professional and the staff was attentive. This place is one where you really feel like you want to hang out. The menu has lots of choices all following theme.

So, give The Grass Skirt Tiki room a try.

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Chalet in the Valley

IMG_0160Address: 5060 OH-557, Millersburg, OH 44654

Website: http://www.chaletinthevalley.com

Rating: ******

Note: Not always open in the Winter months.

Chalet in the Valley is an Austrian, Swiss and Amish cuisine restaurant in Ohio’s Amish Country. This restaurant is a real treat allowing one to get something you do not find at your typical restaurant. The building is a Swiss chalet overlooking the Doughty Valley. This restaurant really gives you an authentic and special feeling when you arrive in the parking lot and then enter.

We started off with sauerkraut balls. These balls were deep fried and contained sauerkraut and pork. A nice treat that came along with Dijon mustard. The mustard really complimented the balls. They offer also other great appetizers, like fried pickles, cheese curds, pierogi, and more. One item they have that is probably popular is cheese or chocolate fondue. This is made even more special as they are across the street from a cheese factory.

They have lots of great main dishes and are know for their schnitzels. You can also get wurst, spaetzle, sauerbraten, sandwiches, salads, and more.  There is also a great line up of desserts.

The food was really good and had great flavors. The food was well cooked and was authentic. We loved the spatezle steak tips which had a great gravy. We also loved the sauerbraten which was tender and very tasty. Our meals came with pretzel breadsticks which were a nice addition.

The service was good and the atmosphere very warm and inviting. This is s a great addition to any vacation to the area. It is nice to have something a little different from the other restaurants in the area. This is really a great place to bring the whole family. You can get a great meal in a great location.

 

Belgrade Gardens

401 E State St, Barberton, OH 44203

Link: http://www.belgradegardenschicken.com

Rating: ****

In order to understand Belgrade Gardens Restaurant you will need to know about Barberton chicken. Barberton chicken is a kind of chicken the originated in Barberton and is Serbain-American style. Here is what the chicken looks like.

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The breading and chicken only seasoned with salt and pepper and are fried in lard. Maybe there was no salt and pepper, we are getting a few conflicting internet recipes, but it was for sure not heavily seasoned with lots of spices. The chicken is available in many different cuts.

Belgrade Gardens has been around since the 1930s in an old farmhouse. The place has been expanded and if you walk around you can see that the restaurant is huge and can seat hundreds of people. It has won many awards and has been featured in magazines, newspapers, radio, and television. They even won a Food Network TV show. The place is comfortable and the menu is more than just chicken with many daily specials. When we went we had great service and the great food.

The chicken is well know, but the sides are also great. They have a dish called hot sauce. We were expecting some sauce in a bottle, but were surprised when this dish came out. IMG_0312

Their hot sauce has rice, tomatoes, onions, and hot peppers in it. It was very tasty and just the right amount of heat. The peppers might of been removed before the dish was served, we did not bite into a really hot part.

We ordered the regular which came with chicken, fries, hot sauce, and cole slaw. Each item was well done and very tasty. We also ordered there root beer, which was a nice treat.

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In the area, or not, this is really worth the drive. The chicken is crisp, but not too crisp and very fresh. The breading has a nice chew to it and is not over hard. The chicken was very juicy and not dried out. This is a restaurant that really knows what they are doing and sticks to recipes and dishes they make well. This restaurant has a local feeling.

If you want to experience good food and a great time this is your restaurant. Worth the trip no matter how far.

Note: The restaurant’s website has a great about section. Yes, we saved that for last so you would not jump over too soon.

Breakfast Places

Breakfast PlacesHere are a few places that we have been to for breakfast. A good breakfast place needs to have good coffee, reasonable prices, good food, and be a place that is either close or worth the drive. The food can be simple or complex, it does not matter. One can tell if a restaurant is good if locals go there and conversations are going on. You also need a wait staff that is friendly and attentive. Make sure to look at times as many of these places are not all day.

Breakfast Club Cafe

http://breakfastclubcafe.com/

102 N Broadway St

Lebanon, OH 45036

Rating *****

This is a great local place with a good menu. This business also has a restaurant in Dayton. The food is homemade and you can tell that love and care goes into the food. There are many of your typical breakfast type foods there. You can get pancakes, waffles, french toast, eggs, omelets, sandwiches, burgers, soup, salad. They have great waffles, with many different kinds available. They also roasts their own coffee. The coffee is great and can be sipped in many different varieties. The service was great when we went, we were attended on but not over bothered. This is the type of place you could go to every week, and it seemed people did.

Buckeye Donuts

http://alwaysopen.buckeye-donuts.com/

1998 N High St, Columbus, OH 43201

Rating*****
Buckeye Donuts is in Columbus near the university. It is open 24 hours a day, so anytime you get a craving for donut, you can get one. They have a menu that includes more than just donuts. You can get good coffee or a sandwich. They have your standard donuts and some a little fancier, what they do not have is those over priced hipster donuts in the fad places. Just expect good quality donuts, not hype. Good hand cut donuts. The place is smallish and even Saturday afternoon in the summer is filled with people. It might be a wait during the school year. What is nice about the place is you can hang out or it is set up for a quick pick up of donuts. They also do catering, so you could fill your office with their great donuts. If you in Columbus make sure to stop by this place.
 Koffee Kup
428 S. First St.
Miamisburg, OH 45342
This is a restaurant we have passed many times and thought nothing about it. We then decided. The food is your typical breakfast and lunch fair. The service was friendly and the food was hot and fast. We enjoyed the food and like the reasonable prices. The place is not huge, but just the right size. The food is good and this would be a great place to go before going out the local bike trails.