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How to make your own ‘Zombie Dogz’

Published: Tuesday, June 28, 2016 @ 12:41 PM
Updated: Wednesday, July 19, 2017 @ 9:57 AM

Zombie Dogz restaurant and food truck has built its success on the knowledge that hot dogs remain one of America’s most favorite of favorite foods, even as our collective tastes have grown gourmet.

>> Zombie Dogz to open brick & mortar store 

>> 6 delicious hot dogs to eat in Dayton

I’ve seen their dogs with roasted corn, avocado puree and cilantro; with feta and tzaziki; with arugala and tomato jam. They keep freshening up the menu, which keeps their fans coming back for more.

>> Zombie Dogz announces menu updates



A photo posted by Zombiedogz (@zombiedogzdayton) on 


 >> Your guide to Dayton food trucks

There’s been jubilation since the announcement Monday that in September they’ll be opening a bricks-and-mortar restaurant at 1200 Brown St. near the University of Dayton. The news is bittersweet, however, because it means that the food truck won’t be making the rounds much after July as owners Dave and Lee VanArtsdalen focus on opening the restaurant. 

>> Young’s Dairy launched a new food truck, and you HAVE to try it

Withdrawal from Dayton’s most famous dogs will be difficult later this summer, and to help you get through the pain, we offer a recipe for gourmet dogs that you can make in minutes at home.

>> The 12 best restaurants in Dayton

From there, experiment with what you have in the fridge and in the pantry, as well as what you like. Be bold. Try cheese curds and gravy; tortilla chips, guacamole, queso and jalapenos; mashed potatoes or onion rings; egg salad; even fried bananas.



 Bright colors on a cloudy day.


A photo posted by Zombiedogz (@zombiedogzdayton) on 



Thai-Style Slaw

½ cucumber, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise

½ cup shredded carrots

½ (10-ounce) bag shredded red cabbage

3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped

1 tablespoon sesame oil

2 teaspoons less-sodium soy sauce

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

2 tablespoons Thai red chili sauce

Peanut Sauce

2 tablespoons creamy natural peanut butter

2 tablespoons sesame oil

1 tablespoon sugar-free maple-flavor syrup

1½ teaspoons less-sodium soy sauce

For serving:

6 all-beef kosher hot dogs

6 whole wheat hot dog buns

¼ cup raw unsalted peanuts, coarsely chopped

6 teaspoons sesame seeds


1. To make the slaw: In a large bowl, combine the cucumber, carrots, red cabbage and cilantro. In a small bowl, whisk together the sesame oil, soy sauce, vinegar and Thai red chili sauce. Pour this over the vegetables and toss to evenly cover. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

2. To make the peanut sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, sesame oil, syrup and soy sauce. Set aside until ready to serve.

3. To assemble: Preheat an indoor grill, grill pan, or outdoor grill to medium-high heat. Coat the indoor grill or grill pan with cooking spray. Grill the hot dogs for 2 to 3 minutes on all sides.

4. Place one grilled hot dog in a bun, top with 2 tablespoons slaw, ¾ tablespoon peanut sauce, a heaping ½ tablespoon peanuts, and 1 teaspoon sesame seeds.

5. Refrigerate any leftover slaw or serve it as a side dish.

Source: “Skinny Suppers: 125 Lightened-Up, Healthier Meals for Your Family” by Brooke Griffin; 308 pages, $29.99. Published by William Morrow, 2016.

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Have you tried the Whole Foods sandwich that went viral?

Published: Tuesday, February 20, 2018 @ 12:02 PM

Amazon to Start Whole Foods Deliveries in Four Cities The tech giant will offer free, two hour delivery from the supermarket to Prime members in Austin, Cincinnati, Dallas and Virginia Beach. The new deal will go into effect on Thursday. Prime members will be able to place their order via the Amazon website or the Prime Now app. Amazon bought the Whole Foods market chain in June for $13.7 billion.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Anyone can get their hands on the latest buzzy food craze: You just walk up to the deli at a Whole Foods, tell them you want “that TTLA sandwich” and pay $8 at the cash register.

That is, unless the deli is out of the ingredients, particularly the vegan tempeh “bacon” strips that are stuffed into the sandwich. Between a viral video (vegan actress Tabitha Brown singing and having an apparent religious experience) and the Twitter/Instagram/Facebook-friendly #TTLA hash tag, the nation is apparently experiencing shortages of tempeh bacon.

The whole thing started in January after Brown ordered the sandwich at a Whole Foods in California. It took off, helped along by people posting about the #TTLA Challenge.

» Amazon to deliver groceries to Prime Now customers in selected cities

At my local Whole Foods, there’s been such a run on the Smoky TTLA Sandwich that it took me more than a week to actually find it in stock.

“People come in all day long,” one clerk said. “We ran out of tempeh bacon.”

Kristina Morris of Charlotte was in line behind me at the deli counter, waiting to pick up two sandwiches. She was taking one to her stepfather, who is trying to go vegan at the age of 56. She saw the sandwich on Facebook.

“I’m going to try it too,” she said.

After all the fuss, what’s the sandwich like? Mine didn’t have all the dark leafy greens (or the pickle) that Tabitha Brown got. But it did have a generous stack of seven slices of tempeh bacon (that may explain why it runs out so fast), a pile of shredded lettuce, a generous slathering of roasted garlic Vegenaise (that ghostly white vegetarian mayonnaise), two slices of tomato, six or seven thin slices of avocado and a salt/pepper mix on ciabatta bread.

» Kroger looking to partner with Overstock.com: report

About that tempeh bacon: Let’s be generous and call it “bacon-ish.” To a non-vegan, it tastes like what bacon would taste like if pigs were made of cardboard. So the sandwich misses that essential soft-tomato/crispy bacon fat-and-salt hit of a real BLT.

Still, there’s enough gushiness from the avocado and the Vegenaise (note to self: get the roasted garlic flavor) to give the whole thing plenty of flavor, especially with the crusty ciabatta adding some crunch to offset the weirdly mushy tempeh slices.

Verdict: Roasted Garlic Vegennaise, avocado, tomato and lettuce makes a really good sandwich. But hold the fake bacon.

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Where to find king cake on Fat Tuesday in Dayton

Published: Thursday, February 23, 2017 @ 6:00 AM
Updated: Tuesday, February 06, 2018 @ 12:00 PM

Some facts about this Marci Gras delicacy.

To us in Dayton, king cake may seem like a bit of a novelty. However, those from or living in the Gulf Coast area take it very seriously.

>> 10 restaurants opening in Dayton in 2018 

Commonly enjoyed on Fat Tuesday -- which will be celebrated on Feb. 13, 2018 this year -- the origin of the king cake goes back to Biblical times as part of the celebration of the Epiphany, celebrated on Jan. 6. Its popularity spread across Europe as a Christmastime delicacy before making its way to North America. 

>> Where to find paczki in Dayton on Fat Tuesday

French settlers brought the recipe to the Gulf Coast in the 1700s, where the cinnamon-flavored treat was later associated with carnival season.  

>> Reza’s Roast to open first coffee shop on Wayne Ave.

French settlers brought King Cake to North America in the 1700s.(Jim Ingram)

>> So many new chain restaurants snagged by Cornerstone -- how do they do it?

King cake recipes have transformed into various forms over the centuries, with a small baby doll being included somewhere inside the cake itself to symbolize the birth of Jesus at parties. 

>> 4 new restaurants that opened in Dayton last month

Tradition holds that the party guest who gets the piece of cake with the doll in it will be blessed with good fortune and be crowned the king or queen of said party. But royalty has its obligations as well, as the winner must provide the king cake the following year.


Ashley’s Pastry Shop - 21 Park Avenue, Dayton 45419

* Big Sky Bread Company - 3070 Far Hills Avenue, Dayton 45429

* Dorothy Lane Markets - Oakwood, Washington Square and Springboro 

* Ele Cake Company - West Carrollton, Beavercreek and Austin Landing 

* Evans Bakery - 700 Troy Street, Dayton 45404

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Your guide to the best Dayton-area pizza

Published: Wednesday, January 27, 2016 @ 7:47 PM
Updated: Wednesday, January 27, 2016 @ 7:47 PM

            Candice Miller makes pizzas at Marion’s in the Shroyer Rd. location. Marion’s and Cassano’s are two local pizza giants who have held their ground in the ever-changing pizza landscape in Dayton.
            Ty Greenlees
Candice Miller makes pizzas at Marion’s in the Shroyer Rd. location. Marion’s and Cassano’s are two local pizza giants who have held their ground in the ever-changing pizza landscape in Dayton.(Ty Greenlees)

If there is one culinary constant in this world, it's pizza. And this city knows how to do pizza right.

Whether you're a fan of thin or thick crust, Brooklyn-style or square-cut, there's no doubt that the Gem City has a pizza place that will fulfill your tastebuds' demands.

Here is our guide to Dayton-area pizza restaurants, with a focus on local establishments.

Local Dayton favorites

  • Beavercreek Pizza Dive
    A unique list of specialty pies, including the Chicken Cordon Bleu and 215 Cheesesteak pizza, plus calzones, Stromboli, oven-baked sandwiches and “Goodie Baskets.”

    4021 Dayton Xenia Rd., Beavercreek
    Yes, dine-in and carry-out also offered
    11 a.m. – 9 p.m. (Mon.-Fri.), 4-9 p.m. (Sat.-Sun.)
    Website | Facebook | Call 937-431-8669 
  • Cassano's Pizza King
    Subs, salads, pastas, calzones, and, of course, pizzas are what you'll find at Cassano's, including the monster-sized 30-inch pizza!

     1200 Brown St #110 (Dayton), 2405 Smithville Road (Dayton), 2814 E 3rd St. (Dayton) and multiple other Dayton-area locations
    Yes, eat-in and carry-out also available
    10:30 a.m. - 12 a.m. (Mon.-Thur.), 10:30 a.m. - 1 a.m. (Fri. and Sat.), 11 a.m. - 12 a.m. (Sun.) at most locations
      Website | Facebook 
  • Corleone's Pizza
    Salads, wings, gyros, specialty and regular pizzas, hoagies, pastas, calzones, wedgies are under one roof!

     966 Patterson Rd. (Dayton) and 725 Lyons Rd. (Centerville)
     Yes, carry-out also offered
     4 p.m. - 2 a.m. (Mon.-Thur.), 11 a.m. - 3 a.m. (Fri.-Sat.), 11 a.m. - 2 a.m. (Sun.)
  • Cousin Vinny's Pizza
    An excellent choice for late-night deliveries, offering wings, specialty and regular pizzas and cinnamon and garlic breads. 

     Multiple Dayton-area locations
     Yes, take-out also offered
     11 a.m. - 3 a.m. (Mon.-Wed.), 11 a.m. - 4 a.m. (Thur.-Sat.), 11 a.m. - 3 a.m. (Sun.)
     Website | Facebook 
  • Dewey's Pizza
    Choose from 11, 13 or 17-inch versions of Dewey's creatively-named specialty pies, or just create your own.

     131 Jasper St., Dayton and 3600 Rigby Rd., Austin Landing
    No, take out is available
    11 a.m.-10 p.m. (Mon.-Thur.) 11 a.m. - 11 p.m. (Fri. and Sat.), 4 - 10 p.m. (Sun.)
     Website | Facebook
  • Jet’s Pizza
    Best-known for its 8-corner, golden-brown, deep-dish crust.

    5843 Far Hills Ave (Dayton), 3979 Indian Ripple Rd (Beavercreek), 2418 Esquire Dr (Beavercreek) 
    Yes, including online ordering
    11 a.m. – 10 p.m. (Mon.-Thur. and Sun.), 11 a.m. – 12 a.m. (Fri. and Sat.)
    Website | Facebook 
  • Little York Tavern
    What this restaurant might lack in delivery radius, it makes for it in serving delicious pizza, with loads of toppings, at friendly prices. 

    4120 Little York Rd, Dayton
    Yes (Vandalia area only), dine-in and carry-out also available
    11 a.m. - 11 p.m. (Mon.-Thur.) 11 a.m. - 12 a.m. (Fri.-Sat.), 12 p.m. - 11 p.m. (Sun.)
    Website | Facebook | Call 890-6700
  • Marion's Piazza
    Order one of Marion's plain, single-topping and specialty pizzas in 9 or 13-inch sizes. A variety of sandwiches, salads and pastas also available.

     711 Shroyer Rd (Dayton), 50 E Stroop Rd (Dayton), 3443 N Dixie Dr (Dayton) and six other Dayton-area locations 
    No, dine-in and carry-out offered
    11 a.m. - 11 p.m. (Mon.-Sat.) and 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. (Sun.)
    Website | Facebook
  • Milano's Atlantic City Subs
    The menu consists of a bevy of options, but the pizzas still leave their mark. 

    Locations: 1834 Brown St. (Dayton), 9572 Springboro Pike (Miami Twp.) and 2260 N. Fairfield Rd. (Beavercreek)
    Delivery: Yes, carry-out service also offered  
    Hours: (Mon-Sat) 11 a.m. - 2:30 am, (Sun) 11 a.m. - 12 a.m.
    Info: Website | Facebook
  • Pizza Factory - Dayton's Original
    A large list of gourmet and traditional pizzas awaits you, along with calzones, subs, sides and salads. 

    Locations: 1101 Wayne Ave, Dayton
    Delivery: Yes, catering and dine-in also available
    Hours: 10 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. - 11 p.m. (Mon-Fri), 3:30 pm - 11 p.m. (Sat), 3:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. (Sun)
    Info:  WebsiteFacebook | Call 937-224-4477
  • The Flying Pizza
    A Dayton pizza mainstay for decades serving up New York-style pies.

    Locations: Three Dayton-area locations in Beavercreek, Dayton and Centerville
    Delivery: Yes, dine-in and carry-out also offered
    Hours: 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. (Mon-Sat), closed Sunday (Beavercreek location), 10:30 a.m. - 7 p.m. (Mon-Sat, Dayton location, closed Sunday), 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. (Mon-Sat) noon-7 p.m. (Sun) (Centerville location) 
    Info: Website | Facebook 

National chains and franchises

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Oakwood chocolate shop scores national shout-out

Published: Wednesday, February 10, 2016 @ 2:48 PM
Updated: Wednesday, February 10, 2016 @ 2:48 PM

The Madame Delluc Artisan Chocolatier shop that opened Dec. 1 in the Shops of Oakwood was mentioned quite favorably in a column published last week in goop, an online newsletter/web magazine launched by Gwyneth Paltrow.

In a column entitled “What Women Really Want for Valentine’s Day,” Kate Wolfson, Senior Editor for goop, listed several gift items that she said are all about the “grand romantic gesture—give me a year’s worth of flower deliveries or an impossible reservation to my favorite restaurant, and I’m yours.”

Among those items listed was the Madame Delluc box of chocolates, “Ballotin 18 Pralines” ($39.50).

> Read: Dayton chocolatiers recommend wine and chocolate pairings

Madame Delluc at 2510 Far Hills Ave. is the first venture of Francoise Imports, operated by Francoise Walusis and her husband John Walusis of Washington Twp., and her brother-in-law Brian Walusis of Miami Twp. Francoise Walusis is a native of Belgium whose father was a diplomat for the Belgian government, and she came to Ohio 20 years ago to attend Wittenberg University.

The Madame Delluc shop is the first in the U.S. for the Belgium-based Mary Chocolatier, founded in Brussels in 1919. The company operates nine shops in Belgium, and only two outside of the country: in Russia and South Africa.

“My husband and I stumbled on Mary chocolate in Belgium and have been obsessed ever since,” goop writer Wolfson wrote. “There’s one tiny shop in Ohio that sells them in the U.S., and that’s it.”

Madame Delluc only recently added online ordering capability for its selection of chocolates and other candies.

The company produces its chocolates using original recipes developed by founder Marie Delluc in the 1920s, Francoise Walusis said. The new Oakwood shop offers a variety of Belgian pralines that consist of a dark, milk or light chocolate shell with a softer, creamy filling; a half-dozen truffle-style confections; candied orange peel, lemon peel and ginger; and solid chocolate wafers in various flavors, among other items.

John Walusis said in December that he and the shop’s co-founders intend to develop the North American market, with the Oakwood shop as the flagship store. “We feel there is no better place to launch this than Dayton, Ohio,” he said.

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