10 can’t-miss spots to eat, shop and explore in Waynesville

Published: Thursday, October 05, 2017 @ 6:00 AM

Sawdust & Stitches in downtown Waynesville, Ohio. PHOTO / Stephanie Coates
Sawdust & Stitches in downtown Waynesville, Ohio. PHOTO / Stephanie Coates

Did you know that just south of downtown is the Antiques Capital of the Midwest? 

The Village of Waynesville is home to a rich history spanning from its founding in the late 1700’s to its place on the Underground Railroad and into the merchant destination that it is today. 

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A traditional layout, the squares offer a variety of antique stores, home-style restaurants, specialty shops, and even a record store. It’s hard not to fall in love with the country feel and eclectic character. If you’re looking for a Main Street to peruse, Waynesville will not disappoint. 

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Sauerkraut is served on everything, including pizza, at the Ohio Sauerkraut Festival in Waynesville. The operators say they are ready to cancel this year’s festival unless the village sets aside new rules.(Staff Writer)

WHAT TO DO

The Sauerkraut Festival: drawing one of the largest festival crowds in the Dayton area, this event kicks off fall and has become a tradition for local families to attend. The food draws thousands annually to delight in the wonderful world of sauerkraut. But, if that doesn’t entice you, the hundreds of other craft and food vendors will. Held Oct. 14-15, 2017, at 10b N. Main St., Waynesville.

>> PHOTOS: 2016 Ohio Sauerkraut Festival

The Hammel House Inn, 121 South Main Street: any village touting a vibrant past also comes with a haunted story to tell. If you dare, a stay at this B&B is a must. The restaurant is worth a visit as well. 

WHERE TO EAT

Holly B's Sweets, 33 South Main Street: a playground for anyone with a sweet tooth. Watch as they batch up fudge, hand dip caramel apples, and cover pretty much everything in chocolate! 

The Village Family Restaurant, 144 South Main Street: the epitome of homestyle dining. This restaurant, in the center of the village, has been serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner for over 30 years. Regulars recommend the hot shot, but check their website for specials including Polish sausage with house made ‘kraut.

Bentino's Pizza, 140 South Main Street: don’t let the size fool ya, this place packs a serious punch. Stop by for pizza and a beer or pasta and a bottle of wine. They bake hometown pride into every bite. 

Stonetown Coffee, 195 South Main Street: it doesn’t get much better than this quaint roastery and cafe on the edge of town. The passion for quality and freshness are equal to the creativity of this Waynesville favorite. Ice cream and milkshakes share a menu with a full range of coffee drinks. Try out the Iced Mocha Toddy! 

>> Your guide to Dayton-area craft breweries

Sawdust & Stitches in downtown Waynesville. PHOTO / Stephanie Coates

WHERE TO SHOP

Lilly's Corner Mall, 105 South Main Street: in what was the Miami Theater building and Kirkpatrick Garage, this place is a dream for antique hunters and curious shoppers alike. Just don’t get lost among the 7,000 sq. feet of treasures! 

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The Dame & Dandy, 30 South Main Street: charm and style are overflowing in this vintage clothing and home decor shop. Check out the whimsical and quirky artwork. Try on a fun outfit. Chat up the lovely owner, Val. 

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Katherine's Web, 174 South Main Street: not just a stop for artisans, weavers, and knitting fanatics. This store carries beautifully crafted supplies and yarn, sells equipment and supplies, and offers lessons to anyone interested in learning how to use the spinning wheel. (Other class options available, too.)

Waynesville Music in downtown Waynesville. PHOTO / Stephanie Coates

Waynesville Music, 56 North Main Street: every magical small town has a record store -- this is a fact! Browse and play until your musical heart is content. 

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WORTH MENTIONING
Pioneer Village at Caesar's Creek, 3999 Pioneer Village Rd.: transport yourself to the 1800’s and wander through cabins, shop the General Store, and walk to the covered bridge.

Chapel in the Woods at The Secret Garden in Waynesville. PHOTO / Stephanie Coates

The Secret Garden, 4107 E. St. Rt. 73: after adoring their fun lawn decor or checking out the gift shop, you can walk through their beautiful gardens and follow the pathways to the Chapel in the Woods. 

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Know of any great spots in Waynesville that we missed? Tell us about it! Email contact@dayton.com.

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LOCAL RESTAURANT CLOSING: Try this deliciously saucy burger before it’s too late 

Published: Monday, February 19, 2018 @ 9:00 AM

One Eyed Jacks in Fairborn is closing. Video by Amelia Robinson

After a decade of slinging burgers and booking bands, a well-known Dayton area restaurant is closing up shop for good.

>> Best of Dayton 2017 Winners: Food & Dining

One Eyed Jacks, located at 2638 Colonel Glenn Highway in Fairborn near Wright State University, will permanently close on Saturday, Feb. 24, co-owner Bill Mangan said. 

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The decision was made not to renew the lease after a satisfactory agreement could not be reach with the building’s owner, he said. 

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One Eyed Jack's will close permanently February 24. Photo: Amelia Robinson(Photo: Amelia Robinson)

“We did really well there for a long time, but it’s been waning there for the last two years,” Mangan said. 

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The last night will include local entertainment from a yet-to-be announced group of local musicians. 

One Eyed Jack’s last show will be the “Jacks I Love Hip Hop Farewell Show” from 9 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. Friday, Feb. 23. 

Vast Aire of Cannibal Ox will headline the free show. V.I.P admission is $15. Ages 18 and up only. For more information, visit brownpapertickets.com

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Mangan said he was happy to provide a venue where local musicians of various genres could meet and perform. 

“Until you get a chance to perform in a live venue, you don’t know what you are capable of doing,” he said. “We were a launch pad for a lot of bands.”

Think if you've had one burger you've had them all? Take a look at at these and up your burger eating game. (Video by Tabatha Wharton)

>> PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Kettering restaurant closes over parking dispute (Sept. 3, 2014)

Mangan, also the owner of Cherry House Cafe, a deli at  1241 Meadow Bridge Dr. in Beavercreek, said he was thankful for the customers that supported One Eyed Jacks.

“We look forward to serving them at Cherry House if they come up this way,” he said. 

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WHAT ABOUT THE FOOD?

One Eyed Jacks became known for its chicken wings and the burgers patties made daily by “Big” Ben Mangan, Bill Mangan’s son.

Burger Fast Facts

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At the urging of Dayton sandwich lover Nick Warrington, a Wright State alum and the university’s assistant director of  alumni, I gave One Eyed Jacks Bloomin’ Onion Burger a try. 

Nick raved about the restaurant’s tatonka sauce in a Facebook message:

“As a sandwich guru, I hope you have tried their sandwiches with their ‘famous tatonka sauce,’” he said in a message.

One Eyed Jack's will close permanently February 24. The restaurant's Bloomn' Onion burger and fries are pictured. Photo: Amelia Robinson(Photo: Amelia Robinson)

As Bill Mangan later explained, the sauce -- which is also served on the restaurant’s Veggie Zaffer black bean burger -- was inspired partly by Buffalo-style hot sauce. 

>> Your ultimate guide to the best burgers in Dayton

He kept the spicy secrets to the creation to himself. 

My burger came out fresh and topped with layers of onion rings, tomato, lettuce, provolone cheese, onion and One Eyed Jacks creamy tatonka sauce with its slight kick.

The thick cheeseburger was well-seasoned with juices that melted into the sesame seed bun it came between. 

My lunch came with a mound of crispy, munchable seasoned fries for $9.95.

Each of One Eyed Jacks nine special burgers are eight ounces and cost $8.95 with house made Saratoga potato chips and a pickle spear. 

 >> FISH FRY GUIDE: The best places to get deep-fried, crispy, delicious fish in Dayton

LAST CHANCE

Until it closes on Feb. 24, 2018, the restaurant is open 11 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. Monday to Friday and noon to 2:30 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. 

One Eyed Jack's will close permanently February 24. The restaurant's Bloomn' Onion burger and fries are pictured. Photo: Amelia Robinson(Photo: Amelia Robinson)

 

One Eyed Jack's will close permanently February 24. Photo: Amelia Robinson(Photo: Amelia Robinson)

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7 new places to get pizza in the Dayton area

Published: Friday, February 16, 2018 @ 10:36 AM

Old Scratch Pizza gears up to expand

The pizza explosion continues in southwest Ohio as new restaurants continue to pop up and chains expand.

>> Your guide to the best pizza in Dayton

Here are seven new places to get pizza in the Dayton area.

🍕 Double Deuce Tavern & Pizzeria

The new Double Deuce Tavern & Family Pizzeria officially opened its doors Monday, as the business relocated from north Dayton to Huber Heights, where it renovated the former site of C’s Pizza at 5186 Brandt Pike (State Route 201).

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James Williams and Ralph Mueller first opened Double Deuce in 2009 at 17 Brandt St. in Dayton. It’s been a popular place to get some pizza and beer, as the restaurant offers 10 beers on tap, including eight devoted to craft brews. 

>> New ‘Double Deuce’ tavern and pizzeria NOW OPEN 

🍕 Rapid Fired Pizza

The fast-growing Kettering-based pizza chain has opened several new locations and is expanding its offerings and services to attract more customers and keep them coming back.

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The first Rapid Fired Pizza opened in September 2015 on Ohio 725 east of the Dayton Mall, and the latest one opened at 40 South Progress Drive in Xenia on Jan. 28. There are now 22 stores open in two states and many more on the way, as the chain has entered into agreements with developers that could lead to as many as 200 or more new locations in Kentucky, Indiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and California. 

🍕 Old Scratch Pizza

Recently featured in Pizza Today’s “Destination” column in its January edition, Old Scratch Pizza opened in a former auto parts store at 800 S. Patterson Boulevard in October 2016 and its owner is exploring the idea of expanding to other locations in the Dayton area. 

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The 6,000-square-foot pizzeria and beer hall serves Naples-style pizzas cooked in wood-fired ovens, and it features a variety of craft beers on tap as well as a wine and cocktail list. The atmosphere is casual, with picnic-table seating to accommodate 230.

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🍕 Mackenzie River Pizza Grill Pub

This new-to-the-market restaurant concept opened its doors in November at the Mall at Fairfield Commons in Beavercreek at the former Max & Erma’s spot. 

>> Mackenzie River Pizza Grill Pub is NOW OPEN

MacKenzie River Pizza Grill Pub is all about fresh ingredients, scratch kitchens, creative cocktails, and a diverse beer section in a casual rustic Montana atmosphere that depicts the heart and soul of the Rocky Mountains.

🍕 Bella Sorella Pizza

Two sisters celebrated their fifth year in business serving pizza from a mobile van that tows a wood-fired brick oven behind it, and they’ve added a second unit to accommodate demand.

>> Bella Sorella celebrates 5 years, adds second unit

Gail Corrado-Okafor and Elizabeth Corrado Weizman began serving Neopolitan-style pizzas at area festivals, brewpubs and other locations in 2013, and now they also cater private events. 

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🍕 Cassano’s Pizza King

Dayton’s oldest pizza chain opened its latest restaurant at 4029 N. Main Street in Harrison Township last year.

The Kettering-based chain operates 33 stores around the region.

🍕 MOD Pizza

Seattle-based MOD Pizza opened its first Dayton-area location in Englewood last April in an outlot to the Meijer store there.

A second location opened in September 2017 at Cornerstone of Centerville.

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Why now is the perfect time to visit Table of Contents Cafe

Published: Monday, February 19, 2018 @ 6:00 AM

A tuna melt with Tillamook cheddar and a bowl of homemade cream of tomato soup taken surrounded by books at Table of Contents Cafe. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY ALEXIS LARSEN
A tuna melt with Tillamook cheddar and a bowl of homemade cream of tomato soup taken surrounded by books at Table of Contents Cafe. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY ALEXIS LARSEN

XENIA — With the announcement last month that Blue Jacket Books in Xenia would be closing, my first thought was simply just how sad it was.

One more local bookstore to disappear. Another mom and pop operation that’s closing its doors.

>>MORE: Independent bookstore in Xenia going out of business

With a single visit to this homey independent book store it quickly became clear you were in a place that was built on a deep-seated love and commitment to the written word. It was always a nice place to visit that was warm, comfortable and offered voracious readers plenty to dig into.

My next thought went immediately to Table of Contents Cafe.

>>RELATED: Cozy local cafe enchants with literary magic, Harry Potter drinks

Lawrence Hammar and Cassandra Lee, husband and wife and co-owners of the bookstore and cafe, have created a really sweet stop in Xenia to peruse 50,000 used, rare and out-of-print books and grab a bite to eat right in the middle of the store.

Table of Contents is a cafe inside Blue Jacket Books at 30 S. Detroit in Xenia. Specializing in used books, the store has 50,000 books. CONNIE POST/STAFF(Connie Post)

The bookstore, now in its 11th year of business, opened at its current location, 30 S. Detroit St., in 2013 while Table of Contents Cafe, run by Lee, opened a couple of years ago.

Hammar announced in a Jan. 30 Facebook post that May 12 will be the store’s last day. Table of Contents Cafe and the other businesses that share the space, including Our Family Soap and Yellow Dogs Pet Supplies will stay open.

That news welcomed a sigh of relief when I read it.

The cafe, tucked away a few rooms back from the front of the bookstore is surrounded by handwritten signs directing book lovers to the subject matter they might be in search of.

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Hungry diners are only a few steps away from a wealth of knowledge on Ancient Greece and Rome, German and Russian studies, Psychology, The United Kingdom, Historiography, African American studies, Asian studies, Central America, Archeology, Native and non-native Americans and the United Kingdom.

Table of Content's Grilled Cheese (with tomato bits and scallions in the melted cheese) and a coup of Anjou Pear Soup hit the spot. The cafe is inside Blue Jacket Books at 30 S. Detroit in downtown Xenia. CONNIE POST/STAFF(Connie Post)

The Table of Contents Cafe menu is small, but mighty and often has changes with specials and updates. One thing always seems to be consistent — fresh, healthy, vegetarian-friendly, homemade soups, salads and sandwiches. Even the bread has been made fresh in-house.

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The cafe’s Facebook page is updated almost daily, so learn more about the specials and what’s being offered there if you are interested to see what’s being served up on a particular day.

Both businesses reflect the owners Pacific Coast roots and sensibilities, for a little touch of Portlandia in Xenia, Ohio.

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The food makes for a delicious and filling lunch that’s reasonably priced and good for you with plenty of heart-healthy options to choose from.

The menu at Table of Contents changes daily. The cafe is inside Blue Jacket Books at 30 S. Detroit in Xenia. CONNIE POST/STAFF(Connie Post)

This is not the place to go to if you are looking for soda or anything fried.

In fact, beverages you can choose from are hot coffee ($2.25), hot tea ($2.25) or hot spiced apple cider ($2.75). If that doesn’t float your boat, go with water because it’s the only other option.

>>MORE: 9 must-eat sandwiches in Dayton

The paleo-inspired salad plate on a recent visit in January featured deviled eggs, greens, sweet potato quinoa, coleslaw, black rice, mushroom lentils, carrot and couscous for ($9.75). The homemade soups served in a bowl with salad and fresh baked bread ($7) included cream of tomato, potato-kale and a white bean soup with ham.

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A tuna melt with Tillamook cheddar ($6.50) hit the spot on a blustery winter day with a nice cup of the tomato soup. The special was a pulled pork burrito topped with roasted poblano and sweet pepper spaces served with black beans, brown rice and lime coleslaw ($9.50). It was packed with meat and a great value for the size of the meal and the quality of the ingredients used.

Made-from-scratch Chocolate Cake and Meyer Lemon Cake at Table of Contents -- why choose when you can have both? The cafe is inside Blue Jacket Books at 30 S. Detroit in Xenia. CONNIE POST/STAFF(Connie Post)

This is a feel-good dining spot knowing there are no preservatives, everything is fresh and almost everything is made from scratch.

The business has a five-star rating on Facebook after more than 60 reviews. Probably because it does exactly what it says it is going to do and does it really well.

Last year a reviewer wrote: “Stopped on my way home from work and picked up takeout. I got soup, four types of salads, and two types of bread for $34. It fed four of us with enough leftover soup and bread for my lunch today! I had my food in 10 mins, it tasted great, and cost less than fast food for four!”

>>RELATED: 11 (more) sandwiches you must eat in Dayton

If you are into clean eating, there’s no doubt that this is a spot that can do what you are looking for. And if you are into books the Facebook post from Hammer said they will be selling everything in the store beginning in early March, so some great deals may be available for those willing to put in the time to look.

In the winter months, there is nothing better than curling up with a good book and this is a humble little spot to find your next book while you grab a bright, tasty meal.

Now is certainly the time to try out this little gem before they sell all of the inventory and the Table of Contents Cafe is no longer surrounded by Tables of Contents.

Table of Contents cafe is inside Blue Jacket Books at 30 S. Detroit in Xenia. CONNIE POST/STAFF(Connie Post)
Dayton Eats looks at the regional food stories and restaurant news that make mouths water. Share your menu updates, special dinners and events, new chefs, interesting new dishes and culinary adventures. Do you know of new exciting format changes, specials, happy hours, restaurant updates or any other tasty news you think is worth a closer look at? E-mail Alexis Larsen at alexis.e.larsen@hotmail.com with the information and we will work to include it in future coverage.

Want to go?

WHAT: Tables of Contents Cafe

WHERE: Inside Blue Jacket Books, 30. S. Detroit St., Xenia

MORE INFORMATION: 937-376-3522 or www.facebook.com/Tables-of-Contents-Cafe-409499402572427

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Why this old-school restaurant is one of the area’s best-kept dining secrets

Published: Monday, December 11, 2017 @ 6:00 AM
Updated: Friday, January 12, 2018 @ 12:39 PM

The New York Strip Steak at The Tavernette in Medway. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY ALEXIS LARSEN
The New York Strip Steak at The Tavernette in Medway. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY ALEXIS LARSEN

Tucked half-way between Springfield and Dayton in tiny Medway is a Clark County restaurant gem that residents from both cities should get to know.

The Tavernette Inn, established in 1939, is one of the area’s best kept restaurant secrets, boasting atmosphere and ambiance that goes on for days.

Here are just a few reasons you should plan a visit as soon as possible …

The vibe: Get ready for a time warp. The walls and cabinets full of old toys and kitschy antiques will transport you to another era. The hot orange chairs and turquoise booths add to the feel. This spot is a vintage feast for the eyes and provides a one-of-a-kind dining setting.

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The Tavernette in Medway is worth the visit. CONTRIBUTED PHOTOS BY ALEXIS LARSEN(Contributing Writer)

The specials: Tavernette specials are where it’s at — Tuesdays are a pizza special of the day. Wednesdays are fresh smoked BBQ ribs after 5 p.m., served with two sides ($18.95 for a half rack and $23.95 for a full). Thursdays is a chef’s choice surprise and Fridays and Saturdays feature a prime rib entrée after 5 p.m.

The food: The menu is a terrific companion to the throwback setting. The New York Strip ($23.95) is a great cut grilled to order and well worth it.

The Baked Meatloaf ($15.95), a newer option, made with onions, green peppers and bread crumbs and topped with house-made brown sugar glaze was savory, soft and comforting. The batter-fried walleye ($16.95) was a huge piece of crispy, golden-brown breaded fish that was perfectly fried and satisfying.

Other notable menu items: fried green tomatoes ($8.95), frog legs ($15.95), a Tavern Sticky Burger ($12.95) topped with bacon, pepper jack cheese, peanut butter and jalapeño jelly. The restaurant’s pork chops ($16.95), pizzas (various) and seafood dishes are also worth exploring.

Brunch: Brunch is available 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. every Friday and Saturday. Bonus: Free non-alcoholic drink with food purchase. The Tavernette’s sausage gravy and biscuits ($5.95) is a great place to start.

The pizzas: They come in nine, 12 and 16 inches. The garden veggie is topped with a house-made garlic butter cream sauce, sprinkled with a blend of mozzarella and cheddar cheese, topped with fresh diced red onions, red peppers, broccoli, mushrooms, and sliced tomatoes ($10.95, $15.95, $18.95). There’s a meat lovers, a Tavern Deluxe and the noteworthy Tavern Sticky made just like the burger with hamburger, bacon, pepper jack cheese blend, peanut butter, and jalapeño jelly ($11.95, $16.95, $19.95). I can guarantee you there’s no other place to find that particular combination on a pizza in town. Definitely a conversation piece amongst friends if you’re going out in a group.

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The Tavernette in Medway is worth the visit. Pictured is the bar. CONTRIBUTED PHOTOS BY ALEXIS LARSEN(Contributing Writer)

The drinks: The old-school bar cranks out the classic cocktails, wine and beer. The bar greets you when you walk through the door and sets the right tone for the evening.

The patio: Keep this in your memory bank: The patio at the Tavernette should be on your summer dining list. Overlooking woods, it offers a beautiful view and a great setting and is a great summertime destination.

The location: Just over 15 minutes from downtown Springfield and downtown Dayton, it offers a scenic drive and an adventure opportunity that isn’t a huge investment of time.

If you love vintage and crave opportunities to get nostalgic, look no further. The Tavernette offers great food in a setting that is powerfully evocative and a whole lot of fun.

>> Big city experience, small-town touch at this Springfield restaurant

WANT TO GO?

What: The Tavernette

Where: 111 W. Main St., Medway

Hours: Closed Sunday and Monday; 3-9 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday

Reservations: Call before 4 p.m. for reservations.

More info: www.thetavernette.com or 937-849-0423.

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