log in to manage your profile and account
- Create your account
- Receive up-to-date newsletters
- Set up text alerts
Published: Thursday, February 08, 2018 @ 6:00 AM
— A trio of baking superwomen are churning out sugary decadence inside of one of the Miami Valley’s newest bakeries.
Jackie Fuller, her mother Adonica Collins-Smith, and her mother-in-law Debby Fuller opened Simply Decadent on Aug. 29 at 108 West Franklin St. in Bellbrook.
It is truly a family affair.
The day we visited the shop, Jackie’s husband, Ian, was there with their newborn daughter, Aria.
Like her grandmothers and mom, the baby donned a “Simply Decadent” apron for a photo.
It was borrowed from her 3-year-old brother, Grayson.
Debby Fuller said everything is from fondant to filling is customizable and made in-house at the bakery, which is located just doors down from Dot’s Supermarket.
Their baked goods were in demand. The shop is the result.
“We’ve been decorating cakes for a long, long time for friends and family and just had more and more people asking us to do things,” Debby Fuller said. “And we get to do it with family.”
The bakery specializes in sugar, its owners joked.
It can handle anything from cake pops and cookies to five-tiered wedding cakes and the 10-foot-long cake dragon Collins-Smith made for an Asian Pacific islander month celebration at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
Simply Decadent is also able to make vegan and gluten-free treats.
Want to go?
What: Simply Decadent
Where: 108 West Franklin St., Bellbrook
Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday to Friday; 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. Closed Monday and Sunday.
Published: Monday, February 19, 2018 @ 9:00 AM
— After a decade of slinging burgers and booking bands, a well-known Dayton area restaurant is closing up shop for good.
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.
>> 12 of the best restaurants in Dayton
The decision was made not to renew the lease after a satisfactory agreement could not be reach with the building’s owner, he said.
“We did really well there for a long time, but it’s been waning there for the last two years,” Mangan said.
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.
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.”
>> 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Published: Monday, February 19, 2018 @ 6:00 AM
— 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.
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.
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.
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.
>>RELATED: 7 soups to warm you up this winter
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.
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.
>>HIDDEN GEM: Belmont's best-kept lunch secret
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Published: Monday, December 11, 2017 @ 6:00 AM
Updated: Friday, January 12, 2018 @ 12:39 PM
— 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.
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.
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.
Published: Monday, November 20, 2017 @ 6:00 AM
— Trust us on this one: you’ll kick yourself if you don’t get past the beer menu at one of downtown Dayton’s newest brewpubs.
The Lock 27 Brewing menu includes some of the finest pierogies south of Cleveland, and some Asian Pork Sliders with just the right kick.
We will get to that in just a bit.
The downtown restaurant opened in September 2017, and is the second Lock 27 location from founder Steve Barnhart, a Chicago native.
The new gastropub at 329 E. First St. occupies about 12,000 square feet of the Delco Building’s basement and first floor in Dayton Dragons Plaza.
The original Lock 27 at 1035 S. Main St. serves mostly the same menu as the downtown location.
>> FLASHBACK (Sept. 5): When Lock 27 opened in downtown Dayton
ABOUT THE FOOD
First: those pierogies. The pierogi dumplings are filled with a delicious mix of mashed potatoes and cheddar cheese.
An order of five costs $12, and they come topped with thick pieces of bacon, sauteed onions, green onions and garlic.
The side of cool sour cream was a must, as many pierogie lovers will tell you.
My dinner companion ordered dry rubbed and smoked chicken wings and couldn’t get enough of the Sriracha blue cheese.
>> RELATED: Top 11 wing stops in Dayton
The restaurant’s friendly waitstaff recommended the Asian Pork Sliders ($12). We were not disappointed in the tender, spicy meat served with a plum sauce and a side of frites (French fries).
The meat on the trio of sandwiches was generous, and one bite reminded me of a backyard barbeque.
The sandwiches are served with the frites and sage pesto mayo, chipotle ketchup and/or spicy mustard. The mayo and spicy mustard impressed.
Lock 27 pays respect to Keener Farm CSA’s grass-fed beef with its Keener Burger. For just $2 more, we added bacon and an over-easy egg to the cheddar cheese burger.
Lock 27 Brewing is located in the Dayton Dragons Plaza, 329 E. First St., downtown Dayton.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday and Tuesday (kitchen closes at 10 p.m.); 11 a.m. to 11 a.m. Wednesday and Thursday (kitchen closes at 10 p.m.); 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday (kitchen closes at 11 p.m.) and 11 to 9 p.m. Sunday (kitchen closes at 9 p.m.).