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Salar owner after fire: ‘My heart is broken for my people’

Published: Saturday, December 30, 2017 @ 3:50 PM

A fire that broke out Friday, Dec. 29, 2017, at Salar Restaurant and Lounge, 400 E. Fifth St., has closed the popular Oregon District restaurant indefinitely. JAROD THRUSH / STAFF
Jarod Thrush / Staff
A fire that broke out Friday, Dec. 29, 2017, at Salar Restaurant and Lounge, 400 E. Fifth St., has closed the popular Oregon District restaurant indefinitely. JAROD THRUSH / STAFF(Jarod Thrush / Staff)

A beloved Oregon District restaurant is closed indefinitely following a fire.

Salar Restaurant and Lounge Chef Margot Blondet said Saturday that she doesn’t know yet how long it will be before the restaurant can be back up and running following the Friday fire, but it looks like it could be months out before the business is again operating.

The fire also displaced a digital product agency on the second floor, forced a nearby a spice shop temporarily to close.

About 35 people work in the restaurant that Blondet, a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu in Lima, Peru, opened in 2013.

“We still don’t know how in the world this happened,” she said. “My heart is broken for my people (staff members). My heart is broken for them. I don’t even know what to tell them.”

A fund had been set up to donate to employees of Salar and about $2,400 had been collected as of Saturday afternoon.

Adil Baguirov, the building’s owner, said following the fire that, “a lot of damage at the most unfortunate time. Just making sure that we can get back on our feet as soon as possible.”

Insurance companies were on scene Friday. Baguirov said the loss will be significant, but it’s unknown at this point.

This weekend was supposed to be a prosperous one for chef Margot Blondet and her staff at Salar Restaurant and Lounge, 400 E. Fifth St. Instead of serving a packed house of guests a specially designed New Year’s Eve menu, the chef-owner and her staff will be cleaning up after what fire officials describe as an early morning kitchen fire.

The restaurant had to cancel the 350 reservations made for this weekend.

“We were so ready,” Blondet said Friday. “I had New Year’s Eve decorations in my car.”

Dayton fire crews were dispatched to Salar at 6:20 a.m. Friday on reports of smoke.

Firefighters said a kitchen fire spread, causing significant smoke damage to the restaurant.

Investigators said the fire started in the kitchen and spread to the ceiling and a neighboring building, affecting other businesses along with Salar.

The Scenery, a digital product agency on the second floor, said on its Facebook page that it has been displaced from the fire. Spice Paradise, a spice shop in the neighboring Brown Street building, also said it will be closed several days.

Blondet considers Salar a labor of love.“It’s my baby and it’s my monster,” she said with a proud laugh.

“I call it my baby, and I call it my monster, because is sucks all the energy.”

She anticipates being closed for the foreseeable future for repairs.

How to help Salar employees

To help the employees of Salar who are indefinitely out of work following the fire, donate to gofundme.com/helpsalarrestaurant.

Have you tried this pizza that Daytonians are willing to wait hours for?

Published: Thursday, August 31, 2017 @ 6:00 AM

We look at one of Dayton's best kept secrets--the pizza at Kramers.

There’s no doubting the Gem City loves its pizza, and Daytonians are pretty fortunate to have a plethora of pizza options from which to choose. Whether it’s a chain joint you’re feeling or something a little more local, there’s no shortage of places to go. 

>>Your guide to the best Dayton-area pizza

But when you mention the bar and restaurant Kramers, located at 1018 Irving Ave., people immediately react. A variation of two things usually come up: 1) They serve beer in the classic 40-oz. bottles, and 2) The pizza. While beer, and booze in general, tends to sell itself, it’s tough to fake the funk on food. Though Kramers has had a kitchen serving your standard bar food for decades, it wasn’t until the 1990s that they started serving their now-famous pizza. 

>> Did your favorite make the list? 10 best pizza places in Ohio

Just what is it about this pizza at this 84-year-old Dayton institution? It depends on who you ask.

The pizza is one of the main reasons people come to Kramer's.(Jim Ingram)

>> Cassano’s to relocate, upgrade another of its pizza restaurants

“A lot of that comes down to the sauce,” said manager Jessica Pricci. “One of the things we put in our sauce is 100-percent pure Italian olive oil.”

Others prefer the authentic Italian-style crust.

"I liked their pizza,” said Douglas Shrout, a former Kramers employee. “The salt and crust combo went good with the beer and peanuts.”

Regardless of the reasons, if beer is #1 at Kramers, the pizza is a close second.

>> Your ultimate guide to the best burgers in Dayton

“(The pizza) is everything,” said kitchen manager Matt South. “Take the pizza out of here, it’s just regular bar food. We may not even have a kitchen otherwise.”

Just how popular is this pie? While most orders can usually be picked up in 30 minutes on most nights, Kramers customers have been known to wait up to two hours -- particularly University of Dayton basketball nights -- to sink their teeth into this super cheesy item. 

“Sometimes people will be late for the game,” South added.

>> Dayton named a top 10 city for pizza lovers

And while we’re on the subject, Kramers uses a generous blend of both shredded mozzarella and provolone. They also order their pepperoni from a Chicago-based Italian family who makes their own.

Recently, Kramers did something it rarely does: offer a discount on their pies. Tuesday nights feature $2 off any 16-inch pizza.

But is it the crust or the sauce that’s the superstar? Loyal Kramers patron Chet Cheadle thought he had the answer. 

>>ICYMI: 40 years later: Racial makeup at area colleges have not changed

“I love the crust. I don’t know...the sauce, probably.”

UPDATE: 5-course ALL pasta pop-up dinner has changed locations 

Published: Wednesday, December 27, 2017 @ 6:00 AM
Updated: Monday, January 15, 2018 @ 12:16 PM

Simpatico Pop-Up will host a 5-course pasta dinner at District Provisions on 521 Wayne Avenue in Dayton on Monday Jan. 29 starting at 6:30 p.m. The Consomme Sacchettoni (pictured here) is one of the courses that will be served. 
Simpatico Pop-Up will host a 5-course pasta dinner at District Provisions on 521 Wayne Avenue in Dayton on Monday Jan. 29 starting at 6:30 p.m. The Consomme Sacchettoni (pictured here) is one of the courses that will be served. 

Calling all carb lovers! 🍝

There’s a new pop-up dinner company in Dayton and their first event is dedicated entirely to fresh, handmade pasta. 

>> RELATED: Much-anticipated new restaurant now open in the Oregon District

Simpatico Pop-Up will host a 5-course pasta dinner at Lily’s Bistro329 E. 5th St. in Dayton and NOT at District Provisions on 521 Wayne Avenue in Dayton as we previously reported. The dinner will still be on Monday, Jan. 29. 

>> RELATED: What’s going on with Crafted & Cured’s neighbors?

“The doors open at 6 p.m., and the bar will be available for cocktails, beer, and wine. We plan on seating and welcoming everyone at 6:30 p.m.,” James Tam, organizer of Simpatico Pop-Up said in an e-mail.

Each of the 5 dishes feature a different type of pasta.

Simpatico Pop-Up will host a 5-course pasta dinner at District Provisions on 521 Wayne Avenue in Dayton on Monday Jan. 29 starting at 6:30 p.m. The Pear Ravioli (pictured here) is one of the courses that will be served.

 

Take a look at the full menu here:

Tickets are $45 and gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian options will not be offered with this set menu. The event has SOLD OUT according to its Eventbrite page here

>>RELATED: Crafted and Cured now offers TO-GO charcuterie boards

The company describes itself as, “a team of like minded individuals that are offering a wonderful experience through food,” in a Facebook post on Dec. 6. 

>>MORE: Former Rue Dumaine chef Anne Kearney to ‘pop up’ next at local brewery

Simpatico Pop-Up will host a 5-course pasta dinner at District Provisions on 521 Wayne Avenue in Dayton on Monday Jan. 29 starting at 6:30 p.m. The Crab Agnolotti (pictured here) is one of the courses that will be served.

WANT TO GO?

What: Simpatico Pop-Up Presents: Pasta Dinner

Where: Lily’s Bistro, 329 E. 5th St., Dayton

When: Monday, Jan. 29 at 6:30 p.m. 

Cost: SOLD OUT. $45 with tickets available for purchase here 

More Info: FacebookEvent page

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.

>> New York Times editor calls Yellow Springs ‘one of the best places in the world to visit’

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.

>> Diners ditch chain restaurants for local eats

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.

This Beavercreek restaurant popular brunch is back, and the menu is INSANE

Published: Friday, January 12, 2018 @ 6:00 AM

The Wandering Griffin in Beavercreek is relaunching its brunch menu.
Photo: submitted
The Wandering Griffin in Beavercreek is relaunching its brunch menu.(Photo: submitted)

A Beavercreek eatery is calling your name with chicken and waffles and Tex Mex tots. 

The Wandering Griffin, 3725 Presidential Drive in Beavercreek, is relaunching brunch with some fan favorites. 

>> Wandering Griffin brewpub takes big step toward brewing its own beer

Opened in December of 2016, Wandering Griffin halted its brunch menu in October to focus on its dinner menu, Brian Johnson, a spokesman, said. 

>> Can you handle Wandering Griffin’s ‘monster burger’?

“Customers have been asking for it back ever since. So, know that their nightly menu is in line they have opted to reintroduce brunch,” he said. 

>> Wandering Griffin’s patio is pretty epic  

The brunch menu relaunches this Sunday, Jan. 14.

It will be served Sundays going forward 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. 
>> Brunch at Mudlick Tap House

The Wandering Griffin in Beavercreek is relaunching its brunch menu.(Photo: submitted)

The Menu 

Huevos Rancheros: two over-medium eggs, fresh pico, sriracha-lime sour cream, avocado. served over a flour tortilla, seasoned black beans 

The Hangover Cure: glazed donut bun, hand-pattied seasoned ground beef, bacon, house goetta, cheddar, over-easy egg. served with tater tots 

Chicken & Waffles: hand-breaded chicken breast, zesty syrup, waffle, fresh berries 

Tex-Mex Tots: crispy tots, scrambled eggs, shredded cheddar, black bean and corn relish, salsa cruda, sour cream, guacamole 

Charred Brussel Sprouts Benedict: Brussel sprouts, bacon lardons, poached eggs, hollandaise  

Poutine: fries, cheese curds, brown gravy, shredded swiss  

B.L.F.G.T: candied bacon, lettuce, fried green tomato, egg, cheese and mayo served on a toasted croissant 

Pumpkin Spice Skillet Cinnamon Rolls: cinnamon rolls, orange icing 

Bacon Avocado Egg: avocado, soft boiled egg, bacon 

Nutella Fondue: bananas, strawberries, marshmallows, chocolate dipping sauce 

Loaded Brunch Skins: potato skins, avocado, eggs, cheese and bacon  

Banana Pancake Split Stack: bananas, strawberries, whipped cream, sprinkles 

French Toast Nachos: deep fried toast nachos, crème fraiche, strawberries, chocolate syrup 

The Full Monty: three bacon strips, two sausages, two fried eggs, baked beans, fried tomatoes, button mushrooms, potatoes and onions and fried toast 

Scotch Eggs: hard-cooked egg wrapped in sausage & bread crumbs & golden-fried. served with greens and Branston pickle and stilton cheese 

French Toast: apple, cheesecake, smores, Baileys and peanut butter banana. All are served with crème fraiche. 

Brunch sides include: fresh fruit, two eggs, home fries, toast, buttermilk pancake, sausage and bacon 

The Wandering Griffin in Beavercreek is relaunching its brunch menu.(Photo: submitted)

The Drinks

Mimosas: original mimosa, strawberry mimosa, guava mimosa, mango mimosa or peach mimosa 

Virgin Mary: handcrafted mix garnished with celery. 

Irish Mary: vodka with handcrafted mix and a splash o’ stout beer garnished with an olive. 

Angry Bloody: Absolut Peppar with handcrafted mix and Tabasco garnished with a jalapeño. 

Bloody Maria: tequila with handcrafted mix and Tabasco garnished with a lime. 

Original Bloody:  vodka and handcrafted mix garnished with olives + celery. 

Griffin Bloody: Tito’s Texas Vodka and handcrafted mix garnished with bleu-cheese stuffed olives.

>> 9 of the best brunch spots in Dayton

WANT TO GO?

WHAT: The Wandering Griffin, 725 Presidential Dr. in Beavercreek

PHONE: 937-956-5216

ONLINE: Website|  Facebook | Instagram

HOURS: The restaurant is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Thursday; 11 a.m. to 10  p.m. Friday;  4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.