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Published: Wednesday, October 12, 2016 @ 10:53 AM
Updated: Monday, February 05, 2018 @ 2:17 PM
— What’s better than chocolate?
Fresh, locally made chocolate!
Fortunately for us, Dayton has a few stops to satisfy every sweet tooth.
Esther Price first learned to make these sweet delights in her seventh-grade home economics class. She perfected her old-fashioned recipe with locally produced milk and butter and these same quality ingredients are used today, nearly 90 years later.
Esther Price Candies can be found at local supermarkets, but if you’re craving chocolate along with an experience, you can find their corporate store at 1709 Wayne Ave. There are two other locations in the Dayton area: 194 Woodman Dr. and 1709 Wayne Ave. You can even browse and place an order on the website.
Sweet Sensations was opened in June 2012 by owners Tim Sizemore and Pam Clatterbuck of Fairborn. For them, this store brought to life a childhood dream. They offer custom orders, bulk orders, sugar-free options and over 300 of your favorite nostalgic candies.
They are located in the Dayton Mall next to Chick-fil-a, near Elder-Beerman.
Bellbrook Chocolate Shoppe was founded by Betty Blose in 1984, and in 2000 she was joined by her son Marshall, his wife Laura, and daughter Emily. They take pride in their hand-crafted chocolates, utilizing high-quality ingredients that set them apart from mass-produced chocolate treats.
You can find these confectionery treats at their Crosse Pointe Shoppe, the 2nd Street Market, and their online store.
Store owner Francoise Walusis and her husband brought an entire new world of flavor to the United States when they decided to bring Belgium artisan chocolates to Dayton. Here you can find almonds and hazelnuts enrobed in white chocolate or the European favorite, madame delluc.
This chocolate shop is located in the heart of Oakwood at 2510 Far Hills Ave. With employees that are excited to educate and allow you to taste test, this shop creates a chocolate experience you’ll never forget.
Kilwin’s has been crafting quality chocolates by hand since the 1940s. Their assorted chocolates are still hand-crafted in their kitchen in Petoskey, MI, using the same recipes developed by the company’s founder and original owner, Don Kilwin. They’re best known for their turtles, but also offer a number of goodies that’ll satifsy your sweet tooth.
You can find their Dayton-Beavercreek location at 4391 Holly Drive.
In February 1929, a woman wrote that she and her husband talked about making candies for their bakery shop. Through generations of ownership we’ve found this decadent, tantalizing and delicious candy they created to send your taste buds on a frenzy. Not only is their chocolate to die for, but so is their coffee (Highlander Grogg is the most popular flavor).
Winans Chocolates & Coffees has several Dayton locations, including 6735 Miller Lane, 5839 Farhills Ave., 4425 Feedwire Rd., 45 Plum St., 2806 Miamsburg Centerville Road, and 3510 Pentagon Blvd.
Published: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 @ 12:05 PM
— A Dayton bakery has received big props from the state of Ohio.
Twist Cupcakery, located at 25 S. St. Clair St. in downtown Dayton, has been selected by Secretary of State Jon Husted as one of February’s featured businesses for the Ohio Business Profile Program.
“Twist Cupcakery is a unique sweets and confections bakery that specializes in cupcakes, cakes and other treats. They use the finest ingredients and focus on the little details to ensure their customers are satisfied,” the secretary of state’s website says of the business.
A representative from Husted’s office will visit Twist Cupcakery and present a certificate highlighting this accomplishment.
Husted declared February as “Minority-Owned Business” month as part of the Ohio Business Profile Program. The month highlights Ohio’s minority-owned businesses.
Established in 2015, Twist won third place in the “Best Bakery” category in Dayton.com’s recently-announced 2017 Best of Dayton contest.
Kate River, Twist’s owner, said she was honored by the
“I hope to be a role model to other little brown girls that you can live out your dreams with hard work and persistence,” she told this news organization. “Twist has been a dream come true and we are so thankful for the community who has supported and encouraged us along the way."
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: Friday, February 16, 2018 @ 10:36 AM
— The pizza explosion continues in southwest Ohio as new restaurants continue to pop up and chains expand.
Here are seven new places to get pizza in the Dayton area.
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).
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.
🍕 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.
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.
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.
🍕 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 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.
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.
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.
🍕 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.
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