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It’s time to sink your teeth into this grub at the Ohio Renaissance Festival 

Published: Friday, September 01, 2017 @ 6:11 PM

A look at some of our favorite Dayton-area fall festivals.

It is time to eat (and drink) your way through the 16th century. 

There'll be jousters, fire jugglers, blacksmiths and hundreds of other eye-catching sights at the 2017 Ohio Renaissance Festival, but you'll be no lord nor lady if you miss out on the grub that once gobbled.

Giant "turkey leggs" (and that's not a typo) are among the most glowing symbols of the festival held on a 30-acre, re-created 16th century village just down the road at 10542 East Ohio 73 in Harveysburg.

Turkey leg: Hoist up a Turkey Leg, probably the most popular food du jour at the Ohio Renaissance Festival. Plentiful and tender, these turkey legs are cooked to perfection at the Aleing Knight Pub, ready for you to sink your teeth right into the juicy meat. Prepare thyself for a non-stop, day-long adventure by visiting www.renfestival.com.

>>  7 fall festivals we just cannot wait for

Turkey legs are far from the only fare sold at the festival, now in its 28th year and third year under new ownership.

>> MORE: New Renaissance Festival owners plan changes

TIMES AND COST 

Everything from fish and chips to hot apple dumplings to haggis to bangers and mash can be found at the festival, which is staged from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. nine Saturdays and Sundays Sept. 2 through Oct. 29 , as well as on Labor Day.

>> PHOTOS: Ohio Renassance Festival 2017 

General Admission is slightly less expensive this year compared to last. Adults get in for $22.50 and children ages 5 to 12 are admitted for $9.50 at the box office. 

Turkey legs are a favorite at the Ohio Renaissance Festival.(Sumitted)

PRO TIPS 

Slightly discounted tickets can be purchased on the festival’s website for $19.50 for adults and $8.50 for children, plus a service fee. 

Adult admission is buy one, get one free on opening weekend, Sept. 2 to 4. 

ON TO THE FOOD

Below is  some 16th century-inspired food you can sink your 21st century teeth into at 2017 Ohio Renaissance Festival.

>> 25 September food events to help you fall in love with fall

NEW GRUB 

The festival is has a medieval theme, but that doesn’t mean organizers are against change. 

Ren Festival spokeswoman Cheryl Bucholtz said new options include The Chocolate RavenArchibald Drake’s and KJ’s Cajun Cuisine.

From the owners of Holly B’s Sweets in nearby Waynesville, The Chocolate Raven will sell a selection of chocolate and fudge treats. 

Archibald Drake’s, from the owners of the Nacho Pig food truck from Clark County, will serve fish and chips. 

KJ’s Cajun Cuisine will serve gumbo, po’boy sandwiches, beignets and similar food. 

BREADY, SET, BOWL! 

Minstel’s Mac & Cheese in a bread bowl: To prepare thyself with the energy needed for a day at the Ohio Renaissance Festival, you’ll want to load up on this delicious Old World treat. The hearty bread is baked fresh and topped with a cheese covered pasta that will make your mouth water. Prepare thyself for a non-stop, day-long adventure by visiting www.renfestival.com.

They kept things simple in the 16th century, so it should be no surprise that a place called the Bread Bowl would sell bread bowls. You'll find salads and a host of soups and stews. 

Soups include chili, Peasant's Potato Soup, Westminster Stew, Minstrel's Mac & Cheese and a spinach artichoke dip bowl.

Bucholtz says the Bread Bowl is a popular spot when fall temperatures arrive.

HOT LEGGS 

Ohio Renaissance Festival attendee Seth Roshon of Baltimore, OH bites into a turkety leg on the Renaissance Park grounds in Harveysburg, Ohio Saturday. The 19th annual festival opened Saturday and will run on Labor Day then on 8 weekends (Saturday and Sunday) through October 19. Staff Photo by Jim Witmer 08/30/08

Did we mention the turkey leggs? We assume the extra "g" is because they are extra good and really big —about 2 pounds each. About 35,000 turkey leggs are sold each year. 

THE OTHER BIRD 

Turkey isn't the only fowl to be served at Ren Fest.

Bourbon chicken -- grilled chicken covered in a bourbon sauce and placed on a bed of rice -- is also among favorites. 

IN A PICKLE

The Pickle Guy” hawking pickles from his cart.

Who can pass up a seasoned pickle from a renaissance man? They are $2 each. 

Archived photo promoting the 17th annual Ohio Renaissance Festival.(Submitted)

The festival features a new way to enjoy an adult beverage without the kids.

By popular demand, Bucholtz said The Naughty Bawdy Pub Show, an hour of "bawdy humor, cigars, and ale for ages 21 and over" will be held each day from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the The Dirty Duchess. Admission is $15.  

BBQ

  

Two summers ago, 1572 Roadhouse Bar-B-Q opened its doors to the public on the grounds of the Ohio Renaissance Festival.

The restaurant’s menu includes  Baby Back Ribs, Chicken, Pulled Pork, and Smoked Sliced Beef.  

STREET TACOS AND SHAWARMA 

Last year, Ren Fest added Garden of Eatin, Marco Polo's Bistro and Jerusalem Cafe.  

Burgers and such will be found in the Garden of Eatin. Go to Jerusalem Cafe for Middle Eastern foods like baklava and shawarma. Marco Polo's will serve street tacos. 

While you are at it, be on the look for Earl of Corn and swing by the Aleing Knight Pub for a list of munchies that includes Scotch eggs, onion petals and brownie bites. 

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The story behind the famous little sandwich people will drive hundreds of miles to get

Published: Tuesday, May 31, 2016 @ 12:39 PM
Updated: Thursday, March 15, 2018 @ 6:00 AM

The loose-meat Maid-Rite Sandwich at The Maid-Rite Sandwich Shoppe in Greenville made the Mental_Floss list of
The loose-meat Maid-Rite Sandwich at The Maid-Rite Sandwich Shoppe in Greenville made the Mental_Floss list of "The Best Burgers in All 50 States." But it's not a burger, which by definition, consists of at least one meat patty, and some folks may have a beef with that.(Connie Post)

If you’ve never heard of Maid-Rites, let us introduce you to this famous little sandwich that hails from Greenville, Ohio. 

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This little slightly sweet loose-meat sandwich — best described as kind of like a Sloppy Joe minus the sauce — has a bit of a cult following.  
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People will drive crazy distances for one. There are copycat recipes all over Pinterest. Here’s the story behind the Maid-Rite. 

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The Maid-Rite Sandwich Shoppe is a destination diner. It’s a tiny little building covered in gum. Yes, it’s really covered in gum. It’s long been a tradition that diners would affix chewed-up gum to its walls. The diner opened in Greenville in 1934 and is famous for its sandwiches and shakes. Just fyi, it also serves ice cream and beer. 

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"It's such a well-known novelty here in Darke County,” said Matt Staugler, the executive director of the Darke County Visitors Bureau. 
The meat for the Maid-Rite sandwich isn't fried in its own grease. "It's steamed ground beef with a seasoning put over it," said Mark Koontz, one of the members of the family that's owned and operated restaurant since it opened more than 80 years ago. 

>> Big changes, new ownership coming to this downtown Dayton restaurant & bar

What is its secret ingredient? "A lot of love and family dedication," said Koontz, who added that he's been around that restaurant "ever since I was little." 
The sandwich comes with your choice of mustard, pickle and onion, on a bun, for $2.05. Add a slice of cheese and the price is $2.30. If you’re daring try the Big Jim, which adds ham. 

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Just as intriguing as its loose meat sandwich is the outside of the Maid-Rite building. It's rather nondescript except for the fact that diners stick their chewing gum on the wall. 

“One of the most unique eateries around, the Maid Rite lures hungry visitors from hundreds of miles away just to taste the legendary sandwich made just right in a modest shoppe located in the little rural Southwest Ohio towne of Greenville.  If any one place can reflect the city’s heart and soul, it is this miniscule eatery with a big attraction,” according to OhioTraveler.com.” 

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In 2016, Mental_Floss came out with a list of “The Best Burger in All 50 States,” and Ohio’s winner? The Maid-Rite. Even thought it technically isn’t a burger.
"Many Ohioans know and love Swensons in Cleveland (including Akron native LeBron James), but few have heard of hidden gem Maid-Rite in Greenville. Established in 1934, Maid-Rite’s loose-meat burgers have a cult following among those in on the tasty secret, with many driving hours out of the way to get their fill of delicious Maid-Rite and Cheese-Rite sandwiches."

>>  11 more must-eat sandwiches in Dayton

Want to go?

WHAT: The Maid-Rite Sandwich Shoppe

WHERE: 125 N. Broadway St., Greenville OH

HOURS: 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday; 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday

INFO: Website | Facebook | 937-548-9340

Photo courtesy of The Maid-Rite Sandwich Shoppe Facebook.

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One of Dayton’s most prestigious clubs just raised the bar -- literally 

Published: Tuesday, December 19, 2017 @ 6:00 AM
Updated: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 5:03 PM

The  upper lounge at the 29th Stories Lounge in the Dayton Racquet Club in downtown Dayton.  Photo: Amelia Robinson
Photo: Amelia Robinson
The upper lounge at the 29th Stories Lounge in the Dayton Racquet Club in downtown Dayton. Photo: Amelia Robinson(Photo: Amelia Robinson)

The highest bar in Dayton is now even higher. 

The Racquet Club, located at 40 North Main St. on the 29th floor of the Kettering Tower, opened a lounge above the bar a few months ago, Jocelin Dean, the club’s membership director said.

Thanks to the addition, the club’s 29 Stories Lounge is now 29½ stories tall, Dean said. 

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It is a feather in an already-high hat. 

“We already were the tallest  building in Dayton. We already have that distinction of being the tallest (bar),”  Dean said. 

>> RELATED: 3 things to know about Kettering Tower

The lounge’s space had held bleachers overlooking the club’s squash courts. 

“It was just dead wasted space,” Dean said. “We figured there had to be a better use for it.” 

A hallway wall was also moved to open up the front of the bar, and new seating was added. 

The renovations are part of $250,000 in work undertook at the club during the past three years. 

Dean said additional changes will be made based on member feedback and use. 

“It is a space that is always being tweaked,” she said. 

The club is working with members to determine the right funiture and function of the space, Dean said.

The club’s 29 Stories Lounge was completed in 2011 to address member requests for a more causal setting to take clients and for after work socializing and networking. 

Such a space had been suggested since shortly after the club — the brainchild of Virginia Kettering — opened in 1971.

>> RELATED: Inside the Dayton Racquet Club: towering venue ‘squashing’ misconceptions, drawing new members (May 10, 2013)

The 29th Stories Lounge is restricted to members and their guests, but Dean said there are several public events held annually. 

“Anybody who is curious to see what the bar looks like can always contact me for a tour,” she said.

Racquet Club membership ranges from $60 to $200 a month, depending on included features. 

>> RELATED: Dayton Walk of Fame member Virginia Kettering

The upper lounge at the 29th Stories Lounge in the Dayton Racquet Club in downtown Dayton. Photo: Amelia Robinson(Photo: Amelia Robinson)

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It’s worth the quick road trip to visit this charming little café

Published: Tuesday, May 09, 2017 @ 6:00 AM

Cozy's Cafe and Pub has a balogna sandwich on its brunch menu that is well-worth the trek from Dayton to Liberty Township.
Amelia Robinson
Cozy's Cafe and Pub has a balogna sandwich on its brunch menu that is well-worth the trek from Dayton to Liberty Township.(Amelia Robinson)

A few miles cannot keep a girl away from a delicious sandwich. 

Such a sandwich is on the menu at Cozy’s Cafe and Pub, the relatively new eatery next to Cozy’s Cottage. 

The Butler County business was named the most charming restaurant in Ohio and a place to get “a memorable meal in a historic venue.” 

>>NEW DETAILS: This Butler County café was named ‘most charming restaurant in Ohio’

That’s according to LoveFood.com, which doled out the honors to Cozy’s Café & Pub. The restaurant opened at 6440 Cincinnati-Dayton Road in Liberty Twp. in 2016, two years after owner Jan Collins opened Cozy’s Cottage.

>> 9 must-eat sandwiches in Dayton

The simply-not-simple grilled bologna is well worth the 30-minute-or-so drive from Dayton to the restaurant, which is located at 6440 Cincinnati Dayton Road in Butler County’s Liberty Township. 

>> You told us: 11 (more) sandwiches you must eat in Dayton

The sandwich is featured on the restaurant’s pub menu for $11 on the weekend brunch menu. 

>> 8 things you've got to try at brunch at the Old Arcana

Jimi Gadd, the executive chef of Cozy’s Cafe and Pub, said the sandwich starts with a great brioche bun from Sixteen Bricks Artisan Bakehouse bakery in Cincinnati. 

“A sandwich always starts with the bread,” Gadd said. “You want something that  is not going to get soggy on you.”

The bun is seared with butter on the restaurant’s flattop for mouthwatering results. 

>> MORE: 9 must-eat sandwiches in Dayton

Cozy’s Cafe and Pub uses thin slices of a German bologna on the sandwich and elevated it with a thick slice of aged white cheddar and a whole grain mustard aioli-style sauce.

>> Unusual usual meat in upscale Oregon District diner's unbelievable sandwich

Cozy's Cafe and Pub has a balogna sandwich on its brunch menu that is well-worth the trek from Dayton to Liberty Township.(Amelia Robinson)

Crispy onion straws gives the sandwich much needed texture. It comes complete with fruit, salad or chips. 

Cozy’s complex is impressive. Cozy’s Cottage opened in 2013 in a remodeled ranch house. 

The chic and rustic pub and cafe opened in October of 2016 and has a patio. 

The businesses are owned by Jan Collins, the owner of Putters Sports Grill restaurants. 

>> Longtime restaurateur opens upscale eatery 

Cozy's Cafe and Pub has a balogna sandwich on its brunch menu that is well-worth the trek from Dayton to Liberty Township.(Amelia Robinson)

Gadd said he and his team strive to offer the best brunch around. 

>> 9 of the best brunch spots in Dayton

They are well on their way, with a menu that also includes a killer brunch charcuterie board ($21), fresh-cut breakfast potatoes, a Bloody Mary bar, country short rib biscuits ($13) and a chorizo focaccia sandwich that includes over-easy eggs, a charred avocado salsa and farmers cheese. 

>> PHOTOS: Brunch at Cozy’s Cafe and Pub 

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The restaurant is upscale, but not pretentious.  

Close to closing during our visit, staff members sung along to music playing over the speakers ranging from Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” to the  The Commodores’ "Oh No" as they cleared tables and delivered final meals.

So -- have we convinced you yet? 

Want to go?

WHAT: Cozy’s Cafe & Pub

WHEN: 4-9:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 4-10:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday. Brunch is served from 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Saturdays and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on Sundays.

WHERE: 6440 Cincinnati Dayton Road, Liberty Twp., Ohio

INFO: cozyscafeandpub.com | Facebook | Instagram

Cozy's Cafe and Pub has a balogna sandwich on its brunch menu that is well-worth the trek from Dayton to Liberty Township.(Amelia Robinson)

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SALAR FIRE: Fund set up to help those impacted by New Year’s Eve weekend blaze

Published: Sunday, December 31, 2018 @ 12:39 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
Staff Writer
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(Staff Writer)

Funds are being collected to help employees impacted by a fire at one of the Oregon District’s most popular restaurants. 

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

Meg Shaw, the general manager at Salar Restaurant and Lounge, set up a GoFundMe fundraiser for employees of the restaurant.

The description reads: 

On Friday, December 29th, the incredible and loyal staff at Salar Restaurant and Lounge received the devastating news that their home away from home had suffered a tragic and major fire. The staff has worked so hard for the almost five years that Salar has been a part of our community, and are searching for employment in the interim that Salar is closed. We want to give back to staff in their time of need and hope that you’ll help us provide this for them. 

 Thank you to everyone for your support. We will be back!

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

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.

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

>> FIRST REPORTS:  Fire at Salar

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.

The spice shop Spice Paradise and Hicks' Barber Shop & Shave Parlor on Brown  are also among the businesses closed until further notice due to the fire.

>> New Years Eve Guide: The best places in and around Dayton to ring in 2018

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