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Take your out-of-town guests to these 3 cool Dayton brewpubs

Published: Friday, November 24, 2017 @ 6:00 AM

We take you on a tour of downtown craft beer breweries and bars. Video by Amelia Robinson

The biggest food holiday of the year has come and gone, ushering in the biggest holiday season of the year.

With December taking center stage in just a few days, it often can mean meeting and hosting family and friends over the course of the month. But what to do and where to go?

Some of the best options can be destinations that feel a little bit more like an adventure. The Miami Valley craft brewing scene has exploded in the last several years and offers some creative settings that a little more unusual than the typical restaurant destinations — and which offer brewtastic views to grab a pint or a flight by. Some, not all, offer a dining experience to go along with.

>> This hidden restaurant is probably not on your radar yet, but should be

Here’s a look at several local brewery destinations that offer the complete package — the setting, the beer and the food — for you and your holiday posse to pass the time.

Pro-tip: If you are traveling out of town for the holidays, download the Ohio On Tap app from the Ohio Craft Brewers Association. It’s a great resource to find Ohio breweries statewide while you are road tripping to your final destination. Visit ohiocraftbeer.org/app to learn more.

The list below is partial. I will follow up with part two of my recommendations next week.

>> 12 must-try signature Dayton beers

Carillon Brewing head brewer Kyle Spears. 2014 file photo by Jim Witmer(Staff Writer)

Carillon Brewing Co.

1000 Carillon Blvd., Dayton

937-910-0722 or www.carillonbrewingco.org

Beer: Carillon Brewing Company is the nation’s only production brewery in a museum. Each batch brewed is a historical recreation of the earliest beers made in Ohio’s breweries. If you haven’t been before, grab a flight of four beers for $7 to get a sense of what it’s about. Carillon Brewing Company ales use grain that has been floor malted just as it was done in the 19th century and, when available, Ohio-grown hops. All brewed in open copper kettles, fermented in oak barrels, and unfiltered. Most beers feature varying levels of tartness from the wild yeasts and bacteria that join in on the fermentation.

Food: This isn’t a menu that will blow you away, but it is solid and the setting is unparalleled — a living history exhibit fashioned after and inspired by the more than two dozen breweries built in the Dayton region during the 19th century. This will be a conversation destination for anyone who has never been before. The food too is similar to what would have been historically available in Dayton in the 1850s. The Brewers Sampler ($10) featuring seasonal cheeses, wursts, house-pickled beets, spent grain crackers and bread is perfect to share with others. The wurst platter ($12) featuring the choice of two wursts, topped with sauerkraut and two sides is a filling meal that can be split.

Who to take: History buffs and folks who crave something that’s a little off the beaten path. You really can’t beat the setting.

>> Chef shocked that Ohio’s 2nd-oldest inn is still for sale

Crooked Handle is launching an election-themed beer promotion that pits Deplorable Donald Foam-Over IPA against Crooked Hillary Rye Pale Ale. Photo by JIM WITMER

Crooked Handle Brewing Co.

760 N. Main St., Springboro

937-790-3450 or www.chbeer.com

Beer: With 14 taps dedicated to most of the styles of beer you’d expect — everything from ales to IPAs to porters to stouts — Crooked Handle is working hard to put its stamp on the local craft beer scene in the Miami Valley. Every Tuesday and Thursday is a Growler Grab Day featuring $5 off all 64 oz. fills.

Food: The taproom itself only has straightforward cheese and meat plates ($8-$9) available, but I am including this because Dorothy Lane Market in Springboro is right next door. It may not be a restaurant in the brewery, but what’s a 50-yard walk? With DLM’s Jack’s Grill, fully stocked deli, fresh sushi and salad bar next door you have everything you need to have one heck of a meal. Once you have it the helpful staff with offer suggestions on what to pair with your meal du jour. As Crooked Handle says of its neighbor, “Your menu is a grocery store, so imagine the possibilities!”

>>Two local restaurants — usually closed for lunch — to open in December

Who to take: Anyone who has never experienced the magic of a DLM or a large group with very different requirements and tastes when it comes to food.

>> A guide to Dayton breweries

Fifth Street Brewpub’s Scottish Reign was one of the bottled beers sold a couple of weeks ago at the brewpub’s fifth anniversary bash. SUBMITTED(Staff Writer)

Fifth Street Brewpub

1600 E. Fifth St., Dayton

937-443-0919 or www.fifthstreetbrewpub.com

Beer: Fifth Street Brewpub’s description says it all: “You will find a wide array of beers on tap at any given time of the year at FSB. From styles steeped in tradition to boundary-pushing techniques and ingredient combinations. Rest assured, all FSB beers will be brewed with the highest quality ingredients and held to strict quality control standards. Whether you’re new to craft beer or a seasoned beer geek, we have a beer for you.” With a warm bar and a great setting in St. Anne’s Hill Historic District, this is a sweet little spot place to grab a pint and some food.

Food: If it’s a weekend or it’s busy, you will want to get there early as seats can fill up fast. The menu is brewpub food with some healthy options thrown in that has a little something for everyone. The salads, vegan spinach wrap ($10), vegetarian lettuce wraps ($10) and pork or chicken lettuce wraps ($11) and salmon B.E.L.T. ($13, seared salmon, pecanwood-smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato, and an over-easy egg with a housemade creamy garlic-herb aioli, served on a toasted telera roll) will all likely appeal to those with a healthy dining conscience. For everyone else, there are plenty of other options to tempt.

Who to take: Those looking to eat a little healthier or who are on a vegetarian diet, and those who love a historic setting filled with community co-op spirit.

>> Dayton’s walking beer trail

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This burger joint truly lives up to its name

Published: Friday, April 20, 2018 @ 10:11 AM

A cheeseburger, coleslaw and fried okra from Benjamin’s the Burger Master. ALEXIS LARSEN/CONTRIBUTED
A cheeseburger, coleslaw and fried okra from Benjamin’s the Burger Master. ALEXIS LARSEN/CONTRIBUTED

People love a good burger.

>>GUIDE: The best burgers in Dayton 

It’s the cornerstone in the foundation of most popular fast food chain menus. Some burgers are so beloved they have almost a cult following. The South has Whataburger, the West Coast has In-N-Out, the Midwest has White Castle.

>>MUST-TRY: These beefy burgers are well worth the drive east on I-70

But there are a few locally owned places that deserve the kind of devotion as these national chains. I’ve written about my love of Voltzy’s Rootbeer Stand before and think it deserves to be firmly in this category.

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)

>>MORE: 3 seasonal food stands near Dayton you HAVE to try

One Dayton spot that was grilling up smashed burgers way before Smashburger ever came onto the scene is Benjamin’s the Burger Master on North Main Street. Its sign bills itself as “a family eatery” selling ribs, chicken and burgers.

>>RELATED: Voltzy’s has a ‘Trump Burger’ -- and here’s what’s on it

The seating area at Benjamin's the Burger Master.(Photo by Sheri Sine)

A visit to this nostalgic throwback will transport you back to the early 1980s, when owner John Riley opened it 36 years ago. It’s like a museum of what fast casual food used to be back in the day — perfectly preserved with decor that is a fine, kitschy compliment to the homemade dishes being served up.

>>Bucket List: Stop at Benjamin’s, have a burger

THE FAMOUS BURGERS

The Mushroom and Swiss Burger at Benjamin's The Burger Master is $3.99. (Staff photo by Amelia Robinson)(HANDOUT)

Benjamin’s tasty burgers are hand-pattied and served made to order, $3.19 for a single, $4.39 for a double, $3.39 for a cheeseburger, $4.69 for a double cheeseburger and $4.19 for a mushroom swiss, bacon cheddar or pizza burger. 

Burgers come with lettuce, tomato and onion and the requisite ketchup and mustard. 

>>DAYTON CLASSIC: 4 reasons to visit the last lunch counter in Dayton

ON THE SIDE

An extensive list of sides at Benjamin's.(Photo by Sheri Sine)

There are plenty of sides to go with your burger of choice — French fries ($1.59), onion chips ($1.79), corn, coleslaw, mashed potatoes and green beans ($1.99 or $4.29 for a pint) are all options. Fried okra ($1.79) is an interesting choice you don’t often see and hints at the soul food infused into spots on the fairly straightforward menu.

>>Can you eat your way through Dayton’s ‘Burger Bermuda Triangle’?

BURGER ALTERNATIVES

Benjamin s The Burger Master s Burger Platter shown in an order that added a piece of skillet cornbread. CONTRIBUTED(HANDOUT)

Other sandwich options include $4.79 for a jumbo tenderloin or $4.29 for a chicken or fish filet.

For larger portions, dinners are the way to go. BBQ ribs with two sides and a dinner roll ($7.29), a two-piece BBQ chicken dinner ($5.99) and a three-piece crispy fried chicken dinner ($7.99) are all indicative of the affordable prices of the meals being served. Food can be purchased in larger quantities as well if you are getting carry-out or are with a larger party. A 12-piece box of fried chicken for example is $20.95.

Daily lunch specials are featured throughout the week and feature comfort-food options like chopped steak with mushroom gravy, lasagna, meatloaf and pork tenderloin and stuffing. Various cakes and pies ($2.39-$2.79) are available for purchase if you are feeling like a sugar fix after you eat.

None of this food is life-changing, but when you feel like a fast food burger that’s well worthy of a cult following, Benjamin’s has you covered.

Tender, crispy wings from Benjamin's the Burger Master.(Photo by Sheri Sine)

WANT TO GO?

What: Benjamin’s The Burger Master

Where: 100 N. Main St., Dayton

Hours: 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Saturday; 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday

More info: 937-223-8702

Don’t forget: Bring cash — the 60-seat restaurant only takes cash, no cards

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5 must-try foods at Dayton’s Root Beer Stande

Published: Monday, March 27, 2017 @ 6:00 AM
Updated: Wednesday, February 28, 2018 @ 10:47 AM

We take a closer look at this piece of Dayton dining Americana.

Classic, greasy American food. Most of us crave it at some point. 

>> Dayton Dining Classic: The Root Beer Stande is still going strong

So what’s wrong with a little cheesy, cholesterol level-peaking indulgence now and then? We’ve already told you about the Dayton gem that is The Root Beer Stande on Woodman Dr. It’s a classic piece of Americana dining with an impressive menu. But here are five things you have to try when you visit -- though we don’t recommend them all at once.   

>> 17 classic Dayton restaurants that you HAVE to try

1.) ’MERICA DOG

It doesn’t get much more patriotic than this. This Nathan’s all-beef dog is served with bacon and nacho cheese, topped with pickle fries on a poppy-seed bun. As you eat this wonder, you’ll realize that nacho cheese and hot dogs were meant for one another. 

>> 8 classic Dayton restaurants that have closed (we miss them terribly)

Celebrate your freedom to eat all things tasty with the 'Merica Dog.(Contributed)

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2.) THE BACON SUPREME

Two beef patties loaded with extra bacon, with lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise, all held together with a generous portion of melted cheese. The delicious greasy burger is alive and well in Dayton. 

>> Have you been to the ‘Best Dive Bar’ in Dayton yet? Here’s why you’ll love Mack’s Tavern

Supreme Bacon Burger: Two patties covered in bacon and smothered with melted cheese.(Jim Ingram)

3.) EL DIABLO DOG

Like a little heat with your dog? The El Diablo is your next challenge. It’s a beef dog smothered in chili and onions with jalapenos and ghost pepper cheese. You have to try it just to see if you can handle the fire. 

>> 5 of the BEST Cuban sandwiches in Dayton

Can you handle the heat of the El Diablo?(Contributed)

4.) THE DIRTY D

The hot dog your cardiologist warned you about, this features a dog wrapped in bacon and then deep fried. It’s topped with chili, onions, mustard and cheddar cheese. You may feel a little guilt, but you won't care. 

>> RELATED: 11 sandwiches you must eat in Dayton

>> One of Dayton's most popular drag queens opens up about overcoming addiction

The "D" could be for "delicious".(Jim Ingram)

5.) ROOT BEER FLOAT

It’s just inconceivable that you would visit The Root Beer Stande and not partake in their signature item. Served in an old-fashioned frosty mug, everything is right with the world while you sip this sweet, refreshing indulgence. 

>> New bar ‘Old Mason Jar’ coming to Fairborn

It doesn't get much more refreshing than a classic root beer float.(Contributed)

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The wait is over! Cafe is now open at new downtown Dayton library 

Published: Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 6:00 AM

After much anticipation, the new Main Library in downtown Dayton will open this weekend. The $64 million gathering place for the community expects to have an average of 2,500 visitors each day.

This is news library guests won’t want to be quiet about.

The wait is over for those who want baked goods and a cup of coffee with their books. 

Table 33 has started serving food in its new location inside the Dayton Metro Library’s downtown branch at 215 E. Third St.

The restaurant’s soft opening started this week. 

For now, Chuck Duritsch, the library’s external relations manager, said the restaurant will be open 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

>>RELATED: Downtown restaurant preparing to open cafe at new Dayton library (Sept. 14, 2017)

Table 33 in downtown Dayton recently expanded its menu. Photo by Amelia Robinson(Photo: Amelia Robinson)

“Right now they are offering their delicious coffee, some drinks, some baked goods, some juices,” he said. “They are going to add to the menu. There are going to be boxed lunches available.  It will be a couple of weeks before their hours expand.”

Duritsch said the restaurant is also exploring the idea of a delivery service that would allow patrons to use an app to order food and/or pick up food from delivery spots designated within the library. 

Table 33 may also offer catering down the road.

>> MORE: 7 amazing things to do in downtown Dayton 

“They want to be responsive to what the patrons are going to be ordering,” he said. “You have to know your audience. That’s why they are doing this slow rollout.” 

Dayton’s $64 million, state-of-the-art main branch library opened in August. 

>> 10 things you’ll love about the brand new downtown Dayton Metro Library

The main Table 33 restaurant is located at 130 W. Second St. and opened in 2016. 

Table 33 is now open in the Dayton Metro Library in downtown Dayton.(Photo: Chuck Duritsch)

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A Dayton sandwich so good you’ll say: ‘Pork Lord, have mercy’

Published: Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 6:00 AM

The Pork Lord sandwich at Fifth Street Brew Pub.  Photo by Amelia Robinson
Photo: Amelia Robinson
The Pork Lord sandwich at Fifth Street Brew Pub. Photo by Amelia Robinson(Photo: Amelia Robinson)

A Dayton restaurant has three little piggies you are going to want battling the wolf in your belly. 

Fifth Street Brewpub, 1600 E. Fifth St. in Dayton’s St. Anne’s Hill neighborhood, might be best known for its beer. But the kitchen brews up some delicious grub, too.

>> Fifth Street Brewpub captures two golds in beer competition (July 11, 2016)

One particular sandwich stands out from the rest for a very piggy reason. 

>> 9 must-try sandwiches in Dayton

It is called the Pork Lord, and it had me at the words “pork” and “lord.” 

The sandwich is full of porky goodness, as you can imagine. But it will not leave you feeling like a pig. 

The $10 dish is a well-portioned combination of thin-ish sliced pork, bacon horseradish aioli and seasoned in-house pork rinds (called Crack–A–Lackin’s on the menu) on the side. 

Besides the ham and bacon, the anything but simple sandwich includes lettuce, tomato, onion, a fried egg and ghost pepper jack cheese on a telera roll. 

>> Fifth Street Brewpub release new menu (Feb. 9, 2018) 

The Pork Lord sandwich at Fifth Street Brew Pub. Photo by Amelia Robinson(Photo: Amelia Robinson)

>> Your ULTIMATE guide to the best burgers in Dayton

Don’t let the ghost pepper scare you off. 

The sandwich has just the right amount of heat for those of us who love a little kick with supper. 

The egg was cooked to perfection with plenty of delicious runny yolk to sop up. 

The yolk flowed like lava when I cut into my Pork Lord. 

The sandwich is cheesy, bacon-ey, eggy and spicy goodness. 

>> These beefy burgers are well worth the drive east on I-70

>>  Guess how much Fifth Street Brewpub’s weekly giveback night has raised for local charities? (July 31, 2017)

The Pork Lord was added to Fifth Street’s menu in February. 

Tanya Brock, Fifth Street’s manager, said the Pork Lord has become a customer favorite and will remain on the menu for a while going forward. 

An order of thick and crunchy Crack-A-Lackin’s are $6 as an appetizer if you don’t want to go all hog wild. 

The Pork Lord sandwich at Fifth Street Brew Pub. Photo by Amelia Robinson(Photo: Amelia Robinson)

WANT TO TRY IT?

What: The Pork Lord: lettuce, tomato, onion,  ham, fried egg, ghost pepper jack cheese, bacon horseradish aioli on a telera roll. The sandwich is served with Crack-A-Lackins, the brewpub’s house-made pork rinds. 

Where: Fifth Street Brewpub, 1600 E. Fifth St. in Dayton’s St. Anne’s Hill neighborhood

Hours: 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Monday to Thursday; 11 a.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays. 

Connect:  Facebook Website | Phone: (937) 443-0919

Cost: $10 

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