In case you missed it: Tank’s Bar and Grill has new late-night hours

Published: Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 12:09 PM
Updated: Friday, June 15, 2018 @ 9:30 AM

Dayton.com readers decided who makes the best late-night grub with the 2017 Best of Dayton poll. Video by Amelia Robinson

A Dayton restaurant that has been serving up very, very late-night grub for decades is dramatically cutting back its hours of operation.
Tank's Bar and Grill, the much-loved tavern at 2033 Wayne Ave., announced the changes in a Facebook post. 

“To all our most valued customers. To continue to give the most phenomenal experience, Tanks will be adjusting our hours. Due to decrease in late night business and finding quality staff, our new hours starting Monday April 23 will be as follows: kitchen hours- Sun, Mon, Tue, Wed, Thurs are 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday our kitchen (will be open) 7 a.m. to 1 a.m.
Bar will be open till 11 on Sun-Thur. And until 2 on Friday and Saturday. 
Please note all carryouts must be phoned in 30 minutes before kitchen closing.
You may of course order food up until closing time of kitchen to enjoy in dining room. We will have been in Dayton 31 years In May and want to continue to serve Dayton and our Great customers! You are the reason for our work, not the interruption!”

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The restaurant — which serves dinner, lunch and all-day breakfast — has been open 7 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. daily for many years. 

This is the second time the restaurant has cut its hours in recent months. 

>> Tank’s Bar & Grill has new late-night hours

In October, Tank’s announced it would close at 1 a.m., and its kitchen would close at midnight on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Its hours Wednesday through Saturday remained the same, with the bar closing at 2:30 a.m. and the kitchen at 2 a.m.

NEW KITCHEN HOURS

As noted above, the new kitchen hours are:

Sunday through Thursday  — 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (the bar will close at 11 p.m.)

Friday and Saturday — 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. Friday (the bar will close at 2 a.m.)

>> Dayton food truck giants to face off in Battle of the Breakfasts

Tank’s Award Winning “Road Kill” chili is sweet with a spicy kick. It’s very thick, and packed with meat and potpourri of delicious spices including cumin, white pepper and paprika, among others. You can add cheese and onion if you so choose for an additional 89 cents). We added just cheese. Available by the cup ($3.69) or bowl ($4.69). MICHELLE FONG/STAFF

WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT TANK’S

Known for its burgers, omelettes, grilled cheese sandwiches and “Road Kill” Chili, Tank’s grabbed first place in the 2017 Dayton.com Best of Dayton reader poll. 

>> What are the best restaurants and bars in Dayton? 

Since it opened in 1987 in the former home of Walnut Hills Bar, Tank’s has become an iconic Dayton institution.

A message was left for Debra Tankersley, Tank’s owner and the widow of Tank’s founder Dan “Tank” Tankersley, seeking additional comments. 

>> Dayton responds to the passing of Tank's owner, Dan Tankersley

WHAT CUSTOMERS ARE SAYING ...

Many of the restaurant’s customers did not take the news well, as it was posted by the restaurant on Facebook.

While there were many positive responses to the restaurant’s Facebook post, a few customers said they would no longer return to the restaurant or feared that dark days are ahead for the restaurant. 

>> Where to find the best bowls of chili in Dayton

In exchanges with customers on the Facebook page, the restaurant said the hour changes should not be taken as a bad sign. 

“I can assure you Tanks is NOT closing ever. We simply have to adjust to what makes us better. Trying to find quality staff to work late at night when we do not have the business to support it is not fair to them,” the restaurant’s Facebook administrator responded to one Facebook comment. 
>> Your ultimate guide to the best burgers in Dayton

A cheeseburger and hand cut fries at Tank's. Photo: Tank's Facebook page.(HANDOUT)

 

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El Meson celebrating 40 years with throwback recipes at its EPIC 2-day party

Published: Tuesday, June 05, 2018 @ 6:00 AM

El Meson hosted a two-day Cinco De Mayo party on Friday, May 4 and Saturday, May 5, 2018. The eatery featured margaritas, dancing, live music, food trucks, a Cantera Negra Tequila Tasting, and amazing food from the restaurant’s own kitchen and bar. PHOTO / TOM GILLIAM PHOTOGRAPHY
Tom Gilliam
El Meson hosted a two-day Cinco De Mayo party on Friday, May 4 and Saturday, May 5, 2018. The eatery featured margaritas, dancing, live music, food trucks, a Cantera Negra Tequila Tasting, and amazing food from the restaurant’s own kitchen and bar. PHOTO / TOM GILLIAM PHOTOGRAPHY(Tom Gilliam)

It is not every day that a Dayton classic turns the big 4-0. 

It is a good thing the Castro family at El Meson knows how to throw a party that rises to the occasion. 

>> The best soups in Dayton (including El Meson!)

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The restaurant at 903 E. Dixie Drive in West Carollton is planning a two-day weekend blowout to celebrate its 40th anniversary, according to details posted to Eventbrite.   

Herman and Gloria Castro opened the restaurant to the public July 15, 1978, as the Pizza Queen. 

The restaurant morphed into El Meson and now specializes in dishes from Central America, South America and the Caribbean.
Bill Castro, the founders’ son and co-owner, says old favorites will return. 

“In addition to Latin street food and drinks from out of our trucks in the lot, we’re going to have one truck that serving items from the original Pizza Queen restaurant that El Meson began as back in 1978,” Bill Castro said. “Some of our customers may remember favorites like the Exotic Burrito and Mexican Pizza from that menu.”

The parking lot parties set for 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. July 20-21 will feature live music and dancing under tents and street grub from El Meson’s fleet of food trucks. 

Admission is $5 for both days and a limited number of $35 VIP tickets are available for Friday or Saturday patio seating.

>> PHOTOS: Did we spot you celebrating Cinco De Mayo at El Meson?

VIP admission includes admission to a less crowded area, servers and a better view of the yet-to-be announced lineup of bands that includes from Ithika and Nothing But Treble Friday and Saturday from Funky G & The Groove Machine and Nasty Bingo Saturday.

A customer appreciation happy hour is set for 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. both days in the restaurant’s “party lot.”

>> Best margaritas in Dayton

It includes free entry and $5 margaritas. 

>> RELATED: The 12 best restaurants in Dayton

The business is now owned and operated by their children and sons and daughters-in-law — Bill, Marie, Scott and Chef Mark Abbott.
>> RELATED:  39 things to know and love about El Meson

WANT TO GO? 

What: El Meson’s 40th Anniversary Weekend 

When: 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, July 20 and 21 

Where: El Meson, 903 E. Dixie Drive in West Carrollton

Cost: Admission is $5 for both days and a limited number of $35 VIP tickets are available for Friday or Saturday patio seating.

Tickets: Visit the Eventbrite page for advance VIP tickets

El Meson hosted a two-day Cinco De Mayo party on Friday, May 4 and Saturday, May 5, 2018. The eatery featured margaritas, dancing, live music, food trucks, a Cantera Negra Tequila Tasting, and amazing food from the restaurant’s own kitchen and bar. PHOTO / TOM GILLIAM PHOTOGRAPHY(Tom Gilliam)

El Meson hosted a two-day Cinco De Mayo party on Friday, May 4 and Saturday, May 5, 2018. The eatery featured margaritas, dancing, live music, food trucks, a Cantera Negra Tequila Tasting, and amazing food from the restaurant’s own kitchen and bar. PHOTO / TOM GILLIAM PHOTOGRAPHY(Tom Gilliam)

El Meson hosted a two-day Cinco De Mayo party on Friday, May 4 and Saturday, May 5, 2018. The eatery featured margaritas, dancing, live music, food trucks, a Cantera Negra Tequila Tasting, and amazing food from the restaurant’s own kitchen and bar. PHOTO / TOM GILLIAM PHOTOGRAPHY(Tom Gilliam)

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Our favorite dishes from Summer Restaurant Week Sneak Peek

Published: Thursday, July 19, 2018 @ 1:05 PM

The Miami Valley Restaurant Association’s Summer Restaurant Week promotion runs July 22-29 offering meals from more than 40 restaurants ranging in price from $20.18-$30.18. Diners got an early taste of some of the dishes that will be offered at a special sneak peek event on July 18, 2018, at the Steam Plant. CONTRIBUTED PHOTOS BY ALEXIS LARSEN
ALEXIS LARSEN
The Miami Valley Restaurant Association’s Summer Restaurant Week promotion runs July 22-29 offering meals from more than 40 restaurants ranging in price from $20.18-$30.18. Diners got an early taste of some of the dishes that will be offered at a special sneak peek event on July 18, 2018, at the Steam Plant. CONTRIBUTED PHOTOS BY ALEXIS LARSEN(ALEXIS LARSEN)

A large crowd of hungry guests descended on the Steam Plant on Wednesday to sample a small taste of what some restaurants will be serving up this year for Summer Restaurant Week. 

The Sneak Peek to Summer Restaurant Week event put on by the Miami Valley Restaurant Association had some fantastic food served up by some of the region's best local restaurants. 

The traditional "sneak peek" that happens before the Restaurant Week promotion begins featured tastes from more than a dozen restaurants including Amber Rose, Basil’s, Brio, Bravo’s, Coco’s Bistro, Dewberry 1850, The Dock, El Meson, The Famous Restaurant, JD Legends, Roost, Watermark and Wheat Penny. 

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Across the board the food that we tried was delicious, with several dishes that rose to the top.

Here are four dishes that warranted return visits: 

Confit pork loin served with brussel sprouts, fingerling potatoes and craft root beer BBQ sauce from ele Bistro and Wine Bar served during the Miami Valley Restaurant Association's Sneak Peek to Summer Restaurant Week at the Steam Plant on July 18, 2018. ALEXIS LARSEN/CONTRIBUTED

 

ele Bistro and Wine Bar 

3680 Rigby Rd., Miamisburg, (937) 384-2253 

The name of this dish alone is music to our ears: Confit pork loin served with brussel sprouts, fingerling potatoes and craft root beer BBQ sauce. And thankfully the execution fired on all cylinders. This was a fantastic symphony of flavors that put the spotlight on a tender, savory piece of pork. Really delicious. 

 

"The Italian Nibble" from Roost Modern Italian is a spread made with poached yellowfin tuna, hard boiled egg, garlic confit aioli and capers that we tried during the Miami Valley Restaurant Association's Sneak Peek event on July 18, 2018, at the Steam Plant in Dayton. ALEXIS LARSEN/STAFF

Roost Modern Italian 

524 E. 5th St., Dayton, (937) 222-3100 

We couldn't get enough of "The Italian Nibble" a wonderful spread made with poached yellowfin tuna, hard boiled egg, garlic confit aioli and capers. This was something that we nibbled at the beginning of the evening and were back for by the end. A return visit is always the sign of a great dish. 

 

El Meson's Caribbean curry shrimp and garlic rice served at the Miami Valley Restaurant Association's Sneak Peek event on July 18, 2018, at the Steam Plant in Dayton. ALEXIS LARSEN/CONTRIBUTED

El Meson 

903 E. Dixie Drive, West Carrollton, (937) 859-8229 

El Meson's Caribbean curry shrimp and garlic rice was dynamite. The flavors were full of kicks and punches thanks to the curry and flavorful broth the shrimp and veggies were simmered in. Poured over the rice this was a very satisfying and filling stop for us at the Sneak Peek event. 

 

The Miami Valley Restaurant Association’s Summer Restaurant Week promotion runs July 22-29 offering meals from more than 40 restaurants ranging in price from $20.18-$30.18. Diners got an early taste of some of the dishes that will be offered at a special sneak peek event on July 18, 2018, at the Steam Plant. CONTRIBUTED PHOTOS BY ALEXIS LARSEN(ALEXIS LARSEN)

Wheat Penny 

515 Wayne Ave, Dayton, (937) 496-5268 

The tomato and fresh peach caprese was a light, bright delightful dish that had many wonderful summery flavors dancing together for our tastebuds’ enjoyment. It was a simple preparation that put the spotlight on the tomatoes and peaches that were the true star of the dish.  

Contact this contributing writer at alexis.e.larsen@hotmail.com.

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40 things to know and love about El Meson

Published: Monday, July 10, 2017 @ 6:00 AM
Updated: Friday, July 20, 2018 @ 11:50 AM

A 2017 Battle of the Bartenders was crowned. Video by Amelia Robinson

The most frequent question that I am asked when it comes to food has to be inquiries centered around my favorite restaurants in town.

I have many on this list, but one that I have never wavered on is El Meson in West Carrollton.

>> The 12 best restaurants in Dayton

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When it comes to restaurants that have consistently delicious food, exemplary customer service and a setting that strikes the right tone for the meal, El Meson is a dining destination that hits the mark.

>> El Meson celebrating 40 years with throwback recipes at its EPIC 2-day party

This dining gem just turned 40 and is celebrating with some very cool events today and tomorrow, July 20 and 21.

>> The best classic Dayton restaurants you have to try

In honor of its milestone,  here are 40 things to know and love about El Meson.

1) The restaurant opened to the public on July 15, 1978.

2) The restaurant was started by Herman and Gloria Castro. It is now owned and operated by their kids and spouses — Bill, Marie, Scott and Chef Mark Abbott.

Bill Castro, co-owner of El Meson, sits in his restaurants market area where items including jewelry and pottery can be purchased. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY ALEXIS LARSEN(Contributing Writer)

>> Daytonian of the Week: Bill Castro, El Meson

3) The location was a small failing pizza business in 1978 called Pizza Queen. The Castro family decided to go a different direction and El Meson was born.

4) The Castros had never eaten pizza until they purchased the Pizza Queen.

5) The family hails from the country of Colombia in South America.

6) The owners credit former Dayton Daily News food critic Ann Heller with discovering them and putting them on the local dining map.

7) There have been five major additions over the years, and every year the restaurant’s owners reinvest in remodels and upgrades.

8) The restaurant can seat a whopping 450 people in five different dining rooms.

The indoor patio at El Meson. (Source: Contributed photo by Alexis Larsen)

9) It’s one of the best places to dine on a patio in town (in my opinion) with 15 tables in the solarium and 10 tables in the front patio of the restaurant, which was part of the last addition.

10) It’s an 8 mile drive from downtown Dayton that takes about 12 minutes if you head south on I-75.

El Meson is hosting its annual Parrot Head Party

11) There is no charge to rent private rooms for social events.

12) The Castro family’s motto is, “Si, se puede” — “Yes, we can.”

13) El Meson is named after a type of restaurant in Spain that serves a complete dinning menu.

14) They do a lot of catering. “All of our business has increased and our off premise reflects that. Since we offer private rooms for events, our in-house catering has doubled since last year. One example is we are hosting many life celebration parties in the loss of a loved one. Many families want to do an upbeat memorial to remember a family member now deceased,” said Bill Castro, general manager and co-owner of the restaurant.

15) The restaurant doesn’t just do dinner. They have increasingly done more and more special events, averaging 25-30 a year.

The Low Country Boil at El Meson. (Photo by Amelia Robinson)

16) Their signature events include a low country boil and their Cinco de Mayo celebrations.

17) Paws on the patio happens on the second Tuesday of every month through September, with the next one happening July 11 from 5-9 p.m. Dog owners can bring their dogs out to the patio to enjoy tapas, dinner and drinks.

>> Restaurant serves delicious Spanish food for adventurous grown-ups

>> PHOTOS: El Meson’s Barcelona Tapas

18) El Meson’s house brand tequila is Doebel and is specially bottled for the restaurant. They carry up to 20 different brands of tequila at any given time.

19) They don’t do a happy hour, but instead focus on special spirit tastings and other special events where they offer reduced prices rather then the same $1 or $2 off on a set drink list.

20) The most popular items on the menu are the Chilean salmon stack ($29), Manchego cheese puffs ($10 for 12, $7 for five) and chicken tortilla soup (small $7, large $10).

A bowl of Mexican Tortilla Soup ($10) a traditional soup with chicken, rice, hominy, avocado, cheese, and spices served with tortilla strips and broth on the side sits in front of El Meson’s table card to signal the table needs service. Contributed photo by Alexis Larsen

21) For Bill Castro, soups are a go to on busy days who adds, “Arroz YaYa is a trip to my soul.”

>> The best soups in Dayton (including El Meson!)

22) El Meson has six food trucks. Learn more about where to find them during the week by visiting www.elmeson.net/our-food-trucks

>> No wimpy nachos at the food truck

>> Guide to Dayton food trucks

El Meson's food trucks are among the many that will be at Austin Landing's First Friday this week. (Image source: El Meson Food Trucks Facebook)

23) If you are going with friends, pitchers of drinks are a good option. Pitchers of the restaurant’s award-winning margaritas and mojitos sell for $32. Pitchers of sangria are $28. Most pitchers serve about five glasses.

>> Best margaritas in Dayton

24) The menus used to be influenced by different countries, but recently they have introduced a menu of “New and Noteables,” which allow them to be seasonal and creative with the specialty menu items they offer.

25) El Meson is open for lunch. Located within a short drive from downtown, many businesses choose to entertain guests there.

26) The owners take customers and friends on annual Wine and Food Culinary Trips for two weeks to destinations like South America, Spain and Italy each year.

27) Their last trip was to Ecuador in January 2018. Amazons, Quito and the Galapagos Islands will be later this year. The restaurant does trips twice a year.

28) They make all of their soups, bread and desserts in-house.

29) They were a non-smoking restaurant before it was banned

30) Gloria and Mari Castro shop for the restaurant’s gift area called YaYa Street. There is jewelry, leather bags, home decor, painted pottery and other gift items for sale ranging in price from $5 to several hundred dollars.

El Meson owner, Bill Castro and team visit Patagonia South America in search of authentic dishes.(Brian Johnson)

31) The restaurant has played host to Spanish classes from around the Miami Valley for decades. Sessions are centered around developing a respect and knowledge of Hispanic culture and covers a wide range of topics including: foods, nuances in language and more. The price per student is just $13, which includes a three-course meal of authentic Hispanic cuisine from around the globe. Classes can be offered during school field trips or in the evenings and Spanish speaking is encouraged. Call Pedro Suarez for more information at 937-859-8229.

32) Bill Castro says the most unique ingredients they use are saffron in the cooking and firewater bitters in the restaurant’s award winning cocktail Tamiami Mami.

Heather Schuyler, bartender, and Bill Castro, co-owner of El Meson, celebrate two first place wins in the Buckeye Vodka Battle of the Bartenders event on Wednesday. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY ALEXIS LARSEN(Contributing Writer)

33) The restaurant is always looking for good help if you are looking for a job.

34) What do they believe separates El Meson from other restaurants? “Our passion for change,” says Castro.

35) They recently won the title of best tapa and cocktail pairing at the Battle of the Bartenders event earlier this year.

>> The prize-winning sweet and spicy cocktail you must try

36) They have more than 6,000 Facebook friends.

37)  El Meson will celebrate its 40th Anniversary Street Party from with two days of partying. 

The parking lot parties set are set for  4 p.m. to 11 p.m. July 20-21, this Friday and Saturday. 

It will feature live music and dancing under tents and street grub from El Meson’s fleet of food trucks. 

Admission is $5 for both days and a limited number of $35 VIP tickets are available for Friday or Saturday patio seating.

>> El Meson celebrating 40 years with throwback recipes at its EPIC 2-day party

Bill Castro pours drinks during a recent event at El Meson, his family's restaurant.(Photo by Amelia Robinson)

38) It is bring back Pizza Queen favorites like Exotic Burrito and Mexican Pizza  for this weekend’s street parties. 

39) The restaurant hosts a variety of events such as Bourbon, Tequila and Paella with special guest Joe Head. 

40) Did I mention it’s at the top of my list of best restaurants in the Dayton area? That’s a fact.

El Meson's fleet of XPress food trucks offers a delightful bounty of delicious Latin American cuisine. You haven't lived until you've tried the arepas, which are sweet corn cakes with melty cheese.(Connie Post)

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Here’s how you can get half off a Starbucks Frappuccinos TODAY

Published: Thursday, July 19, 2018 @ 11:13 AM

Starbucks offering 50 percent off  Grande or Venti Frappuccinos Thursday, June 21, starting at 3 p.m. at participating locations. (Joshua Trujillo, Starbucks)
Joshua Trujillo, Starbucks/Starbucks
Starbucks offering 50 percent off Grande or Venti Frappuccinos Thursday, June 21, starting at 3 p.m. at participating locations. (Joshua Trujillo, Starbucks)(Joshua Trujillo, Starbucks/Starbucks)

If you find yourself in need of an afternoon pick-me-up on Thursday, July 19, head on over to Starbucks where you can score half-off a Frappuccino blended beverage!

Starting at 3 p.m., you’ll be able to get 50 percent off any grande or larger Frappuccino as part of Starbucks’ Happy Hour. To get the deal, just sign up for Starbucks’ Happy Hour emails, then show the code you receive to your barista and you’ll get the discount.

The 50 percent offer is valid July 19 only, but by signing up for the emails, you’ll be notified about the coffee chain’s other upcoming discount events. Previous Happy Hours have included 50 percent off Macchiatos or Lattes and buy one, get one free Frappuccinos.

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Starbucks is offering 50 percent off Frappuccinos after 3 p.m., Thursday, June 21st.

Along with flavors you already know, like caffè vanilla and white chocolate, the deal also includes new drinks like the ultra caramel Frappuccino or the triple mocha Frappuccino. The ultra caramel features dark caramel coffee with layers of whipped cream infused with cold brew, then white chocolate and dark caramel. Same goes for the triple mocha, except each layer of whipped cream has rich, dark mocha sauce.

Since it will be the afternoon, you don’t have to worry about starting your day with sugar, so you could also choose an even more decadent flavor, like cupcake crème, red velvet cream or serious strawberry, another newer drink that blends milk and ice with a “strawberry-botanical infusion,” then layers of of strawberry puree and vanilla whipped cream.

The deal lasts from 3 p.m. until close on July 19, so sneak away from the office for a treat or grab one on your way home.

Will you be heading to Starbucks for half off your favorite Frappuccino flavor?

The Starbucks Serious Strawberry Frappuccino debuts on Tuesday in the U.S. and Canada.

This story originally appeared on Simplemost.

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