log in to manage your profile and account
- Create your account
- Receive up-to-date newsletters
- Set up text alerts
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
Published: Thursday, June 22, 2017 @ 2:00 PM
Updated: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 7:28 AM
— If you thought today was just a regular Friday, you’d better think again! It’s National Onion Ring Day. The momentous day we anticipate every year.
OK, it might just be another forgetful food holiday that comes and goes without much excitement. But let’s be honest, these golden, crispy, melt-in-your-mouth rings of joy sometimes don’t get the credit they deserve.
A juicy burger’s best friend and a vehicle for delicious chipotle or ranch sauce — onion rings are pretty important, and Dayton has some of the best.
So to help you celebrate this year, we asked around to see where Daytonians are going to get their onion ring fix. Here are some popular faves:
PERFECTLY BALANCED BATTER
These onion rings sizzle in a flavorful batter that leaves them perfectly fried. And word on the street is, they’re BIG.
HOMEMADE ONION RINGS
These fresh-cut, hand-battered rings are served with homemade ranch and Cajun dipping sauce. Yum!
LEANING TOWER OF ONIONS
These juicy, thick-cut onion rings are piled high and waiting to be dunked in savory southwest chipotle sauce. Try NOT finishing the whole stack before your food comes.
BEER-BATTERED ONION RINGS
Oh, the batter! Dunked in beer batter then fried to a golden crisp, these thick-cut onion rings are served with a side of southwestern ranch dressing.
SKINNY AND DEEP-FRIED
This Food Network recognized steakhouse has deep-fried onion rings that you won’t be forgetting after your first bite. A generous portion of these skinny rings packs a lot of flavor into each bite.
Published: Thursday, April 12, 2018 @ 1:08 PM
Updated: Friday, April 13, 2018 @ 9:43 AM
— Ahh, it’s that time of year again. We can’t wait to hear our hostess ask, “Would you like a seat inside or on the patio?”
If you’re like us, you’re ready to say “patio please!”
We’ve rounded up the best patios to visit in and around Dayton.
Little York Tavern & Pizza
Why? Our readers voted Little York’s patio the best in Dayton in 2017, and for good reason. The spacious outdoor area features charming archways for you to sit beneath as you scarf down pub fare and brews.
Where: 4120 Little York Rd., Dayton
Hours: Mon-Sat 11 to 2:30 a.m., Sun 12 p.m. to 2:30 a.m.
Info: Website | Call 937-890-6700
Bargos Grill & Tap
Why? Another top choice from Dayton.com readers, Bargo’s has a wide selection of beers on tap (including local) as well as tasty kitchen offerings. The patio features an outside connection to the bar so you can stay outside in the sunshine -- oh and don’t miss their “Crazy Hour” for a great drink discount.
Where: Two locations in Centerville and Fairfield
Hours: Mon-Sat 11 a.m. to 2:30 a.m., Sun 12- to :30 a.m.
Info: Website | Call 937-999-1347 (Centerville)
Basil’s on Market
Why? Few things are better than beautiful, delicious drinks and food overlooking the Great Miami River.
Where: 312 N. Patterson Blvd., Dayton
Hours: Mon-Thurs 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Fri-Sat 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sun 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Info: Website | Call 937-818-4390
The Dayton Beer Company
Why? A variety of games, locally-crafted brews and the buzz of the city make this spot a patio favorite.
Where: 41 Madison St., Dayton
Hours: Tues-Thurs 4 to 10 p.m., Fri 4 p.m. to 12 a.m., Saturday 12 p.m. to 12 a.m., Sun 12 to 6 p.m.
Info: Website | Call 937-228-2337
Why? This is one of the chillest patios in the city. Sit under an umbrella and order a pint.
Where: 300 Wayne Ave., Dayton
Hours: Mon-Thurs 11 a.m. to 1 a.m., Fri-Sat 11 a.m. to 2:30 a.m., Sun 11 a.m. to 12 a.m.
Info: Website | 937-224-7822
Wheat Penny Restaurant
Why? Nothing goes better with vino and pizza than outdoors. Wheat Penny’s patio is great for groups, too.
Where: 515 Wayne Ave., Dayton
Hours: Mon-Sat 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Info: Website | Call 937-496-5268
Ye Olde Trail Tavern
Why? You get a front row seat to people watch in the heart of downtown Yellow Springs, plus there’s great food and drink. Do a little shopping, then find a seat on the patio of Ohio’s second oldest restaurant.
Where: 228 Xenia Ave., Yellow Springs
Hours: Mon-Sun 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Info: Website | Call 937-767-7448
>> RELATED: 8 classic Dayton-area restaurants that we miss
Why? The Caroline has great food, and you get to enjoy it with a view of Troy’s charming Public Square.
Where: 5 S. Market St., Troy
Hours: Mon-Thurs 4 to 9 p.m., Fri-Sat 4 to 9:30 p.m.
Info:Website | 937-552-7676
Why? Those in search of a little romance need not look further than Coco’s cool, inviting patio.
Where: 250 Warren St., Dayton
Hours: Mon-Thurs 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Fri 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Sat 5 to 11 p.m.
Info: Website | Call 937-228-2626
Fifth Street Brewpub
Why? It’s a beer garden with homegrown brew -- what’s not to love?
Where: 1600 E. 5th St., Dayton
Hours: Mon-Thurs 4 to 11 p.m., Fri 11 to 12 a.m., Sat 10 a.m. to 12 a.m , Sun 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Info: Website | Call 937-443-0919
The Oregon Express
Why? The patio may no the fancy, but you’ll get a bird’s eye view of the Oregon District and that can been very, very interesting indeed.
Where: 336 E. 5th St., Dayton
Hours: Mon-Fri 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m., Sat 5 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Info: Website | Call 937-223-9205
Why? With spacious dining spaces, TVs at nearly every angle and a huge variety of food and drink offerings, TJ Chumps patios at its four Dayton-area locations make it easy to enjoy the covered cozy patio tables.
Where: Multiple location sin Englewood, Huber Heights, Miamisburg and Fairborn.
Hours: Mon-Thurs 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Fri-Sat 11 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.
Why? Lily’s has three patios with personality, including two that face Fifth Street. The restaurant’s beautifully landscaped back patio is a no-so-secret oasis that can accommodate up to 500 people.
Where: 329 E. 5th St., Dayton
Hours: Tues-Fri 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Tues-Thurs 5 to 9 p.m., Fri-Sat 5 to 11 p.m., Sat-Sun 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sun 5 to 9 p.m.
Info: Website | Call 937-723-7637
Brio Tuscan Grille
Why? The restaurant’s sophisticated patio is the perfect place to watch entertainment happening in The Greene with munchies on your fork and wine in your glass.
Where: 4459 Cedar Park Dr., Beavercreek
Hours: Sun-Thurs 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Fri-Sat 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Info: Website | Call 937-429-7792
Peach’s Bar & Grill
Why? Peach’s is a great spot to put back on those pounds you took off on the nearby Greene County bike path. Good food, people watching and beer help, too. While you’re in the Village, check out the patio at Yellow Springs Brewery.
Where: 104 Xenia Ave., Yellow Springs
Hours: Mon-Sun 11 to 2:30 a.m.
Info: Website | Call 937-767-4850
Jimmie’s Ladder 11
Why? Potted plants help set the mood on this beautifully decorated and relaxed patio near UD. There is plenty of room for the entire gang.
Where: 936 Brown St., Dayton
Hours: Mon-Sun 11 to 2:30 a.m.
Info: Website | Call 937-424-1784
Why? Thanks to food and cocktails that transport you to Central America, South America and the Caribbean, festive decorations, heaters and weather panels, it always feels like the tropics on El Meson’s main patio -- even in the winter. You are not in the Buckeye State when you are one of the eatery’s patios.
Where: 903 E. Dixie Dr., Dayton
Hours: Mon-Thurs 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., 4:30 to 9 p.m., Fri 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., 4:30 to 10 p.m., Sat 4:30 to 10 p.m.
Info: Website | Call 937-859-8229
The Trolley Stop
Why? The Trolley Stop patio is a number of things, depending on the day and time you visit. It is a hidden garden in the middle of the city where you can read a book over lunch, a chill place to catch up with friends or a place to be seen my anyone who wants to look.
Hours: Mon-Sun 11 to 2 a.m.
Info:Website | Call 937-461-1101
Published: Thursday, June 21, 2018 @ 10:42 AM
— Almost exactly one year after Skyline Chili “quietly” tested an Andouille Sausage Coney at a Kettering Skyline restaurant, they’ve brought back the spicy dog.
“Andouille Sausage Coneys are BACK. We’ve taken our signature Coneys and kicked ‘em up a notch. Try them before they’re gone!” read a Skyline Chili Instagram post Wednesday afternoon.
The specialty coneys are made with savory spices that give the links a “bold Southern accent.”
This limited time offer is available at participating locations in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and Florida now through July 8th. If you can’t wait to get your hands on this signature Cincinnati Coney with a kick, we recommend calling your local Skyline Chili to make sure it is a participating location.
Published: Wednesday, April 04, 2018 @ 11:36 AM
Updated: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 10:03 AM
— What was once the Dayton area’s most popular food truck has risen from the dead, at least for the time being.
Zombie Dogz — which operates a bricks-and-mortar restaurant on Brown Street adjacent to the University of Dayton — got its start as a food truck, developing a large and loyal Zombie following around town before announcing last fall they were retiring the truck due to mechanical issues.
But it turns out the food truck is Not Dead Yet.
“So, we've got this thing we keep flip-floppin’ with, and it's our food truck,” Zombie Dogz owners David and Lee VanArtsdalen said late last month on the restaurant’s Facebook page.
“We LOVE our food truck and were completely upset that we had to shut her down last season. ...This season will be specifically event to event ONLY ... we will be taking her out a few times a month. She ain't pretty!!! She's been through a lot, but she's our mess and we just can't seem to part ways with her!!!! The memories and our start all came from that trailer and it's hard letting her go.”
We reached out to David VanArtsdalen to learn more, and here’s what he told us :
“We will only be using the truck for bigger festivals and some food truck rallies. We will not be doing the day-to-day stuff with it this year. The truck that we tow the trailer with has been having issues and we don’t want to commit to a bunch of stuff in case we’re not able to fulfill the obligation.”
“I think people are pretty excited that it will be coming out every once in a while — especially when we do events up north or down south. That way people who can’t make it to the restaurant can still get a chance to stop by the truck. And there’s definitely people who prefer the truck over the restaurant. So that works well for them, too.”
Zombie Dogz, which has nearly 40,000 “Likes” on the restaurant’s Facebook page, started the transition from food truck to bricks-and-mortar restaurant in 2016, opening its restaurant in November 2016. A year later, the VanArtsdalens announced they would retire their food truck, which they said was “on its last legs” in need of expensive repairs.
The Zombie Dogz food truck was winner of the “Best Food Truck in Ohio” designation in Ohio Magazine’s 2016 Best of Ohio Readers’ Ballot. Zombie Dogz also finished second in Mobile Cuisine’s 2016 Hot Dog Vendor of the Year poll — a national poll.