log in to manage your profile and account
- Create your account
- Receive up-to-date newsletters
- Set up text alerts
Published: Monday, July 09, 2018 @ 6:00 AM
— When you want to devour something right off the bone, nothing satisfies quite like chicken wings.
Fortunately for us, Dayton knows how to make great chicken wings.
Here are our top choices noted by readers and staff:
Repeatedly voted by our readers as the ‘Best’ in Dayton, Bunkers’s takes the cake when it comes to chicken wings in the Dayton-area. “We do jumbo wings. You can get them breaded or naked. They are mighty tasty with our homemade sauces,” manager Amy Glavin said.
Location: 893 E. National Road, Vandalia
Hours: Mon-Thurs 10 a.m. to 12 a.m.; Fri 10 a.m. to 2:30 a.m.; Sat 8 a.m. to 2:30 a.m.; Sun 8 a.m. to 12 a.m.
There’s a reason people will travel to Xenia for these wings. Having won awards at the Kickin’ Chicken Wing Fest at Fraze Pavilion every year since its inception, it’s clear Nick’s wing game is no fluke. The most popular sauce — another award winner — is the Sweet Hot Damn.
Location: 1443 N. Detroit St., Xenia
Hours: Sunday, noon to midnight (kitchen closes at 9 p.m.) Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. (kitchen closes at 10 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and at 11 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday)
LOCK 27 BREWING
Lock 27 is famous for more than its beer. Try the dry rubbed, house smoked wings served up right with housemade sriracha blue cheese dip. You won't want to share.
Location: 1035 S. Main St., Centerville, 329 East First Street, Dayton
Hours: Mon to Tues 11 a.m. - 10 p.m., Wed-Thurs 11 a.m. - 11 p.m., Fri 11:30 a.m. - 12 a.m., Sat 11 a.m. to 12 a.m., Sun 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
JJ FISH AND CHICKEN
Talk about a hidden gem! JJ’s has got the traditional wing-style down pat.
Location: 4633 N. Main St., Dayton
Hours: Mon-Thurs 10 a.m.-12 a.m.; Fri and Sat, 10 a.m.-3 a.m., Sun 11 a.m.-12 a.m.
Wild Wing Wednesday at McIntosh's Pub is the best time to grab 10 wings for $6.50. If you’re not feeling saucy, their dry rubs are the real deal.
Location: 6 E. Franklin St., Bellbrook
Hours: Mon to Sun 11 a.m. to midnight
Info: Facebook | 937-848-3200
Maybe you've checked out TJ Chumps before, but have never opted for the wings. You should change that immediately and order up a basket of medium-style wings, extra crispy.
Location: Englewood, Fairborn, Huber Heights, Miamisburg
Hours: Sun 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Mon-Fri 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Sat 11 a.m.-12:30 a.m.
From the dry Archers to the Wing and a Prayer, each specialty sauce is a treat for your tastebuds whether you go for the "World's 2nd Best Wings" or the boneless wings.
Location: Centerville, Kettering
Hours: Mon to Thurs 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m., Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-12 a.m., Sun 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Info: Website | 937-401-1015 (Centerville) 937-291-1015 (Kettering)
HINDERS SPORTS BAR & GRILL
Hinders is a "no frills" sort of spot up in Tipp City, but we will gladly forego the fine dining to indulge in their wings. Pick between the easy sitters (mild), butt warmers (medium) or our personal fave, the ass kickers (hot). The names don't lie.
Location: 902 W. Main St., Tipp City
Hours: Mon to Fri, 11-12 a.m., Sat 11 to 1 a.m., Sun 12 to 9 p.m.
Info: Facebook | 937-667-4433
For those of us who live in the Oregon District, it's practically a weekly ritual to stop over at Bob's and order up some bourbon wings. These hand-breaded crispy wings get the sweet treatment in their sauce, and the end product definitely gets all of our taste buds dancing.
Location: 430 E. Fifth St., Dayton
Hours: Monday to Sunday, 11 a.m.-2 a.m.
ELSA’S MEXICAN RESTAURANT AND CANTINA
Yes, Elsa's has the Mexican food angle down, but its nine wing sauces are all on point as well. The everyday eater would go gaga over the sweet Thai sauce wings, but if you're a brave soul (and over 21), challenge yourself with Mike's "I'm On Fire Ready To Die" wings.
Location: Centerville, Dayton, Kettering
Hours: Monday to Sunday 11 a.m.-11:30 p.m.
COMPANY 7 BBQ
Upon asking for wing recommendations, 3 people immediately shared this option. Rather than deep-frying their wings, Company 7 slow smokes their chicken wings for a tender texture and smoky flavor. Get 5 for $5.99, 10 for $10.99, 15 for $14.99 or 20 for $18.99. Check their Facebook page for weekly specials on wings (and other items). Their award-winning sauces are the perfect topper.
Location: 1001 S. Main St., Englewood
Hours: Mon-Sat 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sun 12 to 8 p.m.
THE WANDERING GRIFFIN
As Dayton's official Buffalo Bill's bar, The Wandering Griffin is held to a very high standard in regard to Buffalo Wings. They are crispy and very large. But, to nod to their "upscale pub fare menu" they also offer a seasoned and grilled signature chicken wing that has become very popular. You can get 6 wings for $8.99.
Location: 3725 Presidential Dr, Beavercreek
Hours: Monday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Info: Facebook | Website | Call 937-956-5216
HAIRLESS HARE BREWERY
Their menu is small, but mighty. Hairless Hare took the third-place spot for Best Wings in the Dayton.com Best of 2017 competition. Go for the smoked wings!
Location: 738 W. National Road, Vandalia
Hours: Mon-Thurs 4 to 10 p.m., Fri 4 to 11 p.m, Sat 12 to 11 p.m., Sun 12 to 10 p.m.
Published: Thursday, July 19, 2018 @ 1:05 PM
— 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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
Published: Tuesday, June 05, 2018 @ 6:00 AM
— 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 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.
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.”
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
Published: Monday, July 10, 2017 @ 6:00 AM
Updated: Friday, July 20, 2018 @ 11:50 AM
— 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.
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.
This dining gem just turned 40 and is celebrating with some very cool events today and tomorrow, July 20 and 21.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
>> 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).
21) For Bill Castro, soups are a go to on busy days who adds, “Arroz YaYa is a trip to my soul.”
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Published: Thursday, July 19, 2018 @ 11:13 AM
— 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.
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?
This story originally appeared on Simplemost.