Monday, July 30, 2012

In Which The Warlock Chows Down...

Since our Friday night game group settled together a few years back, it's become custom for us to grab a meal together before slinging the dice.  The question, however, has always been, "What do we want to eat this week?"  Time isn't usually a factor for us, but taste is!  While we're not a picky bunch, we're always looking for great new places across the Miami Valley.

With that in mind, here's just a short run-down of our favorite places!

American and Barbeque

Oinkadoodlemoo, in Englewood:
Get the "Brisket Tips" with Smoky Sweet Sauce!
One of the nice things about the Englewood area is the ongoing war between the two local barbeque joints:  Oinkadoodlemoo on Union Ave. and Company 7 BBQ on Main.  While both are good, I tend to prefer Oinkadoodlemoo, as they serve Kansas City-style "burnt ends", with their deliciously spicy "baby bakers" roasted potatoes.  If you do go to Company 7, make sure to get the smoked sausage, which have a rich flavor and the authentic snap of natural casings.

For breakfast, few things beat the local Waffle House at midnight, after a long-running session.  However, we also have a running relationship with the fellows at Perkins, after our numerous times there.  Perkins is usually fairly quiet, but their omelettes are tasty and they serve latkes--a rare find at a typical breakfast joint.  When we're down near Springfield or Yellow Springs, we often stop at Young's Jersey Dairy, though not for the ice cream!  Rather, the Golden Jersey Inn serves up a fantastic menu of homestyle favorites..  Their pot roast is stick-to-your-ribs spectacular, and the cheese curds are not to be missed.

Indian and Middle-Eastern

Jeet India, in Fairborn
Get the Lamb Korma (spice-level 4)
and an order of Aloo Naan!
I love Indian food.  After getting hooked on various forms of curry while abroad in Liverpool, I will literally get the "curry shakes" if I go more than three weeks or so without a tasty tikka masala or a fruity lamb korma.  The Dayton area has a ton of great Indian restaurants, but my absolute favorite spot is Jeet India in Fairborn.  The PlatinumChick and I used to live a scant 5 minutes away from Jeet, and she would lure me awake on the weekends with promises of a trip to their lunch buffet.  Jeet is the sister restaurant of Amar India, located down by the Dayton Mall.  If you want to try some of the best curry in the States, get to Jeet or Amar post-haste.

I've only recently, though, been finding my way into Middle-Eastern food.  After my first foray into Lebanese food while on our honeymoon, I've been doing my best to hunt down some pita-centric delicacies.  Pasha Grill, over at The Greene in Beavercreek, is a spectacular choice when the PlatinumChick and I want a night out, but it's a little pricey.  However, their lamb is mind-blowingly tender and fragrant, making it well worth the trip.  For something a little cheaper, try CedarLand on Linden Ave.  We made our first trip there this evening, and were served more than the two of us could possibly eat for $20 total.  The fried kibbeh--spiced ground beef in a fried meat shell--were particularly tasty.

Chinese and Italian

For the longest time, we went without a good Chinese take-out place in the area.  Fairborn has a shortage on Chinese, though we found solace in the proximity of Jeet India and the PlatinumChick's favorite Korean place, Myong's Cafe.  However, upon moving to Englewood, we were lucky enough to have one of Dayton's storied China Cottage branches right nearby in Trotwood!  If you haven't been to China Cottage yet, go soon.  I recommend the walnut chicken--it comes covered in a savory plum sauce with tiny slivers of garlic, alongside carmelized walnuts.  Absolutely delicious.

Galo's Italian Grill, in Richmond IN
Get whatever you like, but make sure you add
an order of Wedding Soup and some bruschetta!
For Italian, there are a ton of options around, though we prefer small, family owned businesses over chains.  Tony's Italian Kitchen, right on OH-48 in Englewood, is a personal favorite.  Their cannelloni are spectacular, and the baked meatballs will fill you up like none other.  The PlatinumChick, who usually gets heartburn from red-sauce, even loves Tony's.  Though, if we're looking for a more sit-down friendly experience, we typically skip across the border to Richmond and have dinner at Galo's Italian Grill.  Get the veal parmasan and you'll be full for a week.  That said, don't miss out on the house wedding soup or the bruschetta specials.  They're to die for!

Fast Food

Okay--confession time.  I hate typical fast food.  I haven't been to a McDonalds in nearly a decade, and avoid places of their ilk as much as possible.  But, when we're in a pinch and have to grab a bite, we try to find places with more natural ingredients and better taste.  Luckily, that seems to be the general trend in the area:  there are several Five Guys Burgers and Fries in the area and a Smashburger on nearby Miller Lane.  Of the two, I tend to prefer Smashburger, as they have more options.  Plus, the SmashFries are absolutely delicious.

That's just a quick run-down of the places we tend to frequent on our various forays before game night.  But, we're always on the lookout for new places!  With a major new shopping development coming up in Huber Heights, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that some new restaurants pop up with it! 


  1. Guess the stereotype of gamers only eating pizza doesn't fit with you since you didn't even mention it in your review of restaurants!

    Here's a question: does what game you are playing that evening influence what restaurant you choose?

  2. Very rarely, brother! We tend to run campaigns that run for about a year to a year-and-a-half, with interspersed one-shots and board game nights when we can't get enough people around the table for our regular game.

    We do tend to alternate what we eat, though--variety is the spice of life!