Saturday, November 24, 2012

Roush's Family Restaurant

Most restaurants on Friday nights are pretty busy with a wait time and sometimes you don’t want to plan ahead to make reservations or wait for a seat so we decided we would try somewhere local and new to us.  We ended up trying Roush’s Family Restaurant in Fairborn.  Roush's has been in its currently location since the 1970s and definatley had a charm to it.  We didn’t have to wait long to be seated and although there were other customers it wasn’t very loud.  The décor is a little dated but the diner definitely had a quaint, peaceful family personality. 

Our server was very friendly and personable and provided great menu suggestions when asked.  The menu contained quite of variety of choices with a Americana home cooked bent and reasonable prices.  I ended up ordering the Hawaiian sub (grilled ham, pineapple, provolone cheese on a sub roll) with sweet potato fries.  It was delicious and was served pretty quickly after ordering.  The portion size was great- left me feeling full without feeling stuffed.

Although Roush’s is a little bit out of the way for me, if I’m in the area again it would definitely be worth visiting again.

Roush's Restaurant on Urbanspoon


My first visit to Piada was very positive.  Although at dinner time on a Saturday night parking can be a challenge in the shopping center, once inside the building, the line moved pretty quickly.  The décor has an industrial simple theme and the food line was set up very similar to Chipotle or Subway, where the customer personalizes their meal and watches the employees on the other side of the counter.  While customers were waiting in line, an employee walked around offering samples.

Piada is self-described as Italian street food.  Menu selections include piadas, salads, pasta bowls, soups, along with multiple side items. There were so many food choices and the line moved so quickly that it was almost overwhelming.  One thing that could have helped is if there would signs posting the different types of cheese and veggies to pick from rather than pointing at things or having to ask the employee what food items were.

I ordered a combo of a piada and salad. Both were very tasty and included meat, grilled, and fresh veggies.  The portion sizes were pretty generous and the prices were in line with similar type restaurants.

The location I visited is fairly new but apparently is part of a chain of other locations in the Columbus area.  I enjoyed Piada and definitely plan to return.

Piada Italian Street Food on Urbanspoon

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Scene 75

Recently, to celebrate one of my friend’s birthdays we went to Scene 75.   It was my first visit there and certainly won’t be my last.

Located right off Interstate 75, north of Dayton, the brand new facility will be great for the winter when outside activities are limited as well as providing a new location for celebrating birthday, team, and adult special occasions. Scene 75 entertainment includes laser tag, lazer frenzy , 4d movies, mini bowling, inflatable bouncing arena, go-carts, blacklight mini golf, spin bumper cars, chaos gamer room, arcade games, outdoor volleyball, and outdoor bocce courts. With a bar, sports bar, and snack stand on site, visitors have convenient access to refreshments .

Everything but the food and drink is paid for by a pre-paid rechargeable card, the size of a credit card. As visitors participate in different activities or play arcade games, all they have to do is swipe their card and “tickets” earned on the arcade games are stored on these cards until the customer wants to reimburse for prizes.

While we were there we played two games of laser tag, rode go-Karts, played some arcade games and ate at Radar’s sports bar. The Laser tag games were set up as team games with multiple floors and “bases”. The go-karts were fun although the track is flat and pretty simple. The arcade games included some of the classic arcade games, skee-ball and basketball but also some newer interactive ones as well. The service at Radar’s was reasonable although I wouldn’t go to Scene 75 just for the food. We were wanting to do the putt-putt golf but it was a 50 minute wait so we passed this time.
I was impressed with how clean the restrooms were considering it was a Saturday evening and how short the lines were when we first got there at 6:30. As the evening got later lines and wait times increased as did the crowds. One thing that got annoying after a while was how the attendants at the Laser Tag and Go-Karts yelled their scripted instructions and rules. It was so loud and so rushed that you couldn’t understand most of what they said and felt like you were being yelled at.
I would recommend visitors new to Scene 75 visit their website ahead of time and consider what activities they may want to do so they can plan on how much money they want to spend. (Cash or Credit Card) Then when they get to Scene 75 they should put that amount on the card and decide not to recharge during the night. Otherwise, you may end up spending a lot more money than you originally intended. Another thing that might be wise for a new Scene 75 visitor is to walk around Scene 75 when you first get there to know where things are and put your name on the list for any activities you want to do so you won’t have to wait.
I’m already planning on going back to Scene 75 in a month or two with a group and am excited to try some of the other activities.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Victoria Theater Summer Film Series

If you're looking for something fun and reasonably priced to do in the months of July or August you should definately check out the Dayton Victoria Theater Summer Film Series.  On Friday and Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons during those two months the historical Victoria Theater hosts a film series that is an enjoyable experience for all ages. 

The doors to the theater lobby open an hour in advance and the doors to the auditorium open thirty minutes before the show.  Before the film starts free bags of popcorn and soft drinks can be enjoyed in the lobby and thirty minutes before the show an older gentleman by the name of Marvin plays some "old classics" on an organ in the orchaestra pit.  Marvin plays a song the audience can whistle along to and several with words on the screen that guests can sing along to.  Once Marvin finishes a short older Looney Tunes cartoon is shown.  And that's all before the film even starts!

The film schedule is posted on the Victoria Theater website and typically plays one movie per weekend (for all three showings) except for the one weekend each summer they play a trilogy.  Some of the films include musicals, Alfred Hitchcock, westerns, Indiana Jones and comedy films.  Seating is first come first serve and all floor and balcony seats are open.  As you enter the auditorium guests are handed a flyer that has some interesting facts about the movie and the actors involved.

And can you believe this whole experience only costs $5 per show (unless you purchase a summer pass)!!  I've been at least once or twice each summer for the last three years with different ages and everyone has always enjoyed it.

Parking is a little bit of a challenge if there are any big events going on downtown so it's best to get there early so you can enjoy the full experience!

Edith Mae’s Tea Room

Located in an old Victorian home in Xenia, this Edith Mae’s Tea Room is a memorable experience.  The tea room itself is not run by the home owners but by a lady that rents out the space at the rear of the house as well as some side rooms for a Victoria gift shop.  Tea times are on a reservation basis Tuesday through Saturday and the gift shop is open those days as well.

There are plenty of antiques to admire while waiting to be seated and the room is surrounded by windows.  Plenty of Victorian hats for both men and women can be found along the walls and guests typically try them on and even wear them throughout the tea.

This was the most casual tea room experience I’ve had since there really wasn’t a big focus on tea.  We were offered hot tea or iced tea and the hot tea was an English afternoon tea that actually tasted kind of bland.  Instead of the traditional scones or biscuits we were served cinnamon rolls and a raspberry shortbread.  The tiered plate included cucumber sandwiches, ham and mustard bisquits, and chicken salad croissant on the bottom plate, fruit cups and watermelon slices on the middle plate, and pecan cone with cream filling, orange dreamcicle cake with a whipped topping and mini strawberry pies.  The food was delicious but not as “foo-foo” as other tea room food I’ve had.

Parking could be an issue as basically guests just find a spot along the residential street to parallel park.  We found it to be a little unclear where to enter the house due to lack of signage.

All in all we had a great experience and I would go back.  It was peaceful and fun. Some tea rooms have rules about a minimum age that guests have to be but Edith Mae’s tea room seems to be an environment that could be enjoyed by all ages.  I can imagine it would be a great spot for a little girl’s birthday party or bridal shower.

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Cakery

I had a craving for a cupcake over the last few days and thankfully so did a dear friend of mine so today we decided to try cupcakes at a bakery we've never been to before...The Cakery.
Inside the front door of the bakery are tables with picture books of all the different cakes the bakery has made over the years as well as a display counter. From an outside window you can see inside the bakery and watch cakes being decorated and iced. 

The Cakery has been in operation for 12 years and we got to meet one of the owners.  He was a lot of fun, joking with us, offering us an icing sample and telling us all about the different items in their bakery display.  I decided on a lemon cupcake with buttercream icing and key lime filling and their rainbow cake.  The rainbow cake is a creation unique to The Cakery, made up of multiple layers of cake scraps with icing on top.  Since they use pieces from whatever cakes they've recently been baking, each slice is unique. 
The cupcake I tried was moist and the icing was delicious and lighter than traditional buttercream icing.  The rainbow cake was very moist too and full of various flavors of cake.  I think my favorite part of the sweets I tried from the bakery was that although moist and sweet they weren't too rich or heavy. 
My only complaint about The Cakery was there weren't really seats anywhere to sit and eat.  The tables and chairs they did have were covered with Cake photo albums so we ended up eating our cupcake on a bench outside in front of another store.

Cakery on Urbanspoon

Thursday, July 26, 2012

An Urban Diner...

Olive, an Urban Dive was a pleasant surprise.  Located inside the old Wympee, the interior has been totally renovated.  They are continually making improvements but I thought it looked great especially for only being open a year.  From the outside the restaurant still looks like what used to be Wympee. Inside the diner though customers are welcomed into a warm, cozy setting filled with small tables and chairs. An outdoor patio with seating is also available but it was too warm the day we went to eat outside.

There’s not a whole lot of parking or seating at the diner so if you want a spot during a busy time you’d better call ahead for a reservation.
We arrived a little after 11 to make sure we didn’t have a problem getting a table.  We were seated quickly and by the time we finished our meal the restaurant was full.  The menu is full of delicious items that can satisfy vegetarian, vegan, and even gluten free diets.The food came out very quickly especially for a place with such a small kitchen and not only looked great but was also delicious!
My friend and I both ordered the patio made sun tea to drink which was refreshing.  For sweetner for the tea they offered agave honey.  I ordered the chicken salad (mayoless and free range!) sandwich on a croissant with a side of sweet potato fries and it was DELICIOUS! I loved the added flavor from the havarti cheese and the light taste of the sandwich.  I am a lover of sweet potatoes in any form and was not disappointed with their fries which were soft rather than crunchy.
My friend ordered the summer in a bowl salad which looked delicious with roasted vegetables on top of a green salad.  A cup of the house spicy sweet potato soup came with her salad and she let me try a taste.  It started out sweet but then had a spicy kick to it.
As I was paying for my meal at the counter after lunch I realized that I would receive a 2% discount to my bill for paying in cash since they are such a small establishment and want to prevent having to pay the credit card fees.
The best way to summarize our wonderful experience is probably by retelling a quote from my friend who claims to be a food snob said, “I can’t wait to come back!”

Olive, an urban dive on Urbanspoon