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Monday, February 22, 2010

Thai 9, off 5th street, Oregon District (downtown)

{I ended up eating with some friends at a restaurant I recently reviewed, and once a month seems enough for any restaurant. So without further ado, here is our first guest blogger with a review of Thai9!}

Mrs. Dayton Dining and her mother went out to lunch at Thai Nine this week before catching a show, Wicked, at the Schuster Center in Downtown Dayton. They ordered two noodle dishes and some sushi. There was plenty of food left over for a second meal.The dishes ordered were: Pad Sea Ewe $6.50 (rice noodles stir fried with pork, carrots, broccoli, baby corn, & egg), Yaki Soba $8.50 (stir fried noodles with vegetables and shrimp), and the Brown Street Combo (3 tuna rolls, 3 salmon rolls, and 3 California rolls). The waitress gave the option of getting the noodle dishes more or less spicy on a scale of 0-9. This day they ordered the Pad Sea Ewe as a 2 and the Yaki Soba as a 4. The 2 turned out to be just a little spicy and the 4 turned out to be more spicy than expected, but still pretty good eats. Neither dish left the dinners panting for mercy, begging for milk which has been the case with some other Thai restaurants they have tried.

One lady’s meal started with Thai iced tea, which was served with sugar and cream. It was delightfully rich and creamy - almost a dessert. The other lady went for hot green tea. The lunches came with salad, which didn’t add anything to the meal. There were some ripe cherry tomatoes and a pleasant house onion sauce, but mostly it was boring, iceberg lettuce. There was plenty of other, more authentic, more Oriental food.

The Brown Street Combo came with miso soup. This bland soup serves as a foil to the potentially dangerously spicy dishes on the table. The main dishes were all very tasty. The ladies were a little afraid that the fish would be too strong, but the tuna, salmon, and seaweed wrap were very mild and fresh. Ginger and wasabi were available on the side for the more adventuresome eaters. The noodle dishes were well browned and fully flavored.

The waitress and water boy were attentive when appropriate and absent when appropriate. Even though it was a midday on a Thursday the place was fairly full by 11:50 a.m. Eating at Thai Nine was a satisfying experience and one to recommend to Daytonians and out of towners alike.

UPDATE: Through March 7, show your Wicked ticket and get 10% off your food!

Atmosphere: 5/5

Service: 5/5

Food: 4.75/5

Thai 9 Hours: Lunch M-F 11:30 AM – 2:30 PM Supper Sun-Thur 5-9:30 PM Fri-Sat 5-9 PM

Website: (includes menu)

Address: 11 Brown Street (East side, just off of Fifth Street in the Oregon District)

Telephone: 222-3227

Dayton Dining

Sunday, February 14, 2010

China City Buffet, Trotwood (NW Dayton)

I worked up quite an appetite this morning doing some work on the basement of the house we'll be moving into soon, so afterwards we decided to try out a Chinese Buffet that isn't too far away - the China City Buffet in Trotwood. (near the southeast corner of Clayton)

When entering, it really doesn't look much different from a lot of other Chinese Buffets I have frequented. That's probably a good thing, I guess, since visitors get what they expect. I did notice a couple of TV's mounted on the wall. Thankfully, the volumes were turned down, so it wasn't too intrusive. One TV was showing a basketball game the entire time, while the other was originally showcasing a variety of Kung Fu type moves, giving their names & such. Eventually, it also switched over to a basketball game, so if you are a basketball fan, and you've been looking for a spot to eat a big variety of food while watching a game, this might be your place.

Right away I noticed that the lunch buffet prices were very reasonable. An adult only pays $5.95 for the lunch buffet - most of the other Chinese buffets I've visited in the past year or two have raised their prices to $7 or more. They offer senior citizen discounts, and kids 6-9 eat lunch for just $2.95. (2-5 year olds are just $1.95)

When browsing the buffet for the first time, I noticed that this restaurant has a larger section of dessert items, as well as more meat in their buffet dishes than I am used to for a lunch menu. They had at least 4 types of shrimp, for example. Some of the Chinese Buffets I've visited before reserve this sort of variety for their supper menu, which of course makes me curious about what this place serves in the evening. I'll have to go back to check that out.

I tried out something called a "vegetable ball", which I wasn't greatly impressed with. It had a slight taste of corn, but other than that I couldn't tell just what vegetables were supposed to be in there. On the other hand, I highly recommend the stuffed shrimp. How do you stuff a shrimp? I still don't know the answer, because the shrimp was really on the inside, while there was a sort of stuffing mixture surrounding each of the shrimp. Anyway, it tasted very good, and I went back twice for more of those. The crab rangoon tasted good, but I am used to having a little more filling in each, so these seemed on the small side to me. One item which I really liked was a long, slender type of eggroll they called a "chicken roll". The filling seemed to be a sweet type of chicken salad - very tasty, and I highly recommend you give those a try.

I also saw that they had kimchee available. I really LOVE kimchee, but most of it is far too spicy (pepper hot) for me. In fact, only once have I found a truly mild kimchee to enjoy without burning my tastebuds. Alas, this was also too hot for me, so my search continues.

For those who don't need an unlimited number of trips to the "trough", China City also offers 30 lunch selections ranging from $4.75 to $5.45.

China City Buffet, Trotwood (northwest Dayton area)
telephone: 837-7999
address: 5589 Salem Rd. (Consumer Square Shopping Center, just south of Olive Rd.)
hours: Sun. - Thur. 11AM - 10PM Fri. & Sat. 11-11
lunch served 11-4, supper served starting at 4 PM

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Tank's Bar & Grill, ~4 minutes se of downtown

Tank’s Bar & Grill

I’ve actually eaten at Tank’s a couple of times in the past, though it has been a while. Since it was a cold day today, and I had to shovel off the 9” of snow that fell last night, some hot food sounded good.

Tank’s has been around since 1987 – 23 years and counting. It is one of only a couple of places to eat near the intersections of Wayne, Wilmington and Stewart streets – east of the U.D. area, and roughly 4 minutes southeast of downtown. Although this area might not come up at the top of your list of food destinations, it is worth a try, since they serve American fare at reasonable prices.

When entering, I noticed several dirigibles overhead, as well as a car hood suspended from the ceiling. The decor is colorful and all over the place in a rather amusing sort of way. There are several video games, a jukebox, and a “Mars Attacks” pinball game that I could probably spend several hours on. Even at 4 in the afternoon with the streets in rather bad shape, the place was bustling and quite loud.

I looked over the breakfast menu, but realized that it was long past the time they serve breakfast. At first I was tempted by the Reuben, then the Tankburger, but I realized that I wasn’t that hungry. My daughter ordered the cheeseburger, I got a bowl of their “Road Kill” chili, and we also got an order of batter fried ‘shrooms’ as an appetizer.

The fried mushrooms were brought out about 8 minutes after we placed our order. The ranch sauce went well with them, and they were definitely better than average. I’d give them an 8 out of 10. About 18 minutes after we placed our order, the burger and chili arrived. Chili had a number of larger pieces of meat, but most of it was finely ground into the mixture. Now I can’t stand spicy hot chili, and at first I thought that I wouldn’t be able to eat much of it, because it tasted spicy. However, unlike many of the other places I’ve eaten, the spiciness does not linger or have a cumulative effect the more you eat. The cheeseburger is a full 1/3 pound of ground chuck, and came with potato chips & a dill pickle wedge. My daughter wasn’t able to eat more than half, so I gave it a taste as well. It was excellent and very thick – I’d have to give it a 9.5 out of 10. Next time I think I’ll try either the BLT or the Tankburger.

Tank’s Bar & Grill
Address: 2033 Wayne Ave. Dayton, Ohio 45410
Telephone: 252-2249
Hours: Bar open daily 7 AM to 2:30 AM
Breakfast M-F 7 – 10:30 AM Sat. 7– Noon Sun. 8 AM – 1 PM

Dayton Dining