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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Rob's Restaurant & Catering Brookville

This week we tried out Rob's Restaurant in Brookville, which is a far NW Dayton suburb of about 5,300 people.  Just driving through, the town has lots of fast food places, but Rob's appears to be one of the few "slow food" family sit down places around.

  We arrived at a mid to late time for lunch.  There were plenty of cars parked out front, but the place was not crowded, and we were seated quickly.  Actually, I wanted a place back towards the rear instead of out in the middle, so we moved from our initial seating area.  After a few minutes, the waitress came to ask if we were ready to order, and we had to explain that we didn't have any menus to look at.  I think that was partly our fault, because originally there were menus at the first table, but I don't think they got moved when we moved.

  She came back every few minutes to see if we were ready to order, and by about the third or fourth time, we had figured out what we wanted.  She actually asked us if it was our first time here, so I got the feeling that they have a lot of regulars who barely need to look at the menu.  In fact, she said that many of their customers just get the buffet.  Although I usually enjoy a buffet, this time I wanted to try out one of their listed meals.  A couple of us ate from the buffet.  Background music seemed to be 50's and 60's oldies, which I've always enjoyed.

  My wife decided on the turkey hot shot, with sides of mashed potatoes and a broccoli and cauliflower salad.  I got the charbroiled chicken breast, with sides of onion rings and seasonal fruit.  We placed our orders at 1:53, and they were brought to the table at 2:09, which is about a 16 minute prep & delivery time.  The turkey hot shot was a very generous portion with lots of gravy on the open faced sandwich and the potatoes.  Evidently the broccoli & cauliflower salad was a little sweeter than expected, but still quite good.  My seasonal fruit bowl was brought out as an appetizer, so I ate that first.  It consisted primarily of several varieties of sweet melon, pineapple and large red grapes.  Everything there was fresh & flavorful.

  I then moved on to the onion rings.  I am happy to report that these were REAL onion rings - the kind you can often find at a county fair - not those horrid things that are put together from bits and pieces of onion - "frankenrings".  Each was made with a whole, entire ring of onion.  They were tasty, not quite too hot to eat at delivery, and just needed a bit of salt to make them perfect.

  Next was my main course, the charbroiled chicken breast.  While I could taste an underlying seasoning of good flavor, the meat itself was a little on the dry side, and took some sawing with a knife to get the pieces apart.  Portion size was a little less than I expected, but the meal as a whole did turn out to be filling.  I ended up asking for some barbecue sauce to help with the dryness.  I believe that for charbroiling, a thicker piece of chicken would help a lot with the dryness issue, as well as perhaps additional time marinating beforehand.

  As for the buffet, they said that everything available there is homemade.  I noticed that it had about the same variety as a Ponderosa, though there was a much better than usual representation of meat, such as slow cooked roast beef, fish and chicken.  A lot of the items on display would often be found at a family get together or something like a Thanksgiving meal - dressing, turkey, mashed potatoes, the works.  I'll admit that I sampled a bite of the roast beef, and found it to be very tender.  If you like desserts, they had an excellent variety of pie, cake, cookie bars and the like.

(note, scan above is the delivery & takeout menu)

  When speaking of service, the only real negative I can think of is that no one ever offered to refill my wife's tea when it was empty.  After about 5 minutes, I finally had to take the cup up front and ask for a refill.

  Overall, this place seems to have a nice "family home cooking" style buffet, better than average quality side items, and a relaxing atmosphere.  Unless you're ordering a salad or sandwich, expect to spend about $8-$10 per person.

Rob's Restaurant & Catering
address: 705 Arlington Rd.  Brookville, Ohio 45309
telephone: 937-833-3310

coupons:  (update: added printable coupon below, good through end of Sept.)
$1.50 off buffet Wednesday by following them on Twitter

2010 Entertainment Book has buy 1, get 1 for Rob's
  buy 1 meal (lunch or supper) and get 1 = or lesser value free

copyright 2010 by Dayton Dining

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Coupon Roundup!

  Here are a few of the coupon offers I've received in the mail over the past couple of weeks.  Note that none of them say anything about photocopy restrictions, so you should be able to print and use without any trouble.

Various Arby's (I like the buy 1, get 1)

  Domino's - 2 large 2 topping for under $15 is pretty good

  Old Hickory Barbecue  $5 off

  Kentucky Fried Chicken - buy 8 piece bucket,
     get another 8 pieces free.  Note that this is not     actually a coupon, it is just an ongoing offer at 2 Dayton area locations, and it is ONLY good on Mondays.  Call them to find out how long this will be offered.

Lee's - miscellaneous deals on buckets and more

Marion's Piazza - Looks like you can't get the $1.90 pizza for their 45th anniversary, but at least the lines will be back to normal.  25% off is a great discount.

Oscar's - save anywhere from $1.50 on up to 8 bucks depending on the meal, and how many dining

Subway - free 6" sub if you buy 1 and a drink

  That's it for our first coupon roundup!  If you come across one that is a great deal, it doesn't say "no photocopies", and you'd like to share, be sure to send it to me at
Please try to save as a jpeg, and compress to 300k or less if you can.

see    for a free Windows 7/Vista/XP image resizer utility
        click download, and go with 32-bit unless you're sure you have 64-bit copy of Windows

Saturday, August 7, 2010

El Cazador Mexican Restaurant & Cantina Englewood

  Here's a quick review of a place we tried for lunch Friday.  El Cazador is a Mexican place on the North side of National Road (40) that has lunch specials starting at under $5.

  We got there right at the end of the lunch time, so the restaurant was not busy at all.  There were two TV's located at different ends of the dining room.  Thankfully, their volumes were turned down to the point where they were not intrusive.  I'll give them a plus for having appropriate ethnic music playing in the background.  Another plus because they brought some tortilla chips & salsa right out, and the salsa was not too spicy for me.

    We decided on a #9 special, which is an enchilada, chalupa and quesadilla, as well as the Burritos Tipicos - 2 burritos with beef tips, guacamole salad, rice & beans.  I'm guessing it was because it was going on 3 in the afternoon, with only us and another table, but they were able to get our food out to us in only about 8 or 9 minutes.  I was surprised at how prompt it was - and how hot the plates were.  There are lots of places that will warn you that the plates are hot, but you could really get a severe burn on these.

  I guess I'll describe the food in the order I ate it: the cheese quesadilla was very buttery and crisp - a delightful beginning.  The chalupa was perhaps my favorite, with lots of guacamole.  The enchilada was mild and flavorful, but not really extraordinary in any way.  I tasted my wife's beef tip burrito, and the beef tips were so succulent that they must have been slow cooked for quite a while.  She was a little disappointed with the rice, though.

  Service was good, and the server brought the bill to us very promptly, so no waiting on our part when we were ready to leave.

Location: 555 W. National Road (route 40, north side, just west of Union Road)
telephone: 836-5004
open 7 days a week

Update: here are some coupons for El Cazador I just found in a flier we got in the mail.  They range from "$2 off lunch" (off your SECOND lunch - a little confusing) all the way up to "save $10 when you spend $50".  There's no photocopy disclaimer, so these should be accepted with no trouble.