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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Rattlesnake Chili, Old West Fest

  Have you ever had a hankering to taste rattlesnake?  I'm guessing that most folks think it would be more likely for a snake to take a bite out of them than the other way around.  However, I was down at the Old West Fest recently, and came across Grub Slingers Food.  It was pretty hard to resist a sign saying "Rattlesnake Chili", but since I don't handle pepper spice particularly well, I had to ask if the name meant that it just had a hot pepper bite, or if it really had rattlesnake in there.

  The proprietor told me that the chili doesn't have a lot of heat, at least not on the way down.  He also explained that the chili does indeed contain a mix of chorizo sausage and real rattlesnake.  That sold me, so I tried a bit.  The flavor had some slight sweetness up front, followed by a moderately salty taste of tomato and meat.  I would say that this chili would be fine even for those who stay away from hot peppers, and it made me long for the Chili King restaurant that I used to dine at occasionally on Main Street just north of downtown Dayton. (BTW, if anybody has a photo of the old Chili King restaurant, I'd love to see it - I never thought to take a picture when I ate there)

  For those who haven't heard much about it, the Old West Fest is a festival that happens on weekends.  It has similarities to Renaissance Festivals, but is set 300-500 years later.  The Old West Festival is themed on Dodge City in 1878.  There are still 3 weekends when folks can attend, through October 7.  Location is east of Cincinnati, route 32. (Appalachian Highway)  Adult tickets at the gate are $12, and kids are $6.  The festival would probably provide most folks with about 4-6 hours of entertainment.

copyright 2012 Dayton Dining

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Jerri's Restaurant, Englewood

  If you have ever gone to the library in Englewood (Northmont branch), you have been right next to this place.  Jerri's is in the Englewood shopping center, next to Kmart and the Englewood Cinema.  I have driven by it dozens of times, but never took notice of it until they purchased a sign and put it out by route 40 saying they were open for business.

   This place was a very pleasant dining experience.  From the Frank Sinatra background music played at just the right volume to the excellent food, I would have to say that it qualifies as a hidden gem.  Even the bathrooms were clean.  The men's restroom, by the way, had numerous metal nostalgia signs up, including several comic book covers.  I believe they may have one of the best Superman comic book covers I've ever seen up on the wall there - I think it was #41, but my memory may be off.

  Anyway, we had a bit of time one afternoon and decided to try Jerri's out for lunch.  The inside is rather plain and not too large, but there was enough room for almost a dozen tables.  They are open every day except Sunday, and they have a different special every weekday.  Monday is Swiss steak, Tuesday pork tenderloin, Wednesday meat loaf, Thursday chicken fettucini and Friday is ocean perch.

  After looking over the menu, I almost selected the perch, which was the special of the day.  However, I picked the chicken teriyaki served over rice instead.  I also got some mashed potatoes as a side, and added an order of onion rings.  I've always hoped to find a place that serves onion rings like they make at the county fairs.  They also offered cans of pop with the meals, and I believe they were a dollar each - pretty reasonable.

  The food took about 15 minutes to arrive from when we ordered.  I may have been a bit hungrier than usual, but I can safely say that the chicken teriyaki was excellent - probably the best I have had.  The roll was a typical white bread roll, and probably the only aspect of the meal that I could suggest improvement to. (a choice of rye or whole wheat roll would be greatly appreciated)  The mashed potatoes were also better than average, with a yummy and slightly sweet gravy.  The onion rings weren't the large sized fairground type, but at least they were not made from "pieces parts" like they are at some places.

  I left Jerri's very satisfied with the service and food.  There was enough to fill me up for lunch even though I hadn't had much to eat for breakfast.  If you are in the area, you might want to consider a combination meal and movie.  Jerri's is only about a 30 second stroll down the sidewalk from the Englewood Cinema, which shows movies for only $1.50 on Tuesdays.

Jerri's Restaurant
address: 320 west National Road
Telephone: 832-2765
hours: M-F 11-7,   Sat. 11-3

Copyright 2012 Dayton Dining

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

$2.99 buffets at Cici's Pizza

  If you like pizza, then you might want to consider swinging by Cici's Pizza tomorrow (September 6) for their guest appreciation day:

  The asterisk means "if your local Cici's participates".  Don't worry, I gave them a call, and the one in Huber Heights is definitely doing this.  The Dayton area used to have a couple more of these, but this was the only one in the area left standing after the great recession.

  A small salad bar with a couple of selections of pasta is also included in the price.  When I say small, I mean about 5 feet long, but it is still surprising with the selections that are included along with the buffet price.  The location also has a game room.  One of my favorite aspects is that for no extra charge you can get a pizza made to order.  They will even bring it out to your table, if requested!  In the past, I have usually asked for a combo pizza with green olives on it, since they don't often have one of these out for everybody.  Anyway, this is a chance to fill up for not a lot more than you'd pay for adding a single topping at some pizza places.  Definitely try out some of their dessert pizzas while you're there.

Address: 7631 Old Troy Pike      Huber Heights, Ohio 45424
Telephone: (937) 236-2424
Hours: 11 am to 10 pm

Copyright 2012 Dayton Dining