Angie's Firehouse Tavern is owned by a former Dayton flame-fighter and his family, who serve up a menu loaded with comfort fare made from scratch daily for lunch and dinner. Savory sandwiches ($5.25+), soups ($2.49+), and signature fare, such as the comforting cabbage rolls served with mashed potatoes ($8.99), frolic across dining-room tables as guests ogle the eatery's massive 73-inch television, which stands taller than most adult men and sasquatches with poor posture. Customize a hand-shaped third-pound burger with your choice of toppings ($5.99+), or conquer the spiciness of the five-alarm burger, topped with buffalo sauce, jalapeños, pepper-jack cheese, and crispy onion straws ($6.99), while cooling down on the patio or diligently cataloguing the dining room's firehouse-themed décor in hopes of finding a functioning hose.
When people walk into Stan the Donut Man, they often inquire if Stan is still around. Store manager Jodi Fryman says he’s not; after he ran the shop for more than two decades, he sold it to his then employee, Janet Foster—Jodi’s mom—more than 14 years ago. But Janet, Jodi, and their staff still use his original recipes to craft their from-scratch treats. All day long, they’re pulling caramel-iced cinnamon rolls, blueberry cake donuts, custard-filled donuts, and chocolate cupcakes fresh from the oven.
The bakers let everything cool before making deliveries to area eateries and stores, but at Stan the Donut Man, customers can choose from still-warm treats. Though the shops are on the small side, there’s indoor and outdoor space for people to sit and enjoy their treats, especially at the Xenia location, which has more seating. But the from-scratch donuts are popular by the dozen for customers to take back home or bring to office proms.
Ritter's Frozen Custard satisfies sweet teeth with a menu of more than 90 rotating custard flavors and an array of sundaes, shakes, and smoothies. A Glacier, a custard cup served upside down to demonstrate its thickness, sends gustatory explorers trekking through a candied landscape studded with myriad toppings including nuts, fruit, and candy ($5.82 for a regular). Besides classic treats, such as banana splits ($6.49 for a regular) and milk shakes ($4.55 for a regular), the custard counter whips up decadent specialty blends including the Mud sundae ($5.82 for a regular), a mélange of chocolate custard, syrup, crushed Oreos, and a plop of real marshmallow that makes mouths feel richer than eating Scrooge McDuck à l'orange.
Classic oldies waft through the air at The Root Beer Stande, a drive-in eatery dubbed "a Dayton summertime staple since at least the 1960′s" by Dayton Most Metro. Carhops step out to vehicles to take orders for Coney Island–style hot dogs, grilled sandwiches, and other satisfying American food, and then serve the victuals on metal trays that attach to drivers' windows. For a sweet pairing, try a malt, a sundae, or a mug of housemade root beer.
The founders of Eclipse Coffee and Tea sought to create a more personal and welcoming space than what they found in franchised coffee shops. So they invite their patrons to curl up on one of their couches with a coffee drink made with beans from Cincinnati roaster Seven Hills Coffee. The baristas craft hot and cold beverages, including signature lattes flavored with milk chocolate, caramel, almond, coconut, and even peanut butter, making for a drink that's sweeter and more convenient than stirring a cappucino with a candy bar. At lunch, patrons enjoy specialty paninis or the create-your-own sandwich option, directing staff to build custom sandwiches with Boar's Head cold cuts. Baked goods from Ashley's Pastry Shop, which has served the area for about 30 years, are made fresh daily for breakfast or dessert.
Creating Puerto Rican flavors is second nature for the chefs at Antojitos Criollos. For the last 10 years, they have blended the cuisine's staple ingredients, including rice and beans, plantains, shrimp, and spicy meats, to craft authentic Puerto Rican dishes. From mollejas to empanadas to churrasco, the chefs cook up meals that give guests a taste of Puerto Rico, saving them the hassle of requesting rock samples from the land's geologists.