Though Viva Tequila Mexican Restaurant hasn't been around that long, its history actually begins in the 16th century, when the Aztec people created an alcoholic beverage from the agave plant called octli. Viva Tequila lifts its name from octli's successor and celebrates its versatility with flavored and traditional lime margaritas, tequila cocktails, and top-shelf selections such as Patron Gold, 1800 Tequila, and Hornitos. The kitchen staff pairs tequila drinks with classic chimichangas and chili colorado, a dish of beef tips and red sauce. The aroma of the chili, along with the scent of other piquant dishes such as garlic shrimp and chorizo fajitas, drifts between patrons seated in booths in the dining room and outdoors on the patio.
The Winans family has been making lives a little sweeter for more than a century. During the Great Depression, townspeople would flock to the family’s bakery in Piqua with their sugar rations. Owner Wayne Winans would take that sugar and turn it into freshly baked cookies—a small pick-me-up at a time when even small pick-me-ups were a luxury. Years later, Wayne’s sons, Max and Dick, carried the family torch into the 1960s, when the first Winans Fine Chocolates & Coffees was born.
Today, the Winans family continues to do what it does best at three Ohio locations. All of the business’s chocolates are handmade, with no preservatives or fillers, and never cryogenically frozen. The family’s emphasis on freshness carries over to their coffee, too, which has frequently been named the area's best by the readers of the Dayton Business Journal and the Dayton Daily News. The secret is in their roasting process—their small, 15-pound roaster requires them to roast the beans in small batches, which leads to a more consistent product. Once the beans are ready, coffee artisans carefully combine them with other roasts to create a vast assortment of flavors, which includes 11 house coffee blends, 12 flavored coffees, and even more seasonal selections.
El Picante Authentic Mexican Cuisine's packed menu boasts more than 100 options, including tacos, burritos, enchiladas, and other traditional Mexican favorites. Patrons can stop by between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. for one of 35 lunch specials such as the taco lunch ($4.25) or a plate populated with a mushroom quesadilla, beef enchilada, and chalupa ($5.50). More than 10 seafood dinners get senses swimming with choices such as the salmon a la Mexicana ($12.99), and the steak and shrimp plate ($11.25) gets the land and sea on speaking terms in a massive wave of flavor. Guests can cool off their summer-seasoned palates with a margarita or cerveza from El Picante Authentic Mexican Cuisine's full bar before picking from 25 combo dinners, such as the beef burrito, enchilada, and tamale plate ($7.99), or the ever popular plate-bowl hybrid.
The pizza at Papa Murphy’s Take 'N' Bake Pizza is always cold. Not because it's old, but because it’s so fresh that it hasn’t been cooked yet. Assembled and customized before your eyes, the colorful, unbaked disk is then taken home and thrown into your own oven. The crust crisps to exactly your preference, whether a thin crust bubbling with chicken, bacon, and artichoke, or a Chicago–style stuffed with salami, pepperoni, sausage, and ground beef. Each pizza can also be customized from scratch, with ambitious eaters choosing from 8 meats, 4 cheeses, and 15 veggie toppings. A bevy of side plates complements any meal, with crisp salads, bake-your-own cookie dough, and dessert pizzas.
The Blind Moose's menu boasts handcrafted fare consisting of only fresh ingredients. The burgers at The Blind Moose come stuffed with their own decadent toppings; the Texas Cheddar Bacon and Barbecue and the Stuffed Blackened Bleu and Cajun (both $8) are popular pregnant meat patties, while the vegetarian-friendly black-bean burger ($8.50) fills its tauntaun's herbivorous belly with a Han Solo of legumey goodness. You can also dip into the wonton-wrapped, deep-fried provolone stix ($6) or pillage a generous pile of french-fried potatoes tucked cozily beneath a steaming blanket of chili and cheese ($5). House-made soups and salads will satisfy the health nut or marmot in your group, while an ample selection of basket-nestled bar favorites such as the buffalo chicken wrap ($7) and the Pier 7 fish sandwich ($7) offer a savory counterbalance.
The Mason Grill's culinary team caters to families with hearty, homestyle breakfasts served all day and a kids' menu with nine entrees under $4 each. Menu favorites include fluffy pancakes flanked by eggs, sausage, and plastic army-men sentries and three-egg omelets stuffed with a choice of breakfast meats, veggies, and cheese. Aside from their morning-inspired morsels, the restaurant's other dishes earn local acclaim, with Greek flavors found in their lamb or chicken gyros drizzled with housemade tzaziki sauce as well as their flaky baklava.