Dayton-based Esther Price Chocolates draws upon eight decades of confectionary craft to build wonders rich with cocoa, cream, and fruity and savory fillings. Like Stephen Hawking’s checkbook, the 18-ounce box of light and dark assorted chocolates ($13.25) brings balance to an off-kilter universe, wrapping gold foil around Esther Price’s most in-demand delectables—peanut-butter cream, caramel pecans, chocolate-covered cherries, and more. Other offerings include nut-infused bark ($15 for two 8 oz. boxes), hot chocolate ($10.95 for 12 oz. tin), and chocolate-splashed sweetheart mints ($16 for two 16 oz. boxes) for whenever one needs to freshen up before kissing their dessert. In the interest of democratizing deliciousness, the shop also outputs a variety of sugar-free alternatives including sugar-free peanut butter truffles ($8.80 for 8 oz. box).
A humble standalone shop with an impressive inventory, Pipkin's provides the area with locally raised produce, specialty groceries, fresh-from-the-plot flowers, and more. Using a 100-mile radial rule of thumb, the store trucks in juicy and sweet eats from Ohio, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, and anywhere flavorful greenery grows. Food-pyramid summiteers can snag one of 20 varieties of apples ($0.99 per pound) or a few bunches of spotless bananas ($0.49 per pound), while pigskin fans can snag some homemade salsa and guacamole ($3.99–$5.99). Before the leaves fall and the sun burns out, families can also stock up on pumpkins—nature's emotional lantern ($0.39 per pound).
Each package includes light food pairings and $5 gift certificates for all participants. Wine samples are not included. Classes are scheduled from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. every other Thursday through January and beyond as demanded. Click here for a list of available dates.
In a dining room with blue walls and green booths, patrons of TC Thai Cafe can savor Thai, Vietnamese, and Chinese cuisine, all prepared without a trace of MSG. Cooks crush peanuts for pad Thai, simmer duck in rich panang curry with avocado, and blend fresh pineapple and cashews into fried rice. In cold weather, diners can warm up with bowls of flavorful Vietnamese pho.
At The Learning Kitchen, highly trained instructors will help chop-happy visitors pick up handy tips for deft cuisine preparation. Grub-crafting students will slice, dice, and nibble-ize tongue-luring fare amid a sleek kitchen classroom. Top-notch boiling, frying, searing, and particle-accelerating equipment is on hand at 12 cooking stations as participants learn to wield quality knives and shurikens with nimble-handed dexterity. Chefs not only provide step-by-step instruction, but also teach useful chopping and sautéing techniques. A wide range of hands-on cooking classes is available, including a gnocchi workshop, neighborhood barbecue, vegetarian proteins, sushi rolling, and Thai. When dinner is done, students will sample their scrumptiously prepared meals in a sit-down dining area. Before they leave, students will receive recipe copies, saving them the trouble of scrubbing their hands free of ditto-machine wax.
Kroeger and Sons, as its name might imply, has been family owned and operated since 1972, though it recently passed to a new family equally dedicated to the art of the sausage. The meat market offers some 40 different varieties of sausage every day. Load up on Kroeger and Sons' super lean hand-made chicken sausages ($5.99/lb), southern sagey breakfast links ($3.29/lb), or hand-packed German franks in natural casing ($4.99/lb). Break out of the sheath with a whole pork roast ($4.89/lb), piggy chops stuffed with cornbread ($4.49/lb), and thick- or thin-cut hickory-smoked bacon ($3.99/lb). If you're still beneath your daily pork quota and need one more pig tick to satisfy your bacon boss, then nosh into Kroeger's extra-thick baby back ribs ($5.89/lb).
The aromas of fresh-baked pita in clay ovens, char-grilled kebabs, and homemade baklava mingle and waft through Istanbul Cafe's bright turquoise dining room replete with Turkish wall hangings. To ensure authentic Mediterranean and Turkish flavors, the chefs do as much food preparation in house as possible, from spearing fresh kebabs daily to hand making desserts from scratch to carving gyros meat right off a spinning gyroscope. The baked eggplant comes stuffed with lamb, tomatoes, peppers, and and herbs served with sauteed seasonal vegetables and basmati rice. Seated around tables, patrons may sip steaming mugs of turkish coffee and tea or uncork their own bottles of wine toted from home.