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Killer patio, killer happy hour among the list of reasons to visit The Trolley Stop

For more than 20 years now, the Trolley Stop has been a tried-and-true part of the Oregon District’s dining scene. It puts its own spin on locally sourced, made-from-scratch food and a special ambiance.

And the secret is out.

The restaurant was selected as a finalist from the organization National Elite, which recognizes restaurants and chefs across the county and recently found out they had won. The results will be published at the end of the month on National Elite’s website.

“We are so grateful to whoever nominated us. This recognition is exciting — hopefully, people will stay happy with what we try to do here,” said Robin Sassenberg, co-owner and general manager of the Trolley Stop.

Each National Elite Awarded restaurant demonstrates the successful combination of the following: flavorful dishes, attention to detail, patron satisfaction and dedication and passion.

Here are just a few reasons why I agree that this spot is special and is much deserving of any recognition it receives:

1) Their menu is filled with interesting items.

If you are vegan, vegetarian or a die-hard meat eater, the Trolley Stop menu has something for you. I’m impressed with any place that has a BBQ Seitan Plate ($9) next to two all-beef hot dogs, topped with homemade chili and cheese ($7.50).

>> The Trolley Stop sandwich that made our best sandwiches list

2) Their menu is always evolving.

Six weeks ago, Chef Rae Rosbough added some new dishes including buffalo chicken meatballs ($7) tossed in Frank’s Red Hot with a zingy ranch dipping sauce and celery bites; an Indian-inspired Saag-n-Naan ($8) spinach dip served with warm bread; Herculean Burger ($12) featuring a beef patty mixed with Gyro spices topped with cucumbers, Tzatziki sauce, Feta, lettuce, tomato and onion. They also have great fish tacos ($12) filled with Mexi-spiced Mahi Mahi, corn and black bean salsa, shredded cabbage and roasted poblano crema.

3) They have the bloody Mary and Mimosa bar of your dreams.

On the weekends, the Trolley Stop features a huge bar for garnishing both Bloody Marys ($7) and Mimosas. The vodka pours can sometimes vary based on the bartender, but mostly they are generous and the best part is you can tailor your drink to your own taste.

>> The best Bloody Mary’s in Dayton, including Trolley Stop’s

4) They have one of the best happy hours in town.

Monday through Sunday, seven days a week from 4 to 7 p.m., you can walk in and enjoy half-priced appetizers and half-priced well drinks. It’s a true deal and having the option every day of the week is not something you come across very often.

>> The Trolley Stop dip you will want to eat with a spoon

5) They are going green.

Dayton Regional Green recently approached the bar to be a part of the “Be Your Own Change” campaign. The request is to limit the use of plastic straws and plastic items. “My staff just jumped on it. We are in the process of limiting all disposable plastic items,” said Sassenberg.

6) They have a beer school.

They’ve had a beer tasting every single first Wednesday of every single month since December of 2008. It’s hosted and run by Belmont Party Supply and Brewtensils; one of their gurus teaches us about the flavors and history, components and brewers. They serve nine samples of various types of beer, with heavy snacks and chocolate and chances at a door prize.

7) They seriously have one of the best patios in town.

The quaint courtyard in the back of the restaurant is a little gem to sit in and soak up the ambiance. If you haven’t been, treat yourself.

>> The best restaurant patios in Dayton

8) Their beers.

With rotating taps and a diverse selection, this is a great spot for beer lovers. The draft of the month selection is priced at $5.

>> Meet the godfather of Dayton craft beer

9) Their live events.

There’s still time to sign up for a Lip Sync Battle on June 28 at 8 p.m. and they have a full calendar of different live music shows on their website.

10) It’s an institution.

The tavern celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2015. Here’s to 20 more!

>> Best of Dayton 2017 winners: Food & Dining

WANT TO GO?

What: Trolley Stop

Where: 530 E. Fifth St., Dayton

More information: 937-461-1101 | FacebookInstagramwebsite

Skyline Chili kicking it up a notch with return of sausage coney for limited time

Almost exactly one year after Skyline Chili “quietly” tested an Andouille Sausage Coney at a Kettering Skyline restaurant, they’ve brought back the spicy dog. 

>>Mexican restaurant to build a new area location

>>Bill’s Donut Shop to close for renovations

“Andouille Sausage Coneys are BACK. We’ve taken our signature Coneys and kicked ‘em up a notch. Try them before they’re gone!” read a Skyline Chili Instagram post Wednesday afternoon. 

The specialty coneys are made with savory spices that give the links a “bold Southern accent.” 

>>Remember when Skyline Chili went GREEN for St. patrick’s Day? 

This limited time offer is available at participating locations in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and Florida now through July 8th. If you can’t wait to get your hands on this signature Cincinnati Coney with a kick, we recommend calling your local Skyline Chili to make sure it is a participating location.

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Here’s how you can get a FREE drink of frozen lemonade for Summer Solstice today

Nothing is more refreshing than frozen lemonade in the summertime. 

That’s why Dunkin’ Donuts is making the longest day of the year, possibly the coolest day as well.

>>Build your own potatoes, pasta dishes and hot dogs for $5 at downtown restaurant’s new lunch buffet 

Dunkin’ Donuts is hosting a special nationwide Frozen Lemonade tasting event today, Thursday, June 21.

You’re invited to chill out and enjoy a complimentary sample (3.5-ounce) from 10 AM to 2 PM, while supplies last.

>>Break out the newspaper! Here are 3 local shrimp boils to get you through hot days

Frozen Lemonade is Dunkin’ Donuts’ newest way to seize and freeze the day.

>>GUIDE: 7 local delish donuts to indulge in

The frozen beverage is available in two flavors, Original and Strawberry, both made with real fruit juice for a delightful frozen refreshment.

>>RELATED: Bill’s Donut Shop to close for renovations

Introduced last month, Frozen Lemonade will be served through summer at participating Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants throughout the country. 

Break out the newspaper! Here are 3 local shrimp boils to get you through hot days 

Don’t fight the heat! Use it to your tummy’s advantage. 

Three dining opportunities are coming up that will allow you to eat seafood on newspaper. 

>> The six amazing women behind some of Dayton’s best food 

Mark your calendars for these three shrimp boils:

Here are the details:

WHAT: Summer Seafood Boil

WHERE: The Wandering Griffin, 3725 Presidential Drive,  Beavercreek

WHEN: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, June 30  

COST: $59.99 per person. Tickets available on Eventbrite.

DESCRIPTION: 

“The full menu includes...- an endless pot of seafood boil with shrimp, mussels, crab, andouille sausages, potatoes and corn- four drink tickets redeemable for beer, wine or well-liquor drinks”

MORE INFORMATION: (937) 956-5216| FacebookWebsite

RELATED: 3 places to go for killer seafood in Dayton 

WHAT: Guest Chef Anne Kearney's Shrimp Boil 

>> RELATED: Rue Dumaine’s Anne Kearney scores ‘best-chef’ nomination for 6th year running (Feb 17, 2016)

WHERE: JD Legends, 65 Millard Drive, Franklin

WHEN: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, July 1 

COST: $22 per person. Tickets available on Eventbrite.

>> Billy Bob Thornton is coming to town — and you won’t believe why

DESCRIPTION: 

“As part of a week long celebration of our 15 year party JD Legends presents chef Anne Kearney . You can come at 6pm or 7pm. Seating is first come first serve on the patio.

Kearney describes her cooking with the motto "Food of Love". With a background at Bistro at the Maison de Ville and Peristylewith John Neal and as line cook and culinary assistant at Emeril Lagasse's Emeril's, she was given the opportunity to purchase Peristyle from Neal's estate in 1995. She rose to national recognition and later was honored in 2002 with a James Beard Foundation award as "Southeast Regional Best Chef". Kearney's food is an American interpretation of Provençal bistro fare.”

MORE INFORMATION: (937) 746-4950 | FacebookWebsite

WHAT: Shrimp Boil for Wright Dunbar

WHERE: West Third Street in the Wright-Dunbar business District, Dayton 

>> PHOTOS: Dayton Region’s Walk of Fame 2017 induction ceremony

WHEN: 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, July 28  

COST: $30 per person. Tickets available on Planned2give.

(Ticket includes shrimp boil dinner and two beer tickets.) 

>> These Daytonians are going to be immortalized in our city’s own Walk of Fame

DESCRIPTION: 

“The full menu includes...

Celebrate summer with a low key fundraiser for Wright Dunbar by joining us for a Shrimp Boil. We'll cook up the shrimp, corn, and sausage, have plenty of cole slaw and potato salad. Don't be afraid to dig in and peel some shrimp, drink some ice cold brews and enjoy.Thanks to our friends at Bonbright Distributors, we'll be featuring the beers of New Belgium Brewing and our friends at Gordon Food Service are helping to make this possible.

MORE INFORMATION: (937) 956-5216| FacebookWebsite

>> RELATED: Guide to the Wright-Dunbar neighborhood

Build your own potatoes, pasta dishes and hot dogs for $5 at downtown restaurant’s new lunch buffet

You know what might just pair perfectly with your next glass of chardonnay or cup of Joe? A $5 buffet deal. 

Third Perk Coffeehouse & Wine Bar, 46 W. Fifth St. in downtown Dayton, launched its $5 lunch buffet special Friday. 

So far, Juanita Darden-Jones, the business’ owner, says things have gone swimmingly. 

>> This little dive bar in Dayton has a FREE hot dog bar

“We are just trying to attract some of the businesses that are around here and give people a reason to come over,” she said. “It is a lot of things that taste good.”

The buffets will be available 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. three days a week. 

A potato bar will be featured Mondays, a pasta bar Wednesdays and a hot dog bar Fridays. 

The potato bar’s fixing include cheese, butter and sour cream. 

Third Perk’s much-beloved chili is included on the hot dog bar.

There will be two types of pasta on the pasta bar and extras that include marina and Alfredo sauces, vegetables, meatballs, bread and salad. 

>> Downtown bar starts hot dog bar

Jones said the buffet is ideal for those in a hurry. 

“You don’t have to wait for your meal to be prepared,” she said. 

Opened in June 2015, Third Perk recently celebrated its third anniversary. 

>> RELATED: Dayton coffee shop to celebrate new liquor license with cocktail party (Aug 18, 2017)

Jones said she is excited about the possibilities that will come downtown with the coming opening of the Levitt Pavilion nearby at in Dave Hall Plaza. 

>> RELATED:  Complete lineup of 2018 concerts at the brand new Levitt Pavilion in downtown Dayton 

The Pavilion will offer 34 free concerts Aug. 9 through Oct. 7 by a list of musicians known locally, nationally and internationally playing a range of music that includes jazz, rock, blues, folk, R&B, country, pop, world and children’s music. 

Here’s how you can get FREE lasagna from Carrabba’s Italian Grill

Starting today through July 1, Carrabba’s Italian Grill is offering a free lasagna deal when you buy one of three signature dishes.

>> Elsa’s owner: New restaurant ‘won’t look like your parents’ Elsa’s’

HOW IT WORKS

Choose from wood-grilled Chicken Bryan, savory Chicken Marsala, or creamy Pollo Rosa Maria. With your purchase, you can take home an order of lasagne for later. This special can be found on their Carrabba’s Today, Carrabba’s Tomorrow menu. 

>> Eat at Milano’s at special event this week and support a good (and muddy) cause

>> Local KFC closes dining room for extensive renovation 

NEARBY LOCATIONS

900 Miamisburg Centerville Rd., Washington Township

IF YOU’RE TRAVELING

3949 Trueman Blvd., Hilliard

5152 Merten Drive, Mason

8460 Lyra Drive, Columbus

7500 Beechmont Ave., Cincinnati 

Lily’s Bistro celebrates 5 years with porky feast including candied bacon & bacon fat beignets

One of Dayton’s favorite farm to table eateries, Lily’s Bistro, will celebrate its 5 year anniversary this week with “The Whole Beast Feast”

The restaurant’s chefs brought in a whole hog from Keener Farms this week and have been breaking it down and utilizing all of the parts respectfully and resourcefully, according to a press release sent to this news organization. 

>> NEW DETAILS: Luke Bryan local farm concert dropped

“This is going to be a ‘nose to tail’ meal, which means we’ll be utilizing every possible part of the animal...” Emily Mendenhall, owner of Lily’s Bistro said.

>> 5 things to know about and what to try at Lily’s Bistro  

“We'll start with a local whole hog from Keener Farm that we will be butchering in house, and the menu will have everything from house stuffed sausages to pressed terrines and candied pork belly with bacon fat beignets.”

“A lot of people can be intimidated by things they haven’t tried before, and we’re hoping to help people understand that just because you haven’t had something doesn’t mean it’s not delicious,” said Executive Chef Jansen Trotman of Lily’s Bistro. 

>> This classic restaurant is celebrating 40 years with EPIC parties “I was born in Trinidad, and one dish I’m very excited about is based off a traditional ‘souse,’ which is a dish that uses pickled components like cucumbers along with parts of an animal that are overlooked in some cultures. I’ll be using the pork knuckle from around the trotter of the hog as well,” he said. 

>> Your guide to Dayton-area food truck events in June

In addition to Thursday’s The Whole Beast Feast, 5-year anniversary celebrations continue with Happy Hour specials all night long on Friday, June 22, and Rum Night on Saturday, June 23, featuring special cocktails and the Sailor Jerry Girls giving away merchandise.

Then, on July 12, Lily’s will host a counterpart 6-course dinner that is entirely plant-based for vegetarians and vegans. 

>> Lily’s Bistro makes menu changes -- focus on creative cuisine 

The Whole Beast Feast costs $49, which includes tax and tip, and takes place at Lily’s Bistro on Thursday, June 21 at 6 p.m. Bar Manager Amber Brady is also planning an optional $14 craft beer pairing to spotlight a number of local and Ohio-made beers.

Want to go?

WHAT: The Whole Beast Feast at Lily’s Bistro

WHERE: 329 E. 5th St., Dayton 

WHEN: Thursday, June 21 at 6 p.m.

TICKETS: $49 (includes tax and tip) purchase via Eventbrite

INFO: Facebook

FOOD NEWS: 18 months after opening, chicken chain shuts down one of its Dayton locations

Less than two years after it opened, a restaurant known for its spicy chicken has closed one if its Dayton-area locations. 

>>RELATED: ‘Nashville Hot’ chicken coming to Austin Landing, Centerville  (Sept 26, 2016)

The Mike’s Nashville Hot restaurant at 6230 Far Hills Ave. (Ohio 48) in the Shops of North Village retail center in Centerville is closed, employees at that location and the Mike’s Nashville Hot restaurant in Austin Landing told this news organization.The Centerville location opened Monday, Jan. 30, 2017. 

The 2,700-square-foot restaurant is next to a Jimmy John’s sandwich shop that opened in May 2014.

>> Opening day today for new Mike’s Nashville Hot in Centerville (Jan 30, 2017)

When it opened, the Centerville Mike’s location had seats for about 72 and employed about 40. 

This news organization attempted to reach owner Mike Craddick and left a message seeking additional information from the management team at the Austin Landing location. 

Customers are being directed to the Austin Landing location. 

>> RELATED: 11 places to grab some amazing fried chicken in Dayton

Frisch’s to bring back Coca-Cola at all restaurants

It’s back.

Frisch’s is bringing back Coca-Cola drink products to its restaurants. Frisch’s CEO Jason Vaughn announced on Monday morning that the chain will switch back to Coke products.

Frisch’s switched to Pepsi in 2013, and fans criticized the move after the restaurant’s 50-year partnership with Coke. Coca-Cola is expected to come back to restaurants in September 2018, Vaughn said.

Fans reacted to the news on social media:

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