Travel across the globe without leaving Dayton
For those who cannot leave Ohio for spring break, there are places around Dayton that offer a taste of travel.
Japan– Go back far enough and you will find that the well-known Japanese tradition of sushi was originally a Chinese idea. Now jump forward 1200 years and I can show you a version that is pure Ohio. Fusian, a casual sushi place, was developed in Cincinnati. Here they take hundreds of years of learned technique, throw it at the wall and scavenge what is necessary. That might sound harsh, but for a tradition as old and revered as this, it doesn’t hurt to question the methods behind this new take on the original street food.
Combining new technology, fresh ingredients and the nicest staff anywhere in Ohio, Fusian is the Chipotle of sushi. You start by picking your wrap, nori or a soy based wrap, then choose from several forms of cooked and uncooked protein, chicken, salmon, tofu and steak. Finish it out with veggies, toppings and sauce and in less than two minutes you have a tray with ten sizable pieces of Maki.
Italy– Though you won’t find yourself feeling as if you have just hopped a ship to a small Italian island. Ghostlight Coffee (just outside the Oregon District) offers a more traditional macchiato than most of us stateside are used to. The drink uses a miniscule ceramic bowl of concentrated caffeine, topped with a micro foam of steamed milk. The macchiato has a strong, acidic beginning that cuts through your pallet allowing for the deep mellow brown of the espresso to rest on the back of your tongue.
Poland- Poland might not scream spring break, but you are in Dayton in February, so make the best of it. And besides, what is better than a hot plate of cabbage and beef? Not much in my book. That is why I love Charlie’s Deli and Catering on Troy Street on the north side of the river. The closest thing I have found to a delicatessen in Dayton, eating at Charlie’s feels like it should: simple, easy, with lots of choices. My humble belly gets so happy when I go there to get a couple of stuffed cabbage rolls. Beef, rice and spices sit in a leafy cocoon of steamed cabbage that has been covered in a bright, deep red sauce.
I want to give you a couple pro tips on this shop. Use the side door and get a bottle of Rock & Rye Faygo Soda. Maybe pick up a little blood sausage or a bottle of Hefe-Weizen on your way out the door.
Latin America- One of the biggest problems when traveling is navigating the language barrier. How can one fully enjoy local company if you can’t speak the tongue? My suggestion is to eat it. At Taco Loco, on Burkhardt Road, you can take control of our largely non-bilingual culture with a big plate of lengua, or tongue. Braised for hours in a bright, spicy orange sauce that utilizes the manzano pepper. Taco Loco’s lengua plate checks in at eight dollars for about a pound and a half of food including rice, beans and chips.
Ohio- At some point, most people do get homesick. Now, if you have been marauding around Dayton and you get homesick for Ohio I have just the place. The Clifton Mill is just about as Buckeye as you can get. Just a shade over 200 years old, this regional landmark stands as a memorial to home cooked tradition. Not so much with the faux-nostalgia in the shop entrance but in the pecan smoked bacon, homemade corned beef hash, and sausage gravy. I will always fall victim to a hearty breakfast, and weather it be a day in the fields, at the computer or a long nap afterwards it is always worth it.