Past Food Adventures

About Joyful Food Adventures

Monday, October 28, 2019

The Girl's and I went on a Pedal Wagon

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 When a friend suggested we all get together for a tour on a Pedal Wagon, I was skeptical. I had never done anything like it and wasn't sure if I would enjoy it. Nonetheless, I weighed my apprehension against the opportunity to get out of the house for a few hours with no responsibilities, and the decision was simple: let's go on a pedal wagon adventure!

The day arrived, the weather was absolutely fantastic, and almost all of us made it on time. There were eight of us altogether, so we had the 12 seater wagon with electronic engine assist. Check-in was simple. We had to show our waiver confirmation emails, our ID's and get a hand stamp. Our Captain was named Tom, and he talked us all through what to expect. We made a quick stop into the Barrel House so everyone could grab some canned drinks before getting started.
Captain Tom was the best!

Drinks in hands and extras in the cooler the wagon provided, and we were off! Captain Tom put on some music to set the mood. The warm breeze was felt as we all pretended to pedal. We sailed down the street, and it didn't take long for us to be chatting. I am fairly certain our laughter could be heard to all those we passed. When we passed someone, Tom would ring the bell and we would all wave. Pedestrians almost always waved back, it was either that or they stared at us with a look of utter confusion. I am sure we were a sight.

Our next stop was Crafted and Cured. If you haven't been into this beautiful building then you are missing out. It has been restored and has so much character. There are lots of offerings on tap, and even more to be purchased to take home. They also make charcuterie boards that look delicious. Crafted and Cured is connected to Glasz Bleu Oven. I have never had the pleasure of dining here, but I passed the freshly made bread, and the fruits and veggies sitting out. It reminds me of a European farmers market. A friend bought some ginger spice meringues, which she generously shared with us all thankfully. We then headed back out on the wagon.

We had a decision to make. We could take the wagon and stop into a few more local establishments or use the majority of our time cruising around the city. The group consensus was the latter, as everyone wanted to get the most out of the tour experience. Tom let us see what it would be like if we did not have the electronic assist motor. I was surprised that it really was not that difficult to actually pedal. I would probably come to a different conclusion if I had to pedal the entire two hours.

St. Anne's Hill district was our next stop. We passed the house of a group friend, and she waved at us as we cruised by. Up and down each street, we talked about the beautiful historic homes and the features of the district. This is truly a beautiful area of the city.

Lots of buildings and houses were showing community pride
We made one more quick stop at Brixx Ice Company, before deciding that we would like to be dropped off in the Oregon district to grab some food. Tom was happy to oblige, and even recommended a few local eateries. Everyone dropped in their tip in his jar and headed off to enjoy a meal at Blind Bob's. It was a fun time, and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. The girls and I decided this needed to be an annual girls day out at least. If you haven't had the chance then I would say go ahead and try something different for your next group outing.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

The whole family loves Warped Wing Brewery

Warped Wing Brewing Company, located in Downtown Dayton, is a family-friendly, high quality, local craft beer brewery, and restaurant.  The first thing you notice when you walk in is the wide-open space; Almost like one room with high ceilings. The second thing you notice is the giant brewing vats, and if you come at the right times you may even catch them being filled. You can catch a seat at one of the tables, or the bar. When you are ready, the ordering process is simple. The hardest part is deciding what to try, and honestly, you can’t go wrong. They have a variety of beers from light to dark. They even make their own “cocktail” style drinks with their beer and other add-ins. They have locally made cold brew coffee, and homemade root beer, which happens to be the tastiest root beer I have ever enjoyed.

They offer tours of the brewery, which is not only informational but quite fun to see the behind the scenes process. Yoga and beer are offered one Sunday a month. Launch parties for specialty beers are often held. My personal favorite is Esther’s Little Secret Launch. You can't go wrong with a beer and high-end chocolate pairing. The owners have a soft spot for charity and host the event “Share a pint, make a difference” in which a portion of proceeds are donated to different charitable organizations. 

I never knew that a brewery could be a family hangout until Warped Wing Brewery opened. I cannot recall a visit without seeing plenty of families roaming about, enjoying themselves. The bartenders always greet the children and make them feel welcome. Before you take a seat, you can grab a board game, cards, or Legos to play as a family. The kids freely walk back and forth to exchange their games for new ones. If board games aren’t your style, there is a foosball table and some classic arcade-style games to play in the back.

If you are hungry, they have their own restaurant called Spent Grain Grill. They incorporate their beer into their food. We often get a pizza, wings, and tater tots. It takes a while to cook because everything is made fresh. It is worth the wait, which passes quickly while you play anyway. We like to play giant Jenga while waiting. Since there are other families about, it is usually easy for kids to make a new friend to play with too.

I leave Warped Wing with a similar thought each time. More establishments should be set up like this. Fostering an environment in which families can be together in an enjoyable way, allowing kids to be apart of the real world. There is no better way for them to learn to be a member of society than to be out actively participating in it. I always feel good about supporting a business with such a clear vision for community and family.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Date Night at Old Scratch Pizza

My husband and I had a much needed date night. We prefer to eat local when possible, so we decided to check out a new pizza joint around Dayton. Old Scratch Pizza’s Facebook posts made my mouth water. If the pizza was half as good as it sounded, then I knew we would probably enjoy it.

The location was easy to find. Parking was okay. There was a lot, and some street parking, but by the time we left the lot was full. The building was much larger inside than I expected. There was plenty of picnic style tables, with a roll of paper towels, plates, a recycled tomato can with salt and red pepper flakes inside.

You order at the counter from a decent selection of pizzas. They have red sauce pizzas, white sauce pizzas, as well as gluten-free and vegan selections. They also had salads, sandwiches, and fresh bread. Along with the pizza they had a good variety of local craft beers available, which will be fun to come back and enjoy in the future. Wine was also on the menu. 
There was a bowl of lemons sitting out for water.
 We ordered a Mr. Scratch which was described as “hand-crushed tomatoes, house-made sausage, caramelized onions, Calabrian chilis, fresh mozzarella, basil, olive oil”. We also ordered a Sophie Mae, described as “applewood-smoked bacon, red onion jam, fresh mozzarella, romano”. I also asked for a side of house-made ranch, because ranch is good with everything and I needed to know if they could make a tasty one. 
Inside, you can watch the pizzas being made each step of the way, from the dough being rolled all the way through it being quickly baked in the wood-burning oven. 

We opted to sit outside on the patio because it was a nice. As I would hope with a pizza that cooks in under three minutes, our food was brought to us with very little wait time. 
Good sized outdoor space
My eyes immediately ate up the pizza and my stomach couldn’t wait to catch up. The dough on each of the pizzas was chewy with a crusty crunch. Neapolitan style pizza is something very different than some other style of pizzas. I was expecting a thin chewy crust and that is what I got. The size on the pizzas were around the size of a medium pizza.

I first tried the Sophie Mae. The flavors here were very well balanced. Sweetness from the house made red onion jam followed by a salty punch from the bacon and romano cheese. This pizza was so tasty. I tend to favor white pizza’s in general, and this one hit the spot.
Sophie Mae
Mr. Scratch was next. Visually, the tomatoes were obvious as they should be in a hand crushed sauce. I was not sure if the chilis would be sweet or spicy, and they were on the sweet side. The sausage was flavorful but not overpowering.  Green basil leaves were sprinkled throughout adding that fresh flavor punch.
Mr. Scratch
I was very excited to try the ranch dressing, because if it was good I could see myself coming back to eat a salad here often. A salad with a tasty dressing is one of my favorite foods. I am happy to report that the dressing hit the spot. It was flavorful and balanced, with a bit of tang. Exactly what I want in a ranch. The pizza was delicious dipped into it. I savored every bite of crust covered in the creamy sauce.
Ranch dressing...yum!
I also want to add that Old Scratch Pizza was family friendly. High chairs were readily available and we spotted more than a few families enjoying a meal together.

Overall, we truly enjoyed our experience at this local joint. I would love to see them add goat cheese to the menu, as I could eat a white pizza with goat cheese just about any day. I was impressed with the local craft beer selection, but would also desire some hard cider choices. The restaurant was clean, the staff was friendly, the service was fast, and the food was delicious. There really is not much more you can ask for. I highly recommend you stopping to check this place out.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Dinner at China Cottage

A few days ago we had a little surprise when my husband found some gift certificates for China Cottage restaurant that we had been given last Christmas. I love when I find a forgotten treasure. We decided to use them last night, ordering at our nearest location in Kettering. While browsing the menu online, I noticed that the prices had gone up some since the last time I had ordered there. Admittedly, that had been a while, but still it seemed higher than what I was expecting to pay for Chinese takeout. Here is a breakdown of what we ordered and how it was:

  • ·Crab ragoons- I love a good crab ragoon. These were on the sweeter side which is not my personal preference. They were cooked to crispy and stuffed with plenty of cheese filling.

  • Firecracker shrimp- We had never ordered this before so were not sure what to expect. The shrimp were cooked fine, but the spice was pretty mild. My little kids were able to comfortably eat a few pieces. There was so much liquid and not much flavor. For the price of over $9, I was disappointed.

  • Sizzling Combination- This had a mix of seafood and chicken. It was lightly flavored and tasty.

  • Mala Chicken- This one had some spice at a comfortable level. I liked it.

  • Chicken Stir fried rice noodle- This was just okay. Nothing special, nothing necessarily wrong with it.
  • Fried rice- I was unimpressed. The seasoning was pretty good, but it wasn’t what I want in a fried rice. Very few vegetables mixed in, no egg.

  • Spring rolls (came with meal)- Crunchy, filled well. Fairly standard for a spring roll.

  • Egg Drop soup- My husband tried to eat this. It was not good. Thick, not much flavor, mouthfeel felt weird.

  • Wonton soup- This wasn’t bad, but needed a lot of seasoning.

The food took about 20 minutes and the person on the phone was friendly. Overall, I would say the food is just okay here. This place has been around for a long time though. I would love to check out their traditional menu at the other locations some time.

Friday, October 7, 2016

The perfect fall drink!

This is me enjoying a Lumberjack latte from Ghostlight Coffee on my birthday. I anxiously await the release of this flavor every year since it was released. I tried one of the originals before they had Jo Snow Syrups make them a syrup in the flavor. I waited in line an hour that first time, and it was worth it then and still worth it now. The flavor is unique and delicious with tones of maple syrup, cinnamon, and smoked sea salt. This screams Fall!

So if you haven't tried one yet, you have to head to Ghostlight before they inevitably run out. If you have already savored the yummy drink, then get your butt back there because you will miss it when they are gone until next year.

About Me

Hi all, I am Talia. I grew up kind of a picky kid. I had a limited palette, but not in a typical way. My favorite food has been salad since I was about 6 years old. I definitely threw my parents for a loop. As an adult, I was excited to finally branch out to try many different cuisines. At the same time, I began to learn to cook. These two things combined to foster a passion for food felt deep within my soul. Food is a love language!
As time went on, I began to realize there was definitely a difference in the quality of my experiences between locally-owned restaurants and chains. I have spent the past few years researching, visiting, and enjoying as many locally owned places as I could. Every time I walked into a new place it felt like an adventure waiting to happen. I became the go-to person among friends and family needing a restaurant recommendation.

Now, as a mom of four, my dining adventures had shifted a bit. My oldest children are becoming young foodies themselves. They enjoy experiencing food adventures together and offering their thoughts as well. It's a fun way to connect as a family.
So what to expect? I check out restaurants, food trucks, the occasional specialty grocery store, and food events local to the Miami Valley area. I love sharing my experiences with others. I will consider many factors such as quality, family-friendliness, and price when I write about one of my adventures. I hope you find a delicious new adventure to experience!