Zenders of Ohio
311 North Main Street
Piqua, OH 45356-2315
(937) 773-4777 Hours
Sun-Wed: 11 am - 7 pm
Thur-Sat: 11am - 9 pm
Ok, so I was totally avoiding doing any studying for exams this week when I made this trip. Sure I could have gone to a place that was closer by my house and gotten more studying done but that wouldn't be procrastinating would it? I decided to make my way up to Piqua on the northern edge of the Miami Valley.
I would have definitely driven by this outside view of Zenders if it weren't for the big old sign that was placed above the door, and despite having GPS I think it was still not as easy as some places to find. I quickly parked in a nearby parking lot and made my way in to a rather empty and deserted restaurant.
I know that I typically eat my lunch and meals a little bit earlier than most people do but for 12pm on a Saturday I would have expected to see some other people in there. Regardless it gave me plenty of time to peruse the menu and decide what I wanted. They have the menu posted above where you order and they have some laminated ones that I guess you can look at if there is a line.
Not the biggest menu in the world but hey it doesn't have to be if the food is quality. It is your typical smattering of sandwiches and some of your more standard diner food. They don't serve breakfast so that definitely was a little bit of a disappointment but I soldiered on and decided to get a heaping amount of food as I was totally famished after my drive. I chose to get their Filet Mignon Sandwich, Reuben, an order of Loaded Fries w/ Sour Cream, a Chocolate Shake, and a Piece of Old Fashioned Sugar Cream Pie. The lady at the counter took my order and told me she would bring out my shake quickly.
I took a spot, well anywhere that I cared too, and started to look over the rest of menu at my leisure and started to read one of my books so I could "study". I was able to hear the staff making my food and conversing back and forth and while I felt it took at little bit longer than I would have expected considering I was the only one, eventually I was rewarded with my patience with a heaping amount of food.
I started off with their self-proclaimed "Our Best Sandwich" Filet Mignon Sandwich. While I can't say that it was a bad sandwich, I would definitely say it was my least favorite item of my entire visit. While the flavor was good it wasn't particularly juicy or anything that I would consider spectacular for that matter. I would take this over a burger from a fast food joint anytime but I can't say I would ever get it again given the chance. At $5.95 it was the priciest item I got and not particularly worth it in the end.
Before I finished off my Filet Mignon Sandwich I decided to dig into my Reuben and boy was I glad that I got this sucker. While the picture doesn't do it quite the justice it deserves, this was one honking big sandwich. I would say between all the fillings it was a good 1.5" thick! All the items were perfectly aligned with one another with the sauerkraut playing well with the corned beef, and not to be overwhelmed by the swiss cheese. I was glad that they put the Thousand Island dressing on the side as I always like to determine how much I like to put on and not let the sandwich get overly soggy. If I had to nitpick I would only have wished the bread was slightly more toasted but all in all it was a great sandwich. $5.45 for a masterpiece like this makes me wonder why anyone would get their Filet Mignon Sandwich.
In between bites of my Reuben I decided to dig into my Loaded Fries. I opted to use a fork as my hands were already messy from the Reuben and I was trying to take pictures with my camera. These were some mighty fine fries with toppings. The fries are skin and and freshly fried, as I could hear while they were cooking them, and I wouldn't be surprised if they are cut in house as they tasted fresh and were fried to perfect. They were covered with chili, cheese, and sour cream if you so desire and it all seems to meld together into this wonderful mess that stays crunchy despite all the toppings. I could see someone making a meal out of these if they weren't that hungry...or didn't have my kind of appetite. These puppies were $4.75 with the sour cream and I can't recommend these enough.
Next up was my piece of Old Fashioned Sugar Cream Pie. They actually outsource all their pies from a restaurant in Sydney called "The Spot". All I can say after having this piece is that I know I will be making a future pilgrimage there in order to get some more wonderful pie. Every bit of this pie brought back memories of the first time I had a version of it in Celina when I was 15 years old and I wish I could have just eaten about 5 more pieces. A piece is $2.45 and you would have to be crazy not to get one if you are in.
Despite being told my shake would come out shortly, my chocolate shake was actually the last thing that was brought out to the table. Luckily for me it was brought out in a to-go container as I as antsy to get back on the road. It was an alright version that didn't blow my socks off but it was certainly satisfying. I could definitely see this being a crowd pleaser in the summers but during the winter time maybe my taste buds are not as satisfied with this frosty treat. $3.00 seemed to about the right amount to ask for it as I did get quite a lot of it, but I can't say I would pick it up every time I am in.
I walked out $17 + tip lighter than I walked in and about 5 lbs heavier. While I was glad I made the trip for the wonderful Reuben, Loaded Fries, and Old Fashioned Sugar Cream Pie I was even happier to have found another gem that if I ever find myself on the outer fringes of the Miami Valley I know I can find some good food to fill my belly.