Hot!Visiting Main Street Ohio

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Michael Hoffman
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Re:Visiting Main Street Ohio 2009/11/23 19:12:05 (permalink)
Love your Swiss steak. I had to laugh. Last December, I took some time out during the deer gun season to head into town to grab some lunch. I stopped at a place outside Nelsonville, Ohio called Dee's Diner.
My usual thing there is a cheeseburger and coffee. It's not good, but it won't kill you. This day, however, I actually looked at the menu, and I saw Swiss steak, with mashed potatoes, gravy and green beans. What the heck. So I ordered that.
 
When it arrived it turned out to be a cooked hamburger patty -- probably frozen to begin -- covered with gravy, mashed potatoes that had to have begun life in a box, and green beans that were more gray than my beard.
 
The most amazing thing was that I actually ate it all, despite the fact that it was really, really, really bad.
 
Perhaps it's not quite as amazing as the fact that I've been back to Dee's Diner several times since.
post edited by Michael Hoffman - 2009/11/23 19:13:19
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Re:Visiting Main Street Ohio 2009/11/24 01:46:36 (permalink)
Michael Hoffman

Love your Swiss steak. I had to laugh. Last December, I took some time out during the deer gun season to head into town to grab some lunch. I stopped at a place outside Nelsonville, Ohio called Dee's Diner.
My usual thing there is a cheeseburger and coffee. It's not good, but it won't kill you. This day, however, I actually looked at the menu, and I saw Swiss steak, with mashed potatoes, gravy and green beans. What the heck. So I ordered that.
 
When it arrived it turned out to be a cooked hamburger patty -- probably frozen to begin -- covered with gravy, mashed potatoes that had to have begun life in a box, and green beans that were more gray than my beard.
 
The most amazing thing was that I actually ate it all, despite the fact that it was really, really, really bad.
 
Perhaps it's not quite as amazing as the fact that I've been back to Dee's Diner several times since.


Any Port in a (Hungry) Storm!!!
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Re:Visiting Main Street Ohio 2009/11/24 07:54:53 (permalink)
The reason for the trip to Dayton was to visit the National Museum of the Air Force on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.  If you have never been here before, you can't imagine how big this place is and how many planes they have.  There is so much here, it would take a week to get through it if you read all the displays.  Here are some photos.









 
I can't say for sure that it is 100% true, but according to family legend, my great grandfather was a mechanic for the Red Baron.

 
This was my second visit here and the first for the ladies.  We ended up spending around three hours all together.  I think this is one of the finest museums in the country.  Oh, and its free!
 
http://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/
 
We checked in at our hotel, which was right across the street from the museum.  Mariton took a nap, Emilou got on the computer, while I took off by myself for a late lunch/early dinner.  My destination was the Hamburger Wagon in Miamisburg.  This place is nothing more than a small wagon

that sits in the middle of town and it goes all the way back to 1913.  I first read about this place in the Hamburger America book.
 
While walking up, I saw no one was there.  Sweet!  I paused to look at the very basic menu

and in the mean time, a woman stepped out of a car, got in front of me and ordered 15 doubles.  What!  Now, I'm thinking I will be here all day.  But one of the two young guys manning the cart immediately asked for my order, too.  Seeing how small these were, I went for three doubles.
 
Here is how it works:  One guy sets buns on the counter and starts with the onion

and then the pickle.

While this is going on, the other guy drops semi-round pieces of beef into the huge skillet, where he smashes them into shape. 

I asked him how many burgers this skillet will hold.  He told me that he has heard you can fit 30 into it at a time, but he never puts more than 16.  Here is a close up of the skillet

through the small window.  BTW, both of these guys were very nice and patiently answered my questions.  When I asked if they have a lot of people like me showing up with a camera, the one guy laughed and said that the BBC had recently been filming here.  While all this was going on, quite a few more people showed up

and they were busy the rest of the time I was here.  Seems I showed up at a good time.
 
Soon, my three burgers were put in a white paper bag

with their logo on it and handed to me. Notice the grease stains on the bag.  That is because they don't wrap them in anything,

they just set them in the bag.  This could be kind of messy if you are eating in your car.  I sat down on a nearby bench and pulled the first one out.  Here

is what the burger looks like.  The first thing you notice is that the pickles are flopping all over the place.  Wouldn't pickle chips work better?  Oh well, they have a recipe that has worked for almost 100 years, so who am I to say different.  They are not that much bigger than the typical slider.  The meat is irregular shaped, has a very crunchy exterior, with an unusual tasting inside.  In his recent trip report where he visited here, Roadfooder train described it as a sausagey taste and I would agree.  Regardless, this is a terrific burger.
 
I ate one on the bench, one in the car on the 20 minute drive back to the hotel and Emilou polished off the other one in the room.
 
Hamburger Wagon
10 E. Central Avenue
Miamisburg, OH
937-847-2442  
  
 http://www.hamburgerwagon.com/
 
Here is a link to train's trip report.
 
http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/A-Day-in-Dayton-m524908.aspx
 
We relaxed in our room until around 9:30, when we headed out for our late dinner.
 
post edited by buffetbuster - 2009/11/24 08:44:14
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EatingTheRoad
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Re:Visiting Main Street Ohio 2009/11/24 08:30:20 (permalink)
The link to their website wasn't working, here:
http://www.hamburgerwagon.com/index.htm

...and in the mean time, a woman stepped out of a car, got in front of me and ordered 15 doubles.  What!  Now, I'm thinking I will be here all day.
That's hysterical. Nice to see that those boys can whip 'em out quickly.

I love that slogan:
"Open pretty much all year long for lunch & dinner.
Doesn't matter what the weather conditions are!"

Awesome! George Motz has never steered me wrong. Those dog ear of pickle slices look great

Is that the Bockscar?!? That's crazy...and kind of eerie. Also that stealth is amazing. Do you have any idea what it is exactly?


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joerogo
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Re:Visiting Main Street Ohio 2009/11/24 08:30:46 (permalink)
buffetbuster, Excellent pics from Wright-Patterson.
 
Burgers deep fried in lard.....does it get any better than that?
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Re:Visiting Main Street Ohio 2009/11/24 08:47:08 (permalink)
joerogo
Burgers deep fried in lard.....does it get any better than that?
No my friend, no it does not!
 
ETR-
Thanks for making me aware of the broken link and it has been fixed.  Yes, that is the Bocksar, that dropped the bomb on Nagasaki to end WWII.  There is a lot of history in that building.

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NYPIzzaNut
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Re:Visiting Main Street Ohio 2009/11/24 08:49:05 (permalink)
This is where the Enola Gay is now:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steven_F._Udvar-Hazy_Center
post edited by NYPIzzaNut - 2009/11/24 08:57:23
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Re:Visiting Main Street Ohio 2009/11/24 08:57:20 (permalink)
NYPizzaNut-
I don't believe it is, since we never saw it.
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Re:Visiting Main Street Ohio 2009/11/24 08:58:39 (permalink)
I knew that but had a senior moment lapse methinks - my dad was on Tinian in support of the Hiroshima mission.

If you want to walk through some WW II history online this was his unit:

http://www.25thasg.org/
post edited by NYPIzzaNut - 2009/11/24 09:02:27
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carlton pierre
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Re:Visiting Main Street Ohio 2009/11/24 09:00:21 (permalink)
What a fun report! I reaslly enjoyed it.  I'm from Ohio and the title of Main Street Ohio was apt.  I'm craving a good hamburger or tenderloin now.  Excellent report.
EatingTheRoad
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Re:Visiting Main Street Ohio 2009/11/24 09:38:02 (permalink)
I looked into that stealth...It's the Northrup Grumman designed B-2 Spirit (Stealth Bomber) and it's the only one on permanent public display. It was probably built around 1997 and cost roughly $750 million at the time (close to a billion per plane including all retrofitting, spare parts, software, etc.). That this is gorgeous!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B-2_Spirit

Look at this little tidbit:
Noshir Gowadia, a design engineer who worked on the B-2's propulsion system, was arrested in October 2005 for selling B-2 related classified information to foreign countries. His trial was initially scheduled for 12 February 2008, but he received a continuance.


Sorry for the digression...now back to your regularly scheduled food-related trip reports...
The Travelin Man
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Re:Visiting Main Street Ohio 2009/11/24 10:30:50 (permalink)
buffetbuster

  And then they have quite a few specials, too.






I just want to add that this is some fine penmanship.  You just don't see that much anymore, given the ease with which one can produce computer-generated lists.

Oh...and I want some of that chocolate cake.
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Re:Visiting Main Street Ohio 2009/11/24 11:48:23 (permalink)
Besides the museum, the next great reason to visit Dayton is for dinner at the Pine Club,

one of the great Roadfood steak houses.  This place can get very crowded and they don't accept reservations, so if you don't like to wait, you have to go either early or late.  Knowing that they are open until 12:30AM on weekends, we decided to go late.
 
We walked in just about 10:00PM and were immediately seated at a booth to the right.  Despite the late hour, they were still probably 90% full.  If you have never been to this place before, it is the darkest restaurant I have ever visited.  Seating is at big, burgundy naugahyde booths on both sides of the popular bar.  The walls are lined with pine, giving the place its name.  Pine Club is pure Midwest supper club.  Here is a photo I took of the inside with the flash,

but it really looks more like this one I took without the flash.

Despite the fact that this place feels like money, I called ahead to check the dress code and we were just fine in jeans and nice shirts.
 
The focus of the menu

is on steaks, which is good news for the ladies because they both are steak lovers.  The first food brought to our table was the bread basket,

with some unusual pieces in there.  Not being much of a bread eater, I let the women tear through this.  Next came the salads.  The salads here are nothing more than cold iceberg lettuce covered with some their homemade dressing.  Both Mariton and Emilou went for the house vinaigrette and gave it a thumbs up.  I got one of the specialties of the house, the red & bleu dressing. 

This is the wonderful combination of French dressing and crumbled blue cheese.  I'm not one who likes a lot of things in their salad and this was just about perfect for me.  I could have easily eaten several bowls of this salad.
 
Soon our dinners were coming out.  Emilou got the smaller filet, while Mariton got the extra heavy filet, which the waitress told us was about two ounces more.  Here is Mariton's steak,


which automatically comes with the wispy onion rings and your choice of potato.  In this case, Mariton had the Lyonnaise, which is like a thick pancake, with onions.  The steak had a nice charred outside, was moderately seasoned and a lovely pink interior, cooked perfectly to our medium request.  All three of us swooned at the flavor of these steaks.  Emilou ate all of her steak and onion rings in record time.   Pine Club does have their own brand of steak sauce,

but the steak was so good, I never tried it.
 
My entree was the cheeseburger.  It was hard to pass up getting a steak, but I knew I could get plenty of bites of the ladies steaks, although they ate much more than I anticipated.  How dare they!  The cheeseburger


was also cooked medium and could have been a little pinker, but this was still a high quality, flavorful piece of beef.  
 
Side wise, I ate most of Emilou's creamy spinach

and the mashed potatoes,

which had plenty of big spuddy chunks.  Unfortunately, asparagus (here in Hollandaise sauce)

is Mariton's favorite food and it disappeared seconds after I took this photo, so I missed out on trying it. 
 
Our bill came to just under $90.00, which for food of this quality, was well worth it.  Thanks to the Roadfood review, we knew ahead of time that they don't accept credit cards, so we had plenty of cash.
 
All three of us walked out thrilled with our meal.  We went back to the hotel for the night.
 
Pine Club
1926 Brown Street
Dayton, OH
937-228-7463
 
[link=http://www.roadfood.com/Restaurant/Review/608-608/pine-club]http://www.roadfood.com/R...view/608-608/pine-club[/link]
 
post edited by buffetbuster - 2009/11/24 11:54:53
EatingTheRoad
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Re:Visiting Main Street Ohio 2009/11/24 12:11:41 (permalink)
Those mashed potatoes look amazing...as does that steak. That is one of the best looking bread baskets I've ever seen..I almost wouldn't need to order food...almost.

Their appetizers sound great...marinated herring in sour cream, broiled lobster, fried blue point oysters...

No dessert, huh?

I'll say that for a meal like that for 3, $90 isn't bad.
buffetbuster
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Re:Visiting Main Street Ohio 2009/11/24 12:55:11 (permalink)
ETR-
Thanks very much for the plane info.  That is really interesting stuff.  And no, they do not have dessert at Pine Club, although it was hardly missed.
Michael Hoffman
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Re:Visiting Main Street Ohio 2009/11/24 13:57:44 (permalink)
Those burgers from the Hamburger Wagon, and the way they cook them, remind me a lot of Crabill's in Urbana, Ohio. And Crabill's puts their to-go burgers directly into the bag without wrapping, too.
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Re:Visiting Main Street Ohio 2009/11/24 14:07:37 (permalink)
Michael-
As we were driving on I-70 from West Jefferson to New Carlisle, I saw the sign for Urbana and was so tempted to head to Crabill's instead.  But since the ladies had already read the review and were looking forward to Mel-O-Dee Restaurant, I didn't think it would be fair to deviate from the plan.  No doubt they would have liked Crabill's, too.  I know I sure do!
Nancypalooza
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Re:Visiting Main Street Ohio 2009/11/24 14:13:25 (permalink)
Ohhh, Lyonnaise potatoes, and another beautiful (like the Peter Luger) burger.  No, I would say $90 was a good deal for your meal.  Glad the ladies liked it too.

The museum is super cool.
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Re:Visiting Main Street Ohio 2009/11/24 14:15:13 (permalink)
For some reason, the girls thought that sleeping was more important than getting up at 5:00AM to go out for doughnuts.  So, I made my way down to Centerville and Bill's Donut Shop by myself.  I had in mind ahead of time what the place would look like, but instead it was a nice place, that had a roomy interior,

and was just off the main business area of the town.  Bill's is open 24 hours, which is convenient for early birds like myself.
 
As soon as I walked in, the young lady asked for my order.  When I told her to give me a minute, since it was my first time here, she acted genuinely shocked.  She said, "This is your first time here".  I said, "Yes".  She said, "Are you kidding me?"  "Uh, no".  She then called over the rest of the women working and whispered, "He says he's never been here before."  At this point, I'm thinking I am about to be run out on a rail.  Once they got over the shock, they actually very nice, but that was still a very weird minute or so.
 
They have multiple display cases full of goodies. 

In fact, this might be the biggest array of donuts I have seen.  I grabbed a half dozen and took them back to the hotel.  Here is the box.

And my half dozen.

Clockwise from top left: apple sauce on top of a chocolate cruller, coconut, cream filled bismarck, glazed pretzel twist and a devil's food.  These were fine, fresh tasting donuts and I especially enjoyed the crunchiness of the cruller, while the girls ate the twist and the coconut.
 
Bill's Donut Shop
268 N Main Street
Centerville, OH
937-433-0002
 
http://www.roadfood.com/Restaurant/Review/6601-6899/bills-donut-shop
post edited by buffetbuster - 2010/03/01 15:37:12
Michael Hoffman
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Re:Visiting Main Street Ohio 2009/11/24 14:40:27 (permalink)
buffetbuster

Michael-
As we were driving on I-70 from West Jefferson to New Carlisle, I saw the sign for Urbana and was so tempted to head to Crabill's instead.  But since the ladies had already read the review and were looking forward to Mel-O-Dee Restaurant, I didn't think it would be fair to deviate from the plan.  No doubt they would have liked Crabill's, too.  I know I sure do!



I love that place -- Crabill's. I try to get there every month or so.
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Re:Visiting Main Street Ohio 2009/11/24 17:56:11 (permalink)
buffetbuster
...And no, they do not have dessert at Pine Club, although it was hardly missed.


Seriously?!? Like nothing....not even a mint? I don't know if I would be able to cope with that.

You certainly made up for it in the AM...I would have gotten a similar spread. I love to coconut and the Devil's food.

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Re:Visiting Main Street Ohio 2009/11/25 00:18:37 (permalink)
EatingTheRoad

buffetbuster
...And no, they do not have dessert at Pine Club, although it was hardly missed.


Seriously?!? Like nothing....not even a mint? I don't know if I would be able to cope with that.

You certainly made up for it in the AM...I would have gotten a similar spread. I love to coconut and the Devil's food.

 
NEVER question the BuffetBuster on his decisions! He is the King of Real Roadfooders and my HERO!

post edited by Foodbme - 2009/11/25 00:21:07
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Re:Visiting Main Street Ohio 2009/11/25 07:44:02 (permalink)
ETR-
Their is a Baskin-Robbins next door to the Pine Club, but it was closed by the time we left the restaurant.  Truthfully, we didn't miss dessert at all that night.
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Re:Visiting Main Street Ohio 2009/11/25 08:07:17 (permalink)
Foodbme

EatingTheRoad

buffetbuster
...And no, they do not have dessert at Pine Club, although it was hardly missed.


Seriously?!? Like nothing....not even a mint? I don't know if I would be able to cope with that.

You certainly made up for it in the AM...I would have gotten a similar spread. I love to coconut and the Devil's food.

 
NEVER question the BuffetBuster on his decisions! He is the King of Real Roadfooders and my HERO!


He must travel via El Camino De Real!

Buffetbuster...
On every continent in the world, there is a sandwich named after him.
His tastebuds alone have experienced more than a lesser man’s entire body.
When he orders a salad, he gets the dressing right there on top of the salad, where it belongs…where there is no turning back.
He’s an eater, not a fighter, but he’s also a fighter, so don’t get any ideas.
Respected archaeologists fight over his discarded apple cores.
His organ donation card, also lists his tastebuds.
He has never lost a sock...or missed a meal.
His bear hugs are actually hugs he gives to bearclaws.
His cereal never gets soggy. It sits there, staying crispy, just for him.
If he disagrees with you, it is because you're wrong.
...he is the most interesting man in in the world...stay hungry my friends.
buffetbuster
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Re:Visiting Main Street Ohio 2009/11/25 08:20:13 (permalink)
While we were dining at the Pine Club, we were chatting back and forth with the gay couple at the booth next to us.  The more talkative guy heard me mention my morning plans to go out for doughnuts and asked which one.  When I told him Bill's, he knew right away it was in Centerville and that it was good.  But, he said there was a much better donut shop in Springfield, OH called Schuler's, which he said would be on the way home, since he knew we were headed back to Pittsburgh.  From our conversation, I had a good feeling that he knew what he was talking about and to take his advice seriously.  When I got to my room Saturday night, I googled Schuler's and found rave reviews for the bakery.  He also said there was an even better place if I was headed west towards Indy, but I foolishly never asked him what the name of it was.
 
I had hoped to get the girls up and moving in time to hit Schuler's on the way to our breakfast stop near Columbus.  But after the late night, we left the hotel later than we had hoped, so we had to skip Schuler's.  Anybody ever been there?  I plan on stopping my next time through.
 
Breakfast was to be at Starliner Diner in the western Columbus suburb of Hilliard.  They open at 9:00AM on Sundays and being aware that they can get very crowded, I wanted to be there when they opened.  Luckily, arriving at 9:15, we only had a few minute wait.
 
Starliner Diner is rather ordinary looking on the outside,

but has a funky, hip feel about the inside.  Here are parts 


of the large mural on the main dining area wall.  The menu has a strong Mexican and Cuban influence to it.  Here is the regular breakfast menu

and a very poor photo of the specials.

 
As the waitress read off the specials to us, we were all looking at each other like we should order one of everything.  It all sounded so good!  Emilou and I went for the roast pork omelet,

which comes with a side of black beans.  Bread-wise, Emilou went for standard toast, while I was happy to get some slices of the thick, buttery Cuban bread.  The garlicky roast pork made this a fine dish, that both Emilou and I enjoyed, but Mariton's crab enchiladas

were clearly the best meal on the table.  Full of peppers, onions, scrambled eggs, two kinds of cheese, plus real crab in a spicy sauce, this was a fantastic breakfast. 
 
On my previous visit to Starliner Diner, I had a mediocre dinner.  But I will absolutely come back here again for breakfast.
 
Starliner Diner
5240 Cemetery Road
Hilliard, OH
614-529-1198
 
http://www.roadfood.com/Restaurant/Review/4180-4109/starliner-diner
 
We tried to stop at the ladies favorite Japanese grocery store, but it was too early and they hadn't opened yet.  It was also too early for either Graeter's or Jeni's for ice cream.  After a brief stop at the Ohio State University bookstore so that Emilou could buy a sweatshirt (I'm a bad influence on her, obviously), it was straight home. 
post edited by buffetbuster - 2009/11/25 08:25:42
hatteras04
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Re:Visiting Main Street Ohio 2009/11/25 09:14:30 (permalink)
I totally agree about Starliner Diner.  The first time I went there it was for dinner and I really wasn't too impressed.  So it took me awhile to try it for breakfast but that is clearly where they shine.  I usually just get the breakfast burrito and cuban toast but everything I have tried is good.  I haven't had it in a long time but I think the french toast is made with the cuban bread and is deep fried.  Very good to get for the table to share.  And you're right about the wait on a Sunday.  Good idea getting there right after 9:00.

I'm also thrilled to see that someone from PA has taste and got a Buckeye sweatshirt :-)
EatingTheRoad
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Re:Visiting Main Street Ohio 2009/11/25 09:50:30 (permalink)
That mural is too funny...what with the flying saucer (and cup), floating watermelon, astronaut, UFOs and the Enterprise.

You breakfast omelets sound wonderful. That's not something I'd normally eat first thing in the morning but your description makes me want to try it. Wow, hatteras04, French toast with the Cuban bread deep-fried sounds like it would be terrific.

Too early for ice cream...did you not see this?
 http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/fb.ashx?m=555105
buffetbuster
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Re:Visiting Main Street Ohio 2009/11/25 13:00:35 (permalink)
ETR-
Obviously I didn't state that as clearly as I should have.  It is NEVER too early for me to eat ice cream.  But neither Graeter's or Jeni's opens until noon.  And thanks for the laugh on the previous post.

hatteras04-

I am so glad I gave Starliner Diner another shot.  Do you remember what you had for dinner that you didn't care for?  My meal was the Cuban sandwich and the fried plantains.  Good milkshake, though.
EatingTheRoad
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Re:Visiting Main Street Ohio 2009/11/25 13:35:51 (permalink)
It is NEVER too early for me to eat ice cream. But neither Graeter's or Jeni's opens until noon.



hatteras04
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Re:Visiting Main Street Ohio 2009/11/25 20:56:14 (permalink)
buffetbuster

hatteras04-
I am so glad I gave Starliner Diner another shot.  Do you remember what you had for dinner that you didn't care for?  My meal was the Cuban sandwich and the fried plantains.  Good milkshake, though.


It was some kind of chicken dish that came with black beans.  The beans were ok but the chicken was kind of flavorless and dry.
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