RE: Where to eat in Dayton Ohio North of Middletown
Finally visited Cena in the Dayton Mall area for my birthday with my girlfriend and two friends of ours.
We had done the Brazilian thing in Cincinnati (Amor de Brazil), so we pretty much knew what we were getting into.
We went at 4:30, before the Saturday night dinner rush, and it was understandably empty. It started to fill up after we were there awhile.
Amor de Brazil was $45, and this was $32, so I wasn't expecting the same quality and/or quantity of meats we got there, but it was about the same. Lots of high-quality meats, and there were only two people bringing them out, but since it wasn't crowded the cadence was perfect.
The flank steak was incredible. All four of us said it was our favorite. Medium rare, nice and juicy. They also had bacon-wrapped beef, filet mignon, Brazilian sausage, Chorizo, Parmesan pork, bacon-wrapped chicken, lamb chops, leg of lamb...a couple other I can't remember.
Almost all were excellent. The Parmesan pork was a little overdone, but that was my only complaint. Dinner came with cheese rolls, which were also outstanding, plus white and rye breads, mashed potatoes, and two sauces.
The salad bar had everything from traditional salad items to cured ham, salami, cheeses, soups. Just about everything I tried was awesome.
I absolutely loved Amor de Brazil, and I'd rank Cena a little lower than that, but for $13 less per person I'll be going back again for my girlfriend's birthday.
Servers were very friendly and very cooperative. One of my friends likes very rare meat, and one of the gauchos went out of his way to accomodate him. Only slight problem with service was when we wanted to leave, their credit card machine had to reboot, so it took an extra 15 minutes for us to go, but we weren't in a major hurry so it wasn't a big deal.