South Smithville Road
Dayton OH 45420
phone: (937) 254-5000
This restaurant appears to be a spinoff/branch of the original location in Kettering, across from Meier's. The concept is modestly priced diner food, along with a few additional things that you wouldn't expect to find in a diner.
I think it opened in January. The building housed the former Nanking Inn, which in prehistory (pre-1980) was a beloved Burger Chef with one of the original gaudy neon kite shaped signs. But I digress.
Ate there tonight for the first time, 5/19/12, a warm Saturday evening. We got there around 7:30.
The first impressions were: new remodel job, nice seats and decor (along with the counter in exactly the same location as it was in Burger Chef days). And hotter than hell - easily low 80s in the dining room. The staff had a side door propped open with a chair. Today really needed A/C. And lastly - only two other patrons, two men at one other booth. On a Saturday around the dinner hour.
I ordered a patty melt platter for either $5.95 or $6.95 (I think), which includes chips and a soup of the day. My brother ordered the fried fish sandwich - same price and deal.
On the positive side, they allowed a free substitution of fries for chips. The soup of the day was - get this - cream of mushroom soup. Wtf? In the summer? The same stuff that you make green bean casserole with? Yup. They had no other choice (usually at places that serve a soup du jour, some kind of chili is always available.) We both passed, and substituted cold sides instead (applesauce and slaw.)
Our sammiches were a mixed bag. My brother's fish sandwich looked good, although the piece of fish was small for a restaurant meal and looked like a preformed frozen patty. My patty melt was made from a preformed Sysco type burger patty. I kept getting little bone chips in the meat, which I always associate with cheap discount burgers. The burger was served grey with no charring. The second half of the sandwich's bottom piece of bread was a soggy mass from sitting in its juices while I ate the first half. It was hard to eat because the texture was nasty, and the mushy bread combined with glutinous cheese and mushroom sauce was, in the words of an icon,
. I left most of the second half on the plate. My stomach's still grumbling three hours later.
The waitress and the cash register guy were both super nice. I did not have the heart to tell either what I really thought.
I have to give this joint a D-. The only thing that raises it above an F is the great attitude of the waitress. The lack of A/C made it very uncomfortable to eat in. The preformed burger patty shows that they (management) doesn't care about quality. This is a diner that serves food that is not as good as fast food.
I deliberately picked food that I felt was very easy for a diner to make - so you are not seeing me bitch about poorly made clam linguini or other types of food that require actual food judgement and culinary knowledge to make well.
When we left about a quarter after 8, there were a few other patrons (4 to 6) that had trickled in. But the almost empty parking lot when we arrived on a weekend evening tells the story... At that rate they couldn't be making enough to keep the lights on.
In a ~1 mile radius of this place I HIGHLY recommend the following places instead, in order of preference: Tanks, Slider's, Angie's, or Cold Beer and Cheeseburgers. There is no reason to eat here, except that you can't find a seat at Slider's.
I want to support local businesses, but ... ech. Blink twice and you might miss this place before the building is up for lease again.
<message edited by donw9876 on Sun, 05/20/12 2:26 AM>