The place: The Tropics in Kettering is just across from the Fraze Pavilion. It specializes in casual dining with a relaxed atmosphere. The patio, which comfortably seats 70, is open year round. Inside, the bar area has plenty of TVs and 18 beers on tap. Tuesday is karaoke night; Wednesday, live trivia; Thursday, live music. There’s a banquet room, too. The Tropics is locally owned by Bill and Annette Mangan, who also operate the Cherry House Cafe in Beavercreek.
Restaurant Week deal: Pick any appetizer, entree and dessert for $20.13.
What we had:
• Tropical Love Monkey, $6.95: A festive concoction of bourbon, Malibu rum, cranberry and pineapple juice, served with a garnish of orange and lime slices and a cherry. A sip of paradise. What’s not to love?
• Stuffed Mushroom Caps (regularly $9.95): Six medium-size mushroom caps filled with a mixture of chopped pecans, Parmesan cheese and herbs. Enough for two, but you may not want to share these little gems.
• New York Strip Steak (regularly $24.95): Get ready for 12 ounces of prime hand-cut sirloin broiled the way you want it. Ours was tender, juicy and flavorful.
• Chocolate and Strawberry Cake (regularly $4.95): The desserts are made fresh every day, and owner Annette Mangan often makes additional cakes and pies not on the menu. What we had was sort of like a chocolate lava cake cut in half, with strawberries and whipped cream coming out the middle with chocolate drizzled on top. It’s a real work of art, and you’ll want to dig in and savor every bite.
Final thoughts: What a deal for Restaurant Week. Our appetizer, entree and dessert would normally cost $39.85, so this week we saved 50 percent on our meal, and every bit of it was delicious. We took advantage of the unseasonably mild weather and enjoyed our dinner on the patio near the bubbly fountain and among yellow and coral hibiscus and other luscious potted plants, listening to Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds” and other tropically themed tunes.
If you haven’t stopped by The Tropics, we recommend that you do. Sandwiches and burgers are $8.95. Small pizzas are $10.95 and large ones, $15.95. Another plus: The staff is friendly and aims to please. On Fraze concert nights, The Tropics often offers themed specials — wonder what they’ll whip up when Ted Nugent comes to rock the Fraze!
The info: The Tropics, 580 Lincoln Park Blvd., Kettering, (937) 293-8800; www.thetropicsohio.com
Hours: Monday – Saturday, 11 a.m.-2:30 a.m., Sunday, 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Restaurant Week (through Aug. 4) is a great time to discover new dining experiences at affordable prices. Participating restaurants set their three-course meals for $20.13, $25.13 or $30.13 per person.