Locals know that some of the best food anywhere can be found in the area, and this year, many of those local eats were recognized nationally.
Here’s a look at 9 times delicious food in the Miami Valley garnered wide attention:
Bill’s Donut Shop in Centerville made the list of “The 15 Best Donut Shops in America” this year as compiled by BusinessInsider.com.
In fact, the web site ranked it NO. 2 in the nation, behind only to Dough in New York City. Business Insider collaborated with city-guide app Foursquare to rank the nation’s top-rated doughnut shops across America based on the number of times users have either “liked” or “saved” the donut shops.
Here’s what BusinessInsider.com’s Mary Hanbury said about Bill’s, located at 268 N. Main St. (Ohio 48) in Centerville:
“Bill’s has been around since 1960, so the shop has plenty of experience when it comes to crafting the perfect pastry. They’re especially known for their pretzel and twist doughnuts. Combine those with the shop’s hometown atmosphere, and you’ve got an Ohio staple for doughnut lovers of all ages.”
Krispy Krunchy Chicken, a fried chicken chain located off the beaten path in gas stations, was named “Best in U.S.” by Thrillist.
There are multiple locations in the Dayton, Springfield and Cincinnati areas that make the Cajun-style chicken.
Here’s an excerpt from the Thrillist story:
“The 28-year-old company might not be as recognizable as Popeye’s, but make no mistake: Its poultry can hold its own against the industry standard-bearer. Both chains specialize in Cajun-style chicken (which is heavily spiced, breaded, and flavorful) from Louisiana; but Krispy Krunchy Chicken’s perfectly seasoned and juicy pieces might be the most underrated item in fast food today.”
Marion’s Piazza was named No. 1 in October on Pizza Today’s “Hot 100” list.
Each year, the magazine ranks the largest independently owned pizza operations in the U.S. based on sales. And this year, Marion’s came in first, with just under $21 million in sales. This is the fourth year out of the last five years that Marion’s topped the list, according to Marion’s Piazza CEO Roger S. Glass.
Pizza Today’s editors said the list “is a testament to the ingenuity, diligence and skill of the pizzeria owners who make the grade.”
The Golden Lamb, located at 27 S. Broadway St. in Lebanon, was picked as the most iconic restaurant in Ohio by Thrillist.
According to the website, “to qualify for this list, a place had to have been around for 30-plus years (all have been in business since at least 1980) and still be a crowd favorite. And while some of these restaurants may not have the best food or be tourist-free, they're all famous.
“Staking a claim as Ohio's oldest continually operated business, this joint's got some serious history. Located between Cincinnati and the old National Rd, the hotel and restaurant welcomed everyone from railroad workers to 12 presidents, writers like Mark Twain and Chuck Dickens, and everyone in between. More importantly, the food's good. And yes, lamb is served in the ancient, historic joint.”
Ken Riddle and Chuck Doran, franchise owners of Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken restaurants in Dayton and southwest Ohio, were named “Franchisee of the Year” by the regional chicken chain.
The annual award is presented to the top franchisee among the chain’s 137 stores nationwide. Riddle and Doran together operate Far Hills Development, LLC, which oversees 13 Lee’s locations in and around the Dayton area. The award is based on overall sales, including growth and improvement from previous years, in addition to good operational reviews, Lee’s officials said.
“We are lucky to have such a great team that works alongside us every day to ensure our stores are successful,” Ken Riddle said in a release. Chuck Doran called the award “a reflection of our commitment to quality and customer satisfaction, and we’re humbled to be recognized at this level.”
The franchisee for a Dayton-area Wing Zone restaurant was named the chain’s “Owner-Operator of the Year.”
“Honestly, this was a complete surprise to me,” said Randy Saylor, the franchise owner-operator for the Wing Zone restaurant at 654 E. Dixie Drive in West Carrollton. The only other Dayton-area Wing Zone, located in the Page Manor Shopping Center on Airway Road in Riverside, is separately owned.
The Atlanta-based chicken restaurant chain also gave Saylor its “Longevity Award.” Saylor first joined Wing Zone in 2006 as a part-time employee.
“He’s one of those owners that spends each day behind the counter with his staff to help ensure exceptional experiences for all his guests,” a Wing Zone spokeswoman said of Saylor.
Indeed, when this news outlet called the restaurant, Saylor himself answered the phone.
Alton Brown, the wildly popular foodie hero from Good Eats, Iron Chef America and Cutthroat Kitchen, was in Dayton in October for a performance at the Schuster Center.
Luke Feerer, the owner of Hannah’s Bar and Restaurant at 121 N. Ludlow St. in downtown Dayton, was handing out samples of his gourmet slow roasted pork and beef sandwiches following Brown’s show when Brown appeared to take photos with fans.
Before he knew what was happening, Feerer said Brown was munching on Hannah’s sandwiches and declared, “that’s amazing.”
A local restaurant with locations in Miamisburg and Xenia is praised as a “Hometown Hero” in a February print edition of Taste of Home magazine, the nation’s highest-circulation food magazine.
“This pay-what-you-can restaurant is fueled by the community it feeds and grateful volunteers,” Taste of Home magazine said about One Bistro, which founder and chef Robert Adamson launched in Miamisburg in 2012, adding a second location in Xenia in 2016.
About two-thirds of One Bistro’s customers pay for their meals, and the rest either volunteer at the restaurant, or their meals are subsidized by other diners.
Southwest Ohio nearly made it a clean sweep of the three sauce categories in the National Barbecue News 2017 “Sauces of Honor” competition.
First, in the pork category, 1572 Roadhouse Bar-B-Q — the seasonal restaurant that opened last June on the grounds of the Ohio Renaissance Festival in Harveysburg — won 1st place for its “Roadhouse Blues” sauce. Roadhouse Blues is the house sauce at the barbecue eatery, and it beat out 79 entries from across the country for the top spot this year.
In the chicken category, Historic BBQ’s “Original Sauce” captured the No. 1 award for best sauce. Historic BBQ is a Lebanon, Ohio-based caterer and competition BBQ team. In the same chicken category, 1572 Roadhouse Bar-B-Q restaurant captured 6th place for its — yes, you’re reading this right — Myassis Dragon Asian sauce.
And finally, in the Beef category, 1572 Roadhouse scored a 2nd place award for its Smoky Maple sauce, while Englewood restaurant Company 7 BBQ won 3rd place for its “Chief Smoky” sauce