If you are from the Midwestern United States (or follow US college sports regularly), you may be familiar with the slight rivalry between Michigan and Ohio. As a Michigan native, it took me awhile to come to terms with moving to Dayton, Ohio for graduate school. I’ve now lived here a full year and still prefer my Great Lakes State, but I’ve found some true Ohioan foods that are making the stay worthwhile.
It’s no secret that I have a giant sweet tooth – a fact that often reveals itself fairly quickly. When I first moved to Southwest Ohio, my new coworkers embraced this sugar addiction by suggesting I try several stand-out local treats.
Killer Brownie is actually a registered trademark, so you know it’s the real deal. These brownies are almost 1/3 pound of rich, chewy, decadence (intended for sharing… or not). Several flavors are available, with most including varying amounts of gooey caramel and of course, chocolate! With packaging that states, “Chocolate doesn’t ask questions, it understands,” and, “Chocolate is the answer. Who cares what the question is,” it’s pretty evident what the key ingredient is in these desserts.
My go-to is the Cream Cheese Killer Brownie, and it leaves me wondering if the name derived from from a) the resulting health benefits or b) the feeling I’ve died and gone to heaven. Killer Brownies originated from the Dayton-based upscale grocery store chain Dorothy Lane Market. They can now be found at these stores and many other local grocers, as well as online.
Check out www.killerbrownie.com to view all retailers that carry Killer Brownies!
Young’s Dairy Ice Cream:
Young’s Jersey Dairy, located near Yellow Springs, is definitely geared toward family fun with its miniature golf, petting zoo, and other random kiddie attractions. I found the real entertainment to be in the Dairy Store, though, where they offer around 50 different flavors of homemade ice cream. The large weekend crowd is a sign this ice cream is worth the wait. My first Young’s exp
erience was Chocolate Pretzel Crunch, and I was most definitely not disappointed.
Young’s Jersey Dairy
6880 Springfield-Xenia Rd
Yellow Springs, OH 45387
Clearly I’m not lactose or gluten (or chocolate!) intolerant. However, for those less fortunate, an awesome alternative to traditional ice cream if Fronana. This “ice cream for everyone” is actually made primarily of bananas with no dairy, gluten, added sugar, or artificial ingredients. With a texture similar to sorbet, Fronana satisfies your sweet craving without the guilt – in fact, it’s quite refreshing. I’ve tried Chocolate and Peanut Butter, but Triple Berry has been my favorite flavor to date. Fronana is also an exciting company to follow, as it recently moved into its first store location in downtown Dayton and is currently expanding through contracts with various local grocery stores.
The Fronana Scoop Shop and Creamery
27 W. First St
Dayton, OH 45402
My coworkers impressed me with the previous successful foodie tips. However, they also repeatedly suggested a more questionable dish. Skyline Chili is a chain of restaurants, mostly in Ohio, that serves Cincinnati-style chili over everything on their menu, such as spaghetti noodles, hot dogs, burritos, and fries.
This chili is different than the thick, stew-like Michigan bean chili I know. Skyline Chili is much thinner, like marinara sauce. I can’t really get over the chili-spaghetti-phenomenon, so I stick with the more familiar coney dog. I’m not exactly a fan of the Skyline brand, but it’s most definitely a Southwest Ohio staple.
Visit www.skylinechili.com for a full list of restaurant locations
Rhinegeist Craft Brews:
One thing that Michigan and Ohio (and the rest of the nation, for that matter) have in common is a love for craft beer. I appreciate local breweries and their individuality, but sometimes craft beer is just a bit too “hoppy” for my taste. Because of this, a good craft hard cider can truly win me over. Rhinegeist Brewery in downtown Cincinnati is a bare-bones warehouse and rooftop deck all with an awesomely casual atmosphere. Their Semi Dry Cider is the perfect addition to a night out with friends – without the overly sugary taste some ciders tend to have. (Me, not like sugar? Shocking, I know.)
1910 Elm St
Cincinnati, OH 45202