Take a trip down memory lane with Mike Woody - do you remember these fine Dayton area restaurants of yesteryear?
Recently I saw a Facebook post reminiscing about ‘Casa Lupita,’ (Photo credit: Dayton History Books Online.) which used to be one of my favorite restaurants. It sent me on a trip down memory lane of all the other places in Dayton where I enjoyed eating that are no longer in business. At the risk of making you hungry, of course that’s half the fun, I invite you on the journey into some of the restaurants of yesterday.
Before there were “El Toro’s” in seemingly every town “Casa Lupita” was the best place to go for authentic Mexican food. Its quality was a level totally separate from “Taco Bell.” It’s where I learned words like chimichanga, enchilada and fried ice cream. Plus, where else could you wear a sombrero and get sang to in Spanish for your birthday? In addition to the food, the atmosphere is something else I remember about “Casa Lupita.” My younger and impressionistic mind may have over exaggerated the setting, but I recall it being like a lavish Mexican garden of paradise with trees, flowers and even some streaming water. In preparing for this article, thanks to Google, I did discover that there is still a “Casa Lupita” located in New Bremen.
I don’t have any specific memories, but in my younger days my family would sometimes go to “Westward Ho.” Apparently, we used to eat at several cafeteria’s/buffet’s as I remember travelling all the way to Piqua to “Terry’s.” I can still see the wall’s, which were covered in wooden vinyl paneling. After church on Sundays, we’d frequent “Stacksteder’s” and get filled up before the afternoon nap. There was also an “Old Country Buffet” in Huber, I think I may have eaten them right out of business. Others may recall some “Duff’s” but my dad preferred that his buffets be stationary rather than spin, so we didn’t go there.
Appropriately enough, we would also occasionally go to “Woody’s” in West Carrolton (no relation). My memories of “Woody’s” includes crossing a wooden bridge, which was over water, (and inside the building), in order to get to the dining area and dessert carts that were pushed around to each table. “Woody’s” also included a market, which remained open for a while after the restaurant had been closed.
Ironically, I don’t remember what I normally ate at these places, such as the “Empire Family Restaurant,” but can see the buildings and feel the excitement of going there.
For really good Chinese food, better than carry-out, there was “Chin’s” located in downtown Dayton. (By the way, the owner of Chin’s, now owns “The Greenfire Bistro” in Tipp City). There was also “Myung Sung,” which had a dining area where you could sit on the floor. I always wanted to do that, but it was custom to take off your shoes and nobody ever wanted to smell my feet.
The smell of garlic makes it impossible to forget “Dominic’s” and their house dressing, while sandwich lovers will forever miss the “Upper Krust.”
What are some of the restaurants that you remember and miss from the Dayton area?
Also read: More Dayton Restaurants of Yesteryear.
Mike Woody is a life long resident of Dayton, and has a passion for writing, which is good because he doesn't excel at much of anything else, except eating.