Monday, February 27, 2012

Cheers to Birthdays! Meadowlark in Dayton, Ohio

My birthday month travels have, thankfully, now concluded. But before they did, a last-minute trip north to visit friends in Lima was in order. Because girlfriends don’t let girlfriends celebrate birthdays alone.

Lima friend Tricia had planned to celebrate her own February birthday with a visit to friends in Kansas City. When that fell through (sigh, so many of my friends are feeling the tug of caring for ailing and elderly relatives), she and Amy decided to throw a par-tay at home. Of course, Becky and I decided to drive up.

Becky suggested we stop in Dayton for lunch on the way – her treat, for my birthday. I recalled a Dayton restaurant I’d loved from another trip with our foursome, Meadowlark, where we’d enjoyed a fine brunch and I tried migas (scrambled eggs with corn tortilla strips and other goodies) for the first time.

Since that pre-camera, pre-blog meal, Meadowlark has moved into a new location a couple miles off I-675, not more than 10 minutes total from I-75. It’s one of those “don’t let the strip center fool you” locations – this one larger than the last, where we waited nearly an hour for an open brunch table. It’s a warm, contemporary space filled with cool artwork. And great food.

Becky and I didn’t arrive until around 3:00 on Saturday afternoon, so I have no idea how long the wait might be at their new digs at peak times. (Meadowlark's website says they accept reservations for 5 or more and let smaller parties call ahead to get on the waiting list.)

Clearly people will wait for food this fresh! Here’s my grilled chicken sandwich, on crusty bread from Dorothy Lane Market. Accompanied by roasted tomatoes, tapenade mayo, and – best of all – thin slices of batter-fried lemon, it was a knock-out. I want to try my hand at those fried lemon slices at home.

Becky was equally enamored with her fresh haddock sandwich. Sandwiches come with frites or vinaigrette-dressed fresh greens. We both opted for the greens, which were some of the most truly fresh I’ve encountered at any restaurant.

Meadowlark also does salads, specialty pizzas and mac + cheese at lunch, and a more wide-ranging dinner menu. There are plenty of veggie options, and their proteins are sourced from the likes of Smoking Goose Meatery in Indianapolis and Niman Ranch.

Becky was happy to try out a couple of craft beers from their extensive selection, including a gluten-free sorghum beer. Since I was driving, I opted for the Meadowlark Virgin Mary at the top of this post, a more than satisfying beverage that includes beet juice in addition to traditional Bloody Mary ingredients.

So how was your weekend? Are you ready with your Battle Cabbage entry for the Culinary Smackdown?

Our host this month is Grumpy Granny, who is already up here, with a dreamy red cabbage and sweet potato lasagna. Head on over to link your Battle Cabbage post in GG's comments section, and check out all the other swell entries for this friendly little monthly blog-cooking competition. I always come away with such inspiration from the other participants – and I'm tickled to see our group growing! Deadline isn't until Wednesday, so am hoping to squeak in with an entry of my own despite a busy month and cabbage-purchasing faux pas (:


LaDivaCucina said...

I'm going to try to post something tomorrow for the smackdown but I can't promise, my computer was supposed to go in tonight and now it's been delayed til tomorrow! : (

Birthday week was so busy, all of a sudden the month of February is over! I see that your birthday has been an extended one too! Yippeeee!

From the last two weeks, I have so much to post as I see you do too! I'm still reading your last two posts, I love having this much going on and so much fodder for the blog! It's pretty much time to start back on the diet and drying out again....heheh!

Dani said...

Glad you had such a wonderful birthday. :)Great food and great friends really make them special.

Buzz Kill said...

Is Meadowlark named for Meadowlark Lemon - famed Globetrotter? Looks like some great food. And my new favorite word is - Meatery.

Roses said...

Happy Belated Birthday. I believe in celebrating for the month, not just the day!

I'm afraid I've missed this month's smackdown, but since I've been so absent from blogland, I know you're not surprised.