Posted On: 03/31/21 10:02 AM

During this season of high school basketball, I traveled all over the state of Ohio. Going to the games and watching the players is only part of the experience of being a basketball scout. This season I tried finding different food spots in as many different towns as possible. In this article I’m going to be giving out my 10 favorite food spots I hit up this year with my 5 favorite chains (3 or more locations) at the end. If anybody has some recommendations for more places to try when I’m in your town, feel free to tweet @mikerothou with your suggestions.

The Top 5 (no order)

Thai 9

Address: 11 Brown St, Dayton, OH

Type of Food: Thai

Food item ordered: Crab Fried Rice

This is a very cute restaurant nearby the University of Dayton. I loved the amount of flavor in the crab fried rice and appreciated the option to decide how spicy my meal was. I liked this place so much, I went there twice this basketball season.

Madison Street Tavern

Address: 92 Madison St, Tiffin, OH

Type of food: Bar and grill

Food item ordered: Chicken Chunks with griffs sauce

Place was bumping on a Friday night before I watched the Tiffin Columbian Tornadoes. Thought Chicken Chunks were a nice change of pace from the usual boneless wings (prefer bone in to boneless) that most bars serve. I also liked the ability to really spice up the toppings with the chicken, I threw on some pineapple, green peppers, sour cream and shredded cheese between my two half pound orders. Best part about it? My meal was like $12

The Funky Truckeria

Address: 3200 Greenwich Rd #113, Norton, OH

Type of food: Tacos

Food item ordered: Fried Shrimp Taco, jerk chicken taco, friend mahi mahi taco

I agree with Tj Peatross about basketball prospects a lot, but we have our disagreements here and there. One thing I haven’t disagreed with him yet is a taco evaluation. After he hyped up these tacos as maybe the best in NEO, I knew I had to try them. The Funky Truckeria didn’t let me down. People around the Akron area should try and make a stop at this place, I did before a STVM game this season.

Beast and Bottle

Address: 106 S Market St, Waverly, OH

Type of food: BBQ

Food item ordered: Pig Candy, Pulled Pork with apple chipotle BBQ sauce

Most people in Ohio probably couldn’t point to where Waverly is on a map, but one of the benefits of going to college at Ohio University is you become a lot more familiar with 740 towns. They might not have the most prospects year in and year out, but there’s some underrated food spots to try out. Beast and Bottle is my favorite though, great selection of BBQ sauces and meats. The Pig Candy was maybe my favorite appetizer I had all season.

Simply Greek

Address: 33700 Aurora Rd, Solon, OH

Type of food: Greek

Food item ordered: Salmon Dinner

This place won a contest on yelp as the first place winner of best places to eat in Cleveland, I decided to see if the hype was legit. First off, they offered me free baklava as I waited for my food. Talk about top notch service. The salmon had a lot of flavor and I actually liked my Greek Salad with a pita, rare for me to enjoy eating a salad.

Next Best 5 (no order)

Son of Thurman

Address: 5 N Sandusky St, Delaware, OH

Type of Food: Burgers

Food item ordered: Kansas City Chefs Burger with Egg

The biggest and best burger I had all season was from here. Absolutely massive patties and tons of toppings, Son of Thurman won’t let you down. I really liked the onion rings and BBQ sauce on my burger (hence the Kansas City name) but the addition of an egg (my call) put this burger over the top.

Bourbon Street Grill and Cafe

Address: 1043 Brown St, Dayton, OH

Type of food: Southern

Food item ordered: Bourbon Chicken with rice and cajun potato spuds

The line was out the door at this place when I arrived, that’s when I knew this meal would be legit. One rule Trevor Sikkema tries to enforce is a three sides minimum whenever eating BBQ. I try to follow him when my wallet can cooperate with the rule. I went with the bourbon chicken, got rice, added cajun potato spuds (essential) and green beans plus some cornbread on the side. All that for under $15 (The picture at the top was my meal from there if you want a visual aid)

Jessie Mae’s Southern Creole Cuisine

Address: 3671 E Livingston Ave, Columbus, OH

Type of food: Creole

Food item ordered: Sweet Jessie Po’Boy

If you can’t tell by now, I’m a big fan of southern and seafood. Getting a Po’Boy with shrimp was right up my alley. I also thought the fries I got here were the best I had all season. There was a lot of vinegar flavor cooked into the fries and they were incredibly fresh out the frier.

Tacoriendo Movil

Address: 3344 Allegheny Ave, Columbus, OH

Type of food: Mexican

Food item ordered: Taco, tostada and gordita with varying meats

Food truck located right next to Africentric, this place has very authentic mexican food. I liked getting a variety of dishes instead of just three tacos. Gordita’s and tostadas are very good foods that you don’t see as often as tacos. If you watch Dailyn Swain Dailyn Swain 6'6" | SF Africentric | 2023 State OH and company next season, eat here before or after the game.

Riverbend Family Dining

Address: 415 5th St, Beverly, OH

Type of Food: American Diner

Food item ordered: Ribeye steak

Another one of my 740 favorites. If you ever head to Waterford or Fort Frye High School, try and stop at this family diner. The ribeye steak I ordered had a lot of flavor and the diner had peak small town vibes. Place is basically right across the street from Fort Frye High School, you’ll want to check out their football program as well.

Top 5 chains (3 or more locations)

Swenson’s

Address: Many locations across northeast and central Ohio

Type of food: Burger drive in

Food item ordered: Galley Boy

My favorite fast food place to eat, I had to show a little love to Swenson’s here. If you are coming from out of state or just need something open late night, you can’t beat a galley boy burger. The special sauce that goes on those burgers is just unreal. The fried zucchini is a must at swensons, but really all their sides are better than their fries so be sure to spice it up. Milkshakes? They have that too, with a nice selection of flavors.

Kewpee

Address: 3 locations in Lima

Type of food: Fast food burger

Food item ordered: Cheeseburger

I’m not sure what it is that makes the Kewpee burger so good, but it blows away your national burger chains. Very cheap prices for a small chain. Usually try to stop here while in Lima but each location is almost always busy at any time of day, shows that the locals know what’s up.

City Bird

Address: 3 locations in Cincinnati

Type of food: Chicken

Food item ordered: City Bird sandwich, Lemon Thyme sandwich

Oh you like Chick Fil-A and Popeyes Chicken Sandwiches? Try a City Bird sandwich and get back to me with which one you think is the best. Yea, I said it.

Cook Out

Address: Many locations in the south, one location in Huntington WV

Type of Food: Fast food

Food item ordered: Cook out tray

If you don’t know, this is the best kept fast food secret that the south has tried to keep under wraps. There’s no locations in Ohio, but the one in Huntington, WV is right across the river and I went there after a Fairland visit, so I’m counting it. Get yourself a tray, make it however you want, you can’t really go wrong. Hushpuppies are the best side that they offer, make sure those find their way to your tray. Milkshakes? Banana Pudding is a winner.

Barrio

Address: Multiple locations around northeast Ohio, plus one in Columbus

Type of food: Tacos

Food item ordered: Create your own tacos with queso

My favorite place to eat around my hometown. I always will remember going to barrio in high school with some friends and almost always seeing other people that you knew. I’d advise to create your own tacos instead of getting a premade one. Also, the queso is to die for. Stoner queso throws some rice on it too if that’s your thing. Bombshell tortilla is my biggest recommendation, makes a huge difference for your taco and it’s only a dollar up-charge.

That’s my food review for the 2020-21 basketball season. I’m excited to continue to find out some of the best food places in all of Ohio and get familiar with these favorites.

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