In case anyone is visiting the Dayton area, I managed to sample a couple restaurants while I was there in June.
By far the most pleasant surprise was an Indian restauarant called Amar India. It's in Miamisville, a southern suburb. I was there for a month and I had to go back there 4 times. I found it to be on par with any of the best Indian restaurants in New York. As a vegetarian I did not try any meat dishes, but the palak paneer (spinach with indian cheese cubes) was superb, as was the aloo gobi (cauliflower and spinach in red sauce). The samosas were terrific, with the potato filling mashed instead of cubed and quite flavorful. You can get the dishes spiced to taste based on a 1 to 5 rating (I got 4 and found it to be fine). The vegetarian dishes were in the $8-$9 range. The restaurant is directly across the street from Dayton Mall in the mini-mall with the Barnes and Noble.
Also worth trying was a nice little Hunan place in Kettering. To my surprise they had vegetarian dumplings and a pretty good tofu dish. Good stuff for the price. This place is down Far Hills Ave/Route 40 going south from downtown Dayton in on the righthand side in a gray building with a Midas muffler.
Other than Amar India, I found the options in Dayton to be kind of bleak. Pacchia was an Italian restaurant in the downtown "Oregon" district of Dayton. It was good, but kind of pricey and not at all authentic.
On the same block is a Thai restaurant that again was pretty good but not very authentic (e.g. they had sushi too, however, even as a vegetarian I had to admit the sushi presentation was quite spectacular). I had vegetable rice noodles, but tasted more soy sauce than basil. Good, but not worth $13.
Do not, under any circumstances, order pizza from a chain called Donatos. I got something resembling cardboard...
So if you are ever in Dayton, just keep going back to Amar India, that's my advice.
2759 Miamisburg-Centerville Road
Centerville, OH 45459-3729
5851 Far Hills Ave.
Kettering, OH 45429
11 Brown Street
Dayton, OH 45402
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