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Butler County
Credit: Jags

I have found myself smack dab in The Midwest for the first time since Manhattan Digest’s inception, and landed in Butler County, Ohio. The vibe in this area is a complete 180 compared to the one in The Big Apple, but let’s be honest… it’s pretty boring to go through life being just one note. In a 4-part series, we will be taking you through this wonderful area and why it’s truly worth the simple two hours to get to.

This part of the series focuses on what to eat… and there’s a lot. Butler County has a lot of similarities to Manhattan in terms of the cuisines they produce, some of which are actually better than they are here.  Shocking… I know.

Butler County is a simple place to get to, as it’s a two-hour hour flight out of LaGuardia to Dayton, and then another 45-minute drive from there. Within the area you will find some super tasty places to go to, some of which we are happily featuring in part one of this series. Take a look.

Credit: Jags

Jag’s Steak & Seafood: 5980 West Chester Road, West Chester Township

Jag’s is easily the most upscale location that I went to during my trip to Butler County, as it read as a classic steakhouse in NYC but stretched out as the space inside is massive.

There are a variety of rooms available from simple dining to hosting a big party of sorts, so many in which I feel like I was playing a game of Clue or something. Jag’s has been named one of the best Steakhouses in Ohio, which makes sense given the 5-course meal we were treated to that night.

The event was a pairing of sorts, which had a cohesive menu that paired tequila-based beverages with some delicious food including Steak, Red Drum and a scrumptious Fried Pistachio Ice Cream. If you are looking for some decadence during your visit, then Jag’s is the way to go.  More info here.

Credit: Gaylon Wampler

Donut Trail: Various Locations

This was hands down one of the most fun portions of my trip to Butler County in that they actually have a DONUT TRAIL! It’s like a mission for the sweet lover in all of us, and my excitement built as I got to each stop.

It’s simple. You get a map, get a GPS and follow the donut trail to all the locations within Butler County that sell these warm and tasty items.

The five that I stopped at were Kelly’s Bakery, Ross Bakery, Central Pastry Shop, The Donut House and Jupiter Coffee and Donuts. I got wild with my taste buds and tried something different at each stop, and had so much leftover that the back of my rental car look like a bakery overload.  Each spot provided some wonderful donuts that were flavored with S’Mores, Maple Bacon, Glazed and more.  Definitely a must when you visit Butler County.  More info here.

Credit: Dai Trang

Dai Trang Bistro: 4970 Union Centre Pavilion Drive, West Chester

We go from sweet to savory as Dai Trang’s casual spot focuses on traditional Filipino cuisine with a nod to Vietnamese dishes.

I was still pretty full from all the donuts I had, but was excited to try some of their delicious appetizers that filled me up in a much different way.  Their Lumpia Shanghai (Crispy Filipino Egg Rolls with Chicken) and Chili-Glazed Asian Zinger Wings packed a ton of heat and flavor without overpowering my palette. Definitely a good choice to go to for the bold foodies out there.  More info here.

Credit: Quarter Barrel

Quarter Barrel Brewery & Pub: 103 Main Street, Hamilton

Quarter Barrel is a no musk, no fuss kind of place for several locals to go to after a Cincinnati Reds game.  They serve pub plates and locally sourced beer options all inside a moderately-sized space that is inclined for the chilled-out clientele to enjoy.

Their Salmon with roasted vegetable succotash, red potatoes and olive tapenade as well as their Burger with 8. oz Reserve Run beef (locally sourced), cheddar and relish are two delicious items to order while you chill out and enjoy the local views. More info here.

Check back here later on this week for part two.

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