We know Food Adventures can be saucy. We know the Miami Valley can be a flavorful place to live. What do you slather on your food to get more out of it? What are your favorite flavors and tastes for sauces in Dayton?
The Food Adventures Crew have compiled a list (in order) of our favorite sauces.
We have slopped, spread, squirted and poured. We have shaken, stirred and enjoyed many of these food sauces for decades. The Big Ragu is a sauce freak… But now we put them all together and present to you…
*** DAYTON’S TOP 30 SAUCES ***
1) MAMMA DISALVO’S MARINARA SAUCE & SALAD DRESSING:
The absolute best sauce in Dayton is Mamma DiSalvos spaghetti sauce. Sure, you can a buy a pre-packaged jar, but here is the secret… GO TO THE DELI AND GET A PINT OR QUART OF THE FRESH MARINARA SAUCE MADE THAT DAY! The fresh pasta sauce is amazing, we could drink this stuff. It is fantastic with boiled or baked pastas. Their salad dressing is almost as good. Try the salad dressing on one of The Disalvo’s Deli subs. It makes the whole sandwich,use them together for a meal and you are in Dayton paradise.
2) PINE CLUB‘S HOUSE DRESSING:
An incredible line of dressing available at the restaurant fresh, or jarred at local grocery stores. Pick up some house dressing at the nearest Dorothy Lane Market or Kroger. It will turn your salads up 2 notches. The whole line of dressings are quality stuff, with the perfect amount of flavor and tang. Try them, it is an iconic taste of Dayton.
3) HOUSEMADE SAUCES:
Our own Food Adventurer Chef LeeAnne House set the hot sauce bar high locally by winning competitions in Louisiana and at Jungle Jim’s. Though the liquid sauces are in hiatus due to a shortage of Thai Chili Peppers in the USA, you can still get her spice rubs. We are holding out hope that someday the sauces will be back. Some of the last bottles in town have been spotted at Foremost Seafood… FYI..
4) MEADOWLARK’S HOMEMADE ROSEMARY KETCHUP:
What do you get when one of Dayton’s top restaurants puts its spin on a condiment? The answer is a Rosemary Ketchup that is perfect for french fry dipping, or dressing up a burger. Chef Wiley and her staff have so many incredible, homemade sauces and daily creations, but this is one of our all time favorites ! Meadowlark is definitely a sauce paradise !
5) GIOVANNI’S PIZZA SAUCE and ALFREDO PASTA SAUCE:
The Spaziani family has recently planned on jarring their sauces, and with good reason. Their pizza, pasta and alfredo sauces have been area favorites for decades. This spot in Fairborn hosts wine dinners from time to time that feature incredible sauces, made right in their kitchen. Try the marinara, over Gnocchi, Ravioli or with Manicotti. You can thank us later, when your mouth isn’t full. This eatery is part of Dayton’s soul.
6) THE SPICY OLIVE’S JAPANESE SESAME SEED OIL, FLAVOR INFUSED OLIVE OILS and BALSAMICS:
When owner Melanie Cedargren first introduced us to her olive oil, it opened up a world of cooking flavors, literally. We can now cook like our favorite Asian restaurants. How? Using Spicy Olive’s Japanese Sesame Seed Oil. That is just 1 percent of the amazing products they have. May we recommend the balsamic vinegars infused with various flavors for great salads? The store also carries its specialty, flavor infused olive oils from California and all over the globe. Try the butter infused oil when cooking fish or popcorn. How about the garlic or cilantro flavor when cooking chicken? They sky is the limit and this place will make you a culinary superstar in your kitchen. All of these items are available in small or large bottles, so you can maximize your choices.
7) FLAVORS EATERY GARLIC SAUCE:
Rich LoRusso and his wife Elaine have brough the California healthy living cuisine to the Dayton foodies. In the search to find various healthy substitutes, they developed this garlic sauce. It is a minced, creamy garlic sauce and it is smoothly delicious. From Nachos, to Chicken dinners to sandwiches, this sauce is great on everything. The sauce is for sale at Flavor’s Eatery in Centerville and Lebanon and also available at some local grocers.
8) FRESH IN A JAR SALSA and MARINARA by RED HEADED SAUCE CO.
Chef Marshall Bartley has taken his culinary expertise to develop a salsa that is like no other. His decades as a chef at country clubs, restaurants, and catering companies is our benefit. The Medium Hot Salsa is the best of these flavors. Try it, you will LOVE IT ! The marinara sauce is fantastic too, reminiscent of the Brio and Bravo deeply flavorful tomato sauce. The company will also team up with groups for fundraisers and charitable causes. Get your hands on these jars, you will be glad you did.
9) CARVERS STEAK and CHOPS’ BEARNAISE SAUCE:
Fine dining in Dayton, stops through Carver’s Steak House. Whether it is a prime rib, a New York strip, or baked salmon. The béarnaise sauce can make that great piece of protein even better. It dresses up the plate and makes for a savory hint to each bite. Creamy, delicious and made in-house, this sauce goes great with all of Carver’s quality meats.
10) THE DYNAMITE SHRIMP SAUCE at SWEENEY’S SEAFOOD HOUSE:
Lisa Long and her staff have so many great appetizers, soups and sauces to try. One of our favorites is the Dynamite Sauce on the Dynamite Shrimp Appetizer. It is a spicy and creamy “bang” to your taste buds. May we also give a shout out to an incredible Dijon based tarragon sauce that is drizzled on many fish entrees as well. Lots of great sauce creations at this Centerville restaurant.
11) COMPANY 7 BBQ’S SAUCES:
When 3 fireman get to cooking, you know good things are happening. That’s the story with Company 7 BBQ’s owners. They have taken the time to develop 7 homemade sauces, all with distinct styles and tastes. They are all tasty sauces, but which one of these nationally recognized BBQ sauces is the best? We rank their 7 sauces in order right here.
1) Lieutenant Tangy – Kansas City BBQ style sauce with a tangy kick
2) The Rookie – mildly sweet sauce
3) Firefighter Sweet – Memphis style sweet BBQ sauce
4) The Secret Hot BBQ Sauce – only found in a secret bottle behind the bar…. no label, just an underground concoction that packs some heat.
5) Commissioner Burns – A spicy BBQ sauce
6) Captain Carolina – Mustard based, Carolina style sauce
7) Chief Smoky – Just like the name implies, a smoky flavor in this one…
Now you know all of their sauces, including the secret one behind the bar, and which ones are the best. Again the truth is, they are all great. On Ribs, Wings and Chicken OH MY !
12) WOEBER’S MUSTARDS:
Springfield’s sauce masters have plenty of choices for the hot dog or sandwich in your life. Most popular of these products are the Yellow and Brown Mustard product lines. They include a Dijon mustard, a horseradish mustard, a jalapeno mustard, a honey mustard and a Craft beer mustard made with Warped Wing Beer. There is even a Dusseldorf Mustard. All mustards are locally made in their facility . When is the last time your face lit up from the surprisingly nice zing from a Sandwich with Woeber’s mustard? Grab a bottle of this stuff at Kroger and other Dayton grocers, and see for yourself. A large selection of Woeber’s is also available at Charlie’ Deli in Dayton.
Are you sauced yet? Our list goes on ….
13) THE GARLIC OIL SAUCE on FRANCO’s WORLD FAMOUS SPAGHETTI:
Take an Italian native with a passion for cooking and experimenting. Give him a restaurant called Franco’s Ristorante Italiano. Take some olive oil and a lot of garlic, pn sear that with Italian sausage and an egg and you have the base for a secret sauce that has pleased Daytonians for over 40 years. Chef/Owner Franco Germano’s sauce is his own olive oil based sauce creation. You can also add sautéed mushrooms on top to seal the deal. The result is a lighter tasting pasta dish, not weighted down with a heavy sauce. For those who want a break from the traditional marinara based sauces, this one is for you.
14) THE “YUM YUM” SAUCE at SAKE JAPANESE STEAKHOUSE:
You’ve heard them say it over and over again at Sake. They say “can I get some extra Yum Yum sauce. HA.. another foodie that is hooked., It is addicting, this creamy sauce that goes just perfect over rice, seafood and even the sushi rolls for an occassional dip. A knockoff brand is for sale at Kroger’s but it is “cray cray” expensive and not the real deal. don’t get us wrong, we love the Ginger Sauce too, but the Yum Yum sauce is in a league of its own.
15) THE OSCAR SAUCE at THE PARAGON SUPPER CLUB:
You’re sitting in your best attire at the Paragon, the plate is served to accompany your stewed tomatoes and hash browns. Ahh you chose the oscar sauce to stop your steak. Steak Oscar is a French tradition, where the meat is topped with a creamy crab béarnaise sauce and asparagus. Sometimes Cheese is involved. Anytime you get this option at the Paragon, deliciousness is involved. Try your steak “Oscar,” the next time you hit this Centerville pillar of the dining community.
16) THE BBQ SAUCE at CENTERVILLE PIZZA and BBQ:
This eatery is a nationally award-winning place, known for inventive pizzas (try the zombie pizza – it will change your life). But the unsung hero at this kitchen is the BBQ. Amazing Pulled Pork, Ribs and broasted chicken need one thing .. A GREAT SAUCE ! Holy cow does Robert Benson, the owner come through. His BBQ sauce is a tangy throwback. It is very flavorful with a strong hint like the old Open Pit brand in the blue bottle. Nothing crazy fancy, just a bold, tangy taste. Try this, order a dozen broasted wings, order a couple of sides of BBQ Sauce. Dip those wings and go to town. It will be your best Food Adventure of the week !
17) BRUCKEN FOODS’ HORSERADISH SPREAD and DUSSELDORF MUSTARD SAUCES:
When you need flavor, the Kettering company called Brucken Foods is a great go to, You can find their sauces at Foremost Seafood, Dorothy Lane Market, Kroger and Jungle Jim’s. What you didn’t know is that these sauce recipes are 100 years old, like the company ! Brucken Foods has been serving the Dayton area since 1913. Owner Louie Brucken used to deliver pickles, spices and condiments out of a horse-drawn wagon ( we need to get Chef House one of those ). Today, owners Steve and Mary Lingg service Dayton’s finest restaurants and grocery stores with their Horseradish Spread, Mustard sauce and more.
18) VOLTZY’S SWEET HEAT MUSTARD:
This sauce can be found at the legendary hamburger man whose business model is like the Seinfeld “soup nazi.” In between calling customers wimps or telling jokes, he is slapping sweet heat mustard on his one-of-a-kind burgers. Rick Volz will tell you that there are many secrets to his burgers, and one of them is the signature sauce he uses. Voltzy uses a mix of yellow mustard and red pepper paste to make a slightly spicy condiment. He puts it on every cheeseburger that he makes unless you dare defy it “his way.” You will get some grief, but we learned something, He is right, the sauce is fantastic and the burgers are best his way (The Big Ragu catches hell for adding ketchup some days).
19) LITTLE SAIGON’S HOMEMADE HOT CHILI PASTE:
Homemade hot sauces are good. Vietnamese family secret hot sauces are great. Take the jars lining the tables at Little Saigon. They are scary. First of all they are not refrigerated, but that isn’t necessary. It is a red chili paste and it goes well in soups, on soft rolls, and as a dip for spring rolls. The result is heat. Vietnamese food can be known for its spiciness and there is no shortage of hot sauces in this restaurant. We recommend it because it burns so good. Yes, even though it is hot, you cannot get enough.
20) MUTT’S SAUCE:
Made in Dayton, this sauce is gaining a bit of a following. It is a Tomato-based sauce with hints of Onion, Vinegar, and Garlic. The sauce is produced in Dayton Ohio, but invented by Charlie “Mutt” Ferrell, Jr., an Air Force Vet from Carthage, Tennessee. In 1956, Mutt developed a sauce he could use for every meal. It is sweet, tangy with a little bit of heat. Mutt would host parties and his sauce helped break down down any cultural or language barriers. The sauce quickly became a symbol of unity wherever he went. Mutt passed away in 2005, in his seventies. His granddaughter, Charlynda Scales, an air force vet, just like him has taken the torch. Charlynda decided to have the sauce bottled, with Mutt’s name and face on the label. Every bottle of Mutt’s Sauce continues his legacy.
21) DAVE’S DAWG SAUCE:
The perfect topping to plain hot dog. It is part mustard, but on steroids. Great on Turkey subs/sandwiches too. Heck any recipe with mustard, this sauce can boost that recipe. We have seen Dave’s Dawg Sauce at Kroger, and Dorothy Lane Market. Invented by a local resident, the sauce goes great on burgers, chicken and ribs too. Not a bad french fry dip as well.
22) DOROTHY LANE MARKET’S CHAMPAGNE MUSTARD SAUCE:
DLM does it again with a sauce that will please at the deli, or as simple as dipping chicken nuggets. This is a small jar, and they don’t last long. Another one of our favorite things to do is dip pretzel sticks into this stuff. It is undoubtedly one of the tastiest sauces in Dayton, this had to be on the list.
22) THE BARNSIDER’S COCKTAIL SAUCE:
A Miami Valley tradition has outlasted the restaurant that started it. Even though the Barnsider is out of business, the cocktail sauce lives on through bottlers. You can pick up a jar of the good stuff at Foremost Seafood, Krogers and Dorothy Lane Market. A nice flavor, with that horseradish punch. Can you get more old school Dayton than this sauce ? It is Cocktail Shrimp’s perfect partner.
23) WALT’S SALSA and BBQ SAUCES:
Locally jarred salsa that has a cult following. Load up on Walt’s . It is chunky and we prefer the hotter versions. Want to know what is equal to his salsa? His BBQ sauce ! Yes. This sauce is a perfect marinade, grilling or baking sauce. It is a thinner sauce and goes great on grilled or baked chicken breasts. Marinating some wings for the grill? Try Walt’s BBQ sauce for that…
24) KABUKI’S HOMEMADE SOY SAUCE:
Made in-house, this wonderful sauce is perfect with the sushi on hand, or the rice with entrée meals. Many a Bento Box have been lonely without this sauce. To make your sushi experience the best, take a ball of wasabi, about as big as a pea. Dissolve it in the homemade soy sauce. Dip the sushi and hold off the sneezes. You are now experiencing a Japanese delicacy.
25) OAKWOOD CLUB’s GARLIC VINAIGRETTE HOUSE DRESSING WITH BLEU CHEESE CRUMBLES:
The best 95 cent upcharge you will ever make. Oh those salads, oh those breads, wouldn’t one with Blue Cheese be perfect about now? Creamy aromatic, garlic filled, dressing finished with bleu cheese crumbles. What a great way to start out your meal.
26) THE BOURBON SAUCE at BRIXX ICE CO.
This versatile sauce is used on two of our favorite menu items. First the Bourbon Fries, a slightly sticky, always sweet menu item that is a simple, yet delicious twist on plain fries. A light coat of bourbon sauce on top, turns a normal side into a signature treat, but it doesn’t stop their. Our favorite use of the sauce is on the Bourbon Burger at Brixx Ice Co. A nice, fresh beef patty topped with crunchy onion rings and based in Bourbon Sauce. Try this burger and see what we are talking about. Chef and Owner Chris Bhai is the one to thank for this sauce !
27) ZAPPIA FAMILY SPAGHETTI SAUCE:
This is an all natural, no preservative Tomato Sauce made in Dayton, Ohio. The recipe is Dayton native Dan Zappia’s grandparents recipe from the Calabria region of Italy. This is the “new kid” on the block as far as Dayton marinara sauces go. They claim the secret to this delicious sauce is fresh ingredients and a pinch of love. The sauce is fantastic and has a nice strong flavor. We have seen it for sale at Flying Pizza Downtown, Kroger, Fresh /Thyme, Dot’s Market and Jungle Jims. It is a nice, rich tasting and local pasta sauce, so buy local ! There are 3 flavors of jarred spaghetti sauce, the first being Standard Marinara. The second is a spicy marinara called, Arrabbiata. Finally, a Porccini sauce which includes mushrooms.
28) ANNARINO’S TOMATO SAUCE:
Their sauces are available at Kroger, and Dorothy Lane Market. In 1951, Annarino’s Restaurant opened in Dayton. Today you can still get that taste. Annarino’s is still family owned and operated, using he secret recipe that has been passed down through the family generation. The finest quality ingredients go into this sauce which is also Low fat and Cholesterol free. Try the 4 flavors of Annarino’s sauces: Mushroom, Marinara, Meaty Italian Sauce, and Meatless Italian Sauce.
29) FRICKER’S SAUCES:
The hometown sports bar of Dayton has branched across the state, using their sauces as stepping-stones and wings as a springboard to get more business. Frickers has some great sauces, and depending on your tolerance for hot sauces, your favorites may vary from ours. But we can tell you this …
If you love MILD sauces –
Try the BBQ Sauce. This is their flagship sauce on which they built a brand. It is sweet and delicious, whether on boneless or traditional wings. This is the king. Garlic Parmesan and Bourbon Molasses gets honorable mention for MILD heat lovers.
Do you like Medium heat?
Little Kicker is where it is at … or try a secret mix of BBQ Little Kicker.
Do you like things hot?
Their Killer Sauce is probably one of the most popular very hot sauces in Dayton. Also, the BBQ Killer sauce combo is legendary in these parts. Whatever Fricker’s sauce you choose, bring plenty of napkins !
30) THE JAPANESE KATSU CURRY SAUCE at ARIAKE SUSHI:
In Japan, one of the more popular sauces on the rise is curry flavored. Owner Miko Whigham developed an authentic curry sauce, like those enjoyed in her home country of Japan. You can enjoy it right here in Dayton in one of their dishes “Katsu Curry.” It is a deep-fried pork tenderloin (you can ask for chicken) sliced into strips and placed on white rice. The tenderloin is then completely doused in the curry sauce. The result is a filling, one of a kind rich treat. Even non-curry lovers have been known to like this sauce, why? Because it mimics an American style gravy sauce. So the unique flavor is reminiscent of a comfort meal with gravy. Try this and see if we aren’t right on target. They hit a home run with this thick, rich sauce.
Let us not forget…. Honorable mention for the
A) MONTGOMERY INN BBQ SAUCE:
The greatest BBQ Sauce known to man. Bob Hope’s favorite, as he would have ribs delivered to his home every 2 weeks. Try the sauce on wings and chicken breasts too. It is best served hot. We cannot sing the praises of this Cincinnati area sauce enough. It is very versatile …
B) FRISCH’S TARTAR SAUCE:
This sauce has a cult following that started in Cincinnati. The creamy tartar with pickles chopped up inside. It is the perfect topping for a Big Boy. Ask for extra sauce on your sandwich, it always works out for the better.
C) SCHIAVONE’S MARINARA SAUCE:
A canned sauce that is the pride of Middletown, Ohio. Look for cans of this sauce at Kroger. They have 3 types of sauces, a pizza sauce, a marinara and a spicy marinara. They are incredible, and a no frills base for any tomato sauce that you may want to doctor up.
D) LaROSA’S SPAGHETTI SAUCE:
Buddy LaRosa and his family have brought one of the tastier sauces to our region. The jars are sold at Kroger and at each restaurant throughout Cincinnati and Dayton.
E) CITY BBQ’S ORIGINAL BBQ SAUCE: They have five basic sauces. In order here are the best : Original, Sweet City, Brushfire, LowCo, Swine Wine. This company is a Columbus based operation and is growing like crazy.
F) SKYLINE CHILI’S HOT SAUCE:
A hot, Cincinnati version of a tabasco type sauce. When the hot sauce hits the cheese, your 5-way or chili coney is official. Comes in a squirt bottle and is fun to use with oyster crackers. You fill the cracker holes up with sauce and pop them into your mouth. We affectionately call these “a-bombs.”
Paying homage to sauces of the past…
SAUCES WE MISS:
—DOMINICS HOUSE SALAD DRESSING:
The biggest cause of bad breath in Dayton from the 1950’s to the 1990’s. This was a guilty pleasure and only the ones who breathed this fire could appreciate the garlic power it emitted.
—MRS WRIGHT’S SAUCE:
Remember this bottled sauce? They had it at the condiment station at Dayton Dragon’s games and sold it in local stores. We miss that sauce on our hot dogs !
There you have it – the top 30 Sauces of Dayton, Ohio from today and yesteryear. Only Food Adventures would dare rank a bold list like this. If you want more Food Advenutures, please LIKE them on Facebook by clicking HERE.
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See you then, in the meantime feel free to browse the photos below and comment on your favorite sauces.