Join us for a fun, casual evening of Nite at the Races, casino games, and the Rubi Girls! There will be winners for each race, at the tables, and a grand prize. Proceeds will benefit Homefull and our mission to end homelessness and help our community with housing, food, and jobs.
Are you looking for something different to to for dinner? Then the Food Adventures Crew has a tip for you. How about dinner at the Dayton Raceway’s Skybox Restaurant at the Hollywood Casino while watching live horse racing at a table overlooking the track? The live racing schedule ends December 30th, so you have that much time to book an unforgettable night of fun and food.
Today, we spotlight an unsung restaurant that really doesn’t get any recognition, but has been putting out some decent food for a couple of years now. It is the Skybox Restaurant at Hollywood Casino and Dayton Raceway. It is a smaller restaurant, with a bar and booth area with seating capacity of about 60 people. During live racing days, the restaurant spreads out serving tables in the racino area that overlook the track on different stairstep levels.
HERE’S THE SKINNY ON THE SKYBOX RESTAURANT :
—A one of a kind experience in Dayton, this restaurant is “Vegas Style” in decor, but during live horse race days, the dining room also includes the tables overlooking the horse race track on 3 levels.
— The races are Harness Racing, where the jockeys are behind the horse on a sled with wheels. The horses have to trot and are not allowed to gallop. Getting into the action is CHEAP ! You can bet as little as $2 on a race and you can use electronic betting machines near your table or place your bet at the nearby betting window with an employee.
— Live Harness Racing season ends at Dayton Raceway on December 30, 2017 for a few months.
Mondays & Tuesdays: The first race begins at 2:15pm
Thursdays , Friays & Saturdays: The first race begins at 6:15pm
Here is the racing calendar for 2017. Call 937-235-7840 for restaurant reservations overlooking the track with a spectacular view.
— Typical hours for the Skybox Restaurant on non-racing days are
Sunday thru Thursday 11AM-9PM and Friday & Saturday 11am – Midnight
— The restaurant is casual American Pub Fare with a couple of local beers on tap, but mostly bottled beers in stock.
— Each month they have a dinner special of the month, December is Steak and Shrimp for $12.99
— Wednesday is trivia at 7pm with special appetizers and everyday they offer 4 domestic bottles in a bucket for $12 or a Birdie Bucket with 10 wings for $18.
Now you are at the party spot, but what are you gonna eat? Well, luckily the Food Adventure Crew has been to the restaurant about 10 times and tried everything on the menu. As always, over the couple years we have developed our “MUST EATS” at the Skybox Bar and Restaurant.. so here we go …
MUST EATS at the SKYBOX SPORTS BAR at HOLLYWOOD GAMING DAYTON:
— ALL YOU CAN EAT BABY BACK RIBS:
This is typically a monthly special, but anytime they offer the ribs on the menu, you have to grab them. Cooked to perfection, these ribs are slathered in a nice BBQ sauce and melt in your mouth. Fall off the bone? YES and right into your mouth. Ask for napkins, as it is how they say “finger lickin good.”
— THE PRIME RIB DINNER:
This is sometimes a monthly special for $19.99. If you see it on the menu, you must grab one. The dinner is delicious and so are all of the sides offered. Great view, great steak and races? This is the life!
— CHICKEN QUESADILLA:
Want a huge appetizer that you can share? You wont go wrong with this giant, loaded quesadilla with cheese and veggies, even guacamole and sour cream are on the plate. Indulge! Enjoy!
— THE CHEESEBURGER:
Going simple and quick? This is the best bet and grab a homemade soup. Fresh ground chuck, and melted cheese make the sandwich. The condiments are typical and you build your own burger. Just a good solid, no frills option.
— HOMEMADE DAILY SOUPS:
We have had a couple of their soups, and the chefs really know what they are doing. These homemade creations from chili to shrimp and onion soup have been phenomenal. Always something inventive cooking up in the soup world at the Racino !
— DEEP FRIED PICKLE CHIPS:
Sweet, sour and salty, this appetizer is a perfect one to share with the table. The other option is to grab some ranch dip and slay the basket yourself. Either way you win with good, tasty food, even if you lose your horse race bet.
There they are – the MUST EATS you shouldn’t miss at the Dayton Racino.
This is one of the most entertaining Food Adventures you will ever go on.
Not familiar with horse racing?
IT IS EASY to be a part of the action with these few tips.
Here are a couple horse racing tips on us:
1) Bring a pen with you, buy a program, ask them to print out Dayton Raceway only, to save money. Use the pen to take notes and circle your favorite horses. Sometimes betting on the name of the horse works just as good as looking at the stats/odds.
2) Bet $2 on each race, so if there are 10 races, you will only spend $20 on gambling the whole night, and that’s if you lose every race ! If your horse wins, you will be paid out based on the final odds of the horse after all bets were placed. The higher the odds, the more cashola you will be paid!
4) Chances at big wins:
Bet EXACTA and you must pick 2 horses and they must come 1st and 2nd place in the exact order you pick.
Bet TRIFECTA and you must pick the horses that finish 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the exact order you name. You win some decent money if this happens, so it isn’t easy to do !
5) Get into the race by clapping and whistling and cheering your horse down the stretch…
Some of the more favorite shouts we have over heard are …..
“Come on Now 3, mon now !” (use any number you bet on)
“Tap that animal” a tongue in cheek urge to have the jockey tap the horses butt with the long stick to get him to run faster (we dont condone animal cruelty).
“Ghanan ha wa hooha” – while slapping your program on your knee (this is just what most people do, they yell an incoherent scream and go crazy, we are just trying to fit in and add to the excitement and volume.
7) Watching the races from the table is great, but take about 6 minutes and during one race, walk outside and watch it from the track. You will be about 10 yards from the horses and it gives you a feel for the speed and intensity of these races. There is no other feeling like it.
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Dayton’s biggest chili cookoff was Friday night and we have the loving spoonfuls. A charity that helps disabled Miami Valley residents was given an annual budget boost from the 31st annual event.
There were 17 restaurants and amateur cooks vying for the title of BEST CHILI at the AMBUCS Chili Cookoff this weekend, and the results are in. For the first time ever, the people’s choice top 3 matched The Food Adventures top 3 picks. THE WINNERS ARE…..
#1 CHRISTOPHER’S RESTAURANT’S BUFFALO CHICKEN CHILI:
Delicious, melt in your mouth flavors of simmered chicken and the heat of a buffalo sauce, all in a creamy chili. We topped our bowl with a light sprinkle of shredded mozzarella. This recipe was a risk going off the beaten path of traditional chili’s but in this case, it paid off. Chef John always takes time to talk to the Food Adventures Crew, and we congratulate him and Christopher’s on the big win.
#2 THE BRUNCH CLUB’S SWEET CHILI:
Big Ragu was loving the cute servers in Bengal’s attire, but the chili stole Hungry Jax’s stomach. An interesting twist on a traditional chili, this one was sweet and thinner than most chilis. The result was a chili that really grows on you with each bite. We found ourselves with raised eyebrows craving more of this sweet stuff. A definite stand out in our book, and second place in the competition.
#3 MEADOWLARK’S CHILI with PITA CHIPS:
A traditional chili served with pita chips made in house, and a dab of sour cream. We also sprinkled a bit of shredded provolone cheese on top. This was fantastic. The flavor was so good and it was obvious this was a top contender. Perfectly seasoned and simmering, the chili was one of the best we tasted. In the end, we put them in 3rd place in this tough field of amazing chili.
The Food Adventure crew wanted to give and Honorable Mention to a couple of restaurants that we feel, rounded out the top 5. They were #4 LONGHORN STEAKHOUSE and #5 SLYDER’s who were close to the top 3. Both versions were meaty chili’s with beans and the traditional Tex-Mex type hearty chili that Americans have grown to love.
Please understand, every single booth had some good chili. The trick was to have your chili be absolutely incredible to stand out in a field of good cooks. The competition was intense, the meat, sauce and beans were flying. Hot sauces, cheeses, jalapenos, crackers, draft beer and more made for a filling night.
Other Restaurants and Amateur Cooks that participated were in alphabetical order:
BILL’S AMAZING CHILI:
A hearty chili with slices of beef. This was a dark and flavorful chili and our first taste of the day.
BRIXX ICE CO:
Always a contender, they had a delicious shredded chicken chili, that was almost like a soup.
BUCKIN DONKEY GRILL:
We are so excited this awesome restaurant is back. Their chili entry was a tomato based chili with lots of huge sausage chunks.
A meaty chili with good flavor, this restaurant knows what they are doing. This one is great too, like all of their menu soups.
A Tex-Mex classic chili with beans and the traditional sauce. Good stuff and one of the “prettiest” chilis in the bowl.
DARK HORSE TAVERN:
A good traditional chili with beans, meat and great flavor. We are so glad this restaurant is back again on Byers Rd.
EL RANCHO GRANDE:
A Mexican twist, this chili had a swirl design in it from lots of cheddar cheese. The meat was grind down a lot and the chili had a yellow tin to it. We think it was from spices and cheeses.
A different dark and meaty chili. This was a gamble as the chili had a a very rich deep flavor. Points for uniqueness on this one.
GEORGE’S FAMILY RESTAURANT:
A solid traditional looking chili, with beans. It had some Greek seasoning that made the chili taste unique. The entry was good and ingenious that they passed out their restaurant menus to the tables beforehand.
This was a thinner chili and almost like a soup. The flavor was good and the meat was ground down very well. Many of you know that Harrigan’s is know fro their beefy burgers.. so you know the beef chili tasted good.
LOS REYES MEXICAN RESTAURANT:
Almost like a “Dayton dip” this thick chorizo chili was very very cheese filled. The result was a yellow colored chili with chunks of meat. It was mild tasting and very different than other entries.
The decision to pick the best entries was a daunting one. All of the chilis were tasty, and went for a great cause. Please visit these fine restaurants that give back to the community. It was a great time and benefited handicapped kids in this area.
Casino games and other fun contests filled the Colosseum.
The night also was filled with BEER, WINE and SOFT DRINKS. Did we mention HOT DOGS? Oh boy the AMBUCS charity hot dog booth was serving up some good ones. We indulged in all the drinks and food we could until we were stuffed.
The event benefits AMBUCS of Dayton. It is a charity that helps handicapped residents of the Miami Valley lead a more mobile life. Special walkers. bikes and mobile devices are donated to the families of those children and adults in need. The effect is a priceless improvement for their quality of life.
Next year’s chili cookoff will be FRIDAY NOVEMBER 16th, 2018:
Do you want to enter your chili? We are also looking for blackjack dealers and volunteers for next year. To get involved, go to BESTCHILI.ORG or call Paul Jankovich at 937-438-0345
Friday Night, November 17th promises to be a gas!
That’s the night were Dayton’s restaurants and amateur cooks face off in the largest Chili cook-off in the Miami Valley. Each year Dayton’s AMBUCS charity hosts this event and 2017 marks the 31st year for this Food Adventure.
Is your chili the best in Dayton? Do you have what it takes to turn heads and tempt taste buds?
If so, you’re cooking skills are needed!
HERE’S THE SKINNY ON ENTERING THE CHILI COOKOFF:
—AMBUCS is looking for area restaurants, bars, caterers, and taverns that want to enter the contest. It is also open to amateur cooks. The sign-up sheet is HERE under the REGISTRATION tab.
—You must register by NOV 10th – Again use the link above or go to www.bestchili.org
—You must provide at least 5 gallons of chili (you can make more).
—Chili should be brought to the Montgomery Fairgrounds Colesium warm or hot, AMBUCS will provide heating trays. You can bring advertising papers/menus etc, and you can serve the chili or have a volunteer serve it.
—People’s Choice awards will be given to 1st, 2nd and 3rd place.
—The Food Adventures Crew – the Big Ragu, Hungry Jax and Chef House will be on hand representing Dayton Most Metro as “Special Judges” and will be giving their “Critics Choice” for best chili. Although, they aren’t food critics, they just love to eat.
The AMBUCS CHILI COOKOFF IS A MUST EAT !!!
So you dont’ wanna cook, but you want to come eat and drink ?
Want to learn more about the event?
We have the scoop…
HERE IS THE SKINNY ON THE 2017 AMBUCS CHILI COOK OFF
WHEN: FRIDAY NOV 17th, 6pm – 11pm
WHERE: The Montgomery County Fairgrounds, 1043 South Main Street Dayton, Ohio 45409. Event is held inside the building labeled Coliseum.
WHAT: Chili cookoff – All you can eat chili, hot dogs, all you can drink draft beer, pop and more. Casino and Monte Carlo Games will be going where you can bet cash and win cash! Blackjack, poker, dice games and more!
WHY: All proceeds go to AMBUCS Dayton, a charity that provides specialty wheel chairs and bike for handicapped local residents, so they can have mobility in their lives.
COST : $17 per person pre-sale, $20 at the door
—There are volunteer spots available do deal blackjack, deal poker and serve chili. Go to bestchili.org for contact info.
HERE ARE THOSE ENTERED SO FAR IN THE CHILI COOKOFF!!!
Rowdy Boys Chili – Young local firefighters who won the people’s choice last year !
Meadowlark – Chef Wiley and staff ar sure to bring a delicious gourmet chili to town
Atrium Grille – The Kettering Health Network restaurant is a perennial favorite. This tangy chili is always a must eat.
Flannagan’s – Local iconic pub bringing the chili heat
Christopher’s Restaurant – Kettering restaurant with cult following for vegan and white chicken chili
Tricia’s Delicious Catering – Sort of new kid on the block, came in 2nd last year !
Bullwinkle’s Top Hat Bistro – Will John Foreman and John Sizemore take the crown this year with their delicious, meaty, chili?
Harrigan’s Tavern – Kettering Pub with a reputation to uphold for great grub.
Eaton Kennedy’s (amateur cook) – Longtime competitor and past award winner
Longhorn Steakhouse Moraine – Who says a chain can’t show local love? These charitable guys always bring the goods.
The Brunch Club – One of our favorites, we love the friendly staff
Slyder’s – Amazing burgers means, amazing chili meat !
Bill’s Amazing Chili (amateur) – Time to taste amazing stuff
Los Reyes – Mexican Chili, throws a sombrero in the ring
El Rancho Grande – Another Mexican style chili for consideration
That’s the list with more being added every day – they only have room for 24 chili participants, so get your entry in NOW!
There you have it … everything you wanted to know about the cookoff , but were afraid to ask.
BEAN UP !! See you at the fairgrounds November 17th !
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The people have spoken at the 27th Annual Charity Chili cookoff and Casino Night for AMBUCS. And they were tooting more than their horns the next day!
For the 2nd year in a row, JIMMIES LADDER 11 was the people’s choice for best chili. BUT NOT SO FAST MY FRIENDS ….. THE FOOD ADVENTURES CREW with THE BIG RAGU have their takes on the chili contest and it may surprise you.
Your humble Food Adventurers were asked to be special celebrity guest judges and we ate every station, every bowl and left no pot unturned. We also had hot dogs, coney dogs, wine, beer and soft drinks. The frigid evening was PERFECT for chili tasting.
There was spicy chili, mild chili, chicken chili, no bean chili, .. there was even a gumbo ! Topping options were cheese, onions, hot sauce some had sour cream ! … So Poopsie, how do you like your chili ?
THE BIG RAGU’S WINNER: Tie between THE BRUNCH CLUB and THE TROPICS
The Brunch Club had an amazingly sweet chili that was delicious. The Tropics entry was just as addicting. It was a with a hearty, traditional chili with great flavors.
Honorable Mention to the other great chili’s: Longhorn Steakhouses’ Brisket chili, and of course the chili from Jimmie’s Ladder 11. The Spiciest chili was Harrigan’s chili. Other great, hearty traditional chili’s included Elsa’s Restaurant and Slyder’s Tavern. Buckin Donkey Grille’s traditional chili was great, and they even served chicken sausage gumbo that was to die for. Even amateur entries like Chef Daddy’s Firehouse won hearts with their chicken chili.
The real winner here was the AMBUCS charity who raises money to help disabled children and adults in the Miami Valley. It is a local chapter and the funds stay local to help those in need in the Dayton area. If you have never attended this event, it is a complete blast. There was chili, beer, hot dogs, wine and pop (all you can eat). There were casino games like blackjack, showdown, dice games and spin the wheel games. The upstairs area even had a Bingo area !
It was a true Food Adventure and Gamblers paradise! You have 12 month to get your gastro-intestinal tract in shape for this one. Don’t miss this event next year, it truly was a gas !
Want more photos and tongue in cheek fun from the one and only FOOD ADVENTURES CREW? Then “like” us on FACEBOOK by clicking HERE.
We are not food critics, we are two “foodies in our forties” who love to eat ! This is not our job, this is our hobby, so we don’t have an agenda ! That’s why our stuff is original! Often imitated, but never duplicated you can find us every week right here on Dayton Most Metro !
As always, check out our gallery photos below for some amazing food shots !
Cold beer and hot chili is a recipe for a Food Adventure. Last Friday night, a large crowd enjoyed all the chili, adult beverages and gambling action they wanted at the 26th Annual AMBUCS Chili Cookoff and Casino night at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds. All the proceeds went to benefit Dayton AMBUCS, a charity service organization that is creating mobility and independence for people with disabilities. The Big Ragu and the Food Adventures Crew was lucky enough to be asked to be “Special Judge” for the event. We had a blast, hung out with Dayton Mayor Gary Leitzel, and ate some terrific chili.
First off, we tried each and every chili offered. We loved the traditional chili from Flannigans, Atrium Grille, Buckin Donkey Grille, Miami Valley Golf Club, Jimmie’s Ladder 11, Elsa’s and Slyder’s. Our taste buds enjoyed unique meat twists on chili from Smokin BBQ, Vinny’s Bar & Grill, Christopher’s, and Longhorn Steakhouse . Things heated up with the spicy chili from Scratch Catering and Harrigans Tavern. Unique tasting chili from The Tropics and Cafe Mexico were nice surprises, too. There were even great entries from individual cooks like “Deer Slayer” and “Chef Daddy’s Firehouse Chili!”
We loved and finished them all, from white bean chili, to every piece of venison, and every jalapeno. But, we had to pick our favorites, and here were our choices:
Food Adventure’s Top 3:
1) Deer Slayer
2) Jimmie’s Ladder 11
3) Smokin’ BBQ
After trying all of the chili we ate some hot dogs then tried our luck at Bingo, Blackjack and Dice games. Most importantly, we donated to a great organization, AMBUCS. It was great to see local people helping a charity that reaches out to all sorts of people with physical disabilities. We were honored to be a part of this special event and this was a Food Adventure that will always remain close to our heart. See you next year !
If you were not there, but want to help out a great cause, visit ambucs.com, and see how you can get involved.
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