There is nothing else like Matera Caffe in the Dayton area, and not only because they use two “F’s” in Caffe. Why is Matera so special? Because they mill their own flour and wheat on site. Yes, you read that correctly. It doesn’t get fresher than this, and we have the flour marks on our clothes to prove it! But that is only one of the great qualities of this eatery.
The owners of Matera Cafe have developed a place that is perfect example of why we do Food Adventures. Inspired by a missionary trip to Honduras, Mary & Larry Rowland decided to open up a coffee house which would later turn into a full blown restaurant. Close to their missionary work, they named the restaurant after the city of Matera, Italy where the movie “Passion of the Christ” was filmed. The result is a well groomed restaurant that is as immaculate on the inside as it is outside. It looks like the “after” pictures from the Kitchen Nightmares TV show. There is even an outdoor dining area under the overhang.
As we entered Matera, a wonderful baked cinnamon smell greeted our noses, as well as the warmth a wood fired oven. The chilly day made this a wonderful, inviting atmosphere. Friendly servers explained the menu and the daily specials. We were already drooling.
You already know they mill their own flour and wheat to make pizza dough, breads and waffles. Well, they also make their own salad dressings and pancake syrup. We tried the homemade waffle and syrup together, and it was great. The Liege style Belgian Waffles are served with seasonal fruit and whipped cream. A very unique, fresh tasting waffle was unlike any we have ever eaten.
Our Food Adventure to Matera Caffe would not be complete unless we tried one of the pizzas cooked in the wood fired oven. We tried the Margherita Pizza, which is topped with roma tomatoes, romano cheese, fresh basil, mozzarella & olive oil. The pizza was cooked perfectly, and the dough was so fresh that it had an incredible softness to it. We were blown away.
Another item we loved was the Americano Sandwich. It starts with their freshly baked ciabatta bread made from scratch. The sandwich ingredients include fire roasted chicken, roasted roma tomatoes and arugula spinach. The sandwich was also topped with an incredible pesto sauce that is homemade from herbs grown on site. We are still raving about the Americano sandwich as one of our all time favorites.
Our Food Adventure ended in a tour of the milling operation. We were very impressed at the hard work and passion that goes into making this menu. Matera is one of a kind, so look for this little known spot to catch even more buzz in the coming months.
Dayton foodies should definitely check out Matera Caffe. The staff and owners go out of their way to accommodate patrons. They even offered us some wood fire roasted veggies as an alternative to Saratoga potato chips as a side. Something not to miss, is the full Honduran coffee menu and various teas to compliment any meal. The prices are affordable and the portions are nicely sized. We devoured so much food that The Big Ragu actually had a rare “to go container!” There is much more to come from Matera, as the owners plan to expand the dining area outside and have just recently secured a liquor license. So take a drive down State Route 73 towards Franklin and experience the delicious cuisine like we did. It is definitely a homemade experience from start to finish.
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For hours, directions and menu information please visit them at www.materacaffe.com.