There is one thing that causes my antenna to raise higher than mac and cheese with bacon -- and that thing is mac and cheese with pork belly.
Wandering Griffin, the recently opened brewpub in Beavercreek near Wright State University, has such a dish.
My dining companion and I dived into a large serving of it during the Miami Valley Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Week (now through Sunday, Jan. 29).
This rich, cheesy, creamy and spicy delight is on the regular menu for $12.
The three course restaurant week meal deal at Wandering Griffin is $20.17.
A 9-ounce pour of one craft beer can be added for $6.
The pork belly mac and cheese is made with cavatappi noodles, bechamel sauce, cheddar cheese and pork belly pieces with a panko Parmesan crust.
The subtle heat comes from roasted jalapenos that help bring the dish alive.
While we are on the topic of pork belly, the restaurant at 3725 Presidential Drive also served pork belly grilled cheese.
A pork belly pizza is also on its artisan pizza menu that is expected to be launched next week.
The main menu is filled will surprises.
Take Wandering Griffin’s take on tater tots.
Restaurant co-owner Brian Young said the Scratch-Made Tater Tots are inspired by the tots at Burntwood Tavern near Cleveland.
Eight of the large tots rounds are served with a chipotle ketchup and garlic aioli.
The savory tots came out crispy and hot, just the way you want a tater tot.
Many of the items are on the expansive menu are inspired by things he found while traveling.
On the Wandering Griffin menu, you’ll find a pan-seared wild salmon, salads, fish and chips, Wisconsin Bratwurst, a loose meat sandwich and the Wedell-Williams Wiener named for the Wedell-Williams Model 44 racing aircraft.
A model of the airplane hangs in Wandering Griffin.
We also tried Wandering Griffin’s “The Hanger,” Shiner Bock marinated hanger steak grilled and served with a wild mushroom ragout, roasted potatoes and veggies.
The came out tender with comforting vegetables that reminded us of the season.
Young raved about Wandering Griffin breakfast sandwiches, coffee and weekend brunch.
The Wanderlust Coffee Bar, a partnership between Wandering Griffin and
Ghostlight Coffee in Dayton, is open 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Thursday and 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The coffee shop is open 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.
The restaurant is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday to Thursday; 11 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.