For more than 20 years now, the Trolley Stop has been a tried-and-true part of the Oregon District’s dining scene. It puts its own spin on locally sourced, made-from-scratch food and a special ambiance.
And the secret is out.
The restaurant was selected as a finalist from the organization National Elite, which recognizes restaurants and chefs across the county and recently found out they had won. The results will be published at the end of the month on National Elite’s website.
“We are so grateful to whoever nominated us. This recognition is exciting — hopefully, people will stay happy with what we try to do here,” said Robin Sassenberg, co-owner and general manager of the Trolley Stop.
Each National Elite Awarded restaurant demonstrates the successful combination of the following: flavorful dishes, attention to detail, patron satisfaction and dedication and passion.
Here are just a few reasons why I agree that this spot is special and is much deserving of any recognition it receives:
1) Their menu is filled with interesting items.
If you are vegan, vegetarian or a die-hard meat eater, the Trolley Stop menu has something for you. I’m impressed with any place that has a BBQ Seitan Plate ($9) next to two all-beef hot dogs, topped with homemade chili and cheese ($7.50).
2) Their menu is always evolving.
Six weeks ago, Chef Rae Rosbough added some new dishes including buffalo chicken meatballs ($7) tossed in Frank’s Red Hot with a zingy ranch dipping sauce and celery bites; an Indian-inspired Saag-n-Naan ($8) spinach dip served with warm bread; Herculean Burger ($12) featuring a beef patty mixed with Gyro spices topped with cucumbers, Tzatziki sauce, Feta, lettuce, tomato and onion. They also have great fish tacos ($12) filled with Mexi-spiced Mahi Mahi, corn and black bean salsa, shredded cabbage and roasted poblano crema.
3) They have the bloody Mary and Mimosa bar of your dreams.
On the weekends, the Trolley Stop features a huge bar for garnishing both Bloody Marys ($7) and Mimosas. The vodka pours can sometimes vary based on the bartender, but mostly they are generous and the best part is you can tailor your drink to your own taste.
4) They have one of the best happy hours in town.
Monday through Sunday, seven days a week from 4 to 7 p.m., you can walk in and enjoy half-priced appetizers and half-priced well drinks. It’s a true deal and having the option every day of the week is not something you come across very often.
5) They are going green.
Dayton Regional Green recently approached the bar to be a part of the “Be Your Own Change” campaign. The request is to limit the use of plastic straws and plastic items. “My staff just jumped on it. We are in the process of limiting all disposable plastic items,” said Sassenberg.
6) They have a beer school.
They’ve had a beer tasting every single first Wednesday of every single month since December of 2008. It’s hosted and run by Belmont Party Supply and Brewtensils; one of their gurus teaches us about the flavors and history, components and brewers. They serve nine samples of various types of beer, with heavy snacks and chocolate and chances at a door prize.
7) They seriously have one of the best patios in town.
The quaint courtyard in the back of the restaurant is a little gem to sit in and soak up the ambiance. If you haven’t been, treat yourself.
8) Their beers.
With rotating taps and a diverse selection, this is a great spot for beer lovers. The draft of the month selection is priced at $5.
9) Their live events.
There’s still time to sign up for a Lip Sync Battle on June 28 at 8 p.m. and they have a full calendar of different live music shows on their website.
10) It’s an institution.
The tavern celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2015. Here’s to 20 more!