Summer dishes and flavors are back, worth getting excited over

Taco Street Co. Birria Tacos cooking on the grill. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

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Taco Street Co. Birria Tacos cooking on the grill. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

Each passing season brings cause for celebration with new flavors and events to highlight the time passing.

My husband and I recently stopped by Watermark in Miamisburg (www.eatdrinkwatermark.com) for dinner and I was reminded of just how lovely it is to visit with an old seasonal friend.

The restaurant’s much beloved Fried Green Tomatoes ($11.95 for 3) were back on the menu and I didn’t hesitate with my request — bring them out as soon as they are ready. They are a fond favorite that I knew I must have.

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Fried Green Tomatoes ($11.95 for 3) will stay on the Watermark menu until the end of July. CONTRIBUTED/ALEXIS LARSEN

Fried Green Tomatoes ($11.95 for 3) will stay on the Watermark menu until the end of July. CONTRIBUTED/ALEXIS LARSEN

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Fried Green Tomatoes ($11.95 for 3) will stay on the Watermark menu until the end of July. CONTRIBUTED/ALEXIS LARSEN

Part of Chef-owner Maria Walusis’ summer menu of options, these are only on the menu through the month of July and without question a dish worth seeking out.

The perfect green tomato slices are fried to a perfect golden crisp and topped with bourbon-bacon jam, creamy goat cheese, and a smoked tomato coulis. The play between the perfectly ripe smoked tomato and the green tomato with the sweet bacon jam and the savory soft goat cheese is a perfect symphony of savory flavor married to the best fruit that the garden has to offer. Get them this month while you can.

For entrées a grilled rack of Beeler Farms pork ($32.95) brined in brown sugar and apple cider, grilled and served with fresh summer succotash (summer squash, zucchini, caramelized onion, sweet corn, and bacon) and pimento-cheese grits with a schmear of bacon-fat applesauce is another summertime entry to tempt, and Walusis’ favorite on the menu.

Whatever you order, don’t leave without those tomatoes — they are a serious treat.

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A savory sweet corn bisque ($4.50 cup, $6.50 bowl) featuring fresh summer sweet corn, sautéed with onion cream and butter, garnished with scallion and bacon crumbles is also back.

Pair it with the Watermark salmon burger ($15.95) pan seared and topped with sliced avocado, housemade remoulade and pickled red onion or a pan seared salmon filet ($29.95) with crispy skin served on wilted fresh spinach with savory Cannellini beans and caramelized onion, topped with over-roasted tomatoes.

In addition to getting excited over seasonal dishes popping back up on menus all over town I am thrilled to have more food trucks and themed outdoor dining events.

Next weekend is a great example. On July 15 from 4-8 p.m. there will be two food events within walking distance of each other downtown.

The first Dayton Birria Fest at the Yellow Cab Tavern (www.yellowcabtavern.com) will be presented by More Than A Apron LLC and Kungfu BBQ. Nearly a dozen food vendors are stepping up to serve their take on Birria tacos and Birria inspired dishes.

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More Than A Apron LLC, known for its birria tacos, is presenting the First Dayton Birria Fest along with Kungfu BBQ at Yellow Cab Tavern. Several other vendors have confirmed participation. CONTRIBUTED

Credit: Submitted Photo

More Than A Apron LLC, known for its birria tacos, is presenting the First Dayton Birria Fest along with Kungfu BBQ at Yellow Cab Tavern. Several other vendors have confirmed participation. CONTRIBUTED

Credit: Submitted Photo

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More Than A Apron LLC, known for its birria tacos, is presenting the First Dayton Birria Fest along with Kungfu BBQ at Yellow Cab Tavern. Several other vendors have confirmed participation. CONTRIBUTED

Credit: Submitted Photo

Credit: Submitted Photo

Birria is a traditional Mexican stew that originated in the state of Jalisco. The meat, which in Mexico is typically goat and in the United States tends to be beef, is slow cooked until tender in a bath of spices. For taco this stew meat is piled into a corn tortilla with cheese, dipped into the broth from the stew and cooked on a griddle until hot and crisp. When made right they are unbelievably satisfying.

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Confirmed vendors include: More Than A Apron, Kung Fu BBQ, The Pizza Bandit, Taqueria Mixteca, Home Cooked Vibez, Feeling Soulful, Dip Tacos, Cruisin Cuisine, Slide Thru, IQuisine, Lit Littys and JD’s Ice Cream. DJ Ike B will be spinning his eclectic mix of party music from the 80s and 90s at the free event.

At the very same time, just blocks away, the folks from The Barrel House on Third Street will be hosting the Forking Pierogi (https://streetfoodfinder.com/theforkingpierogi) food truck from Columbus.

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It's hard to find pierogis like these at The Amber Rose Restaurant and Catering in Dayton, but Forking Pierogi food truck's menu hints at coming close. The Columbus-based food truck will be in Dayton on Saturday, July 15. FILE

It's hard to find pierogis like these at The Amber Rose Restaurant and Catering in Dayton, but Forking Pierogi food truck's menu hints at coming close. The Columbus-based food truck will be in Dayton on Saturday, July 15. FILE

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It's hard to find pierogis like these at The Amber Rose Restaurant and Catering in Dayton, but Forking Pierogi food truck's menu hints at coming close. The Columbus-based food truck will be in Dayton on Saturday, July 15. FILE

It’s hard to find pierogis like this with a menu outside of the ones at Amber Rose (https://www.theamberrose.com) that makes you want to enter a food coma upon reading it.

The O.G. ($13) is just like the ones all the moms used to make (those who made pierogi served with caramelized onions, kielbasa, sour cream and mustard). The Livin’ In a Hipster’s Paradise ($14) is topped with maple bacon brussels sprouts, hot honey and Parmesan cheese. The cool as a cucumber ($13) sounds perfect for summer topped with lemon aioli and served with cucumber salad.

It’s great fun seeing restaurants starting to get back in the swing of things with seasonal menus that are wowing customers after such a challenging time. Same with seeing more and more food trucks and food vendors that are putting their passion out into the world.

It’s terrific seeing more and more events popping up — even better when it’s a few blocks away and you can do both.

Dayton Eats looks at the regional food stories and restaurant news that make mouths water. Share info about your menu updates, special dinners and events, new chefs, interesting new dishes and culinary adventures. Do you know of exciting outdoor spaces, new exciting format changes, specials, happy hours, restaurant updates or any other tasty news you think is worth a closer look at? E-mail Alexis Larsen at alexis.e.larsen@hotmail.com with the information and we will work to include it in future coverage.

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