Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Great Lakes >
Mar 13, 2011 08:30 PM

recs for franklin & mason ohio

spending a weekend in these towns soon for a soccer tournament. i am sure we will have team meals at familiar chains but i am always on the look out for anything noteworthy. any and all comers appreciated.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. What types of food are you looking for and what's your base of operations? (Is this for the MASC Tourney in April?)

    7 Replies
    1. re: JohnE O

      I have seen Pizza Tower, just outside Mason, loaded with soccer players at times.

      Pizza Tower
      8945 Governors Way, Cincinnati, OH 45249

      1. re: Fibber McGee

        johne o: we were down last weekend for the middletown spring blast.

        what is it with ohio pizza and it sucking so bad? we stayed at the hotel on saturday and ordered in a bunch of pizza and salads. one of the parents was going to order from one place, but the desk worker steered her to another, "better" place. the kids hated it and the adults agreed that it was none too great. round pizzas but the crust was was too bready/chewy/underdone. i don't need new york-style thin crust for carry out, but at least give me a somewhat crispy bottom like alibi or even jets. the sauce was also way too sweet. last fall we had a tournament west of toledo and ordered in one night from donatos. better than what we had this trip, but not by much.

        one of the parents also walked over to skyline so everyone could try cincy chili. i have had it before and am not a big fan (i tried a few spoonfuls again). i was amused, though, by the vitriol spewed from nearly everyone that tried it. the cinnimon/allspice thing was too much for everyone. however, i must say that the bottle of skyline hot suace was pretty impressive - pretty hot (jalapeno, cayanne, & tobasco peppers) and very good flavors. needless to say, one of the moms who is a columbus native took a lot of abuse for bad pizza, chilli and slow driving in the left lane by everyone with an ohio plate.

        sadly, our friday night dinner was across the street from the hotel at applebys. tough to rally a dozen parents and 15 kids to venture out and be chowish.

        1. re: xman887

          As a native Michigander living in Ohio for x amount of years, you either acquire a tolerance for what is here or you just go without. What pizza place did you order from?

          1. re: xman887

            Pizza is kind of hit or miss in Cincy. If you got one with "too sweet" sauce I'm betting it was LaRosa's. Theirs falls in the "miss" category. The best multi-location pizza is Dewey's around here.

            As I tell everyone that tries it, Cincy chili is a condiment. Even I won't eat it by itself. Has to be on hot dogs or spaghetti.

            As to slow driving in the left lane, yeah, Ohio drivers absolutely SUCK at knowing the left lane is for passing. But I blame Ohio State Students as the phenomenon appears to be the worst between Columbus & Cleveland. (U.C. Bearcats are way smarter).

            1. re: JohnE O

              It's one thing I hate about the drive to Cleveland. Once you get on I-71 it can get really aggravating. it's a night and day difference between that and I-75.

              I was driving through Harrison a couple of years ago, was hungry, only had about a couple of bucks on me and decided to stop in on a local chili parlor there. I did a pint, carryout, by itself, and it really wasn't so bad. But maybe I was in a good mood that day.

              1. re: JohnE O

                we ordered from la rosa's. a big miss.

              2. re: xman887

                I'm guessing you stayed at the Drury Inn, xman? I'm from Middletown, and unfortunately the restaurants are limited to Applebees, Olive Garden, Lonestar, O'Charleys and a few other chains. No real "mom and pop" type of places and certainly nothing gourmet.
                I, too, think your pizza was probably from Larosas as it is awfully sweet. Cousin Vinny's is the best we have in town but that's not saying much!
                I do love Skyline though.. tastes like childhood to me!

          2. The only really decent place I have found in Franklin is Smith's Bistro. Pizza and sandwiches, pretty much. Not exactly chowish but good for what it is. It's located at 543 S. Main. Mason is touristy, as King's Island and a major tennis tournament (men and women on separate dates) are located there. You're not too far from either Dayton or Cincinnati.

            1. Mason will be easy. Tons of restaurants. It is high income suburbia.

              Franklin is poor and blue collar. It has fewer choices.

              One newer place in Franklin I recommend is Matera Caffe:

              The pizza is really good.

              The Caffe
              2013 E Michigan Ave, Lansing, MI 48912

              1. The Polo Grill on Deerfield Blvd (west of Mason-Montgomery Rd.) just received a good write up in the Enquirer. It's one of the few non-chain restaurants in the area.

                1. In Mason, you should try the Malaysian restaurant Straits of Malacca. It's the only Malaysian place in the tri-state. They got a variety of dishes, great flavors. I like their spring rolls (popiah), duck sandwich (roti john), and their sweet tea (teh tarik).