Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Olive: An Urban Dive

Photos by OHventures
416 E 3rd St
Dayton, OH 45402
(937) 222-3483
Cruising into Dayton, I had nearly everything planned for a fun and exciting day trip: a visit to the National Museum of the United States Air Force, a stop at downtown's RiverScape Metropark, and a stroll through the PNC 2nd Street Marketplace. The only thing missing was a fun dining experience that would send my tastebuds on an adventurous ride. A bit of research online, and chatting with my local pal Amanda led me to Olive: An Urban Dive located in what was once a Wympee Burger.
A true Dayton original, Olive: An Urban Dive is refreshing, eclectic, and surprising in a very good way. Its motto is: "local over import, labor over convenience and service over everything else." It discretely blends in with the metropolitan backdrop of Dayton's downtown roads and humbly presents total knockouts on every dish.
Right out of the gate, it was evident to me that Olive wouldn't be boring when I spotted a freezer full of Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams in the front of the restaurant. To me, this meant that it would understand food and know how to deliver exciting flavor profiles. It was also evident to me that this tiny diner was a huge hit when the waitress asked me if my two friends and I had reservations - at 11:00 AM! We did not have reservations, however, they managed to "squeeze us in" by taking us to a "community table" on the back patio, where we (happily) sat with strangers.
Lining the edges of the fenced in patio were tomato plants and other herbs and veggies that took the meaning of "local" ingredients to a whole new level! The waitress soon arrived with my order of coffee, which happened to be a small $5 pot of French press goodness! A bit pricey, but worth the extra TLC that goes into brewing this smooth blend of Joe. Further impressing me was the fact that the coffee grounds (along with almost every table scrap) are sent right into a compost pile on site.
My friends and I dove right into this dive by ordering brunch, starting with an a la carte side of cayenne maple sausage. It was mouthwatering and the perfect blend of sweet and savory. Amanda ordered a hearty French toasted croissant, which is what I describe as being a "grown up" pancake (pictured above), with over-easy eggs (from cage free chickens) and pancetta. I ordered the special of the day, which was what I'd describe as a "grown up" and amped-up BLT (pictured below) complete with a fried egg and a side of crispy fried leeks (or, you guessed it, "grown up" onion rings)! It was fun to know that the tomato found on that BLT of mine was plucked from the plants growing right within reach of my table!

Everything found at Olive: An Urban Dive was flavorful, fresh, and fantastic (how is that for alliteration?). The restaurant prides itself in all of these things, along with the fact that they don't even own a microwave or can opener! They have an abundance of gluten free, vegan, vegetarian, and kosher offerings without sacrificing taste. The feel of the diner also adds to the overall experience.
I can't wait to head back to Dayton and try Olive for dinner in the near future!

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