The Hawthorn Grill (Kettering)
There are a couple of local foodie Facebook groups & pages I follow, and one of them consistently posts about The Hawthorn Grill, plus a local radio station plays their adverts, so I knew “of” the place but never considered it an option for my gluten free needs. That was, until I saw Chef Candace Rinke on ‘Living Dayton‘, our local news/entertainment lunch hour program. I was only half paying attention with the T.V. droning in the kitchen while I scarfed down lunch in between batches of gluten free biscotti. That was, until I heard “we put a little bit of rice flour on our walleye…because we have a lot of gluten intolerant people, we use a little rice flour… it makes a nice little crust and it’s delicious.” This statement alone was enough to get The Hawthorn Grill on my list to try.
Unfortunately it took me a little while to get there. (Ahem, this Living Dayton piece was in December, and I’m just now writing about it. Please forgive me!) I am quite certain waiting so long was a mistake on my end, because my lunch there could not have been more perfect.
Upon being seated (we went right at opening to miss the lunch rush) I talked with the server about my needs. She immediately said Chef Candace would come out to talk with me. I tried to persuade her not to disrupt her, but she insisted. Chef Candace was at our table in a flash with a big smile and welcoming demeanor. I expressed my needs and she explained my menu options and proceeded to share with me her practices – like wrapping GF sandwiches in foil before placing them on the panini press, reading labels on everything, and making soups, sauces, rubs, stocks and ice creams in-house. Just as she stepped away she teased us with leaving room for a gooey flourless warm chocolate cake.
I ordered a turkey Ruben on gluten free (homemade in-house!) bread and held off ordering any side dishes, because, well… ‘warm chocolate cake.’
At first I thought the Ruben looked small for the ten dollar price tag, but once I dug in, I changed my mind completely. The bread was nice, toasted, not gritty, and stayed together all the way to the last bite despite the moisture content of the Russian dressing and sauerkraut. The ratio of meat to condiments was perfect, and the sandwich was more filling than my eyes gave it credit for.
Of course we had to try the Warm Chocolate Cake. It. Was. Rich. Decadent, gooey, and ‘needed’ that ice cream for balance. I probably should have stopped eating when I was full, but then I kept hitting these little bits of salt that awakened my taste buds and made them cry out for one more bite, then one more… before I knew it I was embarrassing myself and scraping the bowl with all my might to get every last morsel.
Kettering OH 45429