Mel-O-Dee Restaurant

Review by: Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle

Mel-O-Dee is a locally popular family-style restaurant near Dayton that is especially appreciated for breakfast and bakery items, and its Broasted chicken. We passed on the chicken, not being big fans of the pressure-frying technique, but just about every table in the restaurant on this busy Saturday evening had plates and platters of chicken, and it sure did look good. If we’re in the area again, we may give it a try.

What to eat at Mel-O-Dee

They bake loaves of white and rye bread, and when you enter you can see bags of the bread lined up near the cash register. These loaves are a popular take-home item. A basket of slices is brought to the table when you sit down. It’s good, old-fashioned American bread, sliced thick, soft and fresh. There’s a large menu of home-style favorites. We ordered a beef hot-shot, which held a special boxed place of honor on the menu, but were disappointed with the lukewarm cube steak and bogus-seeming potatoes, blanketed with a good dark gravy. It could have come straight from Sysco.

On the other hand, from the daily specials menu, the stuffed cabbage was a real winner. Tomato, cabbage, meat and juices, it tasted like soulful home-cooking. And a dessert special, orange cake, was terrific, the dense and sandy-textured pound cake layers separated by orange icing.

We’re not yet sure how to approach this restaurant, but we suspect that the specials menu may provide the best food in the house, along with the bakery items. And perhaps that Broasted chicken is worth a try.

What To Eat

Stuffed Cabbage

Beef Hot Shot

Orange Cake



Mel-O-Dee Restaurant Recipes


What do you think of Mel-O-Dee Restaurant?

2 Responses to “Mel-O-Dee Restaurant”

Josh Shearer

December 24th, 2009

After hearing so many wonderful things about this gem I finally made my way out on a snowy and wintry Saturday. I arrived to find a somewhat busy restaurant with a warm feel and smiling faces everywhere.

The menu consists of comfort food. The main specialty at Mel-O-Dee is Broasted chicken and you can instantly smell it as you walk in the door. They serve breakfast all day, and their pancakes look fluffy, but the smell of the Broasted chicken was too overpowering. I opted for the Mel-O-Dee Broasted Chicken Specialty which consists of a wing, thigh, breast, and leg with two sides. I chose hash browns and Broasted potatoes. I was going to get a cinnamon roll for a little breakfast until I spotted the biscuits and gravy and instantly added a half order to my already expanding order.

While the Broasted chicken was being prepared I was able to snack on my cinnamon roll which was served piping hot, topped with a nice sweet glaze. It was tender and moist from the core to the outer layers, and everything you want from a cinnamon roll: brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter goodness.

Shortly afterwords the chicken arrived, so hot that I quickly burned the roof of my mouth. Each piece was juicy and full of flavor with an excellent crispy skin that I just fell in love with. The hash browns were in need of some serious flavor as they were very soft and could have been cooked much longer. The Broasted potatoes, cut into thirds, were very flavorful as they had the same crust as the chicken.

As good as the Broasted chicken and sides were, the biscuits and gravy were excellent and have instantly vaulted to the top of my all-time favorite biscuits and gravy list. The biscuits were buttery, soft, and full of flavor. The gravy was just peppery enough to be noticeable but not so much that it overwhelmed the biscuits, and there was plenty of it to smother the biscuits.

Just when I thought I had enough I spied a dessert case with assorted pies and instantly there was enough room for just one piece of pie. They had numerous fruit and cream pies. I chose coconut cream, a personal favorite, and it was quite excellent: lots of coconut in the creamy filling with a perfect amount of whipped cream on top. The crust could have been a tad bolder in flavor but held its own against the rest of the excellent flavors.


Lee V. Hulick

June 30th, 2009

With all due respect to Bruce and Sue, passing on a restaurant’s signature dish is just crazy. So I’ll pick up their slack and tell you that the Mel-O-Dee IS Broasted chicken. I’m willing to bet they didn’t invent Broasting, but it’s safe to say they’ve perfected it.

And no plate with their Broasted chicken would be complete without a helping of their homemade coleslaw and their out-of-this-world mashed potatoes with their own gravy. I know I’m supposed to give paragraphs of details but sometimes that just isn’t necessary and this is one of those times. Bruce and Sue nailed everything except the chicken. It’s priced right, tastes great and looks great; what more do you what in a family-owned joint?

If you do like pressure-fried foods, especially chicken, take the short two mile detour off of Interstate 70 at exit 41 to experience the best in Broasted chicken. I’ve eaten my fair share of meals at Mel-O-Dee and have NEVER been disappointed with any dish.


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