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Middletown restaurants: 7 places you must try this year

Looking for place to dine out in Middletown? Here are seven places to try:

Gracie’s

The modest, focused menu at Gracie’s, 1131 Central Ave., features Crispy Pimento Cheese Balls, Deviled Eggs and Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Citrus Aioli among its starters. Starting next week, the fall menu will introduce a Flat Iron Steak and see the return of customer-favorite Chicken Marsala, in addition to other favorites including The Burger, Seared Salmon and Meatloaf among its main dishes.

MORE: 5 things to know about Gracie’s, downtown Middletown’s newest restaurant

A massive blackboard highlights new daily specials: Half Price Wine Night (Monday), Taco Tuesday, Burger + Beer for $9.95 (Wednesday), Mac + Cheese of the Week (Thursday) and chef-inspired specials on Friday and Saturday that will often include a Berkshire Pork Chop and Seared Scallops.

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There’s also a selection of wine, beer, top-shelf liquor and craft cocktails.

Blast Furnace Pizza is now open at 1126 Central Ave. in downtown Middletown.

Blast Furnace Pizza

Blast Furnace Pizza, 1126 Central Ave., offers pizza, salads and desserts, as well as lunch specials, lunch delivery to area businesses, a large dining area and a downloadable Blast Furnace Pizza app to place orders.

MORE: Pizza restaurant opens in renovated downtown Middletown space

The restaurant, whose name and decor pay tribute to the Middletown’s steel-making history, works with local nonprofit organizations to help with fundraising efforts, holding a “Community Caring, Community Sharing” fundraising night every Thursday night.

Bourbon’s Craft Kitchen & Bar at 2231 N. Verity Parkway in Middletown has a large selection of bourbons and other bar and food items.  (NICK GRAHAM/STAFF)

Bourbon’s Craft Kitchen & Bar

Bourbon’s Craft Kitchen & Bar, 2231 N. Verity Parkway, features “gourmet street food” such as steak burgers, broasted boneless wings, hot dogs and fresh guacamole. There’s also adventurous fare such as queso poutine fries, white cheddar mac ‘n’ cheese, an Asian brisket taco, gyro tacos and chicken and waffles.

Among the eight different hot dogs, is a “Grippo’s Dog” that comes in a Stout bun and is topped by Muenster cheese, bourbon-smoked hickory bacon, homemade cole slaw, a malt vinegar sauce and crushed Grippo’s potato chips.

MORE: 5 things to know about Middletown’s new Bourbon’s Craft Kitchen & Bar

There’s also “endless bourbon of all kinds” — 40, by our count — plus wine, craft beer and a full bar complete with craft cocktails. There are bourbon barrels in which the business is aging its own Old Fashioned concoction. Desserts include Belgium waffles and skillet cookies.

Rapid Fired Pizza continues its rapid expansion

Rapid Fired Pizza

Rapid Fired Pizza’s 4,000-square-foot location at 3583 Dixie Highway is one of the largest in the Kettering-based chain and includes seven 50-inch televisions and ample seating, along with a wide variety of local craft beer and domestic beers.

MORE: Middletown pizza place celebrates milestone

It features a dozen different sauces to create one’s own pizza. For those watching carbs or counting calories, Rapid Fired offers four craft salads starting at less than 400 calories. Custom salads may be created with one’s own choice of fresh toppings.

Peggy Carroll makes banana pudding at Central Market & Deli in Middletown, which also offers a full deli.  (GREG LYNCH / STAFF)

Central Market & Deli

Central Market & Deli at 1218 Central Ave. in downtown Middletown carries Walnut Creek products with full deli, hot and cold sandwiches, pizza, breakfast sandwiches, salads and fruit cups, along with fresh produce shakes smoothies, just to name a few.

Party trays of deli meats and cheeses are available for special events, as well as party subs. The business also supports area entrepreneurs by selling their homemade desserts.

MORE: 5 things to know about Middletown’s newest deli

Central Market & Deli delivers anything the business carries to homes and businesses in Middletown, Trenton and Franklin.

West Central Wine co-owners Monica Nenni, left, and Melissa Kutzera.  (NICK GRAHAM/STAFF)

West Central Wine

Located at 1120 Central Ave., the business offers retail wine, wines by the glass, beer, cocktails, and a special focus on bourbons, according to co-owner Monica Nenni. 

“We will also offer light food options that complement wine such as meat and cheese boards, homemade hummus, daily sandwiches and pasta salads,” Nenni said. “West Central Wine also will host wine tastings and special events, perfect for bridal showers, birthday parties or just getting together with friends in a comfortable atmosphere.” 

MORE: ‘Message from heaven’ found hidden in Middletown wine shop after nearly 60 years

The Slice in Middletown. (CONTRIBUTED)

The Slice

In the heart of downtown Middletown at 1300 Central Ave., The Slice is a full restaurant and bar. On the menu are pizza, chicken wings, Italian sausage hoagies, steak hoagies, chicken hoagies and salads, as well as appetizers like garlic knots, french bread pizza and cheese sticks.

MORE: New restaurant, The Slice, offers pizza and more in Middletown

Cooked in stone ovens, the pizza is available by the slice, not just by the pie. Specialty pizzas abound, including Pickle Pie, Chicken-Bacon-Ranch Pizza, Veggie Pizza, Buffalo Chicken Pizza and Barbecue Pizza.

Local beers are available for purchase, as well brews from other local, independent breweries.

MORE: Sports bar with focus on darts set to open this fall in Middletown

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