Heather Neitman and her business partner Michael Dowden offer flights of bacon — like beer flights, but with strips of specially flavored bacon instead of samples of beer — at Center Street Cafe. The cafe is a rustic breakfast, lunch and brunch spot they opened about 18 months ago at 47 E. Center St.
The pair, also co-owners of VillaGraphX design firm nearby on Center Street, got the “bacon flight” idea from friends who experienced the wonders of bacon flights on trips through the south.
“I thought that was a great idea,” Dowden said.
Those southern flights were more about different types of bacon. Center Street’s flights are more about different flavors of thick-cut bacon.
The flights — eight pieces of thick-cut bacon representing four of 20 available flavors — have won fans throughout the Dayton area.
“People who get them absolutely Iove them,” Neitman said. “They feed a lot more than you think.”
Flavors include smokehouse maple, everything, six pepper cracked, Grippo’s BBQ, Caribbean jerk, Nashville hot, chili lime, garlic habanero, citrus cedar, garlic sriracha, honey sriracha, voodoo, honey garlic, cinnamon toast, rosemary garlic, Tennessee whiskey and Texas smokehouse.
The restaurant gets the bacon from Bender Meats at Findlay Market or adds spices to flavor bacon from an Indiana farm itself.
>> RELATED: Best of Dayton 2018 winners: Food & Dining
Dowden said a group of customers, staff members, friends and Farmersville residents including the police chief and sergeant helped pick out the flavors that made the cut.
The “ones with the most robust flavor” were selected, he said.
Flights are $9.49 and come served in a bucket inside individually labeled glass mason jars.
But City Street is about more than just bacon.
Other noteworthy menu items include Cracker Jack French Toast ( thick-cut challah bread, bathed in a rich custard with Cracker Jacks and a salted caramel compound butter), the Black & Blue VooDoo Burger, poutine and delicious crispy Brussels sprouts that come flash fried and tossed with a honey glaze and chopped peanuts.
Center Street will soon add wings to its menu, Neitman said.
The restaurant’s building once held Miss Molly's Bakery & Cafe for more than a decade.
The place sat empty for about two years and Dowden said he started to think.
“ ‘God, I wish I has someplace to eat breakfast,’”he said. “We keep walking by here.”
Dowden and Neithman are both Farmersville residents.
The drew inspiration for their restaurant from friend Jennifer Dean, who owns Mudlick Tap House with her partner Forrest Williams.
Now located in downtown Dayton at 135 E. Second St., Mudlick got its start in nearby Germantown.
“We took the playbook from her,” Dowden said. “Not just the menu, but the philosophy of menu.”
He said that includes taking pride in the food presented to customers and locally sourcing as much as possible.
At Dean’s suggestion, Center Street uses an old church pew as a bench.
The wood counter was created by Dowden’s son-in-law and the wood wall design was crafted by Neitman’s father-in-law.
The photos that hang on the restaurant’s walls were taken by a former employee of their graphic company.
WANT TO GO?
What: Center Street Cafe
Where: 47 E. Center St., Farmersville
Hours: 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily