Jacob Myers Restaurant on the River in Dayton a trade up

By Lisa Denton Article posted on Thu. Nov. 22nd, 2012
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IF YOU GO

• Place: Jacob Myers Restaurant on the River, 185 Chickamauga Drive, Dayton, Tenn.

• Phone: 423-570-0023.

• Website: www.jacobmyersrestaurant.com.

• Hours: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday (lunch); 4-9 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 4-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday (dinner).

• Price range: $3.99 (Elvis sandwich)-$22.99 (16-ounce ribeye).

In a previous incarnation in downtown Dayton, Tenn., Jacob Myers Deli was a hotspot -- both for its good food and its free Wi-Fi.

In September 2010, the owners completed a move a few blocks east to a larger space overlooking Point Park at Richland Creek and renamed their enterprise Jacob Myers Restaurant on the River.

The move easily tripled the tabletops and greatly enhanced the menu. Along with the soups, sandwiches and wraps that previously brought in customers for lunch, the restaurant now boasts an expansive dinner menu, wine list, cocktails and beer.

The Menu

Lunch at the restaurant closely resembles lunch at the deli. There's an assortment of sandwiches served hot or cold. The grilled choices range from a Reuben to a Cuban to an Elvis, which anyone should know is a peanut butter and banana sandwich grilled in butter.

The cold options include the Baker's Dozen ($8.99), which boasts 13 ingredients: four meats, three cheeses, two condiments and three veggies on a bun.

Three of the cold sandwiches also appear in the wraps list, along with four other options. Salads, soups and burgers round out the lunch choices. All sandwiches and burgers are served with a choice of breads, house-made kettle chips and a pickle spear.

An online menu also lists Blue Plate Specials (lasagna, roast beef, meat loaf and country-fried steak) served for lunch Tuesday through Friday. They're priced at $5.99 and include a drink.

Dinner adds more substantial fare, with several steaks, seafood, chicken and pasta dishes among the entrees. Prices start at $9.99 for chicken tenders or a tilapia filet and rise to $22.99 for a 16-ounce Black Angus ribeye.

Appetizers, specialty salads, sandwiches and chicken wings also appear on the menu. You'll want to scope out the sweets in the dessert case as you come in the door.

The Order

On a recent dinner visit, I opted for the Dreamy Mushroom Chicken, touted as a blend of cream, button mushrooms and diced tomatoes with a hint of cayenne and garlic atop a whole grilled boneless chicken breast ($11.99). For my sides, I chose homemade mashed potatoes and asparagus.

My daughter ordered a Black Angus cheeseburger ($8.49) and onion rings.

We were both pleased with the food, our own and the samples we had of each other's.

The chicken was a cool combination of flavors that did, in fact, taste dreamy, with the diced tomatoes a nice counterpoint to the warm mushroom gravy. Though it wasn't mentioned in the menu description, the entree was served on a bed of rice.

The asparagus was tasty, though the spears were tough at the base and could have been trimmed a little more. The potatoes were especially good. They were creamy and well-seasoned with bits of the red peeling mashed in.

Using Black Angus beef and flame-grilling added extra flavor to the cheeseburger, which was served on a soft kaiser roll. The onion rings were particularly noteworthy. I hate it when the onion slice pulls completely out of the breading when you take a bite. These were perfect. They were fried to a golden crisp, and each bite stayed intact.

The Service

Our server, Dustin, could not have been more helpful. He offered advice on the menu (the asparagus and onion rings were his recommendations), and he checked in regularly for drink refills.

The Space

The restaurant has sort of a summer lodge feel, with a kayak and fishing lures among the wall decorations. Walls are predominantly brick, and the floor is hardwood.

A big-screen television dominates a wall within view of the main dining room, which is adjacent to a small bar and lounge.

In more temperate weather, diners can sit on the deck and enjoy the view.

The Verdict

Although I miss the pop-in ambiance of the former deli, Jacob Myers Restaurant on the River is a trade up. There are several places to grab a sandwich in Dayton but far fewer choices for sit-down American food that's this tasty.

Contact Lisa Denton at ldenton@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6281.

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