The Schoolhouse Restaurant

While searching for a new and different restaurant to take the lovely Robin to celebrate her twenty-ninth birthday, I came across the Schoolhouse Restaurant in Camp Dennison, east of Cincinnati.
Camp Dennison is so named because it was a Civil War army camp and hospital. The schoolhouse, built in the early 1860s, was one of the first schools in the Midwest with a second story. It is a massive building surrounded by a broad expanse of lawn, and it functioned as a school for students through the eighth grade until 1952. 
The place still boasts a home-spun appeal, from the goats and geese roaming around out back to the family-style dining to the menu, with entrees like fried chicken, roast beef, meatloaf, and baked cod, accompanied by mashed potatoes, green beans, corn, freshly made coleslaw, tossed salad, and moist sweet cornbread--all served family style.
The menu is listed on the blackboard that occupies one full wall of the single dining room. The staff are efficient at getting people in, seated, and served. 

I seldom pass up the opportunity for fried chicken--thank GOD for chicken!--and this was no exception. Though it was not the best chicken I've had, the cornbread and mashed potatoes were excellent, and the roast beef entree that Robin and Aubrey ordered was enough to feed an army, appropriately enough. The raspberry cobbler a la mode I had for dessert was finestkind, too. 
We also snuck upstairs to see the second floor, complete with stage and balcony on three sides, that is used for performances and, of course, receptions, accommodating close to 100 people. 
Following dinner, we waddled to the General Store located behind the restaurant, and the grandkids paused to watch the animals penned alongside the store. We could have stayed longer, but the lovely Robin and I had a movie to get to in Mariemont, a favorite place of ours for date nights. 

The Schoolhouse Restaurant is located at 8031 Glendale Milford Road in Camp Dennison, Ohio.  


Tom+Chee (pronounced "Tom and Chee") is a restaurant chain started just six years ago by Trew Quackenbush, Corey Ward, and their wives, Jenn and Jenny. They couldn’t afford rented space or even a food truck, so they set up an awning next to the ice-skating rink on Cincinnati’s Fountain Square in late 2009, and started serving TOMato soup and grilled CHEEse sandwiches. Get it? Tom+Chee.
I'd never had Tom+Chee, but had heard great things about it, so on a recent date night with the lovely Robin (who loves tomato soup and grilled cheese), I decided to try it out.
The menu today includes more than twenty-five eclectic grilled cheese sandwiches, three versions of tomato soup daily, and a variety of specials, all made in-house. They even serve "vegan cheese" on request. From vegan cows, I'm guessing. 
I had the creamy tomato soup, and Swiss-and-mushroom-on-rye grilled sandwich. Robin had a cheese-and-ham-with-pickle sandwich and the chunky tomato soup. It was fresh and different and delicious. 

Nowadays, Tom+Chee has opened locations as far west in the USA as Colorado and as far north and east as Boston. I counted locations in sixteen states. 

It's good food with a sense of humor. I liked it.