Cozy cuisine

Light lunching at Beavercreek’s Cherry House Café

House of Blues Chicken Sandwich at Beavercreek’s Cherry House Café; photo: Paula Johnson

By Paula Johnson

Cherry House Café, located on Meadowbridge Drive in Beavercreek, is owned by Bill and Annette Mangan. The couple has well over 50 years experience in the food service industry, previously owning the Peasant Stock Cafés in Dayton and the Oasis Café in Xenia. Their current place is small and cozy. As PIP (Palate In Progress) and I parked out front we noticed a ladybug flag festooning the tiny porch, along with pots of flowers and a café table or two.

Cherry House’s website touts the Mangans’ years of experience working with some of the best chefs in the Dayton area as well as the restaurant’s homestyle selections prepared from scratch daily. They offer boxed lunches and even a drive-through window for pick-up orders. The menu is not extensive with standard breakfast offerings, a few appetizers, cold and hot sandwiches, a few burgers, salads, and three pasta dishes. That seemed to be the extent of dinner offerings, but there were two dinner specials listed on a chalkboard we saw as we entered.

It’s a seat-yourself kind of place, and we did after being encouraged by a server at the front counter, which also houses a big display case filled with pies, muffins, and cookies. Settling in to a booth at the front window, we noted a few other tables with older ladies and a young family. We had arrived at an odd time, around 3, halfway between lunch and dinner, so PIP and I decided to split the difference and order a sandwich and a hot entrée-style dish.

The menu description of the House of Blues Chicken Sandwich ($8.95) had us both going: “Served on toasted sourdough with crispy chicken, grilled onions, house sauce, Swiss, Parmesan, bleu cheese, lettuce, and tomato.” I love a good messy sandwich and I loved the idea of all that cheese and sauce. And onions, always. Except sadly, there were none. And there was no gooey cheesy mess. PIP’s favorite is sourdough, but we both found the bread under-toasted, and the sandwich curiously lacking any flavor punch from the hard-to-detect cheese and the house sauce. I got a mostly mayonnaise taste. The really good thing about this sandwich, however, was the crispy chicken— plump, juicy, and with a tasty coating. If my expectations hadn’t been raised with the promise of sauce and cheeses, I’d call this a pretty good effort. The salad that went along with it was generous and colorful with lots of toppings, but Cherry House unfortunately does not make their own dressings.

After I checked that the crust was homemade, I ordered the Cheeseburger Pie ($8.95), perhaps inspired by the display case filled with dessert pies and definitely by the memory of a dish by that name I made often when my children were small. It was made with a cheesy choux pastry and lots of onions, fresh thyme, and garlic. I was sure this cheeseburger pie would be nothing like the one I remembered—it seems everyone has their own version of this recipe. Cherry House Café’s was Italian-style served with toasted bread (not certain it was garlic toast: I didn’t detect any, if so) and lots of sweet tomato sauce and a mild cheese topping. For my taste, way too much sauce with a very familiar taste. I asked PIP what he thought. “Did your school cafeteria serve pizza burgers on Fridays? That’s exactly what this taste reminds me of,” he said, licking his fork. Nailed it. I picked soup of the day as my side, a cheesy cauliflower. Really thick and cheddary, it would have been a better pairing with the sandwich, as would the salad with the Cheeseburger Pie.

Both of our choices were well priced and came with a cookie. “Really?” I asked our server. “Yep. But you can upgrade to one of our other desserts from the cases up front for an additional charge,” he pointed out. After being read the copious list of options, we decided to stick with the cookies. We picked a chocolate apricot, and one containing coconut, my all-time favorite baking ingredient. These cookies are of the gooey variety, not the crisp-and-crunchy kind, for all you cookie folks out there. Not a bad way to end the meal, and included in the price.

Did I find much unique at Cherry House Café? Not really, but I did find a pleasant casual light lunch spot at a good value. I am hoping they’ll remember my onions next time, and I might just try a slice of pie.

Cherry House Café is located at 1241 Meadowbridge Dr. in Beavercreek. For more information, please call 937.320.6200 or visit

Cuisine (Taste) 50% Max Value (Price based) 25% Max Service (Quality of) 25% Max
39% 24% 22%
Total Rating Score: 85%


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Paula Johnson
Dayton City Paper Dining Critic Paula Johnson would like every meal to start with a champagne cocktail and end with chocolate soufflé. As long as there’s a greasy burger and fries somewhere in the middle. Talk food with Paula at

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