Diners and burger joints in Indiana needed for summer jaunts
- Spoonula May 24, 2007 08:03 AM
With gas over $3.50 a gallon I'm scrapping my plans for a trip East this summer. I'm staying right here in good ole Indiana. I've decided to take in some fairs and festivals and I want to stop at some good out of the way (or in the way...) diners and burger joints. What I'm looking for are places like Hinkle's in Bloomington, Powers Hamburger Shop in Ft. Wayne or the Curly Dog in Johnson County. I've got more restaurant directories than you can shake a stick at, but these gems are never listed!
As mentioned in my previous posts I've got maps for fried chicken, tenderloin and pies - now I'm adding a new map to my glove compartment - diners and burger joints!
I had some phenomenal pie recently at McKinley Orchard, on highway 41 just north (maybe 10 miles) of Vincennes. There is a restaurant opened Friday and Saturday nights (homestyle buffet, local produce, good fried chicken) that serves the pie, and I believe you can buy them at the farm store, or across the highway at another farm stand called Big Peach or something (there is a very big peach -- you'll know it when you see it.) I am not sure, but I think the farm stands in that part of Indiana (the melon belt) open around July 4. The restaurant is open now (weekends only.)
P.S. It's not a burger joint and I've never put this to the test, but someone told me the other day that Zagreb's has a great burger. Who knew?
Also in Bloomington, Nick's English Hut has good Fischer Farms burgers and good elk burgers too. My husband swears by the burgers at Opie Taylor's on the square. Neither is exactly a Hinkles kind of dive, though.
Do you look at the Hungry Hoosier blog? It often has great gems that are off the beaten track. www.hungryhoosier.com Great for road trips.
If you're going as far as Vincennes for pie you might as well go on just a bit further south and go to Evansville. Wolfs has great pie and the Log Inn has a wonderful strawberry pie.
Also, as bad as this will sound, Gray Brothers Cafeteria in Mooresville (not near as far south) has great pie too, but you'll have to wait in line for a while - the huge draw there is both the pie and the fried chicken!
I've been to Indiana a couple of times in the past year. I enjoyed the Mug n' Bun on the west side of Indianapolis and Little Sheba's in downtown Richmond
Syd's in Noblesville, on the square, is a bar/diner sort of place - lots of fried food, smoky though.
The Uptown Cafe in Noblesville is good for breakfast and lunch, I bet they've got a good burger.
The Workingman's Friend, 234 N Belmont, is a classic burger joint - seriously.
There used to be a diner on the corner of 10th and Emerson - I've forgotten the name - but it really used to be a drive-up and park and order kind of place.
GT South's has wonderful baby back ribs
Frank & Marys in Pittsboro has good fried catfish
I bet Bynums on the southside of Indy has a great hamburger
hat's all I can think of right now...
The Chicken Place in Ireland, In has wonderful fried chicken, also great fried chicken livers and gizzards. Don't miss the schooners of draft beer and german potatoes.
Ireland is just west of Jasper IN on IN St Rt 356.
On the "gritty realism" side of things, there's a ~1910 Coney Island place on Main Street. People bring their kids on Saturday. It's worth a stop.
For really interesting spare ribs, go to The Rib Room on State. Get a Calypso or Greek salad with your ribs. They're not smokey, they're greek immigrant ribs with a really tangy unique rib sauce (possibly made by mixing two products that come in big Sysco jars).
There's a Hunan chinese place out on Coldwater Road. They've got a way with lamb. Apparently, they don't do real hunan (real hunan is spicier than real Szechuan, if you can imagine), but it's good food.
Cindy's Diner downtown for greasy-spoon breakfasts.
Mid-range, Professor Munchies is reliable and better than Applebees.
Upscale you've got Cata Blue, Hartleys and ... hmm.... I'm sure there's something else. Oh, yeah, Club Soda.
If you eat at Power's every day, you'll need to make an appointment with a gastroenterologist.