Favorite Central and Northern Indiana Restaurants?
- bigfella Feb 6, 2009 04:35 AM
Coming back for a few days around Prez Day and then again in April. Will have to hit some of my favorite places, but looking for new ones too. Central (East Central really) and Northern Indiana mainly. Have you been to any of these places already and can you suggest some new ones?
-Bonge's Tavern (Perkinsville, IN)
-Yesterday's (Granger, IN)
-Pizza King (Muncie, IN)
-QL's (Muncie, IN)
I went to Yesterday's last year and posted a detailed report on it in the discussion about South Bend at http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/125485 In a nutshell, I thought it was okay but nothing special, notable mostly for its old-fashioned heavy/rich menu selections and its huge but otherwise unappealing desserts. Check out that topic for additional recommendations in South Bend.
I find the restaurant scene in South Bend/Mishawaka completely underwhelming. I'm a bigger fan of what's going on in the tiny speck of a town in Marshall County called Culver. It's a lake town, and there are several restaurants that are among my favorites.
Papa's has great pizza. The rest of the menu can be hit or miss. Avoid the pasta dishes.
The Edgewater Grille is a lakeside institution. I feel it's had a bit of a decline over the years, but the food is still completely better than anything I've had up north.
City Tavern has great appetizers, but that's the only thing i've eaten there.
Corndance Cafe is my absolute favorite place in Culver. They have a pear ravioli that is to die for. This is the place for pasta. They also have daily specials that are incredible. The woodfire grill is utilized in many dishes. A winner for any foodie.
The Marmont is the little sister of the Corndance. Also very good, great pizza!
I have yet to go to the Cabana, a Mexican restaurant in town.
Has anyone else been there? I would love to hear your opinions!
I heard terrible reports about Bonge's Tavern. I used to pass by it every day to my previous work place. A hole in the wall in the middle of no place. Poor food at high prices. Don't recommend it from what I heard.
Not sure if you'll be in Indianapolis, but I would suggest Oakley's Bistro (my favorite Indy restaurant), R Bistro, or Elements. If you are downtown, and want something super casual, go west of the zoo and visit the Working Man's Friend. Dive-type bar/restaurant with great burgers and onion rings.
It's somewhat unusual to be asking about places in both Muncie and South Bend, since they're 140 miles apart. If you're really covering that entire area, then Indianapolis is within reach (and I agree with ParisKat's recommendations there), and you also might be interested in Fort Wayne/Roanoke, where I keep hearing great things about Joseph Decuis.
I agree with ParisKat's recommendations - though R Bistro and Elements are both downtown, but as you say 'it's not that far out of the way' if you're willing to drive it... just a straight shot down 69/Binford.
There's a new-ish place in Muncie - Vera Mae's Bistro. I haven't been there but it did have a good write up in the Indianapolis Monthly. I'm a fan of Greek's Pizza in Muncie.
If you head a bit further south to Noblesville (Exit 10) there's a few good places on the square - about 10-15 minutes west of 69. There's also a few chains in the new shopping mall there - Red Robin, Houlihan's, and a local 'chain', Stone Creek - which isn't bad and the restaurant itself is very pretty. In Noblesville, on the square, is Matteo's - good Italian (and I'm not trying to start the on-going debate about the state of Italian food in Indy), I like their gnocchi quite a bit, The Hamilton - decent food and stellar cake (ohmigod good) and lastly, Dom di Carlo - great pizza - they were voted the best pizza in the city in 2007, service is a bit goofy (spotty and sometimes slow) but the pizza... yum!
A little further south on 69 to 96th Street will take you to Peterson's - IMHO the best steak in the city. Seriously. Also good appetizers and soups.
Hope that helps!
Cookiefiend (or anyone else),
How does Peterson's do on seafood? I'm probably going to be dining there in April, and I generally get something other than steak, even at steakhouses. And what about their desserts - any opinion? (The appetizers on their website menu sound phenomenal!)
Their fish is very good. I recently had Ono with a curry sauce that was marvelous.
I can't say, from personal experience, anything about their shellfish - I'm allergic to it. But, Mr CF and our children love it - the shrimp cocktail, the oysters and the crab cakes are always deemed delicious by them all. The crab cakes at Peterson's are the standards that the others are held to.
The appetizers are wonderful - the Ahi carpaccio with the 3 jellies is my favorite.
The desserts are pretty good - stay away from the 7 Layer German Chocolate cake, it's not made in house and it's not worth it. The ice creams are always good, as are the fruit desserts. I'm usually too full by that time though, and either skip dessert or have a glass of dessert wine - the Moscato d'Asti is so good.
Let us know how it goes and have fun!
Thanks! If the menu is still the same, I'm going to have a tough time choosing among those appetizers - the kobe beef brisket ravioli, the foie gras duck confit and mushroom tart, the tempura Maine crab lobster fingers, as well as the more conventional crab cakes and onion rings. So many wonderful choices!
Yes, you are!
The Kobe beef ravioli - yum!
The Foie Gras, duck confit, mushroom tart - big time yum - the tart pastry is really good.
Everyone likes the lobster fingers (I had forgotten about those) and the crab cakes.
The onion rings are huge! Even though they're on the appetizer menu - if you would prefer them as a side dish, they'll do that for you. Mr CF has told me that if, in the future he orders them, to tell him 'NO'... because they are so good and so big he'll eat them all... by himself! They are really good - hot and crisp.
Vera Mae's has been in Muncie for a while as I took my now wife there the night we were engaged in 2003. It's worth the trip up to Muncie for dinner and some wine at Vera Mae's and a trip next door for some great beer at The Heorot. The Heorot offer over 30 different types of lagers, ales and stouts on draft. There are more than 400 kinds of bottled beer and a celler containing aged bottles of some of the worlds finest & rarest imports ever brewed. The Heorot specializes in Beligian Ales and Midwestern Brewers such as Bell's, Upland, Three Floyds. Try the Framboise Lambic for a SUPER sweet raspberry beer and the Chimay Blue for a much deeper flavor.
Vera Mae's has been open since 2003?
I had no idea!
Indy Mo mentioned it last year and that was the first I had heard of it. I asked my son (2008 BSU grad) if he had been there after I read the article - he had, but he was much more enamored of The Heorot... he's all about the beer. He lives in Northern IN and makes a trip to The Back Road Brewery every Saturday. Or to Shoreline Brewery... ;-)