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Feb 1, 2010 12:18 PM

Indiana Folks, Need some Help

Every year for Super Bowl we make distinctive food from the two competing cities. New Orleans is easy but I'm having trouble with Indy. Besides pork sandwiches on white bread with mayo, just kidding, what are some distinctive Indy foods?
I'm rooting for the Colts, BTW. I appreciate any suggestions

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  1. You'll find the answer to your question in this topic from the Super Bowl three years ago:

    Looking for Local Food fares of Indy and Chicago -

    Just ignore the recommendations for Chicago that you find there. ;)

    9 Replies
    1. re: nsxtasy

      nsxtasy, thanks for the help. Sadly, it looks like I wasn't far off. After reviewing the thread there were really only a few ingredients mentioned: Pork, Corn, Persimmons and some kind of syrup, oh and some sugar pie. I was hoping for something a bit more unique.

      1. re: STLLifer

        oh, STLLifer, you're making me laugh...

        Sadly - as the "Crossroads of America" we aren't really known for any specific food.
        But the pork tenderloin sandwich is actually one of the things we do well.
        Three Floyd's Beer, Back Road Brewery and Barley Island all make great beer - unless you're a die-hard Anheuser Busch fan.

        ps - the syrup is Shagbark. ;-)

        1. re: Cookiefiend

          I'm more into the microbrews so I'll check those out. Since AB sold out to the Belgians I have no real allegiance to them. BTW On the pork sandwich, are we just talking a breaded filet? And what are the typical toppings? If you just say mayo my head might explode. I know Manning is about the whitest guy you can find but this sandwich is running a close second if its just pork, mayo and white bread.

          1. re: STLLifer

            The one thing that makes the breaded pork tenderloin so popular is the filet should be much, much larger than the bun.

          2. re: Cookiefiend

            >> Sadly - as the "Crossroads of America" we aren't really known for any specific food.

            Wait! Please allow me to stick up for my friends in the Hoosier State! Many different kinds of food can be found in the Indianapolis area, highlighted by arguments among Indy foodies as to which is the best Thai restaurant in town, Mexican food both provincial/creative and conventional, the freshest sushi and seafood (I think having Indy as a hub for FedEx is a big factor in this), numerous fine steakhouses, several places serving delicious contemporary American cuisine, etc. There's plenty of excellent food to be found; it's just that most of it is similar to excellent food found elsewhere, and isn't unique to Indiana.

            Also, most states these days have thriving local wineries as well as breweries (along with websites listing them with maps for touring and sampling), and Indiana is no exception:


            1. re: nsxtasy

              nsxtasy -

              I would never disagree with you in that we have many different and excellent kinds of food in the Hoosier State! I'm one of the proponents and promoters of our many fine restaurants!

              But as to any specific food that someone could say was quintessential and unique to Indiana - well - that would probably be the pork tenderloin sandwich. And a good one is quite marvelous.

              Here's a link from another Chowhound poster, Davwud, and his experience at the Friendly Tavern in Zionsville, IN.


              The pork tenderloin sandwich is - basically - a pounded flat slice of pork loin, breaded and fried, placed on a too small bun with mayo, mustard, lettuce, tomato, pickle and onion. All of those instructions are open to debate on what sort of breading, how to fry it and what goes on it.

              STTLifer - I hope you'll let us know how you like the sandwich - if you make it of course. Peyton also likes the steaks at Harry & Izzy's... heck, most of us do too!

              1. re: Cookiefiend

                >> Peyton also likes the steaks at Harry & Izzy's... heck, most of us do too!

                More so than St. Elmo's and Peterson's?

                Just askin'... ;)

                1. re: nsxtasy

                  I think he's one of the owners (there are several) of Harry & Izzy - which is a 'sister' restaurant of St Elmo's.

                  My personal preference is still Peterson's... you gotta get there nsxtasy!

                  1. re: Cookiefiend

                    I don't eat steak but still love Peterson's wonderful ambience, great wine list and yummy fish dishes too.

      2. Indiana is home to Orville R's popcorn, so a popcorn bar with diverse toppings would be nice. Little cubes of tender pork to dip in a Hollandaise made with Three Floyd's Stout would be tasty.

        2 Replies
        1. re: pikawicca

          I really didn't mean to hurt anyones feelings or insult anyone. Here in St. Louis we are known for a pizza abomination made with cracker thin crust and a processed cheese, toasted ravioli that really isn't that great and a cut of ribs when we aren't even a BBQ town. Some guy on a FoodNetwork special said we were known for our pig snoots when I've never met a single person in this town that has heard of them.
          So, I appreciate the input and think that mini pork sandwiches will work just fine. A friend suggested horse steaks but I'm pretty sure he was joking. BTW one thing we do have in common is that St. Louis and Bloomington are about the only two places you can get fried brain sandwiches.

          1. re: STLLifer

            Speaking for myself - I'm not insulted and my feelings aren't hurt! No worries!

            Mr CF has family in St Louis (one lives on/in the Hill) - and we've never heard of St Louis's pig snoots (snouts?) either. I did have my first toasted ravioli there and at that time it was pretty good. When I think of St Louis, I think of Aunt Grace going down the alley to get fresh bread from Marconi's Bakery, trips to the grocery store down the street and yelling at the butcher (everything was said at the top of your lungs), cannoli from Missouri Bakery and the godawful stink at the cheese shop. That was a long time ago...

            Evansville also has fried brain sandwiches every year at the Fall Festival - but I never got up the nerve to try one while we lived there ...

        2. NW Indiana is very culturally diverse. Lots of Polish folks with their Pierogi and Polish sausage. Indiana as a whole is known for corn..lots of corn, corn bread and of course pop corn.

          Because of Lake Michigan being so close there is a church fundraiser fish fry most Friday nights.

          Albanese Candy Factory in Merrillville, IN is known for their gummy bears which are shipped all over the world.

          I do believe Southern Indiana is more Southern than some of our Southern States.

          Might be fun to do a "Map of Indiana eating". Something from each region.

          Popcorn, Gummy Bears and Pieorgi from NW and Persimmon Pudding from Southern Indiana.

          You can google "Indiana Region Favorite Foods" and get quite a list.

          Sounds like a fun time. Good luck with your "foodies".

          1 Reply
          1. re: pippi1807

            This topic was begun by someone wanting to identify specialties of Indianapolis, not the entire state of Indiana.

          2. Fried biscuits with apple butter. Absolutely delicious, and have never seen it anywhere else.

            1. Well silly me. I wondered how you knew the Colts would be playing in the SuperBowl...the post is from 2010. Oh well you certainly got the "flavor of Indiana" should you ever visit our fair state again....

              Too much Thanksgiving but I am craving some of those Fried Biscuits and Apple Butter!