Tales from the Trails Blog

  • Collom's General Store

    Posted on Friday, July 21, 2017 — By Admin

    Collom's General Store is a step back in time. Immediately pulling up to Collom's General Store in Bridgeton I was in awe. The drive alone felt like a different era. The country was beautiful and as we pulled up to the General Store, I was immediately in enamored with this tiny town. Parke County is known for their covered bridges and is one of the first images rolling into Bridgeton.

    Collom's is owned by Dan and Kathy Collom. Realizing the need, they bought the building and turned it into a general market, restaurant, and town gathering place, of sorts. It is the perfect fit for the residents and guests of Bridgeton.

    So many different items available for purchase such as deli case meat, ice cream, sandwiches, salads, and homegrown products. The Hot Ham and Cheese is a local favorite and grilled to perfection.

    They make homemade salads daily. The Ham Salad was so fresh and has just the right about of savory from the meat and sweet from the other ingredients. It was our favorite food of the day. Kathy and her daughter even sent some home with us.

    The store itself reminded me of when I was a child going to our local store downtown. The store is Bridgeton's only store open year round for residents and visitors.

    On Friday Nights, everyone gathers for the dinner and music fest. The feature different meals every Friday and the music is a town favorite. Ordering from the deli is always available too. Order sandwiches and take on a picnic your down the road to the gorgeous covered bridge. Built by Dan Collom and Co. too.

    ***A little history on the bridge

    The dam is nine feet tall and 220 feet long. The waterfall is 2002 long- the foundation of The Mill is actually part of the dam. The covered bridge is 261 feet long. (The postcards say 245 feet). It is a double span Burr Arch originally built by J.J. Daniels in 1868. The covered bridge was Set Aside or closed to traffic in 1968. It was burnt down in 2005 and re-built by the good people of the community in 2006

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  • Tasty Treats at the Tasty Freeze

    Posted on Saturday, July 15, 2017 — By Admin

    Have you ever heard of Montezuma, Indiana? I hadn't either, but trust me, you want to go! There is a small restaurant with walk up or drive through windows only that has the best, indulgent treats you will find for miles and miles around. If you are a fan of Coney dogs, French fries and ice cream make this a stop on your next trip to Western Indiana for sure. Located just a few miles outside of Rockville, IN in Parke County, it's one of the first things you will see as you enter Montezuma and is right across the street from the local baseball diamonds. As you pull up you will notice the nostalgic feel of this restaurant decorated with many signs reminiscent of the 1950's and 60's and characters youd expect to see on a retro commercial for a drive-in movie theater. Also has a variety of license plates displayed from around the US. We loved it!

    The menu board is very expansive and maybe a bit overwhelming but take it from us, you've got to try the Bacon Coney Dog Delight, the Ultimate Bacon Cheeseburger, the Loaded French Fries and of course an ice cream treat! We recommend the Snickers Blast or a Boston Shake. Everything was so good! You would expect a place like this to be very greasy too but it was hardly greasy at all. Bacon Coney Dog Delight from The Tasty Freeze The Bacon Coney Dog Delight was a very good, meaty hotdog, wrapped in guess what?...Bacon! Everything is so much better with bacon. But we aren't done yet, they then deep fry it and then before it is served it is covered with the house special Coney sauce and some cheese. This makes for an extra crispy, yet saucy and sinfully indulgent hotdog. Here's some fun facts! It takes 13 pounds of beef to make every batch of Coney sauce. You want the recipe for the house Coney sauce? You gotta buy the building! Ultimate Bacon Cheeseburger from Tasty Freeze The Ultimate Bacon Cheeseburger of course has some more bacon but that isn't what makes this burger, no it is the burger itself. The hamburger is purchased every day fresh from a local meat packer and hand pressed into patties. That's right, it is never frozen and is made EVERY DAY! You can really tell the difference as well! It is so fresh and juicy, you can taste the meat. Tasty Freeze Loaded Fries Now, surprisingly, my favorite was the Loaded French Fries. I'm not usually a French fry gal but these were outstanding! They were crinkle cut fries covered in melted cheese and bacon, no surprises, here right? But wait! They also add, black and green olives and green pepper! I'm not usually a fan of green olives either but wow! These together just made the perfect combination! Just enough salt. It was wonderful! I could have eaten the entire order myself.

    Their breaded pork tenderloin is hand breaded and pounded fresh as well and they go through around 200 per week! That's a lot of pork! A trip to the Tasty Freeze isn't complete without some ice cream though and believe me they have plenty to choose from! Snickers Blast Shake from Tasty Freeze We would recommend the Snickers Blast, a sundae with chunks of Snickers and caramel and chocolate on top. Or a Boston Shake. This is any kind of shake with any sundae on top! I'm not sure exactly what ours was but it had peanut butter in it which in my book, is kind of like bacon, it makes anything better. The ice cream is soft served so there are so many options of combinations and flavor selections.

    All the food was so good! Be sure to make a pit stop in Montezuma next time you are in the area or maybe make it your destination because of the Tasty Freeze. I know I'll be back!

    If you go, be sure to share your photos and thoughts on our social media pages! We'd love to know what you loved!

    You will find The Tasty Freeze on the Burgers, Brews and Dogs, Tenderloin and I Scream for Ice Cream trails.

    Blog Written by Ashley Gregory

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  • A Biker's Paradise at Thirty-Six Saloon

    Posted on Thursday, July 13, 2017 — By Admin

    Located right downtown Rockville, Indiana, you can't miss the Thirty-Six Saloon as you come in to town. Chances are it will be the place with all the motorcycles around, as it hosts several poker runs and other motorcycle events throughout the year. Located in a historic building with a history that spans over 100 years although remodeled several times over the years, it is made to look like a rustic saloon from the wild west. The impressive outside family friendly patio, called the Hog Pit is very spacious and is decorated with grass skirted umbrellas to give it a beachy feel. Outside you can also watch the cooks in the BBQ kitchen smoke the meat you might soon decide to eat. Live music is available on most weekends. You will even find a small fish pond and a fire place outside. A great place to kick back, relax and enjoy the weekend with great friends and fun food!

    A couple things that stuck out on the menu that we just had to try were the "Hog Slop Chips" and the "Hog Turds". Doesn't sound very appetizing, does it? But if you can get past the name, they are delicious! Hog Slop Chips at 36 Saloon, Rockville, INThe "Hog Slop Chips" are homemade ruffle thick sliced chips topped with pulled pork or brisket, smokehouse baked beans and queso cheese. All my favorites from family BBQ dinners all in one dish! Hog Turds from Thirty-Six Saloon, Rockville, IN The "Hog Turds" are jalapeños stuffed with brisket and pepper jack cheese then wrapped in a soft pretzel and deep fried. Something we have never encountered before. It is a little spicy and I'm a wimp when it comes to spice so it wasn't my cup of tea but the pretzel wrapping and the brisket were amazing! I could tolerate the spice for a couple bites too. I would highly recommend, especially if you love spicy items.

    We can't wait to go back to try more of their burgers and brats too! The smoked items were so wonderful though and would pair perfectly with your favorite cold beer! We hear the "Biker Babe Burger" is to die for though! You might just see us there sometime soon! Check out their website for a listing of the bands they will be hosting soon. www.thirtysixsaloon.com.

    If you visit, take a picture and share it with us on social media! We'd love to see your favorites!

    You will find Thirty-Six Saloon on the Tenderloin, BBQ and Burgers, Brews and Dogs Trails.

    Blog Written by Ashley Gregory

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  • A Little Color to Brighten Your Day at the Yellow Umbrella

    Posted on Wednesday, July 12, 2017 — By Admin

    We walked in to the Yellow Umbrella on a somewhat rainy, dreary day and our mood was instantly lifted, as soon as we walked in the door, with the sight of the bright yellow umbrellas hanging from the ceiling and as the subjects in most of the photos around the restaurant and the bright yellow chairs at all the tables. You cant help but smile when you walk in the restaurant and I'm sure you will be greeted with a smile as well by the very friendly staff. You might ask, why the yellow umbrellas? I know we did. Well, the owners are fans of the show "How I Met Your Mother" and got the idea of the yellow umbrella from the show but also say it represents perseverance and a quest for dreams. The owners have had an interesting past. A husband and wife team of culinary school of Indianapolis graduates and trained chefs own the restaurant. They have worked as chefs for such places as the Indy Eleven, Indianapolis Motor Speedway and several restaurants. They returned home and started working at the location's previous restaurant then decided to purchase when it went on the market.

    This is a family restaurant in every sense of the phrase. The owners do the cooking, their moms both help serve, their uncle is helping with the books and took the photography hanging on the walls and their son is a frequent visitor (at the time of our visit he was only one month old). Some of their recipes are even their family favorites! Such as their marinara recipe that is over a hundred years old and passed down from their Italian family members. Currently they are open Sunday-Saturday for breakfast and lunch and only Saturdays for their dinner menu but are hoping to expand those hours.

    From what we tasted, everyone should be running there for every meal! This food is absolutely fabulous! They know how to do the classic, simple flavors but also spruce it up and have contemporary flavors and dishes. Such as the classic chicken salad sandwich we sampled while there, a delicious, chunky chicken salad, served on a wonderfully flaky croissant.Yellow Umbrella Chicken Salad Yet, we also tried a small plate from their dinner menu that was pan seared pork with a beet and a carrot puree, topped with skillet fried corn and served with watermelon gazpacho, topped with feta cheese.Yellow Umbrella Dinner Menu- Small Plate Tasted like something youd find at a fine farm to table restaurant in Chicago or Indianapolis. So, delicious. The mix of flavors were perfect; cool, crisp, creamy watermelon gazpacho paired with warm, crispy pork tenderloin and corn as well as the smooth, silky vegetable puree. Absolute perfection! If that wasn't delicious enough, we also had a Stuffed French Toast that was to die for! Yellow Umbrella Stuffed French Toast It was brioche bread stuffed with a pastry cream and topped with a blueberry and strawberry compote and powdered sugar. My mouth is watering. I could eat this every morning for sure! Good thing I dont live in Rockville, Id weigh 100 pounds more! For those who like a hearty breakfast, be sure to try the Hungry Like the Wolfe sandwich! It is a croissant crammed full of 4 scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, ham and Swiss and American cheese! A meat lovers delight! Hungry Like the Wolfe Breakfast Sandwich from Yellow Umbrella

    For those of you who are coffee drinkers, be sure to pop in for one of their wonderful coffee drinks. We would recommend one of their specialties, a doppelganger cortado, an espresso drink. Yellow Umbrella Coffee For those non-coffee drinkers, try a milk shake! I tried the smores shake. Oh, my gosh! One sip and I was transported to childhood (or who are we kidding, last fall) around a campfire waiting for the marshmallows to roast and then building my own smore with my chocolate pieces and graham cracker and having the marshmallow smoosh out of the graham cracker in my mouth for a sweet, melty, very messy treat. This was just like that only better, and not quite so messy! s'mores shake from Yellow Umbrella

    The atmosphere is inviting and family friendly and in the summer months there is a large patio, of course with yellow umbrellas for dining al fresco. So, the next time you need a place to relax and enjoy some great food, take a stroll or a drive to Rockville, Indiana and give the Yellow Umbrella a try. Its a small-town coffee shop and restaurant with big city flare run by a superb culinary team with a passion for good food, great company and a touch of whimsy and spunk!

    Be sure to tell us what you loved by sharing your experience on our social media pages!

    You will find the Yellow Umbrella on the Coffee & Tea Room, Rise N'Shine and Soup, Salad & Sandwich Trails.

    Blog Written by Ashley Gregory

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  • Bobber's Café at Shadyside Bait & Tackle

    Posted on Monday, July 10, 2017 — By Admin

    Bobber's Café at Shadyside Bait & Tackle 1117 Alexandria Pike Anderson, IN 46012

    PHONE: 765-602-6395

    OWNER: Stacie Cowgill

    HOURS: 7am-9pm daily

    Looking for a meal with a view? Check out Bobber's Café at Shadyside Lake in Anderson, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner daily from 7am-9pm. You may want to sit outside at picnic tables or the covered deck, or just choose to sit inside to enjoy your meal.

    Check out their daily specials on the blackboard. Today's included the Blu Burger with BBQ chips, Breaded Fish Sandwich and Fries, or a Turkey Wrap with Fries. Bobber's menu has a great selection of sandwiches, all made to order with your choice of bread and cheese. There aren't many places that feature Fried Bologna sandwiches and if that's what you may be craving, this is place to get it. The menu features panini's and wraps or you just may want a Chef Salad.

    You must try their breaded or grilled tenderloin with your choice of bun or texas toast! Bobber's Café tenderloins were featured in the 2017 Tenderloin Throwdown in Greensburg, June 24, 2017! Their tenderloins took First Place in Most Creative Tenderloin and Second Place in the Peoples Choice category for Best Tenderloin in Indiana!

    Wanting breakfast for lunch or dinner? Bobber's Café serves breakfast all day. Try their made from scratch homemade buttermilk biscuits and house made sausage gravy! You'll love the food at Bobber's Café!

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  • Good Eats Along the Hiking Trails at Turkey Run State Park Inn's Narrows Restaurant

    Posted on Friday, June 30, 2017 — By Admin

    Salad Bar salad at Narrows Restaurant What a delightful culinary experience, to dine in the Narrows Restaurant in this Historic Turkey Run State Park Inn. After an exhausting morning of hiking the beautiful trails, my partner and I rushed in five minutes before the 2pm closing time for lunch and were greeting graciously. The restaurant has a relaxed, casual very cozy atmosphere. We were seated by one of the many windows, which looked out to a bird feeder, where a nuthatch was eating also! I loved that anywhere you are seated, there is an open view, either to the beautiful wooded outdoors or the Inns indoor pool. Also, outdoor patio seating is available for dining.

    Although the Hoosier Tenderloin, an Indiana State Park Inn specialty sandwich was appetizing to me, we both opted for the Soup and Salad buffet. It didnt disappoint us. The field greens were fresh with plenty of various toppings to choose as well as dressings. I enjoyed the pea salad and potato salads too. A meat and seafood buffet is also available that looked delicious. The tilapia was especially tempting that day, but maybe on another trip. Although the desserts looked delectable, we opted for the candy cart by the Inns gift shop and purchased our favorite classic candy; Cow Tales and a Pay Day.

    Happy Trails!

    You will find this restaurant on the Rise N' Shine, Tenderloin and Soup, Salad & Sandwich Trails.

    Blog Written by Diana Simpson

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  • So Good Candies is Oh So Good!

    Posted on Thursday, May 25, 2017 — By Admin

    Alt Text So Good Candies located in Peru, Indiana is relatively new shop with old favorites including Arnold's Candies famous fudge recipe.

    Alt Text A locally owned business brought back a hometown and community favorite, Arnold's Fudge Recipe dating back to 1914. Cole Porter, the famous Indiana songwriter, had an affinity for Arnold's Famous Fudge. Porter would have the fudge shipped to him all over the world. So many favorites available including caramels, creams, toffees and turtles.

    Alt Text These scrumptious little bars are called "Gold Bricks". Harrison Ford used to have the "Gold Bricks" shipped to his movie sets for his guilty pleasure. The bricks consist of chocolate over Spanish peanuts with a gooey buttery center has a following of its own. Try them....you'll be ordering them online for every occasion!

    Alt Text Self serve Malt balls, sour candies, cinnamon balls and other fine candies available for purchase priced by the pound.

    Alt Text It is sucker galore...They have old fashioned candy reminiscent of the 1970's and 1980's many fell in love with in their youth, such as Astropops, Sweet Tart suckers, and more...

    So Good Candies is located at 25 W 3rd St, Peru, IN 46970 (765)327-8080 Care to make a special order? Call them today!

    Check out the video below as they introduce their new chocolate turtles available for purchase. https://www.facebook.com/1873800179508236/videos/1908640432690877/

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  • Celebrate the BBQ and Wine this Month of May

    Posted on Wednesday, May 24, 2017 — By Admin

    Alt Text

    Check out our recent Top Picks at EdibleIndy to celebrate BBQ and Wine Month!

    http://edibleindy.ediblecommunities.com/eat/may-wine-and-bbq-picks

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  • Made From Scratch

    Posted on Tuesday, May 2, 2017 — By Admin

    Everett's Place

    117 W. Franklin Winchester, IN 47394

    (765) 584-3636

    Hours: 10:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

    It's lunch time and looking for a place to stop for lunch? If you're traveling in Eastern Indiana along State Road 32 or US 27, look no further than Everett's Place located on Franklin Street directly across from the Randolph County Courthouse. Nan Harris, General Manager and Trudy Ludwick along with her culinary team, have made this a favorite lunch spot.

    Everything about their made from scratch menu is taste bud worthy! A friend told me to check out their daily specials, especially if "cheesy potatoes" is on the board. The menu had some great choices, The House Cuban, Reuben Sandwich and Trudy's Chicken Salad are local favorites, but I elected to have the daily special, Beef Brisket Sandwich. It usually comes with chips, but I chose another special that day, the "cheesy potatoes". The beef brisket was so tender and the cheesy potatoes were just so "cheesy" good. You will also find dessert specials, like the Strawberry Cream Pie or Chocolate Mayo Cake.

    Everett's Place is a must stop, so come with a hungry appetite! Everett's Place in Winchester is highlighter on Indiana Foodways Alliance's Hoosier Pie, Tenderloin, and Soup, Salad & Sandwich Trails.

    Blog and Photo Credit: Maureen Lambert

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  • 10 Ways to Love

    Posted on Tuesday, February 7, 2017 — By Admin

    Good's Candy Company in Anderson offers a pure, lovers' red, heart box in a 1lb, 1 1/2lb, and 5lb full of Chocolates. The Pink Cheetah is a Good's Candy most popular heart box selections. Order chocolate covered strawberries on the go February 13th and 14th, we recommend ordering ahead to get what you like, when you like.

    Martinsville Candy Kitchen is one of the oldest business in Morgan County. Buy your sweetie hand crafted candy canes! Peppermint or Cinnamon Flavored, it is a tradition in Indiana!

    Edible Candy Heart Boxes are the rage at Confection Delights in Danville. From edible heart boxes to chocolate covered strawberries they are the one stop shop for Valentine's Day.

    At Pea-fections in Vincennes - Cheesecakes, Tortes, and Cookies are the sweetest temptations at the stop! Order between now and Valentine's Day for your a special gift.

    Hand-painted Chocolates from Ghyslain Chocolatier in Winchester are exquisite gifts. They offer truffles and variety of handmade gourmet chocolates packaged in various gift boxes. The leather window gift box is a little something for now and storage for later.

    McCord Candies in Lafayette has hand-crafted candies, chocolates, and candy fruit slices are the way to your sweeties heart. Satisfy your truffle craving with tiramisu, caramel, Irish crème and other scrumptious flavors. Take your love to the store to share a phosphate, soda, or shake!

    Winzerwald Winery  Chocolate Lovers Weekend At Winzerwald Winery. Serving artisan chocolates crafted by Stephen Libs Fine Chocolates of Evansville. Dry or Sweet Wine Pairing with Double dipped dark chocolate coffee beans, semi-dark burgundy foil wrapped hearts, milk chocolate covered red grapes and white chocolate pecan supremes. Save $1 on all featured wines.

    Wildcat Creek Winery  Galentines Day at Wildcat Winery  Bring your favorite Gal Pal for wine pairing at Wildcat Creek Wines with Wolf's Fine Chocolates! Purchase your ticket at the winery for only $15! Ticket includes: Entry to this private event, tasting of 6 wines paired with 6 chocolates. An exclusively designed box of Wolf's Fine Chocolates. 20% discount on items in our retail shop (excludes wine & consignment items). Purchase light snacks and wine after tasting while browsing the retail shop! It's a girl thing!!

    Sharlettes Fudgery and Candies - Fudge can be the route to your loved ones heart. More than just a candy store in Portland! They offer specialty gifts, food, bulk candies and specialize in more than 40 fudge flavors. It is the perfect place to pick up last minute gifts for Valentine's Day or any occasion.

    LaSalle Grill in South Bend is the place to celebrate every day of the week with their extraordinary daily specials. Book your reservations for Valentine's Day or any special occasion. The atmosphere and delicious food will make your day with your loved ones especially divine. www.lasallegrill.com

    Blog by Lindsey Skeen

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  • Beverage Heaven and a Side of Fries

    Posted on Friday, December 16, 2016 — By Admin

    Alt TextRecently, I stopped by Igloo Frozen Custard to experience what I heard was a delicious custard and Lafayette tradition, first hand. My business colleague and I had no idea what was in store for us! We were greeted by Owners, Bill and Kathy Lodde. The ambience is bright and cherry atmosphere is bright and welcoming with the diner feel. In the warmer months, order from the walk up window then eat outside. We really could get a sense of community when Bill was preparing orders for a group of local teachers lunch. He has them ready and waiting, so they dont waste their precious lunch time.

    The story of the Igloo Frozen Custard goes back to 1932, when Florence and Charles Kirkhoff opened The Original Frozen Custard near Columbian Park, also in Lafayette. Then, in 1998, the 3rd generation decided to branch off and Bill and Kathy Lodde decided to open their version as the Igloo and now have two Igloo locations. Now Bill and Kathy's sons are starting to get involved in the family business, making this a 4th generation family business. The custard recipe at the Igloo, is the same frozen custard recipe made by Bill's grandfather, father and brother at the Original Frozen Custard. The Igloo makes 16 different flavors of custard daily, changing some seasonally and all are made in-house. Hand-dipped flavors include, mint chocolate chip, birthday cake, blue moon, and the staples; vanilla and chocolate. They also feature holiday and seasonal flavors such as pumpkin, peppermint, cinnamon, apple cider sorbet and more! Your taste buds will be begging for more!

    Beverage Heaven...  They are known not just for their frozen custard but also their fruit drinks and flavored sodas. I think we tasted every drink on the menu! I must admit I'm a sucker for a good fountain drink or flavored beverage. All of the simple syrups they use are made in-house. They use the best vanilla extract Bill can get his hands on for all the vanilla flavored drinks. I would have to say, my favorite, one I'd never tried before, was the marshmallow soda. It was the perfect fusion of Coca-Cola and a little bit of sweetness with the marshmallow flavoring. I can't believe this was my first one! Igloo's Fruit Beverage called "fruit drink" is "Pop's secret tropical blend". All made fresh with real juices. It is oh so sweet with a side of tang! This recipe has been around for 4 generations as well. Buy by the cup or gallon. It is a perfect party drink too. If I lived in Lafayette this would be my PDRD (Proper Drink Run Drink).

    Igloo Frozen Custard Treats were the biggest treat of the day. We sampled the cheesecake on a stick and a myriad of their novelty treats but seriously, if you like cinnamon and are visiting in the fall or winter when they have cinnamon custard, order the Snickerdoodle Sandwich as known as the "snickwich" OMG! I couldn't stop. A huge Snickerdoodle cookie that sandwiches cinnamon custard and frozen perfectly together. Periodically, but more in the Autumn Season, they offer a Granny Smith Sundae. Apples, crushed snickers and vanilla custard, Wow. Who knew that combination would taste so divine?

    My travel companion and I decided we needed something to soak up all the treats so we tried the chicken tenders. Real chicken not pressed meat, cut into tenders. Very tasty and it made me remember my youth. We also tried the Nacho Coney fries. THE BEST TOPPED FRIES I HAVE EVER EATEN, No Really!!!! The Coney Sauce I couldn't put my finger on exactly all the spices and that's because it is another secret family recipe. Bill has a knack for that and the Coney Fries. I took some Coney Sauce home so my husband could try it. He is a fry connoisseur and let's just say he was so impressed with the sauce that we went back that weekend so he could order his own. I suggest trying the burgers too. They are reminiscent of the old-fashion burgers from the mid-century.

    There are so many choices when visiting Igloo at either location in Tippecanoe County. Bring your appetite big or small there is something for everyone at The Igloo Frozen Custard. Igloo has two locations Igloo Frozen Custard 1817 Troxel Dr, Lafayette, IN 47909 and 4909 Tazer Dr, Lafayette, IN 47905 Lafayette, IN 47905. Both are featured on The Sweet Temptations, Ice Scream You Scream, and Just Cruisin' Trails.

    Blog Written by: Lindsey Skeen

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  • Fireside Cafe

    Posted on Wednesday, November 16, 2016 — By Admin

    Alt TextOwners Marsha Gill-Dunker and Corey Dunker returned to Coreys hometown of Shipshewana and followed their dream of owning a restaurant. Their dream became a reality two years ago when they opened Fireside Cafe inside Yoder's Shopping Center. They are known for their Applewood slow-smoked in-house meats and beans (Corey does the smoking) and a variety of made-from-scratch recipes.

    As I walked into the restaurant, the first thing that hit me was the extensive ice cream counter (28 flavors) and the smell of homemade waffle cones. I also couldnt help notice the homemade fudge and cookies, ice cream floats and milkshakes/malts. All I can say is, be sure to save room for dessert!

    Everything looked good on the menu, so I asked to sample some of their signature lunch and dinner dishes. I first tried the Southwest Chicken Quesadilla with smoked chicken, cheese, black beans & roasted corn. It was served with their delicious homemade roasted corn and smoked black beans salsa. I next tried their Three Sliders Platter that included the Smoked Turkey Club, Chopped Brisket, and the Pulled Pork. It also came with their broccoli salad side and a corn muffin. You can definitely taste the smoked-flavor in all three sandwiches, and I could eat a bowl full of the broccoli salad. It has broccoli, onion, dried cranberries and a yummy vinegar-based sweet dressing that they sell for carry-out.

    Finally, I tried the Fireside Melt with smoked turkey & ham, bacon, cheese, onion, and their Dijon sauce. I also sampled the potato salad, macaroni and cheese and smoked-baked beans. Im typically not a big fan of potato salad, but theirs is more like the texture of a baked potato and I liked it a lot. All of their sides are excellent and I think really make the meal special. So much that they should consider adding a Sides Only platter to the menu!

    Fireside serves breakfast (all-day), lunch and dinner, and they offer a convenient drive-thru for pickup on the go. They also offer catering and a private event room for meetings or social gatherings. You can tell the restaurant is a labor of love for this family, and I look forward to visiting again next time Im in Shipshewana.

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  • A Step Back in Time

    Posted on Monday, November 7, 2016 — By Admin

    Alt TextCrossroads Café located inside the Topeka Pharmacy is something out of a movie set in the golden days. Capturing history in one restaurant dating back to 1956. The Café has an Old-Fashioned Soda Fountain that's been a part of the pharmacy for 60 plus years. The actual soda fountain has been in Topeka from the beginning and has been passed down to each owner of Topeka Pharmacy.

    Back in the day this was the hang out spot of the local teens. They would grab a soda or treat while listening to their tunes on their hot rods. Farmers would come in to shoot the breeze with their long time pals while townie folks came in for it all. The café is actually attached to the Topeka Pharmacy. It is a one stop shop per say. Drop off your prescription and treat yourself to homecooking or a delicious banana splits. The café has a tiny kitchen and six seats with four soda foundation spigots. Additional seating is available in dining area.

    Crossroads Café's menu features breakfast, lunch, and sweet treats. Some of the menu items are named after former employees or customer's favorite foods. We suggest The Justin Sandwich, named after an employee who worked in the pharmacy and ordered his own spin on a breakfast. (Choice of 2 meats, served with Egg and Cheese on your choice of bread.) Daily Lunch Specials are available too, featuring a wide variety of food from Amish recipes to soup and sandwiches.

    Another favorite are the rolls, they are the only fresh baked rolls in Topeka. (They are a hot item (no pun intended) with the locals.) The Aaron Burger, name after a local hardware store employee, is a chicken breast, topped with bacon Swiss cheese, lettuce, pickle, tomato mayo on a fresh baked croissant. LaVerda Lehman, manager, shared that they pride themselves on using the freshest produce, dairy, and meat products from the local Amish farmers.

    Sweet treats are a must when visiting Topeka Pharmacy or Crossroads Café. Order the Syrup Zombie, a patron favorite. Loaded with Butter Pecan Ice Cream topped with butterscotch syrup, vanilla ice cream chocolate syrup, chocolate ice cream topped with marshmallow cream and finished with nuts and a cherry! It is a zombie syrup apocalypse for sure!

    But don't forget the pie!! Sugar Cream Pie, a local and Hoosier favorite, is very a popular at Crossroads Café. It is a family affair for LaVerda. Her mother makes all the pies daily for the restaurant. Have the fresh, locally made pie a-la-mode or by itself. Either way, grab a cup of coffee because it's some of the best!

    The local Amish staff are the crown jewels of the establishment offering friendly top notch service and smiles. In conjunction with the Pharmacy the menu at Crossroads offers nutritional information on each menu item. This is part of a Healthy Options Initiative designed by their on-staff Dietitian. Crossroads Café is featured on IFA's Ice Cream for Ice Cream, Hoosier Pie, and Soup, Salad, and Sandwich Trails. Located at 101 North Main Street Topeka, IN 46571 www.indianafoodways.com

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  • The Little Red House with Big Italian Taste

    Posted on Tuesday, October 11, 2016 — By Admin

    Iannarelli's is a family owned Italian restaurant located in Howe, Indiana in LaGrange County. Terry and Joyce Iannarelli have owned the restaurant for 14 years. The restaurants home is a quaint historic home built in 1845 and decked out in red with white detail. It stands out in this little town clearly as something special. As their surname suggests the Iannarellis are in fact Italian with bloodline one generation to Italy. Always having an entrepreneurial spirit Terry and Joyce started out by owning an Ice Cream Parlor. As the economy changed, their business declined too, so they closed the Ice Cream Parlor and decided to go back to their roots of Italy.

    When first opening the restaurant they knew they had to perfect the secret family red sauce recipe. A perfect red sauce is key to a successful Italian restaurant. Using the family's secret recipe passed down from generations to generations. Now when Terry's mother comes to visit she sneaks into the kitchen and performs her own little taste test. She has memorized the recipe and she can tell if a pinch of spice is needed here or there just by a small taste.

    Iannarelli's uses the freshest vegetables and even have the locals bringing them produce from their own gardens. Daily they will find bags of produce hung on the knob of the restaurant door. We loved that story they shared with us. The locals share the garden wealth per say.

    We had the opportunity to try several menu items while visiting Iannarelli's Italian Restaurant. First, we sampled Grandma's Pizza, named after, you guessed it, Grandma! It is the real Italian deal with olive oil, garlic, parmesan cheese, tomato, and a four blend cheese. Voted Best Pizza in LaGrange County, it is rich in flavor and crunchy in all the right places. The pizza topping choices are endless. Choose from the traditional menu options or create your own.

    The entire menu is an Italian lovers dream, not just offering pizza, it features flatbreads, soups, fish, chicken, pasta, and other traditional favorites. The Shrimp D' Angelo is a pasta dish made up of angel hair, olive oil, garlic, Italian spices and parmesan cheese. Chicken is an option too if seafood isn't a favorite. One of the most popular and a signature dish is the Lasagna. Layered with ricotta, four blend cheese, parmesan cheese and, of course, the secret family recipe meat sauce. We couldn't decide which item was our favorite, as each one appealed to our appetites and taste buds. We topped the day off with their tiramisu and a cannoli. In true Italian fashion, they both were homemade and simply divine!

    The restaurant's tag line is The little red house with the Big Italian Taste. That statement is nothing short of an understatement. Good authentic, Italian food is hard to find in Indiana. Their authentic recipes passed down from generation to generation are noted in each entrée, pizza, and dessert.

    Iannarelli's offers weekly specials that includes a buffet, so be sure to check out their website or Facebook page for specific specials. Iannarelli's is member of Indiana Foodways Alliance and featured on the Italian and Pizza Trails. 405 Third Street, Howe, IN 46746 260-562-2500 www.Iannarellisllc.com

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  • Fresh Local Produce at Wea Creek Orchard

    Posted on Thursday, October 6, 2016 — By Admin

    Wea Creek Orchard Looking for something to do this weekend? Why not head to Wea Creek Orchard in Lafayette, IN and pick some fresh peaches, nectarines, apples, pumpkins, enjoy a wagon ride, purchase some honey or apple butter, jams and jellies, etc.? Youll have loads of fun!

    Wea Creek Orchard is a 7th generation family farm, started in 1829. Originally, a livestock and row crop farm, it is now home to around 2000 fruit trees! The current owner, moved here in 2007 and started planting trees about 200-400 at a time. Now they farm 72 acres total but 17 acres of that are made up of specialty crops. They selected dwarf tree varieties as they knew they wanted to make this a U-pick orchard and it makes it easier to get to the fruit, especially for young children as the fruit is lower to the ground. In addition to the orchard they have two barns on site, one built in 1870 that they rent for special events such as weddings from April to November and one built in 1880 that houses their market. They have an average of about 30 weddings a year in the barn and even has their own wedding planner to help you plan your big day for no additional charge!

    A day at the orchard is loads of fun for the whole family! All ages enjoy learning where their food comes from, how it is grown and getting to collect your own fruit, right from the trees. Kids spend time scouring the pumpkin patch for just the perfect pumpkin for their jack o lantern. Take a wagon ride around the orchard to scope out just where you want to go and to learn all about what is available there. Learn about honey and how important bees are to the trees. Pick up some hedge apples for fun or a gourd for your fall decorations. Lots of fun can be had, spending a day at the orchard. After youve picked out the best produce, dont forget to swing by the market and pick up some apple butter, apple cider, jams, jellies, salsa, barbeque sauce and more to get you through the winter!

    A variety of fruit is available at the orchard! This year they have Pixie Crunch apples (were told these are so good, they may replace Honey Crisp! Even better, they are a Purdue variety!), Gala apples, Blonde apples (these have become my personal favorites, taste a bit like a pear, I think), Dande Red apples , Mollie Delicious apples (so sweet, its like biting into sugar), Kane apples, Golden Delicious Apples, Fuji apples, Ruby John apples (these almost look purple!), nectarines and peaches. Theyve just started some Cherry Trees so look for those in the coming years.

    Wea Creek Orchard is open seasonally July-October on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays (check their website or call for hours before you go!) and is located at 5618 S. 200 E. on the south side of Lafayette. We hope you will visit and have a wonderful time!

    Blog written by Ashley Gregory

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  • IFA Apple Fall Fun

    Posted on Monday, October 3, 2016 — By Admin

    Indiana Foodways Alliance has their Top 5 Orchards for Apple, Pumpkins and fall goodies to quench your fall fever.

    McClures Orchard and The Apple Dumplin Inn

    McClures Orchard in Peru, IN gives apple lovers the chance to experience everything from wine tasting, apple dumplings, apple picking, hard cider and more. Sampling the award winning wines and hard cider is a must do this fall. With more than 16 different kinds of hard cider you are sure to find your personal favorite. 5054 N. US 31 Peru, Indiana 46970 Peru, Indiana 46970 (765) 985-9000 http://www.mccluresorchard.com/apple-dumplin-inn.html

    Beasley's Orchard

    It's a Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown This popular orchard is participating in the National Celebration of 50 years of Charlie Brown with their annual corn maze featuring Snoopy and Charlie Brown. This family friendly orchard sells apples, pumpkins and scores of other fresh produce and goodies from May until October. The award winning fresh pressed apple cider and caramel apples are a must try while experiencing the corn maze designed by Brett Herbst. 2304 East Main Street Danville, IN 46122 (317) 745-4876 http://www.beasleys-orchard.com/

    Wea Creek Orchard

    Produce galore at this North Central Indiana Orchard, selling peaches, apples and nectarines from July - October. In later fall, pumpkins and honey are abound in their market. Ride a wagon to the u-pick pumpkin patch located on the family-owned farm dating back to the 1855. Biscuit, the dog, and his furry friends will greet you on your journey. Be sure to check out Biscuits blog. 5618 S. 200 East Lafayette, IN 47909 www.weacreekorchard.com (765) 807-6142

    Apple of his Eye Orchard

    Not just for apple picking, this small locally owned orchard in Madison County, IN has an apple cinnamon donut recipe made with help from the Pillsbury Company. Producing a unique twist to traditional apple butter, they make their apple butter with chunks rather than the traditional dark and pasty consistency. Offering 27 different apple varieties, the Pixie Crunch is the newest variety of apples. This hard to find variety is full of zesty, sweet and tart flavor blends. 3185 S. 300 E. Anderson, Indiana. (765) 378-6265 http://www.appleofhiseyeorchard.com/

    Highpoint Orchard

    Pack a picnic, buy lunch, or snack on a u-pick apple while taking in the breathtaking picturesque views from one of the highest points in the county. The historic 18 acre orchard has 20 different varieties of apples, peaches or Asian pears. The most unique apples available are the Mustu, empire, zefstar, and mollies. Be prepared to sample and buy their signature jams, relish and butters all homemade and sold in their gift shop! The Café is open for lunch Tuesday through Saturday until 2pm. 3321 Old US Highway 421 Greensburg, IN 47240 (812) 663-4534 http://www.highpointorchard.com/

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