Tales from the Trails Blog

Friends Don't Let Friends Eat at Chain Restaurants

November 5, 2014 - General -

Great service is as important to an impressive dining experience as is exceptionally prepared food. Timbers Casual Dining & Lounge found on US 20 in Angola, Indiana offers that perfect mix of fine food and superior service. One is a little surprised to find Sashimi Tuna on a menu in the middle of Indiana, but the incredible beer and wine selection should not surprise anyone who dines around the state, as Indiana has a multitude of award winning wineries and breweries. Owner, Don Marquardt, also embraces the German heritage with his seasonal offerings during Germanfest in April. He also shows his sense of humor, offering Timbers T-shirts for sale with the quote, "Friends dont let friends eat at chain restaurants".

On our visit we were greeted and seated by a cheerful staff member who inquired about where we were from, if we were visiting, and for how long. She also mentioned a couple of places in the area to visit while we were in the area. Upon being seated, our drinks were on the way and our waitress made some suggestions on the appetizer menu. There were several choices we wanted to try and we jumped in with both forks!

As the apps started to arrive, I couldnt wait to start. The Buffalo Chicken Dip, similar to the bring along dish for tail gate parties was very well made and the chunks of chicken with the buffalo spice was ideal. Next up was the Seafood Artichoke Dip, served with tortilla chips or crackers the warm dip with a great artichoke flavor is a definite table pleaser. The absolute surprise and a reason to come back is the Sashimi Tuna, which is available as both an app or as a Tuna Steak. This seasoned seared tuna is encrusted with sesame seeds and served with pickled ginger and spicy wasabi. The perfectly cooked rare tuna topped with a bit of ginger and dap of wasabi is guaranteed to bring tears to your eyes&.literally, but in a good way.

The next round of food arrived which included a Prime Rib Sandwich and Sirloin Steak. The Prime Rib Sandwich is created on a grilled garlic bread roll and the prime rib is cut from the loin. The shaved meat is piled high on the grilled roll and arrives with au jus for dipping. Next to the Sashimi Tuna, this is my next favorite. The meat melts in your mouth and is flavorful and moist. The Sirloin Steak is a generous 10oz filet cut, juicy and cooked the perfect medium rare for my tastes. Unfortunately I did not get to sample the Turkey Burger or the Pecan Crusted Tilapia, but will save those for my return visit, because I know there will be one.

I finished up my visit with server recommended Cinnamon Apple Bowl. You have to save room for this creation which can fill the sweet tooth of two. This treat consists of a generous scoop of cinnamon ice cream,, hot apples, caramel sauce and whipped cream all presented in an edible fried bowl. The sweet, the crunch, the creamy and the caramel will hit every portion of your palette and leave you ready to wind down.

The enormous selection of beer and wine is not to be overlooked. Timbers carries more than twenty different wines to choose from including local winery, Satek. The beer selection is super impressive with over 30 different choices, including local favorite, Mad Anthony. A large selection of German beers also awaits your sampling.

What struck me was that not only did the waitress assist us in our selections; it wasnt done as if some sort of enforced policy. We felt that from her questions, she really wanted to match our selections to our likes, while enjoying the great variety they offer. We were made to feel as if our enjoyment was a real priority with her and the staff at Timbers. This exceptional service continued throughout the rest of our visit and is an example many other restaurants could learn from.

Timbers Casual Dining & Lounge was a great surprise to find, tucked away inside the log cabin feel of the décor and a really great experience from the moment you step in the door.

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