Indiana Foodways Alliance Culinary Trails: Guide to Hoosier Dining

Indiana Foodways Alliance Culinary Trails: Guide to Hoosier Dining

Bucket lists have become a big thing. Or maybe it’s just the term du jour. People have always checked to-do’s off travel lists. Visit all 50 states. Take in a ballgame at every Major League Baseball stadium. I do the same even with smaller lists. Photograph every Seward Johnson sculpture in a city. Stop at every  shop on the Wayne County Chocolate Trail. So when I learned about the Indiana Foodways Alliance culinary trails, I was on board. Right away I decided I wanted to eat pie at every restaurant on the Indiana Foodways Alliance Hoosier Pie Trail. My attempt was a miserable failure. Read more

Ciao Bella: Northwest Indiana Chic Trattoria

Ciao Bella: Northwest Indiana Chic Trattoria

My meal at Ciao Bella was something I’d expect from a high-end Chicago restaurant. Baby lamb chops, standing bone-end up forming a tepee atop a mound of rapini and beans, topped with delicate purple microgreens, was as pleasing to the eyes as it was to the taste buds. Read more

Tippecanoe Place: Dine in a Stately Old Mansion

Tippecanoe Place: Dine in a Stately Old Mansion

Tippecanoe Place ExteriorI love old mansions and am especially partial to old stone mansions. I also, of course, like a good meal. Put the two together, and it’s a sure winner. I had the pleasure of enjoying Sunday Brunch at the Tippecanoe Place restaurant in South Bend, Indiana, earlier this year. The opulent ambiance is a wonderful setting for a sumptuous meal.

Dating back to 1889, the 26,000 square foot stately mansion was originally the home of Clement Studebaker, co-founder of South Bend’s Studebaker automobile manufacturing company. During World War II, the mansion served as headquarters for the Red Cross. Today Tippecanoe Place welcomes guests for lunch and dinner, as well as Sunday brunch

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I could feel the richness of the building just opening the heavy wood doors inset with leaded glass.

Entrance to Tippecanoe PlaceI saw only a few of the mansion’s 40 rooms on my visit. Our seating was in the mansion’s light and airy drawing room, which includes one of the building’s 20 gorgeous fireplaces.

Drawing Room, Tippecanoe PlaceFireplace in Tippecanoe PlaceThis alcove off to the side is perfect for a family get-together.

Dining Alcove in Tippecanoe PlaceIn contrast to the drawing room, the adjacent library exudes its richness through heavy, dark, carved molding. The library is where the brunch buffet was set up.

Sunday Brunch at Tippecanoe PlaceThe brunch menu includes several hot breakfast and lunch items, including made-to-order omelets and hand-carved ham and beef.

Omelet Station at Tippecanoe PlaceThere were several salads and sides to choose from, including lots of fresh fruits.

Strawberries on Tippecanoe Place Sunday brunch buffetThe dessert buffet, in a room separate from the rest of the food, had even more fruit, plus pastries, cookies, and cakes.

Dessert Fruit at Tippecanoe PlaceDessert Pastries at Tippecanoe PlaceDessert Cookies and Cakes at Tippecanoe PlaceThe dinner menu includes appetizers like Lobstercakes Tippecanoe and Baked Brie en Croute. Entrees are pasta, three cuts of prime rib, steaks, rack of lamb, seafood items like Pacific swordfish served with basil risotto, and poultry, including roasted Indiana duckling served with a choice of two sauces.

Lunch is mostly lighter fare, including salads like the fresh berry chicken salad, sandwiches like a smoked turkey Reuben or a portabella mushroom sandwich. Pasta, prime rib and a couple of grilled seafood dishes are available for lunch, as well.

Tippecanoe Place, located at 620 W Washington Street in South Bend, Indiana, is a great place to celebrate a special occasion or to treat yourself to a nice meal during your South Bend getaway. Check the web site for hours and menus. Closed Mondays.

Disclosure: My visit to Tippecanoe Places was hosted by Visit South Bend and Tippecanoe Place, but any opinions expressed in this post are my own.

Thank you for reading Midwest Wanderer. Don’t miss a post. Enter your e-mail address below and click Subscribe to be notified whenever I publish another post. Subscription is FREE. After subscribing, be sure to click the link when you get the e-mail asking you to confirm.   – Connie


 

Other posts you may be interested in:

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Tour the South Bend Chocolate Company Factory

Shop the South Bend Farmers Market Year Round

Tour and Taste at 18 Vodka, Mishawaka, Indiana

Indiana’s Greatest Pizza is sold from a Food Truck

Indiana’s Greatest Pizza is sold from a Food Truck

Truck with tablesWe were traveling through Indiana Dunes Country along the southern shore of Lake Michigan looking for a place to eat when we spotted a shiny red vintage Studebaker food truck parked along U.S. Highway 12 in Beverly Shores. They had plenty of customers, which could only mean they had good food, so we stopped to check it out.

The truck was one of two owned by the Rolling Stonebaker, maker of wood-fired pizzas. The Rolling Stonebaker offers the standard pepperoni and sausage pizzas, but they also make unusual combinations with unique names like the Choke-n-Shroom and Potatohead .

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Purple PigWanting to try something other than the ordinary, my husband and I chose the Purple Pig, a pizza with smoked pork shoulder, barbecue sauce, and mozzarella and provolone cheeses. When the pizza came out of the oven, a generous portion of tangy purple coleslaw was sprinkled on top. The super-thin, crispy, smoky-flavored crust was perfect with the smoked pork and barbecue sauce, and the crunch of the rough-cut coleslaw added another element to the texture.

It turns out we really did pick a winner. The Purple Pig was name in Food Network Magazine as the must-try pizza in Indiana in its “50 States 50 Pizzas” feature.

AndreaIn its fourth season in 2014, the Rolling Stonebaker food truck is parked most weekends by the Camp Stop General Store at the corner of Broadway and U.S. Highway 12 in Beverly Shores, Indiana. Other regular parking places for the truck are the Valparaiso Farm Market, Griffith Central Market and Chesterton’s European Market. The Rolling Stonebaker also caters. Check the web site to see where you can find them when you’re out and about in Indiana Dunes Country.

Thank you for reading Midwest Wanderer. Don’t miss a post. Enter your e-mail address below and click Subscribe to be notified whenever I publish another post. Subscription is FREE. After subscribing, be sure to click the link when you get the e-mail asking you to confirm.   – Connie


 

Eddie Merlot’s: Fort Wayne Dining at its Finest

Eddie Merlot’s: Fort Wayne Dining at its Finest

Bill Humphries knew that more often than not women choose the place to eat when a couple dines out. So he wanted a lighter, airier atmosphere for his restaurant, an ambiance that would appeal to men and women alike. He felt that too many steakhouses are heavy with dark wood. The result is elegant richness in Eddie Merlot’s restaurant decor, much like the food they serve. Read more

Baker Street, Fort Wayne IN: It’s all about the Customer

Baker Street, Fort Wayne IN: It’s all about the Customer

“We’d have nothing to do if it wasn’t for the people,” James Khan, manager at Baker Street in Fort Wayne, Indiana, tells his staff. “Don’t focus on easy.” Rather, Baker Street’s focus is on creating a memorable experience for guests.

Khan explained the company’s “humble approach” philosophy to our group of travel writers as we dined on appetizers like Shamini Tuna and Smoked Gouda & Crab Dip.

Shasim_tuna

Baker Street offers fine dining, often costing more than customers normally pay for a meal, so guests expect the best, and Baker Street does everything they can to ensure guests receive both food and service beyond their expectations, according to Khan. Servers don’t work alone until they have been trained for six to eight weeks. In that time they learn that if it’s possible to fulfill a customer request, they do it. For instance, they typically serve one cola brand. However, realizing that some guests will drink only another brand, they keep some on hand for those occasions. Khan related a story in which a designated driver with a group of guests only drank Diet Mountain Dew, which they didn’t have, so staff ran to a local store to buy some for him rather than disappoint.

Baker_Street_interior

In another story, Khan told of a couple who came in to celebrate their tenth wedding anniversary. The woman had her heart set on tilapia prepared the way it had been on her last visit. However, Baker Street’s menu changes occasionally, and when the customer saw that the tilapia was now prepared differently, she expressed her disappointment. After confirming she would be okay to wait twenty minutes, the staff made some of the sauce used in the previous tilapia version and prepared the fish the way the customer remembered it.


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As for food quality, if the appetizers our group was served is typical, it’s top notch. The chicken wings are baked first before frying for an extra crispiness beneath the sticky Asian sauce.

Chicken_wings

The scallops, served on a bed of sweet-and-sour sauce and garnished with walnuts and blue cheese, practically melted in my mouth, and the Cuban rolls, Cuban spiced braised pork, white cheddar and Ossian ham stuffed into a short, hollowed soft bread stick, were deliciously flavorful.

Cuban_rolls_and_scallops

While Baker Street food isn’t all farm-to-table, they do source many of their products locally, including linens, coffee, and meat. Occasionally, they offer specials that promote locally sourced foods, like their patio dinner series, held every other Sunday from Memorial Day through Labor Day, in which the entire dinner is cooked outdoors where diners can watch the meal come together.

How does Baker Street stay consistent with their meal quality and service? All staff members are stakeholders in the company. Everyone shares a percentage of the profits each quarter, and they know that customer satisfaction is the key to turning that profit.

Baker Street, open for lunch at dinner, is located at 4820 N Clinton Street in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Check the web site for exact hours, the menu, and to make reservations.

Disclosure:  My visit to Baker’s Street was hosted by the Visit Fort Wayne and Baker’s Street, but any opinions expressed in this post are strictly those of the author.

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Shoreline Brewery, Michigan City IN: Great Brew, Great Food

Shoreline Brewery, Michigan City IN: Great Brew, Great Food

I stumbled across a microbrewery a year or so ago, near the shore of Lake Michigan in Michigan City, Indiana, that I liked so well it’s sure to become a regular stop whenever I pass through the area.  That it’s popular among locals, packed both times I’ve been there on the weekend, is no wonder, as the brew is good and the food unique and delicious. Read more

Bread Basket Café & Bakery, Danville IN: Fresh and Delicious

Bread Basket Café & Bakery, Danville IN: Fresh and Delicious

It may be a little hard to find since it’s a couple of blocks off of Danville’s square, but the Bread Basket Cafe & Bakery is worth looking for.  The welcoming staff of this family business make you feel as comfortable as the warm buttery yellow walls and stone fireplace of the old renovated house that serves as the cafe.  And their mission, “…to provide a bite of something local, fresh, and simply decadent,” couldn’t describe the food better. Read more