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Indy Road Trip June 2015

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#1 kim shook

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Posted 24 June 2015 - 08:15 PM

(Marlene – I hope this is ok to post this kind of report.  I thought that since we’d become private it would be alright.  If not, just delete it – I won’t be a bit offended!)


We left on June the 6th for a visit with friends in Indiana.  Old time eG’ers will remember the incredible and incomparable Racheld who used to write the most wonderful posts there.  Her daughter Caroled still posts there.  We were visiting them and their extended family including Rachel’s husband, C, their DIL K and granddaughter, Miss O.  Rachel and I became email buddies after ‘meeting’ at eG and this was actually our 2nd visit.  On the way we stopped in Charlottesville, VA for our first breakfast.  Doughnuts at Spudnuts:



Not a lot of selection:



Just fabulous, soft, delicate doughnuts:



Second breakfast was at a cute looking diner in western VA.  Fairly standard food.  We didn’t take pictures and I don’t remember what we ate.  Enough said.


We stopped in Ohio for lunch.  Which put us in reach of this fellow:


If all you have is Shoney’s, you may not know the deliciousness that is Frisch’s Big Boy.   Mike had the pork tenderloin:


This sandwich is something we had never heard of until we lived in Indiana about 25 years ago.  We’ve still never seen it in VA and that is a sad thing.  It is a wondrous sandwich and should be embraced everywhere. 


And I had the Big Boy – what the Big Mac is trying to be, but won’t ever be:



When we got to Rachel’s we were too busy talking to bother taking pictures, but they served chicken and rice and fabulous Southern long-cooked green beans with potatoes.  She taught me a good trick, too.  They buy rotisserie chickens and pour off the juices and add a little soy sauce to them.  Makes a great little moistening sauce for the chicken or the rice. 


On Sunday we had breakfast at Lincoln Square in Indy.  The dishes: 


Cornflake crusted French toast.  Incredibly good.  I will be doing this one at home.  Greek Omelet and perfect hashbrowns:



Mickey Mouse pancake:


Gotta love a place that will make a special pancake for a kid.


Their gorgeous “Extreme Angus burger”:


If I ever get back to Lincoln Square at lunch time, that’s what I’m having!


A Western Omelet:



On Monday – Caroled made a lovely brunch:



It included perfect hashbrowns, scrambled eggs and crustless quiche:



Also croissant French toast, bacon and perfectly ripe and sweet strawberries:


Something that I missed getting a picture of was the topping for the French toast.  She basically stewed fresh plums with sugar and made a syrup chockfull of sliced plums.  It was absolutely ambrosial. 


Dinner that night was a group effort.  Caroled made sausages and some of the best baked beans I’ve ever tasted (didn’t get a close shot of the beans):



Rachel did a tomato salad, potato salad, and a creamy jalapeno dip (some pictures missing there, too – we were hungry and talkative):


Everything was fresh and delicious.  C did ribs.  Here’s a picture of the groaning board:


C’s ribs were a big surprise.  He does them from raw on the grill in about an hour.  They were very, very good and had a perfect texture: tender without being mushy.  Mike was paying close attention!


On Tuesday we had lunch at Shapiro’s Deli in Indy.  I’ve wanted to go here forever.  Rachel posted about it on her eGullet blog and I’ve seen it on TV, too.  The dishes included their famous Rueben:


Completely perfect and perhaps the best rye bread I’ve ever eaten.  The pastrami on rye:


Gorgeous and moist.  The exact right amount of fat.  The chicken salad on an onion roll:



I had the peppered beef, a sandwich I’d heard about on Food Network’s show “The Best Thing I Ever Ate”:


I am so glad that I had this.  Different from any deli meat I’ve ever tasted.  Wish we could have brought home a pound or two.  We shared a couple of dishes and desserts.  Lovely chopped liver:






Key lime pie and German chocolate cake:




Everything was so good.  We were sorry that we didn’t know about Shapiro’s when we lived in Indiana.



Edited by kim shook, 24 June 2015 - 08:16 PM.

#2 kim shook

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Posted 24 June 2015 - 08:20 PM

On Wednesday – Rachel, Mike and I took a day trip to where we lived in Indiana - Batesville.  Lunch was at our old favorite Hobo Hut.  Had to take pictures of the oddities (to us) of Indiana menu items – fishtail sandwiches and Manhattans.  Fishtail sandwiches are just triangular shaped fish filets and Manhattans are what Indianans call open faced turkey or roast beef sandwiches with gravy.  Another funny thing that we’ve only seen in Indiana is this:


Anytime we ordered a side of slaw to go with a meal in Indiana, it was served before your meal, as a separate course – like a salad.  It confused us when we first lived there. 


Rachel opted for the classic cheeseburger.  Mike had the daily special – kielbasa, kraut and mashed potatoes (with a side of Wonder bread):



I had the pork tenderloin deluxe:


Every bit as good (and as enormous) as I remembered. 


The tiny town of Batesville has changed a lot.  Not all good changes - places that we loved were gone and new chain restaurants have opened.  But some changes were great.  One new place is called Dotty’s Bulk Food Basket.  It is similar to the Amish/Mennonite bulk food stores that I’ve encountered.  They have every kind of spice and herb imaginable.  All kinds of specialty flours, baking mixes, dried fruits, candies, etc.  I found some fantastic sprinkly-type stuff in their vast cake/cooky decorating area – colors and designs that I’ve never seen before.  I also found a huge bag of Lucky Charms marshmallow bits that I’ve been looking for (there is never enough in the box).  I’d give a lot to have a store like that here in Richmond.

#3 kim shook

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Posted 24 June 2015 - 08:24 PM

On Thursday we had what we called our carb-fest breakfast at their house.  It consisted of a delicious cheese/cinnamon coffee cake from Schmidt’s bakery in our old town of Batesville:



Doughnuts and cinnamon-raisin bread (also from Schmidt’s):





And skillet toast with that gorgeous rye bread from Shapiro’s:



And for some protein, Rachel’s incomparable ‘Paminna cheese’ to spread on the toast:



Dinner started out with some huge shrimp and some fiery cocktail sauce:



C grilled steaks and lamb chops:


Marinated and grilled exactly like we all liked them.  Alongside were some vegetable kabobs:



Caroled roasted cauliflower and Rachel added some bocconcini and vinegar to the tomato salad:





Caroled flattered me by requesting that I make my scalloped tomatoes:



C and Mike brought dessert home (as if we needed it – and yet we dug in) from Long’s bakery.  Doughnuts, cinnamon and apple fries (like fritters) and something called a Mary Ann:






This was about the size of a cupcake – chocolate cake on the bottom, whipped creamy stuff piled on top and the entirety dipped in chocolate.  As she did each evening, Caroled provided a delicious and wonderfully curated cheese course:



I have to say that I was amazed and deeply touched by how much trouble these dear folks took to make sure that I had what I liked.  Mike eats almost anything, but I am so terribly picky.  Very few vegetables, no Indian, no spicy stuff, etc., etc. Rachel even made me my own potato salad leaving out the raw onions and Caroled made two kinds of bacon because she was afraid that the peppered kind would be too hot for me.  

#4 kim shook

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Posted 24 June 2015 - 08:27 PM

Friday was the day that we left for home.  For breakfast, it was back to Lincoln Square.  We had a delectable banana bread French toast for the table:



Mike had the St. Paddy Benedict:


A Benedict with sublime corned beef hash and sautéed tomatoes.  Gorgeous shot of perfectly cooked poached eggs:



C opted for the Apple Turkey Club:


Turkey, bacon (lots of it), sliced apple and all the rest.   


I had the biscuit platter:


Under the eggs is a biscuit with some of the best, most sausage-y gravy I’ve ever had.  I have had so much so-called sausage gravy that was just cream gravy with some sausage tossed in at the last minute.  This stuff had the sausage flavor through and through.


I think that Rachel just nibbled at the banana bread French toast, but Caroled had some sort of omelet:



We said our sad goodbyes and headed off to VA via Ohio and West Virginia.  While in Ohio, we stopped for a double lunch, while still in reach of two old favorites.  We each had a slider at White Castle:


An appetizer, if you will.  The main course was here:



When we moved to Indiana, we got our first taste of Cincinnati chili.  We’d never even heard of it before.  We instantly fell in love with it.  I know a lot of people object to it for various reasons, but we don’t.  I like all sorts of chili, BBQ and even Club sandwiches.  A Coney (no onion):



4-way with beans:






This was the last of the trip pictures, since dinner was in WV at 10pm at Arby’s.  Filling, hardly picture-worthy!  It was a wonderful, chatter and laughter-filled trip.  I’ve said before that I’m now ashamed of myself for years ago calling my daughter’s online pals ‘imaginary’ friends.  It is so true.  I’ve made so many online friends – some I’ve met and some I haven’t – that have been true, caring people in my life.  They have helped me when I’ve had questions, been concerned about troubles in my life and remembered my challenges and stepped in to assist.  I do my share of complaining about the internet and its influence, but when I think of all the friends that I’ve made through CK and eG, I’m very grateful.

#5 Matthew Kayahara

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Posted 25 June 2015 - 03:25 PM

Great report, Kim. I'm always impressed at the regional variations in food in the US. We have regional variations in Canada, too, but not on the same scale!


"A pot saver is a self-hampering cook. Use all the pans, bowls, and equipment you need, but soak them in water as soon as you are through with them. Clean up after yourself frequently to avoid confusion."
-Julia Child, Mastering the Art of French Cooking

#6 kim shook

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Posted 26 June 2015 - 12:44 PM

Thanks, Matthew!  I'm interested in regional differences, too.  That's why, when we travel, I love stopping at grocery stores - especially little local ones.

#7 persimmon

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Posted 26 June 2015 - 03:30 PM

Thank you for sharing your trip with us Kim!  I remember years ago getting together several times with people I met on egullet  & the old foodmuvment website.  (What ever happened to Chris Perry I wonder?)    They were great experiences that I could never have imagined happening when the "big bad" internet first became mainstream.  


The french fries look a little pale & limp at the restaurants you ate in, is that usual in that part of the country?  The hash browns on the other hand, look nice & crispy. Mmmm Spudnuts!  We used to have them in Vancouver, & I remember them well.  Now it's Tim Hortons all over the city - we've had one about 3 blocks from our house for the last 10 years, & I've only been in once.  


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