How sad to report that just this month, Phil Smidt's closed down for good. We were able to eat their three days before they closed their doors forever.
From the time I met my husband Allan, all I heard was how much I would love going to Phil Smidt's in Hammond, Indiana. Fish is not my favorite food so I was quite reluctant. When I finally was able to go there and order the famous lake perch and baby frog legs, the taste of these fabulous foods converted me forever. It's hard to describe why their fish and froglegs are the very best
They say that the basics of this restaurant have not changed since it's opening in 1910, but it has grown in size. This is a restaurant that has been written up a number of times. I remember seeing the Chicago Magazine write-up. I wished I had kept it, but it basically said that the froglegs and perch were so good that people from Chicago have been driving their ever since Taft was president!
I've really never tried anything but the froglegs and the lake perch, but other people have told me that the homemade soups are delicious as is fried chicken. They do have a full menu with other fish, steaks, and chicken. When we took my parents to Phil Smidt's they tried the "World Famous Gooseberry Pie" because my mother had never seen it on a restaurant menu, and she makes a delicious Gooseberry Pie. She said that it was fantastic; thus, it must be.
We always order Lake Perch boned in butter. They are very small and oh so tender. The Froglegs are also quite tiny and tender. I don't usually like froglegs that are big.
Favorite Dish: The waitresses are excellent and have been there for years so they are quite "in the know" about the menu and the food. Service is excellent.
We like to eat in the Rose Room in a large leather booth. It's called Rose Room because of the Rose plates that sit on the ledge around the room.
You can order a salad or have the platter for everyone at the table that includes cottage cheese, coleslaw, beets, and kidney beans. You also are served rolls with butter and your choice of potatoes (red skin garlic mashed potatoes, baby red boiled potatoes or french fries).
Each year the price goes up because lake perch have become scarce. The last time we were there, the all-you-can-eat perch was $17.00.
That sounds quite expensive, but it sure is worth it.
Many times we have eaten at Teibel's Restaurant in Schererville, Indiana. We have never been disappointed with the service or with the quality of the food.
Teibel's is a family-owned restaurant that has been around for many years. Allan and I have eaten here as far back as the early 1960's!
Teibel's is famous for fried chicken, frog legs, and Lake perch. It's interesting to note that we have watched the prices go up-up-up as the years have passed.
This is a favorite restaurant for birthdays, wedding and baby showers, and retirement parties.
Allan and I usually go with Allan's sister and brother-in-law, Jayne and Ron Glass who live in Schereville.
The dinners come with tomato juice or soup, tossed salad or relishes (cottage cheese, cole slaw, and pickled beets), choice of (baked potato, French fries, rice pilaf, mashed potato, or boiled potatoes in butter and parsley), rolls with butter, and choice of ice cream (peppermint, chocolate, butter pecan, or sherbert).
This is a huge restaurant with several different rooms, and it is famous for its elaborate Christmas decorations.
Favorite Dish: I always order the same thing because it is so delicious. I order Lake Perch (boned and in butter), vegetable of the day, tomato juice, tossed salad, and peppermint ice cream.
Allan sometimes orders 1/2 perch and 1/2 baby frog legs. The last time that we were there, he had frog legs, but was not thrilled with them; thus, he plans to stick with the delicious Lake Perch!
If you ever find yourself near U.S. 30 & 41 in Schereville, Indiana, by all means stop in to eat at Teibel's.
The second photo is a scanning of Teibel's business card with a full picture of the restaurant.
Yats has been serving up large portions of piping hot Cajun food for quite sometime. The restaurant's menu is hand written in chalk on a little blackboard and a plate of food goes for $5, which is a steal for such a great meal! They offer things like Creamy Crawfish Etouffee and Hunter's Stew over a bed of rice and with a side of crusty bread. The tacky over the top Mardi Gras style decor only adds to the authentic Cajun atmosphere. The food is spectacular!
Consistently voted as having the best pizza in Indianapolis, Bazbeaux Pizza was the first restaurant in Indiana to offer whole wheat pizza crust. Exotic toppings and ingredients from around the world are combined to create unique and innovative pizzas.
Opened in 1989, Bazbeaux Pizza is located in a 150-year-old historic building in the trendy Arts District of Indianapolis. Although a bit upscale, it does have a casual atmosphere. During the warmer months, diners can eat outside on a sidewalk terrace. Inside, medieval Italian murals line the walls, and local photographs grace the walls of the well-stocked wine cellar.
Named after the late legendary Belgian jazz guitarist Jean "Django" Reinhardt, Café Django bills itself as Bloomington's premier jazz cafe. The restaurant frequently hosts jazz sessions by local and nationally renowned musicians in an intimate atmosphere.
Café Django offers an eclectic mix of cuisines, including Tibetan, Thai, Indian, Peruvian, and Italian. Vegetarian and vegan dishes are also available. All meals are freshly prepared and cooked to order by chef-owner Kunyang Norbu.
The restaurant has a great modern ambience with all new decor (this used to be the Scholar's Inn, but was revamped and reopened as the lovely SI lounge). They offer a lot of healthy selections, but the food tastes spectacular. There are lots of options from the duck breast that my date tried to the infamous meatloaf, all of their dishes are incredibly innovative. The SI lounge is well known for its bread. It is located in the Arts District on Massachussets Avenue, so it is the perfect stop after visiting the local shops or a coffee house. Also, do not miss out on their fabulous wine bar which has a great selection.
Favorite Dish: Pine-Nut Crusted Salmon $24
Lemon basil aioli, balsamic glaze, broccolini,
smashed Yukons & sun-dried tomato coulis
The goal of Claddagh Irish Pub is to create the atmosphere of an authentic Irish pub by offering traditional Irish dishes, as well as pub sandwiches, salads, breakfasts, and desserts. Of course, a wide array of beverages, including the most well-known drink of Ireland, Guinness Stout, is also available and makes Claddagh Irish Pub a popular night spot. The one in Indianapolis is but one of a chain of these pubs located not only in Indiana, but also Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
The first Indianapolis Virtual Tourist meeting was held at Claddagh Irish Pub on December 2, 2005. Only three Virtual Tourist members showed up, including myself, but we still had a good time and enjoyed the pub's food and drinks.
WOW! Chef Regina George just outdoes herself with her incredibly creative and delicious fare. She has a very heavy European influence in her cooking which are manifestations of her time studying in Ireland, England, and Wales. Even the portions are European sized, which is refreshing considering the gargantuan portions most places serve. I've serched Indy high and low for all the best places, but this just skyrocketed to the top of my list. The food is SO incredible...The menu changes weekly---that's right 52 menus a year----always something to delight and surprise even the most regular patron! The atmosphere is romantic and it feels as if you're dining in an art gallery with the contemporary bar and old brick wall accentuated tastefully with sculptures and such. One of the things I really enjoy about this place is that they use fresh, locally grown produce....many things grown right in Indiana, which allows you to familiarize yourself with the food in this region. All I can say is my compliments to the chef!
Favorite Dish: With the menu changing weekly chances are this won't be there when you go, but I had 3 courses:
Grilled Vegetable Tart Tartin (TO DIE FOR! VEGGIES NEVER TASTED THIS GOOD!)
Panko Crusted Flounder w/ Coconut Guava Sauce, Coleslaw, & Hushpuppies
Glazed Lemon Cake
I also snuck a taste of my date's main course:
Tortilla Crusted Flat Iron Steak w/ Tomatillo Guacamole & Red Rice
The food is so good I can't wait to return!
When Pete & Antonia Iaria moved to Indy in 1913, Italian immigrant families dominated the neighborhoods just south of downtown. The couple opened Iaria's in 1933 and the family has operated the restaurant for 3 generations whipping up the same memorable recipes that made it such a hit so many years ago. The unassuming cinder block exterior hides the kind of neighborhood Italian eatery that so many chains try and fail to replicate. The food is classic Italian---chicken or veal marsala, breaded calamari, pastas, and to die for homemade meatballs! Iaria's has a cult following all around Indy and is a popular place for visiting stars to drop in---just look at all the autographed pictures lining the walls in the bar.Also this restaurant was featured on the Food Network's Best of Family Restaurants show---just try it and you'll know why!
Favorite Dish: I always order the same thing:
Spaghetti Bolognese Dinner with Homemade Meatballs-($13.99)
I'm not a huge spaghetti fan, but this is to die for! YUMM!
Amish Acres is a great place to visit with families. In the summer there are a lot of things to do, buggy rides & historic tours, as well as a huge Arts & Crafts fair. I recently had the opportunity to eat at the restaurant, named "Restaurant Barn". The lunch is great because there are 2 options: $12-14 per person with a huge buffet that is brought to your table or $8.95 with a choice of one of 5 options. We went for the latter, it included our choice of the beef stew, 2 biscuits, sweet pickles, sweet & sour cabbage salad, & a drink. All of the items are homemade, so that pretty much means they are delicious!!
Another cute side note: the waitresses dress up in long dresses simular to the style pioneer days.
Favorite Dish: The best thing in the whole place is the apple butter!
This place is consistently listed amongst the Best of Indy restaurants in Indianapolis Monthly. The low key Greek decor, complete with murals straight from the iconic images of the real Greek Isle will transport you right across the pond. Belly dancers entertain in the evenings and add to the atmosphere. The real attraction here is the food. The pita bread will literally melt in your mouth, the saganaki is truly outstanding, and the gyro meat and side items are to die for!
Remember I am not a Greek food lover, but this restaurant was AWESOME!
Favorite Dish: My date and I had:
Melt in your mouth pita bread and the infamous flaming cheese
Greece's version of kebab grilled with vegetables, we didn't like the spices on this dish at all, sort of had a bitter taste
YUMMM! I could eat this daily, ultra tender chicken cut in thin strips, onions, tomatoes, tziziki sauce, in one of those melt in your mouth pitas!
Each entree comes with potatoes, green beans (soaked in tomato sauce, delicious!), rice, side salad, and bread....
Lots of food and the tab for two (including 2 beers and glass of wine) was around $60.
The L.S. Ayres Tea Room served soup, salad, and sandwiches to white gloved ladies for 85 years before the company's flagship store closed downtown in 1990. In 2002, the Indiana State Musuem reproduced the carpet and chandeliers and reopened the tearoom to an eager crowd. The formal decor, but laid back menu allows the business casual crowd to blend in with ease. Kids particularly enjoy this place with its toy chest where kids can take home a toy, fun menu items like chicken pot pies served in ceramic chickens, and upside down clown ice cream cones. Adults tend to enjoy the authentic atmosphere and infamous chicken velvet soup.
Favorite Dish: I'm a kid at heart and love the Upside Down Clown Sundae. Fun, cute, creative.
The Old Spaghetti Factory is a popular chain Italian restaurant that kids tend to love. The food is mediocre at best, but if you're dining with children then this is a great place to go. Whimsical antiques and decorative items--velvet armchairs, vintage-looking fringed lamps and booths made from iron bedsteads--fill the dining room. The OSF Classics menu offers spaghetti with a choice of mushroom sauce, rich meat sauce, browned butter and feta-like mizithra cheese sauce, and more. Other popular favorites are the baked lasagna--layers of noodles, tomato sauce and four kinds of cheese--and the fettuccine Alfredo. Meals include a green salad, fresh-baked bread and ice cream.
Italian Cream Soda--$3.59
Kids love these!
Garlic Cheese Bread-$3.99
Excellent blend of 3 cheeses!
Baked Chicken Greek Style--$10.65
Pretty good overall, but nothing worth writing home about.
Opened by Louis and Rebecca Shapiro in 1905 as a small grocery store, Shapiro’s became a restaurant in the 1930s. Today it is a full-service kosher-style deli where you can buy smoked fish and cold cuts by the pound; and it is also a huge cafeteria serving three meals a day.
I kept hearing how great El Rodeo's food is, in fact it was nominated as one of Indianapolis' best Mexican restaurants by AOL city guide, so I thought I'd try it. The ambience was nice, except for the uncomfortable wicker chairs, but my server was speedy and served a knock your socks off strong margarita so I was pretty impressed. Everyone shared a chicken nachos appetizer which was smothered in that delicious white queso and then I had a chicken taco salad, which was absolutely HUGE! Everything tasted great and I thought everyone was right about how great the food was but.....
A few hours later I started experiencing nausea....I went to bed......a few hours later I woke up violently ill....I HAVE NEVER BEEN SO SICK IN MY LIFE....I stood crouched over the toilet for 11 miserable hours until my body had forced every bit of liquid from my body....I have no doubt that it was food poisoning and I highly advise thinking twice before eating here....I wouldn't even wish this on my worst enemy....
Favorite Dish: I WON'T EVER EAT HERE AGAIN!!!!
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