Real Food, Real Indiana

Welcome to the Indiana Foodways, a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to the celebration, promotion and preservation of the authentic food culture of Indiana. We are a membership organization of inquisitive eaters, good cooks, culinary historians, chefs, food journalists, restaurateurs, culinary tourists, artisans and manufacturers.

Our membership encompasses a field to table spectrum from agriculture to fine dining, with emphasis on all the specialty foods, farm markets, diners and hands-on restaurants in between that are so dear to the hearts of Midwesterners who love real food.

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Tales from the Trails Blog

  • Fireside Cafe

    Posted on Wednesday, November 16, 2016

    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

    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

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  • The Little Red House with Big Italian Taste

    Posted on Tuesday, October 11, 2016

    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

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  • More Tails for the Trails:

    9/27/16 - The View Tavern
    9/21/16 - A Hawaiian Sweet Stop
    9/15/16 - A little zing from Zing
    9/12/16 - A Few of My Favorite Things -
    9/9/16 - Run, walk, bike, drive or boat to Coody Brown's Lakeside Grill in Wolcottville, IN!

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