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.

Learn More

Upcoming IFA Events:

Tales from the Trails Blog

  • Blue Gate Restaurant & Theatre

    Posted on Friday, May 8, 2015 — By Admin

    Alt Text

    Written by Lindsey Skeen

    Aahh the smells of fresh baked bread and homemade cooking was the first thing I noticed as we walked into the door of the Blue Gate Restaurant and Theatre. My senses were officially awakened by the aroma of fresh baked bread, homemade noodles and home cooking. It took me back to my childhood when I opened the door to my grandparent's house. My mouth was watering instantly. Noodle aroma as my sisters call it. Its like walking into my grandmother's house during the Holidays. A smile filled my face from remembering those days.

    BLUE GATE Restaurant, a part of Riegseckers Inc. located in Shipshewana, Indiana AKA Amish Country. It is a great story so if you would like the read full version For lack of a better term, Blue Gate Restaurant is a destination within a destination featuring Amish and Mennonite Cuisine. Personally, I haven't visited Shipshewana in years, I'm embarrassed to admit but was very excited to be a tourist today.

    Maureen and I were greeted by smiling faces and warm hellos entering the dining area. As we were seated I noticed two bottles on every table. The waitress shared with us that the special toppings were Blue Gate's Famous Peanut Butter and Apple Butter. Sure enough, a warm loaf of homemade bread was placed in front of us by the bubbly waitress. I thought to myself, glad I'm famished, unlimited peanut butter spread, I'm in trouble. (I made a mental note to go buy some later in their Bakery Shop.) Luckily, I needed to save room for the rest my meal.

    When ordering at Blue Gate Restaurant several dining style options are available; off the Menu, Family Style or their newest addition Buffet Style. We chose to try the Family Style Dining as we wanted the full experience with the option to sample the different meats and sides. Tender roast beef, homemade meatloaf or smoked ham may be selected to accompany fried chicken as your entrees. We were a split table so deciding on the meatloaf and fried chicken was perfect solution. Sides consists of Amish noodles, mashed potatoes and gravy, vegetables and chicken dressing. If that wasn't enough to look forward to, a fresh salad starts the meal.

    Blue Gate prides itself on the Farm to Table Concept. Most of the menu items are all locally purchased produce, meat, and majority of their ingredients. This place is a prime example of the concept Farm to Table. They even have gluten free options available for those gluten sensitive guests.

    The meal arrived promptly just as anticipated and looked like a mini feast. Blue Gate takes pride in antibiotic and hormone free ground beef and other meats produced from the area. Believe me you CAN taste the difference. The meatloaf was the perfect texture solid and moist yet not too grainy like some meatloaves. The taste exuded savory and sweet in the perfect combination. The chicken was exactly what one would imagine with Amish Fried Chicken. Light on the breading, succulent, and juicy beyond belief. The noodles tasted as though they were hand cut in the kitchen and I'm pretty sure that was the case. The green beans tasted fresh out of the garden. The REAL mashed potatoes were outstanding and the gravy was the perfect consistency and blend of spices. I know I said three or four times to my dining companions that the gravy tasted just like my Grandma Velma's gravy. I'm sure my friends at the table were thinking enough already.

    Blue Gate boasts a plethora of options for their famous pies! A piece of pie, breaded pudding or ice cream is included if you choose Family Style. They have year round options such as Apple Pie, Dutch Pie, Banana Cream Pie, Butterscotch, Peanut Butter, Coconut Cream, and the list goes on. I tried the Red Raspberry Cream Pie and from the first bite I grasped why Blue Gate is known for these decadent desserts. From the crust to the farm fresh pie filling ingredients it is no wonder why Blue Gate is PIE FAMOUS!

    It seems as though the term Farm to Table is used so freely these days but Blue Gate Restaurant embodies this coined term. The freshness of each served item is evident when you take the first bite. From the peanut butter on the table to the last bite of pie, my expectations were exceeded tenfold. If you want the best cooking that brings your mind and heart back to Grandmas on a Sunday or eating right from the farm, visit Blue Gate Restaurant. Your heart mind and belly will be happy.

    While there are many shops under the Riegsecker name to visit in Shipshewana, we decided on the Blue Gate Bakery and Hitching Post. It is the must thing to do after eating at the restaurant. Fresh baked goods are made daily. They have 25 varieties of pies, candy, rolls and many other homemade Amish items filling their shelves. I decided on a Coconut Cream Pie and candy for the family. I walked out without the Peanut Butter Spread, the pie was calling my name!

    The Hitching Post has vast array of items for sale: unique childrens toys, farm nostalgia and locally handmade items by the people in the community. In addition to the merchandise, it hosts The Yogurt Barn and a Coffee Shop and is lovely place to stop and reenergize after a fun day filled with shopping. The frozen yogurt is 100% natural and 50 different toppings are available to add to your treat.

    Blue Gate Garden Inn, formerly the old indoor waterpark hotel, is also owned by Riegsecker Inc. They transformed the former indoor waterpark hotel into charming Inn. Amenities include pool, breakfast, and an ice cream parlor. That's an added bonus when staying there, perfect while visiting Amish Country or catching Josiah For President at the Blue Gate Theatre currrently running May 5 through September 5th. Blue Gate Theatre has hosted famous Country and Gospel Acts as Kenny Rogers, Michael W. Smith, The Oakridge Boys, The Gaithers, Steven Curtis Chapman and many more famous acts.

    Thank you Michael Hoover, for hosting Maureen and I during our visit. He is Group Sales & Marketing Manager for Blue Gate Restaurant & Theatre. Michael sells to tourism professionals and leisure travelers. Wow, what a fun and thrilling job, lucky guy! Thank you for a taking my heart and mind by back to noodle aroma.

    Read More

  • Union Baking Company

    Posted on Tuesday, March 31, 2015 — By Admin

    Alt Text

    By Lindsey Skeen

    Union Baking Company is a little bit of French Flair! Located at 303 East Main Street in downtown Westfield in Hamilton County. I met with Kelly Evans and Joe Quinn owners of Union Baking Company. They shared their passion for cooking and highlighting some of their specialties and unique varieties of baked goods, coffee, breakfast, lunch and specialty items for weddings, special events and corporate gatherings.

    We arrived at the perfect time to sample some of their delicious lunch items. We started out with the Beer Cheese Soup made with Grand Junction Brewing Company Beer. Yum, smooth and sharp all at the same time.

    During our conversation he shared his passion for cooking and Kelly's sharp baking skills, it was a perfect paring. Kelly, a former flight attendant, as well as owning previous restaurants, Kelly traveled abroad and brought her passion for European cooking/baking. The actual restaurant is a former cottage house sitting in downtown Westfield. It exudes European charm the minute you walk on to the porch.

    Next, we had the chance to try the Turkey and Brie Sandwich. It is a staple sandwich on their menu but they do have daily specials as well as certain specials that rotate. The turkey was fantastic with bread from Amelia's Bread. The turkey and brie was freshly made with turkey and soft ripened brie cheese. To top it off a fantastic treat of fig marmalade was spread over the bread and then topped with fresh Arugula. The best part was that it was served warm just hot pressed before it was served to us. The fig marmalade was my favorite part as it added the perfect pairing to the savory turkey and creamy brie.

    We the had something that gave us the one two punch. It is called the Whompus! It is a dessert wrapped up in a little drink that includes espresso, almond milk, cocoa, & agave. It is seriously a peanut butter cup wrapped up in a tiny mug. I'll have another please!

    As I talked with Joe more about their menu I discovered that they offer paleo, gluten free and organic specials. They offer specials and items with dietary restrictions. He recommended you call ahead or check their daily specials for the most up to date offerings.

    The most popular item and Kelly's specialty are the French Macarons. She first tasted the French Macaron during a trip to France and decided to master the recipe! This is not your American Macaron like most know with coconut. The French Macaron is a sweet confection of meringue with filling such ganache, buttercream, jam or other flavorful fillings. Check out this photo it is called the The Big Mac.

    I really want to travel to Europe but right now my plan is to head to Union Baking Company again to experience a little European inspired food. I think I'll take my sisters and mother this time. Union Baking Company is the perfect place to catch up on conversation while enjoying the unique atmosphere and food.

    Read More

  • Sahm's Restaurant and Bar

    Posted on Tuesday, March 31, 2015 — By Admin

    Alt Text

    By Lindsey Skeen

    Sahms Restaurant & Pub is a place that many call home. You do feel like home when you walk into Sahms. Old pictures on the wall, friendly, inviting staff and ambience that is warm and cozy. The menu is expansive and many delicious choices. I visited Sahms on Allisonville and 116th Street in Fishers, Indiana. It is a Fishers and Indiana institution.

    I had the opportunity to try out their appetizer special the Fried Carrot Curls. I have been to Sahms so many times but cannot believe I havent tried this delicious starter! Im usually partial to their popular Fried Mushrooms that have been on the menu since 1986. The history of the mushrooms speaks for itself. The Carrot Curls are fried with a hint of sweetness. A perfect appetizer for people who enjoy an appetizer but do not want something too heavy before the main entrée.

    Sahms is known for the breaded pork tenderloin a popular choice like the mushrooms since 1986. I have enjoyed the succulent pork sandwich many times so I opted to try the Turkey Tom Jones. Im so glad I decided to venture out of my comfort zone. It was fantastic. Its not unusual to be loved by everyone, as the real Tom Jones sings. Well the menu touts that song phrase too. I see why so many people love this sandwich, it is made with fresh ground turkey, sliced avocados, muenster cheese, shredded romaine, sliced tomatoes and sun dried tomato aioli.

    It was not hard to figure out what I might have to satisfy my sweet tooth. Of course, Sahms World Famous Cinnamon Sour Cream Coffee Cake. Yep, I said World Famous. The Coffee Cake even has its own twitter account, handle SahmsCoffeeCake. The premise of the account is showing famous people with the coffee cake edited into their hands on the picture. Pretty clever. The cake is a moist sour cream bundt cake with a delicious cinnamon crumble. The coffee cake is a tradition for many families. People from all over the nation order this popular cake. Check out this You Tube video about the famous cake. Just a little tip: the coffee cake comes complimentary when ordering a salad at Sahms.

    Sahms offers full bar service and 14 tap beers including many local favorites. They also offer house infused spirits and hand crafted cocktails. I indulged in the handcrafted Sophia Petrillo, a drink named after the television show Golden Girl character. The drink itself is jalapeno infused vodka, simple syrup and a splash of mint. It is just like the character on Golden Girls; sweet, sassy and spicy all rolled into one. The bar itself It is known to many in the Indy suburb similar to the television show Cheers bar, where everybody knows your name.

    If you are in the ever growing city of Fishers, be sure to plan for a stop at Sahms Restaurant. It will charm your taste buds and your heart.

    Read More

  • Heavenly Sweets

    Posted on Thursday, March 26, 2015 — By Admin

    Alt Text

    By Lindsey Skeen

    Heavenly Sweets is just what the name states! This little piece of heaven is located on 8th Street in Downtown Noblesville, Indiana. I met with Tanya Marshall owner of Heavenly Sweets on a sunny winter day. I walked into the bakery and found myself surrounded by sample wedding cakes, cases filled with fresh fruit topped cakes, cupcakes, French pastries, and specialty chocolates. Tanya shared with me her story of entrepreneurship and success. It all began 22 years ago as Tanya realized she couldnt find a cake she liked anywhere. So she took it upon herself to make one. Not liking corporate mentality she found out she had the calling to start baking goods. She was a single mom without an oven just trying to make ends meet. Most of her Christmas presents that year came from her tiny toaster oven. She made fancy cookies and gave them as gifts. Her brother was so moved by this gesture that he purchased her a brand new oven. Tanya began to dabble in the catering business as well as making strides in her bakery business.

    After moving several locations she is settled on the 8th location. Now owning the entire block which includes the RL Wilson House that hosts weddings, receptions and parties. Tanya not only is a leader in the wedding cake business but also owns LiL Bit Street Treat Truck.

    Just this January, Heavenly Sweets won The Knot Best of Weddings, an award representing the highest-rated wedding professionals as reviewed by real couples, their families and wedding guests on The Knot. In 2015, only 2% of the 250,000 local wedding professionals listed on have received this distinguished accolade. The Knot Best of Weddings 2015 provides an annual by-couples, for-couples guide to the top wedding professionals across the country.

    Heavenly Sweets uses high quality, real ingredients, all while using meticulous attention to detail and design. She only uses real extracts and unbleached flour but her secret ingredient to her heavenly treats and cakes is the butter cream icing. Let me tell you, it is purely heavenly. The frosting on the cupcake I tried, was nothing short of a dream. Unlike other specialty cupcakes, Heavenly Sweets specialty cupcakes are a welcomed switch from the fluffy cake to a more dense cake with delicious blends of almond extract, butter and cream. The frosting on top is just enough to add the creaminess and sweetness yet not overpower the actual taste of cake.

    Tanya had something special she wanted be to taste, the Lemon Pound Cake with Lavender icing. Wow, it was so refreshing and the icing was an amazing infusion of lavender complimenting the Lemon Pound Cake beautifully! Heavenly Sweets also specializes in European Tarts using a classic one, two, three dough (butter, cane sugar, unbleached flour) and a Frangipane filling. What is Frangipane? It is a high quality almond filling! Tanya will make it one of two ways: 1. Bake berries inside like a pie and top with streusel topping Or 2. Bake and place the fruit on top then that is layered on top of Swiss Raspberry glaze and sealed with a Swiss Apricot glaze.

    Heavenly sweets also offers popular treats such as the Mexican Wedding Cake and Rugelach, which is a cream cheese pastry, similar to a pie crust, but lighter and flakier than American pie crust.

    At Heavenly Sweets customers can stop in and pick up a sweet treats, specialty cupcakes, or cakes. Customers may order in advance as well.

    If you need a little bit of Heaven, stop by 293 S. 8th St. Noblesville, IN 46060.

    Read More

  • Bub's Burgers and Ice Cream

    Posted on Wednesday, March 25, 2015 — By Admin

    Alt Text

    By Jeremy Cole

    The Great Pyramids of Giza, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, and the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus are just some of the 7 wonders of the world but, the 8th wonder of the world is right here in the Hoosier state. It can be found nestled in downtown Carmel at Bub's Burgers and Ice Cream and is known simply as "The Big Ugly". What is "The Big Ugly" you may ask? It is a burger unlike any other! A whopping 22 ounce monstrosity of ground beef grilled to perfection served on a fresh baked bun with cheese, lettuce, tomato, onions, and pickles. If you can handle eating this monster of a burger in one setting then you earn the right to have your picture posted on one of the hallow walls at Bub's. "The Big Ugly" and Bub's earned great fame when they were featured on the popular travel channel show Man v. Food. Host Adam Richman was able to eat 2 ½ Big Ugly burgers before having to tap out and fell just short of breaking the record (which is 4). Ever since Bub's was featured on Man v. Food they have been jam packed with guests wanting to try "The Big Ugly" and havent slowed down since.

    Upon stepping into Bub's you instantly get a feeling of belongingness. Bub's is a quaint place with friendly staff and a family like atmosphere. Once seated, we were served up with some samples of Bub's chili and there soup of the day (which was a chicken enchilada inspired soup). Both were spectacular! The menu at Bub's is simplistic yet, what they offer on their menu is done to perfection. Bub's menu consists of a variety of burgers of different sizes prepared the way you want them, mouthwatering hot dogs, scrumptious waffle fries, some of the best hand dipped milkshakes you will ever try, and a couple of other surprises along the way. One of those surprises that have gradually become one of the more popular items at Bub's is the Elk burger. Made of 100% fresh hand-pattied Elk meat, this burger is a great option for those wanting something low fat and high in protein. And yes, they do make a Big Ugly version of the Elk burger. When you are at Bub's (especially if it is your first time) one just feels inclined to try "The Big Ugly" and that is exactly what we got along with some waffle fries and of course one of Bub's famous hand dipped shakes (chocolate). Of course if you havent guessed by now, Bub's portion sizes are quite large so it was comforting that the entire shake could not be served in a mere mug. The actual stainless steel malt cup it was created in gets served up as well. Once you take your first sip you are hooked! It has that delicious Malt taste that is a throwback to Malt shops of yesteryear. Served with whipped cream and a cherry on top, this shake is to die for! As good as this was it was on to the main event, "The Big Ugly"! First of all, pictures do not do this burger justice as it is massive. At times it almost felt like I was eating a personal pan pizza without slicing into it. As huge as the burger is, the quality of what you are biting into far exceeds it. You can tell that the ground beef is fresh and the patty is hand formed because it reminds you of a burger you would have at a summer backyard grill. The burger was juicy with that nice grill taste to it that puts a smile on this foodies face (and heart). The toppings for the burger were very fresh as well and the cheese was delightful! And the bun, my God the bun! The bun greatly complimented the rest of the burger and was just as fresh as the rest of the sandwich itself. There is a reason to this because the owners of Bub's actually have their own bakery called Lucys Bakery that is right down the road from Bub's. There they have the same person baking the buns for them that has been doing it for the past 12 years since Bub's originally opened its doors.

    All in all, our dining experience was a true delight! Bub's has received a lot of attention and hype in the past couple of years and trust me it is well deserved. Bub's owner Matt "Bub" Fry has created a wonderful restaurant that serves up arguably one of the best burgers you will ever try, superior quality food and service, a great family experience, and one of the most unique food challenges in the Hoosier state. "The Big Ugly" challenge is so well known that people from all 50 states have come to Bub's to attempt the feat of eating this massive burger. Bub's Burgers and Ice Cream is a wonderful place to eat and is without a doubt becoming an institution in the state of Indiana. I highly recommend to all my fellow foodies out there that you put Bub's on your list of great places to try, not just in Indiana but anywhere. It will not disappoint!

    Read More

  • Lisa's Pie Shop

    Posted on Monday, March 9, 2015 — By Admin

    Alt Text

    Lisa's Pie Shop 5995 S Us Highway 31, Atlanta, Indiana 46031 Hours Tue:10:00 am - 6:00 pm Wed - Fri: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm Sat: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

    Don't Forget to Turn by Lindsey Skeen

    Lisa's Pie Shop is Hoosier Gem located right off of Highway 31 in Atlanta, Indiana. I have passed this sign many of times on Highway 31, always wanting to stop to see what this shop offers. Unfortunately, I have had to pass on this opportunity so many times because I'm on a time clock driving to a specific destination. This particular day, I was able to take my time and bring my two young boys with me to visit this treasure called Lisa's Pie Shop.

    Owner, Lisa Sparks, greeted us with open arms and shared her story of how Lisa's Pie Shop came to fruition. Lisa was diagnosed with cancer 18 years ago and realized working in a factory was not how she wanted to spend her life. So she decided that she was going to catering out of her house. She went looking for business anywhere and everywhere to get the business up and running. She ran corn detassling crews and saved the extra money for baking equipment. Lisa's Pie shop was born and was located for a year in Kempton, Indiana before moving to her location in Tipton, Indiana. Lisa shared she is not really a fan of pie and does not even eat it. I found this funny as someone who has won National Accolades for her pie making. Lisa's Pie Shop has been recognized as the best independent bakery in the country. Her philosophy of life is so endearing. Her pies are famous yet she still stands by the fact that she would be nowhere today without her customers and employees. "They make me famous not me. Without the people coming in offering to wash dishes, family, or her dedicated employees pulling an all-nighters during busy season, I wouldn't have Lisa's Pie Shop, I owe it to them." she states.

    Lisa wanted me try several different types of pies to taste: apple, black raspberry, peach and sugar cream pies. Black raspberry, my personal all-time favorite, DID NOT disappoint. It by far exceeded by expectations of the delicious berry goodness. It was the perfect blend of tartness and sugar from the berries and I will certainly order one for a special occasion. However, her peach and sugar cream pie was just as exceptional. Im not necessarily the biggest peach pie fan but I will eat it again. Im a hard sugar cream sell because I make my own for my family. Everyone loves my sugar cream pie. However, Lisa's Sugar Cream Pie Recipe was by far one that exudes rich, creamy flavor accompanied by her homemade pie crust. She was so kind and gave me some secret tips to perfect my pie.

    Oh the crust! YOU MUST TRY!!! IT IS ASTOUNDING! That is all! Did I mention the crust?

    During our visit, Lisa and her staff welcomed us with open arms. She gave Roman and Henry the very special opportunity to learn how to crimp the pie shell and how the staff uses the equipment to press the dough. Both of the boys got a lesson in decorating cookies too. It was especially fun for Henry as his birthday was the next day. I told the boys assessing a restaurant for work has it perks because not everyone gets the opportunity to do this.

    Lisa and her staff were in the process of trying a new recipes and of course, we had the chance to test the goodies out. The boys were fascinated by the baking operation and now calls every bakery a pie shop!

    In the midst of visiting and assessing, I decided to call my Dad to see what kind of pie he would like for his for the upcoming visit. I purchased his favorite Peach Pie, he ate the delicious double crusted pie with joy on his face and his belly thanking me.

    Lisa's Pie Shop does have a few surprises PIE IN A JAR! Yes, you heard right. The entire pie bottled in a jar, PIE AND CRUST directly to you in a jar. I think that will be my next purchase for my Dad.

    Lisa's Pie Shop Standard Menu consists of Apple, Apricot, Peach, Blueberry, Cherry, Strawberry Rhubarb and other specialty pie items depending on season as well as demand.

    Thank you Lisa and staff for welcoming us and making special memories with two of my three sons. So when driving North or South on Highway 31 just at the Tipton/Hamilton County Line, look for the sign and make your turn!!! Whether turning right or left, you are veering into famous pie territory.

    Read More

  • Pizzology

    Posted on Monday, March 9, 2015 — By Admin

    Alt Text

    Pizzology 13190 Hazel Dell Parkway Carmel, IN 46033 317-844-255">

    Pizzology is more than pizza by Lindsey Skeen

    Pizza is probably one of the most common foods in America today. I had the opportunity to sample Pizzology located in Carmel, Indiana. However this pizza was anything but common.

    As I walked in I first noticed stools in front of the kitchen window for families to watch the dough prepared and tossed in the air by the sous chef!! What a nice added bonus while enjoying a slice of heaven with your kids! The atmosphere is modern bar décor with outside/patio seating in the warmer seasons. Chef Paul Robinson, a longtime employee with owner Neal Brown, met us with a smiling face and excited to share his knowledge and expertise of pizza. He first shared that the new menu was coming out in March, click here for the new menu .

    For instance, one of the new items featured is the grilled Octopus. I have to say I'm a seafood lover however, Mollusks, are not my cup of tea, per say. But as I encourage most, try something new always, no matter what your initial reaction. Chef Paul brought out the Grilled Octopus which is Spanish Octopus braised with Lemon and Herbs and finished on the grill. It was served with San Marzano Tomato, Capers, Basil, Lemon, and Bagna Caudafresh salsa. The presentation was so perfect. When I sunk my teeth into this piece of Octopus, I was enamored by the blend of spices and ingredients. The Spanish Octopus was the perfect combination of the tenderness yet had the succulent mouthwatering consistency of the finest filet mignon. If you want to try something different for an appetizer that will have your taste buds longing for more, order the Octopus!!!

    Chef Paul shared that Pizzology using fresh and local ingredients whenever possible. They use local farmers produce and meat for their pizza and other options. Chef Paul said that the late winter/early spring is when their staff meets with local farmers to discuss which seeds to plant for their ingredients throughout the year.

    We decided to leave it up to Chef Paul on the type of pizza he was going to prepare for us. He came out with their most popular on the menu the Homemade Sausage Pizza. The pizza is topped with Housemade Fennel Sausage, sweet and mildly spicy Peppadew Peppers, fresh Mozzarella, crunchy Fennel and Onion. The crust was crisp yet doughy on the inside and the sausage was the perfect blend of spices with the extra kick of fennel! The crunch of the shaved fennel and onion topped to perfection!

    If you want a restaurant that uses local ingredients, has unique starters and blends of toppings on their menu, I highly recommend Pizzology. You will be craving it afterwards, trust me, I did. I cannot wait until they bring their pepperoni and pistachio pizza back to the menu, I HAVE to try that creation from Chef Paul.

    Read More

  • Matteo's Ristorante Italiano

    Posted on Friday, February 20, 2015 — By Admin

    Matteo's40 North 9th Street Noblesville IN 46060 Phone: 317.774.9771 Fax: 317.774.9781

    Matteo's Ristorante Italiano by Lindsey Skeen

    Manifico!! This word is the perfect description for my dining experience at Matteos Ristorante. Locally owned by Matteo DiRosa and Emily Herner in Noblesiville, Indiana, this was my first time visiting Matteos and will not be my last. When I walked in to Matteos, I was greeted by Cathy a long time employee, with a smiling and welcoming attitude. She began by sitting me at a quaint table that was situated in the restaurant filled with black and white traditional Italian photos and old Hollywood stars. These pictures were all handpicked by Matteo. Emily, Matteos wife, chose the artwork above all of the black and whites. The artwork was intriguing as it was meant to be a conversational piece for the guests. Matteo stopped by my table and shared with me that he tries to use local produce and most menu items can be made gluten free for those needing that option. To start I was served fresh baked bread, soft in the middle, with an amazing crunch on the outside. The dipping oil called Laboma is olive oil infused with garlic, sundried tomatoes, capers and hint of crushed red pepper. I couldnt get enough of this zesty oil that made my mouth water for more. But as most do, I didnt want to stuff myself with bread before the salad and main course. I ordered the penne chopped salad with cucumber and tomato tossed with a Dijon Balsamic Vingairette Dressing. The cucumbers mixed with the penne was a nice twist to the chopped salad. On a cold winters day it reminded me of summer. I decided on the TORTELLINI MATTEOS which is cheese stuffed tortellini in a parmesan cream sauce with ham, mushrooms and onion. When it arrived, it looked just like it tasted, UNBELIEVABLE. The rich cream sauce mixed with the savory combination of the mushrooms, onions and ham were a perfect match. It was the best tortellini Ive tasted and it was clear the recipe was crafted for the finest palate. I was pleasantly stuffed as the portion was very generous so I had to bring part of the entrée home with me. It was no surprise that it tasted just as good warmed up as it did for lunch. If you want an authentic Italian experience I highly recommend Matteos, you wont be disappointed. The atmosphere, service and food was superbo!

    Read More

  • Wine, Wine Anytime at Wildcat Creek Winery!

    Posted on Friday, February 13, 2015 — By Admin

    Wildcat Creek Winery Nestled along a tree surround road, lies Greater Lafayettes only winery. Established in 2009, Wildcat Creek Winery is a locally owned and operated winery. Only selling their wines directly at the winery, Wildcat Creek has received numerous awards across the state of Indiana and across the nation. Rick and Kathy Black had dreamed about opening a winery for numerous years. They competed in amateur winey contests and searched for the perfect location for a very long time. Finally, they found the current home to the winery and absolutely fell in love with the property. The property is just one mile off of I65, perfect location for any person driving by wanting to make a quick stop.

    Their most recently released wine, Harvest Cranberry, was released in honor of their 5th anniversary in fall of 2014. This wine is a fruity wine that has an enticing aroma, is a deep red color and is flavored with fresh American cranberries. It is the perfect balance of fruit and sweet!

    Another wine that really stood out to me was Aunt Minnies Cherry Tree wine. Cherry pie in a glass. They served this wine with three little chocolate chips. I was advised to drink a taste of the wine, and then eat a chocolate chip before taking another sip. Those flavors really exploded after consuming the chocolate! It was also recommended to purchase a bottle of the wine and try substituting the water in brownies with the wine. I will definitely have to try that recipe alteration sometime soon!

    Wildcat Creek employs many Purdue University students to work at the winery. Students working in nutrition sciences sometimes take an interested in wine making. This partnership is a benefit both to the winery and to the Purdue community.

    I walked away from the experience with a bottle of their award winning Steuben. In 2012, the Steuben won the 2012 Indiana-grown American Wine of the Year. This wine by far stood out to me as a crisp blush wine with strawberry and cranberry flavors and aroma.

    Wildcat Creek Winery is the perfect place to expand your wine-drinking pallet. You can stop by for a quick glass, or sit outside and enjoy a bottle together with your sweetheart or friends. Their wines have pleased many over their short life and will continue to do so for many years to come.

    -This blog was shared by Rachel Blankenship.

    Read More

  • Attention! Attention! Read all about it! World-class craft beers brewed at Lafayette Brewing Company!

    Posted on Friday, February 13, 2015 — By Admin

    Lafayette Brewing Company Fish and Chips Downtown Lafayette is home to many unique family owned restaurants. Located right on Main Street next to the Lafayette Theatre is a microbrewery owned and operated by high school sweethearts Greg and Nancy Eming. Lafayette Brewing Company opened its doors in September 1993. Locals and regulars may refer to it as The Brew Co or LBC. LBC has a family dining room, a bar, and an upstairs party venue. The upstairs hosts many private parties, comedy events, and the occasional local band or dance group. Local entertainment seen upstairs in the past few months has included One Size Fits All an improv comedy, James Moon and the Third Floor Invention a local band, and Capn Dangerous a local DJ. The upstairs also features a pizza kitchen that is a favorite to the Brew Crew members.

    Let me tell you about the main attraction, the beer. All of the beer on tap is brewed right in house at the Brew Co. Typically 12 beers are featured at any given time. Four flagship beers are always on tap and are definite favorites. They include the Black Angus Oatmeal Stout, Star City Lager, Tippecanoe Common Ale and the 85. Something really unique about my personal favorite beer, the stout, is that it is made with 10% oatmeal. Currently featured on tap are many darker beers, as it is wintertime. Something really to get excited about is the cask conditioned beers that are featured at LBC for limited times. Most recently was the Dastardly Dark with added vanilla beans and cocoa nibs put on cask. A cask beer is one that is fermented for a second time in the vessel it is served in. The results of a cask-conditioned beer are more creamy and smooth. All of those flavors are combined beautifully to create a sweet and delicious unique beer. Amongst all of the hype around the beer, taking a look at the food menu is really important when dining at the Brew Co. The menu is in the form of a newspaper. The centerfold features the food selections. From large salads, to unique sandwiches to burgers, the menu has a little something for every palate. My personal recommendation is a sandwich called the Chicken Meltdown. Layered between two jalapeno cornbread pieces are chicken, bacon and lots of homemade beer-BQ! It was quite the explosion of flavors. Other regular favorites include the queso covered chicken nachos, and a large platter of fish and chips. They also offer three different seasoning to be put on the fries including ranch, parmesan and cajun.

    Lafayette Brewing Company is one of the most welcoming places downtown. The staff ensures that every guests leaves with great experiences. All of the servers and bartenders are extremely knowledgeable about each and every beer on tap at all times. They will work with you to find the perfect beer for each and every person, over the age of 21 of course. Next time go out to eat, try supporting the local economy by visiting the Lafayette Brewing Company. Whether you are brining your young family or a group of 20 friends, the Brew Co has something for everyone.

    -This blog was shared by Rachel Blackenship.

    Read More