Blue Gate Restaurant & Theatre
May 8, 2015 - General -
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 http://www.riegsecker.com. 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. http://www.riegsecker.com/shipshewana/bluegatetheatre/schedule/
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.