Five Great Brown County Restaurants

A quintet of mighty fine eateries in and around Nashville for your dining pleasure.

Big Woods Brewing Co. You can follow the pointing finger signs around Nashville to this brewpub that taps seven craft beers and a root beer. It is not difficult to find; just look for the timber-framed building made of reclaimed Indiana limestone and barn wood. Menu favorites include pulled-pork nachos topped with corn, jalapeños, black beans, peppercorn ranch, and barbecue sauce, and Emily’s Garden Pizza, which is loaded with squash, feta cheese, red onions, spinach, tomatoes, and olives. You won’t find it on the beer menu, but the brewers drink something called a “Black and Busted,” a combination of Big Woods Stout and the signature Busted Knuckle Red Ale. The pub only admits persons 21 and older, but there’s a family-friendly sister restaurant, Big Woods Pizza, just across the alley in Big Woods Village, as well as a home-brew store, a second brew house, and a smokehouse. Lunch and dinner daily. 60 Molly Lane, Nashville. 812-988-6000, —CJ Lotz

Farmhouse Cafe & Tea Room. The trip to Nineveh’s Farmhouse Cafe & Tea Room, tucked off a winding path in Brown County, is best made on a sunny fall afternoon and, if you can manage it, in a convertible with the top down—arriving at the rustic brick cottage is somehow more enjoyable if you are slightly windblown. Catch your breath at a mosaic-tiled table in the secluded courtyard, or sink into a mismatched dining-room chair pulled up to a flowery oilcloth-covered table. As with any garden-influenced eatery, the seasons drive the simple, paper menu, and each vegetable-stuffed dish is made to order. The Herb Barn garden salad is far more substantial than the name suggests, with bell peppers, green beans, olives, artichokes, tomatoes, sliced eggs, and “other fresh garden goodies” and topped with housemade herb dressing; add turkey, cheese, and ham to tide you over. The curried chicken salad, made with lean grilled chicken marinated in garlic, curry, yogurt, and cilantro and served atop penne pasta, green beans, and tomato slices, is a perennial favorite. Among dinner entrees, try the Farmhouse filet or prime New York strip, grilled over a wood fire and served with grilled garden vegetables and roasted redskin potatoes, or the Brown County grilled pork chop, basted in a secret sauce of herbs and spices. Wash down your meal with the woodsy snap of a chilled glass of sassafras iced tea (or beer or wine, a new addition) and meander through the adjacent barn, filled with antiques, hanging baskets, and garden accessories for sale, before you pull onto the open road once again. Dinner Tues.–Sat. 5171 Bean Blossom Rd., Nineveh, 812-988-20049. —Staff Report

Hobnob Corner. With the best location in Nashville, at the corner of Main and Van Buren streets, the Hobnob is hardly a secret. But visitors who only line up for breakfast and lunch are missing a treat. The Hobnob’s new “Today After Five” menu features creative, frequently changing seasonal specials that have included sea bass with tomato-caper sauce, pan-roasted duck breast with local mushrooms, and shrimp with capers and feta cheese. A wide variety of unexpected wines starts at $21 a bottle. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner Wed.–Mon. 17 W. Main St., Nashville. 812-988-4114. —Nancy Comiskey

Muddy Boots Cafe. The personality of this locals’ spot is like a favorite aunt—warm and welcoming, and a little eccentric. With low ceilings, mismatched tables and chairs, and funky art, Muddy Boots blends earth-child harmony and Americana-diner spunk. The cafe steeps its own lavender blossoms and adds honey and lemon for a refreshing lavender lemonade. The dark-greens salad (no iceberg lettuce here) topped with the house blueberry vinaigrette is a good starter. The place is known for wraps and burritos, but the warm Alfredo mac and cheese is a fine choice as well. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily. 136 N. Van Buren St., Nashville. 812-988-6911, —CJ Lotz

Stream Cliff Herb Farm (Twigs & Sprigs Tearoom). Turn at the Commiskey general store (you can’t miss it—there’s nothing else around), cruise past horses in their pasture, and pull into the driveway of Indiana’s other Manning family—the owners of Stream Cliff Herb Farm, which occupies the backyard of a homestead that was once awarded in a land grant by George Washington. Amble along brick walkways squeezed between quilt gardens with tree-branch arbors to reach the rustic restaurant, Twigs & Sprigs Tearoom, where herbs grown on-site flavor every item on the ladylike menu, and an edible flower garnishes each plate. The classic lunch is lemon-verbena lemonade, birdseed pasta salad, and hummingbird cake, followed by plant-shopping with a Radio Flyer wagon, browsing the country boutique, attending a craft workshop in Grandmother’s Keeping Room, and sampling the farm’s own wine in the old blacksmith shop. Lunch only. Wed.–Sat. 11 a.m.–4 p.m.; Sun. noon–4 p.m. 8225 S. County Rd. 90 W, Commiskey. 812-346-5859. —Staff Report

TIP: The Oliver’s BBQ trailer, parked at the Brown County IGA (30 Hawthorne Dr.) in Nashville on weekends and major holidays, has sweet, smoky barbecue.