Story Inn: Middle of Nowhere, But Worth the Drive
Any night of the week, we can find a great Indy restaurant, but when we crave an experience—a special place with an inspired menu and atmosphere to spare—we’re willing to hit the road.
The Perfect Protein Salad from Duos food truck. Crispy/chewy (chewspy?) fried Pretzel Dunkers at Fox and Hound (4901 E. 82nd St., 317-913-1264; 14490 Lowes Way, Carmel, 317-844-0075), served frites-style in a paper-lined basket with creamy queso for dipping. (Tip: Ask for mustard as well.) The adorable Cheesecake in a Jar at
Leaves are not the only things beginning to fall from the trees of Indiana. In Mitchell, the community’s beloved persimmons have begun their annual drop. This Saturday, the town celebrates persimmon season with the 66th Mitchell Indiana Persimmon Festival. As any veteran persimmon baker will tell you, the local fruit is best harvested once it falls naturally from the tree. Alverta Hart, persimmon and novelty dessert coordinator for the Persimmon Festival says the fruit has a “puckery” and unpleasant taste if harvested directly from the branch. And since the majority of the 130 to 230 contestants who flock to the festival each year reference a similar, if not almost identical, pudding recipe, it is important to pick persimmons at the peak of maturity.
This time next month, you’ll once again be able to grab a beer and a bite from the Aristocrat Pub & Restaurant (5212 N. College Ave., 317-283-7388). According to manager Melissa Uhte, the 79-year-old neighborhood favorite will reopen its doors in the first or second week of October after a 13-month closure for reconstruction, the result of an electrical fire that destroyed the back of the building and left everything else saturated with smoke.
The latest lunchtime addition to downtown is Punch Burger (137 E. Ohio St.), a casual burger-and-beer joint where diners can grab a quick bite for $5 to $6. Scheduled to open Oct. 1, the concept comes from Travis Sealls and Devon Everhart, owners of downtown’s fast-sandwich spot, Pita Pit (1 N. Pennsylvania St., 317-829-7482).
Inspired by the success of upscale watering holes like Ball & Biscuit, Libertine, and Bluebeard, Valerie Vanderpool, chef and co-founder of Zest! Exciting Food Creations (1134 E. 54th St., 317-466-1853) is getting in on the cocktail craze. In April, Vanderpool plans to open Twist Lounge in the former N. Rue spot next door to her SoBro restaurant. The lounge will have a “sparkly, Paris boudoir look,” according to Vanderpool, who plans to apply Zest’s philosophy about food (“make it fresh, use quality ingredients, add a little whimsy”) to drinks such as the Cuzmopolitan and the SoBro Long Island Tea. “It’s going to be a total extension of what we’ve been doing for the last six and a half years,” Vanderpool says.
When Garuda, the short-lived Indonesian restaurant around the corner from Taste Café and Marketplace closed last summer, we weren’t planning on the owners reopening its doors just a few months later. We were surprised to hear that original owner Peter Oomkes’ son, Helger Oomkes, recently reopened the spot as SoBro Cafe (653 E 52nd St., 317-920-8121).