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  • Northwest Indiana Food

    Post #1 - July 20th, 2006, 10:50 pm
    Post #1 - July 20th, 2006, 10:50 pm Post #1 - July 20th, 2006, 10:50 pm
    Here are just a few tips for folks driving through Northwest Indiana between Chicago. When I lived in Chicago I often thought ... gee, I wish there were someplace to eat in Northwest Indiana. Now I live out here and have a few tips for those interested in hopping off in Northwest Indiana.

    Hammond and East Chicago are real "working-class towns" with dozens of distinct neighborhoods that Chicagoans too often have no idea about. Next time you are blowing through Northwest Indiana and want something to eat try these great pit stops.

    My favorite Taco Place:

    Taco Real (Motto: Dedicated to Stamping Out Gringo Food)
    935 E Hoffman St
    Hammond, IN 46327-1838
    (219) 932-8333

    On 90 to or from the Skyway, Exit Calumet Ave in Hammond, South on Calumet (HWY 41), East on Chicago (HWY 312), South on Oak. Parking on street or in Lot.

    The tacos are good here, and they serve all food with Pico sauce and an odd warm "salsa" which most people mix with the Pico. They will bring farmer's cheese and Jalapenos if you ask. Ask.

    The Chicken Mole (1/2 order) is wonderful and rich.

    They serve micro beer on tap, and Mexican beer in a bottle. They also have a full bar. On a weekend between 6 and 8 pm expect to wait 30 min for a table.

    North Hammond has always had a large Mexican population, and Mexican American population. It was larger when all the large steel mills were employing many more workers, but Taco Real brings in people from all around Northwest Indiana and South Suburban Chicago.

    Polish Bar/Restaurant

    Cavalier Inn
    735 Gostlin St, Hammond, Indiana 46327-1418,

    Same Exit, Calumet Ave., Southbound, West on Gostlin, has its own lot.

    Restaurant is open to 8. I think it is only a Friday Fish Fry. Family bar in front usually has three generations of the owner's family. Relaxed place to eat and have a beer.

    The pierogie are great yummy starchy goodness. The Potato Pancakes or "Latkes" are also wonderful carb. parties. They offer perch and other kinds of fish on Friday. Me and my friend from South Bend had one of each and washed these down with Old Style and had a great time. Nothing fancy but a real Polish American treat for those who enjoy this food. It is across the street from a 1950s roller rink that is still open. The area of Southeast Chicago/Northwest Indiana is one of the centers of Polish-American population (must larger when the US Steel South Works and other steel mills were busy) in the United States.

    There are other options if you are taking Interstate 80 in Hammond, Munster, and Highland, including a wonderful Indian restaurant, a great Italian place, a Brew Pub, and South on 1-65 one of the best Lebanese cafe's in the Midwest. The "reegin" (short for Calumet Region) is a very diverse area that many people never take the time to explore because of its industrial past.

    These are just a couple worth checking out when passing through.


    :D
  • Post #2 - July 20th, 2006, 11:10 pm
    Post #2 - July 20th, 2006, 11:10 pm Post #2 - July 20th, 2006, 11:10 pm
    HI,

    I hope you will contribute more on this overlooked region as time and suitable places come to mind. When I was in Indianapolis recently, I picked up a restaurant guide for Indiana, which includes some in your region. I bought as a stepping stone to checking out NW Indiana, so your posting is a wonderful coincidence.

    Thanks for posting!

    Regards,
    Last edited by Cathy2 on July 20th, 2006, 11:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
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  • Post #3 - July 20th, 2006, 11:35 pm
    Post #3 - July 20th, 2006, 11:35 pm Post #3 - July 20th, 2006, 11:35 pm
    Hi,

    In this post on Sundae's, there is a list of unique ice cream sundae's throughout the United States. These are the ones for Indiana:

    Indiana Hot Fudge Sundae
    Zaharako's
    329 Washington Street
    Columbus, Indiana 47201 (
    812) 379-9329

    Four Horsemen South Bend Chocolate Café
    122 South Michigan
    South Bend
    (574) 287-0725

    The Army Navy Mundt’s Candies
    207 West Main St.
    Madison
    (812) 265-6171

    Blondie Sundae Snowbear Frozen Custard
    620 W Stadium Ave.
    West Lafayette
    (765) 743-8024

    Lemon Sundae
    The Fountain at Lynn’s Pharmacy
    22 W. National Ave.
    Brazil (812) 446-2381

    S’more Supreme
    Sundae's Ice Cream
    9922 E 79TH St
    Indianapolis (317) 570-0533

    Mexican Sundae
    Mrs. Curl Ice Cream Shop
    259 S. Meridian St.
    Greenwood
    (317) 882-1031

    Upside Down Banana Split
    Polly's Freeze
    5242 State Rd 62
    Georgetown
    (812) 945-6911

    Hoosier Delight
    Ritter's Frozen Custard
    4840 W 57th St
    Indianapolis
    (317) 293-1417

    Cherry Sundae
    Frost Bite
    7025 Galen Dr.
    W. Avon
    (317) 272-2483

    Three Acre Sundae
    Joe Huber’s Family Farm & Restaurant
    2421 Scottsville Rd.
    Starlight
    (812) 923-5255


    Are you acquainted with any? Do you have any ice cream parlors you might want to add?

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #4 - July 22nd, 2006, 7:26 am
    Post #4 - July 22nd, 2006, 7:26 am Post #4 - July 22nd, 2006, 7:26 am
    Thanks for the heads up. Was driving back to the city from Michigan yesterday and popped off the highway for lunch at Taco Real.

    Muy bueno! Was lucky to get there for the weekend menu, and had the frijoles barrachos and chile rellenos con queso. The frijoles were outstanding, perfectly cooked and seasoned. I'd return just to have some more of these. Chile rellenos are easy to screw up, but these were a fine rendition. They used a type of chihuahua cheese that I don't run into in Pilsen, this was a yellowish type that was more flavorful than the paler version you usually see. Very flavorful and fresh. They offer a half order and full order, I had the full order and out came a massive plate of food. Even though I had a trencherman's appetite I only dented half of it. Excellent refried beans came with the plate, they cook with nice fresh lard.

    Definitely worth a slight detour if coming or going from the city, only ten minutes off the interstate.
  • Post #5 - July 22nd, 2006, 1:17 pm
    Post #5 - July 22nd, 2006, 1:17 pm Post #5 - July 22nd, 2006, 1:17 pm
    I've heard good things about Three Floyd's Brew Pub. Heard it's kid friendly and the food was unique for pub food and quite good. Anyone been there? It's in Munster down Rt. 41.
  • Post #6 - July 22nd, 2006, 11:59 pm
    Post #6 - July 22nd, 2006, 11:59 pm Post #6 - July 22nd, 2006, 11:59 pm
    (Bias alert, I grew up in Munster IN, my parents still live there, and most of my relatives and quite a few friends live in NWI, aka Northwest Indiana. Every person I know who lives in NWI doesn't like it being called "the region".)

    When I saw this thread I thought I was back on Chowhound, where I got into a huge (mostly private) argument with Jim Leff about NWI. Do people realize that Hammond shares a border with the city of Chicago? How is it not considered part of Chicagoland?

    As for the list of ice cream places above...all but one is at least 75 miles from anywhere in what is considered Northwest Indiana, and that one (in South Bend) is more than 50 miles away. Door County WI is closer to Chicago than are three of the places on that list!

    OK, I feel better now.

    There are some amazing places to eat in NWI, and in just about every case the prices are MUCH below comparable restaurants in other parts of the Chicago area. The price exceptions are mostly in Munster, which it would seem is where most former Illinois surgeons have moved and set up shop. Within a one-mile stretch of Calumet Avenue there are two large hospitals, four surgical centers, and countless clinics. But I digress.

    I have a friend in Santa Rosa CA who owns a brewpub there (Russian River Brewing Co.), and he's won numerous medals at the annual Great American Brewfest in Denver. He has visited here numerous times, and in his opinion the best brewpub in the Chicago area is Three Floyds. BTW, it's on Calumet Avenue, US41 doesn't go through Munster.

    Another place in Munster worth a visit is Cafe Elise, in the shopping area at the NW corner of Harrison and Ridge Road. You'll find some reviews on the Metromix website, and I believe the Chicago Tribune did a quick review a couple years ago. I'll just say that it's on my list of "great unknown places" in the Chicago area.

    Gino's Steak House in Dyer is a re-incarnation of the place in Harvey. The wine list isn't great and the service is slow, but where else in the Chicago area are you going to get a 14oz prime dry-aged strip steak, with salad and potato, for $26?

    One thing worth mentioning is that Indiana has draconian liquor laws, and it's rare to find a good restaurant wine list anywhere in the state, even in Indianapolis. But on the bright side, the wine prices are ridiculously low...
  • Post #7 - July 23rd, 2006, 7:04 am
    Post #7 - July 23rd, 2006, 7:04 am Post #7 - July 23rd, 2006, 7:04 am
    ,

    While you may feel inclined to get your dander up, you have to admit to an almost universal blindspot when it comes to Whiting and Hammond sitting on the doorstep and pretty much ignored.

    It is also not too easy to get information on NW Indiana, though I recently got a small boost when I bought a copy of Dining in Indiana while in Indianapolis. How often do you see ads from NW Indiana restaurants in Chicago papers?

    I have long thought there needs much more information on NW Indiana. Just yesterday I was at Phil Smidt's for lunch. One of the sidebar purposes was to collect information on other places in the region. I did invite a few people who came to Chicago Foodways Roundtable meeting yesterday. When I said Indiana, they felt it was too far to go. I was shocked how quickly I got on and off the Skyway then to our location. It was much faster than I ever expected and likely as fast or faster than their drive to Sol de Mexico.

    As for the ice cream list, I wanted it somewhere it wouldn't be disapeer and of course I wanted it added to. Cunis and Mitchell's are SE Chicagoland ice cream parlors near the Indiana border. It would be very cool to find similar over the fence.

    I hope you make it your personal mission to add to our knowledge, which you know is lacking something fierce!

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #8 - February 21st, 2007, 9:57 pm
    Post #8 - February 21st, 2007, 9:57 pm Post #8 - February 21st, 2007, 9:57 pm
    I have been trying to get people in the Chicagoland area to realize that NW Indiana has great restaurants and is not far from the Loop.

    This past year I wrote Steve Dolinsky, the Hungry Hound on ABC 7 after he did a show on the best of the suburbs and went as far as Geneva, Gurnee and Naperville. I asked him if he had ever stepped over the border into Northwest Indiana, considering Hammond is connected to Chicago and many great restaurants are 15-20 miles from the Loop? He replied he had no clue about NW Indiana and then he asked if I would show him around. So I picked him up one day from the studio (yes, I thought this was really weird but he said he had never done this) and I drove him to Whiting, Hammond, Miller Beach-Gary, Munster, Highland and also gave him a map of Valparaiso and surrounding Porter County. He was really shocked how close everything was and how much nicer the area is once you get off the expressway. He did a show on some of the restaurants and later said he was shocked by all the response, I had to remind him that there are about 900,000 people in NW Indiana and they own t.v.’s. He was very nice and appreciated that I took the time to show him around.

    Some of my favorite restaurants are; Miller Bakery Café, Miller Beach, Gary; Cavalier Inn, Hammond; El Taco Real, Hammond; Giovanni’s and Café Elise, Munster; Wagner Ribs, Porter County; Schoop’s hamburgers; John’s Pizza, new carryout in Munster.

    For those driving in south Hammond, check out the Forest Ave area, along Hohman Ave and the state line. Big beautiful houses on wide lots, many are owned by doctors, lawyers and Chicago executives. Also the Purdue Calumet area is nice. Many Chicagoans think Hammond is only steel mills and slums but it is a CITY with good and bad areas.
  • Post #9 - February 21st, 2007, 10:16 pm
    Post #9 - February 21st, 2007, 10:16 pm Post #9 - February 21st, 2007, 10:16 pm
    jones-n wrote:I have been trying to get people in the Chicagoland area to realize that NW Indiana has great restaurants and is not far from the Loop.


    You, me and a couple of others, pal! I lived in Libertyville for 3 years; that's 40 miles from the Loop. Hammond is maybe 10 miles from the Loop, yet Libertyville has always been considered, without question, part of "Chicagoland" on this board (and I agree with that characterization), while Hammond is lumped into the "Beyond Chicagoland" category that includes, e.g. and among others, Des Moines, Los Angeles, London, Beijing and Timbuktu. But, without some proselytizing by myself and other more rational thinkers here, until very recently, Hammond and other areas in Lake and Porter Counties, Indiana, were still being classified as "Beyond Chicagoland." Really bothersome, considering the raison d'etre of this website is to uncover the undiscovered, without (irrational) prejudice. But Indiana continues to be the red haired stepchild black sheep of the Tri-State area. Why?
    JiLS
  • Post #10 - February 21st, 2007, 11:33 pm
    Post #10 - February 21st, 2007, 11:33 pm Post #10 - February 21st, 2007, 11:33 pm
    ReneG and I have only been briefly into two of the restaurants you specified:

    Miller Bakery Café, Miller Beach, Gary; Cavalier Inn, Hammond; El Taco Real, Hammond; Giovanni’s and Café Elise, Munster; Wagner Ribs, Porter County; Schoop’s hamburgers; John’s Pizza, new carryout in Munster

    I briefly walked into El Taco Real, read the menu and decided it wasn't what I wanted that moment. Across the street on an angle was a Mexican grocery store with a small Mexican restaurant inside. Guess whose photo we saw? Steve Dolinsky! We loved the food there, especially the chiliquiles. I have to go back before writing up because all my pictures were of wrapped food!

    We've gone to Schoops. We have gone to the now shuttered John's in Calumet City. In fact there will be an announcement on the Event's site within the next week of a pending John's tasting of all the NWI locations. I hope you will join us.

    ***

    This evening I was wearing my board member of the local historical society hat. In doing a little research on architect Howard Van Doren Shaw. I learned he planned the model steel town of Indiana Harbor in East Chicago, Indiana and the market square in Lake Forest, Illinois.

    Market Square in Lake Forest is known as “first artfully designed shopping center in the country,” Lake Forest Illinois’ Historic Market Square was constructed in 1916, it resembles the character of a small English market center.

    Rene G and I had driven through Indiana Harbor, though I didn't realize the story behind the name. Again, there is lot more to NWI than any of us really know.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #11 - February 22nd, 2007, 12:54 pm
    Post #11 - February 22nd, 2007, 12:54 pm Post #11 - February 22nd, 2007, 12:54 pm
    It's refreshing to see that there are Chicagoans that don't find it absolutely appauling to think of NWI as part of Chicago. There's an overwhelming bias against Indiana and it's dining (much of which would be justified).

    Unlike Chicago, there is not a four-star restaurant on every block. On the contrary, the gems must be sniffed out by the loyal local foodies.

    That being said, here are my faves with brief commentary...

    Cafe Borgia, Lansing IL - Quaint, authentic Italian cuisine with moderate prices. Also, moving to Munster in late 2007.
    Giovanni's, Munster IN - Family-owned Italian restaurant. Never a disappointment.
    Memo's, Highland IN - Homemade tacos are the best in the Region.
    Kelsey's Steakhouse, Schererville IN - For the money, the best steak & seafood you can get. I recommend the crab legs & filet mignon - and you've gotta try the garlic dressing.
    Miller Bakery Cafe, Miller IN - Great food.
    Butterfingers, Munster/Highland IN - Counter-service deli. Delicious homemade salads & cookies.
    Cafe Fondue, Merrillville IN - Nice place for an intimate meal with friends or family. Fondue is always good.
    stephanie
    www.thefrugalfoodie.com

    -Dining is and always was a great artistic opportunity- FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT
  • Post #12 - February 22nd, 2007, 2:01 pm
    Post #12 - February 22nd, 2007, 2:01 pm Post #12 - February 22nd, 2007, 2:01 pm
    What about Freddy's Steak House on 165th & Kennedy Ave.? When I lived in Hammond I used to go there at least once every month or two. They had awesome prime rib, Porterhouse steaks, and seafood at quite reasonable prices. Their "Freddy's Special Steak" (I dunno what cut it is) was a damn bargain and a half; huge, cheap, and good. The Greek salad, baked potatoes, and soups were always spot on. The decor was kind of corny, but if it keeps the pricing down I could care less. All-in-all, I always felt it was a good bang for the buck and rarely disappointed. I was last there about 5 years ago, and had a huge Porterhouse that practically melted in my mouth.

    Freddy's Steak House
    6442 Kennedy Ave
    Hammond, IN 46323
    (219) 844-1500
  • Post #13 - February 22nd, 2007, 4:27 pm
    Post #13 - February 22nd, 2007, 4:27 pm Post #13 - February 22nd, 2007, 4:27 pm
    (Note, I wrote my comment about Gino's Steak House several months ago. Forget what I said...they no longer have the same quality steaks, and their menu is now liberally sprinkled with "Greek Style" entrees from their sister restaurant across the street.)

    Freddy's Steak House is an interesting place. The decor is corny because it's barely changed in 50 years...it's like walking into a time machine. It has great food at reasonable prices, and quality entertainment on the weekends. But it is NOT a place to go if cigarette smoke bothers you.

    At one time I thought about nominating Freddy's for a Great Neighborhood Restaurant award, because more than most who have received the award, it is a great NEIGHBORHOOD restaurant. But I didn't figure a NWI nomination would even be considered because NWI wasn't considered part of Chicagoland. That has changed, and perhaps it's time...
  • Post #14 - February 22nd, 2007, 4:43 pm
    Post #14 - February 22nd, 2007, 4:43 pm Post #14 - February 22nd, 2007, 4:43 pm
    I think it would be entirely reasonable to consider a NWI restaurant for a GNR award... though I'd question whether any place has been talked about enough by enough different people to qualify, yet. But there's plenty of time to change that!
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  • Post #15 - February 26th, 2007, 5:25 pm
    Post #15 - February 26th, 2007, 5:25 pm Post #15 - February 26th, 2007, 5:25 pm
    Ok, so I decided to post some more information as I try to help a Polish friend get used to live in Northwest Indiana. Here are some choice places for Polish and Eastern European bakery/groceries:

    Piatak Meats
    6200 Broadway
    Merrillville IN
    219-980-3520

    Ninas Fresh Pierogi
    7600 Broadway
    Merrillville, IN 46410
    (219) 736-2885

    M J'S POLISH DELI
    219-937-6007
    7112 Calumet Ave
    Hammond, IN 46324

    Northwest Indiana is as ethnic or more ethnic than the IL side of the border. There are active Serbian, Croatian, Polish, Mexican, and other community groups and centers across the Calumet mainly in Hammond, Merrillville and nearby cities.

    For Middle Eastern Food/Groceries try:

    Aladdin Pita, 3750 W 80th Ln, Merrillville, IN 46410-5051

    For fund raiser food parties, dances, and events check out the many fraternal lodges for ethnic groups. I know of Serbian, Slovinian, Polish, Greek, and Croatian lodges, churches, and community centers in or near Merrillville.

    Any good suggestions on good NWI butchers making ethnic sausage?
  • Post #16 - February 26th, 2007, 5:30 pm
    Post #16 - February 26th, 2007, 5:30 pm Post #16 - February 26th, 2007, 5:30 pm
    EvilUs wrote:I've heard good things about Three Floyd's Brew Pub. Heard it's kid friendly and the food was unique for pub food and quite good. Anyone been there? It's in Munster down Rt. 41.


    The beer is pretty good. They have it on tap at Taco Real, and I have heard the brew pub is darned good too.

    Oh, someone said the place/grocery across the street is better than Taco Real - confirmed. Very good and cheaper and better salsa.

    Also there is a good Mexican place on Ridge Road, but I can't remember the name. Not Pepe's though.
  • Post #17 - February 27th, 2007, 3:31 am
    Post #17 - February 27th, 2007, 3:31 am Post #17 - February 27th, 2007, 3:31 am
    Correction on Three Floyds. It's not down Rt. 41. It's down Calumet Avenue. Me, being from Illinois figured 41 and Calumet were the same. So I have been to Three Floyds and had the smoked brisket chili. Very interesting and very good.

    About Freddys steakhouse just recently mentioned, Is it really that smoky? I am not a smoker at all but really want to try the place. Please help, will I enjoy it?
  • Post #18 - February 27th, 2007, 3:40 am
    Post #18 - February 27th, 2007, 3:40 am Post #18 - February 27th, 2007, 3:40 am
    EvilUs wrote:About Freddys steakhouse just recently mentioned, Is it really that smoky? I am not a smoker at all but really want to try the place. Please help, will I enjoy it?

    Unless you are very sensitive to smoke, I don't think you will have a problem. I don't smoke, and don't like smoke, but in my many visits I never noticed it being a problem.
    What if the Hokey Pokey really IS what it's all about?
  • Post #19 - February 27th, 2007, 1:48 pm
    Post #19 - February 27th, 2007, 1:48 pm Post #19 - February 27th, 2007, 1:48 pm
    The smoke at Freddy's is nowhere near as bad as at most bars and Eastern European restaurants in the Chicago area. I'm sure that at most times it's barely noticeable or nonexistent, and if you sit as far away from the bar as possible it probably won't be an issue even on a busy Saturday night. Freddy's is a great place, and I just don't want people to be surprised when they walk in the door. This type of surprise can wreck a dinner before one is seated, no matter how good the food and service may be...
  • Post #20 - February 27th, 2007, 9:05 pm
    Post #20 - February 27th, 2007, 9:05 pm Post #20 - February 27th, 2007, 9:05 pm
    Hi Cogito and -

    I'm a consultant in the NWI area who's been working on a project for a few months. After upteen times of dining in Merrilleville, I decided to do some online searches for local joints in the Hammond area where my project is, and boy am I glad I ran across this blog!

    I immediately decided to check out Freddy's tonight, and wasn't disappointed. Yes, the decor is straight out of a 1950's speakeasy lounge, so Freddy is sure saving on overhead capital improvement costs, but I can honestly say I had a really good steak! I got the "Freddy's Special" and also couldn't identify the actual cut, but it had a good combination of pure meat and marbelization.

    Their dinner came with a nice touch: roasted garlic half and a honey butter side. The dinner role was more like a loaf and went well with these two items. I also tried the poppy-seed dressing on their house salad, which was sweet and tasty, too.

    Including tip, the dinner cost me $35 (I didn't have enough hunger for an appetizer, so if you include that it will easily add on $10 more). So, their prices aren't cheap by any stretch, but based on the number of Illinois license plates and nice cars in the parking lot, I would imagine that the Chicago crowd thinks Freddy's presents a lot more value than, say, a Morton's in downtown!

    Thanks for the tips, I'll be sure to visit this blog more often.

    Cheers,
    Q


    Hey Mark,

    What about Freddy's Steak House on 165th & Kennedy Ave.? When I lived in Hammond I used to go there at least once every month or two. They had awesome prime rib, Porterhouse steaks, and seafood at quite reasonable prices. Their "Freddy's Special Steak" (I dunno what cut it is) was a damn bargain and a half; huge, cheap, and good. The Greek salad, baked potatoes, and soups were always spot on. The decor was kind of corny, but if it keeps the pricing down I could care less. All-in-all, I always felt it was a good bang for the buck and rarely disappointed. I was last there about 5 years ago, and had a huge Porterhouse that practically melted in my mouth.

    Freddy's Steak House
    6442 Kennedy Ave
    Hammond, IN 46323
    (219) 844-1500
    "I'm Not the Best of the Best, I'm Just the Best of What's Left."
  • Post #21 - May 18th, 2007, 4:47 pm
    Post #21 - May 18th, 2007, 4:47 pm Post #21 - May 18th, 2007, 4:47 pm
    dlws92 wrote:Another fine place to eat is Anthony's Cafe, just down the street. Yummy pasta and a great beer list :)

    Debby



    I'll second the recomendation for Anthony's Cafe. Great base menu along with monthly theme menus to keep things interesting. Portions are generous & the beer selection rocks!
  • Post #22 - June 25th, 2007, 1:57 pm
    Post #22 - June 25th, 2007, 1:57 pm Post #22 - June 25th, 2007, 1:57 pm
    The original Little Tokyo is in Homewood. We've been there a few times, it's nothing really special, but it's the closest Japanese restaurant to my house and most people in the area seem to like it a lot.

    Suzy
    " There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life."
    - Frank Zappa
  • Post #23 - June 27th, 2007, 2:59 pm
    Post #23 - June 27th, 2007, 2:59 pm Post #23 - June 27th, 2007, 2:59 pm
    Once again thank you all for being open minded about NWIndiana. We are the bastard step-child to those living in Indianapolis and chicago, just stuck in the middle.
    Two places in Miller Beach getting good reviews, 444 on Lake St. and La Dolce Vita on route 20 and Lake st.
    444 was really good and cheaper then the Bakery which is down the street. Nice outdoor seating and a great place to relax. We had the nightly specials and they didn't disappoint. The service was good and the owner/chef came by and asked how everything was.
    La Dolce Vita is in a converted Pizza Hut--dont laugh/run--and it also has a really nice outdoor patio. I started with corn chowder that was really good but what keeps us going back is the brick oven pizza. At only $10 they are really good. Try the homemade greek sausage and feta or bbq chicken. Service is good but can be weird, waiters try really hard and are very nice but are missing many of the finer points. I give them an A for effort and just drink more wine. :lol:
    The Miller Bakery Cafe is still tops and with live jazz every Friday and Saturday night it has become a great night out.
    Walk Lake st beach at sunset and then head over to one of these restaurants, it will be a great night.
  • Post #24 - June 27th, 2007, 3:06 pm
    Post #24 - June 27th, 2007, 3:06 pm Post #24 - June 27th, 2007, 3:06 pm
    Hi,

    Isn't the Miller Beach Bakery Cafe on the very eastern edge of Gary? Wasn't it featured on Check Please?

    Once again thank you all for being open minded about NWIndiana. We are the bastard step-child to those living in Indianapolis and chicago, just stuck in the middle.


    Don't be so hard on the region. It is pretty interesting place.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #25 - June 27th, 2007, 3:42 pm
    Post #25 - June 27th, 2007, 3:42 pm Post #25 - June 27th, 2007, 3:42 pm
    Miller Beach is on the far eastern edge of Gary where the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore begins. It is becoming a huge second home market for Chicagoans who are tired of driving two or more hours. Because of the interest prices have doubled in the past few years but it is still cheaper than many beach communities.
    Yes, the Bakery as the locals call it is in downtown Miller and was featured on Check Please.
    I didn't mean to be hard on the Region. I am a HUGE fan but I am just realistic on how we are viewed by southern Indiana and our neighbor to the west.
  • Post #26 - June 27th, 2007, 4:02 pm
    Post #26 - June 27th, 2007, 4:02 pm Post #26 - June 27th, 2007, 4:02 pm
    We've gone to Schoops. We have gone to the now shuttered John's in Calumet City. In fact there will be an announcement on the Event's site within the next week of a pending John's tasting of all the NWI locations. I hope you will join us.

    Cathy2 did you ever make it to John's Pizza? I talked to the owner of the Munster store and he said the other stores are not affiliated with the original from Cal City. He said they are putting a John's in Whiting on Indianapolis Blvd but it is on the far eastern edge right next to BP Amoco.
  • Post #27 - June 28th, 2007, 12:35 am
    Post #27 - June 28th, 2007, 12:35 am Post #27 - June 28th, 2007, 12:35 am
    Whenever I return to NW Indiana, I always make my first stop at Koney King at 46th & Broadway in the Glen Park area of Gary. It is by far my favorite junk food stop. The Koney Dog (chili w/o beans) is the bomb.

    Second on my list is Pepes Taco which has locations throughout the Chicagoland area. Pork, whether made into a taco or burrito suizo, is the only way to go. I have never been able to find anything close to this pork preparation in any of my travels across the US.

    My last pick is Miner Dunn (MD) located on Indianapolis Blvd in Highland, IN. I discovered MD while going to Purdue Calumet in the early 80's. Not sure how I came upon it, but I discovered the Cheese Supreme hamburger which I have on grilled whole wheat bread with ketchup only. Now understand, I love all kinds of junk on burgers but this combination is wonderful. I forgot to mention to make that deluxe which includes fries and an orange sherbet finish. However, you must substitute Onion Rings for the fries as they are the best, I repeat, THE BEST onion rings I have ever had. The orange sherbet is so refreshing.
  • Post #28 - June 29th, 2007, 10:56 am
    Post #28 - June 29th, 2007, 10:56 am Post #28 - June 29th, 2007, 10:56 am
    I live in Chicago but work in Hammond so am always looking for good food to pick up on my way to and from.

    The best place I have found is D's Jerk Hut (2304 E State St, which I guess is in Chicago but is about a mile from the border - I didn't reallize it was in the city limits until just now). It looks like a dive, which I guess it is, but it has great Jamacian food. The chicken is tender and spicey and comes with rice and beans, cabbage and sweet potatoe, all for less than $10. The Jerk sauce is as good as any I have tried - spicy and creamy up front, with a delicious full mouth burn at the end. They also have ox tail (rich, meaty, spicy sauce, lots of ox tails) and goat (also very good) on a regular basis. I haven't made it through the whole menu - still need to try the escovitch fish. Not as much atmosphere as some of the places in Chatham, but really good food.

    I noticed that no one has mentioned the Dairy Belle (7102 Calumet Ave, Hammond, IN). I understand from my co-workers that it is something of an institution in the area. It is a 50's style ice-cream shop, mainly drive-through, with dipped cones, home made sundaes, etc... It is located in an inhospitable place, on a busy stretch of road next to the freeway, but is worth a stop. It has a nice kitchy charm with hand-made touches. The nut topping appeared to be mixed nuts that someone had chopped by hand.

    So does anyone have good take-out suggestions for the Hammond area? I see a lot of fast-food places along Sibley, but haven't made a systematic search yet.
  • Post #29 - June 29th, 2007, 11:56 am
    Post #29 - June 29th, 2007, 11:56 am Post #29 - June 29th, 2007, 11:56 am
    I haven't been to Dairy Belle in years...I'll need to stop there the next time I'm in that area! Actually Dairy Belle is almost across the street from Madvek's, which has been mentioned here several times. You might want to check it out.

    I'd also add that in your description, I personally would replace 'an inhospitable place' with 'a tiny lot', and 'next to the freeway' with 'a half mile from the freeway', but that's just me...
  • Post #30 - July 9th, 2007, 5:58 pm
    Post #30 - July 9th, 2007, 5:58 pm Post #30 - July 9th, 2007, 5:58 pm
    Freddies Steak House in Hammond, Indiana had some of the best steaks around. I went there for about 10 years in a row for my birthday. I have not been back in a few years. The food was very good and very reasonable.

    If you are looking for a little down to earth place to go then give Freddies a try. It's been there for over 50 years. There must be a good reason.

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