At Timbers Steakhouse and Seafood, chefs craft dinners from a menu of surf-and-turf classics paired with all-American eats. Appetizers include traditional pub fare such as cheese fries, garlic mushrooms, and chicken wings in flavors such as buffalo, garlic, and mango habanero. Classic caesar, chef's, and spinach salads pave the way for burgers made from 100% ground sirloin. Pounds of snow-crab legs arrive with a coverlet of melted butter, whereas sautéed tilapia comes encrusted in a combination of panko and pecans.
Steak is, of course, the main event. Hand-cut rib eyes, filets mignons wrapped in bacon, and thick, unyielding portions of porterhouse that clock in at 20 ounces are dusted in the restaurant’s secret spice blend and charbroiled to order. Chefs also slice off portions of slow-cooked, tender prime rib served with horseradish sauce upon request.
In addition to the regular menu, Wednesday evenings boast a selection of Mexican food such as tacos, enchiladas, and fajitas, and Thursday shows off pasta prowess with Italian favorites. Although most dinners unfold in the spacious lower-story dining room, Timbers also makes the most of its attic. The restaurant's upper-story A-frame loft houses a banquet facility equipped with seating for up to 120, with custom menus, full bar service, DJs, and photographers available.
Margarita Beach exudes a laid-back atmosphere thanks to its casual decor, full-service bar, and menu filled with familiar Mexican eats. Pair a fruit-flavored margarita or mai tai with chicken nachos or shrimp tacos, or opt for a full feast?specialty dinners include carne asada, Mexican T-bone steaks, and grilled tilapia. Veggie options, as well as fajitas, quesadillas, and burritos packed with a variety of fillings, round out the menu.
Formerly known as Julie's Family Pizza, Magpie’s invokes four generations of family recipes to craft each of its savory spheres. Soak in the flavors from the ready-made, signature smoky barbecue-chicken pizza, featuring house-made barbecue sauce, chicken, onion, green pepper, and diced pineapple, or follow the spicy klaxon cry of the 5-alarm pizza, spangled with barbecue sauce, pepperoni, jalapeño, pepperocini, and crushed red peppers (9" for $13.28, 12" for $15.90, 17" for $21.60). Diners can careen dangerously roaring appetites into calmer digestive estuaries with a customized pizza outfitted in a variety of toppings, such as spinach, ham, pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, anchovies, and chicken (9" for $7.20+, 12" for $9+, 17" for $13.75+). For an extra $4, the friendly staff can convert any pizza to Chicago–style, outfitting pies with a topping of extra crust, a layer of cheese, and a relaxed stance toward Prohibition. Magpie’s rounds out its fresh offerings with an array of crisp salads, tangy wings, meaty subs, and doughy breadsticks.
In 1952, Earl Myers and his son, Ed, built The Kitchen Table to create an eatery that combined hometown cooking with a friendly atmosphere. Now run by Rod Myers—Earl's grandson—and his wife, Mimi, the restaurant transports visitors back to the '50s with its original stools and countertop, which serves as a canvas for plates of classic diner fare and self-portraits painted in ketchup. Inside the kitchen, chefs simmer homemade soups, flip custom omelets, and transform ingredients into southern favorites such as country fried steak. They also serve smaller portions from a kids’ menu that, unlike the ability to see clowns, has no age limit.
Bear's Place, a 30-year old institution with new ownership, is planted adjacent to the Indiana University campus and is known for its social atmosphere. This reputation is thanks, in part, to its plethora of events?from Tuesday-night live acoustic shows to late-evening karaoke and other live performances from jazz and blues outfits. The bar also stakes its name on its signature drinks and a range of domestic and local craft beers served alongside specialty burgers and other American comfort foods. Wood-paneled walls, paintings of dogs, and bartenders with beer recipes tattooed on their biceps contribute to the rustic pub atmosphere.
A fish arcs out of bright-blue water looking so realistic that one expects the fuzzy teddy bear standing nearby to be showered in a smattering of droplets. Courtney's Bakery’s staff sculpts cakes in three-dimensional renderings of dolls, sports arenas, and tropical waterfalls. In flavors such as carrot walnut, island coconut, and marble, these cakes also appear as cupcakes for a handheld dessert or tossing into your loved one’s mouths. Courtney claims inspiration from her mother, a self-taught baker who influenced the recipes for cookies and cinnamon rolls.