When asked for the secret behind his delicious barbecue dishes by reporters from the LISC Indianapolis Blog, Judge Smith answered, "That's easy. It's time." Judge spent more than 10 years developing his barbecue sauce, experimenting with different recipes and spices to procure the signature tangy taste. Today, he owns his own barbecue joint, where he pairs spicy, medium, and hot versions of his sauce with the meaty sandwiches, ribs, and platters that won him accolades from CityVoter. Judge smokes his meats slowly, sending the zesty aroma of pulled pork and sausages sailing through the restaurant.
Out in the dining room, where colorful sports flags and pendants hang on the walls, diners linger over sips of fresh fruit smoothies and bites of sweet-potato pie. After meals, guests can take home a bottle of Judge's signature sauce to use for making their own barbecue or for hosting the world’s first barbecue-balloon fight.
When perched on a cushy high-rise seat inside the retro environs of Cindy's Diner, one will likely encounter owner John Scheele as he darts about the kitchen, whipping up hearty home-style dishes lauded by reporters from News Sentinel. He sets down simmering plates of farm-fresh eggs, stacks of hot cakes, and thick sandwiches on the bright red and chrome bar, taking time to greet new faces and exchange new jokes with the regulars. When the skilled cook gets an order for his signature "garbage" breakfast, he cracks open eggs before mixing in potatoes, cheese, onions, and ham. He also creates fresh donuts using an old-fashioned machine, icing the warm morsels in strawberry, vanilla, and chocolate.
John keeps his establishment a family affair with his wife Cindy, along with their three children and 20 grandchildren, who can often be spotted serving plates of all-day breakfast and refilling mugs of coffee. Rustic jukeboxes rest on the countertop, showcasing a selection of old-timey tunes, such as "Seven Spanish Angels" and "There's No Such Thing as a Cordless Telephone".
At Lorenzo's Bistro and Bakery, the bakers make their own dough from scratch for crusty breads baked on the hearth. Every day, visitors can stop in for the warm baguettes, challah, and french bread, as well as daily specials such as Sunday's cracked-wheat loaves.
But the bread is just the start of the culinary journey, which executive chef Wess Rose executes with an eye toward contemporary American dishes and Euro-American influences. Elegant steak, seafood, and pasta join surprise touches, such as the chefs' take on a louisville hot brown—smoked shaved turkey breast atop fresh challah bread topped with tomatoes, cheddar jack mornay sauce, crispy bacon, and chives. Charbroiled salmon fillets glisten with raspberry barbecue glaze, and marinated portobellos and vegetable medleys stuff puff pastries to create vegetable wellingtons, which are topped with pesto and feta.
In the restaurant's foyer, the staff mans a market where people can grab cups of coffee or pick up ready-to-eat entrees to take home. In addition to the breads, customers often drop by to pick up muffins, scones, and sandwiches for meals on the go that are tastier than oatmeal in a tube.
Kilwins' 80 locations make more than 75 kinds of handmade confections from Mackinac Island fudge to saltwater taffy and caramel apples working from recipes written by owner Don Kilwin in the 1940s. The sweets makers also use old-school equipment dating back to the '40s, '50s, and '60s inside shops decorated with nostalgic Americana similar to the interior of the original store, which opened in 1947. The smell of homemade waffle cones and fresh chocolate escapes from the kitchen as pastry artists craft batches of handmade brittle, caramel, and fudge in large copper kettles. Kilwins also handcrafts more than 32 ice-cream flavors from original recipes created in 1985, the year cow's milk was invented. They employ classic double-barrel freezers to ensure the sweet stuff is crafted the original way and transportation trucks stay at a chilly –10 degrees to keep batches fresh until they arrive at their destinations.
At Frank's Big Sausage, the food fills bellies while golden brews refresh between bites. On any given day, the Polish pub’s kitchen is busy as cooks stuff sandwiches, make sausages, and boil up their sweet and savory pierogi. Mugs of Okocim and bottles of Zywiec keep diners cool as they dig into these and other Polish specialties or perfect their darts game.
It was a fateful day that Campus Candy founder Mark Tarnofsky dropped his daughter off at Indiana University about four years ago. On a mission to track down a simple candy bar, the dutiful dad found himself roaming far afield until he finally landed at a distant drugstore. Convinced that college kids want candy within constant reach, Tarnofsky started his first store right there, and soon expanded to the schools in Wisconsin, Arizona, and Pennsylvania. Each outlet sells more than 500 different types of candy, all of which may be repurposed as toppings on a rotating menu of frozen yogurt. By slinging bulk candy at a fixed price, Campus Candy stores make it easy for college kids to load up on diverse desserts without filling their schedules with bonbon-making classes.