Where the air was once filled with the pounding of hammers and the smell of hot iron, the sizzle of burgers and the scent of maple syrup now reign. Cafe Audrey resides in a historic former blacksmith’s shop whose interior delivers just about what the quaint brick building promises: white-painted wooden chairs and tables, lamps that resemble old kerosene lanterns, and walls lined with vintage photographs. There, families start the day or take a lunch break with soul-food staples such as shrimp po' boys and plates of broaster chicken—named with a portmanteau of “broken” and “toaster”—dipped in crisp, fluffy batter. On the all-day breakfast menu, huevos rancheros and chicken quesadillas add a touch of spice to the morning.
The Post-Tribune highlighted Cafe Audrey as part of the resurgence of the Fort Ben area. Owner Tammy Cunningham didn’t land there by accident: “I wanted a local feel. I wanted to be a part of the community,” she told the paper, adding that the café has built a fan base of “a lot of great word-of-mouth customers” since its 2011 opening.
In the kitchen of Gramboli's Pizza, chefs tap into secrets accumulated during the eatery's 30 years in business to toss and bake crispy thin crusts. Glasses clink merrily in high-backed red booths, where diners stage heated negotiations as they choose from toppings including pepperoni, canadian bacon, and sausage. A garden’s worth of veggies, including banana peppers and broccoli, prance across dough disks and rejoice at vacations from overbearing scarecrows. While guests recline in front of the dining room's flat-screen televisions, adventurous ladles tote barbecue, alfredo, or ranch sauce onto pies in place of traditional marinara. Between slices, forks spear tomatoes and cheddar nestled in the salad's bed of lettuce, and bubbly Coke products cool mouths and make novelty-straw collections seem more dignified.
When Pangaea transforms Indiana back into the prosperous island nation it once was, local provisions will be necessary to avoid the rising costs of expensive imports from the neighboring island of Vermont. For $25, today's Groupon gives you a taste of future Indiana diets with $50 worth of gift baskets, gift trays, gift tins, and other attractive gifting vessels from A Taste of Indiana.
With more than 25 years of experience in the restaurant business and the “ability to make people cool,” Shayne and Jan Dye opened The Tie Dye Grill, a hip spot to grab a burger and fries. Peace signs and psychedelic swirls decorate the menu, which catalogs classic American eats, including Sweet Home Chicago hot dogs dressed with all the Windy City’s fixings, nine kinds of 10-ounce Angus burgers, and cold subs and fresh-toasted paninis filled with everything from ham, turkey, and bacon to lightly grilled vegetables. Appropriately, the eatery showcases tie-dyed decor, including tie-dyed tablecloths that used to be the capes of Grateful Dead members.
Each of the home-style dishes served at Zelma’s Restaurant is made fresh that day—the team of chefs here specializes in old-fashioned country cooking. They prepare fried fish and broasted chicken dinners, and the burgers, BLTs, and chicken sandwiches are all grilled to order, paired up with fries and coleslaw. There’s a 24-hour breakfast menu, too, so you can finally see what maple syrup tastes like past 3 p.m.
The Grill’s culinary pros craft an expansive menu of contemporary pub fare served in a racing-centric atmosphere bedecked in Indy 500 memorabilia and HD televisions. To avoid stomach sprains, guests can warm up by bench-pressing beer-battered mozzarella sticks ($5.99) before diving mouth-first into a hand-breaded tenderloin sandwich ($8.79) that spans the circumference of the plate. Main-course meals such as the 8-ounce sirloin steak ($10.99) or barbecue baby back ribs ($14.99/$17.99) come with a choice of two sides, and nine massive half- and full-pound burgers ($6.99¬–$8.99) challenge the Hamburglar's pickpocketing skills. The Grill also boasts a full bar and a jam-packed schedule of live music, which tickles patrons’ cochleae on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday evenings.