Food & Drink in Merrillville

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When Debbi Fields opened the first Mrs. Fields in 1977, it wasn’t all sunshine and cookies. Between her lack of business experience and the unorthodox business model—selling only cookies—not many people believed in her. More than 30 years and a global franchise later, it’s safe to say the doubters are eating their words, at least when they're not busy stuffing their faces with one of Debbi's signature semisweet chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin and walnut cookies.

The wild popularity of Mrs. Fields's cookies can be attributed to the richness of their basic ingredients: real butter, whole eggs, and special blends of chocolate. Classic flavors include chewy fudge, peanut butter, and white chocolate macadamia, and seasonal flavors complement the lineup throughout the year. Select varieties can also be made into cookie cakes of various sizes and shapes that add a delicious twist to any celebration or milk-truck spill.

2108 Southlake Mall
Merrillville,
IN
US

Two Brothers Bakery satisfies sweet teeth with adorable, all-natural treats baked four days a week. Ever since their first bite-sized batch, the family-owned stand has stood by a simple credo: “If we can’t pronounce it, we don’t put it in our food.” Though this philosophy precludes chemicals, preservatives, and the savory pulp of French dictionaries, it ensures that fresh and local ingredients burst from each ruffled cupcake holder. Regular flavors include a classic combination of vanilla cake and buttercream, a royal red velvet garnished with a crown of cream-cheese frosting, and a carrot cake baked with the choicest of earth candies. Two Brothers Bakery supplements their classic array of flavors with cheesecake cuppies that remap the boundaries of decadence as taste buds plot a course through mountains of whipped cream.

2109 Southlake Mall
Merrillville,
IN
US

People eat three times a day to prevent rebellious stomachs from escaping in search of peanut brittle, their natural prey. Today's Groupon uses the power of South Asian cuisine to placate restless tummies: for $15, you get $30 worth of international cuisine and drinks at Shanti: Taste of India in Dorchester. This Groupon is not valid for Shanti's lunch buffet.

More than 10 years ago, Shanti opened to provide the South Boston area with fresh, authentic Indian food. After realizing that the subcontinental focus limited the range of noshing experiences, the founders soon expanded their menu to also include Pakistani and Bangladeshi dishes. Now, stylish lamb, beef, and goat parade onto plates in a variety of spice suits, including the Indian gosht vindaloo ($11.99) and the Pakistani gosht kadai ($11.99). A well-equipped squadron of nine vegetables guards the nabaraton korma's creamy sauce ($10.99). Authentically stamp a palate-passport with the shrimp bhuna, seasoned shrimp imported from Bangladesh ($12.99). Tour the menu by blindfolding yourself, spinning around, and pointing randomly at your dinner, or engage the knowledgeable staff in a friendly game of 20 Questions to receive a personal recommendation.

The rich red walls and tablecloths give Shanti a regal ambience that reaches its full and inevitable consummation when the delectables arrive in gilded dishes. At the nod of your head, goblets full of beer ($3–$6.95), wine ($5.50–$7.50), or a creamy yogurt lassi ($3.99) levitate to the table in anticipation of exuberant toasts. Reservations are suggested for parties of eight or more and can be made online here.

Reviews

More than 100 Yelpers give Shanti an average of four stars. Eighty-eight percent of more than 90 Urbanspooners recommend it, and three Insider Pagers give it a four-star average.

  • This is amazing Indian. Since we don't really know anything about Indian food, we always end up asking questions; the staff always helps us choose the best meal for us. – Cassie M., Yelp
  • Shanti is the real deal - high quality food at reasonable prices. – Mark P., Yelp
  • This is some of the best Indian food I have had. I come here with my family and we each get different things and share. The flavors are so rich. ─ Emma M., Insider Pages
761 E 81st Ave
Merrillville,
IN
US

The grill gurus at Gino's Steak House plate dishes from a menu of American classics that includes succulent steaks and fresh seafood. Wake up groggy tongues with the roasted peppers, marinated in a 60-year-old recipe ($7), or the oysters rockefeller with spinach, bacon, and mascarpone ($11+). Ten juicy steak selections include the 20-ounce prime-cut porterhouse, cloaked in mushrooms and caramelized onions ($33), and the 9-ounce filet mignon, floating in a red sea of béarnaise ($28) and packed with enough protein to bully a vending machine into giving you its quarters. Those preferring surf to turf can hook a tooth on the Atlantic salmon in a boozy champagne-dill-cream sauce ($21) or the 16-ounce Australian coldwater lobster tail (market price).

600 E 81st Ave
Merrillville,
IN
US

It would be nearly impossible to try every beer offered at Catch 22, since its 20 different drafts and wide selection of craft bottles are constantly changing. Cups brim over with lagers, stouts, and reds from the Indiana-local Four Horsemen Brewing Company, along with martinis and specialty cocktails. In the kitchen, an executive chef simmers up upscale pub fare, including sandwiches, burgers, and steaks. Platters and drinks spread out along the hardwood bar and tabletops that scatter the 8,000-square foot dining hall, amid the glimmer of 16 flat-screen televisions and the boom of a digital jukebox. In warmer months, a wall of garage doors opens up into an expansive patio, exposing diners to free-spirited air, warm sunlight, and gentle breezes.

500 E 81st Ave
Merrillville,
IN
US

Walter E. Smithe's huge showrooms contain more than 500 collections of high-quality designer furniture and home accessories, stocking brands including Drexel Heritage, Nourison, Hancock and Moore, and Bradington-Young. Fill a brass-trimmed vase ($119) with flowers, pencils, or wishes, or keep winter moisture stylishly contained in a hand-painted umbrella stand ($99). Walter E. Smithe's selection of four-legged pieces includes an Ontario end table ($299) and a Louise chair ($599). Most products come with impressive warranties, including a 10-year guarantee for every cushion on the comfy Kayla sofa ($1,749).

2345 E 80th Ave
Merrillville,
IN
US

Groupon Guide