In 1981, Gelormo and Elvira Parisi saw their dreams become a reality with the opening of Parisi's Ristorante Italiano, an intimate, traditional eatery celebrating their Calabrian legacy. Today, their son, Roberto Parisi, continues his parents' commitment to quality by serving a menu filled with recipes originating with Roberto's grandmother and a handful of magic beans. Chef Ken Bealor adds a slight Irish lilt to the preparation of the dishes, which include homemade pastas and sauces made from scratch. The chef also has the pleasure of working with the freshest herbs and vegetables as the restaurant grows many of their own, and often cooks with meat and seafood bought locally. For a complete Italian dining experience, Roberto has gathered a fine selection of wines from across the globe that, despite their varying allegiances to country, get along quiet well with each other.
In "The Court," diners imbibe views of the University of Notre Dame, or they can opt to enjoy a romantic meal in the dining room where pianist Christoforos Kostantinos Griveas twinkles the ivories to a medley of musical styles. During clement skies, the restaurant keeps the French doors to their patio open, which plays host to a Mediterranean garden, numerous TVs, and a full bar.
Originally opened as the Top Hat Drive-In in 1953, Sonic has grown into a burger-franchise mecca that today operates out of 3,500 locations across the country, making it the nation’s largest chain of drive-in restaurants. Sonic specializes in made-to-order American classics—including burgers, hot dogs, milk shakes, and marshmallow Ford Thunderbolts—which customers order and receive without ever having to leave their cars. Unique menu items include toaster sandwiches stacked on thick slices of texas toast, as well as the brand’s signature tots and fresh limeades.
Sonic’s numerous awards include a 2011 Zagat survey ranking it among the top five fast-food restaurants in three categories: Best Value Menu, Best Milk Shake, and Best Drive-Thru. The benevolent eatery has also donated more than $2 million to public schools throughout the country through their program Limeades for Learning, which helps to fund educational projects and retirement plans for classroom guinea pigs.
HotBox Pizza’s cooks adorn three varieties of hand-tossed dough canvases with six savory sauces, cheeses, and 26 toppings to create a menu of dine-in, takeout, and delivery pies. The signature HotBox combines double spicy pepperoni and banana peppers, and Big Al’s Fredo fights off pernicious poultry cravings with a combination of chicken, roma tomatoes, fresh spinach, and banana peppers. Aspiring pizza architects can blueprint their own pies by laying down traditional, thin, or multigrain foundations and selecting from six varieties of sauce-carpeting. Doughy disks simmer with mozzarella, ricotta, Wisconsin cheddar, or fontina cheeses to hold down up to four toppings such as pepperoni and artichoke hearts. Circle-eaters can also save room in their knapsacks or hollow shoe-heels for fresh salad and bundles of breadsticks that come with nacho-cheese, pizza, ranch, or garlic sauce, and wash down stubborn bites with refreshing slurps of soda.
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.
Any Lab Test Now's facility accommodates uninsured patients, administering a panoply of male- and female-specific lab tests under the watchful eye of a Indiana state-licensed surgeon. Popular evaluations screen for STDs, pregnancy, and chronic hat hair, with results typically arriving less than 48 hours after each test. Chemistry panels bundle together tests to peer into overall health, and lipid panels measure cholesterol levels to stanch risks of heart disease. Work-friendly hours ensure access for the 9-to-5 crowd and fly-by-night vigilantes alike, and the clinic’s flexible schedule welcomes walk-ins.
An independently owned restaurant that has been building its open-establishment reputation for nearly four decades, The Carriage House Dining Room & Gardens has cemented its status as Indiana's destination restaurant. For 24 years, it has received the AAA Four Diamond Award (one of only four Midwestern restaurants to accomplish this). And for the past 28 years, Wine Spectator has praised its cellar, most recently with a Best of Award of Excellence in 2013.
These achievements would be impressive on the strength of a single menu, but The Carriage House changes up its board of fare every season. Prepared in traditional French style?in accordance with the vision of the restaurant's founder, Indiana Restaurant Association Hall-of-Famer Evelyn C. George?each dish is made fresh from gourmet ingredients. These selections infuse the dishes and cocktails, which might include caramelized apple crepe with creme fraiche, grilled sirloin steak with horseradish-cream sauce or eggs benedict with pancetta, asparagus, and basil hollandaise. The restaurant also hosts a gourmet selection of breakfast, lunch, and delectable European-style pastries.
The impeccable presentation doesn't stop at the dinner plate's edge. It encompasses the main dining room's hand-hewn walnut beams (unchanged since The Carriage House was first built as a church in 1851) where live classical guitar can be heard ruminating in the air and its showcase of Indiana Hoosier Salon paintings dating from the early 20th century. No matter the season, sommelier Judith Cot? (Evelyn's daughter) can recommend a wine for any occasion thanks to her years of study with the Court of Master Sommeliers.