Just as the name implies, Farmer’s Daughter Bakery and Cafe is family-owned-and-operated, serving up fresh portions of grains, soups, and salads straight from the garden. Every item on the menu is made in-house, and all processed foods are told to take a hike to see if a natural activity will help cleanse their system. Grab a friend or scurvy-plagued 18th-century merchant-sailor and double up lunchtime feasts with a bowl of the daily homemade-soup special coupled with a green salad (a $6 value each).
Tables that can accommodate big groups and cozy, home-cooked meals evoke a sense of camaraderie inside Old School Cafe. Chicken noodle soup, reuben sandwiches, creamy mac and cheese, and biscuits galore populate tables. A giant burger stacked high with bacon, cheese, tomatoes, and lettuce is held together by a steak knife stabbed through its middle. The creative endeavors continue with desserts, including bear-shaped cookies and cupcakes topped with maple bacon or toasted marshmallows.
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.
Alongside a café and wine bar, a bed and breakfast, and a wholesale producer, a bakery might be eclipsed. But it isn't the case for Scholars Inn Bakehouse, one of the myriad parcels of Scholars Inn. The bakery produces daily fresh-baked breads made entirely from scratch and formed by hand, earning praise from several publications, including a guest spot on the cover of Modern Baking magazine. Fragrant breads hewn from all-natural ingredients emerge from European stone-hearth ovens, ready to complement the café menu, sit alongside granolas and bagels, or fill in as backup footballs.
As a neighborhood ice cream shop since 1933, The Chocolate Moose sees itself as an archive of Bloomington's memories. Old-time memories such as post-game celebrations and first dates are tied up in this nostalgia-imbued ice cream shop. Of course, nostalgia alone isn't enough to keep the visitors coming back every year. The ice cream, crafted in-house from a 14% butterfat mix, melts into hot fudge sundaes and root beer floats. Flavors of marshmallow, cream de menthe, and butter pecan swirl into smooth milk shakes. Beyond ice cream desserts,The Chocolate Moose also prepares hot food including coney dogs, bbq pulled pork sandwiches, and Spanish burgers – a burger-meatloaf hybrid baked in tomato sauce with locally sourced meats.
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.