When we recently visited Camel, Indiana, our hosts made sure we never had a moment to even think we were hungry!
Check out these great eateries we visited during our time there:
Woody's calls Carmel's historic Carnegie Library home, which gives it a great hometown vibe.
The building dates from 1914, when steel mogul Andrew Carnegie donated $11,000 to Carmel to build a library. It was the second building to serve as the town's library (the first building was a small space across the street, according to a historical marker there), and it remained a library until a community-organized "Book Brigade" helped the library move to a larger home on Main Street in 1972. Carmel continued using the building for City offices and public safety-related activities through 1996.
Woody's opened there in 1998.
Owner Kevin "Woody" Rider remembers touring the building in the late 1990s, when the local police department housed its squad of undercover dogs in the basement!
Rider, a Carmel city commissioner, and his wife Richelle opened Woody's in 1998. Richelle created a welcoming atmosphere using many of the bi-level building's historic features and furnishings, and she created the lunch and dinner menu of homey comfort food, seafood (I had a great grilled salmon and noodle entree), hearty sandwiches and more. The menu includes a nice selection of wines and craft beers, as well as special gluten-free, lactose-free and vegan options.
The Riders recently opened a second restaurant in the Carmel City Center with a small plates menu called divvy.
The folks at Bub's tell visitors at their Facebook page "if you can't smile at breakfast, go back to bed!"
Fortunately, there is plenty to smile about at this eatery along the Monon Greenway (an Indianapolis-area rail-to-trail running through Carmel's Arts and Design District).
Bub's owners saw the rapid growth of residential population in Carmel's downtown and thought the area needed a good local breakfast and lunch place. They opened the cafe just down the street from their original burger and ice cream outlet in 2007.
The cafe's decor sports colorful walls and cheerfully mismatched tables and chairs, making for a sunny feeling as you start off your day with one of Bub's generous breakfast offerings like pancakes, waffles or walking omelets (your favorite omelet served in a spinach or tomato tortilla wrap), paired with elk sausage or some of Bub's famous over-sized donut holes.
I'm a fan of Polish-style dill pickle soup, so I just had to try Bub's German Potato Dill Pickle Soup, even though we visited for breakfast! It was a great variation on the tradition dill pickle soup that Chef Bill Campbell told us he created by modifying a German Potato Salad recipe.
I accompanied my soup with a "small" fruit bowl, which was a large cereal bowl full of beautifully fresh elderberries, pineapple, strawberries and bananas, along with a pumpkin-spice latte and one of "Bub's famous holes".
Really...it was a great combo!
We visited the family-owned and operated Sahm's in Fishers for dinner before visiting the Conner Prairie Interactive History Park one evening.
Ed Sahm is a real hometown guy, graduating from Cathedral Central High School in Indianapolis and Purdue University's School of Restaurant and Hotel Management before launching his first restaurant in 1986. Sahm's team includes many family members, like his eight siblings, mother, aunts, cousins and more, who help operate the 10-restaurant chain in the Indianapolis area.
Sahm's serves lunch and dinner menus featuring steaks, chops, ribs, sandwiches and classic specialties like meatloaf and tempura shrimp with soups, sauces and breads made every day from scratch. I also was especially impressed with the fresh, crisp dinner salad that arrived with my meal.
Sahm's real claim to fame is their sour cream coffee cake. You can order a slice of coffee cake for just $1.29 to enjoy as dessert, or order one of these four-pound beauties online. The whole coffee cakes serve up to 32 people, and Sahm's sells more than 30,000 coffee cakes each year.
Rosie's Place is in historic downtown Noblesville, right on the on the city's courthouse square.
Owner Debbie Borgerais, who grew up in her family's St. Louis restaurant and went to culinary school, established this homey breakfast and dinner hot spot in Noblesville in homage to her grandmother, Rose Cadwell.
Borgerais left her family's restaurant after marrying, following her husband's career to Indiana and raising three daughters of her own. She re-entered the restaurant scene, enlisting her own family, including father, to open Rosie's Place.
The menu features a lot of Borgerais' grandmother's recipes that include plenty of hearty comfort-style food, made-from-scratch pies and the restaurant's own custom-blend coffee.
The menu changes seasonally and features daily specials, emphasizing the use of the best Indiana farmers' produce and local products available at any given time.
I loved my pulled pork sandwich with a side of macaroni and cheese, but still had to find room for a lemon bar from Rosie's famous bakery counter.
Thanks to the Hamilton County Convention and Visitors Bureau for sponsoring my visit to Hamilton County, providing lodging, meals and a tour of Hamilton County attractions for my review during my recent visit there, with no further compensation. I was free to express my own opinions about the stay and experiences, and the opinions expressed here are mine.
© Dominique King 2013 All rights reserved