Local Yokels

Sure I like Applebees. Who doesn’t? But then again, food chains are like clothing store chains: it’s the exact same fare everywhere. That’s what makes them reliable, and it’s also what makes them boring after a while. On our various shopping outings, we have noticed again and again just how many different small restaurants are around here. And as people who love a good brekky out, the ones advertising breakfast tend to catch my eye with more staying power than those who don’t.

Now, Atz’s may be a Fort Wayne institution, but it’s hardly known best for its breakfast menu. Rather, until fairly recently, they made their own scrumptious flavours of ice cream and were famous for a concoction called the “Mad Anthony”, an ice cream goblet boasting something like ten scoops of ice cream (and hence best devoured with a mate). They no longer make their own, but the Mad Anthony endures. We, however, decided to settle for something a little less daunting…

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On our recent outing to Bluffton, our county seat (= capital of Wells county where we live), we spontaneously decided on lunch at one of the tiny cafes lining the streets around the courthouse. The special of the day was beef and noodles over mashed potatoes and salad, a filling dish after a recipe by the mom of the lady who served us.

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The café was cute to boot, just like the rest of “downtown”:

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The real surprise was this beauty, sadly out of commission and awaiting repairs at the moment – can’t you just smell the aroma of the coffee?

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Normally, though, we prefer eating at home. Although I’m sure nobody would accuse us of being the most conscientious of consumers, we actually do care where our food comes from, and we like supporting local businesses. Which is why we’re investigating places like Seven Sons Farms for our meaty needs which are admittedly few.

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For a quick stop where the check book isn’t a necessary tool (and I remain amazed at how many people still cling to this archaic form of payment) I like the Fresh Market . They also sell wonderful fresh salads and huge, tasty pizzas you just toss in the oven and enjoy.

I already showed you the Sugar Shack where we get our local maple syrup, although it’s come to my attention that Indiana maple syrup is readily available in quite a few places for purchase. If only they would start offering locally grown walnuts instead of California walnuts! I have never seen so many walnut trees as in this area! Once we test the ones gathered from our own yard, we may never spend money on them again. That would be nice.

After years of considering it, I’m finally getting my weekly box of veggies: we signed up for a new winter salad CSA with Hawkins Family Farm. Every Wednesday for 13 weeks, we pick up a cooler full of locally grown, organic seasonal veggies like this one:

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An easy way of getting back into eating our greens!

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