Friday, August 26, 2011
I've challenged myself to feature a favorite, each Friday. Some of my favorite places, people, and products. Thought that would be a lot of fun for me and maybe it would bring to mind some of your favorites, too.
This week's favorite is Ivanhoe's. It's a mom and pop diner in Upton, Indiana. They've been in business since 1965- before I was even born. OK, not by much, but it still counts. They used to be a drive-in, but presently they are a sitdown, carryout business. And they do a very brisk business. Expect a line, but it moves quickly and there's lots of friendly folks to visit with and for us quilters out there- lots of mini's on the walls to enjoy and inspire. Too few restaurants like this remain. People like the consistency and familiarity of a chain restaurant, but you can't beat the quality of a locally-owned restaurant that depends on happy patrons in order to stay in business. Ivanhoe's is a great all-American diner. While most diners are known for greasy comfort food, Ivanhoe's has set itself above that standard. They're famous for... drumroll.... their salads. Yep. I know that's hard to believe, but if you mention Ivanhoe's to anyone within a 50-mile radius, their eyes roll back in their heads and they breathe a big sigh and say, "Ah, their fruit!" I admit, I was skeptical. Fruit is fruit, right? Nu-uh. Not true. So I had to experience this phenomena of "ah, fruit!"
Anybody who knows me, knows I'm a serious gnosher. Ain't anything dainty about the way I eat. So I order the large. I was hungry, after all- and how full could I get eating fruit? Thought I'd need a dolly to get my tray to the table. No kidding and no exaggeration when I say there's a solid 8 cups of fruit in that bowl. And it was amazing! The fresh seasonal fruit isn't mixed until it's placed in your trough- I mean, dish. Any fruit you don't like? No problem, just request it be left out. I had my fruit topped with their homemade chicken salad, which is in a class of it's own. On my most recent visit, I didn't see a single burger among at least 100 customers. I hear great things about their vegetable salad, also. I'm just hooked on the fruit. I haven't a clue if their accompanying muffin is any good- I never get to it. And I haven't ordered the large since that first time- a "small" salad ensures enough fruit for two meals.
As an aside, Ivanhoe's is also known for it's 100 different ice cream sundaes and milk shakes. All I have to say about that is, while they are excellent, there will be no room for that particular indulgence if you eat anything else there. So the ice cream is an entirely different visit. And then you'll see the fruit... and the ice cream becomes an afterthought that will only rarely come to fruition- get it? fruition- fruit. Ivanhoe's- a great American establishment. I'm hoping they'll be serving up quality food for many more years to come.