- Posted by Carolyn Shelby on Monday, May 20th, 2013
- in Things to Do
It’s not that Barbara Thompson is tired of the city; it’s just that she likes her weekend activities to have more of a getaway feel to them.
“I like putting together a string of mini-vacations on the weekends,” says the Chicago resident. “I like the idea of a little road trip to keep my family on the move.”
Thompson quickly learned that the kid-friendly attractions of Northern Indiana, topped off with some unique eats to and from their destination, made for perfect day or weekend trips with her children, ages 4, 7 and 10.
“I’m not a sit-at-home person on the weekends,” says Thompson. “My husband and I both work, so in between the kids’ little league games and dance classes, I take advantage of every minute I have with them. I want to get them out there.”
Thompson says this summer, her vacation time will be limited to two or three days at a time. Instead of flying somewhere for a couple of nights, she and her husband have decided that they’ll stay close to home and sample the best family fare within a three-hour radius.
“We’re big fans of the Indiana Dunes so we like to head that way,” Thompson says. “Anything we can do in addition is just icing on the cake.”
Thompson will be happy to know that in the weeks and months ahead, Northern Indiana is offering a lot of “icing.” Read More
- Posted by Carolyn Shelby on Wednesday, May 8th, 2013
- in Things to Do
Michael Pentos says he doesn’t know how he missed it all these years.
“I spent years driving through Indiana to get to my mother-in-law’s house in Ohio,” says the Chicago resident. “We’d travel there every summer and most holidays, and I don’t think I stopped in Indiana for anything other than lunch or gas.”
That changed a few years ago, when Pentos and his wife attended a wedding at the Chapel of the Resurrection on the Valparaiso University campus.
“It was probably the first time I noticed how green Indiana was,” Pentos says. “It was the first time I thought of it as more than a state I used to get from here to there.”
Today Pentos says he views Indiana, specifically the small towns and cities of Northern Indiana, as the “there,” a destination offering culture, community and a little peace and quiet that’s only a short car ride away.
“I feel guilty that I spent hours driving to get away from the city for a little R&R with my wife when I could’ve been from my front door to a place like Shipshewana in a couple of hours,” says the retired Chicago Public Schools employee.
Pentos and his wife don’t feel guilty anymore, now that Northern Indiana has become the perfect respite from city life. Read More
- Posted by Derek Smith on Thursday, April 4th, 2013
- in Things to Do
Breakfast at Peaceful Acres
Peaceful Acres owner Mary Jane Hoober calls her bed and breakfast “Shipshewana’s Country Hideaway,” and it is. It’s located well off the beaten path in a large home surrounded by Amish farms and acres of golden countryside.
It’s a place that exudes peace. Then again, the owner makes one feel at peace as well.
Exiting my car, I immediately smelled the fragrance of wood burning. Sure enough, Mary Jane had made a fire in her fireplace; as soon as I entered her home, I heard the crackle and snap of burning logs. Aaahhh, peace.
Mary Jane has been running the bed and breakfast for nine years now. Before that, her husband and she owned The Trolley Café in nearby Goshen’s Old Bag Factory. The food was amazing there; my family went often.
Today, I’m sitting by the same cook/baker at her breakfast table. Read More
Northern Indiana diners looking for the glitz and glam of Vegas as a backdrop to their evening meal don’t need to look any further than the Blue Chip Casino, Hotel and Spa where one restaurant lives up to it’s name: It’s Vegas Baby!
Opened in 2009, It’s Vegas Baby! has steadily built buzz as a restaurant worthy of its decadent surroundings with the menu living up to the digs. Specializing in Midwest classics with a Vegas twist, the lineup of appetizers and entrees pays homage to Vegas of the Rat Pack era. There’s the Las Vegas Shrimp Cocktail, Joker’s Wild Steak and Eggs and Sam’s Town Braised Pork Shank, just to name a few.
Chef Erik Keever and his team prepare much of the menu from scratch, like the tasty medley of hand-tossed pizzas. Items like the popular standout Create Your Own Mac and Cheese and the The Orleans, a traditional pot pie, are Keever’s elevated versions of classic comfort food. Read More
- Posted by Kim Ranegar on Thursday, February 14th, 2013
- in Food
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Heston Supper Club is difficult to find, but impossible to forget. We arrive on a random weeknight and find the parking lot dotted with local’s cars and others bearing plates from Michigan and Illinois. Though the menu includes steaks, chops, ribs, fresh seafood and more, most diners make the trip for one thing: their famed prime rib! Cooked low and slow, it’s the best I’ve ever had.
Diners travel far and wide for Heston's famous prime rib.
“Cooking it low and slow means the meat retains all of its natural juices, losing only about 10 percent as opposed to high heats where meat loses 30 to 40 percent of the juices,” explains Tim Ohlund, Heston Supper Club owner (along with wife Jackie) for 30 years. They start the prime rib daily at 8 a.m. so it’s ready and resting before they open for dinner. “If you come in at 9:30 at night, you can still get delicious prime rib cooked medium rare,” Tim says. Because they have to start so early, they must predict the daily demand so they don’t run out, which happens ever so rarely. To be safe, they guess on the high side, often resulting in delicious leftovers that make fantastic soups, another mainstay of the Heston menu.