Local restaurants part of state culinary trails


Twenty-one food trails established by the Indiana Foodways Alliance tell the story about different areas across Indiana.

Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch encouraged Hoosiers and visitors to the state to follow the different trails and learn some of the stories using the Indiana State Culinary Trails Passport.

“The restaurants that make up these trails are family-owned small businesses that play a major role in rural America,” Crouch said Monday. “This passport program will help these 250+ establishments thrive and continue to be a part of the heritage and culture of their communities.”

So far, nine Dubois County establishments are on various trails. But the county has even more offerings for any foodie’s palate, said Whitney Hall Lubbers, executive director of Visit Dubois County.

“It’s kind of amazing the offerings that we’re able to have in a small town,” Lubbers said. “We have all kinds of different cuisine, whether it be German, American, more ethnic types of foods.”

The nine establishments and the trails on which they are listed include:

• Brew: Between The Buns Burger, Tenderloin Lovers, Rise N’ Shine and Tasty Tavern trails.

• Chocolate Bliss: Coffee & Tea Room, and Sweet Temptations trails.

• Mama T’s Italian Steakhouse: A Cut Above, Here Fishy Fishy and Cultural Cuisine trails.

• Midwest Cafe & Market: Coffee & Tea Room; Rise N’ Shine; and Soup, Salad, & Sandwich trails.

• Schnitz Pub: Between The Buns Burger Trail, Hoosier Brews and Za’ Pizza trails.

• Schnitzelbank: Soup, Salad, & Sandwich; Tenderloin Lovers; and Cultural Cuisine trails.

• Snaps: A Cut Above; Tenderloin Lovers; and Soup, Salad, & Sandwich trails.

• Soup-n-Such Bistro: Wine; Wine Anytime; Sweet Temptations; and Soup, Salad, & Sandwich trails.

• The Mill House Restaurant: Tenderloin Lovers, A Cut Above and Between The Buns Burger trails.

“We do have some tremendous restaurants in our county that overshadow even those in other areas,” Lubbers said. “We have a really good variety. I know that the locals very much enjoy it, as well as visitors.”

Crouch, the alliance and the Indiana Destination Development Corporation announced the passport program Monday. Foodies can sign up online for the passport at www.visitIndiana.com/cuisine. Once arriving to a destination, the person checks in on a smartphone, noting the visit.

“Indiana was farm-to-fork before that term became popular,” said Elaine Bedel, secretary and CEO of the Indiana Destination Development Corporation. “These restaurants on these trails are getting locally sourced food from our farmers every day.”

There are prizes for visiting multiple restaurants across the state and seasonal drawings for prizes, a state tourism spokeswoman said. After checking in to 30 eateries, participants will receive a custom pie server. Those who visit 60 locations will earn a tumbler and after 90 visits, participants will receive a hat.

The first giveaways will be drawn during the Indiana State Fair for those who do a passport check-in during the fair’s duration, July 30 to Aug. 22. They include meals, activities and an overnight stay in French Lick and one in Shipshewana.

“Sometimes it’s the story behind the food or the restaurant that contributes to the success of the business in the community,” said Lindsey Skeen, executive director of the Indiana Foodways Alliance. “These trails are our way to tell that story.”

That rings true locally as well.

“There’s even more restaurants here besides the nine (on the trails) and we definitely encourage everyone to explore other places not on the trail,” Lubbers said. “Go through our county and explore the different food offerings.”

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