Griggsby’s Station in Greenfield, Indiana

Dining Outside the Home: Griggsby’s Station in Greenfield, Indiana! Located within walking distance from the museum home of Hoosier poet, James Whitcomb Riley, Griggsby’s Station is a farm-to-table gastropub open for homestyle dining at your leisure. It got its peculiar name from one of Whitcomb’s poems by the same title. Outdoor dining encourages a spirit of camaraderie where everyone is either your neighbor or your friend. Check the blackboard for daily specials on gourmet food and spirited drinks. What you see written there promises to be robustly flavored and go well together. On occasion, live music is a treat for the evening, especially as the weather becomes warmer and people like to mingle. Look for the bright lights and the buzz of excitement. It’s right there on Main Street.

The Sherman in Batesville, Indiana

Dining Outside the Home: The Sherman in Batesville, Indiana. When a stay-cation makes sense to remain close to home, wander down the road a piece to The Sherman. Nestled in the rolling hills of southern Indiana, step over the threshold of this quaint inn and eatery. You may be taken aback by the lively music and intermittent laughter coming from the Black Forest Bar. Peek around the corner. Rub your eyes and look again. The deep dark interior almost resembles a magical forest where fairy tales come true. Do the walls have eyes? Enter if you dare. Check out that giant pretzel. The couple with their heads huddled together are nibbling on it as though they were Hänsel and Gretel. This is just one of many appetizers for dipping pleasure with gourmet mustards and bier cheese. The crafted cocktails and extensive beer selection complement house-baked specialties with Bavarian leanings. Go early, stay awhile, and above all…share dishes. The German-style food is so spot on, you’ll want to eat your fill…and then some.

Tour of Italy in Greenfield, Indiana

Dining Outside the Home: Tour of Italy in Greenfield, Indiana! There’s something charming about an eatery located on the town square a few steps from the county courthouse. Inside the decor is Old World Italy with rustic brick walls dividing spacious seating for a romantic meal for two, weekend entertainment for a crowd, or outdoor dining on the patio. The wait staff is as friendly as family. If you’re lucky, the owner of Tour of Italy may step away from the alcove kitchen to twirl pizza dough into the air. With fresh ingredients, made-from-scratch garlic knots, and authentic Italian cuisine, it’s difficult to choose just one item. Order enough to share and take home the rest. Problem solved.

Firehouse BBQ and Blues in Richmond, Indiana

Dining Outside the Home: Firehouse BBQ and Blues in Richmond, Indiana. The “All American City” has hit the mark with slow-roasted barbecue, live blues music, and awesome drinks in a restored 1860s firehouse in the Depot District. Hand-painted murals simple add to the allure and charm of the cozy atmosphere. Not looking for a heavy meal? Choose Firehouse Chili. You know it’s tried and true. Swirl the cheddar cheese and onions into the thick savory soup. Crumble jalapeño cornbread in for a extra spice. Next time you’ll want the pulled pork barbecue or the hickory smoked beef brisket. After all, it’s what they’re famous for.

Ainsley’s Café and Harbor Bar in Brookville, Indiana

Dining Outside the Home: Ainsley’s Café and Harbor Bar in Brookville, Indiana. It’s always a good sign when boat owners swarm to the marina basin to remove slip covers from their vessels. That means the weather is getting warmer and Spring Fever has struck. Ainsley’s Café offers the perfect sunny side view of Brookville Lake and all the activity the lake provides. In the distance you may see a golfer tee off at the nearby Harbor Links Golf Club. Or a pontoon boat leisurely coasting into open waters. Check out the jet skis criss-crossing like synchronized dancers. When you dine on the outdoor deck for a midday lunch or sunset dinner, you may need to pinch yourself as a reminder this is real. The food is as fresh as the air you breathe. Whether it’s a Girl’s Getaway, Date Night, or Family Outing, Ainsley’s Café on Brookville Lake is time well-spent.

Dining Outside the Home: Ainsley’s Café and Harbor Bar in Brookville, Indiana

Dining Outside the Home: Ainsley’s Café and Harbor Bar in Brookville, Indiana! When the weather is hot and sunny, get away where old friends meet to reminisce about the glory days, mixed in with current events and fabulous food. Ainsley’s Café makes you feel as though the vacation never ends. Everyone who comes here is happy and full of life, including the staff. It’s like family reunions without all the drama. Sit outside where the breeze is fresh and the outstanding view is nonstop. Take your time, life is easy. This is is way things were meant to be.

Dining Outside the Home: Garden Table on Mass Avenue in Indianapolis, Indiana

Dining Outside the Home: Garden Table on Mass Avenue in Indianapolis, Indiana! More and more restaurants are meeting the demand for healthy and natural foods. Garden Table is no exception. In fact, they pride themselves in offering locally grown and harvested ingredients from sustainable farms. Believe me, your taste buds will notice. Take, for instance, the October Sky crafted espresso latte, laced with butternut squash and aromatic spices. It goes down so smooth you’ll find yourself savoring the aftertaste of cardamom and spice. Take it easy for Sunday brunch. The menu thrills with a Garden Benedict smothered in herbed hollandaise over sourdough toast. Be good to yourself. Experience Garden Table on Mass Avenue. We’re all in this together.

Dining Outside the Home: Carpenter Creek Cellars in Remington, Indiana 

Dining Outside the Home: Carpenter Creek Cellars in Remington, Indiana! What do you get when a 1919 country horse barn gets restored and transformed into a charming rustic winery? Award-winning wines, of course! From semi-sweet whites to bold dry reds, your palate is in for a journey of discovery. But don’t stop there. Take a trip down this country road in Jasper County, Indiana. Experience an extensive wine-tasting bar for the discerning palate, convenient outdoor seating for picnic pleasure, live entertainment on occasion, and assorted gourmet cheeses from this family-owned winery. Tours are available upon request. Spend a lovely hour or more sipping wine like an aficionado while absorbing the ambiance of Carpenter Creek Cellars.

Dining Outside the Home: Payne’s Restaurant in Gas City, Indiana 

Dining Outside the Home: Payne’s Restaurant in Gas City, Indiana! The fact that Payne’s Coffee and Custard is a mere stone’s throw from the childhood home of actor, James Dean, is more than coincidence. The owner, Stephen Payne, is a devoted fan of the iconic 1950s movie star. His British influence is apparent in the bistro’s specialties which include old-fashioned frozen custard (to die for), Indiana craft beers on tap, the best Fish ‘n Chips “this side of the pond”, and gooey Sticky Toffee Pudding. Ingredients are farm-to-table whenever possible. Make Payne’s Restaurant your next small town destination.