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Sidebars: Pancake house offers delightful fare

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When I travel, all intentions of eating healthy or not eating a lot go right out the window. When I travel with someone who has the same affinity for food, it is even worse. When I travel with my partner Jim Voyles, I make sure I wear pants with extra room because it is going to be a pig-fest all day long as it was on our recent trip to Michigan City.

First stop was the Stone House Bakery in Delphi in Carroll County for a mid-morning brownie snack. I have previously reviewed this place and still recommend it for such a snack or a meal.

Second stop: Indiana State Prison. I do not recommend this place.

Ultimately we ended up at Sophia's House of Pancakes right along U.S. 421 in Michigan City for a delightful lunch ... well, breakfast at lunch. Sophia's is a Greek restaurant with many American choices and serves breakfast all day. There is always some hearty special, a soup du jour, and special pie. Sophia's is just plain comfortable in both atmosphere and food. Although any place seems like a delightful respite after leaving Indiana State Prison, Sophia's offered an alternative to the chain and fast-food restaurants that line U.S. 421 through Michigan City.

Breakfast offerings include sizzling skillet dishes and frittatas (layered with steaming American fries) with ingredients such as cheese (feta, Monterrey, mozzarella, cheddar), peppers, meats, sausage gravy, olives, and mushrooms. If you are going for the pancakes - you are in for a really special treat. "Regular" pancakes - if you can call them regular - are available laced with various ingredients such as cinnamon apples, berries, chocolate chips, or pecans topped with powdered sugar and whipped cream. Or, you can endure a wait time of approximately 30 to 40 minutes for Sophia's oven-baked pancakes. These babies are served with apples or German style with fresh lemon and powdered sugar. Of course, you can always have an assortment of eggs - any style, waffles, French toast, and crepes. The sides are as delicious as the main entrée. The hash browns really pleased me.

If it is lunch fare you want, you will have plenty of choices. The menu is vast but Sophia's appears to do all deliciously. I got the feeling that if they couldn't do it right, they wouldn't offer it. The soup du jour, chicken noodle, warmed the soul on the cold Michigan City day we were there. Sandwiches varied from hamburgers to pannini, triple-decker clubs (including roast beef and Swiss, BLT, and grilled chicken), and six types of chicken sandwiches. The special sandwiches did include a gyro, in case you were wondering about the Greek influence. Plenty of salad choices adorned the menu including a Cajun chicken salad and, of course, a Greek salad. Heartier items are available such as chicken lemon with rice, Cajun pork chops, Mediterranean chicken with artichokes over rice, and a rib eye. These were the priciest items on the menu, but still the rib eye was only $12.95 and only two other items exceeded $10. Great value for the quantity and the quality.

We left well sated and with some to-go jars of marinated olives compliments of the owner, who had no idea I would be writing this but seemed to appreciate our inquiry and appetites. Sophia's earned 3.5 gavels.

However, our food stops were not done. Our final stop was to the home of the Whirly Pop popcorn maker, Wabash Valley Farms in Monon. Not only do they sell the Whirly Pop, but they sell a variety of popcorns, oils, and toppings. It really is a cool store, and I would suggest the Whirly Pop as a healthy alternative to popping corn that is just as delicious. That was the final stop in a legally productive day as well as in the culinary sense, too!

Fred Vaiana and Jennifer M. Lukemeyer practice at Voyles Zahn Paul Hogan & Merriman in Indianapolis, focusing in criminal defense. Vaiana is a 1992 graduate of the John Marshall Law School in Chicago. Lukemeyer earned her J.D. from Southern Methodist University in 1994 and is active in the Indianapolis Bar Association, Indianapolis Inn of Courts, and the Teen Court Program. The opinions expressed in this column are those of the authors.

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  1. Where may I find an attorney working Pro Bono? Many issues with divorce, my Disability, distribution of IRA's, property, money's and pressured into agreement by my attorney. Leaving me far less than 5% of all after 15 years of marriage. No money to appeal, disabled living on disability income. Attorney's decision brought forward to judge, no evidence ever to finalize divorce. Just 2 weeks ago. Please help.

  2. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

  3. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  4. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  5. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

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