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Sidebars: Café's limited menu features fresh, high-quality food

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SidebarsEditor’s Note: Sidebars reviews and rates eateries lawyers may enjoy visiting when working at courthouses throughout Indiana. Fred offers this issue’s review.

If you haven’t been to downtown Carmel lately, go! The vision of longtime Mayor Jim Brainard has, in very large part, come to fruition with a wonderful big-city vibe along Main Street’s Arts and Design district, buttressed by smartly efficient mixed-use development surrounding it. The “if you build it, they will come” mantra is quite evident, and they’re still building.

Of course with a project of this magnitude, there is controversy. Mayor Brainard and the city council continue to spar over funding but, placing that aside, we still reap the surface benefits of world-class entertainment at The Palladium and quality, varietal dining options. Today I focus on one of those collateral benefits, the Blue Moon Café.

A dream of experienced culinary school graduates Brian and Shelly Jordan, the business finds itself nestled in the Indiana Design Center on Rangeline Road just south of Main Street. The Blue Moon Café is one of those places I’ve driven by countless times and, while piquing my interest, I never stopped. It took a rare, warm spring Saturday earlier this year and my 12-year-old son, Anthony, to make it happen.

After getting tandem haircuts at, where else, the Main Street Barber Shop, the topic of lunch arose. Traffic was rerouted due to the Carmel half marathon, so we spilled out of a side street near the Blue Moon Café. I mentioned how I always wanted to try it and Anthony said that he wanted to go, so in we went. We were both glad we did.

Not far from Carmel City Court, this place is a wise choice for your breakfast and lunch options. The hip and spacious decor can easily accommodate solos, couples, families and small business meetings. While the menu is limited, it’s reasonably priced, fresh and of high quality. Not much more you can ask for. Even Jenny would like it.

The menu rotates quite a bit, but there appear to be a few staples. There is something for everyone here. There are vegetarian options, soups, salads, wraps, panini sandwiches and, best of all, high-quality desserts. I selected the grinder panini as my choice while Anthony chose the BLT, flanked by a side of pasta salad.

One thing I like to do when sampling a new place is to order unsweetened iced tea. If the establishment cares enough to serve a quality iced tea then quality food usually follows. So when my iced tea was good I knew the food to come had to be.

The grinder was everything you would expect from an Italian-style panini. Well-proportioned meats such as smoked ham and salami along with cheese, in this instance provolone, accompanied by shaved onions, sliced tomatoes, garlic mayonnaise and a wonderfully flavorful giadinera. Anthony’s BLT was uncommon, on the plus side. It included peppered bacon from local gem Goose the Market, havarti cheese, romaine lettuce, sliced tomato, and the same flavorful roasted garlic mayonnaise I had on my sandwich. Both were served on sourdough bread, enhancing the well-meshed symphony of flavors. Anthony’s pasta salad was enjoyably spicy. He gobbled it up, nonetheless, as he’s developed quite a respectable palate for spicy food as a 12-year-old.

While we did not sample from it, the crown jewel of this place is the dessert case. Variety is again limited to a few options, but they look sinfully decadent. Examples include the mile-high cake that on the day of our visit was a carrot cake, but the flavors do rotate. It is a six-layer masterpiece that earns its moniker. On this day the case included a tempting raspberry chocolate torte, but the most intriguing option, and I’m told among the most popular, is the homemade ding dongs. From the looks of them their popularity is no surprise.

So if you find yourself in downtown Carmel someday, this place is a solid lunchtime choice. Anthony wants to go back, and I’ll join him. Someone has to – he can’t drive yet.

Blue Moon Café, 200 S. Rangeline Rd., Carmel, IN. M-F, 7 a.m.-6 p.m. Sat. 7 a.m.-3 p.m. 317-844-8310. Catering available.•

__________

Fred Vaiana and Jennifer Lukemeyer practice at Voyles Zahn & Paul in Indianapolis, focusing on criminal defense. Both enjoy a good meal with colleagues and friends. The opinions expressed in this column are those of the authors.

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  1. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  2. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  3. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

  4. "Meanwhile small- and mid-size firms are getting squeezed and likely will not survive unless they become a boutique firm." I've been a business attorney in small, and now mid-size firm for over 30 years, and for over 30 years legal consultants have been preaching this exact same mantra of impending doom for small and mid-sized firms -- verbatim. This claim apparently helps them gin up merger opportunities from smaller firms who become convinced that they need to become larger overnight. The claim that large corporations are interested in cost-saving and efficiency has likewise been preached for decades, and is likewise bunk. If large corporations had any real interest in saving money they wouldn't use large law firms whose rates are substantially higher than those of high-quality mid-sized firms.

  5. The family is the foundation of all human government. That is the Grand Design. Modern governments throw off this Design and make bureaucratic war against the family, as does Hollywood and cultural elitists such as third wave feminists. Since WWII we have been on a ship of fools that way, with both the elite and government and their social engineering hacks relentlessly attacking the very foundation of social order. And their success? See it in the streets of Fergusson, on the food stamp doles (mostly broken families)and in the above article. Reject the Grand Design for true social function, enter the Glorious State to manage social dysfunction. Our Brave New World will be a prison camp, and we will welcome it as the only way to manage given the anarchy without it.

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