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Sidebars: Bloomington eatery’s Cajun food leaves diners satisfied

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

I love working with other lawyers from other firms on cases. It gives you new perspectives on how to approach and prepare for a case, and it creates new friendships. I have had the pleasure to work with Frost Brown Todd lawyer Tom Farlow on a few cases in the past, but a recent case has led us to spend more time working together. Since it is a case in Bloomington, we spend some time in the car together. While Tom is a great lawyer, he also happens to be the most passive-aggressive backseat driver I have ever met. He doesn’t say “look out” or “don’t get over,” rather he jerks his head around as I attempt a lane change. If he verbalizes his concerns, it is matter-of-fact like. “Can you believe how some people stop for red lights like the car in front of us?” really means “SLOW THE %#$& DOWN! WE ARE GOING TO DIE IF YOU DON’T START BRAKING!!!”

But Tom does know how to pick a place to eat. After some depositions in Bloomington, we dined at the Uptown Café right off the courthouse square. The restaurant dons a comfortably upscale décor. It was busy, which is always a good sign especially when the campus is out for summer break. We were quickly seated and served.

The menu brags, by its selection, a Cajun pride but has other options. For appetizers, one may choose from a Rock shrimp and calamari fritti with mango coconut cocktail sauce and chipotle sour cream. There is the Cajun liver pâté or Cuban black bean soup. A handful of salads are offered with house-made dressings. The salad offerings include a Chinese chicken salad, the traditional Caesar, or a mesclun salad that includes 14 organic baby lettuces topped with gorgonzola cheese, baby tomatoes, onions, olives and walnuts. For any salad you may add toppings like chicken, salmon or jumbo shrimp for a little extra.

We went straight for the entrees. Tom ordered the special – fried perch and fries. It was perfectly battered so it didn’t mask the fish. He was not passive-aggressive when it came to the fish. He aggressively gave it a thumbs-up. I loved my Louisiana hot pepper chicken. Cajun-spiced chicken breast cutlets smothered in a cheesy, hot pepper cream sauce with basmati rice. All I need to say is it was scrumptious. However, once you see the menu, decision making will be tough. There is pot roast, crawfish étouffée, red beans and rice, gumbo of the day and more. On the sandwich side of the menu, more temptations await: shrimp tacos, Ararat chicken pita (sliced chicken marinated in olive oil, rosemary and garlic, placed inside a warm pita with aioli, lettuce and a tomato-onion-cucumber relish), a Veg Head Sandwich (on which you can ask for, ironically, bacon), and a Cajun meatloaf sandwich. Finally, if you feel like breakfast fare, they offer regular items such as a potato omelet or eggs and bacon, but also a unique creme brulee French toast – slices of a baguette on top of a custard infused with vanilla. Seriously? Yes.

If our entrees are indicators of how the other selections will taste, any selection will satisfy. While some of the entrees sound heavy, we left sated but not overly so. As I drove back to Indy with my jumpy passenger, we laughed about how I would be making fun of him in this upcoming article. Fortunately, he did not object, but we’ll see after he reads it in print.

Go and enjoy a nice lunch and take a friend, co-counsel or as I did, both.•

Uptown Café, 102 E. Kirkwood Ave., Bloomington, IN. http://the-uptown.com

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. From his recent appearance on WRTV to this story here, Frank is everywhere. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy, although he should stop using Eric Schnauffer for his 7th Circuit briefs. They're not THAT hard.

  2. They learn our language prior to coming here. My grandparents who came over on the boat, had to learn English and become familiarize with Americas customs and culture. They are in our land now, speak ENGLISH!!

  3. @ Rebecca D Fell, I am very sorry for your loss. I think it gives the family solace and a bit of closure to go to a road side memorial. Those that oppose them probably did not experience the loss of a child or a loved one.

  4. If it were your child that died maybe you'd be more understanding. Most of us don't have graves to visit. My son was killed on a state road and I will be putting up a memorial where he died. It gives us a sense of peace to be at the location he took his last breath. Some people should be more understanding of that.

  5. Can we please take notice of the connection between the declining state of families across the United States and the RISE OF CPS INVOLVEMENT??? They call themselves "advocates" for "children's rights", however, statistics show those children whom are taken from, even NEGLIGENT homes are LESS likely to become successful, independent adults!!! Not to mention the undeniable lack of respect and lack of responsibility of the children being raised today vs the way we were raised 20 years ago, when families still existed. I was born in 1981 and I didn't even ever hear the term "CPS", in fact, I didn't even know they existed until about ten years ago... Now our children have disagreements between friends and they actually THREATEN EACH OTHER WITH, "I'll call CPS" or "I'll have [my parent] (usually singular) call CPS"!!!! And the truth is, no parent is perfect and we all have flaws and make mistakes, but it is RIGHTFULLY OURS - BY THE CONSTITUTION OF THIS GREAT NATION - to be imperfect. Let's take a good look at what kind of parenting those that are stealing our children are doing, what kind of adults are they producing? WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENS TO THE CHILDREN THAT HAVE BEEN RIPPED FROM THEIR FAMILY AND THAT CHILD'S SUCCESS - or otherwise - AS AN ADULT.....

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