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Sidebars: Restaurant built on lifelong family traditions

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SidebarsAs a kid, I used to love breakfast-for-dinner dinners. Of that meal, my favorite was the waffles which my mom made on an old, square, electric waffle maker that made the traditional, thin waffles perfectly. It was such a special treat for dinner and now you can enjoy such a treat for lunch at Maxine’s Chicken and Waffles, which is attached to the downtown Citgo at the corner of East and Ohio streets in Indianapolis.

Fred and I, and the most important person in our legal lives, our paralegal, Gina, ventured out for chicken and waffles. We knew that it is not necessarily a quick in-and-out type place, so we allotted a full hour for lunch. A very clean and casual atmosphere welcomes a diverse customer base of businessmen, students, families and blue-collar folks.

The story behind Maxine’s creates the charm of the place. Maxine, may she rest in peace, cooked at St. Francis Hospital for 30 years while her husband, Ollie, worked a different shift at Chrysler for 33 years. Their coordinated efforts in raising their 10 kids resulted in a variety of culinary feats over the years. In 2007, the kids and grandkids joined forces to open Maxine’s with the menu-base being the recipes, with more than a dash of love, of Ollie and Maxine over the years. We, your customers, thank you for sharing the love!

There is a lot on this menu. We started with chicken wings coated with a buffalo sauce that contained just a hint of pepper or garlic or something to distinguish it from the traditional buffalo sauce. The heat was manageable. We also munched on some onion rings that retained a bit too much grease, but who really complains about that? Other starters include Max Fries – get this – french fries with cheese sauce, fried chicken chunks, diced tomatoes, onions, green peppers, topped with cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream – OMG. Also to munch on is the southern tradition of fried green tomatoes with “southern sauce.” Oh, also, corn bread patties with peach butter are offered up to whet your appetite.

I had to indulge in Maxine’s signature dish of chicken and waffles, which is a big ol’ rounded waffle and three jumbo chicken wings fried to perfection, served pipin’ hot. You get the peach butter (or you can ask for traditional butter) and warm syrup for your waffle (of which there are a variety of types of waffles – i.e. chocolate chip or strawberry.) I tell ya, it is the warm syrup that seems like a personal hug from Maxine herself. Fred tried his patience by ordering the pan-fried chicken for which you should allow about 35 minutes to cook. The process cooked in the juices and treated Fred with flavorfully spiced breading that can only come with pan-fried chicken as opposed to the deep-fried method. The only disappointment was the generic french fries he had with his chicken. The barbecue chicken sandwich impressed Gina with it being so juicy for grilled chicken and this was despite them forgetting to put the barbecue sauce on it! She described her side of macaroni and cheese as creamy and very homemade.

Other notables are the omelets (one a six-egg omelet), pancakes, a waffle sandwich, and Shirley’s Biscuit (pieces of fried chicken smothered in gravy, served with two eggs, grits or potatoes and a biscuit). Leaning more toward lunch (really supper) entrée? Check out the tilapia or catfish dinners, the smothered chicken dish or the slow-baked chicken dinner. As far as salads and sandwiches, Maxine’s menu has numerous selections of each, including many burger offerings, a smoked sausage sandwich, and fried or blackened catfish or tilapia sandwiches. The dinners come with two sides and the sandwiches come with one side. There are too many sides to mention but this will encourage return trips to try each of them at some point!

I would grant Maxine’s three gavels on the food but four when it comes to the motivation of those honoring Maxine and Ollie’s obvious love for their children who now are sharing it with us. Check out their website at www.maxineschicken.com and visit them at 132 N. East St., Indianapolis.•

Fred Vaiana and Jennifer M. Lukemeyer practice at Voyles Zahn & Paul 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. I work with some older lawyers in the 70s, 80s, and they are sharp as tacks compared to the foggy minded, undisciplined, inexperienced, listless & aimless "youths" being churned out by the diploma mill law schools by the tens of thousands. A client is generally lucky to land a lawyer who has decided to stay in practice a long time. Young people shouldn't kid themselves. Experience is golden especially in something like law. When you start out as a new lawyer you are about as powerful as a babe in the cradle. Whereas the silver halo of age usually crowns someone who can strike like thunder.

  2. YES I WENT THROUGH THIS BEFORE IN A DIFFERENT SITUATION WITH MY YOUNGEST SON PEOPLE NEED TO LEAVE US ALONE WITH DCS IF WE ARE NOT HURTING OR NEGLECT OUR CHILDREN WHY ARE THEY EVEN CALLED OUT AND THE PEOPLE MAKING FALSE REPORTS NEED TO GO TO JAIL AND HAVE A CLASS D FELONY ON THERE RECORD TO SEE HOW IT FEELS. I WENT THREW ALOT WHEN HE WAS TAKEN WHAT ELSE DOES THESE SCHOOL WANT ME TO SERVE 25 YEARS TO LIFE ON LIES THERE TELLING OR EVEN LE SAME THING LIED TO THE COUNTY PROSECUTOR JUST SO I WOULD GET ARRESTED AND GET TIME HE THOUGHT AND IT TURNED OUT I DID WHAT I HAD TO DO NOT PROUD OF WHAT HAPPEN AND SHOULD KNOW ABOUT SEEKING MEDICAL ATTENTION FOR MY CHILD I AM DISABLED AND SICK OF GETTING TREATED BADLY HOW WOULD THEY LIKE IT IF I CALLED APS ON THEM FOR A CHANGE THEN THEY CAN COME AND ARREST THEM RIGHT OUT OF THE SCHOOL. NOW WE ARE HOMELESS AND THE CHILDREN ARE STAYING WITH A RELATIVE AND GUARDIAN AND THE SCHOOL WON'T LET THEM GO TO SCHOOL THERE BUT WANT THEM TO GO TO SCHOOL WHERE BULLYING IS ALLOWED REAL SMART THINKING ON A SCHOOL STAFF.

  3. Family court judges never fail to surprise me with their irrational thinking. First of all any man who abuses his wife is not fit to be a parent. A man who can't control his anger should not be allowed around his child unsupervised period. Just because he's never been convicted of abusing his child doesn't mean he won't and maybe he hasn't but a man that has such poor judgement and control is not fit to parent without oversight - only a moron would think otherwise. Secondly, why should the mother have to pay? He's the one who made the poor decisions to abuse and he should be the one to pay the price - monetarily and otherwise. Yes it's sad that the little girl may be deprived of her father, but really what kind of father is he - the one that abuses her mother the one that can't even step up and do what's necessary on his own instead the abused mother is to pay for him???? What is this Judge thinking? Another example of how this world rewards bad behavior and punishes those who do right. Way to go Judge - NOT.

  4. Right on. Legalize it. We can take billions away from the drug cartels and help reduce violence in central America and more unwanted illegal immigration all in one fell swoop. cut taxes on the savings from needless incarcerations. On and stop eroding our fourth amendment freedom or whatever's left of it.

  5. "...a switch from crop production to hog production "does not constitute a significant change."??? REALLY?!?! Any judge that cannot see a significant difference between a plant and an animal needs to find another line of work.

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