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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. For many years this young man was "family" being my cousin's son. Then he decided to ignore my existence and that of my daughter who was very hurt by his actions after growing up admiring, Jason. Glad he is doing well, as for his opinion, if you care so much you wouldn't ignore the feelings of those who cared so much about you for years, Jason.

  2. Good riddance to this dangerous activist judge

  3. What is the one thing the Hoosier legal status quo hates more than a whistleblower? A lawyer whistleblower taking on the system man to man. That must never be rewarded, must always, always, always be punished, lest the whole rotten tree be felled.

  4. I want to post this to keep this tread alive and hope more of David's former clients might come forward. In my case, this coward of a man represented me from June 2014 for a couple of months before I fired him. I knew something was wrong when he blatantly lied about what he had advised me in my contentious and unfortunate divorce trial. His impact on the proceedings cast a very long shadow and continues to impact me after a lengthy 19 month divorce. I would join a class action suit.

  5. The dispute in LB Indiana regarding lake front property rights is typical of most beach communities along our Great Lakes. Simply put, communication to non owners when visiting the lakefront would be beneficial. The Great Lakes are designated navigational waters (including shorelines). The high-water mark signifies the area one is able to navigate. This means you can walk, run, skip, etc. along the shores. You can't however loiter, camp, sunbath in front of someones property. Informational signs may be helpful to owners and visitors. Our Great Lakes are a treasure that should be enjoyed by all. PS We should all be concerned that the Long Beach, Indiana community is on septic systems.

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