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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. 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)

  2. "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.

  3. 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.

  4. When I hear 'Juvenile Lawyer' I think of an attorney helping a high school aged kid through the court system for a poor decision; like smashing mailboxes. Thank you for opening up my eyes to the bigger picture of the need for juvenile attorneys. It made me sad, but also fascinated, when it was explained, in the sixth paragraph, that parents making poor decisions (such as drug abuse) can cause situations where children need legal representation and aid from a lawyer.

  5. Some in the Hoosier legal elite consider this prayer recommended by the AG seditious, not to mention the Saint who pledged loyalty to God over King and went to the axe for so doing: "Thomas More, counselor of law and statesman of integrity, merry martyr and most human of saints: Pray that, for the glory of God and in the pursuit of His justice, I may be trustworthy with confidences, keen in study, accurate in analysis, correct in conclusion, able in argument, loyal to clients, honest with all, courteous to adversaries, ever attentive to conscience. Sit with me at my desk and listen with me to my clients' tales. Read with me in my library and stand always beside me so that today I shall not, to win a point, lose my soul. Pray that my family may find in me what yours found in you: friendship and courage, cheerfulness and charity, diligence in duties, counsel in adversity, patience in pain—their good servant, and God's first. Amen."

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