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Sidebars: Rushville restaurant offers variety of dining options, treats

Jennifer Lukemeyer , Fred Vaiana
July 18, 2012
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SidebarsI grew up in Zionsville we’ll say “a while back” and the main, well really only, hangout was the Dairy Queen (conveniently located next to the Rolls Royce dealership – maybe foreshadowing Zionsville’s future???). Our DQ did not feel like a franchise because you knew everyone who was hanging out there and who worked there. It seemed more like a local place – kind of like Stagg’s Dairy Treats & Restaurant in Rushville – which is family-owned and has been since 1960. The indoor and outdoor décor mirrors a DQ (hence the prior references). The wall photos and awards reveal the restaurant’s community connections and reflect the employees’ dedication to Stagg’s, each other and the community. It is a true hometown treat in itself.

My partner Jeff Baldwin and I stopped by Stagg’s for a late lunch after a hearing in Rush County. It was a nice break from Jeff’s beloved sports radio, which apparently is the only station he subscribes to. Next time, I’m driving, and it will be Oprah radio for three straight hours. Aaaannywhoo, Jeff dug into a traditional cheeseburger – freshly made – and a side of fries. He was all but giddy to find they were crinkle fries! Any meal is more special when accompanied by a chocolate shake – handmade to boot! I kept it traditional, too, with a Coney dog with cheese and onion rings. There was nothing particularly special about either, other than I indulged in such selections and probably have not had such a combo since my DQ days back in Zionsville. Both meals hit the spot, not necessarily out of the park, but provided fun and frivolous calories. What I respected most was that nowhere on the menu could you find “jumbo” or “supersize” or “meal deal,” and that made a fast-food-like experience, less fast-food like.

I will admit, the menu offers quite a variety of options. You could get a wrap, sub or salad with your specification of toppings. It does seem more the setting for traditional fare like the various burgers (such as a pizza burger, salsa burger or mushroom-Swiss burger), dogs (Coney, foot-long, or corndog), or sandwiches (grilled cheese, tenderloins or sloppy Joe). Chicken selections comprise wings, strips or a chicken salad sandwich. Beyond the crinkle fries and onion rings, can you think of a better caloric splurge than “sloppy cheese tater tots?” I can’t. Oh, and they have other sides such as slaw, pepper cheese shotz and applesauce.

If your appetite demands, Stagg’s serves up Manhattans (roast beef and turkey), Swiss steak with mashed potatoes and gravy, and chicken and noodles with mashed potatoes and gravy. Most impressive is the price point – a cheeseburger with fries and my Coney dog and onion rings will cost ya only about 8 bucks. The most expensive items I could find were the Manhattans ringing in at $5.75.

However, what you should stop at Stagg’s for is the dairy treat. Indulge yourself with a parfait, banana split or strawberry shortcake for dessert. The selection goes on to include slushies, floats or freezes. The menu has a “novelty” section that teases with the likes of cherry or butterscotch ice cream bars, toffee bars, fudge bars, Popsicles, Choco Tacos, or old-fashioned orange push-ups. Again, you can stick to the traditional sundaes and pick out a variety of toppings – another special touch of a family-run and familiar place.

You cannot miss Stagg’s Dairy Treats & Restaurant right along SR 52 (3rd Street by then) as you come into town and only about a mile or so out from the courthouse. I give it three gavels, mainly for sprinkling hometown pride coupled with family values on top of this otherwise fast-food joint.•

__________

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. Someone off their meds? C'mon John, it is called the politics of Empire. Get with the program, will ya? How can we build one world under secularist ideals without breaking a few eggs? Of course, once it is fully built, is the American public who will feel the deadly grip of the velvet glove. One cannot lay down with dogs without getting fleas. The cup of wrath is nearly full, John Smith, nearly full. Oops, there I go, almost sounding as alarmist as Smith. Guess he and I both need to listen to this again: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRnQ65J02XA

  2. Charles Rice was one of the greatest of the so-called great generation in America. I was privileged to count him among my mentors. He stood firm for Christ and Christ's Church in the Spirit of Thomas More, always quick to be a good servant of the King, but always God's first. I had Rice come speak to 700 in Fort Wayne as Obama took office. Rice was concerned that this rise of aggressive secularism and militant Islam were dual threats to Christendom,er, please forgive, I meant to say "Western Civilization". RIP Charlie. You are safe at home.

  3. It's a big fat black mark against the US that they radicalized a lot of these Afghan jihadis in the 80s to fight the soviets and then when they predictably got around to biting the hand that fed them, the US had to invade their homelands, install a bunch of corrupt drug kingpins and kleptocrats, take these guys and torture the hell out of them. Why for example did the US have to sodomize them? Dubya said "they hate us for our freedoms!" Here, try some of that freedom whether you like it or not!!! Now they got even more reasons to hate us-- lets just keep bombing the crap out of their populations, installing more puppet regimes, arming one faction against another, etc etc etc.... the US is becoming a monster. No wonder they hate us. Here's my modest recommendation. How about we follow "Just War" theory in the future. St Augustine had it right. How about we treat these obvious prisoners of war according to the Geneva convention instead of torturing them in sadistic and perverted ways.

  4. As usual, John is "spot-on." The subtle but poignant points he makes are numerous and warrant reflection by mediators and users. Oh but were it so simple.

  5. ACLU. Way to step up against the police state. I see a lot of things from the ACLU I don't like but this one is a gold star in its column.... instead of fighting it the authorities should apologize and back off.

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