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Sidebars: 'A Taste of Europe' found in Indianapolis

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Sprinkled throughout Northwest Indiana are places like this. In Merrillville alone there are three within a 2-mile radius of U.S. 30 and Broadway. Generally owned by first- or second-generation broken English or heavily accented Greeks, Serbians, or Italians, these places offer a refreshing reminder of the diversity of our culture and the melting pot foundation upon which it rests. Until recently, the Indianapolis area boasted none that I am aware of, so I was tickled pink to stumble across A Taste of Europe one evening after taking my son, Anthony, to his Zionsville karate practice. Let me proudly restate that as my 9-year-old black belt candidate son, Anthony.

This place isn’t near a courthouse, but its location, tucked away about a block or two west of 96th Street on Michigan Road on the northwest side of Indianapolis, is an easy digression from the well-traveled I-465. Nor is it really a restaurant, although by the end of summer 2011 they plan to evolve into a fully functioning deli serving made to order sandwiches. Today, it is an imported food or grocery store. Not at all large in terms of square footage, the place is efficiently packed with deli and grocery items, some of which you are familiar with and most of which you aren’t.

The sign in front of the store advertises free samples. That is an understatement. The Serbian owners, who travel daily from Crown Point while their son manages their sister store on the square there, generously provide you with enough samples of meats, sausages, cheeses, peppers, and breads that put the nearby big box Costco to shame and leave you feeling satisfied, if not even full. They serve European pastries and candies, cookies, and yes, baklava.

If you are a feta cheese fan, let me give you a hot tip. There is nothing like bulk Bulgarian feta cheese in terms of richness and sharpness of flavor. This is where the store loses some marks as its feta selections are pre-packaged and fail to measure up to the bulk variety. The owners plan an expanded deli case so perhaps they will add to their cheese variety by including bulk feta cheeses.

There is a dying tradition in ’Da Region. While growing up you used to be able to go to about any bar or independent restaurant and order one pound of barbeque lamb served with bread, feta, green onions, and olives. The lamb was prepared off site by the Serbians, roasting about 150 whole lambs every week. There are still a few places that do this if you know where to go. At a Taste of Europe you can custom order BBQ lamb making that option alone worthy of your support.

So if you want to visit a truly niche store, stop by a Taste of Europe. If you are hosting a party, they will prepare a party tray that your guests will simply rave about and then ask you what it was they just ate. Even Jenny’s Wonder bread palette will like this place, so I’ll drag her there to check it out sometime. I’m sure you will enjoy it too. A Taste of Europe, 4320 West 96th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46268. (317-334-8797).•

Fred Vaiana and Jennifer M. Lukemeyer practice at Voyles Zahn Paul Hogan & Merriman 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 the authors’.
 

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  3. All these sites putting up all the crap they do making Brent Look like A Monster like he's not a good person . First off th fight actually started not because of Brent but because of one of his friends then when the fight popped off his friend ran like a coward which left Brent to fend for himself .It IS NOT a crime to defend yourself 3 of them and 1 of him . just so happened he was a better fighter. I'm Brent s wife so I know him personally and up close . He's a very caring kind loving man . He's not abusive in any way . He is a loving father and really shouldn't be where he is not for self defense . Now because of one of his stupid friends trying to show off and turning out to be nothing but a coward and leaving Brent to be jumped by 3 men not only is Brent suffering but Me his wife , his kids abd step kidshis mom and brother his family is left to live without him abd suffering in more ways then one . that man was and still is my smile ....he's the one real thing I've ever had in my life .....f@#@ You Lafayette court system . Learn to do your jobs right he maybe should have gotten that year for misdemeanor battery but that s it . not one person can stand to me and tell me if u we're in a fight facing 3 men and u just by yourself u wouldn't fight back that you wouldn't do everything u could to walk away to ur family ur kids That's what Brent is guilty of trying to defend himself against 3 men he wanted to go home tohisfamily worse then they did he just happened to be a better fighter and he got the best of th others . what would you do ? Stand there lay there and be stomped and beaten or would u give it everything u got and fight back ? I'd of done the same only I'm so smallid of probably shot or stabbed or picked up something to use as a weapon . if it was me or them I'd do everything I could to make sure I was going to live that I would make it hone to see my kids and husband . I Love You Brent Anthony Forever & Always .....Soul 1 baby

  4. Good points, although this man did have a dog in the legal fight as that it was his mother on trial ... and he a dependent. As for parking spaces, handicap spots for pregnant women sure makes sense to me ... er, I mean pregnant men or women. (Please, I meant to include pregnant men the first time, not Room 101 again, please not Room 101 again. I love BB)

  5. I have no doubt that the ADA and related laws provide that many disabilities must be addressed. The question, however, is "by whom?" Many people get dealt bad cards by life. Some are deaf. Some are blind. Some are crippled. Why is it the business of the state to "collectivize" these problems and to force those who are NOT so afflicted to pay for those who are? The fact that this litigant was a mere spectator and not a party is chilling. What happens when somebody who speaks only East Bazurkistanish wants a translator so that he can "understand" the proceedings in a case in which he has NO interest? Do I and all other taxpayers have to cough up? It would seem so. ADA should be amended to provide a simple rule: "Your handicap, YOUR problem". This would apply particularly to handicapped parking spaces, where it seems that if the "handicap" is an ingrown toenail, the government comes rushing in to assist the poor downtrodden victim. I would grant wounded vets (IED victims come to mind in particular) a pass on this.. but others? Nope.

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