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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  1. I have an open CHINS case I failed a urine screen I have since got clean completed IOP classes now in after care passed home inspection my x sister in law has my children I still don't even have unsupervised when I have been clean for over 4 months my x sister wants to keep the lids for good n has my case working with her I just discovered n have proof that at one of my hearing dcs case worker stated in court to the judge that a screen was dirty which caused me not to have unsupervised this was at the beginning two weeks after my initial screen I thought the weed could have still been in my system was upset because they were suppose to check levels n see if it was going down since this was only a few weeks after initial instead they said dirty I recently requested all of my screens from redwood because I take prescriptions that will show up n I was having my doctor look at levels to verify that matched what I was prescripted because dcs case worker accused me of abuseing when I got my screens I found out that screen I took that dcs case worker stated in court to judge that caused me to not get granted unsupervised was actually negative what can I do about this this is a serious issue saying a parent failed a screen in court to judge when they didn't please advise

  2. I have a degree at law, recent MS in regulatory studies. Licensed in KS, admitted b4 S& 7th circuit, but not to Indiana bar due to political correctness. Blacklisted, nearly unemployable due to hostile state action. Big Idea: Headwinds can overcome, esp for those not within the contours of the bell curve, the Lego Movie happiness set forth above. That said, even without the blacklisting for holding ideas unacceptable to the Glorious State, I think the idea presented above that a law degree open many vistas other than being a galley slave to elitist lawyers is pretty much laughable. (Did the law professors of Indiana pay for this to be published?)

  3. Paul Hartman of Burbank, Oh who is helping Sister Fuller with this Con Artist Kevin Bart McCarthy scares Sister Joseph Therese, Patricia Ann Fuller very much that McCarthy will try and hurt Patricia Ann Fuller and Paul Hartman of Burbank, Oh or any member of his family. Sister is very, very scared, (YES, I AM) This McCarthy guy is a real, real CON MAN and crook. I try to totall flatter Kevin Bart McCARTHY to keep him from hurting my best friends in this world which are Carolyn Rose and Paul Hartman. I Live in total fear of this man Kevin Bart McCarthy and try to praise him as a good man to keep us ALL from his bad deeds. This man could easy have some one cause us a very bad disability. You have to PRAISAE in order TO PROTECT yourself. He lies and makes up stories about people and then tries to steal if THEY OWN THRU THE COURTS A SPECIAL DEVOTION TO PROTECT, EX> Our Lady of America DEVOTION. EVERYONE who reads this, PLEASE BE CAREFUL of Kevin Bart McCarthy of Indianapolis, IN My Phone No. IS 419-435-3838.

  4. Joe, you might want to do some reading on the fate of Hoosier whistleblowers before you get your expectations raised up.

  5. I had a hospital and dcs caseworker falsify reports that my child was born with drugs in her system. I filed a complaint with the Indiana department of health....and they found that the hospital falsified drug screens in their investigation. Then I filed a complaint with human health services in Washington DC...dcs drug Testing is unregulated and is indicating false positives...they are currently being investigated by human health services. Then I located an attorney and signed contracts one month ago to sue dcs and Anderson community hospital. Once the suit is filed I am taking out a loan against the suit and paying a law firm to file a writ of mandamus challenging the courts jurisdiction to invoke chins case against me. I also forwarded evidence to a u.s. senator who contacted hhs to push an investigation faster. Once the lawsuit is filed local news stations will be running coverage on the situation. Easy day....people will be losing their jobs soon...and judge pancol...who has attempted to cover up what has happened will also be in trouble. The drug testing is a kids for cash and federal funding situation.