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Sidebars: Bakery & café makes Shelbyville court date a bit sweeter

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SidebarsSidebars reviews and rates eateries lawyers may enjoy visiting when working at courthouses throughout Indiana. Fred offers this weeks review of Linnes Bakery & Cafe.

On a beautiful midsummer day, I was joined by my good friend, Barb Gryna, on a trip to Shelbyville. Still recovering from surgery and unable to drive myself, Barb graciously offered to drive me in her brand new, spicy-red Fiat 500. Jenny had depositions back in the office so this trip was just Barb and me. Another good friend of ours, Lynn Pangburn, couldn’t tag along because, well, I kinda forgot to invite her. Next time, Lynn, I might even drive.

On a prior visit to Shelbyville with my wife, Amy, we stopped at Linnes Bakery & Café just off the square to purchase some of Jim Voyles’ favorite brownies as a treat for him. Amy took note that this local bakery landmark also serves lunch, hence the addition of “& Café” to the name. I tucked that thought away, targeting the place for a future review.

My trip with Barb presented the perfect food review opportunity: 1:30 p.m. court. When we entered the door it was as if we stepped back in time about 40 years. The smell and decor of this mom and pop operation reminded me of those days as a kid when my parents actually took me to real bakeries for baked goods, not supermarket chains like today. Granted, bakeries back then didn’t offer lunch options either, but in today’s competitive marketplace, why not offer lunch? The idea is a smart one as it keeps foot traffic and sales moving well into the afternoon.

Resisting the urge to blow off lunch altogether and just dive right into the pastries, we scanned the limited lunch menu. Barb ordered a turkey and cheese sandwich with lettuce and tomato, served on homemade wheat bread. All lunches come with a choice of a side item and she went for a side of chicken salad in an effort to tackle the entire poultry spectrum. I opted for a roast beef and colby-jack sandwich with brown mustard, lettuce and tomato, served on a pretzel roll. Pretzel rolls are the rage these days and this one certainly worked. I opted for chips as my side item. Boring, I know.

Each sandwich was a pleasant surprise, especially since this place is unabashedly a bakery first. The hearty meats were freshly sliced and suitably proportioned in relation to the other ingredients. The wheat bread and pretzel roll were everything you’d expect from a bakery – fresh and flavorful. Barb raved about her chicken salad and prompted me to take a bite. Chicken salad is something I normally wouldn’t order but I liked this.

The best part of our meal was the third side item included with each sandwich. Remember what I said about Jim Voyles? Take it from me, that man knows his brownies and he lists this place as one of his favorite brownie respites. Every lunch comes with a brownie finger, a perfectly sized sweet morsel of goodness that punctuates each meal.

What makes these brownies work is the wonderfully radiant texture and bold chocolate flavor. These brownies stand out because of their sugar-coated bottom. Much like a pizza with corn meal on the bottom crust portion, these brownies are thinly veiled with a finely ground sugar dusting underneath. It really doesn’t over sweeten the already sweet brownie. The sugar simply accents the tremendous brownie flavor, much like salt does in any dish of your choosing.

This is the kind of place that inspires me to write this column. Locally legendary yet widely under-appreciated, its roots date back to 1890 and it has been in Shelbyville since the 1930’s. If you are looking for a large variety of lunch options you will not find it here. If you’re looking for a great bakery with a good sandwich a bit off the ordinary, this is your spot. Oh, and take some brownies back to your office. You’ll be labeled as a hero.•

Linnes Bakery & Café, 115 South Harrison Street, Shelbyville, IN. 317-398-7525. www.linnesbakery.com

Fred Vaiana and Jennifer Lukemeyer practice at Voyles Zahn & Paul in Indianapolis, focusing on criminal defense. Both enjoy a good meal with colleagues and friends. The opinions expressed in this column are those of the authors.

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  1. Such things are no more elections than those in the late, unlamented Soviet Union.

  2. It appears the police and prosecutors are allowed to change the rules halfway through the game to suit themselves. I am surprised that the congress has not yet eliminated the right to a trial in cases involving any type of forensic evidence. That would suit their foolish law and order police state views. I say we eliminate the statute of limitations for crimes committed by members of congress and other government employees. Of course they would never do that. They are all corrupt cowards!!!

  3. Poor Judge Brown probably thought that by slavishly serving the godz of the age her violations of 18th century concepts like due process and the rule of law would be overlooked. Mayhaps she was merely a Judge ahead of her time?

  4. in a lawyer discipline case Judge Brown, now removed, was presiding over a hearing about a lawyer accused of the supposedly heinous ethical violation of saying the words "Illegal immigrant." (IN re Barker) http://www.in.gov/judiciary/files/order-discipline-2013-55S00-1008-DI-429.pdf .... I wonder if when we compare the egregious violations of due process by Judge Brown, to her chiding of another lawyer for politically incorrectness, if there are any conclusions to be drawn about what kind of person, what kind of judge, what kind of apparatchik, is busy implementing the agenda of political correctness and making off-limits legit advocacy about an adverse party in a suit whose illegal alien status is relevant? I am just asking the question, the reader can make own conclsuion. Oh wait-- did I use the wrong adjective-- let me rephrase that, um undocumented alien?

  5. of course the bigger questions of whether or not the people want to pay for ANY bussing is off limits, due to the Supreme Court protecting the people from DEMOCRACY. Several decades hence from desegregation and bussing plans and we STILL need to be taking all this taxpayer money to combat mostly-imagined "discrimination" in the most obviously failed social program of the postwar period.

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