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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. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

  2. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  3. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  4. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

  5. Diversity is important, but with some limitations. For instance, diversity of experience is a great thing that can be very helpful in certain jobs or roles. Diversity of skin color is never important, ever, under any circumstance. To think that skin color changes one single thing about a person is patently racist and offensive. Likewise, diversity of values is useless. Some values are better than others. In the case of a supreme court justice, I actually think diversity is unimportant. The justices are not to impose their own beliefs on rulings, but need to apply the law to the facts in an objective manner.

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