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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. I grew up on a farm and live in the county and it's interesting that the big industrial farmers like Jeff Shoaf don't live next to their industrial operations...

  2. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  3. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  4. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  5. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

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