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Sidebars: Court House Grounds serves up 'comfort' food

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SidebarsQuaint is not usually my m.o. (“Modus operandi” for those of you not in the criminal arena). Thus, I hesitated when my colleague, Jim Voyles, suggested we dine at Court House Grounds one morning after a meeting in Danville. I thought it would be another cute little coffee shop with weird-flavored coffee accompanied by weird stuff-laden muffins. It just seemed “frou frou.” I then realized Voyles is not really the “frou frou” type, so I took the chance and I was glad I did.

It is a quaint spot/restaurant/coffee shop but more in the cozy, comfy way. It is directly east of the courthouse on the square, hence its name. As we have had all winter, the morning was snowy and cold. I had a hankerin’ for what Fred calls my “big girl breakfast.” I realize we usually review lunch jaunts, but if the breakfast reflects what they can do for lunch, I recommend the Court House Grounds. Plus, dieticians apparently declare breakfast the most important meal of the day (but probably not at the quantity I like.)

A variety of coffees await your self service in real coffee mugs. You may want to speak up if you desire table service for food. However, once waited on, the food came out promptly. Voyles hungrily (and, quite frankly, a little aggressively) dug into his plate of French toast that was thick cut, not soggy, and perfectly coated before cooking. His only complaint was the seemingly generic syrup and packaged butter. A neighboring table had a big ol’ slab of real butter for their entrees which would have complemented his breakfast better. I ate two eggs over medium (perfectly cooked to order), with bacon (too thin for my liking), toast (how can you screw that up), hash browns (just OK), and an order of biscuits and gravy (confirmed the “comfy” in the entire experience). We were pleased. Other breakfast offerings included pancakes in the 12-grain, blueberry, chocolate chip, banana, or potato (with onion and green peppers) variety. Omelets with a limited amount of ingredients are also available. You can indulge in oatmeal or grits as well as bagels with a good variety of spreads including a dill spread. I think they offer an assortment of muffins, but from my prior comments, you can probably guess I did not look too closely.

I wish we could have just camped out, rubbing our bellies, reading the paper, and playing checkers until lunch. No, they don’t really have checkers or anything remotely like a Cracker Barrel, so don’t read too much into the checkers comment. The lunch menu is not too aggressive and consists mostly of sandwiches. What caught my eye was the Hawaiian ham wrap which has lettuce, tomato, Swiss cheese and pineapple cream cheese. Similarly eye-catching was the brie cheese grilled sandwich with mushrooms and deli-sliced ham. I realize salads typically aren’t comfort food, but the spinach/bacon/tomato salad, which seemed pretty traditional with hard-boiled eggs and warm tomato bacon dressing, sounded pretty comforting. Who are we kidding though? Anything with bacon is comforting. The other offerings included chicken, tuna, and egg salad on a variety of breads or in a tomato. You get a choice of side dishes such as soup, cottage cheese, fruit cup, pasta, or potato salad. No fries or deep-fried anything on the menu, and that really is OK.

Now here is a crazy suggestion – how about stopping in Court House Grounds merely for a relaxing cup of coffee? The place seems perfectly suitable for that too. Spend some time with a cup of coffee that does not come in a cardboard or Styrofoam cup? Crazy, I know. Court House Grounds is located at 65 S. Washington St., Danville, Indiana. I give it three gavels because of the imperfections mentioned herein. However, the likable, quaint, and comforting atmosphere made it a perfect experience.•

– Jennifer Lukemeyer
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Fred Vaiana and Jennifer M. Lukemeyer practice at Voyles Zahn Paul Hogan & Merriman in Indianapolis, focusing in criminal defense. The opinions expressed in this column are the authors’.

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  1. Indianapolis employers harassment among minorities AFRICAN Americans needs to be discussed the metro Indianapolis area is horrible when it comes to harassing African American employees especially in the local healthcare facilities. Racially profiling in the workplace is an major issue. Please make it better because I'm many civil rights leaders would come here and justify that Indiana is a state the WORKS only applies to Caucasian Americans especially in Hamilton county. Indiana targets African Americans in the workplace so when governor pence is trying to convince people to vote for him this would be awesome publicity for the Presidency Elections.

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  5. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

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