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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. 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

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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