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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. Someone off their meds? C'mon John, it is called the politics of Empire. Get with the program, will ya? How can we build one world under secularist ideals without breaking a few eggs? Of course, once it is fully built, is the American public who will feel the deadly grip of the velvet glove. One cannot lay down with dogs without getting fleas. The cup of wrath is nearly full, John Smith, nearly full. Oops, there I go, almost sounding as alarmist as Smith. Guess he and I both need to listen to this again: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRnQ65J02XA

  2. Charles Rice was one of the greatest of the so-called great generation in America. I was privileged to count him among my mentors. He stood firm for Christ and Christ's Church in the Spirit of Thomas More, always quick to be a good servant of the King, but always God's first. I had Rice come speak to 700 in Fort Wayne as Obama took office. Rice was concerned that this rise of aggressive secularism and militant Islam were dual threats to Christendom,er, please forgive, I meant to say "Western Civilization". RIP Charlie. You are safe at home.

  3. It's a big fat black mark against the US that they radicalized a lot of these Afghan jihadis in the 80s to fight the soviets and then when they predictably got around to biting the hand that fed them, the US had to invade their homelands, install a bunch of corrupt drug kingpins and kleptocrats, take these guys and torture the hell out of them. Why for example did the US have to sodomize them? Dubya said "they hate us for our freedoms!" Here, try some of that freedom whether you like it or not!!! Now they got even more reasons to hate us-- lets just keep bombing the crap out of their populations, installing more puppet regimes, arming one faction against another, etc etc etc.... the US is becoming a monster. No wonder they hate us. Here's my modest recommendation. How about we follow "Just War" theory in the future. St Augustine had it right. How about we treat these obvious prisoners of war according to the Geneva convention instead of torturing them in sadistic and perverted ways.

  4. As usual, John is "spot-on." The subtle but poignant points he makes are numerous and warrant reflection by mediators and users. Oh but were it so simple.

  5. ACLU. Way to step up against the police state. I see a lot of things from the ACLU I don't like but this one is a gold star in its column.... instead of fighting it the authorities should apologize and back off.

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