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Sidebars: 'The Local' features the best of Indiana home-grown foods

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SidebarsTime to bend the rules again. This place isn’t exactly near a courthouse, but it is kinda, sorta, on the way to many. It is located about five minutes from my Westfield home and a favorite of my darling wife, Amy, and me. While wonderfully convenient for me and my family, that is not the reason I chose to write about this place. I write about this place because the concept is great and so is the food.

The Local focuses on exactly what its name touts. A blurb from its website defines the concept best: We feature hand-crafted, freshly made artisan foods, locally crafted ales and cocktails, using all-natural and organic ingredients when available. That last bit might scare people like Jenny away, but it shouldn’t. This isn’t some earthy, granola-head place run by dim-witted 20-somethings who take full advantage of nature’s offerings, including select weed varieties. No, one look at the menu and one visit will tell you otherwise.

The appeal of this place is that it offers something to please every palate, from the most die-hard, red-blooded American meat-and-potato lovers to the crowd that might bear a bumper sticker on their VW bus at a Phish concert reading something like: “Save the Gay Whales for Jesus.” Oh yes, it is a very family-friendly place too.

A favorite starter of mine is the dry-rubbed wings. If you’re flying solo, the portion is easily large enough to serve as your entrée. The spicy wings burst alive with flavor because of the homemade rub and not because of some bottled hot sauce manufactured a thousand miles away. Other starters include french fries (go Cajun here), frog legs (yes, frog legs) and baked goat cheese, to name a few.

The salads range from the basic tossed green (don’t even think iceberg lettuce) to the Caesar salad but also include a grilled squash salad with bacon lardons and toasted pumpkin seeds all tossed in a maple vinaigrette dressing. Or, how does a steak salad sound, complete with mixed greens, romaine, grilled filet mignon, bleu cheese, grapes, house buttermilk dressing and, YES, boldly topped with french fries? There are other salad varieties, and you can add grilled chicken, seared salmon, a fried egg or filet mignon to any salad, but they had me at the salad with french fries on top.

Entrees include lamb osso buco, squid ink ravioli with squash and ricotta cheese filling and sautéed with calamari in sage brown butter, and the basic but tasty seared salmon and scallops. My kids love the bacon mac and cheese, but I see a lot of adults eating it too.

Come for a burger and you have a chance to try something you’ve never tried before. You can have a lamb burger, or how about an elk burger with blue cheese and roasted garlic? They serve bison burgers crusted in black pepper and doused with horseradish cream sauce. Yes, they serve beef burgers too and veggie burgers and turkey burgers, all nicely portioned.

The craft beer selection is respectable, including Sun King, Mad Anthony and Upland brands. Breckenridge is available too, a pleasant surprise but not exactly “local.” Of course, if you’d rather have a tall-boy PBR, you can have that too.

The Local strives to support Indiana suppliers by offering the best they have to offer. Some of these include Heartland Indiana Beef Coop, Viking Lamb, Fair Oaks Farms, Miller Amish Country Poultry, Capriole Goat Cheese and Gelato Da Vinci to name a few. Complete the loop by offering your support. I have, repeatedly. The Local Eatery and Pub, 14655 North Gray Road, Westfield, IN. www.localeateryandpub.com.

__________

Fred Vaiana and Jennifer Lukemeyer practice at Voyles Zahn & Paul in Indianapolis, focusing in criminal defense. Both enjoy a good meal with colleagues and friends, and their Sidebars column reviews and rates eateries lawyers may enjoy visiting when working at courthouses throughout Indiana. The opinions expressed in this column are those of 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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