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.


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. I have an open CHINS case I failed a urine screen I have since got clean completed IOP classes now in after care passed home inspection my x sister in law has my children I still don't even have unsupervised when I have been clean for over 4 months my x sister wants to keep the lids for good n has my case working with her I just discovered n have proof that at one of my hearing dcs case worker stated in court to the judge that a screen was dirty which caused me not to have unsupervised this was at the beginning two weeks after my initial screen I thought the weed could have still been in my system was upset because they were suppose to check levels n see if it was going down since this was only a few weeks after initial instead they said dirty I recently requested all of my screens from redwood because I take prescriptions that will show up n I was having my doctor look at levels to verify that matched what I was prescripted because dcs case worker accused me of abuseing when I got my screens I found out that screen I took that dcs case worker stated in court to judge that caused me to not get granted unsupervised was actually negative what can I do about this this is a serious issue saying a parent failed a screen in court to judge when they didn't please advise

  2. I have a degree at law, recent MS in regulatory studies. Licensed in KS, admitted b4 S& 7th circuit, but not to Indiana bar due to political correctness. Blacklisted, nearly unemployable due to hostile state action. Big Idea: Headwinds can overcome, esp for those not within the contours of the bell curve, the Lego Movie happiness set forth above. That said, even without the blacklisting for holding ideas unacceptable to the Glorious State, I think the idea presented above that a law degree open many vistas other than being a galley slave to elitist lawyers is pretty much laughable. (Did the law professors of Indiana pay for this to be published?)

  3. Paul Hartman of Burbank, Oh who is helping Sister Fuller with this Con Artist Kevin Bart McCarthy scares Sister Joseph Therese, Patricia Ann Fuller very much that McCarthy will try and hurt Patricia Ann Fuller and Paul Hartman of Burbank, Oh or any member of his family. Sister is very, very scared, (YES, I AM) This McCarthy guy is a real, real CON MAN and crook. I try to totall flatter Kevin Bart McCARTHY to keep him from hurting my best friends in this world which are Carolyn Rose and Paul Hartman. I Live in total fear of this man Kevin Bart McCarthy and try to praise him as a good man to keep us ALL from his bad deeds. This man could easy have some one cause us a very bad disability. You have to PRAISAE in order TO PROTECT yourself. He lies and makes up stories about people and then tries to steal if THEY OWN THRU THE COURTS A SPECIAL DEVOTION TO PROTECT, EX> Our Lady of America DEVOTION. EVERYONE who reads this, PLEASE BE CAREFUL of Kevin Bart McCarthy of Indianapolis, IN My Phone No. IS 419-435-3838.

  4. Joe, you might want to do some reading on the fate of Hoosier whistleblowers before you get your expectations raised up.

  5. I had a hospital and dcs caseworker falsify reports that my child was born with drugs in her system. I filed a complaint with the Indiana department of health....and they found that the hospital falsified drug screens in their investigation. Then I filed a complaint with human health services in Washington DC...dcs drug Testing is unregulated and is indicating false positives...they are currently being investigated by human health services. Then I located an attorney and signed contracts one month ago to sue dcs and Anderson community hospital. Once the suit is filed I am taking out a loan against the suit and paying a law firm to file a writ of mandamus challenging the courts jurisdiction to invoke chins case against me. I also forwarded evidence to a u.s. senator who contacted hhs to push an investigation faster. Once the lawsuit is filed local news stations will be running coverage on the situation. Easy day....people will be losing their jobs soon...and judge pancol...who has attempted to cover up what has happened will also be in trouble. The drug testing is a kids for cash and federal funding situation.