The Bread Basket

 

My friend Ryan picked me up before the sun had risen. He was taking me to breakfast, and introducing me to one of his friends.  You might not know Ryan, but he always has the best in store for his friends.  He has this way of always blessing others.  When he turned on Tennessee Street, I realized that this morning was going to be amazing.  The Bread Basket is located in an old house not too far off the square in beautiful downtown Danville, IN.  We entered the restaurant like everyone else through the back door and had to mosey through the kitchen.  If there was ever any doubt about Ryan’s knack for the noshing, all of that escaped into the parking lot through the door as it closed.  We wove our way past the cooler and the display case (cinnamon rolls, pies, etc) and found a nice seat at a table large enough for the friendship and the coming feast. I do not need to expound on the merits of their homemade bread.  You simply need to order it, eat it, and then purchase a loaf for any of your unlucky friends and family members that were not able to break bread with you at the restaurant.

I ordered the salmon omelet that morning. Come on, man!  Dill cream cheese, smoked salmon, tomatoes and sautéed onions.  You just can’t go wrong with that menu, and their hot tea is out of this world. It will be served in a small iron teapot, and you’ll enjoy every sip. As a matter of fact, the market spice is one of the best teas I have ever had.  There was so much cinnamon in that tea that I had to go and ask my waitress if she had added sugar to the mix. She had not, and it did not need it.

Load up the family, or a friend or two and make your way to Danville.  You’ll be glad you did, and so will all the wonderful ladies at the Bread Basket.

Monk’s Kitchen

Harrison, Ohio

We were a few minutes behind, and finally decided that we should stop and eat before getting to our afternoon graduate class.  We saw a sign for a Mexican restaurant and got off the interstate on Dry Fork Road in Harrison, OH.  We were turning right when we saw it.  The place was Monk’s Kitchen, and everything about it was calling our name.  It is a cool building with some nice signage that says if you like local, you should eat here. I had exited there a number of times before, but somehow this little gem had escaped my perusal.  As we entered the building, John was at the register and made us feel as welcome as a regular.  The Monk in the logo on the rug caught my eye, and then I saw the sandwich pictures that lined the walls with the menu.  The restaurant also had some other nice decorations, along with some wonderful, creative advertisements for their catering business.  I was in full hypnosis mode as I walked around gazing at all of the goodies (like their amazingly tantalizing cookiewiches, made with homemade filling).  I should mention that Monks is also the home of Angilo’s Pizza.  John assured me that he had a pizza that he could serve on thin crust that would light me up. I will definitely call ahead for that delicacy in the future, but that particular Monday was meant for the bread in those pictures.  I let John choose a spicy chicken sandwich with peppers and onions. As we were waiting for the food in the dining area, complete with old video games, John informed me that the flatbread is an old Cherokee recipe. Monk’s is definitely a stop worth making, and it will be a regular for me.

(BTW, the restaurant is named Monk’s because the original owner’s partner disappeared many years ago.  The partner went to the man’s father’s funeral, hoping to see his friend. He looked up and noticed his former partner in full habit, and named the restaurant in his honor.)

Shapiro’s Delicatessen

 

When it comes to breakfast sandwiches, there is none better. I have traveled this land, and even had a breakfast buffet in Banja Luka, Bosnia. There is nothing that compares to what Jennifer Aguilar can whip up for you at the downtown Shapiro’s Delicatessen right here in Indianapolis. There is no reason to search the world over. Like Survivor sang in 1985, in their hit song “The Search is Over” that peaked at #4 on the billboard charts, “…love was with me all the while.” I went in one day and informed her that I would like a surprise sandwich. I usually either get rye or wheat bread, sometimes a piece of each, and then let her have her magical way with the rest of the ingredients. I don’t know how she does it. It seems impossible to construct the monstrosities that she is able to create, and still maintain structural integrity. I don’t think she has a degree in engineering, but she deserves one. Each sandwich ends up being better than the last, if only for its creative merit alone. They include the likes of beef bacon, turkey bacon, turkey, eggs, onions, tomatoes, lettuce, pastrami and who knows what else. You can trust Jennifer to treat you right and Shapiro’s to never disappoint when it comes to the sandwich. Their iced tea also happens to hit the spot, even at breakfast. If Wheaties is the breakfast of champions, then Shapiro’s serves the breakfast of aristocrats.