Monday, July 2, 2012

Indiana Favorites

I'm back from my family vacation to Indiana, and although I didn't do any cooking on the trip, the land of corn certainly had some good eats to talk about. 

Note the gratuitous amounts of corn.

It's a bit strange to be blogging about the places I'm going to mention, because most of them are old favorites that I've been visiting ever since I was a kid. When my family and I made the trek to visit our grandma, cousins, aunts, and uncles, we always found ourselves reconvening in the same places, making pit stops at the same soda shops, and grabbing lunch from the same diners.

One of these old favorites is McCord Candies in downtown Lafayette. A delicious little soda shop, candy shop, and diner all in one.

Generally, I can't resist filling a huge paper bag with handfuls of these chocolate clusters and skipping gleefully out the door. Unfortunately, it was 100+ degrees out, so I knew these little beauties wouldn't make it very far before they turned into sad mush.

Several times in the past, my mother, sister and I have hopped over into the back of the shop to get burgers and fries for lunch, 50s diner-style.

That day, however, given our time constraint and the unbearable heat, we opted for old-fashioned sodas from the soda bar.

I got chocolate root beer, a delectable combination that I plan to re-create in the future.

Nothing knocks away the heat stroke like homemade soda!

Dinner took place at an old favorite in Frankfort, Indiana - Pepe's.

Hidden inside an old brick building downtown, Pepe's has been a staple in my diet nearly every 4th of July weekend since I was ten.

The restaurant is fairly huge, and, given our giant party, we were able to secure a private room for our get-together. Which came in handy after several rounds of these margaritas.

To keep everyone reasonably sober, Pepe's provides the table with copious amounts of freshly fried tortilla chips and homemade salsa.

You could taste the fresh cilantro swimming in this delicious salsa. I went through an entire bowl before my entree even got to the table. Despite my full stomach, I mustered up the courage to eat my way through this entire plate of chicken flautas, spanish rice, beans, guacamole, lettuce, and tomatoes.

My sister and cousins opted for a cheesier dinner choice - chili con queso!

Mmmm.... cheesy.....

We went through so many baskets of chips and so many margarita glasses that night, I'm sure the waitress was thoroughly horrified. Pero, fue una noche buena! 

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