The Indiana Plate: What to Eat in the Hoosier State
Take advantage of Hoosier hospitality and try some of Indiana’s quintessential dishes
Photo By: Jay Patzschke
Photo By: Richard Spahr
Photo By: Brian McGuckin
Photo By: openField photography
Hungry, Hungry Hoosiers
Indiana’s breaded pork tenderloin sandwich – and Indy’s famous shrimp cocktail – may get all the attention, but a visit to the Hoosier state turns up plenty more classic dishes to sample, from lake perch up north to persimmon pudding down south.
Illustration by Hello Neighbor Designs
Biscuits and Gravy
Unlike Indiana’s fried biscuits, this dish features the traditional variety that are rolled, cut and baked in-house. They’re then split and topped with sausage gravy for a hearty breakfast (and a tried-and-true hangover cure). You’ll find biscuits and gravy at just about every small-town diner and café. The original Oasis Diner was shipped to Plainfield in 1954 and operated until 2008. It was eventually relocated a few miles from its original location and restored inside and out, reopening in 2014. Their loaded biscuits and gravy pile the dish with two eggs, home fries, crumbled bacon and cheese.
Triple XXX Root Beer
No, it’s not an adult beverage. Triple XXX brand root beer, which originated in 1895 at a Galveston, Texas, brewery, has been sold here since 1929, when Triple XXX opened as a “thirst station.” At one time, there were more than 100 such root beer stands across North America, but this is the last one left, and it still serves the original root beer. Now family-owned and operated, Triple XXX has been featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives for its classic drive-in fare.
Go to: Triple XXX Family Restaurant
Smoking Goose Charcuterie
Since Chris Eley and his wife, Mollie, opened Goose the Market in 2007, the small meat market and specialty food shop has become known for its charcuterie. The demand was such that Eley expanded the operation to Smoking Goose “meatery,” which opened in 2011 and provides smoked and cured specialties like ham, bacon, salamis and sausages to restaurants and shops around the country. In addition to the meat counter, Goose the Market also has a downstairs enoteca, pairing the charcuterie with wine and beer.
Breaded Pork Tenderloin Sandwich
It might look like just another pint of beer, but 3 Floyds Zombie Dust, a Citra-hopped pale ale, has become a favorite of hopheads — and demand always outstrips supply. The cult favorite has legions of fans who stand in line when cases are available at the brewpub and who quickly snap up shipments as soon as they arrive in liquor stores. 3 Floyds also hosts the annual Dark Lord Day each spring, a massive one-day event to release its Dark Lord Russian Imperial Stout.
Traders Point Creamery Dairy
Roast Beef Manhattan
Sugar Cream Pie
Each summer Hoosiers anxiously await July, when sweet corn season arrives. This is the quintessential Indiana crop. The Allen Baird family of Tipton County tapped into the popularity when daughter Jennifer started selling her dad’s sweet corn in 1999. As they expanded into local farmers’ markets, demand grew and now it’s part of the family business. During the summer months, Indianapolis restaurant Circle City Soups sells its My Dad’s Sweet Corn Chowder, made only with Baird family corn.