We lived in Indianapolis for five years before deciding to move back to New York state. When our 10-year-old was asked by a teacher why we were leaving, she said: “There are no diners here and the pizza isn’t good.”
Ah, it makes a dad proud.
While that certainly wasn’t THE reason, it was a factor. Indy is a great city that has started to come into its own. It’s also chock-full of chain restaurants. Cities like Indy and Columbus, Ohio, often are used by marketers to test their products. A slice of middle America, right down the middle. Food can be pretty boring and pretty bland. Not a lot of unique kinds of places.
We were talking the other day, though, about a place about 40 miles north of Indy called Bonge’s Tavern. It’s in Perkinsville, and has been around since the 1930s. It suffered a major fire in 2000, but recovered.
We learned the hard way that our daughter wasn’t allowed in the dining room because you could view the bar from there, a weird regulation of the Midwest. But we went back several times, sans child, and thoroughly enjoyed the quirky restaurant/tavern.
Tomato soup is the speciality, and it’s tremendous. A huge Red Gold tomatoes sign adorns an outside wall, a homage to the Indiana-grown variety that are done right in Bonge’s. The ever-changing menu is written in chalk on a blackboard behind the bar, and it leans to New American.
It has been several years since we’ve been there, of course, so things change. But we were reminiscing the other day and I was thinking about Bonge’s.
It’s these kinds of restaurants and experiences that linger in the cerebellum. I can’t remember any of the chains, but I remember this one.
I also remember how flat and boring a ride it was from Indy to Perkinsville. Now we remind ourselves all the time how beautiful CNY is. We’re so glad we’re back.
Now if we can only reform state government and remove every legislator who “works” in Albany next election day, we might have a chance to make this region as vital and livable as it is beautiful. Big obstacles to that, I know. But we can’t continue to allow this dysfunctional state government that is a national laughing stock to continue.
Change has gotta come.