Sunday, August 30, 2015

Heston Supper Club: A Step Back In Time, With a Modern Flair

       Deep in the northern woods of LaPorte County Indiana hides a little town that is as tucked away and only a stone's throw away from the Michigan border rests Heston Supper Club. At one time the location of the Heston Supper Club, was the hub of a small rural town of Hesston in beautiful Galena Township, Indiana. The entire town was centered around the Post Office, the lumber and grist mill. Over time it evolved into Duffy's Tavern and Hesston Grocery Store.  (Hesston Indiana was named after an early settler P.M. Hess. The official post office was opened in 1877.)  
      In 1982 owners Time and Jackie Ohlund purchased Heston Bar and over time it has evolved into Heston Supper Club. The Ohlunds are committed to serving traditional American fare in the style of Supper Clubs that brought communities together for fine food, libations and conversation.
      Admittedly, we hadn't set out to dine at Heston Supper Club and were actually on our way to another dining establishment when we found ourselves meandering down country roads that link Tryon Road and the rest of LaPorte. The scenic beauty of Galena Township and the far northern area of LaPorte County are truly breathtaking. Needless to say, passing a sign that said "Heston Supper Club" was all we needed to see to turn the car around and head towards a little bit of heaven.

      Tim the owner and host warmly welcomed us immediately. The waiting area was very inviting and locals had no problem sharing their experience and recommendations. Tim told us it would be about 15 minutes and he was true to his word.
      The wait was pleasant and relaxing. I had a chance to talk with Tim about the establishment and he proudly shared the aspects of Heston that make it special. The overall atmosphere was reminiscent of places I have eaten at in the Northwoods of Wisconsin and Steve shared that his impression was the same. It felt like home to him. It wasn't long and we were brought to our table. Jeannie, a professional waitress with an understanding of true hospitality took care of our table. Even the bus-crew was entertaining and professional.
       We inquired about a few things on the menu and Jeannie was very knowledgeable as well as very proud of all that Heston's had to offer. Our first course was the special of the evening - heirloom tomato salad. It was exquisite. The tomatoes were just like I remembered growing up. Mr. Wood's the neighborhood tomato supplier would have been impressed. Along with our tomato salad was the standard cheese and crackers and fresh bread. Heston's signature cracker bread and spreadable cheese is very popular in the area and even available at local grocers. 
      Our entree's consisted of the half slab of ribs and the butt sirloin steak. Although Heston's is known for its prime rib, we chose to go with a smaller portion entree so as to sample the heirloom salad and dessert. Along with each entree you will have your choice of soup or salad and a potato or vegetable. Because we had already shared the heirloom tomato salad, we went with their house made soup. Gazpacho and clam chowder were the evening's special. Our side was summer vegetables and horseradish smashed potato's. Both were very good. We closed down the night with homemade peach cobbler. It was served with a large selection of fresh peaches, (not overcooked or overly sweetened) served over a shortcake biscuit sliced in half with a scoop of vanilla ice sandwiched between the biscuit. To finish off the dessert was fresh whipped cream. No cool-whip for Hestons!
      We were very impressed and even disappointed that it took us so long to get over there. We will be back and look forward to bringing our out-of-town guests. Heston Supper Club is a Michiana gem!

Restaurant Hours

Monday - Thursday: 4 - 9PM
Friday - Saturday: 4 - 10PM
Sunday: 3 - 8PM

*all central times
**lounge opens 30 min. prior to dining



Heston Supper Club
2003 E. 1000 North
LaPorte, IN 46350
Heston Supper Club
2003 E. 1000 North

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Fiddlehead Restaurant, a New Addition to the North End

We made it over to Fiddlehead last night and I was surprised that it did not live up to the hype shared here on a local restaurant review page. While it is a new restaurant and that is great for the north end of the City By the Lake, it wasn't really what I expected. I don't want to get too critical and I could discuss the amazing brick wall and tin press ceiling (not sure if it is faux or authentic but still nice) juxtaposed to an almost cafeteria vibe. Nor do I want to focus on sloppily dressed staff, however, I will focus on the food itself.

I ordered the Beet and Goat Cheese salad, with a small side of the mac and cheese. Steve ordered the Spaghetti and Meatballs. Let's begin with the Beet Salad. I am a lover of fresh cooked, roasted beets. I anticipated such on my salad. I was disappointed to have pickled beets. Had I known I would not have ordered the salad. It is not indicated on the menu. Increasingly  I am becoming frustrated with restaurants not serving what is actually on the menu, or switching it up in a way that leaves me frustrated. I am not prone to rejecting a meal as I know that is a big waste to the new upstart restaurant, but, come on. Tell it like it is!  The green goddess dressing was very good and the greens were superb, but, like the juxtaposition of decor, in this case the pickled overpowered everything. A little pickled with fresh roasted maybe, but beautiful deep purple beets and golden ones all pickled? Steve and I shared it, he focused on the pickles I focused on the greens and candied walnuts. He likes a strong pickled taste. The mac and cheese was good, the bacon used flavored it just enough, but, didn't over power it.

Steve's spaghetti? Not impressed. The sauce was mixed into the pasta and served more "cucina contadina italiana" which isn't bad when it is done well. In this case the sauce was a little bland and the meatballs were served on top with no evidence of sauce on the meatballs. Needless to say, Steve ate it all but he also ate spaghetti-o's as a kid. I sampled it but, it is clearly not worth $14.99. The highlight of the meal was the dark bread with raisins served as a welcoming treat.

When looking at Fiddlehead I saw some great potential, the place is a little too large in my estimation for that location and for the north end. However, I can see large events, weddings, and it has the potential for a great live music venue with the right management. I will go back again and try some other standard offerings, such as a cheeseburger. Nothing sells a local pub better than a good burger.

What confused me was the claim to use local meat? I was a little concerned when I discovered that shrimp is raised in Valpo. :) Oh well, we will be back because let's face it; eating local is what it is all about. There are a couple other items that I would like to try.

422 Franklin St.
Michigan City, IN