“The journey is the reward.” — Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple.
Traveling the backroads to any destination has always been rewarding, at least for me. It’s an adventure discovering new and exciting places, talking to the local folks and of course, finding outstanding food.
I just returned from another one of my backroads adventure in search of great food, wine and of course, R & R.
I had several places in mind when planning the trip with my husband, Dave – one, Bean Blossom; the other, Gnaw Bone both in Indiana. Country roads with snake-like turns, lush foliage that created a tunnel of shade that would lead us to incredible places.
Our first stop was Bread Basket Café and Bakery in Danville, Ind. Yes, there’s a Danville in Indiana, too. It’s approximately 20 miles west of Indianapolis on U.S. 36. Set in a quaint residential area is a charming home that was converted into a very cozy café.
Guests enter through the back porch where there is a small, but a very comfortable area to wait. We were seated in the living room, one of several rooms for dining.
Each table was covered with a country plaid topper and fresh seasonal flowers. It was pure luck we were seated in front of their cake and pie display case. Pure temptation. Guests were seated outside on their front porch, an excellent way to enjoy the weather and watch passersby.
The food is prepared with locally-grown produce and dairy. Dave ordered the stuffed tomato with chicken salad and a side salad with freshly baked garlic bread. I opted for the summer plate with grilled chicken, dried cranberries, and pecan halves served on romaine lettuce. I loved the cabbage and ham soup that was served with the salad.
Come for lunch but stay for the dessert or in our case, take it with you. I suggest when planning a back roads trip, to take a cooler filled with ice for all those great leftovers. It makes for a delicious picnic lunch.
The big decision was dessert. The choices ranged from pina colada, brownie, coconut cream pies, or cheesecake, homemade cinnamon rolls and their mile-high cakes like the blackberry wine, Italian cream, carrot, lemon or the outrageous chocolate cake that Dave ordered. The list of baked good was long and decadent.
The café is open for breakfast, serving waffles, French toast or a breakfast sandwich with your choice of bacon, ham, or sausage made with a local egg and cheddar on homemade toast.
The staff is incredibly friendly and accommodating. Prices are moderate, and the food is fabulous. This is a great place to stop for lunch on your way for a weekend in Brown County. It’s a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Kankakee depending on how many times you stop. I highly recommend Bread Basket and will return soon.
The owners Judy Sexton and Jinayla Bollman will make you feel right at home, and the staff will treat you like you’re their only guest.
The restaurant is open from 7:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. and closed on Sunday and Monday.
Bread Basket Café and Bakery is at 46 S. Tennessee St., Danville, Ind. Check out their webpage at breadbasketcafe.com.
On to Gnaw Bone. This community is middle America, farms, forest, livestock, and people who are remarkably friendly and are always ready for a chat. (That’s my kind.) It’s in south central Indiana. We stopped at Gnaw Bone Coffee for a latte and a visit with some of the local folks. On display for sale were beautiful handmade aprons. I think everyone should have an apron hanging in their kitchen.
If you’re headed to Brown County State Park, make sure you stop in grab some coffee and a homemade cinnamon roll.
Right down the road is Gnaw Mart. Yes, Gnaw Mart Country Store and Bakery. Here you can have breakfast, lunch, buy homemade jelly, t-shirts or a rock. I purchased a geode rock for my garden. The stones are found in creeks and ponds around the Gnaw Bone-Nashville area.
Garden and flower lovers will enjoy this last stop — Farmhouse Café and Tea Room at the Flower and Herb Barn, in Bean Blossom, Ind. Enjoy a relaxing drive through the country from Nashville to Bean Blossom. Greasy Creek Road was an adventure.
Lined with trees on both sides, the road was very curvy and steep, the ditches deep, and picturesque. Make sure you have a GPS.
The café is an old farmhouse with brick walls, a large fireplace and an upstairs that contain antiques and country décor for sale. Their yard features lush gardens and a pond with unique plants, trees, and yard sculptures all for sale.
We opted to dine inside to enjoy the country ambiance. A small plate of tortilla chips with fresh spinach dip was delivered to our table. We began with a cup of creamy potato vegetable soup. I chose the Herb Barn chicken salad loaded with grapes and pecans halves and seasoned with a touch of rosemary and dill.
Their potato salad is outstanding with red onion, carrots, peppers, celery. Dave chose the Brown County BLT. The sandwiches were large with plenty for leftovers.
Dave ordered a piece of homemade berry cobbler with vanilla ice cream. It was delicious, not too sweet with just the right amount of crust so it wasn’t doughy.
Bean Blossom is the home of the Bill Monroe Music Park and Campground, the blues fest, bikers fest, bluegrass fest and much more. This is where I would like to retire someday.
The Farmhouse Café and Tea Room at the Flower and Herb Barn is at 5171 Bean Blossom Road, Nineveh, Ind., just 3 miles outside of Bean Blossom. Check out their webpage for more information about the café, the gardens, and the surrounding area at farmhousecafeandtearoom.com.
There is more to share about our back road trip to Bean Blossom. Think about going there for a visit; you’ll love. We certainly did.