Northwest Indiana (Pic's)

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KingT
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2008/11/19 00:14:30 (permalink)

Northwest Indiana (Pic's)

Odds are your not going to plan a vacation to this area anytime soon. Myabe theres a slim chance you go to the nice area along the beach in Long Beach, Indiana or that area but otherwise you will probably just be passing thru to or from Chicago or en route to four winds casino in New Buffalo, Michigan. But its just 20 miles from downtown Chicago and me being the fiend I am for roadfood, I like to ride around and eat there.

If you like this check out my sitewhere I report on my food adventures throughout Chicago and the US of A.

Some of the places in NW Indiana such as Gary are like the Pompeii of the USA, deserted and not much has changed since in years. The same goes for the food.

Took some rides thru NW Indiana did some good eating. I had been to the Lincoln Take-Out's in Hobart and when we were with my buddy I told him we were right by this place I went too and poof it popped out of nowhere. Then when we were headed back we came across another Lincoln's in Calumet City, IL. I had known all along I read about this place somewhere and the name Lincoln and subs in NW Indiana all together rang a bell. Turns out that Lincoln's in Highland, IN was a very popular spot during this areas prime during the 70's and it spawned many imitators who copied the exact style of this unique NW Indiana roadfood joint. More on the original later.


Lincoln carry outs in Hobart, IN


we were told that the steelworkers special and the bunny girl are two of the favorites


Quite a menu selection that extends all over the walls


Steelworkers Special (L) and Bunny Girl (ham & melted swiss served on French bread with mayo lettuce and tomato)


according to the Post tribune the "Steelworkers" special is the best sandwich in NW Indiana (grilled roast beef, American cheese, lettuce, tomato and onion on grilled beefsteak rye)

Would of tried a Lincoln burger (double jumbo burger on French bread with all the trimmings) but we had already ate them at Miner Dunn (below) and TAB.


picked up some Peerless chips which are native to the area

Also hit up Miner Dunn for one of the better burgers Ive had this year, amazing fries too. I will 110% be back here, loved this old school burger place located in Highland, IN.


C'mon you know just by looking at the sign that its good.


MD deluxe special (cheeseburger with ketchup, relish, onions) their amazing thin fresh cut fries and a orange sherbert.

On the way back what do you know we hit up another Lincoln sandwich shop in NW Indiana.


In Calumet City


very similar and when my buddy asked if they had any relation to the one in Hobart we got a "arrggh no"


I spotted that they serve "Toledo" sandwiches. It was too late as they were closing and we were the last to order.


My buddy went with a Chicken teriyaki, not bad at all for $2.99

Im going to re-educate myself on this later but I thought I would share the pics now. The dining spots still around that survived time really have that old school feel, thats what I love about the area. Anyone else been to these spots? I like all of them and would put the Lincoln in Hobart as better taken care of and less grimey than the one in Calumet, but ill be back to both. Ones things for sure these places have all been around and not much has changed about them or the food I assume. I love it.

Arnies, a member of the Vienna beef hall of fame, has good Natural casing dogs from vienna and you get the option of Chicago-Style or everything, which is mustard, relish, onions and a pepperonchini. This seems to be a popular topping in NW Indiana.


Arnie's dog with everything, no relish.

I also stopped at Madvek's, for a loose meat sammy.


I haven't tried many loose meats that I didn't make myself but this was the best version I have tried from a restaurant.

NW Indiana has tons of places that are 15+ years old and in many cases much older and most are little pizza taverns or shacks supplying the blue collar workers with good roadfood style food, its quite interesting driving around and exploring all the good eats and is much closer than you might think to Chicago. There is a little grocery store in Whiting that pretty much sums up the area, they offer homemade tamales and homemade pierogi's.

I had read on another forum I post at that the original Lincolns in Highland, IN is the real McCoy and that all others cant hold a candle to the real deal.

Well I listened and I am glad I did. I have now been to three different Lincoln's and to quote the poster who tipped me off "The places you went to are pale comparisons that do not hold a candle to the real McCoy"



This picture from across the street kind of sums up how nondescript Lincolns is, if you were a passerby you would never think that this is a sandwich place. When you look at it from the outside it looks as though it is either a wedding banquet hall or a wedding tailor or flower shop or something of that nature. Then when you step in the first thing that came to my mind was that I felt like I was at a hospital cafeteria. Its a large pink dining room with old school tables and chairs with fake flowers on each table and then the ordering station in the very back.

Just like the previous two Lincoln's I visited, they had all the sandwiches described on some paper taped onto the wall. Its really sad how excited I was when I finally found this place, I had been looking around for it every time I was in the area and never had the address. This time even with the address, google text didnt recognize it so I had to find it on my own.


I believe this was the Crisper, an Italian piled with meats, cheese and veggies. Notice how big these sandwiches are? They are just $3.95 each and I though we were getting sandwiches with the portions of the other Lincolns...no sir. This is the real McCoy.


Look at this Bunny Girl special compared to the one I got in Hobart (upthread) The meats are triple the amount and much better quality and the price is lower.


The Sibley special was a loaded sandwich consisting of turkey, bacon, lettuce, tomato, hard boiled egg and oil.


Portions for the price are almost unreal at the Real Lincoln's. This is half of a Lincoln burger...what I think were four all beef patty's with special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles onions on a French bread bun. But this was so much better than a Big Mac. When did Lincolns come up with this burger? if it was before 1968, McDonald's ripped them off.


I really enjoyed this sandwich, burger or whatever you want to call it.

Lincoln's is the real deal, thats for sure. I see a visit from Diner, Drive In's & Dives in their near future. It really is a diamond in the rough.

I have been going to a friends house in Michigan City over the summer for over 15 years now. When I got my license and we came and went ourselves, I always loved taking the South Shore and driving thru all the neighborhoods in the area all the way up or back. I found alot of info on places to check out from posts around the net. I have been going up to the area for work the past few Mondays and finally stopped at the Whiting Pierogi & Tamale store after driving by it the past few years.


Located on Indianapolis right across the street from the Dunkin Donuts that is right in the middle of Pierogi fest.


Its a small store that has six of these freezers pictured above on the left filled with various pierogi's, dumplings, blintzes, knish, pierogi bombers and all that stuff including deli goods like meats and salads. They have over 40 types of pierogi according to the menu. They also have pork, beef, chicken, hot pork, spicy chicken, cheese and jalapeno and bean & cheese tamales available hot by the dozen and frozen. You can mix and match all the items and save the more you by. Its a place I fell in love with upon entering. I got some frozen pierogi to go and had to pass on the tamales b/c it was just me and a friend and we were on a different mission. I will say by the smell and feel and look of the tamal's, they seemed and smelled pretty damn good.

Northwest Indiana has two native fast food joints with various locations...Schoops and Zel's.


A Mickey burger from Schoops and a chili cheese fries from Zel's


I also made it to John's pizzeria last night on my way home around 7:30 and it was doing good business for a Monday, quite a few family's and people enjoying their pizza's.


I thought this place was the definition of an old school pizza joint. I enjoyed everything about this place including the pie. I tried a signature loose meat sausage and give it the thumbs up and on my way out a father and son had a onions and sausage delivered that smelled so good it had me thinking about getting a small to go.

There is no denying that NW Indiana is still rich in food gems that have withstood the downfall of the area. Not much has changed out there. If you need an excuse other than just the food, the gas is cheap and the Cabela's in Hammond is still one of the funnest stores to shop at in the world.



Im not a big hunter or outdoorsman and I still love it. They have everything you need to deep fry your turkey this Thanksgiving season and all sorts of fun BBQ and kitchen toys like dutch ovens and smokers and marinades and rubs for the holiday season. I had been there four times previous to yesterday and just saw that they have a general store for the first time. Ive been to Mackinaw Island and their fudge shops but I have never seen so many different flavors of fudge.

Quick Question: has anybody ever been to or heard of "The Lure Hamburgers" in Gary? The only mentions of it on the internet are in the comments section on stories about Gary scattered throughout the internet. People reminisce about it on their comments as if it is gone but its still there and open but there are no listings that I can find. I think it was on route 20 near the minor league baseball stadium.

Proving once again, there's more than corn in Indiana and in Northwest Indiana you can visit the childhood neighborhood of the King of pop and eat great roadfood. Muhahaha.

If you like this check out my sitewhere I report on my food adventures throughout Chicago and the US of A.


Lincoln's O
2813 Highway Ave.,
Highland, IN
(219) 923-4144

Whiting Pierogi & Tamale
1548 Indianapolis BLVD
Whiting, IN
219-659-2222

The Original John's Restaurant & Pizzeria
2356 Schrage Av (at Indianapolis Blvd & 124th St)
Whiting IN
219-659-1046
Sun-Thu 10:30-11, Fri-Sat 10:30-12

Cabela's
7700 Cabela Drive
Hammond, IN 46324
(219) 845-9024

The Lure Hamburgers
Gary, IN
????????????????

Lincoln Carry-Out's
1002 Lincoln St
Hobart, IN 46342
(219) 942-2113

Miner Dunn
8940 Indianapolis Blvd
Highland, IN 46322
Phone: (219) 923-3311

Lincoln's Tasty Sandwiches
1458 Sibley Blvd
Calumet City, IL 60409
(708) 891-3240

Arnie's dog house
1503 Indianapolis Blvd
Whiting, IN 46394
(219) 659-3004

Madvek's
6923 Calumet Ave
Hammond, IN 46324-2009
(219) 932-1060
#1

25 Replies Related Threads

    leethebard
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    RE: Northwest Indiana (Pic's) 2008/11/19 01:06:38 (permalink)
    Oh the bread Lincoln's uses looks delicious!! Crisp..perfect bread for a sandwich.
    #2
    TnTinCT
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    RE: Northwest Indiana (Pic's) 2008/11/19 06:05:08 (permalink)
    Pierogies and Tamales - interesting combo, would love to know some history of how that came to be. I agree with you - those long-standing, consistent locally-owned/run places offer some of the best options for RoadFood - great pics, enjoyed!
    #3
    MiamiDon
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    RE: Northwest Indiana (Pic's) 2008/11/19 06:46:02 (permalink)
    Great tour of an under-explored region. Those sandwiches at the "real" Lincoln's look great.

    To make your links come out "pretty", you need to put double quotation marks around the URL. The first goes after the = sign, and the other one goes before the right bracket.
    #4
    douginvirginia
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    RE: Northwest Indiana (Pic's) 2008/11/19 07:10:25 (permalink)
    Another great trip report. Again, thanks for the summary of spots with contact/directions - very nice touch.
    #5
    doggydaddy
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    RE: Northwest Indiana (Pic's) 2008/11/19 07:35:21 (permalink)


    Great report. More investigation is required. Your blogs are fun too.

    ==m going to re-educate myself on this later but I thought I would share the pics now. The dining spots still around that survived time really have that old school feel, that's what I love about the area. Anyone else been to these spots? I like all of them and would put the Lincoln in Hobart as better taken care of and less grimey than the one in Calumet, but ill be back to both. Ones things for sure these places have all been around and not much has changed about them or the food I assume. I love it.===

    I had a similar thought reading about the 'Lincoln' style places. You may have hit a Roafood sub-category that deserves investigation. That is, places that share a thematic name but are not connected.
    The two places to me are any NY pizza with the name 'Ray' attached to it and the 'Joe's' style restaurants in California. I also have noticed that many diners in New England slip Colony into their name.
    As it is, one Bubba does not equal another Bubba.....

    mark




    mark
    #6
    Nancypalooza
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    RE: Northwest Indiana (Pic's) 2008/11/19 10:13:20 (permalink)
    I think that name stuff is fascinating too--where in the world do you come up with 'Bunny Girl' for instance? Lovely pics and description King!
    #7
    kland01s
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    RE: Northwest Indiana (Pic's) 2008/11/19 10:49:05 (permalink)
    Great report and photos exploring an area I would never venture too, I am in the far west Chicago exburbs.
    #8
    KingT
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    RE: Northwest Indiana (Pic's) 2008/11/19 11:16:45 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by TnTinCT

    Pierogies and Tamales - interesting combo, would love to know some history of how that came to be. I agree with you - those long-standing, consistent locally-owned/run places offer some of the best options for RoadFood - great pics, enjoyed!


    Whiting, IN is home to a very large pierogi fest every summer. It would be my guess that during the 50's thru the 70's Whiting had many Eastern European familys that settled their as members of the family got jobs in the many factories of the area. Then as time went on in the 80's and 90's the area started to grow in its Mexican population. So now today with the two heritages living in the area, they have a store where you can get both eats from those peoples backgrounds.

    http://www.pierogifest.net/index.html

    quote:
    Originally posted by Nancypalooza

    I think that name stuff is fascinating too--where in the world do you come up with 'Bunny Girl' for instance? Lovely pics and description King!


    I know for a fact that the Bunny girl sandwich was named after one of the original Lincolns owners daughters. Not sure about the others.

    Glad it was enjoyed by all. More to come, im working on a few as I type this.
    #9
    John A
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    RE: Northwest Indiana (Pic's) 2008/11/19 17:07:53 (permalink)
    That's a bunch of fine looking sandwiches. Thanks for posting.
    #10
    Ort. Carlton.
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    RE: Northwest Indiana (Pic's) 2008/11/19 20:23:10 (permalink)
    King T,
    Many thanks for a great travel report. Those look like some wondrous sandwiches.
    Let's hope you track that place in Gary down. The whole city hasn't gone like Pompeii on us; remember, it is still the county seat and a lot of governmental stuff continues to go on there. With so many government employees around, there have to be places for them to eat... at least breakfast and lunch.
    Curiously, Ort. Carlton in Amusing Athens, Georgia.
    #11
    Bobs
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    RE: Northwest Indiana (Pic's) 2008/11/19 20:33:31 (permalink)
    I really enjoyed your pictures and comments. Please continue to inform us.
    #12
    Buffalo Tarheel
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    RE: Northwest Indiana (Pic's) 2008/11/19 22:23:47 (permalink)
    KingT,

    Thanks for a great report and some good ideas for places to eat. I travel to that area somewhat regularly for business (work in East Chicago and staying in Merrillville). So far the only Roadfood place I have been to is Teibel's in Schererville (maybe I could count Portillo's in Merrillville), and your report has opened some more opportunities. Thanks again for finding great food in the area.
    #13
    mr chips
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    RE: Northwest Indiana (Pic's) 2008/11/20 00:35:15 (permalink)
    Great report on an underappreciated area.
    #14
    irisarbor
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    RE: Northwest Indiana (Pic's) 2008/11/25 10:59:49 (permalink)
    Great report,
    who knew?
    I'm ready for lunch right now!
    #15
    justmeincal
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    RE: Northwest Indiana (Pic's) 2008/11/25 20:41:53 (permalink)
    Great report and pictures, thank you! That pizza looked yummy. I like pizzas like that, that aren't loaded down with a ton of cheese.
    #16
    FriedClamFanatic
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    RE: Northwest Indiana (Pic's) 2008/11/29 20:52:55 (permalink)
    really great report and fantastic pics! I may not get back to that part of the world for a long time, but this might speed up the schedule!

    Thanks
    #17
    ZekeTheCat
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    Re:Northwest Indiana (Pic's) 2009/02/20 13:56:46 (permalink)
    Thanks for the good memories of eating places in the "Region" as we called it long ago. I was born and raised in the Calumet region (Gary and later Highland) and remember several of the places you mentioned.
     
    I've eaten at Miner Dunn  many times and still do on the rare occasions of visits up there - great burgers which still taste the way they did 40 years ago and great flaky thin coated onion rings. They have a second location on RT 30 in Merrleville. There was also another good eatery called Johnson's Blue Top Drivein just a couple blocks north of Miner Dunn on Indianapolis Blvd there in Highland - not sure if it's there anymore but they had real good burgers and fries too.
     
    The Lure drivein in Gary has long been in the history books although the building shell is still there - much like a great deal of Gary , sad to say. I ate many a burger , fries and shakes there during my jr/sr HS days - was built in 1958 as I recollect. It was a pre McDonalds style burger joint with great tasting food .
     
    Flamingo Pizza on 5th Ave in Gary had the best pizza around and is still in business today out in the Miller section of Gary- out near Lake Michigan in the Marquette park neighborhood.  It's under different ownership now but still has yummy pizza but doesn't taste the same as it did in the 50's and 60's.
     
    I hope to get up there this spring and try some of the other places on your list while I'm there.
     
     
     
     
    #18
    carolina bob
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    Re:Northwest Indiana (Pic's) 2009/02/20 15:05:47 (permalink)
    ZekeTheCat, the Miner-Dunn in Highland is still there, but the Merrillville location called it quits a few years ago; Highland is the last one left. The Blue Top is also still in business. I've eaten at both M-D and the Blue Top in the last couple of years, and, frankly, I wasn't pleased with the burgers at either one. In the '70s and '80s, Miner-Dunn's burgers were, IMO, much better than they are now. Nowadays there are numerous Schoop's Hamburgers outlets in NW Indiana, and since their burgers are, again IMO, the best in the area, I'm somewhat doubtful that Miner-Dunn is going to be able hang in there much longer. Of course, since I'm usually wrong with my predictions, I'm not about to bet any money on that!   
    #19
    wheregreggeats.com
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    Re:Northwest Indiana (Pic's) 2009/02/20 15:11:49 (permalink)
    More than one picture made me think about heading west.

    I'm driving Seattle > Massachusetts in the next month or so.  I see myself going slow thru this area.

    Thanks.


    #20
    FriedClamFanatic
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    Re:Northwest Indiana (Pic's) 2009/02/20 15:12:29 (permalink)
    Nice stuff, great report and fantastic pics!  I only wish i had family in the area to visit so i could hit a lot of these places!

    BTW........if I order a "Bunny Girl" to go, do I have to bring her back?  And is there a time limit?
    #21
    ChiTownDiner
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    Re:Northwest Indiana (Pic's) 2009/02/21 15:19:28 (permalink)
    King T -

    Nice stuff...I never have ventured to any of those areas.  I did get the sherbert treatment at Johnston's Blue Top some years back...thanks for the lessons! 
    #22
    ken8038
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    Re:Northwest Indiana (Pic's) 2009/02/23 09:17:13 (permalink)
    Thanks for the great report. The only times I was in NW Indiana was a few times on the Tollway on my way to someplace else. I wish I had known then what I know now!
    #23
    ZekeTheCat
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    Re:Northwest Indiana (Pic's) 2009/04/10 22:36:39 (permalink)

    I was up in NW Indiana recently and visited three of the eateries mentioned in this thread.
     
    First pre noon stop was Lincoln Carryout in Hobart Indiana - the last time my being in Hobart was probably in the late 1960’s. They had a plethora of fresh made sandwiches - my choice being their famous Steelworkers Sandwich - grilled roast beef with all the fix en’s on grilled rye bread - really good although I would have like a little more roast beef on it - great taste and very satisfying none the less. I wished I lived closer and could try all of their sandwiches.
     
    An hour later my next stop - The Lure drive in restaurant In Portage Indiana at 6401 Melton Rd (US 20). This is the last still operating Lure apparently from the chain that used to exist in the region years back. I remember the Lure (long since closed) on west 5th avenue in Gary from my high school years back in the 50’s and 60’s. The portage Lure sells all of the basic burgers and combinations , roast beef, gyros and other sub type sandwiches plus the usual side order fast food items. I had my usual cheese burger + fries that I routinely subsisted on in my HS days. Burger was good , fries were good - not outstanding but I was well satisfied and glad I stopped.
     
    My last stop , about 5 pm, was at the Original (1943) Johns Pizzeria / Restaurant in Whiting Indiana. I still fondly remember the old style pizza found in the “Region” back in my childhood and youth and was hoping this would be similar - I wasn’t disappointed. I ordered their pizza with homemade sausage and the taste was really good- with a good chewy cheesy crust reminding me much of the past. I ended up ordering a second par baked sausage pizza which I brought home and is now in my freezer for future use.
     
    I hope to visit more NWI eateries hopefully on subsequent visits. Only bad thing is the horrendous traffic up there - wall to wall cars and stop lights.
    post edited by ZekeTheCat - 2009/04/10 22:47:51
    #24
    carolina bob
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    Re:Northwest Indiana (Pic's) 2009/04/10 23:30:44 (permalink)
    The Lure on US 20 is still in business? Frankly, I'm amazed by this. I ate there about three or four years ago; the burgers and fries were decent ( for fast food ), but the place was so devoid of customers that I just assumed that by now it was history. Guess I'll have to wander out that way soon and have lunch there ( for old times sake. ) 
    #25
    mar52
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    Re:Northwest Indiana (Pic's) 2009/04/11 12:26:26 (permalink)
    I want one of everything.  It all looks delicious.

    I find it amazing that some foods stay regional and never make it to the big cities.

    Like Los Angeles!
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