Start the new year right with Pearland restaurants serving fresh, feel-good-fare such as soups, salads and hand-held delights like sandwiches, tacos and other goods featuring seafood and lean meats. These dishes are great time-savers for weekday lunches and easy evening meals, too. Why not pick up an extra quart or two of soup to toss in the freezer for convenience when you need it most? Discover must-try selections below, check out the Visit Pearland dining page for more inspiration and explore all that the city’s hospitality scene has to offer.
Busy Bee Cafe, 4009 Broadway: The original restaurant opened in 1935 in Alta Loma, Texas, and now there are two locations in Alvin and Pearland. Guests clamor for the signature Chicken fried steak, available with an astounding 20 side dish choices. In addition to hearty main dishes, there are wraps, sandwiches, salads and soups. Wraps are $8.29 each and available in five combinations, each tucked into a soft whole wheat tortilla. Selections include grilled Ham and Swiss with lettuce, tomato and ranch dressing and Turkey bacon with Jack cheese, lettuce, tomato and ranch dressing.
There are plenty of sandwiches, too, such as tuna, Turkey, BLT other Club. Choose from five salads such as Southwest Chicken, taco or Caesar. Soup combos are $7.99 each, and include one cup of soup plus either a side salad or choice of grilled cheese, ham or turkey sandwich.
Dimassi’s Mediterranean Buffet is stocked with soups, salads, breads and dips – make a sandwich or order a wrap! Courtesy photo.
Dimassi’s Mediterranean Buffet, 3050 Silverlake Village Drive: This family-owned and -operated company first opened in Houston in 1992 and retains a steadfast commitment to fresh, quality ingredients. Menu items are available as individual orders, but the fun is really in crafting your own customized plate of flavors and textures. The all-day buffet is a good choice for mixed company, too, as it has a vast assortment of Halal and Mediterranean dishes, including vegan and gluten-free options.
Try soups such as lentil with red lentils and spinach or Chicken With Vermicelli spiked with cilantro, carrots and onions. There are also 11 salad choices, including the peppy Fatoush with diced cucumbers, tomatoes, mint, lemon juice, olive oil and salt, creamy Kale Caesar and hearty Greek. Protein-rich options include Pinto Bean Salad other Chickpea Salad.
Although there aren’t sandwiches per se, you can create your own masterpiece by stuffing salads or falafel into housemade pita bread and swiping in a layer of dip such as four kinds of hummus, Baba Ghanauge, or Cucumber/Mint Yoghurt. Buffet selections are available all day with a per-pound option for takeout.
Discover an extensive menu of sweet and savory crepes, including custom creations, at Eight Turn Crepe. Courtesy photo.
Eight turn crepes, 2810 Business Center Drive: Crepes are often associated with France, but this New York City company opened in 2013 with a Japanese perspective. According to the restaurant’s website, in Japan the number 8 signifies happiness and prosperity. The business extends these well wishes to customers along with the hope that a good crepe will “turn your day around.” All of the crepes are made with 100% gluten-free rice flour, and there are vegan selections in the works. The light-textured crepe, intriguing fillings and portability factor make these an excellent choice for eating on the go.
The Pearland menu is divided into savory and sweet selections. Of the former, there are 10 items such as Shrimp Avocado with baby spinach, carrots, red pepper, tofu sauce and spicy mayo or Chicken Thai with chicken breast, organic mixed greens, cucumbers, carrots, cilantro, Thai dressing, sweet chili sauce and sesame seeds. Choose from 11 add-ons, such as eggs, smoked salmon, truffled mushrooms and shrimp.
Sweet treats include a dozen variations such as NY Blueberry Cheesecake with custard cream, vanilla gelato, whipped yogurt, blueberry reduction and pocky sticks, or Harajuku Fruit Cocktail with strawberries, banana, raspberry, blueberries, mano, custard cream, whipped yogurt and almonds. Customers can also create their own unique flavor combinations with a variety of fruit, nut, cream and granola toppings.
Visit Four Friends Tea Room in Pearland for soups, sandwiches and a variety of sides. Courtesy photo.
Four Friends Tea Room, 3816 East Broadway: Visit this charming, locally owned cafe for lunch from 11 am to 2 pm, and relax with an assortment of teas, soups, sandwiches and salads. The scratch-made menu includes tempting selections available for dine in, takeout and third-party delivery. You can even pre-order larger quantities to keep on hand for easy, soul-nourishing weeknight dinners!
Mix and match items to create a custom combination using the baseline plates as a guide. the Afternoon Tea is $15 and includes a pot of tea, choice of three finger sandwiches and choice of dessert, whereas the Four Friends Classic comes with a pot of tea, cup of soup (make it a bowl for $1 more), salad, three finger sandwiches or two croissant sandwiches, chips, pickle and choice of dessert for $20. there are Salad samplers, too, along with a la carte sandwiches such as the Triple Decker Club and filled croissants. Choose from 11 sandwich fillings such as Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad, Pumpkin Bread with Sweet Cream Filling other Pimento Cheese, along with five sides such as the rotating soup du jour, broccoli salad and fruit.
As the same implies, there is plenty of tea, too. Opt for hot, organic loose leaf Zhi Tea in 13 flavors such as Jasmine Green, Sweet Desert Delight Red Rooibos, Fredericksburg Peach other Austin Breakfast. There are unsweetened iced teas, too, in four fruit flavors such as white peach other mango, plus coffee, lemonade, soda and hot chocolate.
Grace Market in Pearland serves an extensive menu of hot and cold gourmet deli sandwiches. Courtesy photo.
Grace Market, 9415 Broadway: The newest concept from Adrian Hembree of Grazia Italian Kitchen opened in late 2021 and offers a quick-service counterpoint to the leisurely, sit-down vibe at its sister restaurant. The focus here is on serving exceptional sandwiches featuring locally sourced meats, cheeses and produce.
The cold selections include 10 options packed with both familiar and adventurous fillings. Try the Dolce Vita with honey ham, smoked turkey breast, applewood smoked bacon, smashed seasoned avocado, shredded lettuce, marinated tomatoes, red onion and mayo or the Muffaletta with honey ham, mortadella, hot capicola, Genoa salami, olive tapenade, giardiniera (Italian pickled vegetable relish), oil and vinegar, provolone and Swiss cheeses (available hot or cold). Eleven hot sandwiches include the Meat-A-Baller with Wagyu and pork meatballs, spicy marinara, whipped ricotta, red onions, provolone, grated Romano and creamy ranch aioli, or Chicken Gruyere with grilled chicken, applewood smoked bacon, caramelized onions, honey dijon, and arugula. There are also Texas Toast sandwiches stuffed inside thick slices of bread with names like Yo Adrian other The Sittalian. Five salads hit a variety of flavor notes such as Tomato and Burrata, Chicken, cobb other antipasto.
The fish tacos at Killen’s TMX are available grilled or fried. Courtesy photo.
Killen’s TMX, 9330 Broadway: Chef and Pearl and native Ronnie Killen is well-known for his steak and barbecue, but he has a golden touch with Tex-Mex food too.
Tacos may not be a sandwich, technically, but these handheld delights are equally delicious when filled with fresh and (semi) virtuous fare. Try the Baja Fish Tacos available with fried or grilled white fish, crunchy cabbage, sweet mango pico and chipotle aioli, or the Lobster Taco Puerto Nuevo with pan seared lobster, romaine, black beans, pico and chipotle aioli. The Greatest Fajita Straddles the line with its three-meat combo of grilled chicken, crab and lobster sauce.
The Seafood Cobb salad at Magnolia Cajun Comfort combines shrimp, crab, avocado and more. Courtesy photo.
Magnolia Cajun Comfort, 1807 Broadway: This local spot offers a menu of Gulf Coast favorites from both Louisiana and Texas. There are hearty entries such as pork chops, ribeyes, chicken fried steak other loaded pasta, plus a mix of salads, soups and sandwiches. Of the latter trio, choose from Chef Steve’s Seafood Soup made with shrimp and redfish (and inspired by chef-owner Steve Haug’s own family recipe), or the classic Chicken & Sausage Gumbo with optional crab meat topper for $5 more.
Pair a soup with one of four salads such as the simple but satisfying House Mixed Green Salad with tomato, cucumber, onion, housemade croutons and bacon, or kick things up with the Seafood Cobb made with mixed greens, tomato, avocado, egg, crabmeat, shrimp and Cajun remoulade dressing. Upgrade any salad with chicken ($5), shrimp ($6) or salmon ($8).
If a sandwich is calling your name, Magnolia can help with 10 kinds that range from decadent to virtuous. Try the Cajun Scallop Sliders served on Hawaiian rolls with tomatoes, bacon and Cajun aioli, shrimp or catfish Po’Boys other The Who Blat Stuffed with bacon, lettuce, avocado and tomato on Texas Toast with Cajun mayo. All sandwiches come with French fries; add bacon or avocado for $2 each.
The Tofu Wrap at Wrap & Roll includes spinach and a fresh tortilla. Courtesy photo.
wrap & roll, 8209 Broadway: Your taste buds can really have fun at this fusion Asian restaurant where the kitchen fills bowls and wraps with all sorts of complimentary flavors and textures. They even have a dish that mates with an eggroll in a burrito!
If light and tasty food is on your radar, try one of four Lettuce wraps: Grilled Chicken, BBQ Pork ($4.99 for two), Filet mignon or Grilled Shrimp ($5.99 for two). Each includes iceberg lettuce, pickled carrots, crispy “oodles” and a perky tamarind dipping sauce. Choose a protein from .
there are 13 wraps, too, including lighter options stuffed into spinach tortillas with lettuce, pickle, carrots, cranberries, spicy mayo and choice of protein: ribeye, tofu, Mongolian Chicken, BBQ Pork, Filet mignon, Grilled Shrimp or Honey Spinach Chicken. Guests seeking lower-carb dishes can order from the Fusion Zoodle menu in which zucchini noodles replace flour-based versions. Choose from 23 flavor combinations such as Sriracha tofu, Ginger broccoli steak other Mongolian Shrimp.
You can also check out the Pearland Convention & Visitors Bureau dining website and social media for the latest updates. Follow on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. There is even a YouTube channel with videos that take you right to the people and places that make Pearland a great food and drink destination!
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Guiding the way to thrive
Jan Juc naturopath Rebecca Winkler has always found joy in the practice of cooking nourishing meals for others.
That pastime spilled over into developing recipes and it was during lockdown that her culinary passion led her to become a qualified plant-based chef and a raw dessert chef.
Now the mum-of-two has expertly thrown all of her skills into the mix to achieve a long-held goal of producing a book.
Released as an eBook, with a print version to hopefully follow, 14 Day Whole Food Feast is a comprehensive two-week meal plan designed to nourish the body and delight the tastebuds.
Within its pages are recipes for whole food snacks, lunch and dinner meals, lunchbox ideas, and time-saving tips.
14 Day Whole Food Feast by Rebecca Winkler is available now as an eBook.
“My motivation was both personal and professional,” Rebecca says.
“On a professional note, I found so many patients were having difficulty finding family-friendly, whole food recipes to help them navigate various dietary needs.
“The recipes are easy to follow, a shopping list is provided and time frames are taken into account so slower cooked meals or more time-consuming recipes are saved for weekends.”
Rebecca says the eBook can function purely as a recipe resource or be followed meticulously for a 14-day reset.
“Food prep guidance is given at the start of each week in order to get ahead and be organized as possible.
The eBook includes lunch, dinner and snack ideas, as well as shopping lists and naturopathic advice.
“Dinners are often incorporated into leftovers for lunch the next day and naturopathic guidance is provided around ways to maximize your time by incorporating regular exercise and practicing self-care.”
The idea for the book began to brew in 2019 during a solo trip Rebecca took with colleagues which gave her the space to establish a clear vision for the content she wanted to share.
“I began developing and refining recipe, enlisting a beautiful photographer and graphics team to allow my dream to be realised.
“The long-term plan is to release a number of other eBooks and, eventually, print a hard copy, real-life book to be loved and to splash your chocolate and bolognaise sauce on. The kind of recipe book that you find yourself grabbing time and time again.”
The eBook is filled with nutritious recipes and much more.
So, what are some of Rebecca’s personal favorites featured in her carefully curated eBook?
“Ooh, that’s like trying to choose a favorite child,” she laughs.
“I know it might seem boring, but the slow-cooked bolognaise with hand-made gluten-free fettucine is an absolute favourite.
“We make it weekly in my house and every time my kids exclaim ‘this is the best bolognaise ever’.”
The slow cooked beef pie, kafir lime chicken balls and whole food cranberry bliss balls are also hard to pass up, she says.
Rebecca avoids listing ideal ingredients for people to incorporate into their diet, instead saying the most beneficial ingredients are those that make you feel at your best.
“Not everyone tolerates grains, some don’t tolerate fruit, others have difficulty digesting meat and protein.
“My advice is to listen and take note of how your body feels when you eat.
“Are you bloated, do you have pain in your gut, loose stools, headaches or fatigue?
Rebecca is a qualified naturopath, as well as being a plant-based chef and raw dessert chef.
“I am more inclined to advise people to source good quality ingredients, grow what they can, and cook from scratch as much as time and money allows.
“Eat three meals a day and snack only if you are hungry, growing, pregnant or exercising.
“Try to consume 30-35ml of water per kg of body weight. Add plenty of vegetables, fresh herbs, variety and colour.
“Our gut flora thrives on variety, so mix up your veggies, fruits, grain, legumes and proteins. Eat the rainbow.”
To get the most out of the eBook, the author suggests reading it from cover-to-cover and choosing a 14-day period where you are at home and have minimal social engagements.
Rebecca is passionate about naturopathy which she describes as a holistic, comprehensive view of the body in its entirety and “a wonderful adjunct to Western Medicine for patients as it ensures medical due diligence is exercised, adequate diagnostic testing where appropriate and an individualized approach to restoring health”.
Rebecca’s advice is to “eat the rainbow” when it comes to healthy food choices.
She says many of her clients are seeking ways to regain optimal health following extended periods of lockdown during the pandemic.
“There is no doubt that most of us found ourselves allowing more in alcohol and comfort foods over lockdown, which is nothing to feel ashamed about.
“In such a difficult, confining and overwhelming time, we sought comfort where ever it may lie for us.
“This is not a failure, it was merely a way for so many to cope. I never judge anyone’s choices, I merely try to support, understand and listen.
“Often we already know what we need to do to rebuild or move forward, simply sharing and being heard without shame or judgment is therapeutic.
“I cannot describe to you the genuine joy that seeing people thrive provides.”
14 Day Whole Food Feast retails for $19.95 and on the Rebecca Winkler website. Discover more and contact Rebecca via her Facebook page, Instagram @rebeccawinklernaturopath or email [email protected]
Get to know farro and other superfood whole grains
By Casey Barber, CNN
Quinoa has reached a level of superfood status not seen since the great kale takeover of the aughts. Equally embraced and mocked in pop culture, it’s become the symbol of the grain bowl generation. It’s not the only whole grain that’s worth bringing to the table, however.
The world of whole grains is wide, and if quinoa and brown rice have been the only grains on your plate, it’s time to expand your palate. Here’s an introduction to whole grains, along with tips for cooking and enjoying them.
What’s a whole grain?
The term “whole grains” encompasses all grains and seeds that are, well, whole. They retain all their edible parts: the fiber-rich outer bran layer; the carbohydrate-rich endosperm center, which makes up the bulk of the grain itself; and the inner core, or germ, which is packed with vitamins, protein and healthy fats.
On the other hand, refined grains such as white rice and all-purpose flour have been milled to remove the bran and germ, stripping away much of the fiber, protein and vitamins, and leaving only the starchy endosperm.
“A lot of people don’t realize that whole grains contain several grams of protein in addition to vitamins and antioxidants,” said Nikita Kapur, a registered dietitian nutritionist in New York City. With every serving of whole grains, “you get a ton of minerals, B vitamins and fiber, which is especially important for good health.”
So-called “ancient grains” fall under the umbrella of whole grains, though the phrase is more of a marketing term than a marker of a more nutritious option. Ancient grains refer to whole grains like millet, amaranth, kamut and, yes, quinoa that have been the staple foods of cultures for several hundred years. They are not hybridized or selectively bred varieties of grains, like most modern wheat, rice and corn.
And though quinoa has gotten all the press as a whole grain superfood, there’s good reason to try others. Trying a variety of whole grains isn’t just a way to mix up your same-old side dish routine. It’s also a chance to get a wider portfolio of minerals and more into your diet.
“Suffice to say, we need to have a more diverse plant-based diet” to get the full complement of recommended nutrients in our meals, Kapur said, “and we can’t get it from the same 10 or 20 foods.
“One grain might have more manganese, another more zinc or magnesium, and another more protein,” she added. “Try one as a pasta, one as a porridge — you do you, as long as there’s a variety.”
Familiar foods like oats, corn, brown and other colors of rice, as well as wild rice (which is an aquatic grass), are all considered whole grains, but there are many others you’ll want to add to your regular repertoire.
Some whole grains to get to know
amaranth is a tiny gluten-free grain that can be simmered until soft for a creamy polenta-like dish, but it also makes a deliciously crunchy addition to homemade energy bars or yogurt bowls when it’s been toasted. To toast amaranth seeds, cook over medium heat in a dry pan, shaking frequently until they begin to pop like minuscule popcorn kernels.
Buckwheat is gluten-free and botanically related to rhubarb, but these polygonal seeds (also called groats) don’t taste anything like fruit. You might already be familiar with buckwheat flour, used in pancakes and soba noodles, or Eastern European kasha, which is simply toasted buckwheat.
Faro is the overarching Italian name for three forms of ancient wheat: farro piccolo, or einkorn; farro medio, or emmer; and farro grande, or spelled. The farro you typically find at the store is the emmer variety, and it’s a rustic, pumped-up wheat berry that’s ideal as a grain bowl base. Or make an Italian-inspired creamy Parmesan farro risotto.
Freekeh is a wheat variety that’s harvested when unripe, then roasted for a surprisingly smoky, nutty flavor and chewy texture. Freekeh’s taste is distinctive enough that it steals the spotlight in your meals, so use it in ways that highlight its flavor. It’s fantastic in a vegetarian burrito bowl paired with spicy salsa, or in a warming chicken stew.
kamut is actually the trademarked brand name for an ancient type of wheat called Khorasan, which features large grains, a mild taste and tender texture. It’s a good, neutral substitute for brown rice in a pilaf or as a side dish. Or try this high-protein grain in a salad with bold flavors like arugula, blood orange and walnut.
millet is a gluten-free seed with a cooked texture similar to couscous. Teff is a small variety of millet that’s most frequently used as the flour base for Ethiopian injera flatbread. Try raw millet mixed into batters and doughs for a bit of crunch, like in this millet skillet cornbread recipe, or use either teff or millet cooked in a breakfast porridge.
How to cook any whole grain
While cooking times vary for each grain, there’s one way to cook any whole grain, whether it’s a tiny seed or a large, chewy kernel: Boil the grains like pasta.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a handful of kosher salt. Add the grains and cook, tasting as you go, until tender. Small grains like amaranth and quinoa can cook fully in five to 15 minutes, while larger grains like farro and wild rice can take anywhere from 30 minutes to one hour — so keep an eye on your pot and check it frequently.
Drain well in a mesh strainer (to catch all those small grains) and either use immediately or allow to cool slightly, then refrigerate for later meals. Cooked whole grains can also be portioned, frozen and stored in airtight bags for up to six months.
If you want to cook your whole grains in an Instant Pot or other multicooker, this chart offers grain-to-water ratios for many of the grains mentioned here.
The CNN Wire
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Casey Barber is a food writer, illustrator and photographer; the author of “Pierogi Love: New Takes on an Old-World Comfort Food” and “Classic Snacks Made from Scratch: 70 Homemade Versions of Your Favorite Brand-Name Treats”; and editor of the website Good. foods Stories.
Travel: A quaint county seat with Mayberry charm | Lifestyles – Travel
I finally ventured out for my first road trip of 2022 earlier this month. It’s been way too long since I took a little trip and it was long overdue. My last little getaway was in Chicago the week of Christmas. The day I returned I wasn’t feeling very well and an at-home test confirmed that I had COVID — again.
The first time was in November 2020 and it was a severe case that landed me in the hospital with pneumonia and difficulty breathing and then many months of recovery. Luckily this time around it just lasted a couple of weeks. At the same time I was pushing through COVID we were in the process of moving. And my Dad, who had tested positive for COVID not long before me, passed away. So, it’s been a heck of a start to 2022. A getaway was much needed.
It was a brief 24 hours in the Indianapolis area, but as always I packed a bit in and had a lot of good food. On our way down we stopped off in Rensselaer for lunch at Fenwick Farms Brewing Co. and took a little walk to check out the murals that are part of the Ren Art Walk. That evening I attended a media opening of the newly reopened Dinosphere exhibit at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.
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It’s a place I adore and still enjoy visiting even though my kids are teenagers and young adults now. I love being greeted by the huge Bumblebee character on the way in from what is probably my favorite action move, “The Transformers.” The largest children’s museum in the world has so much to see and I’ve loved having the chance to explore it both with and without my kids.
After the event it was a quick overnight at Staybridge Suites in Plainfield, and in the morning we headed to Danville. Danville is the county seat of Hendricks County. I adore county seats with downtown squares and this is one of my favorites. On an earlier visit there we were in town for the Mayberry in the Midwest festival, which had lots of activities related to the classic TV show “The Andy Griffith Show” that was set in the fictional town of Mayberry.
Danville definitely has that charming, inviting, friendly small town vibe that feels like it could be a sitcom setting. We ate at the Mayberry Cafe where old episodes play on television screens and the menu is full of down-home, made-with-love comfort foods, with a specialty being “Aunt Bee’s Famous Fried Chicken.” I tried it and it was very tasty. The whole place made me smile like Opie after a fishing outing with his dad.
This time our dining destination was The Bread Basket. I had tried their desserts at a few events, but it was my first time dining in. It’s located in a house that was built for the president of Central Normal College in 1914 and is cute and cozy. It’s a breakfast and lunch spot, so plan to go early and be prepared for a wait during peak times (but it’s well worth it).
My Dilly Turkey Sandwich on fresh wheat nut bread with an Orchard Salad was delicious. I loved that they had a combo option where you could pick a half sandwich and half salad or cup of soup. But the desserts are the real star here. I stared at that dessert case for several minutes — and I wasn’t the only one.
I was seated next to it, and watched intently each time they removed a pie or cake from the case to cut a slice. I tried the Hummingbird Cake, which was a perfect treat without being too rich, and then noticed another that was so unique I had to get a slice to take home — the Blackberry Wine Chocolate Cake. If you go there and are overwhelmed with choices, go with this. You won’t regret it.
After lunch, we made our way over to the Hendricks County Historical Museum & Old County Jail, which is just off the square. For someone like me who loves history, this was a wonderful stop to incorporate into our day. It was built in 1866 and used as a jail all the way up until 1974. You can go into the old jail cells (two on the female side and four on the male side) and tour the sheriff’s home.
An exhibit has information and artifacts from when Central Normal College existed (later Canterbury College). There’s also a temporary chronological exhibit about music and musicians, featuring many Hoosier hitmakers.
After the visit, I took a breezy little walk around the square, where I was reminded that there is a nostalgic old movie theater. The historic Danville Royal Theater dates back to the early 1900s and shows current movies for just $5 a ticket.
It was then getting close to dinner time, so we decided to eat before we headed back home. A place in the nearby town of North Salem had been recommend to me and I am so glad we took time to visit. I chatted for a few minutes with Damiano Perillo, owner of Perillo’s Pizzeria. He’s a native of Palermo, the capital of Sicily. The food is authentic and almost all of it is made fresh daily, including their garlic rolls, marinara and alfredo sauces. The New York-style pizzas are perfection.
They even have a nearby garden where they grow many of the fresh vegetables and herbs used in their dishes. They have gluten free pastas, too, and the lady at the next table had some and was raving about it. We also tried the homemade Sicilian cannoli and the limoncello flute, and trust me when I say to definitely not skip dessert.
There was one last food stop. Although we had just eaten, I realized we’d be driving right by Rusted Silo Southern BBQ & Brewhouse in Lizton and just couldn’t pass it up. I made my husband pull in and pick up some food to go. We got the brisket and their house made pimento cheese, chorizo and kielbasa and took it home. I was introduced to it last fall and there is a reason they have been voted Best BBQ in the Indy area four years in a row. I loved hearing about how this eatery located next to a railroad literally stops trains in their tracks to get food from this award-winning BBQ joint.
All three of these places — The Bread Basket, Perillo’s Pizzeria and Rusted Silo are ones that you should absolutely include in your itinerary if you happen to be in the Indianapolis area.
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Guiding the way to thrive
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