BY AUBREY DUNNUCK
It takes a bit of effort to find the Farmhouse Cafe and Tea Room, but those who persevere are rewarded with a scenic drive through the back roads of Brown County and a unique dining experience when they reach their destination. Owners Mike and Sydney Nickels opened the Bean Blossom, Indiana, restaurant nine years ago to offer visitors to their plant nursery, the Flower and Herb Barn, a place to relax and have a meal. It was a good call. The restaurant’s success has surpassed expectations.
Before the restaurant could open, the building needed to be restored. The renovation revealed remnants of blueprints inside the walls that dated the building to 1837. This history is evident throughout the Farmhouse Cafe, from the original brick walls, constructed three bricks deep, to the dining room’s sturdy ceiling beams.
During warmer months, most visitors choose to dine outdoors on the patio. Decorated with vintage touches, such as repurposed quilts for tablecloths and plenty of greenery, it’s an ideal spot to enjoy the beauty of the property.
The Farmhouse Cafe is popular for both celebratory dinners and lazy lunches. Mike says they planned the menu to be “fresh with no fried foods and lots of nice salad options and daily homemade soups.” Keep an eye out for specials at dinnertime; the prime rib is a favorite among staff and customers. For dessert, the German chocolate cake stands out. It’s served warm and gooey, with crispy coconut edges and a dollop of whipped cream.
After your meal, you might want to explore the nursery, where flowers and herbs are adorned with quirky animal ornaments and offbeat quotes. You might even meet one of the friendly cats who have made the property their home.
The country location of the Farmhouse Cafe is one of its main draws, but the winding roads can be tricky to navigate, especially during winter. If snow or ice is in the forecast, call ahead to confirm the restaurant is open. The number is 812-988-2004, and the address, 5171 N. Bean Blossom Rd.