The Fresh Fork: For the Weary And the Hate-to-Cook Crowd

BY SARA SHEIKH With made-to-order meals prepared just before pickup or delivery, The Fresh Fork offers hungry Bloomingtonians a locally owned meal planning service. The inspiration for founder Stacy Thompson’s vision was hearing people, over and over, say how difficult it is to prepare healthful meals. Thompson, 39, a local attorney, appreciated the business model of national companies like Blue Apron or Plated, but there was one aspect of that model she didn’t like: Those companies drop boxes of prepackaged ingredients and recipes at the door, leaving the burden of preparing the meals on the customer. The Fresh Fork caters to people who lack the time or inclination to prepare meals themselves, says Thompson. Her company cooks made-to-order meals, which […]

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The Next Generation of Fine Dining Chefs (Cover Story)

For most of the past decade, the same five talented chefs have dominated the epicurean scene in Bloomington — Dave Tallent at Restaurant Tallent, Jeff Finch at Finch’s Brasserie, Michael Cassady at The Uptown Café, Randy Glaze at Malibu Grill, and Daniel Orr at FARMbloomington. And while these chefs are still turning out exemplary fare (albeit Tallent no longer at his eponymous restaurant, but cooking at Indiana University), four new chefs are attracting their own considerable followings with innovative and exciting offerings. Feast Bakery Cafe, at the corner of Hillside and Henderson streets, opened in 2011 as a neighborhood coffee shop that also served tamales. But Chef Erika Yochum’s creations were so good that, by popular demand, the menu kept […]

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Fine Dining

Photos by Aubrey Dunnuck     Pickled Carrots Chef Erika Yochum Feast Bakery Cafe  A fun little garnish for salads or tacos or a mezza plate. 1 pound carrots, peeled and sliced into rounds (or freshly picked, thin, baby carrots) Peel from one lemon 4 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced 1 1/2 cups water 1 cup apple cider vinegar  3 chile de arbol 1/4 cup sugar 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt 2 teaspoons toasted ground coriander  2 teaspoons toasted ground cumin 1) Place carrots, lemon peel, and garlic in a large bowl. 2) Mix water, vinegar, chiles, sugar, salt, and spices in a small pot and bring to a boil. Simmer until salt is dissolved. 3) Pour brine over carrots, lemon [...]

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Wagon Wheel Country Market & Deli: A Grocery, Eatery, and Specialized Butcher Shop

BY PAUL BICKLEY Wagon Wheel Country Market & Deli at 1915 S. Walnut is a dine-in and carry-out deli, a grocery, and a full-service butcher shop. But Greg Stube, director of marketing, says the most important aspect of the Wagon Wheel is its emphasis on high-quality meat and in-house meat processing. The Wagon Wheel starts with only the top 15 percent of grades of special-ordered meats from local suppliers — all additive-, hormone-, and antibiotic-free, says Stube. Tri-tip cuts, the Wagon Wheel’s signature offering, are triangular cuts from the bottom sirloin. At the Wagon Wheel, they’re tenderized and marinated in a tumbler, the interior of which looks like a clothes dryer. The tumbler spins and drops the cuts a thousand […]

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Janko’s Little Zagreb For Big Steaks, Big Flavors, Fine Wines

BY AUBREY DUNNUCK A meal at Janko’s Little Zagreb is a sensory experience even before you enter the restaurant. It starts with the enticing aroma of grilled meat. Owner Mark Conlin calls it “free advertising.” The bouquet wafts out in all directions, leading diners to the corner of Morton and West 6th streets. Enter the restaurant and it’s a light show, the open grill aflame and sizzling with steak, ready to feed the almost-always-full dining room. Janko’s interior walls are all cream and crimson, decorated with Indiana University memorabilia going back many seasons. The tables are covered in classic red-and-white checked tablecloths. One gets the feeling that little has changed over the years at this iconic restaurant. Touches of former […]

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