Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Corrin's First Post!

Windmill Grill in Kokomo

Let’s face it: our beloved Hoosier state has very few excellent restaurants. Oh sure, there are quite a number of fine dining establishments with prices to match, scattered throughout Indiana, restaurants touted by critics and advertised as having local ingredients and gourmet fare prepared by expert chefs. The truth is, as my sisters and I sadly have found, very few of these restaurants live up to their hype. We find that the food quality is uneven and several high-priced dishes have been spectacularly bad! We keep looking for a go-to restaurant in Indianapolis-one with consistently good food, good atmosphere and reasonable prices. Maybe a few gourmet surprises would be nice too. 
            Which brings me to Windmill Grill: if you’re ever in Kokomo, or there about, and have a hunger for breakfast, lunch, dinner, a late-night snack or just some gourmet coffee and dessert, this is your place. It is the almost perfect “go-to” for a meal. I have eaten there many a morning, noon and night since the 1990’s when they opened, and I’ve yet to be disappointed. Their food is almost always inexpensive, fresh, tasty and well-cooked with gourmet surprises, such a tilapia Newburg offered recently.
            For my meal there last week, I ordered salmon with Caribbean glaze, baked sweet potato with brown sugar and butter, broccoli and their signature Farmhouse salad.  The glaze was perfect, savory and sweet, but not overpowering the salmon. The broccoli  was bright and green, yet tender, and the sweet potato was mellow and deep orange, its sweetness enhanced by the butter and brown sugar (although I only allowed myself a little dab of each due to my PD (perpetual dieting) condition. The accompanying roll was so good I yearned for another though my PD wouldn’t allow it. As I ate the salad, I thought “A mere salad shouldn’t be this good;” but then I realized,” With real bacon bits, chunks of  boiled egg and crispy potato sticks, how could it not be!”
            My sister Ruthie and her husband Ray shared a hefty chopped steak, smothered with sautéed mushrooms and onions and a rich brown sauce, accompanied by from-scratch mashed potatoes, and green beans studded with bits of onion and red bell pepper. Ray was the only one to opt for dessert (Ruthie suffers from the same PD condition as I.) His huge serving of homemade pecan pie, garnished with whipped cream and caramel sauce was as delicious as it was large. We know this because he would not share.
            I still don’t know why this great restaurant is named Windmill Grill. Some day I’ll have to ask the friendly owner,  Tom Trine, whose family works in the kitchen.  The spacious dining room is paneled in knotty pine, displaying lots of Hoosier memorabilia andl a large-scale model train that runs on tracks overhead. It’s a warm, farmhouse kind of place with the quiet buzz of many contented diners, but there’s nary a windmill in sight!
            The bottom line is if you want a reasonably-priced meal (most entries are under $10), as well as very good, often excellent, food , then head north on Dixon Road in Kokomo to the grill with no windmills.

Atmosphere - 7
Service - 9
Price - 8
Presentation - 8
Food - 8
Overall - 8

Listen up: Better quality lettuce would improve the Farmhouse salad.

Windmill Grill on Urbanspoon

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