As I travel around Indiana, I love hitting the back roads and scoping out interesting stops in small towns. This week I was reminded, however, that often we don’t know what we have in our own back yards.
I found this true Wednesday when a couple of Brian’s work-days pals, Sandy Burns and Lois Valasek, invited me to lunch in downtown Fortville.
We met at the Foxgardin and enjoyed a fabulous, affordable meal. Lois and I had the Fortville Tenderloin sandwich which was a party in a bun, with all the fixings. Sandy had a wonderful cheese soup and she ordered a sugar cream pie slice for the three of us to sample. I noticed some scrumptious-looking salads on the table next to us. The restaurant, at 215 S. Main St., defines itself as "Kitchen. Ale." And a slogan, "eat.drink.meet."
It was Wednesday. It was 1 p.m. The main floor was packed! We walked upstairs to look around in the old downtown building. There we found a comfortable and unique bar-lounge-type setting, cozy, with unique art on the walls and black comfortable chairs. Out back is a covered patio. I was elated because this is a great new place to meet friends or take guests. Who knew?
I was amazed at the downtown vibe which is, unexpectedly to me anyway, very Mass Ave. There were several funky home-décor and unique clothing boutiques as well as a tiny sewing shop (it wasn’t open but it’s where the PINK mailbox is downtown). After our visit, I walked around and snooped through the shops. I overheard one shop owner talk about how the town had a couple of nice Mexican restaurants too.
I didn’t even realize that Fortville had a downtown, on Main Street, just west of the main drag. Until now, I associated the town with its signature pink elephant on Ind. 67 and the Dairy Queen where both boys worked years ago for a time.
Fortville is just a stone’s throw from Pendleton. I’ll be back!
This month a beautiful Pendleton home graces the cover of Indianapolis Monthly as part of a cover story about small-town homes. Sometimes we take for granted what’s right here in our own back yards.