-Exploring NW Indiana
It's the holiday season and heavy shopping loads are here. Outlet malls are one of the more popular shopping stops during this time and in Chicago we are fortunate enough to have three within an hour ride of the city. Anyone going to the Michigan City, IN outlet mall, take note, I gotta food stop for you.
a locals favorite in Hammond Indiana
The Cavalier Inn or the 'Cav' as locals call it has been serving the Polish community of NW Indiana since 1949. Located in North Hammond it's a family owned joint that's now in it's 2nd generation with the founders son having taken over. Aside from the wonderful Polish 'stick to your ribs' menu there's also some great hospitality here and I found that out with my friend when we went to visit.
As always is the case I sat at the bar and we were greeted by the quirky guy with the long hair who I'm sure has been there forever, he knew everyone. We got started with some dirt cheap beers from the tapper and then went with a few of my must order items when dining at a Polish place. First out and this just show the old school-ness of the place was the relish tray.
The first item I always order from a Polish place is one of my favorites, potato pancakes. One of my favorite foods since my youth I usually never pass on them unless I know their from a box. I'm not sure where these ones were from but they were good. Perfectly browned and moist inside, I always go with sour cream as my preferred dip of choice with these.
Potato Pancakes from Cavalier Inn
Then there's the other item I gotta have at a Polski place, the pierogis. In fact they hold the annual Pierogi Fest in Whiting, IN next door to Hammond and take their dumpling serious around these parts. The Cav had an excellent example, both the cheese and meat ones. As we sat and raved about them the regular next to us started to chat us up. He told us how his mom used to make pee-air-ogi's as he called them and kept mentioning them throughout our talk. He said his mom made the best ever for he and his seven brothers and three sisters. She would make them at least twice a month and a minimum of 350 each time.
Pierogi's from Cavalier Inn
I bought our new buddy a Christian Brothers and the bartender gave him a token, He told us he only eats potato and cheese pierogi's and switched over to cheese when he started going to the Cav 40 years ago. He told us how he loved meeting folks like myself at the Cav and whenever he gets in his car he ends up there. There's never any fights, just friendly talk and folks is what he said. He was scared to let me take a pic but one of the cooler dudes I've ever met on my foodventures. We also got an order of the fried perch which was pretty good, I don't think it was lake perch, but not nearly as great as the guy we got to meet. That's why I love going to the locally loved spots, you can meet some great people.
Fried Perch Dinner
735 Gostlin Street
Hammond, IN 46327