Kokomo’s Culinary Corner: Ducky’s Family Restaurant

Kokomo is blessed to have many great local restaurants with delicious food and stories to share.  This week’s feature is Ducky’s Family Restaurant.  Local family-owned, Ducky’s has been in Kokomo for 33 years, and recently underwent a transformation while being featured on Food Network’s Restaurant: Impossible.  Chef Robert Irvine and his team spent two days in Kokomo, and I was anxious to see the new changes!

Ducky's sign

As soon as we walked through the front doors, the design changes were evident.  The dining room is quaint and reflects both Kokomo and Ducky’s local community heritage, including a large photo of Elwood Haynes (inventor of America’s First Car in Kokomo – 1894) and nostalgic photos of the restaurant throughout the years.  The colors and decor are bright and fresh.

Ducky's interior 1

Haynes Sign 1

Ducky's foodThe menu features a few new dishes along with many local favorites, including a variety of burgers, “The Marilyn” (grilled tenderloin sandwich named after one of Ducky’s regular customers), onion threads, Henny Penny’s (roasted potato wedges), and Ducky’s famous fried chicken.  They also have a salad bar.  Turkey Manhattan was the special of the day.

We ordered the Blue Ribbon Chicken (breaded chicken stuffed with ham and cheese) with Henny Penny’s and grilled asparagus and the Breaded Chicken Strip Salad.  The chicken was very moist and flavorful.  Both side dishes were good, and the salad was very fresh!

Portion sizes were generous, so there was no room for dessert. However, I noticed several pies and a chocolate torte (which sounded really good!) were listed.

Check out the “new” Ducky’s Family Restaurant, located at 816 East Markland Avenue in Kokomo.  Hours are Monday-Saturday 7am-9pm and Sunday 7am-2pm.

For more information about local dining in Kokomo, please visit www.VisitKokomo.org/dining.

Sweet Poppin’s and Front Porch Pretzels named Indiana Artisans

Local Kokomo businesses Sweet Poppin’s and Front Porch Pretzels have been named Indiana Artisans.  Indiana Artisans supports entrepreneurs who create high-quality art, crafts, and value-added foods in the Hoosier state.  Artists are juried into this state-wide group.  There are nearly 250 Indiana Artisans across the state, including over 80 foodists.  We are proud to have two of these Indiana Artisan foodists from Kokomo!

Sweet Poppin's gourmet flavored popcorn

Sweet Poppin’s gourmet flavored popcorn

Sweet Poppin’s, located in Downtown Kokomo, makes gourmet flavored chocolate covered popcorn in many indulgent flavors, including Pralines & Cream, Lemon Pound Cake, Strawberry Cheesecake, and Peanut Butter Popcorn.  Since their inception, over 30 popcorn flavors and/or combinations have been created.  Visit their website to find out why this heavenly treat is “a dream come true!”  Sweet Poppin’s popcorn can be purchased online or at their shop located at 107 East Sycamore Street.

Jams made by Front Porch Pretzels

Jams made by Front Porch Pretzels

Using all organic ingredients, Front Porch Pretzels makes hand-rolled soft pretzels, specialty breads, pies, and soups.  However, they were juried into Indiana Artisan with their delicious jam made with organic fruit.  Jam flavors offered include strawberry-rhubarb, pear-apple, dutch apple pie, and blueberry.  For more information or to place an order, call 765.455.2085 or follow them on Facebook.

To find out more about Indiana Artisans throughout the state and the process to become designated by this program, visit www.IndianaArtisan.org.

Have a Sweet Time at Kokomo’s Chocolate Celebration – Feb. 1, 2013!

Calling all chocolate lovers!  Mark your calendar for Friday, February 1, 2013 as hundreds of chocolate lovers gather to satisfy their sweet cravings at the 11th Annual Chocolate Celebration presented by J. Edwards Fine Chocolates & Gourmet Cakes.  Local restaurants, caterers, bakeries and businesses will offer delicious chocolate creations from 11 am-2 pm at Kokomo First Church of the Nazarene (located at the corner of Washington & Lincoln.)  Chocolate selections include fudge, brownies, cupcakes, chocolate-covered fruit, pastries, homemade candy, and much more!  Here are a few photos of desserts offered at last year’s event . . .


Chocolate Celebration 2



chocolate celebration 2011



Chocolate Celebration




Chocolate Celebration 3


Tickets are 2 for $5 with each ticket redeemable for one chocolate treat.  Come early for best selection!  Admission is free.  Shopping bags and To-Go containers will be available so you can purchase sweet treats for friends, family or co-workers.  Proceeds will benefit Samaritan Caregivers.  Join us in Kokomo for the sweetest event of the year!  For more details, call 765.453.7611 or visit their website.



Think Local for Holiday Parties & Family Gatherings!

The holiday season is here and all those holiday gatherings will be in full swing.  Kokomo has several local establishments that will allow you to celebrate the season in “Kokomo Style”!  When planning that holiday office party or family Christmas gathering, think local.


The Quarry

The Quarry
, located at 2130 W. Sycamore Street, is accepting holiday group reservations.  Experience inspired cuisine along with fully stocked bar and seasoned mixologists to handcraft your favorite holiday cocktail.  The Quarry only serves prime meats and the freshest of seafood.  The Quarry also has a private dining area that can accommodate up to 40 people. Larger groups, no problem.  Just call (765) 250-5650 for special reservations.  Visit www.thequarrykokomo.com to see upcoming events and to view the holiday menu.

Pepperwhistle Bakery and Cafe is the perfect spot for the office holiday lunch.  Located at 106 N. Main in Downtown Kokomo, this downtown eatery specializes in gourmet sandwiches and homemade desserts.  Go to www.pepperwhistle.com or call (765) 398-1851 for daily specials and holiday hours.

Drakes Bar & Grill will be celebrating its first holiday season in Downtown Kokomo.  Reserve the private dining space for that special holiday occasion.  Drake’s has a full menu and a secret family recipe for slow smoked barbeque.  Call (765) 457-1611 or visit www.drakesbarandgrill.com for reservations, specials and hours of operation.


Cook McDoogal’s Irish Pub

Cook McDoogal’s Irish Pub
is the place to be for any holiday occasion.  Whether you are sharing that celebratory cocktail, an intimate dinner for two or the holiday office party, Cook McDoogal’s provides exceptional atmosphere with attention to every detail of quality service.  They’re located on the square in Downtown Kokomo at 100 N. Main Street. Call (765) 450-6134 or visit www.cookmcdoogals.com for reservations or to book your holiday gathering.

For more information on local restaurants and unique dining in Kokomo, visit our website at www.VisitKokomo.org.

Kokomo Eateries Added to Indiana Culinary Trails

Several local restaurants and bakeries in Kokomo were recently added to the Indiana Foodways Alliance Culinary Trails.  Kokomo is now a stop along several trails established throughout the state, including Burgers & Brew Trail (Half Moon Restaurant & Brewery), Hoosier Pie Trail (Moore’s Pie Shop), Pizza Trail (Martino’s Italian Villa), Tenderloin Trail (Artie’s Tenderloin & Ray’s Drive In), Sweet Temptations Trail (J. Edwards Fine Chocolates), Just Crusin’ Trail (Ray’s Drive In), I Scream for Ice Cream Trail (Jamie’s Soda Fountain), and Prime Rib & Steak Trail (The Quarry.)

To read more or to find out about Indiana’s Culinary Trails, visit www.indianafoodways.com.

Local Restaurants Deliver Big (and Unique) Flavor

I recently had the opportunity to visit several local restaurants and bakeries this week with a representative from the Indiana Foodways Alliance.  We are all guilty of dining at our “usual” spots, which are different for everyone.  The next time you eat out in Kokomo, think local.  Many of the places we stopped this week have been in business in Kokomo for decades; some for over 50 years!  It was a great reminder that we need to not only step out of our normal routine and try different places once in awhile, but that supporting our local family-owned (I like to call them mom and pop) restaurants is putting money back into our local community.

I took a few photos while I was out and about this week and received a delicious meal at every single stop!  For a listing of all local restaurants in Kokomo, visit our website www.VisitKokomo.org or pick up a Dining Guide at the Kokomo Visitors Bureau office, located at 325 North Main Street.

Martino’s Italian Villa – 1929 North Washington St.

Martino’s pepperoni & sausage pizza


Martino’s Italian Beef sandwich – a delicious surprise!

Artie’s Tenderloin – 922 South Main St.

Artie’s Tenderloin celebrating 75 years in Kokomo!

Artie’s signature sandwich – the Tenderloin

The Quarry – 2130 West Sycamore St.

The Quarry has both family dining and a bar


The Quarry’s fish tacos are a great summer choice with fresh salsa

The Quarry’s patio is perfect for outdoor dining

Moore’s Pie Shop – 115 West Elm St.

Fresh baked pie anyone?

Moore’s Pie Shop’s Sugar Cream Pie – an Indiana tradition (and my personal favorite.) Yum!

Ray’s Drive In – 1900 North Courtland Ave.

The King Tenderloin at Ray’s Drive In!

The sign says it all – make sure you come hungry!

If you want to take a step in the past, you have to experience Ray’s Drive In in Kokomo



Culinary Corner: It’s Holiday Time!

Once again, it’s time to eat, drink and be merry!  And there is no better place to do so than our local specialty restaurants.  This Culinary Corner will focus on local eateries to gather during the holiday season.  Whether you are gathering with family or friends, or you need a festive spot for the office staff Christmas party, Kokomo has you covered!

I have researched three local restaurants that will fit any occasion.  Casual, dressy or somewhere in between, the Quarry, Pastarrific or Half Moon can provide the perfect holiday atmosphere to compliment any party.

The Quarry, located at 2130 W. Sycamore, is simply spectacular!  Exquisite holiday decorations adorn each dining room, while the holiday music puts everyone the spirit of the season.  Along with the public dining space, the Quarry also offers two private rooms.  The Lions Den will seat 45 comfortably and the PDR will accommodate up to 30.  They are open Tuesday thru Saturday with lunch service 11am-2pm and dinner from 4pm-11pm.  The bar, which features hand crafted cocktails in addition to nightly specials, stays open later.

The Chef will have many different specials throughout the holiday season.  Pounded Pork Tenderloin, Oyster Rockefeller, and Peanut Crusted Salmon are just a few of the upcoming specials this season.  In the mood for live music?  Every Friday night from 8pm-11pm the Quarry will host live music to get your party started!  For more information or to make reservation, call 765-450-5650

Pastarrific, located at 3001 S. Webster, is Kokomo’s Italian jewel.  Now with banquet space to seat 25-200, Pastarrific can host your family dinner to the corporate Christmas party.  Chef Cynthia always has new and exciting menu selections to choose from along with their new Pub Room, which offers full bar selections.  Pastarrific is open for both lunch and dinner Monday thru Saturday and for lunch only on Sunday.  Call 765-455-1312 for more information or for reservations.

Half Moon Restaurant & Brewery is located on Kokomo’s southside at 4051 S. Lafountain.  Half Moon is Kokomo’s only brewery.  They hand-craft 10 different  beers in a state of the art 3.5 barrel all grain brewery, along with a wide selection of domestics,  imports and full bar.

Along with a large public dining space, the Back Pool Room will accommodate 30 of your closest friends, while the Family Room will seat up to 80.  Half Moon will have many holiday specials and will feature daily food and beer pairings.  The Half Moon opens at 11am, 7 days a week.  Call 765-455-2739 for daily specials or to reserve a private dining room

If you have a special event or party to plan and need suggestions, call the Greater Kokomo Visitors Bureau at 765-457-6802 or 800-837-0971.

Happy Holidays!

Kim Morgan
Greater Kokomo Visitors Bureau

Culinary Corner Features Kokomo Downtown Farmers’ Market

Summer is now in full bloom!  There is no better place to spend a Saturday morning other than our local Kokomo Downtown Farmers’ Market.  If you are looking for fresh, wholesome, locally grown food, the market is the place to be!  The Kokomo Downtown Farmers’ Market also features an array of locally crafted arts, jewelry, soaps, and more.  This is true foods, local flavors, and a very local experience!

The day of “just produce” is long gone.  The market not only provides our community with the freshest produce one can find, but it also hosts other small businesses such as Burlington Meats, which takes pride in preparing great tasting foods from the finest and freshest meat.  This vendor processes pork, beef, and deer to your specification.  They are also well known for their pulled BBQ pork, homemade brats, and Italian sausage.

Das Bauck Haus offers cinnamon rolls among other freshly baked pastries and cakes at the market

Das Bauck Has (The Bake House) specializes in cakes, pies, breads, and is a distributor for Charitee Organic Agave Nectar Products.  Agave Nector is a natural sweetener for food and beverages and has many health advantages over traditional artificial sweeteners. 

If you are looking for fresh herbs, the Dragonwood booth is a great stop.  They also have locally produced honey and an assortment of home-crafted teas. 

The Kokomo Downtown Farmers’ Market loves to have musicians, artists, and educational classes on site whenever possible.  The market will buzz with local musicians such as the sounds of the Rhum Academy of Music, another one of Downtown Kokomo’s jewels.  Rhum Academy is a place where individual students are encouraged to express themselves freely through music.

Come spend a Saturday morning with local flair!  The Kokomo Downtown Farmers’ Market is open every Saturday now through October 15, 2011 from 8:00 a.m. – Noon at the corner of Sycamore and Union Streets.  Visit their website for more information or view their calendar of events at www.KokomoFarmersMarket.com.   

Kim Morgan
Kokomo Visitors Bureau

Culinary Corner Features Kokomo Originals!

Thanks to all of you who replied to “The Best Thing I Ever Ate.”  It was fun remembering some of the old favorites of yester-year.  Richard Thompson made me flash back to Scotty’s Sandwich Junction, which was located on the corner of Washington and Sycamore in Kokomo.  I’m not sure when Scotty’s closed, but I’m thinking it must have been in the early 80’s.  If any of you out there have additional information, please feel free to jump in!

While doing a little research, I found this old commercial of Scotty’s.  You can view it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-Ev1UT6s74

If anyone knows any of the THEN teenagers, let us know who they are.

Chrissy Waddups couldn’t remember the name of the restaurant that made those HUGE baked potatoes with pulled pork and cheese.  I need some help here.  Was it Queen Gyros on Markland or Taco Grande on Lincoln Road?  She also gave shout outs to Create A Cake and Backyard BBQ.

Some of the other “favorites” were Pizza King, Martino’s pizza, Whiskey Creek’s chicken strips, and our hometown original, Louie’s Coney Island.

I think my favorite childhood memory is Mr. Softy!  I can remember hearing the music coming down the street and running home to get a quarter to purchase a twist cone or a Super Man popsicle!  My favorite grown-up memory is meeting up with friends at Hacienda to enjoy a Frozen Long Island! 

Kokomo is loaded with locally owned restaurants that have very unique offerings, things that you can only experience in Kokomo!  Take time to review Kokomo’s Dining Guide online at www.visitkokomo.org.  Next time you’re out to make memories, try a Kokomo original!

Kim Morgan
Kokomo Visitors Bureau

Kokomo Culinary Corner News

Hello Culinary Corner Friends!

I’m still waiting on your responses for “The Best Thing You Ever Ate.”  In the meantime, I would like to announce some good news.  Our friends at Sunset Grill Café and J. Edwards Fine Chocolates, Cakes & Gifts have both expanded! 

Sunset Grill has moved from the Markland Mall to 1135 South 17th Street, which is located directly behind the Markland Mall.  They are open Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. – 4 p.m.  The Sunset Grill features an extensive breakfast and lunch menu and offers an array of sweet treats.  Call Nena at 765-438-7913 for more information or for your catering needs. 

J. Edwards is still located at 2106 West Sycamore Street, but they have busted through the wall to expand!  The gift and dessert shop now has enough space to showcase all of the unique gifts, fine chocolates, and baked goods.  J. Edwards is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.  Call 765-626-0142 for more information or to order your favorite dessert. 

If you have any “Good News” regarding restaurant openings or expansions, please let me know at kmorgan@visitkokomo.org.  Don’t forget to submit “The Best Thing You Ever Ate” in Kokomo & Howard County!  Click here for more details!