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.

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Explore Autos and Art Glass in Kokomo

Travel to Kokomo, Indiana to discover art glass, automobiles, and delicious culinary experiences.  Whether you are traveling with family, friends, or a group, you won’t want to miss these must-see attractions!

Watch how glass is made at the Kokomo Opalescent Glass Factory

Kokomo Opalescent Glass Company (KOG) has been producing art glass in its original Kokomo location since 1888.  They are America’s oldest art glass company and were voted Best Factory Tour – Indiana 2011.  Located at 1310 South Market Street, public factory tours are offered Tuesday through Friday at 10:00am.  Even if you are not a glass enthusiast, I guarantee you will enjoy this fascinating tour!  Watch as skilled ladlers quickly scoop molten glass from the furnace and carefully mix the glass to the exact color and texture desired.  Over 22,000 variations of sheet glass are produced in their facility.  The sheet glass produced in Kokomo is shipped all over the world and used by glass artisans for stained glass windows and custom projects.

Beautiful feather vases made at the KOG Hot Glass Studio

The tour also includes a trip through the KOG Hot Glass Studio.  Watch as expert artists use Kokomo glass to create unique blown, pressed, and hand-cast glass items.  Most blown glass art items are available to purchase in the OP Shop, including suncatchers, stunning bowls and vases, perfume bottles, jewelry, beads, and other beautiful items.  Call 765-457-1829 for information or shop online at www.kog.com.

Kokomo has a rich history of automotive heritage and industry, starting with America’s First Car, developed in 1894 by Kokomo resident Elwood Haynes.  Visitors can see a 1905 Haynes automobile at the Elwood Haynes Museum and explore his former residence, now filled with exhibits chronicling his life as an inventor and the auto industry in Kokomo.  The Elwood Haynes Museum is located at 1915 South Webster Street and can be contacted at 765-456-7500.

Then, visit the Kokomo Automotive Museum.  Over 100 antique and classic automobiles, including several made in Kokomo, will take you on a wonderful trip through the past.  Exhibits include a replica of America’s First Car built by Elwood Haynes and a 1950’s diner, along with many other auto-related memorabilia.  All ages will enjoy this wonderful collection located at 1500 North Reed Road (U.S. 31.)  For more information, call 765-454-9999.

View over 100 cool cars at the Kokomo Automotive Museum

Enjoy a King Tenderloin at Ray’s Drive In — both Ray’s and Artie’s Tenderloin in Kokomo are located on the Indiana Tenderloin Trail

While in Kokomo, enjoy a delicious meal or tasty treat at one of our local eateries.  From hand-breaded tenderloins to old-fashioned ice cream sodas, Kokomo cuisine can be found on 9 different Indiana Culinary Trails.  Visit a local brewery, drive-in, bakery, or locally-owned family dining restaurant for great food only found in Kokomo.  Visit www.IndianaFoodways.com for more on Indiana’s Culinary Trails.

For more information on Kokomo or to plan your next visit, call 800-837-0971, go to www.VisitKokomo.org or download the new Visit Kokomo Mobile App on your Apple or Android smartphone.  Plan your next getaway in Kokomo for an adventure filled with autos and art glass!

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 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!

Experience Great Food & Superior Service at the Book Nook Bistro

Hello again Culinary Corner Friends,

Since we are in the season of giving, I have something very special to give you.  One might call it advice, a tip, a recommendation, an endorsement, or a testimonial.

The best kept secret in town for a small party is a little place called the Book Nook Bistro, located downtown at 311 West Walnut Street in Kokomo.

I’ve had the pleasure to go there twice in the past month.  Both experiences were EXCEPTIONAL.  Owner Reed Stoeckley (we call him Chef Reed) really knows how to treat his guest.  I have not experienced that level of hospitality EVER!

The Book Nook Bistro is open Monday – Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.  But the real treat is his “Reservation Only” dinner party on Friday and Saturday evenings.  It is the perfect place for small gatherings.

The following is my list of adjectives to describe the “Reservation Only” option: cozy, quaint, comfortable, intimate, relaxing, scrumptious, inviting, effortless, delightful, enjoyable, satisfying, cheerful, warm . . .  should I go on, or do you get the picture?

There is only ONE catch; you must make a reservation!

This is what you do:  Call Chef Reed at (765) 452-0988.  (He will do the rest!)

This place is perfect for groups of 2 – 20.  The menu is simple (steak or chicken), but it is absolutely scrumptious.  All dinners are served with incredible loaded potatoes and a fresh green salad with a secret sauce dressing to die for.  The dessert will take you over the edge to a place where you will never want to leave.

If it’s a really special occasion, also reserve the Penthouse called the Belfry Bed & Breakfast.  Not only can you entertain in the main dining space, but you then can retire upstairs to sheer luxury.   Chef Reed will take total care of you, with made to order breakfast the following morning. 

The Belfry Bed & Breakfast

What is most amazing is the price.  No dinner is more than $10 per person, the use of the dining space is free, and if you book the Belfry Bed & Breakfast before December 18, 2009, to be used anytime in 2010 (subject to availability) it is only $59 per night.

So, the next time you and friends want to get together, or your family needs a spot to gather, remember the Book Nook Bistro.  One call is all it takes!

Kim Morgan
Kokomo Visitors Bureau

Best Patio Spots in Kokomo

Welcome back to Culinary Corner!  This issue, just in time for the summer season, we will explore the best locally owned patio spots in town.  The categories are Best Patio for People Watching, Best Patio for Morning Sun, Best Late Night Patio, and Best Patio Atmosphere.

Sondy's Sycamore Grille

Sondy's Sycamore Grille

First on the list is the Best Patio for People WatchingSondy’s Sycamore Grille,  located downtown on the Square at 113 W. Sycamore, gets my vote.  The patio is located right on the sidewalk with a great view of all the downtown action.  You can see everyone coming in and out of the courthouse, and during early evenings, you can wave to all your west side friends driving home from work.  Sondy’s offers a lunch and dinner menu with a special every day and an extensive martini list.  Jason, the bartender, is the best martini mixologist in town and serves up various concoctions and ends the week with .99 cents margarita madness.

Best Patio for Morning Sun goes to Frittatas, 306 Espanol Drive.  The breakfast menu is delicious with very reasonable prices.  Make sure to check out the Country Skillets – they are to die for.  The patio faces east, so you get that bright, warm morning sun.  It’s off the road, so traffic noise is minimal.  The patio is graced with beautiful flower baskets, and the tables are large enough to enjoy your breakfast along with the morning paper.  The service is excellent.  They keep your coffee cup full and encourage their patrons to relax and take their time. 

 

Mulligan's Pub

Mulligan's Pub

 

Mulligan’s Pub, located on the point at Home Avenue and Apperson Way, 1134 S. Home Avenue, is the winner of the Best Late Night Patio Spot.  The patio has a comfortable feel, with great ceiling fans and good lighting.  It features plasma screen TV’s with the latest sporting events and news.  Mulligan’s offers daily drink specials and has some of the best bar food in town.  I especially enjoy their pizza, HOG wings, and fried tenderloins.  The crowd is always lively, and the service is exceptional.  This is one spot you’ll never meet a stranger and feel Hoosier hospitality at its finest.  Mulligan’s is open until 3 am on weekends.

The Quarry

The Quarry

Now, for Best Patio Atmosphere.  The new kid on the block, The Quarry, wins this category hands down!  Located on the near west side in Forest Park Shopping Center, this new restaurant’s patio is nestled in a park-like setting in between the buildings.  It has an upscale feel, but yet very comfortable.  From 4:00-5:30 pm, Monday through Thursday, they offer the entire bar menu half price with a daily drink special all day.  The Angus Burger is quite exceptional, and at $4.50 during the bar menu happy hour, it’s a deal.  Michael is serving up what might be Kokomo’s new favorite cocktail called the Kokomojito.  This one is sure to be a winner.  On the weekends, weather permitting, there is live music on the patio under the stars.  The Quarry features all fresh food.  The meats have never been frozen and the seafood is flown in fresh daily.  This restaurant offers a very high level of service and quality at very affordable pricing.  If you haven’t had the opportunity to visit this establishment, put it on your list of things to do!

Other locally owned patio spots to enjoy are Omeletty’s, Julianno’s, Cone Palace, Don Pancho Villa, and Hacienda. 

Next issue will be the battle of Kokomo’s best dessert!  Leave a comment and let me know where your favorite dessert is located!

– Kim Morgan, Kokomo Visitors Bureau