Fair Food: 10 Must-Try Unique Treats at the Indiana State Fair

The Indiana State Fair is back on August 2nd through the 18th which means one thing: crazy, delicious food. This year, the “Taste of the Fair” serves up a wild selection of eats that will make your taste buds happier than that kid who just won his third goldfish.

Our Edible team took a look at what’s new on this year’s list and here are our Top 10 must-try treats to get your State Fair adventure started:

  • The All-American Mary: This isn’t your average Bloody Mary. Packed with a mini corn cob, cheeseburger slider, fried mac and cheese, and apple pie, it’s a meal in a glass! (Urick Concessions)
  • Spicy Pickle Pizza: Daredevils, this one’s for you. It’s a flavor explosion topped with jalapeño ranch sauce, mozzarella, pickle chips, and Cajun spices. (Swains Concessions)
  • Peanut Butter & Jelly Chicken Wings: Sweet, salty, and undeniably strange. These wings are coated in a creamy peanut butter sauce and drizzled with jelly. (Urick Concessions)
  • Blueberry Cheesecake Stuffed Elephant Ear: Elevate your elephant ear experience with a creamy blueberry cheesecake filling. It’s comfort food redefined. (The Bakerman)
  • Korean Corn Dog: A hot dog, mozzarella cheese, donut batter, panko, french fries, and deep-frying. Need we say more? (Meatball Factory LLC)
  • Amish Peanut Butter Pretzel Bites: These soft pretzels are smothered in Amish peanut butter and a touch of marshmallow. A sweet and salty dream come true. (Wilson Concessions)
  • Dill Pickle Dr. Pepper: Pickle lovers, rejoice! This unique drink combines the classic soda with a pickle spear and a splash of pickle juice. (R & W Concessions)
  • Cotton Candy Margarita: Sweet and tangy collide in this whimsical cocktail, topped with a fluffy cotton candy cloud. (Urick Concessions)
  • Fried Sugar Biscuit n’ BBQ: A deep-fried, sugar-coated biscuit filled with pulled pork and sweet apple butter BBQ sauce. It’s the ultimate sweet and savory combo. (Nitro Hog BBQ)
  • Tang-A-Rang Smoked Chicken Wings: A nostalgic twist on chicken wings, marinated and smoked with Tang, then served with Kool-Aid-infused pickles. (Smokehouse Saloon)

With over 43 new and unique items on the list, this is just a taste of what the Indiana State Fair has to offer. So grab your friends and family, head down to the fairgrounds, and get ready to embark on a delicious culinary adventure. (And maybe pack the antacid.)

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Shepherd Center Celebrates 40 Years with Speakeasy Bourbon Event

The Shepherd Center of Hamilton County is gearing up for a unique event that combines Indiana hospitality with a good cause. Their annual Speakeasy is back for its third year, offering guests a chance to sample bourbons from a variety of distilleries, enjoy delicious food, and support a vital organization.

A Night of Bourbon, Food, and Fun

This year’s Speakeasy takes place on Saturday, August 24th at 6 pm at the Lucas Oil Estate, transporting you back to the lively atmosphere of the prohibition era. Guests will be greeted by a lively atmosphere reminiscent of the prohibition era. The event features:

  • Over 14 distilleries: From Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee, attendees can taste various bourbons, including rare finds and new releases.
  • Meet the distillers: Learn about the bourbon-making process directly from the experts.
  • Silent auction: Bid on unique experiences and rare bourbons.
  • Heavy hors d’oeuvres: Enjoy a delicious meal alongside the bourbon tasting.
  • Speakeasy Cabaret show: Local celebrities Brent Marty and Holly Stoltz will entertain the crowd with a fun and informative performance.
  • Live auction and Fund-a-Need: Support Shepherd Center’s mission of helping seniors age in place by participating in the live auction or adopting a senior onto their program.

Shepherd Center’s Mission in Focus

While the bourbon tasting and entertainment are a big draw, the Speakeasy is ultimately about raising awareness and funds for Shepherd Center. Founded in 1985, the organization is dedicated to helping seniors live independently for as long as possible. The event provides an opportunity to learn more about their services and the importance of supporting senior care initiatives.

The Speakeasy: A Celebration of Community

The Shepherd Center Speakeasy is more than just a bourbon-tasting event. It’s a celebration of community, bringing people together for a night of fun, learning, and giving back. Whether you’re a bourbon aficionado or simply looking for a unique and enjoyable way to support a worthy cause, the Speakeasy will surely be a memorable experience.

“We like to say they come for the bourbon tasting, but then they stay with us because they understand what we do is so important. says Vicki Burdick, Director of Development and Communications at Shepherd Center of Hamilton County. “The one thing that all of us have in common in this life is that we’re all aging, and certainly we want services to be there for us as we age, so we must make sure that Shepherd Center is in place so that those services continue to grow as we age. And it’s a great opportunity for people to engage with the mission and learn about us.”


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Condado Tacos: A Taco Takeover of Indy

Greenwood is the newest hotspot for taco lovers, as Condado Tacos brings its vibrant energy and bold flavors to the city. But this isn’t the first time Indy residents have been treated to Condado’s culinary magic.

From the bustling heart of downtown to the trendy neighborhoods, Condado Tacos has strategically planted its flag. Taco enthusiasts in Carmel and Noblesville have already embraced the Condado experience, relishing the customizable tacos, refreshing margaritas, and lively atmosphere.

For those seeking a taste of Condado in the city, the Mass Ave and Broad Ripple locations offer convenient access to the taco craze. Each spot captures the Condado spirit while catering to the unique vibe of its neighborhood.

Whether you’re a seasoned Condado connoisseur or a curious newcomer, there’s a location ready to satisfy your taco cravings.

Where will you embark on your next Condado adventure?

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Happy Hour Returns to Indy: Restaurants Gear Up for New Era of Specials

As of July 1st, Indiana bars and restaurants are free to offer happy hour deals, a practice that's been prohibited for nearly four decades. The change in law is expected to bring a wave of excitement and creativity to the local dining scene, as establishments roll out enticing specials to attract thirsty and hungry patrons.

Huse Culinary, the powerhouse behind some of Indianapolis's most beloved restaurants, is wasting no time in embracing this new opportunity. Starting July 1st, all of its establishments, including St. Elmo Steak House, Harry & Izzy's, and 1933 Lounge, will be serving up specially priced premium drinks and appetizers during their designated happy hour times.

But Huse isn't alone. Across the city, restaurants of all sizes and styles are getting ready to join the happy hour party. From craft cocktail bars to neighborhood pubs, diners can expect to find a wide array of deals on drinks, appetizers, and even full meals.

What to Expect from Happy Hour in Indy

  • Discounted Drinks: Expect to see classic happy hour deals on beer, wine, and cocktails, as well as creative new concoctions designed to tempt your taste buds.
  • Appetizer Specials: Many restaurants will be offering discounted or specially priced appetizers, making happy hour the perfect time to sample a variety of dishes.
  • Extended Happy Hours: Some establishments may offer happy hour deals for longer periods, extending into the early evening or even late night.

The Return of a Beloved Tradition

Happy hour is more than just a way to save money on drinks and food. It's a social ritual, a time to unwind after work, catch up with friends, or simply enjoy a delicious meal in a lively atmosphere. The return of happy hour to Indiana is a welcome development for both businesses and patrons, and it's sure to add a new dimension of fun and flavor to the city's vibrant dining scene.

So raise a glass (or fork) and get ready to experience the joy of happy hour in Indianapolis. With so many restaurants eager to showcase their best offerings, there's never been a better time to explore the city's culinary delights.

So raise a glass (or fork) and get ready to experience the joy of happy hour in Indianapolis. With so many restaurants eager to showcase their best offerings, there's never been a better time to explore the city's culinary delights.

Take a Day Trip from Indianapolis to One of These Wineries in Indiana

After our team attended Uncork Me Indianapolis, a wine, mead, and cider festival offering bottomless samples from businesses across the state, we were inspired to compile a list of some of our favorite wineries in Indiana. Pack your bags and get away for the weekend or even just a day and explore some of the wineries making Indiana’s beverage scene something to sip about. 

Acres Away Winery- Ashley, Indiana

Located just under 2.5 hours north of Indianapolis, Acres Away Winery is a sweet little spot to explore. The winery is set on 5 acres of soft rolling hills, offers a perfectly paired menu, and even allows well-behaved pets. They even have a wine club so you have your favorites and try new options on repeat. 

Brown County Winery- Nashville, Indiana

Located in beautiful Brown County, this winery sits on the rolling hills of Nashville. IN, and is dedicated to producing quality, award-winning wines at an affordable price. Do a tasting, take home your favorite bottle (or bottles, we won’t judge), or join the Wine Club and get your favorites all year long. 

Backroads Vineyard- Laurel, Indiana

Boasting a “hippy, hillbilly” vibe, this winery promises good wine in a laid-back atmosphere. With unique, seasonal flavors, like jalapeno, gooseberry aronia, holiday pumpkin, cinnamon apple, frontenac, and even ONION, your taste buds are in for a ride. Backroads Vineyard is located just over an hour southeast of Indianapolis but is by appointment only. Call for a free, private tasting. 

Winzerwald Wines- Perry County, Indiana

Winzerwald Wines is a German-inspired winery located on 55 acres in Perry County, Indiana. 

Honoring their German heritage, the grapes are vinted from wine varieties typically grown in Germany with wine styles such as Winzerwald’s famous spiced & herbed wines such as Gluhwein and Mai Wein. On-site you will find the tasting room, restaurant, gift shop, office, and a portion of the production facility in the main building. In addition to the foods on the menu at the on-site Wein Kitchen restaurant, the tasting room deli cases offer an array of artisan and specialty cheeses from across the Midwest, crackers, sausages, and snacks to enjoy with your wine. Tours are available by appointment by calling the winery in advance.

Indiana Bars and Restaurants Raise a Glass to Happy Hour's Return

INDIANAPOLIS, June 30 – After 39 years, Indiana's ban on Happy Hour specials comes to an end tomorrow, ushering in a new era for the state's hospitality industry. House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1086, signed into law by Governor Eric Holcomb in March, takes effect on July 1st, allowing bars and restaurants holding retailer permits to offer discounted drinks for specific timeframes.

This legislative change is expected to stimulate business for bars and restaurants, particularly during off-peak hours. Proponents of the law believe that Happy Hour is a proven strategy to drive traffic and increase sales.

However, HEA 1086 includes specific provisions designed to prevent irresponsible drinking. Establishments can offer discounts for a maximum of four hours per day and 15 hours per week, with no happy hours permitted between 9 p.m. and 3 a.m. The law also prohibits all-you-can-drink specials and games that encourage excessive consumption.

Interestingly, the new law also permits bars and restaurants to sell carry-out alcoholic beverages in sealed, non-original containers, potentially paving the way for the sale of growlers and pre-mixed cocktails.

While the return of Happy Hour is largely celebrated, some concerns have been raised about potential increases in drunk driving and alcohol-related incidents. The Indiana State Police have assured the public that they will be closely monitoring the situation and enforcing existing laws against drunk driving.

As Indiana prepares to toast the return of Happy Hour, the emphasis remains on responsible consumption. The Indiana Restaurant and Lodging Association encourages establishments to create clear policies and train staff to ensure the safety of patrons. They urge all Hoosiers to drink responsibly and plan for a safe ride home if they choose to partake in Happy Hour festivities.

Four Top: A Quick Tour of Area Italian Gems

Whether you're a lifelong resident or a first-time visitor, Four Top is your curated guide to the best Indianapolis has to offer. Here we celebrate the city's vibrant culture, uncovering hidden gems and local favorites. From recipes to dining and nightlife to arts and entertainment, we'll take you on a journey through four exceptional experiences that capture the essence of Indianapolis and the surrounding area.

Iozzo's Garden of Italy:

A beloved Indianapolis institution, Iozzo's Garden of Italy has been delighting diners with classic Italian-American cuisine since 1934. Their menu boasts a tempting array of homemade pastas, such as their signature baked spaghetti, fettuccine alfredo, and ravioli with marinara sauce. The veal dishes, including the veal parmesan and veal piccata, are equally popular, and known for their tenderness and rich flavors.

The warm, inviting atmosphere, adorned with family photos and nostalgic décor, transports guests to a bygone era. Iozzo's is a cherished gathering place for families and couples alike, offering a taste of tradition and comfort.

Mama Carolla's Old Italian Restaurant:

A family-owned treasure, Mama Carolla's Old Italian Restaurant is a haven for those seeking authentic Italian comfort food. Their menu is filled with hearty dishes that evoke memories of home-cooked meals shared with loved ones. The lasagna, layered with rich meat sauce and creamy béchamel, is a standout, while the chicken parmesan, breaded and fried to perfection, is another crowd-pleaser.

Don't forget to save room for dessert! Mama Carolla's offers an enticing selection of Italian sweets, including their heavenly tiramisu and delicate cannoli. The cozy dining room, with its checkered tablecloths and warm lighting, creates a welcoming atmosphere for a casual family dinner or a special celebration.

Sangiovese Ristorante:

Sangiovese Ristorante is a well-established fine dining destination for those seeking an authentic taste of Italy in Indianapolis. With two locations, one in the Ironworks at Keystone and another in the Fishers District, Sangiovese offers a sophisticated and romantic ambiance, making it an ideal choice for special occasions or intimate dinners.

Their menu features a wide range of classic Northern Italian dishes, including house-made pastas like tagliatelle with wild boar ragu and gnocchi with pesto cream sauce. They also offer an impressive selection of fresh seafood, grilled meats, and creative vegetarian options. The wine list is extensive, featuring a diverse collection of Italian and international wines to complement your meal.

Whether you're celebrating a milestone or simply seeking a memorable dining experience, Sangiovese Ristorante promises an unforgettable journey through the flavors of Italy.

OP Italian:

OP Italian is a vibrant culinary destination that elevates Italian cuisine with a modern twist. Their menu is a testament to creativity and innovation, featuring reimagined Italian classics alongside original creations. House-made pasta takes center stage, crafted with fresh ingredients and paired with inventive sauces. Seasonal produce shines in their vibrant salads and vegetable dishes, while expertly grilled meats and seafood offer a savory counterpoint.

Beyond the food, OP Italian's ambiance is equally captivating. The stylish interior, with its sleek lines and modern accents, exudes a sophisticated yet welcoming vibe. The lively bar scene buzzes with energy, making it a prime spot for after-work drinks or a weekend gathering with friends. Whether you're seeking a romantic dinner for two or a celebratory meal with a group, OP Italian promises a dining experience that is both memorable and delicious.

Beyond Spaghetti: 4 Unique Pastas to Elevate Your Next Meal

Beyond the familiar spaghetti and penne, pasta is a treasure trove of unique shapes and flavors. Here are four varieties that might surprise even seasoned pasta lovers:

  • Strozzapreti: Hailing from Emilia-Romagna, these "priest stranglers" are short, twisted noodles with a fascinating name and rustic appeal. Legend has it that greedy priests would scarf them down so quickly they risked choking. Their rough surface is perfect for clinging to hearty ragùs or simple tomato sauces.
  • Casarecce: This Sicilian pasta resembles small scrolls or curled ribbons. Their twisted shape and curled edges make them ideal for trapping chunky sauces and pesto. Casarecce is versatile, pairing well with both seafood and vegetables.
  • Paccheri: These giant tubes from Campania are traditionally filled with ricotta and baked, creating a decadent and satisfying dish. However, they can also be dressed with simple tomato sauces or seafood for a lighter meal. Their large size and hollow center make them a fun and unique option.
  • Orecchiette: Meaning "little ears" in Italian, these bowl-shaped pasta from Puglia are a regional specialty. Their concave shape is perfect for scooping up broccoli rabe, sausage, and peppers. Orecchiette is a must-try for those seeking authentic Italian flavors.

These are just a few examples of the diverse and delicious pasta varieties waiting to be discovered. So next time you're at the grocery store, venture beyond the familiar and try something new!

Remus Bourbon and Babe Ruth Estate Team Up to Launch a Legendary Bourbon

In a match made in history, Remus Bourbon has partnered with the estate of baseball legend Babe Ruth to create a limited-edition bourbon that celebrates the spirit of the 1920s.

Introducing Remus Babe Ruth Reserve, a premium blend of three high-rye bourbons aged six to seven years and bottled at a powerful 111 proof. With only 10,624 bottles available, each one commemorates a specific plate appearance by the Sultan of Swat. By scanning a QR code on the back label, fans can discover exactly what the Babe did in that particular at-bat.

"This is a unique collaboration that bridges the worlds of bourbon and baseball," said Allison O'Brien, Brand Manager at Ross & Squibb Distillery. "Remus is inspired by the finest bourbons of the Prohibition era, and Babe Ruth embodies the excellence and excitement of that time. This special release gives fans a new way to experience the legacy of both."

Crafted with a medley of three high-rye bourbon mash bills, Remus Babe Ruth Reserve offers a complex flavor profile with notes of brown sugar, fig, mint, fennel, candied pecans, and warm rye spice. It's a fitting tribute to the Babe's larger-than-life personality and legendary achievements on the field.

The bourbon is presented in an eye-catching art deco bottle with an embossed baseball-diamond pattern and a wooden cork closure resembling a baseball bat knob. The labels feature Ruth's signature and classic baseball imagery.

Remus Bourbon is also giving away a trip for four to the 2024 All-Star Game in Arlington, Texas. Additionally, local launch parties will take place around the game to celebrate the release of this special collector's item.

For more information about Remus Babe Ruth Reserve and the rest of the Remus portfolio, visit RemusBourbon.com.

Bibibop Asian Grill Wins Golden Ticket to World Food Championships

Zoobilation, the Midwest's premier black-tie fundraising event, was the setting for a fierce culinary competition on Friday, June 15th. Bibibop Asian Grill emerged victorious in the entrée category with their mouthwatering noodle and rice dish, earning them a coveted Golden Ticket to the 2024 World Food Championships.

This November, Bibibop will join 1,500 culinary contenders from around the globe at the Indiana State Fairgrounds & Event Center for the ultimate food fight. The World Food Championships will showcase the talents of home cooks, professional chefs, and BBQ teams as they battle it out for the title of World Food Champion.

Attendees can expect an exciting five-day event filled with live cooking competitions, diverse food tastings, cooking demonstrations, and interactive culinary experiences. Whether you're a foodie or just looking for a fun day out, the World Food Championships is sure to delight you.

For more information on this exciting event, visit WorldFoodChampionships.com.

Sun King Brewery Throws Epic 15th Anniversary Party with Live Music, Local Eats, and Special Brews

Sun King Brewery is turning 15, and they're inviting you to join the celebration! Head to their downtown Indy location for a day of live music, tasty food truck fare, and an impressive selection of award-winning Fresh•Local•Beer.

This milestone event will feature a special tapping of their 15th Anniversary Bell's Brewery Collaboration, the Palomaloma IPA, along with Sun King King's Reserve beers and other favorites. Groove to the sounds of Pushing Daisy's Band and DJ Mr. Kinetik while you savor delicious bites from local food trucks (to be announced). Local vendors will also be on hand, adding to the festive atmosphere.

This 21+ event is the perfect opportunity to raise a glass to 15 years of brewing excellence and connect with fellow beer enthusiasts. Doors open at 5 pm, and the party goes until 10 pm. Don't forget to bring your folding chair and leave the coolers, outside food, and pets at home.

Get your tickets now and get ready to celebrate Sun King's 15th anniversary in style!

Where: Sun King Brewery (Downtown Indianapolis)

When: July 13, 2024, 5:00 PM - 10:00 PM

Price: $10 and up (tickets available here)

Chilly Water Brewing Co. Celebrates a Decade of Craft Brews with Block Party Bash

Chilly Water Brewing Co. is turning ten and throwing a block party bash to celebrate! Join them for an afternoon and evening of live music, local art, food vendors, family-friendly activities, and – of course – plenty of craft beer.

Kick off the festivities with a neighborhood bike ride led by Awesome Racing Collective at 11:30 AM. Then, head over to the brewery's back lot, transformed into a vibrant marketplace, where you'll find over a dozen local artists and vendors showcasing their unique creations. Savor the sounds of solo musician Draken Asher while you browse, and then gear up for an afternoon of rocking performances by Hammer and The Hatchet, Shelby County Sinners, Chick Grizzly, and The Tillers.

Throughout the day, don't miss your chance to enter raffles for exciting prizes like brand-new vinyl records, gift cards to local businesses, swag, and tickets to upcoming events. With special beer tappings and a lively atmosphere, Chilly Water's 10th-anniversary celebration promises a day of fun for all ages.

Don't miss out on this milestone event – grab your tickets and raise a glass to ten years of Chilly Water Brewing Co.!

Where: Chilly Water Brewing Co. (behind the brewery)

When: June 29, 2024, starting at 12 PM

Price: $8 (tickets available online or at the door)