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The breaded pork sandwich is Indiana's most famous "local" food.

A trio of famous restaurants are located near free sights.

FMCA’s 96th International Convention and RV Expo this July is in Indianapolis, home to one of the most renowned steak houses in the world. Two more amazing and less fancy spots also await those who travel north of there. Check out all three while you tour the Hoosier State.

1. Indianapolis: St. Elmo Steak House (Monday-Friday 4:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m.; Saturday 3:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m., Sunday 4:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.)World-famous St. Elmo has won copious acclaim from Forbes, Wine Spectator, Trip Advisor, and others. Steaks, chops, seafood — including its famous shrimp cocktail — and amazing desserts are served in a saloon-style space. Since 1902, people have gathered here to celebrate special occasions and daily success. www.stelmos.com.

While you’re there, see: Rolls-Royce airplane engines.A half mile south of St. Elmo is the James A. Allison Exhibition of aircraft engines made by Rolls-Royce and its U.S.A. predecessor, Allison Engine Co. Rolls-Royce aided the Allies in World War II by building engines and parts for planes, including the largest liquid-cooled engine to fly. Among many other items, the collection includes parts from a Minuteman rocket and Apollo Lunar Lander. Free admission. goo.gl/S763Vp.

 

2. Huntington: Nick’s Kitchen (Monday, Tuesday: 6:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.; Wednesday-Saturday 6:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.)Indiana’s signature food is the breaded pork tenderloin sandwich. The tradition began at Nick’s in 1908; so, don’t miss your chance to taste the original. Nick’s opens early, serving breakfast in the mornings, and the lunch/dinner menu (besides the huge pork tenderloin) includes salads, burgers, and sides, plus homemade pie and hand-dipped milkshakes. www.nickskitchen.net.

While you’re there, see: Sunken Gardens.This park proves you can make lemonade out of lemons. By 1922 the site was an ugly, abandoned stone quarry. Enthusiastic locals saw its potential, though, and asked a Chicago company to design a garden there instead. The results are still gorgeous! Stone paths, walks, and water features are enchanting. Free admission. www.visithuntington.org/sunken-gardens-a-must-see/.

 

3. Goshen: South Side Soda Shop and Diner (Tuesday-Saturday. 11 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.).Featured recently on the cable TV food program “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives,” this cute eatery is run by a local family. They stick to what they know, which is a lot! The menu is five solid pages long, with salads, sandwiches (cold and grilled), award-winning chili and soups, daily specials, and side items. An entire menu page lists homemade pies and cakes, and another describes ice cream and fountain treats served at the original 1940s soda fountain. www.southsidesodashopdiner.com.

 

While you’re there, see: Amish quilts formed by flowers.If you plant enough flowers in just the right way, colorful, blooming quilt designs seem to magically appear. A driving tour to see many of these includes sites in Goshen. Many more potential adventures await in Indiana’s Amish Country; for details, see www.amishcountry.org. And the RV/MH Hall of Fame and Museum is located in Elkhart, which is about a half-hour from Goshen:  www.rvmhhalloffame.org.

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