Savor the sweetness of local eateries
Writer / Tom Hirschfeld
Small-town restaurants still exist—the kind of establishments where you walk in to be greeted with a smile and a “Hi, y’all.” Places where you can take a deep breath and let go. They’re here, evidenced by a short drive up Ind. 19 out of Noblesville and into the heart of northern Hamilton County.
Whether you are coming for breakfast, lunch or dinner, there is a locally owned eatery for you.
New to town and don’t know anyone? Simple. Visit the Cicero Coffee Company.
You won’t regret a great cup of fresh coffee, espresso or cappuccino served just the way you like it, and the tea selection will suit any non-coffee drinkers. But it doesn’t stop there. Owners Cindy and Earl Tharp have created a place where everyone knows your name. The morning won’t pass before you are a bona fide member of the jovial, ad hoc town hall meetings that take place among the regulars.
While you sit and catch up on the latest news, you can enjoy a wonderful fried egg sandwich, Cindy Lou Hoo’s smothered eggs, or the café’s famous baked oatmeal. Fair warning: It’s easy for time to slip into the lunch hour. So order a to-go specialty sandwich or one of the delicious vegetarian lunch items to enjoy as you run those errands you intend to do.
Cicero Coffee Co., 150 S. Peru St. (which is Ind. 19 in Cicero). 7 a.m.-2 p.m. weekdays, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. weekends.
Have a serious sweet tooth? Look no farther than across the street to SugarBean Cupcakes. Its cozy tea room atmosphere is perfect for an intimate morning spent chatting with a friend.
While the menu is limited, it’s filled with delicious choices. The assortment of fresh cupcakes and baked goods, including cakes for any occasion, will make the young squeal with delight, and the young at heart, sigh. SugarBean is a great spot for a little girl’s tea party or place to spoil the grandkids. Mother-daughter duo owners are Cheryl Muir and Stephanie Muir.
SugarBean Cupcakes, 129 S. Peru St., Cicero. Find them on Facebook for hours of operation.
Enjoy exploring the countryside and have a craving for Italian? Simply drive into Atlanta and stop at DeLullo’s Trattoria to sample owner Kay DeLullo’s signature Chicken Alfredo or her one-of-a-kind antipasto salad. If you’re in the mood for pizza, order the DeLullo’s Special or the Bacon Florentine and dig in as you take in the comfortable surroundings of a beautiful small town. Save room for dessert, especially if Kay has her homemade cheesecake on hand.
DeLullo’s Trattoria, 177 W. Main St., Atlanta. 4-8 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday.
Are you an aficionado of classic barbeque? Cheryl Faulkner’s family-run Big Dog’s Smokehouse has you covered. With an extensive BBQ menu, delicious sides and cold beer, it’s a hungry man’s kind of place that has lady-sized portions, too.
Like any good BBQ, it’s about the big flavor, not the portion size. Tuck yourself into a platter of the brisket and you’ll see what I mean. It has a great smoke flavor without any bitterness. The dry rub is there to enhance the beef flavor, not overpower it. The signature Southern Comfort sandwich is nothing short of unique. Imagine a bun layered with smoky pulled pork topped with house-made slaw, ranch dressing and French fries. A slice of St. Louis Butter Cake is a great way to finish out this feast.
Big Dog’s Smokehouse, 29 E. Jackson St., Cicero. 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday.
He has a great crew behind him and his extensive menu; the wait staff is equally talented. If the Dinner Table section of the menu doesn’t tickle your fancy, ask about the delicious nightly specials or order one of the more casual menu items from pizza to tacos. A full bar and carry-out are available, as well.
10 West, 10 W. Jackson St., Cicero. 4:30-11 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday.
Erika’s Place is a mom-and-pop joint with down-home cooking that features breakfast, lunch, and dinner. From pancakes to fried pickle chips, Erika’s offers it all in a setting as comfortable as your favorite lounge chair. Owners are Erika Flanders and Cheryl Hunter.
Erika’s Place, 40 W. Jackson St., Cicero. 6 a.m.-9 p.m. weekdays, 6 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday, 7 a.m,-2 p.m. Sunday.
When it’s Mexican food you crave, there are two wonderful choices.
La Cascada is a great place for a nightly drink special and a sizzling hot platter of fajitas or Pollo Loco Con Chorizo. La Cascada offers an extensive menu of classic Mexican lunch and dinner selections.
La Cascada, 400 W. Jackson St., Cicero. 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Sunday-Thursday 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday.
At the Rio Grande Fresh Mexican Grill, you’ll find a substantial menu of every Mexican dish imaginable. Along with great food, there is an impressive selection of tequilas for the tasting.
Rio Grande Fresh Mexican Grill, in the Harbor Shops, 20805 Hague Road, Noblesville. 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Sunday.
Just south of Cicero at the ramp to the lake sits the venerable Wolfies Waterfront Grill.
Dig in to one of Wolfies favorites, The House Crabcakes or the Cocktail Cobb Salad, before your entree arrives and as you take in the beautiful lake view. Wolfies features a full bar with nightly drink specials.
Wolfies Waterfront Grill, 20999 Hague Road, Cicero. 11 a.m.-midnight every day.
Finally the Lazy Frogg on Lake Cicero is expected to open at the end of July in the former Waterfront. Along with a new restaurant, there are plans for a walk-up Shrimp Hut and Bar, a fire pit, and a boardwalk, all designed for sipping signature cocktails and relaxing while enjoying a beautiful sunset.
Lazy Frogg on Lake Cicero, 409 W. Jackson St., Cicero. Opening in July 2014.