Monday, November 14, 2011

Bloodhound of the Law - Mayberry Cafe

Not only do I have more than one bullet I know a good place to eat if you are traveling through Central Indiana.
For I was traveling through a little town by the name of Danville IN, located not too far West of Indy on my way back from a country excursion. We'd seen tractors, old barns and a VFW hall that remembers what is important.

I loved their flagpole. I've got to bring Tam over to see this. It's even cooler than the Broad Ripple Gargoyle with RayBans.

A few miles later, slightly wrinkled and road weary and definately hungry, we spotted the squad car. I watched enough TV, and TV Land over the years to recognize the squad car.

The Mayberry Cafe. It's full of memorabilia, little flat screen TV's playing an episode from the show, and friendly, small town service. As I walked I felt transported back in time, to an era where your Dad was your hero, family was important, romance was slow but true and involved lots of home cooked food and the Sheriff could always be counted on to do the right thing.

Even before the drinks were ordered we had a loaf of fresh, hot homemade brown bread with cinnomon honey butter to work on. The bread had a nice taste to it, I almost suspected a little rye or graham flour mixed in with the wheat but the tub of spread was the best part of all.

Drink refills were prompt, not that you needed them with the giant old coca cola glasses. The food, American Diner style, good and abundant portions, but they also have a full salad bar and a selection of soups, salads and stir fry dishes for those eating lighter.

I had the Aunt Bea's fried chicken. I ordered two pieces thinking I'd get a breast and a little leg or wing. I got two whole boneless chicken breasts deep fried with a savory, crunchy, totally non greasy coating. The potatoes, real potatoes, not instant, not dehydrated, not from a can. They were topped with a peppery white gravy that (sorry Cracker Barrel) was better than mine or most restaurants.

My friend had grilled Hamsteak with all the trimmings and he said it was perfectly grilled, not cooked, then refrigerated and then microwaved. It was a thick steak and about took up the whole oversized dinner plate.

I ended up getting a box to bring half of mine home, including the big dish of buttery corn, which is not something I do often with a meal for less than $10. But then there were the desserts including blackberry cobbler with homemade ice cream (no Brigid! Nip it!, Nip it in the bud!) which I passed on but they looked wonderful.

I'll have to come back, to try perhaps the chicken fried chicken and pork tenderloin sandwich someone else in the crowd ordered. Both were about was the size of a hubcap and had a large serving of freshly made coleslaw on the side (or sides of your choice). At the checkout they sell old fashioned candies that the little ones were lining up for as well as jars of the cinnamon honey butter and Mayberry cookbooks (homestyle cooking, always helpful in getting the attention of a handsome Sheriff).

There was a number of folks coming in the the door when we left, but the service was good and the wait, more than acceptable. This isn't fast food, and the taste proves it.

Even if you weren't a fan of the show, if you like fresh, tasty, 50's style comfort food, that tastes like your Mom cooked it, not the platoon mess cook, the Mayberry Cafe serves it up well. Located in Danville located on Main St (US 36), in the heart of the small downtown area on the north side of the street. Today was Monday and they were open 11 am til 9:30, staying open til 10 on Friday and Saturday nights.


  1. To explore is so much fun and the rewards are beyond expectations, pass the biscuits please.

  2. You were exercising great willpower to decline that blackberry cobbler. It looks great!

    I love the flagpole too.

  3. Mmm, good fried chicken is hard to find.

  4. Ahem! I beg to differ! The Mayberry Cafe is in Mt. Airy NC young lady! Snappy Lunch is still there! So is Pop's gun store and range.

    So there!

  5. This is one time I'm glad I live 2000 miles away. I'd be so sick after eating that much food. I'd love every bite of it, but I'd refuse to stop.

    Especially the cobbler.

  6. This is a place I'd have to stop at, just based on the old squad car alone!

    "Bloodhound of the Law" - Gunny approves this Cafe :)

  7. Who's not a fan of Mayberry?!! Who could resist little Opie... Those were the days, never missed a show. North said it well.... :)

  8. Brigid,

    Thanks for the recommendation! If I'm ever in Danville, IN I'll make it a point to stop in.

    I love these little home town cafes and have stumbled on several in my back roads travels. I still miss the old Oak Grove Cafe in Burlington, NC. On Tuesdays and Thursdays you couldn't get in the parking lot because that was when they had Banana Puddin' (with a layer of meringue 4" tall!) for desert. The lady that cooked it (no instant pudding mix here!) would carry it out of the kitchen in pans that were almost as long as she was tall.

    "They were topped with a peppery white gravy that (sorry Cracker Barrel) was better than mine or most restaurants." I grew up eating real gravy and can now make it decently. I pity people who have never had real "sawmill" gravy made from the sausage drippings with a couple pieces of sausage crumbled into the gravy. The stuff Cracker Barrel and most other restaurants serve is a pale, flavorless imitation...

  9. You did warn me not to look at the food porn...
    Too late!

  10. Reminds me of the kind of fare I grew up eating. Wish I could visit that place.

  11. Guess I should take a long weekend drive....that chicken looks good.

  12. The perfect ending to a perfect meal is blackberry cobbler with homemade vanilla ice cream for dessert.

    Even back in the day when I picked wild blackberries for $1.00/gal.

  13. Per Google Maps: 606 mi, 10 hours 19 mins. I'm thinkin if me and the children leave now, we could make it before closing time. And if we drive straight thru and not eat, we should goodn hungry by the time we get there. I Love Mayberry RFD.
    I actually thought (and was encouraged by my kids)about starting a B&B of sorts and the food would all be 'Farmstyle', the kinds of meals we ate from Grandma's table when visiting the farm. The veggies, cattle, hogs, fruit 'grown' out back, Every Thursday would be Heritage Dinner with a local guest cook making a spread handed down through their ancestors (I'm afraid much has been lost by this generation though.) I could even invite some of my bloggin friends. Your post has given that dream a renewed interest. All I need are investors ;) wink wink


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