In the Midwest, family recipes passed down generally have a few things in common — tradition and warmth. This time of year is all about bringing people together at the table and digging into the tried and true recipes, the ones with Grandma’s secret ingredient or the trick your father uses to make the dish just right.
November / December 2020
If you’re a fan of Evansville’s Riverside Historic District and the old neighborhoods surrounding Downtown, your architectural gaze has likely been lost not only on the pristine homes on the street but on those stately structures on the back of the lots: the classic carriage house. In some markets, the carriage house may be referred to as a coach house, or even tack house with a nod to their equestrian roots. Think of them as urban barns — that’s almost precisely what they are.
Driving along Riverside Drive approaching Downtown Evansville, one enjoys stunning views. Now that scenery includes a 20-foot-tall T-Rex statue. After 12 years across from the Children’s Museum of Evansville, at 22 S.E. Fifth St., mascot Millie The Dinosaur has a new home. In 2006, the Children’s Museum in Indianapolis donated Millie to cMoe. Today, posted at Mickey’s Kingdom Park, the 44-year-old statue represents new beginnings for the riverfront.
A long history of helping underserved populations through education, job creation, and retail services has shaped Evansville Goodwill Industries, Inc. into a critical piece in the fabric of the city. Goodwill opened on May 12, 1935, in Downtown Evansville with the goal of providing jobs for people with disabilities by receiving and repairing goods for resale in the Goodwill Store.
On the western edge of downtown St. Louis, 1,300 acres of forest, trails, attractions, and history play host to more than 13 million visitors a year. Forest Park, voted the No. 1 city park in the country by USA Today readers in 2016, is overflowing with free events and entertainment for all ages.
The weather is changing around the Tri-State and as the leaves fall, work continues steadily at the 2021 Evansville Living Idea Home in Victoria Estates, located near the nationally-ranked Victoria National Golf Course in Newburgh, Indiana.
The French country, one-level home at 1402 Stonebriar Drive provides a spectacular attention to detail and craftmanship. The seven-acre property built by Randy Elpers in 2002 is surrounded by beautiful rolling grounds overlooking a five-acre lake. The private front yard is landscaped with stone boulders along with beautiful trees and plantings.
With an unfiltered view of the bustling neon-lit casino at Tropicana Evansville (421 N.W. Riverside Drive), The Brew Brothers Tap House offers casino patrons, hotel guests, and Evansville residents an upscale casual dining experience like no other.
When Los Alfaro’s reopened its doors last year at a new location — 1021 S. Weinbach Ave. — the owners wanted to go bigger than ever before with their offerings. They certainly accomplished that feat by introducing patrons to their one-of-a-kind footlong taco.
Brightening up the streets of Evansville has always been a goal of the Growth Alliance of Greater Evansville and the new neon mural in Self.e Alley certainly adds vibrancy to Downtown. The mural, which took about five days to complete, is the brainchild of Marketing Communications Manager Abby Elpers with the help of office manager Ashley Riester. Elpers says she was researching murals around the country when she came across an artist from New York who did a graffiti-like neon style.
A horse of every color beckoned local children to the first carousel that stood on the grounds of Mesker Park Zoo. Built in 1923, the attraction didn’t start its life at the zoo and its purpose has not ended since it left Evansville.
Low country seafood boils have hit Evansville, and they are most definitely juicy. Midwest chain Juicy Seafood opened on the East Side in September with the goal of bringing a casual, Cajun dining experience filled with crawfish, crab, shrimp, corn, potatoes, and more — all delivered fresh from the Gulf of Mexico weekly. Not to be confused with the similarly named The Juicy Seafood, Juicy Seafood is a Chinese owned and operated Midwest chain. First opened in Hermitage, Tennessee in 2018, the restaurant has since expanded to over 10 locations in the area.
The walls of Cleo’s Bakery and Brown Bag Lunches at 9 W. Jennings St., Newburgh, IN, are adorned with simple décor that put the spotlight on delicious delicacies in the display case, but one item stands out from the rest.
Center of Attention
The weather could not stop the P-47 Thunderbolt “Tarheel Hal” from coming home Oct. 17, 2020. It took off from Houston, Texas, traveled four hours to Evansville, and circled the city before landing at its new home, the Evansville Wartime Museum.
You do not need me to tell you what a year this has been. What I do want to say is that for legions of Americans, Hoosiers, and southwestern Indiana residents, 2020 has no silver lining. This past summer as the pandemic continued to reveal itself, we grasped for the positives. The magazine staff was able to continue working and we counted our lucky stars that the content of Evansville Living still could be a bright spot for so many homebound readers — and we hope that still is the case; that’s what we work hard for every day.
Chew On This
The Riverwalk Restaurant and Catering is open in the Hadi Shrine building at 6 Walnut St. Owned by Doros and Ellada Hadjisavva, owners of Acropolis, Riverwalk serves cocktails, sandwiches, and fresh fish and seafood. The Ghost Sports Bar, at 4222 Bell Road in Newburgh, Indiana, opened next to its sister establishment, Ghost Quesadilla. Owner Ryan London offers spicy specialty dishes, seafood, and fried classics. Now serving seafood boils, and fried seafood, Juicy Seafood has opened for business at 865 N. Green River Road.
In the late 1930s, Harlem postal worker Victor Hugo Green began a career as a travel agent and set about publishing a travel guide meant to help African American travelers stay safe during the days of Jim Crow laws and heavy segregation.
Nearly 95 million U.S. households display Christmas trees each year, making it one of the most popular holiday traditions. Those looking for an authentic, local tree have several options in Evansville. Sycamore Valley Tree Farm 7120 New Harmony Road
Wielding a palette knife dabbled with oil paint, Makenzie Orange creates a layered landscape. Hunched over the canvas, hands steady in concentration, is how Orange has spent two hours a week for the last five years. The 13-year old Newburgh, Indiana, native has taken classes with Cynthia Watson, owner of Cynthia Watson Art Studio and art school Art From the Heart, in Welborn Plaza Downtown, since she was eight.
Kentucky breeds some of the finest racehorses on the planet and produces about 95 percent of the world’s bourbon, but experiencing the best of the Bluegrass State’s two most famous industries means traveling between Louisville, Lexington, and Bardstown, Kentucky.
Queen and Pavarotti. Beyoncé and Beethoven. Metallica and Mozart. The most iconic names in music are honored together through a breakout musical experience — The Tapestry. Debuted on Dec. 3, 2016, in Detroit, Michigan, The Tapestry performs a fusion of opera and rock to audiences across the country. The band began as a pipedream of two music-obsessed friends — Corey Crider, artistic director and Marion, Kentucky resident, and Scott Hamrick, producer and Evansville resident — who met at Murray State University in 1995.
Steve Imes was 10 years old when he talked his parents into letting him take a correspondence course in cartooning through the mail. Although Imes wouldn’t go on to have a career in cartoon illustration, it was then he developed a passion for creating art. A veteran of the printing industry with 30 years of experience (including 10 years as owner of Imes Printing Company in Evansville), Imes switched to working in medical insurance in the late 1990s.
It took years for Erin Adams to find something she was passionate about, but the journey has allowed her to create unique pieces of art in the Tri-State. Adams, the owner of Erin M. Adams Artistry LLC, found her niche by creating with and selling hand painted, forever wood flowers, when she started her business around a year ago. An Evansville native, Adams currently operates out of her home in Rockport, Indiana.
Opened in late August last year, BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse at 1000 N. Green River Road is a casual dining chain that’s gained local popularity. Originating as a California pizzeria in 1978, BJ’s has a diverse 80 percent home-made menu, including cream sodas, draft beers, gluten free and vegetarian options, slow-roasted meats, and signature Pizookies — a cookie baked in a pizza pan and served with ice cream.
Wow, what a year. We aren’t the first ones to say this, but 2020 has been a ride. Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic has been the forefront of all our lives, but there’s been many other events and stories to fill out what has to be one of the strangest years in recent memories. However, here on New Year’s Eve, the staff of Evansville Living thought it would be a great time to reflect on the year through the pages of our magazines — what captivated us, what helped keep our spirits up, and what helped keep us going through 2020.
While the weather outside is frightful, the staff at Evansville Living had a delightful time trying the seasonal ice cream creations at Lic’s Old Fashioned Deli and Ice Cream. Along with regular local favorites, Lic’s currently is scooping up peppermint stick ice cream, which can be served in a cup, cone, shake, or malt; peppermint sundaes, topped with whipped cream, chocolate sauce, and nuts; and peppermint choco-cremes.
‘Tis the season of giving! Families in our community are hurting (this year more than ever) and they need your help. This time of year is when charitable organizations across the Tri-State work to make the holidays special for families who cannot afford to do so on their own. To help, we’ve assembled a list of five charitable organizations you can donate to for the holidays. 1. Salvation Army
Residents in Evansville got extra festive this year with their outdoor decorations. While Ritzy’s Fantasy of Lights is still a mainstay in many holiday traditions, homeowners across the city lent their creative hands to offer up bright and cheery reasons for others to drive by and admire.
Los Alfaros is known for its authentic Latin experience, quality service, and of course, it’s giant foods. For those looking for a satisfying behemoth to break your fast, the 24-inch California Breakfast Burrito just may do the trick. This colossus is available on the restaurant’s breakfast menu — served from 8 to 10:30 a.m. Monday through Wednesday and 7:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. Thursday through Saturday.
It’s a tradition many have come to love and anticipate during the holiday season — the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra’s annual performances of Handel’s “Messiah.” This year, the way the performance is viewed may be different, but the magic of the event still remains. "Handel’s Messiah has become an annual tradition in Evansville for many years. I am thrilled to be conducting this monumental work with the amazing musicians of the Evansville Philharmonic and Chorus," says EPO Music Director Roger Kalia.
Tri-State families huddled around their TVs Dec. 14 for another week of Monday Night Football on ESPN. While the crowd watched the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens trade rushing touchdowns, analyst Brian Griese talked about Evansville. “Yeah, I knew about Evansville,” he says, prompted by an on-screen graphic. “That’s where my dad (Bob Griese) is from.”
Every year, members of the Jewish congregation in Evansville gather inside the walls of Temple Adath B’nai Israel for the lighting of the Hanukkiah on the first night of Hanukkah. This year, the tradition continued but in a much different way than years past.
The holidays in the Tri-State often have included special performances, like concerts from the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra or various shows of the classic ballet, The Nutcracker. But the 2020 winter season looks a little different this year due to restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. That hasn’t stopped the University of Southern Indiana Theatre department from working to bring holiday cheer with a well-loved Christmas tale.
It’s a tradition in more than 1,600 cemeteries across the U.S. — the laying of wreaths to honor fallen veterans. Though this year’s ceremony may include more social distancing due to COVID-19, the annual Wreaths Across America event will still take place at 11 a.m. this Saturday, Dec. 19 at Oak Hill Cemetery and Arboretum, 1400 E. Virginia St.
After announcing their closure Dec. 2 on Facebook, Siciliano Subs owners David and Danielle Hodge found salvation in an unlikely place. What exactly is this decadent Hail Mary? Charcuterie boards! The Evansville Living staff tried a small board stuffed with salami, capicola, olives, pomegranate seeds, brie wedges, goat cheese, cheddar, grapes, strawberries, crackers, honey, and jam. Sold at $45 (medium boards are $85, and larges are $150), the inconspicuous cardboard box contained endless combinations for the rich flavors inside.
An annual event for the past 12 years, Christmas at the Cabin brings together pottery and fraktur by Tom Wintczak; original paintings, prints, and cards by Kazhia Kolb; and wood carvings by Richard Hitch in the cozy setting of an 1850 log cabin and 1890 timber-framed barn located in Wadesville, Indiana.
Winter wouldn’t be as cozy if not for the tasty drinks from all your favorite local coffee spots. As December marches on, Honey Moon Coffee Co. has announced the addition of several seasonal flavors to get you in the holiday spirit — Snickerdoodle Latte, Sugarplum Fairy, Peppermint Mocha, Dirty Santa, and Mexican hot chocolate. What can be better than that? Well, a Sugarplum Fairy Lunar Cycle bubble waffle of course! Our staff took a trip to the coffee shop on Weinbach Avenue to get a taste of these treats — here’s what we thought!
The holidays are here and Main Street in Downtown Evansville is filled with winter displays sure to make your days merry and bright. These decorations — funded by the Downtown Evansville Economic Improvement District — feature everything from trees to candy canes. Take a break from shopping and capture the seasonal spirit with these five spots! 1. The Heart of Downtown Evansville
Main Street is one of many hopping places to be for shops, restaurants, and businesses in Evansville, but many residents will remember a time when the heart of Downtown had some stark differences.
When I visited the home of Janice Stratton back in October for our “All in the Family” recipes feature, I was blown away by her cooking. She truly was a gracious and fabulous host to us as we invaded her kitchen. While we featured her delicious Asian Spiced Short Ribs recipe in the magazine, Janice was kind enough to share another family-favorite dish with us — her mashed rutabaga and carrots. Trust me when I say this is the perfect accompaniment to any flavorful main dish!
The city of Evansville is bustling and thriving. With new development projects dotted all over town, residents opening unique restaurants and retail shops, and a rich history to draw from, there’s always a story to tell about our city!
While it’s important to follow all mandates and regulations to protect yourself against the spread of COVID-19, you don’t have to take down the stockings or put away the tree. In fact, it’s more important than ever to celebrate and enjoy the holidays this year. Check out these four safe and fun traditions that will help your family win winter! 1. Bake the Day Away
Read the November/December 2020 issue of Evansville Living online as a handy flip book!