Whether you’ve lived in Evansville all your life, or you’re just passing through, knowing where to nosh rates high on need to know lists. Here are the city’s most requested dishes at some of our best-loved local restaurants.
Kraut Balls ►
Gerst Haus • 2100 W. Franklin St. • 812-424-1420 • gersthausevansville.com
Since 1999, the Gerst Haus has provided Evansville with the best German food in an authentic beer hall atmosphere. The most popular dish is the Bavarian Kraut Balls, a mixture of ground beef, pork, cream cheese, and, of course, sauerkraut deep fried and served with a horseradish dipping sauce. Their best pairing? Beer. The Gerst Haus serves more than 100 different beers. The Gerst Sampler ($12.99), which comes with ham rolls, kraut balls, potato pancakes, and fried oysters, is paired well with a Kronenbourg 1664 fish bowl.
Szechwan Dumplings ▲
Jimmy Jeng’s Szechwan Chinese Restaurant • 669 N. Green River Road • 812-479-7600 • jimmyjeng.com
In the corner of Eastland Place, across from Eastland Mall, Jimmy Jeng’s is a local institution where one of the first things your waiter will ask you is if you’d like a ceramic cup of jasmine green tea. “Many customers say it smells like Chanel No. 4, not Chanel No. 5 — that would be against the law,” Jeng laughs. Among the Top 10 dishes are the Szechwan Dumplings ($4.95) and the Crabby Cheese Rangoon filled with cream cheese and scallions ($4.95). The dumplings are smothered in a “very top secret” sweet and spicy sauce without sugar or honey. The dumplings are hand-pinched together, Jeng says. As an entrée, try the Sea Spicy Scallops ($15.95). These fresh, stove-fried scallops are basted with spicy black bean sauce and Chinese baby bok choy.
Paella Mixta ▲
Eclipse Spanish Tapas Bar & Restaurant • 113 S.E. 4th St. • 812-463-6040 • eclipsetapas.com
Never had tapas before or have no knowledge of the Spanish language? Don’t worry. The very knowledgeable staff at Eclipse can direct you to the menu favorites identifying each with its Spanish name and associated number. The Paella Mixta No.18 ($17 small/$32 grande) is made with saffron, mussels, and chicken. Some of the other favorites include Pan Catalan No. 29 ($11), Tabla Fria No. 24 ($18), Pure de Garbanzo No. 96 ($10), Gambas Ibericas No. 3 ($13), Vieira al Ajillo No. 4 ($14), and Albondigas de la Casa No. 6 ($13). Start with a little sangria ($8/glass) as it sets the mood for a fun and relaxing evening.
Artichoke Fondue ▲
Edgewater Grille • 1 E. Water St., Newburgh, Ind. • 812-858-2443
Nestled in the heart of downtown Newburgh, Ind., along the Ohio River, Edgewater Grille offers a special dining experience whether you are out with the family or just looking to rest your legs after strolling along the Ohio River. Some of the fan favorites at the Edgewater include the Artichoke Fondue ($8.99), the Mediterranean salad ($8.49), and the Fresh Trout Almondine ($18.99). The artichoke fondue is made with mayonnaise, cream cheese, and green and red peppers. It’s served in a bowl with toast points.
Prime Rib ▲
Cork ‘n Cleaver • 650 S. Hebron Ave. • 812-479-6974 • evansvillecork.com
Evansville’s own steak and seafood restaurant for the last 30 years is tucked away between Lincoln and Bellemeade avenues. Cork ‘n Cleaver is known for its prime rib (Cork Cut, $22.95), 14 oz. grilled rib eye ($23.95), and its Caps ‘N Cheese ($6.95). For the non-carnivorous, the luscious salad bar ($10.95) is a great alternative offering anchovies, pasta, beets, sautéed mushrooms, and homemade croutons. The restaurant has a wide variety of poultry; the pecan-encrusted chicken ($17.95) is tender and juicy. Additionally, the knowledgeable wait staff is always on hand to suggest a wine that will complement the flavor of the entrées listed on the menus etched onto meat cleavers.
Golden Fried Chicken ▲
Hornet’s Nest • 11845 Petersburg Road • 812-867-2386 • hornetsnestrestaurantandbar.com
Country music plays softly over the speakers and two hornet nests sit proudly in the front windows at The Hornet’s Nest on the North Side. The local favorite is the Golden Fried Chicken ($8.55), seasoned with salt, pepper, and a unique blend of flavorings. Regulars also cite as favorites the Mushroom Caps ($5.75) and Onion Rings ($6.25).
House Special ▲
Turoni’s Pizzery and Brewery • Two locations in Evansville: 408 N. Main St., and 4 N. Weinbach Ave. • One location in Newburgh: 8011 Bell Oaks Drive • turonis.com
Turoni’s has been making and tossing its own pizza dough for three decades in Evansville and now Newburgh, Ind. The restaurant also makes its own sausage; it was the first microbrewery in Evansville. The most popular among drinkers is the smooth and subtly sweet Honey Blonde Ale. The Turoni’s House Special ($9.32/small, $15.88/medium, $21.64/large) is loaded with Italian sausage, pepperoni, onion, mushroom, green peppers, black olives, pepperoncini, and tomatoes.
Baked Ziti ▲
DiLegge’s • 607 N. Main St. • 812-428-3004 • dilegges.com
Family owned and run, DiLegge’s was the first restaurant locally to feature baked ziti on the menu, and it’s proven successful. The flavorful Baked Ziti ($9.75) is Mostaccioli pasta covered in meat sauce or marinara, which is covered with mozzarella cheese, and baked in a casserole. The hungry will get their fill with tasty garlic bread included and can add a combination salad ($1.99). Also on the menu are the Eggplant Parmesan ($9.75), and the Fettucini Alfredo ($9.75).
Manna Mediterranean Grill • 2913 Lincoln Ave. • 812-473-7005 • manna-grill.com
At Manna Mediterranean Grill, owner Amjad Manna and his wife Kristi are always behind the counter waiting to greet and guide you through their menu. The photographs of the entrées behind the counter do not do this food justice. Everything is made from scratch every day. The Gyros ($7.41/ combo) are a fan favorite. So are the Vegetarian Falafel ($6.75/combo), the Baba Ghannoug ($5.50/large), and the Stuffed Grape Leaves ($3.75). The Turkish coffee ($3.50) is made by adding the water to the coffee instead of filtering the water through the coffee. To add to the unique flavor, it is brewed in a brass pot and poured into a cup where the grounds are allowed to settle. The coffee is served with a little sugar and cardamom for spice.