Spinning Plates

Plate lunches were once a staple in any restaurant’s menu. While most have moved away from the classic meal, we found three restaurants that continue to offer daily specials, usually an entrée, vegetable, and other side, at throw-back prices.

11845 Petersburg Road, 812-867-2386

At the Hornet’s Nest, head chef Jeremiah Galey always tries to mix it up. One popular plate lunch features catfish, baked beans, and macaroni and cheese.

“Plate lunches are $6.95 and include a trip to the salad bar,” says Galey.

Most days of the week have set specials while some days vary. The plate lunches include a choice of two sides and guests can decide between classics like mashed potatoes or corn. Galey says the Hornet’s Nest sees a lot of regulars who look forward to the daily plate lunch specials, and they are sure to receive some good homemade cooking.

2101 N. Fares Ave., 812-423-6388

On any given day of the week at lunch time, customers dining at the Merry Go Round restaurant can pick from a variety of lunch specials. Manager Brittany Saddler says there usually are eight to 10 plate specials to choose from, each varying in price. Featured here is the old fashioned spare ribs with sauerkraut, offered for $7.73.

“The kraut is sweet and the ribs are baked in the oven for a long time. They fall off the bone,” says Saddler.

Each plate lunch comes with two sides and everything is homemade, which has kept the customers coming back for 70 years.  

4001 E. Eichel Ave., 812-476-2384

A regular savory plate lunch at this East Side staple is a rich brown gravy poured over Salisbury steak and mashed potatoes with green beans and a roll. Owner and manager Audrey Christie, who took over the 32-year-old family business two years ago, says everything always has been homemade.

Each plate lunch is $6.50 including tax and while specials vary day by day, Christie says most follow the plate lunch guideline of one entrée and two sides with one side typically a vegetable.

“There’s just lots of good stuff,” says Christie. “People have their favorites.”

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