If you’re a loyal reader of the Indiana Insider, then you’ve likely read all about the Super 46 competition for the best Hoosier sandwich. I’ve had lots of fun reading about all the great sandwiches you can get around the state (although it sure has made me hungry). If you’re in the area for the Super Bowl and want to try out an authentic Hoosier dining experience beyond these great sandwiches, then I want to point you toward Mooresville, a suburb on the southwest side of the city.
In Mooresville, where Indiana Street meets 67, you’ll find Gray Brothers Cafeteria. Cafeteria dining has long been a staple on the Hoosier culinary scene, and while many have closed up shop in recent years, at Grays you’ll usually find a line out the door. Loyal customers come and wait patiently for the juicy fried chicken, the amazing array of pies, the fluffy mashed potatoes and countless other comfort foods. It’s even been featured on the Travel Channel’s Man v. Food (links to video).
If you’re new to cafeteria dining, or have never visited Grays, let me walk you through the experience. First, find a spot in the ever full parking lot. Then get in line at the entrance closest to 67. (The other entrance is for carry-out.) As you wait, try to catch a glimpse of the serving line. The best part about the wait is that it gives you a chance to survey all your options so you know just what to order when it’s finally your turn.
As you approach the serving line, grab your tray and utensils. Then it’s time to start making decisions. Naturally, dessert comes first. Followed by salads and other cold items. Just grab what you’d like. Next comes the hot food stations. Here, a friendly worker will take your order. Pick your entree first, then your side items. Finally, you’ll grab a drink and check out via the super-speedy cashiers. Then find a seat in any one of the enormous dining rooms and begin devouring this amazing food. I like to get a table by one of the fireplaces to add some extra ambience.
Looking for suggestions? I’ve sampled a lot of what Grays has to offer since first visiting when I was a 10-year-old girl. Now that I’m a veteran, I nearly always fill my tray with a piece of strawberry pie, fried chicken, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese and a lemonade. (This is definitely the place to blow your New Year’s resolution.) But most Grays’ fans have their own favorites so you really can’t go wrong.
Don’t be turned off by the line. It moves quickly and you’ll be chowing down in no time. But if you really can’t wait, you can always visit the carry-out line and bring it home or back to your hotel. Either way, a trip to Grays should be on your list of Hoosier experiences!
Photo courtesy of the Travel Channel.