Valpo 'Inn' serves thousands for Thanksgiving

November 21, 2008 12:00:48 PM PST
Thanksgiving is less than a week away, and while many people will be cooking like crazy, others are happy to just go out for dinner.ABC7 Chicago's Hungry Hound says there is one place in Valparaiso where turkey, in all its forms, is on the menu everyday of the year.

They certainly know how to make the most of turkey at the Strongbow Inn, a Valpo icon for more than 60 years.

They used to have a turkey farm on-site. These days, they prepare the birds in dozens of ways, and they're gearing up for a Thanksgiving feast next week, that will feed nearly 4,000 people.

If you still haven't thought about what you're doing on the big day, consider the legendary Strongbow Inn in Valparaiso, Indiana. They've been serving turkey dinners pretty much everyday for the past 68 years. In 1938, there was a turkey farm here, which led to a diner.

"In 1940, when grandma actually - when the highway came through - she opened up a 29-seat roadside diner at that time, and she built cabins outside of the restaurant where people could actually stay," said Russ Adams of Strongbow Inn.

The turkey farm is gone, but they still have plenty of bird, which now comes from Michigan. The menu would make Forrest Gump's friend, Bubba, proud.

"Turkey ala king, turkey tetrazzini, turkey schnitzel, turkey marsala, turkey pie, smoked turkey wings, whole-roasted turkey of course, our turkey drumstick," said Adams.

Strongbow offers sliced turkey breast for sandwiches and the requisite giant turkey leg with stuffing and mashed potatoes. But check out the individual pot pies, which are made with the bits of turkey off the bone, and surrounded by thick pastry. Also, they thinly slice turkey livers, dredging them in seasoned flour before pan-frying them, and then plating along with bacon strips.

Turkey schnitzel is pounded thin, then dredged in a succession of flour, eggs and breadcrumbs.. it's pan-fried and served with a lemon wedge.

All meals come with sides of homemade cranberries and pan gravy, which, incidentally, is made from the turkey stock that simmers all-day long.

Adams says they'll serve about 3,500 on Thanksgiving Day alone.

"We serve a lot of bird," said Adams.

Reservations highly recommended for the Strongbow's Thanksgiving feast.

If Valpo is a bit too far to drive, you could also visit Shaw's Crab House in Schaumburg, which is having a big Thanksgiving feast.

Strongbow Inn

2405 E. US 30

Valparaiso, IN

219-531-0162

www.strongbowinn.com

Also mentioned:

Shaw's Crab House

1900 E. Higgins Rd., Schaumburg

The restaurant will serve a family-style dinner from 12:00 noon to 7:00 p.m. Each family (one per reservation) will go home with "leftovers" of turkey, mashed potatoes with gravy, green beans, stuffing, and pecan pie to enjoy at home the next day.

Dinner is $39.95 per person, $16.95 for children 12 and under, exclusive of tax, gratuity and beverages.

847-517-2722

Starter

Sweet Potato Maki

Salmon Spread and Lavash Crackers

Salads

(Choose Two)

Caesar Salad- Crisp Romaine, Parmesan Cheese, and Croutons

Spinach Salad- Baby Spinach, Granny Smith Apple, Goat Cheese, and Dried Cranberries

Mixed Green Salad- Mesculyn, Chopped Italian Parsley, Diced Onion, Croutons, with Herb Vinaigrette

Shaw's Chopped Salad - Avocado, Cucumber, Egg, Bacon, Scallion, Tomato, and Blue Cheese

Main Course

(Choose Two)

Herb Roasted Turkey- Holiday Stuffing and Cranberry Compote

Yukon River Keta Salmon- Teriyaki Glaze

Club Room Combination -Filet Mignon, Sea Scallops, Griddled Garlic Shrimp

Lobster Macaroni and Cheese

Alaskan King Crab Legs (Additional $10 per person)

Side Dishes

(Choose Two)

Green Beans

Creamed Corn

Asparagus

Mashed Potatoes with Gravy

Sweet Potato Puree

Creamed Spinach

Dessert Buffet

Pumpkin Pie

Raspberry Pie

Chocolate Layer Cake

Apple Pie

Key Lime Pie

Pecan Pie


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