8767 W. State Road 164
Eckerty Indiana 47116United States
Midwest Living Recommends
Just a few minutes up the access road from Patoka Lake, you'll find an old-fashioned general store filled with vintage signs, community newspapers and friendly service.
There's something deliciously rickety about the Patoka Lake Cafe, the best choice for breakfast for people staying along Patoka Lake who'd rather eat out than stock their little kitchens. First, there's the old-school 1970s lettered sign out front, trumpeting, That there's darn good food! -Customer. The wide wooden front porch feels a little lopsided; the screen door has a little creak; and, during our visit, the place smelled like a skunk because one had gotten in underneath the building overnight. No matter. We came for a hearty breakfast, strong coffee and good service and found all three. The menu has about everything you'd expect in a small-town, family-run cafe: pancakes, bagels, eggs, bacon, sausage, smoked ham, home fries and biscuits slathered with sausage gravy. People eager for a little cholesterol try the Jimbo, two biscuits topped with eggs done the way you like em, plus two sausage patties and gravy ($4.25 for a half order, $8.49 for a full order). This isn't a place to look for yogurt parfaits or fruit smoothies. But our blueberry pancakes were fluffy and filling, and the bacon cooked crisp-perfect. Prices range from $1.25 for coffee to $7.49 for a three-egg platter (not including that Jimbo special). The cafe serves lunch, too, and you'll find burgers, grilled cheese, corn dogs and a few deli sandwiches. We're guessing that all tastes good. Whenever you go, plan to grab one of the local newspapers and sit in one of the wooden booths while the lady who takes your order heads to the vintage-looking kitchen in back to cook.