In the span of 15 years and more than 30 seasons, Food Network star Guy Fieri and his crew visited nine Indiana restaurants, showcasing bits of Hoosier cuisine to the world on “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.”
Unfortunately, since visiting, three of those locations have closed their doors for good: Jersey’s Cafe in Carmel, and The Barking Dog and Zest! Exciting Food Creations in Indianapolis.
The other six restaurants, however, remain open for business.
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Including sandwiches, tamales and Cajun food, here are the Indiana restaurants that have made a meal out of “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.”
Triple XXX Restaurant
2 N. Salisbury St., West Lafayette
Season 1, Episode 7: “Burgers”
The first Indiana restaurant Fieri ever visited (on camera, at least) is Triple XXX, a burger joint minutes away from Purdue University.
Featured on the first burger-centric episode of the series, Triple XXX is known for its steak burgers, specifically its Duane Purvis All American, which comes with a layer of creamy peanut butter on its bun. Additionally, it serves around 10 other burgers and all-day breakfast and milkshakes.
The family restaurant takes its name from the oldest brand of root beer in the United States, and it still carries the original 1895 recipe of Triple XXX root beer today.
South Side Soda Shop and Diner
1122 S. Main St., Goshen
Season 1, Episode 9: “Retro”
If you’re craving a unique beverage, Goshen’s 1950s-inspired South Side Soda Shop and Diner may quench your thirst.
Part diner and part soda shop, South Side sells phosphate sodas, which one could find at a soda shop in the ’50s. The Green River, a lime-tinged phosphate is noted for its sweet flavor. Other unique soda flavors include cherry, cola, chocolate and vanilla.
On the diner side, “Philly Chili,” which is served in a tall sundae glass, was voted Michiana’s best chili seven times. Fieri noted the diner’s various family recipes, pastries and pies, too.
3 Sisters Cafe
6223 Guilford Avenue, Indianapolis
Season 11, Episode 6: “Signature Sandwiches”
Ten seasons later, 3 Sisters Cafe, housed in a Victorian home built in 1896, brought Triple D back to Indiana in the name of their pork sandwich.
The D’Nai, 3 Sisters’ pork-kale-mozzarella concoction, pushes the boundaries of a pork sandwich with its Southern flair and unique spice blend. When he tried it, Fieri said the sandwich melts in your mouth, complemented with a little spice and a little smoke.
While highlighted on a sandwich episode, don’t count this Broad Ripple kitchen out for breakfast or dessert. Their lemon raspberry corn cakes and blueberry basil goat cheese pie received high marks from Fieri and customers alike.
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Indy’s Historic Steer-In Restaurant
5130 E. 10th St., Indianapolis
Season 11, Episode 8: “Soup and Sandwiches”
Indy’s Historic Steer-In Restaurant was about to close down, but in 2007, mother-and-son duo Barbara and Casey Kehrer saved it with Barbara’s retirement money.
Since then, the Irvington staple has upheld some of the restaurant’s initial recipes, such as its twin steer burger and creme pie recipes, but it has also introduced new items to its menu. One of these new eats is the three-meat meatball sandwich, with veal, chuck and Italian sausage making up the balls, topped with a homemade herb-infused marinara on a toasted baguette.
Additionally, the Steer-In makes its stuffed pizza dough in-house, in addition to noodles — for its beef and noodles — from scratch.
More on the Steer-In:For 62 years, Steer-In restaurant has been an east-side Indy tradition
The Tamale Place
5226 Rockville Rd., Indianapolis
Season 12, Episode 3: “You Can Only Get It Here”
What else would Fieri visit The Tamale Place for, if not their tamales?
The Garden City spot has tamales for every meal of the day, making thousands of tamales a week from scratch. The key ingredient is masa — a corn dough made in-house — that appears in almost everything on the menu, from chips to dessert.
From authentic beef in red sauce and chipotle chicken tamales to apple pecan and pineapple raisin tamales, any craving can be satisfied by one of the many tamales on the menu.
But, be warned: The Tamale Place’s website suggests calling ahead to ensure you get your favorite tamale before they run out.
11 E. Main St., Mooresville
Season 12, Episode 7: “Homemade & Homebrewed”
Looking for authentic, Louisiana-style cooking in the Midwest? Well, Hoosiers lucked out with Zydeco’s, the self-proclaimed “Cajun culinary embassy of Indiana.”
Co-owner Carter Hutchinson was born and raised around the Gulf Coast, so when he moved up north to marry his wife, Deb, they opened Zydeco’s together to serve classic Cajun food.
Boudin, a pork-and-rice sausage, and tasso, a spicy seasoned pork, are made in-house, as is most of the menu. Fieri even deemed the barbecue shrimp and tasso plate a “Top 10” dish.
In fact, Zydeco’s was so delicious, Fieri had to revisit it in his hourlong “Southern Spectacular” episode, which aired three years later in 2014.
You can reach Pulliam Fellow Griffin Wiles at GWiles@gannett.com or on Twitter at @griffinwiles.