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RESTAURANT OF THE WEEK
KOPPER KETTLE RESTAURANT
This is a well known and much beloved Indiana tradition. It's located on U.S. Highway 52 roughly mid-way between Indianapolis and Cincinnati and it's known worldwide for it's skillet fried chicken.
Talk about tradition - this restaurant dates back to the 1860s!
When I was a kid growing up in Indianapolis a good friend of mine had "connections" to this famous place. Chris Kelso's grandmother owned the place and we would often drive there once we got our drivers licenses. Chris' grandmother was a very kind, gentle and stately woman who lived in a small but richly attired apartment above the restaurant. In fact, few people know this but she actually had a small elevator built in to take her (and us) upstairs! Once she passed away Chris' mom and dad took over operation of the restaurant. Since then ownership has transferred to others long involved with the establishment.
It was neat during frequent sleepovers at the restaurant. We'd go downstairs and fry up some shrimp or broil a steak. We never tried to approximate their incredibly good chicken because we knew we were incapable of doing it right. In fact, some of the women who worked there had done nothing but turn out that fresh chicken---two or three pieces at a time--literally for decades.
Meals here are served family style. Fried chicken is the center piece and it's flanked by bowls of mashed potatoes, corn off the cob, green beans, gravy, etc. Soup and salad also precedes the feast. You won't leave here hungry, that's for sure.
The drive through the countryside makes for a nice little half day outing for folks in Indianapolis and Cincinnati.
If you live in the region, I hope you'll check this place out. It sure brings back memories for me and every time we go there, the food is still top notch. These traditions are hard to find.
Their web site complete with directions, a look at the history of the restaurant and of course menus is located here.