Last weekend, we road-tripped up to Indiana for my youngest sister’s official exit from Taylor University. Four long years and now she’s done! GO LITTLE SIS GO! While there’s a soft spot in ALL of our hearts for Taylor’s little section of IN, both of my Taylor-grad sisters have expressed over the years how little there was to do in or near town. Both also expressed a deep love for the glorious exception that was Payne’s Restaurant + Cafe (aka Payne’s Coffee + Custard).
The first time my sisters took me to Payne’s, I fell in love! Their ingredients are fresh, local and preservative free. The menu boasts a plethora of healthy gourmet options ranging from French Toast with Strawberries & Custard to Sweet Potato, Apple & Ginger Soup with Pepper Jack Grilled Cheese (on a French baguette!).
They also serve up a mouth watering selection of frozen custards. I had never tried frozen custard before but after trying theirs, I’m sold. It’s truly delicious. For custard newbs like me, they define it on their menu board as: “A cold dessert similar to ice cream. Made with eggs (1.4% yolks) in addition to cream (10% milk fat) and sugar. The high percentage of butter fat and egg yolk gives custard a thicker, creamier texture and smoother, softer consistency than ice cream.” Sign me up!
Their craft beer menu is also impressive! My dad and brother (both still living in NJ) were thrilled to see 3 Floyds Alpha King (out of Munster, IN) up there. I’ll leave the beer reviews/recommendations to them… (guys, that’s your cue — hit the comments section!)
The outdoor seating at Payne’s is pretty and serene. It feels like you’re in a tropical bungalow sheltered by wooden planks and greenery. Even on the hot days we were there, we were cool and comfortable under the leaves.
The unique charm at this place isn’t limited to the food options and decor. The menus themselves are hidden within the pages of old library books! How cool is that?? Fighting Disease was my choice, by the way.
This is Mike. He was our terrific waiter for the weekend. (Yes, we visited multiple times in the span of 2 days.) He works at a farm nearby while serving and cooking at Payne’s. His farm actually stocks some of the produce for the restaurant too — local love! Follow him on Instagram for some really cool photography here!
When I saw “Granola with Fruit” on the menu, part of me wanted to skip it and make a beeline for the gourmet grilled cheese because I expected a slurry of soggy peaches, cherries and pears in an overly sweet goop poured over stale granola bits. You’re probably wondering where the heck I’ve been ordering that mess from. But I took the plunge and needless to say, crunchy and flavorful granola layered under freshly chopped apples and sliced bananas, topped with vanilla yogurt and warmed blueberries was what the lovely people at Payne’s had in mind. What a perfectly yummy, filling and healthy treat for summer!
Although no one from my family lives in Indiana anymore, I can guarantee we’ll be making the trip up simply to sit down and enjoy the exceptional food and service at Payne’s.
Until next time, I’ll be making the recipe below so that I can enjoy Payne’s-inspired Granola With Fruit at home!
What are some of your favorite local eateries with healthy options? Do you have an easy time ordering “clean” where you live?
Granola With Fruit
Inspired by the Granola With Fruit at Payne’s Restaurant + Cafe
Serves 1, but this recipe is easily doubled.
1/2 cup of your favorite granola – I HIGHLY recommend any of the Oats Granola flavors. My favorite is Toasted Coconut!
1/2 an apple, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1/2 a banana, sliced
1/2 cup of vanilla yogurt.
1/2 cup of blueberries, warmed
1. To warm the blueberries, you can either microwave them on high for 30 seconds, or you can cook them in a small saucepan over medium heat until they soften a bit and release some of their juices.
2. In a bowl, mug or large ramekin, pour the granola in first, then layer the apples, bananas and yogurt, and top with warmed blueberries + juice.
Experiment with different fruits and other healthy toppings like nuts! Try a drizzle of honey over some plain Greek yogurt with dried goji berries. Yum!