Watching Food Network a few years ago, I took notice when host Alton Brown rode his motorcycle through Evansville. This small city -- the third-largest in Indiana -- isn't exactly a tourist mecca, so it was exciting to see Brown visit somewhere so random where I'd also been. (Many travel shows come to DC, the best being Anthony Bourdain's visit and confirmation of Busboys & Poets' amazingness.)
Before enjoying a brain sandwich at the Hilltop Inn, Brown lunched at the YWCA Tea Room, located in Evansville's historic district. The tea room serves lunch Monday to Friday and offers a selection of fresh salads, sandwiches and soup, along with homemade baked goods.
With cheap prices (lunch for three, including drinks, came to under $20.00) and a casual atmosphere, the tea room offers nothing fancy but provides good, homemade food.
Keeping with my autumnal love of all things pumpkin, I ordered a pumpkin bread sandwich -- two pieces of pumpkin nut bread with cream cheese filling. After peeling off the cream cheese, it was a tasty, dessert-like lunch.
The dish came with "fruit": two maraschino cherries and canned peaches. Okay, not exactly organic or gourmet, but it, along with the tables of older women playing bridge, added to the quaint atmosphere.
(I supplemented this lunch with a cup of fantastic vegan spinach lentil soup from Penny Lane Coffeehouse, Evanville's liberal enclave and the only place where "vegetarian" doesn't mean "chicken".)
Are you going to get an unforgettable meal at the YWCA Tea Room? No, that's not what it's for. But in terms of a quality, freshly-made, affordable lunch in Evansville... it's an excellent choice.
(Plus, all of the employees are really friendly, the type of women who call you "hon" and "dear." And men are welcome, too.)
Have you ever visited a restaurant after seeing it featured on TV?