I’m always looking for a good tenderloin when I’m traveling, as most of you know, and I’m also always looking for a good, locally owned restaurant, preferring to get local taste instead of a chain when I’m on the road.
We were up in Warsaw, Indiana, playing a St Patrick’s day gig, and one of Holly’s friends lives up in that area, (Hi Erin! Hi Reyna!!) and they had heard good things about the Barbee Hotel and Restaurant, just off of Lake Barbee, so we decided to give it a try.
The Barbee Hotel is famous for 3 reasons…it was the reputed hideout of Al Capone during his heyday, the Gable and Lombard suite…where they stayed when they were married, and its reputation of being haunted.
We didn’t see any ghosts while we were there, as some folks say they have (but not for lack of trying!!) nor did we smell Al Capone’s cigar smoke wafting through the building, as some say they have, but we did enjoy a VERY good meal and enjoyed the after dinner ghost hunt.
Although the Barbee Hotel doesn’t look like much from the outside, the restaurant itself is VERY nice - textured tin ceiling, nice bar, comfortable seating, and an attentive waitress. We were off to a good start.
The menu is quite varied, with everything from sandwiches and salads to steaks, seafood, and quite a number of Italian dishes, with daily specials.
I saw they had a breaded tenderloin, and asked our waitress if they were done in house, and she honestly didn’t know. However, they also offered a grilled tenderloin, so that told me they probably DO make them in house, and I decided to take a chance.
As you can see from the photo, it does appear to be hand breaded and cut…it’s not a pre-processed pork fritter, of that, I’m certain. It’s neither uniform in shape or thickness, so I suspect they are, indeed, made in house.
So, how was it? It wasn’t bad. However, in all fairness, it wasn’t that good, either. It certainly was a bit above average, but far short of outstanding. The breading was..pretty bland. And the meat was just a bit dry for my tastes. But, again, it wasn’t bad. There was just nothing to set it apart from the others. Since it did appear to be fresh and made in house, I’m going to give it a 3 out of 5, just above average.
I got fries as my side, and they were nothing special, but the salad I ordered was VERY good….one of the better side salads I’ve had in a while.
For her meal, Holly chose one of the house specials for the evening: parmesan encrusted whitefish. She reported it to be outstanding – very flavorful, with a nice balance between the fish and the seasoning of the breading. The dinner special came with a choice of soup or salad, vegetable du jour, and your choice of potato – so there were several combinations available from which to choose.
Even though the tenderloin wasn’t stellar, the experience as a whole was great. The service was tops, LOVE the atmosphere, and the rest of the food looks to be FAR above average. I’m sure we’ll be back up that way this year, and this will be a must stop for us.
The Barbee Hotel and Restaurant is located at 3620 N Barbee Road in Warsaw, Indiana. Reservations are accepted on the weekends, and are highly recommended. You can find them online at http://www.barbeehotel.com