The Old Trail, Pendleton, Indiana

The Old Trail restaurant and Taproom is located in Pendleton, Indiana, just off of Interstate 69.

It’s part family restaurant and part bar.  I’m generally not a fan of those restaurants that can’t seem to make up their mind what they want to be, but in this case, it works pretty well.  The family side is non smoking, but the bar side is smoker friendly, so be aware of that if you’re sensitive to smoke.

The decor is warm and friendly,  although has a “home interior party” feel to it.  There are a few nice local touches, but nothing outstanding.

I would call the service warm and friendly also.  Our server, although quite busy, did a fine job of taking care of us.

The menu has a nice mix of pub fare….burgers, pizza, and so on, as well as a lot of comfort food…chicken and noodles, broasted chicken, meatloaf, and other items that are traditional in the midwest.

I had heard that they had a pretty good tenderloin, so decided to give them a try on a Friday night.


The tenderloin was nice sized, and although it has the appearance of a frozen fritter, that’s not the case.  They are handmade here at the restaurant.

I had really high hopes for the breading….as I was told they use potato chips as a base…but, once again,  those hopes were dashed against the rocks of mediocrity.  The breading was not outstanding  as I had expected.  It wasn’t bad….it just wasn’t especially good.

The meat, too, suffered the same fate.  It was pounded out a little thinner than I prefer, but the taste just wasn’t there.  It was a bit  dry, and although the flavor wasn’t bad, it wasn’t terribly good either.  Just so-so.  I’m going to give the sandwich a 3 out o 5…just average.

The onion rings that I chose to go with my meal were above average, but fell short of outstanding.

Holly chose a grilled chicken salad, and it was, again, OK, but nothing to write home about.

That all said, we WILL return based on the service and prices.  We have it on good authority that the broasted chicken is nothing short of spectacular, and also the chicken and noodle dinner is what dreams are made of… all reports, if you want that, you should go for lunch, as they often run out by the time dinner hour rolls around.

The Old Trail Restaurant is located on State Road 38, just East of Highway 69, in Pendleton, Indiana. I was unable to find a web site for them.


5 thoughts on “The Old Trail, Pendleton, Indiana

  1. The OT was 1 of only 2 restuarants my old man would eat at back when I was a kid (50 – 60 years ago). The other joint was Red Brick Inn between Anderson & Pendleton which was a fried chicken joint.

    Back then the OT was a simple steak house with lots of ambience & oh so close to the Falls 🙂

    I went back 20 years ago & the old, the legendary OT was definitely gone & newer version was not improved

  2. imho, best BPT in Pendleton nowadays is Anita’s Kitchen on Hwy 67 at stop-light, kitty corner from PHHS, about a 1/2 mile east of Old Trail & Old downtown Pendleton. Freshly pounded out & breaded on receipt of an order, very tas-T & not all dried out. Platter comes with fries, DeLuxe toppings & reasonably priced for what you get. Anita’s is very very popular with local Pendletonians & can be a short wait for a table on week-ends but Anita’s is popular for good reason, all the grub on the menu is very good there…LOL, usually only local Pendletonians patronizing the joint because where it is on 67 precludes visits by even the few tourists who occasionally wander off I-69 to sight-see the old Falls & the lovely Falls Park. They do get a little traffic from poverty stricken andersonians from the deep south part of anderson but the andersonians are pretty much priced out of the BPT platters. You can usually spot the Andersonians because they’re eating a short stack of pancakes at all hours or just an order of french fires (no burger though) & a House Pour of ice water in a red plastic pint glass…. plus the Andersonian’s ususally don’t got a lot of teeth in their mouths either…. very easy to spot’em, just make sure the waitress sits you at least 1 table away from them & you’ll be ok 🙂

    • btw – Pendletonians are very polite & pleasant folks, real classic Hoosiers. They even treat the toothless Andersonians pleasantly & politely. Maybe because they remember when Anderson was a mighty industrial town with 50,000+ paychecks flooding Madison County like a Tsunami of Cash, courtesy of GM & Pendleton was just a quaint l’il burg with a real nice downtown park on the Falls & a State Prison about 2 miles out of the old downtown out on hwy 67 🙂 Back then Andersonian’s snarfed down thousands of pounds of prime steak at the original Old Trail and probably a milion pounds of Fried Chicken at the famous old “Red Brick Inn” & cavorted in Falls Park which even had an old swimming hole on Fall Creek at the foot of the Falls. Old timer Andersonian’s fished for small mouth bass & goggle eye bass a little further upstream & kept the local bait shops hopping. So it’s kinda nice to see the folks of Pendleton treating the broken down, toothless, jobless & improverished Andersonians with a wee bit of human decency & a modicum of respect in rememberance of the old golden age of east central indiana.

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