Tastes of the Region
Published: Monday, August 27, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, August 28, 2012 00:08
With chain restaurants and fast food wildly abundant in the Region, it can be difficult to find something new, affordable and delicious. Fortunately, PUC is nestled in a part of the Region where small, local businesses and mom and pop restaurants have taken root. When looking for a filling meal, a sweet treat or just a cup of coffee, look no further than a fifteen minute car ride for a taste of the Region.
From the ceiling of Munster Donut hangs a sign reading, “A balanced diet is a cookie in each hand.” The sweet adage sums up the vibe of the coffee shop owned by Elaine Butynski and Jo Ellen Aleksandrovich on Calumet Avenue in Munster. Since 1969, the shop has been serving up a plethora of coffee and doughnuts – both classic and unique – 24 hours a day.
On average, Munster Donut bakes anywhere from 300 to 500 doughnuts a day, according to employee Chris Frederick, 19. Prices for traditional frosted doughnuts to fancier Honey Dew, German chocolate and Sour Creme varieties range from 75 to 80 cents apiece. Coffee, however, is the top-selling item at Munster Donut with a price tag of only $1.45. Sugar-free delights are also on the menu.
Housed in the quaint shop are little more than a few treat-filled display cases and low counters for customers to enjoy their coffee and company. Though the brown-padded stools have seen better days, the cracks in the fabrics add a sense of lived-in familiarity and character.
During his second day on the job, Frederick said he can already tell Munster Donut has many loyal and regular customers.
“I really like the communication between the people that come in here,” Frederick said, referring to his favorite part about Munster Donut.
8314 Calumet Ave., Munster, Ind. 46321
Closed Christmas and Easter
With food and drink names ranging from the Eggplant Wizard to the Cactaur to the Jammin’ Ham, the Grindhouse Cafe is nothing short of a creative eatery. Owned by operated by the brother-sister team of Gabe and Kate Mauch, the Grindhouse opened May 26 on Broad Street in Griffith.
The sibling duo began the long journey to their vision of opening their own cafe when they attended the Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago in 2004.
The Grindhouse, complete with “Pastry Wizard” Traci Cavanaugh, offers a variety of signature sandwiches, salads, beverages and fresh-baked sweets. Their coffee, purchased from Metropolis, a local vendor in Chicago, varies from day to day. Customers can read a brief description of the coffee of the day written on the chalkboard wall. According to Gabe, the Chicken Sammich is the most popular food item. Specialty drinks, such as the Cactaur and lattes receive the most requests when it comes to beverages.
“We sell a latte them,” Gabe said, joking about the large number of lattes the shop sells.
The Mauchs originality and innovation of menu items carries into the design of the cafe. Each of the walls are painted with a vibrant hue of either turquoise, orange or red. Chairs in the Grindhouse Cafe have been “yarn bombed” (decorated with knitted projects instead of paint or chalk) by Gabe’s wife, Kathleen Mauch, and Sarah Nelson, a friend of Kate. A sectional sofa, music and free Wi-Fi contribute to creating a relaxed, creative atmosphere.
146 N. Broad St., Griffith, Ind. 46319
Monday - Friday 7 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Saturday 8 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Sunday 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.