You want fries with that? Eh. I’ll admit I often save a little time and eat a chain burger or corporate taco. But I know there are alternatives out there if I need them.
Over in Sellersburg, Cricket’s Café offers such an option.
Primarily a catering boutique for business lunches and corporate events, Cricket’s also sports a small café that presents Panera-style fast-casual in a local eatery.
Cricket’s began five years ago in a nearby stripmall as a coffee shop called Weezie’s Cup A Java, but the call for a full café was strong, and Cricket’s was the result. It opens early for breakfast and lunch on weekdays and Saturdays.
Cricket’s menu is about as middle-of-the-pike as you can get, featuring soups, salads, wraps and sandwiches, and all kinds of homemade desserts to, er, sweeten the deal. A box lunch menu will feed your meeting with options from $8.99 to $11.99; conference rooms of varying sizes are available on the premises if you want to hold your budget meeting there.
I had a solid if unspectacular roast beef sandwich ($6.99) for lunch. A fair amount of tasty, deli-sliced beef, cheddar, lettuce and tomato is served on white, wheat or rye (I stuck with white). A cup of potato and bacon soup ($2.49) responded well to some extra black pepper. Only yellow and honey mustard are available, so my wish for a little horseradish spice on my sandwich went unsatisfied.
My friend Peggy had the $7.99 “Kevin’s Wrap” (I guess she figured she should try my namesake since I was picking up the tab). It consisted of a flour tortilla wrapped around chunks of grilled chicken with Swiss cheese, honey mustard, lettuce and tomato.
I returned a week or two later with my cousin Shayne to check out the breakfast menu. We both love our biscuits and gravy, and while we know we’ll never find anything as tasty as our grandmother’s homemade fare, we figured we would brave a snowstorm and give Cricket’s a shot.
For $2.99 apiece, we got two biscuits smothered in what looked like about a quart of thick, peppery, sausage gravy. For an extra couple of bucks, we also got two decent-sized sausage patties that looked like the ones you get at McDonald’s, but these actually had some flavor. Our grandmother’s Best Biscuits and Gravy title is still safe, but Cricket’s version was satisfying.
Service on this particular morning was painfully slow. One couple seemed put out and actually lodged a written complaint. We were in no hurry and didn’t mind, but the lag time was obvious, and our server did apologize. My lunchtime visit was more efficient, so our lethargic breakfast pace could have been snow-related.
Locally owned, Cricket’s beats the heck out of McBurgerLand, for sure. It’s worth a couple extra bucks and a few extra minutes of your time.
7613 Old State Road 60
Sellersburg, Ind. • (812) 246-9339
Rating: 77 points