The skies were sunny and there was no immediate call for rain in the forecast, so my friend Diana and I grabbed a few things and headed south for Turkey Run State Park and an afternoon of hiking.
We had packed a few things to snack on during our hike, but since neither Diana nor myself had really eaten much in the morning, we decided that a stop at the Inn at Turkey Run State Park for lunch was in order.
The rustic Inn is large and inviting and features large wooden tables and chairs along with lots of windows. We were quickly seated and then greeted by our server, Kimberly.
The Inn at Turkey Run State Park serves a variety of sandwiches and pizzas and also features an extensive salad bar. I have eaten there several times, usually opting for the salad bar, which for $9.99 is a bargain. It features plenty of salad options along with soup.
But on this day, I decide to go for the turkey club sandwich for $8.99. Diana also bypassed the salad bar in favor of the Hoosier Tenderloin sandwich, also for $8.99. The menu lists the Hoosier Tenderloin as an Indiana State Park Inn specialty.
Less than 15 minutes after placing our order, Kimberly brought the sandwiches to our table. The quick turnaround for our order was impressive given how crowded the dining room was.
The turkey club featured generous portions of turkey and ham, along with bacon, fresh tomato, lettuce, Swiss and American cheeses and mayonnaise on sourdough. It’s a large sandwich, cut into quarters and served with fresh-made chips.
The turkey club was tasty, with all the elements coming together nicely. The bacon was delicious without overpowering the rest of the sandwich. My only complaint, and it’s a little one, was that the sandwich fell apart while I was eating it. Well, the third and fourth quarters fell apart, the first half of the sandwich held up fine as I devoured it.
Diana’s Hoosier Tenderloin, the Indiana State Park Inn specialty, featured a breaded pork loin with lettuce, pickles and onions on a grilled bun. Like the turkey club, the Hoosier Tenderloin also comes with chips. However, all sandwiches can be ordered with fries or onion rings for an additional $1.99, or you can add the soup and salad bar for $4.99 if you’re really hungry.
The Hoosier Tenderloin was large, crunchy and flavorful and not at all greasy, according to Diana, who rated the sandwich a three on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being absolute tenderloin bliss. She grew up on a Montgomery County pig farm, so I guess she knows pork. At any rate, I had a bite of her sandwich and found it quite tasty.
Looking back, Diana and I both agreed we would probably go with fries instead of the chips. There’s nothing wrong with the chips, we just think fries might complement the sandwiches better.
One thing to keep in mind. Turkey Run, like all state parks, charges a $7 fee per car entering the park. Not terribly expensive, but also not cheap if you’re only going to eat at the Inn.
Might I suggest purchasing an annual gate pass for $50?
I know, $50 sounds like a lot of money, and it is. But if you go to the parks as often as I do (I get out to hike whenever I get the chance, good weather or bad), the pass quickly pays for itself. Plus, it’ll get you into every Indiana state park. Not a bad deal.
So, next time you venture to Turkey Run State Park, make time to enjoy a meal at the Inn. And here’s another suggestion, check out Trail No. 2 and Gypsy Gulch. You can thank me later.
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