Thanks for the threads and tips re: Michigan City and South Bend. Circumstances this weekend allowed us only one restaurant meal, but if my daughter goes to school in So. Bend next year, I'll follow your leads.
The heavy, dark wood doors with Viking hardware at Rodini's Lounge & Restaurant portended a trip in the way-back machine. Brass rails, fake Tiffany lamps, plastic stained glass, heavily shellacked two-color wood walls and booths, not one but two big clear glass ashtrays on our table, and a menu to match, lots of steak plus ribs and a half-dozen seafood entrees, all of them fried. Complimentary appetizer platter of meatballs, fried eggplant sticks, and fried chicken livers. Small loaf of whole wheat (think macrame) bread with the salads. Four choices of potato, but no vegetable with the entree. My wife and daughter split the ribs 'n' chicken entree and asked if the chicken could be served without bbq sauce. It was, with breading replacing the bbq sauce. I ordered the "pan fried lake perch." Seven small-to-medium fillets, light breading, tasted OK. I asked Amy, our waitress, where the perch came from. She said, "Not from Lake Michigan, I can assure you, but I'll ask." Meanwhile the host came by our table, and I asked him where the perch was from. "Lake Superior," he said. Amy then returned, sans host, and said he had told her it was ocean perch. The highlight of the meal--the waitress's wit-- followed as Amy brought the dessert tray and said, "This is Lake Huron cheesecake, this is Lake Erie carrot cake, and this is Lake Ontario baklava."
I don't think we'll return to Rodini's. We didn't leave unhappily; it just wasn't our taste. Rodini's seems best suited for beef lovers, culinary archeologists, and movie location scouts.
Rodini's is just south of US 20. North on Franklin St. is the Harmony Bar, a good-lookin' saloon with an enticing sign, "Fri-Sat All U Can Eat Drunk Perch and Walleye." Closer to the lake at 521 Franklin, Basil's is closed for transformation into Maxine's.
4125 S. Franklin St.
Michigan City. IN 46360