Hendricks County, Indiana, offers a lot of great places to eat, so when we thought of putting together a guide to where to find some good comfort food, we called in an expert -- me. I'm no stranger to comfort food, as is obvious to anyone who has seen me in person, and I love eating at locally-owned restaurants. There seems to be extra "comfort" in comfort foods at those establishments.
Join me as we tour some of my favorite spots for comfort food in Hendricks County -- those places whose food brings light to the darkest of days and that leave you waddling around with a full belly and a smile on your face.
For simplicity's sake, I'll just put them in alphabetical order.
1. Amo Pizza
If pizza is your comfort food, you must try Amo Pizza. There are a few places to sit inside, but most people order their pizzas that are unbelievably loaded with toppings to go.
Their Around the World pizza is topped with everything but the kitchen sink -- and it weighs about as much as a kitchen sink. My personal favorite is the Chicken Bacon Ranch pizza, and I also like their Hawaiian pizza a lot (yes, I'm one of those people who like pineapple on pizza).
Amo Pizza also offers a bunch of subs and sides. Their Ultimate Breadsticks are incredible!
2. Bread Basket Bakery & Cafe
Homemade biscuits and gravy. Need I say more? Bread Basket Bakery & Cafe in Danville provides one of the best comfort foods ever invented, and they do it right!
The cinnamon roll French toast is out of this world, too. The bakery portion of the business doesn't disappoint on the comfort food front, either, tantalizing you with homemade breads, cakes, pies, cookies and other pastries.
Bread Basket Bakery & Cafe
3. The Coachman Restaurant & Lounge
Hendricks County's oldest independently owned and operated restaurant is a wonderful place to find comfort food. Located in Plainfield, The Coachman's prime rib simply melts in your mouth. I also love their homemade baked lasagna, their fettucine alfredo and their porterhouse pork chop.
4. Dawson's Too -- Sticks & Stones
Located in Brownsburg and operated by Brownsburg High School graduates, Dawson's Too is a long-standing local favorite for steaks, seafood, pasta and more.
Comfort yourself with their ridiculously good steaks (their ribeye steak is astounding), chicken parmesan, crab cake dinner, Atlantic salmon piccata, tenderloin sandwich and so much more.
Dawson's Too -- Sticks & Stones
5. Emmy's Pancake House & Grill
If you're looking for comfort food for breakfast or lunch, you'll want to check out Emmy's Pancake House & Grill in Avon.
You'll have a hard time deciding what to order from Emmy's large menu with traditional items like, eggs, bacon and toast to more decadent dishes like their Greek skillet and Belgian pecan waffle. Variety is the word at this popular family-friendly restaurant.
Emmy's Pancake House & Grill
6. The Mason Inn
One of Hendricks County's best-kept secrets -- especially for comfort food -- is the Mason Inn in Pittsboro. Don't mistake it for being just a bar. The Mason Inn makes outstanding tenderloins, excellent pizza, delicious wings and more.
In addition to what's on the menu, the Mason Inn staff add a variety of additional available food and drink items on a chalkboard, depending on the day. I haven't tried them myself, but I have a friend who swears by the pork bellies that are sometimes an option there.
7. Mayberry Cafe
Fans of The Andy Griffith Show will love the Mayberry Cafe in Danville for the ambience and decor, while fans of comfort food will love the menu there.
Get started with some fried biscuits and apple butter, and then dive into Aunt Bee's fried chicken, Ernest T's bacon Swiss burger, Andy's tenderloin, or my favorite -- the chicken fried chicken smothered in country gravy.
Be sure to save room for some of Aunt Bee's sugar creme pie!
(Insider tip: The classic Andy Griffith-style police car on the side of the Mayberry Cafe makes for a great photo opportunity!)
8. Oasis Diner
The Oasis Diner in Plainfield has a cool history, being manufactured by Mountain View Diners in New Jersey and shipped to Plainfield by rail. It opened to the public in 1954 and continued operations on the east side of town until 2008. It was then relocated to its current spot on the west side of town and reopened in 2014.
In addition to its interesting origins, the Oasis also serves some amazing comfort food. It is known for its tenderloins, which are outstanding (and enormous!), but some of my personal favorites for comfort food are their brunch burger, the Kansas City (loaded biscuits and gravy) and the Indianapolis (a country fried breakfast that includes a breath-taking amount of food).
Try one of their hand-crafted sodas and one of their HUGE cinnamon rolls for dessert.
9. Perillo's Pizzeria
I am a complete sucker for Italian food, so when genuine Italian Damiano Perillo opened up Perillo's Pizzeria in North Salem, I was immediately hooked. They specialize in pizza but offer a wide variety of other items. If it's Italian food, Damiano can make it for you, and it will be outstanding.
For me personally, there is no substitute for Perillo's. My absolute favorite comfort food is one of Damiano's sausage roll calzones. It is heaven.
Why should you love Perillo's? Click here to find out.
10. Rusted Silo Southern BBQ & Brewhouse
What do Disney, southern barbecue and Lizton, Ind. all have in common? Rob Ecker, who owns Rusted Silo Southern BBQ & Brewhouse. I lived in Texas for 10 years, so barbecue is a big comfort food for me. And trust me when I say that Rob absolutely nails southern barbecue.
If you like meat, go see Rob at Rusted Silo. He'll put you into a meat coma with all the varieties available on the custom-made giant spinning rotisserie.
To learn more about Rusted Silo, including how Disney plays into it, click here.