This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A visit to FOF (part 3 of 3)

After checking out the convention center wing of the Farmhouse, it was time to return to the Restaurant and order dinner. The decor is fun. Below you can see one of the chandeliers.
The condiments were in a bucket and the beverage was served in a mason jar. In the background you can see the kitchen, which is visible from the dining area through large windows.
The menu is rather limited and most of the items on it are produced in the area. Prices for entrees range from $15 to $25, with sandwiches and pizzas ranging from $9 to $12. I thought the food was very good (but I claim no expertise as a food critic). The wait staff was efficient and courteous. Overall it was a very enjoyable experience.

As mentioned in the last post, the manager stopped by our table during the meal and I asked her where the customers came from. She said that during the summer most are tourists. During the winter they get a lot of business from people who travel between Indianapolis and Chicago on I-65. While we were there only about a third of the tables were occupied, but she said that in the morning they had been filled to capacity four times. (That would have been prime time for people scheduling a Christmas vacation visit to FOF.) The Restaurant had reached out to hire first-rate professionals to run the operation, but obviously it was also providing a lot of jobs for locals.

After we were finished, we asked the hostess for the manager because she had offered to show us around. Separated from the main part of the restaurant was the bar area. It was mostly deserted on the night we were there, but they expected a full house on New Year's Evening when Taylor Hicks is scheduled to perform.
Off to the side is a door to a special dining area, the Chef's Dining Room. This is a more exclusive area where you will be served by the kitchen staff and talk to the chefs.

From the Chef's Dining Room one can get a very good view of the most of the kitchen. The area closest is a cold line that prepares salads and desserts. The manager explained how the kitchen worked but my very limited knowledge of how restaurants work meant that I did not comprehend some of what she said.
Walking into the kitchen back a bit, we saw the area that has the pizza oven. This area would be only partially visible from the windows of the dining area.
An unexciting view from the dining area into the kitchen.
From the dining area one can see an intriguing balcony that with a pig and a cow in Christmas attire. Two spiral staircases lead up to this balcony.
With permission you might be able to go up--I saw a parent with a couple kids going up before we did.
At the top you could see the red-nosed milk cow who was ready to guide Santa's sleigh.

There was also a small room off the balcony with a couple of desks and a table--the Loft. This area can also be used for dining, though I do not know why anyone would want to go up the stairs to reach it.
Below is the view of the main dining area from the balcony. (A better view is available here.)

Fair Oaks Farms had an exciting year in 2014 and I suspect that 2015 will be at least as eventful. There are a lot of plans and possibilities that are being discussed. Somewhere in the next few years a 200 room hotel is in the plans and there is much more that I hear via rumors. I wonder what it will be like in ten years.

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