Blue Gate Garden Inn

On a recent trip to Shipshewana in Indiana's Amish Country right after Christmas, I was pleasantly surprised to enjoy some really good food. On our last trip to that area, I remember dining at an Amish-style restaurant where food was served family style and while it was good and comforting and filling it wasn't outstanding.

On this visit I had some really good food without ever leaving our hotel. We stayed at the Blue Gate Garden Inn and the evening of our arrival we contemplated heading out to a restaurant, but decided that we'd stay in and stay warm and cozy and order a pizza. I wasn't expecting anything special and figured it was probably a frozen pizza that would be heated up in a toaster oven. I could not have been more wrong. I called down to the cafe and placed our order and then we all went downstairs and played a few rounds of ping pong and air hockey in the arcade while we waited. I got a pizza with sausage and ham and it was really delicious - like one of the best pizzas I have ever had outside the Chicago area. I am attributing it to probably very fresh ingredients from local farms. The meats were very flavorful and the cheese was so creamy.

We followed up with ice cream since we had been walking through the hotel that afternoon and could smell them making the fresh waffle cones and waffle bowls -- and just couldn't resist. The ice cream was really creamy and the waffle cones and bowls were so good and fresh.

The next morning we went down for breakfast. I love when we stay at a hotel that has breakfast included. We enjoyed make-your-own waffles, eggs, a ham and potato casserole, biscuits and gravy and more. They also had a station where they'd make custom omelets - which again tasted so fresh and full of flavor. It was a huge, hearty breakfast and a great way to start the day.

Should you find your way in that neck of the woods, I would highly recommend staying at Blue Gate Garden Inn. Since we were traveling with three of our kids, they enjoyed the arcade and there are some cozy commons areas where families can just relax or play games or they can head to the indoor pool. The place is extremely clean and the staff could not have been more friendly. There's also a very cool car museum next door - the Hosteler's Hudson Auto Museum, which is full of vintage cars dating back to the early 1900's.

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