Wednesday, March 24

Arbor Tea Room & Cafe'

I recently ate at an interesting eatery on the far east side of Indy. Arbor Café and Tea Room, 7173 W. U.S. 40, was started by a woman who refused to give up her dream.
Sonja (Sandy) Tanner came to our country at the age of 9 from Germany, unable to speak English. She learned from television chef Julia Childs how to cook and how to speak our language.

Not bad for a 9-year-old.

Personable and down-to-earth, the owner seated me in one of the parlors and started feeding me; I was more than okay with that. The Elvis-loving chef/owner is always willing to turn over her kitchen to Chef David Hornung in order to play a game of Skip-Bo with her customers. You’ve got to love a chef that laid back.

Featuring a full traditional menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Arbor also specializes in an additional menu of German food available on special nights. Some items featured on the menu include Schweizer Schnitzel (pork tenderloin with Swiss cheese), and Rouladin (beef steak with wine glaze), Bratwurst and Knockwurst. The French Onion Soup with Parmesan and Swiss cheeses was full of onions and rich beef broth and is worth a return trip by itself. I also tasted the Chicken Salad sandwich, made fresh daily, delicious in taste and generous in portion.

The non-fussy eatery has a décor which brings visions of visiting a favorite aunt in her home, complete with a parlor. Tea and fresh scones are available, complete with clotted cream and marmalade. Even Alice in Wonderland’s Mad Hatter should be satisfied with that tea party.

Special Note: You can now catch me every Saturday morning as a featured guest critic on radio station WIBC 93.1 FM. I will discuss where you’ve Gotta Go and what to check out in Indy’s theater and entertainment scene on the Joe Ulery Show.

If you have a restaurant or event you would like reviewed, send an e-mail to
Me, I'll be right here, thinking about Schnitznel.


This post was originally published under "Gotta Go" in the West Side Community News in Indianapolis, and the West Indianapolis Community News.

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