Review: Kelsey’s Steakhouse

3 June 2016

I had a long 2 days in Texas and then had to go to Memphis quickly to monitor something. Turned out to be an extremely disappointing day there, so I was more than happy to get the hell out of there. And again as insult to injury, a hotel room ridden with “curly short hair” all over the place…gross… You can’t pay me to come back to Memphis again, tho I’ll miss the spicy rib tips at A&R

I flew into Chicago early morning and spent the morning in Lake County before heading south. Ridiculous construction, and insult to injury to face a toll booth in midst of it…but Illinois is beyond bankrupt, so every little helps? I drove south, first stopping off at South Chicago to visit the tomb of Stephen A Douglas. And of course, on the 155th anniversary of his death, June 3rd, in the bankrupt Land of Lincoln, his opponent in the historic Lincoln-Douglas debates, it was empty. In fact so empty no workers there, and took me 10 minutes to figure out which gate was unlocked (they all looked locked/rusted shut). Sad…

I drove to Indiana and planned to stop for the night at the town of Valparaiso, home of the well-known university. I had to get to Fort Wayne but I didn’t want to risk a long drive in uncertain weather especially if the flight was delayed; last time I drove out of Chicago I darted through the 2012 derecho en route to Wisconsin and nearly died… Plus, there was a nice steakhouse in town I read about and would be a nice Friday night dinner.

Weather actually co-operated and I got to Valparaiso earlier than planned, so I headed to dinner at Kelsey’s Steakhouse on the early side. I chilled out and ordered a very-overpriced manhattan while looking out at a pick-up window…goodness, did I make the right choice? The server came back a bit late due to the bar being backed up — understandable on a Friday night. I asked her would the bone-in ribeye or the prime rib be better, and she said both were good — so I went with the former.

I chilled and just as I finished my cocktail the soup arrived — clam chowder.


This was actually pretty good. Actually more flavourful than the weak corn in Texas the other day. And at this point they told me they were clearing out some wines and was selling a bottle of garnatxa for only $12, and they allow wine take-aways so…

Now that was a good deal. I enjoyed a bit of the wine before my steak arrived…

bone-in ribeye

Cooked well, temperature was a good medium-rare. Garlic butter made it even richer. Hard to see at this angle but a solid and good piece of meat — far better than the “marbled” disaster I got at Buffalo’s Rue Franklin. I enjoyed it, a simple, middle America dinner.

Too full for dessert I had a coffee and thanked the excellent staff as I headed out with my corked (and sealed bagged) bottle of wine (I only drank half). I headed back to my hotel and chilled out and tried to crash out early as I needed to hit the road by 5am (I forgot the time change line in Indiana)…

Kelsey’s Steakhouse
2300 US highway 30
Valparaiso, Indiana

PS: A long and productive day to end the trip, though it also meant very little sleep. A bad “linner” at Grand Duke’s didn’t help (I keep ordering cepelinai even though I hate it), nor did a bad Southwest flight with an oversized teenager (gaming non-stop) crushing me against the window on a hot flight — just for baggage to take 30+ minutes to come out and causing all of us to miss the last trains thanks to the DC Metro’s meltdown-caused-overhaul plan


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