Traditional Amish-style country cooking makes up the delicious menu at Das Dutchman Essenhaus, a very popular Indiana restaurant in Middlebury. The large facility can seat up to 1,100 customers in its many dining halls. The restaurant is the gemstone of Das Dutchman Essenhaus, but that’s not all this Indiana attraction has to offer. The centerpiece of this relaxing day trip destination is the 56-room inn and conference center. An eighteen-hole miniature golf course, bicycle rentals, gift shops and the scenic grounds are also major highlights of Das Dutchman Essenhaus.
It all began in 1971, when Sue and Bob Miller converted the Old Tobias Yoder farmstead into shops within the Das Dutchman Essenhaus complex. The farm buildings from the northern Indiana farm still stand today, and operate as the Essenhaus Village Shops. The Cabin, Dutch Country Gifts and the Corn Crib are just a few unique Indiana shopping destinations here. Dusty Miller Antiques offers a wide array of ancient treasures, from vintage sheet music to fancy accessories and jewelry. The Quilt Shop is where quilters can buy supplies such as books, fabrics, wall hangings, stencils and more. They even sell locally hand-made quilts and offer several craft classes for groups of all skill level. If you enjoy the Quilt Shop, the Quilters Hall of Fame in Marion is another day trip destination just a few counties south of Middlebury.
The 56-room inn is a relatively new addition to this Indiana hotel, a 60,000 square foot add on to the original 33-room inn. Rooms are uniquely designed to enhance the scenic views and three room suites area available for larger groups and families. Each room features amenities like wireless internet, a refrigerator and cable TV. A game room, fitness center and indoor swimming pool with a hot tub are just a few of the other perks of making your next day trip from Indianapolis an overnight adventure. Near the inn is a special lodging location for more private parties or events. All seven rooms of the Dawdy Haus are for rent, each featuring a queen sized bed, and one room that has two beds.
Essenhaus Foods is a wholesale foods distributor within the complex. This shop is best known for its noodles, which are now distributed in 48 states. For a taste of family style cooking without the stress of preparing it, stick to the delectable menu at the restaurant. Specialty soups, a variety of sandwiches and fresh salads are the popular items on the lunch and dinner menu. Breakfast is also available, and customers can choose between a traditional meal, or opt for the “threshers breakfast,” which includes a 17-item buffet. Don’t forget to save room the dessert because the home-style bakery at Das Dutchman Essenhaus offers 30 pie varieties, some you’ve likely never heard of. They even offer catering and carry-out of the Amish-style cooking.
The conference center has a very traditional feel, because it’s a replica of a one room school. Some of the conference rooms for rent have balconies with breathtaking views of the surrounds grounds. The east side of the property seasonally offers carriage rides that go ona scenic path and even through a gorgeous covered bridge. If you really enjoy this carriage tour, the covered Bridges of Park County are another day trip destination to check out.
Famous people also frequent Das Dutchman Essenhaus. The walls feature autographed photos of celebrities like President Jimmy Carter and Indiana University basketball legend coach Bobby Knight. Dozens of other day trip destinations are located nearby visitors often incorporate the nearby Bonneyville Mill County Park, the Old Bag Factory, the Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center or the Midwest Museum of American Art into their plans. On the way to Middlebury from Indianapolis stops along the route include the Tri-County Fish and Wildlife Area in Syracuse, the Warsaw Biblical Gardens in Warsaw, the Mid-America Windmill Museum in Kendallville, and the Doctor James Ford Historic Home in Wabash.
Hours of operation vary throughout the seasons, but the restaurant and bakery are 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Call to book a room at the inn during any season, and extend your day trip from Indy to a weekend getaway.