Back in January, we had stopped in Batesville, IN for breakfast on our way to a brewery tour trip in Cincinnati, OH. From our short drive into town, it appeared to be a town we needed to revisit when we had more time. With a sudden free afternoon, we decided to head out and add it to the Explore Indiana Counties project! So Ripley County became the next one on our list.
First, A Delicious Lunch
As soon as you enter downtown Batesville, it’s hard to miss The Sherman. The original Sherman House was built in 1852. Through the years, it has expanded and it even went through an extensive remodel in 2016. However, it still portrays a lot of historic charm along with some magnificent German food.
It’s winter in Indiana which means it’s cold, so a warm and hearty meal sounded delightful. It was a bit after the normal lunch hour so the restaurant wasn’t busy and we were seated right away. With plenty of dark wood, gleaming surfaces, and rustic charm, the inside of The Sherman is absolutely beautiful. We were seated in a cozy alcove and our server recommended several restaurant specialties.
The food was amazing! The restaurant at The Sherman considers itself an American Bistro with some great German specialties, so my son was able to order a filet (with a side of German potato salad) and we both thought it was better than the much higher priced filet he had recently enjoyed at Disney. We also tried the bratwurst on pretzel bread with horseradish mustard, potato cakes, Bavarian Onion Soup and Bratkartoffeln. If you are a fan of bistros or German food, this is the place to go. Everything was fresh, filling, well-prepared and tasted delicious.
On the backside of the Inn and restaurant, is the Biergarten and indoor Bier Hall. The Bier Hall is 21+ after 9:00 PM but the Biergarten is open to all ages. We peeked inside the Bier Hall but it was early in the day so we moved along. With the cold weather, the outdoor area was closed but I imagine it would be hopping on a warm summer night!
Time to Shop & Explore Batesville
After such a hearty meal, we decided to bundle up and walk around downtown. We discovered a unique little German shop attached to The Sherman, a very interesting toy/antique/new age shop with a little bit of everything and an adorable boutique called Bird In a Tree. It was fun to shop such eclectic stores and we actually purchased a few gifts for upcoming birthdays.
The downtown area of Batesville is quite walkable and in addition to all the shopping, we learned a bit of local history from several of the store owners. Once upon a time, the largest manufacturer in the area was the Batesville Coffin Company (circa 1884). Batesville still makes quality caskets over 100 years later. Today, you can still see many of the old manufacturing buildings that were downtown and are now being transformed into condos, shops, and other businesses. Fascinating to say the least!
We were also lucky enough to find the Buffalo! We don’t always have luck locating it in each county but in Ripley county, it was right off the main downtown district of Batesville. Every county in Indiana painted a buffalo several years ago to celebrate Indiana’s 200th birthday. They were displayed at the Indiana State Fair. The name of the project was Indiana’s Bison-tennial Public Art Project. I just love this kind of thing, so we always look for the buffalo when we visit a new county.
Warm-Up at the Local Coffee Shop
Before we left Batesville, we stopped at the local coffee shop to warm up and recharge. Amack’s Well is located on a street corner near The Sherman. This place was hopping! With two levels of comfy seating, a variety of local goods for sale, snacks and of course coffee, Amack’s appeared to be the place to be. Once we received our decadent drinks, we easily understood the crowd. With prices lower than the major chains and a comfortable atmosphere, I’d be a regular if I lived in Batesville too! For sure.
What a lovely day we had in Batesville. I honestly felt like we barely touched the surface of this historic town, so I suspect this will be a county we return to. Soon. I am envisioning a fun overnight stay at The Sherman with more delicious food and a rocking night at the Biergarten! Add some more shopping, exploring and a little more history (the local historical museum was closed by the time we arrived) and Batesville will be a fantastic little getaway.
We were also advised by several locals to stop at nearby Oldenburg to check out a working convent and another cute little downtown – but that’s another county, so that’ll be another post!
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The Sherman, 35 S. Main Street, Batesville, IN 812-934-1000
Bird In a Tree, 29 N. Main Street, Batesville, IN 812-932-BIRD
Amack’s Well, 103 E. George Street, Batesville, IN 812-932-WELL
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