It had been a long day of travel and we were ready for a break. To our delight, we happened across a township sign for Mentone, Indiana. The sign did not feature a typical welcome message: it boasted that this municipality was indeed the egg basket of the Midwest! If you know us, you know that we love eggs. As a matter of fact, we add eggs to most anything to enhance flavor (just give it a shot on your next burger, pasta dish, salad, etc.). We normally get some skeptical comments when people spot the unrefrigerated egg carton secured to my cargo net, but in this place we fit right it.
On the way into town we stopped at a Bell Aircraft museum where a curator by the name of Gerald took time to show us around the exhibits. At the end of the tour he also gave us a breakfast recommendation. The restaurant he spoke of (called Teel’s) served the “He-Man Breakfast” which allegedly consisted of four pancakes, one pound of bacon, four eggs, a plate of hash browns, biscuits and gravy, and some sausage links. We took notes.
After departing from the museum, we headed to the grocery store where the two nice ladies working gave us some delicious chicken noodle casserole. They also filled us in on the “Egg Festival” that we read about on the town sign. Turns out we hadn’t missed much - the celebration was little more than a carnival on the tiny main street that essentially had nothing to do with eggs. We had delusions of egg grandeur. Directly in front of the grocery sat an egg monument that I just had to get a picture with (right). About this time a semi-truck full of tightly caged chickens pulled up and parked on the road right next to us. The birds were in rugged shape - movement was barely discernable, feathers were entirely missing from large sections of skin, and the birds’ combs were as pale as notebook paper. I am no animal activist, but the mere sight of such an inhume chicken-train gave validity to the argument against factory farming - sad stuff.
In the morning we headed straight for Teel’s (despite our sighting the night previously). I was expecting some exotic egg concoctions to be featured on the menu - it is the egg capitol of the Midwest, is it not? To our dismay, there were no out-of-the-ordinary egg selections. Furthermore, it turned out that there was no such thing as the “He-Man” breakfast that our friend Gerald had told us about. We each ordered a special instead. Though it wasn’t the “He-Man,” the portions were extremely large (the pound of cooked bacon was not an exaggeration). Unfortunately, despite the quantity, the food was quite mediocre. For the rest of the day we lamented over our over-consumption. It felt like we had each ingested a lead anvil - not the feeling you want when you need to pedal 60 miles. In the end, Mentone was a bit of a downer. Let‘s just say that we‘ll keep searching for other, more eggstraordinary egg capitols