I've been hearing rumblings for a while about a small town in northeast Indiana that is home to a barbecue placeÂ that serves up food so good it will blow your mind. So after yet another recent recommendation from friends about Jefferson Street BBQ in Converse, I decided it was time to head that way.
Converse is located just a few short minutes west of Marion which is in the northeast part of the state and it sits nearÂ the line between Miami and Grant Counties. What is most interesting to me is that as a result of the success of the Jefferson Street BBQ restaurant, the town has literally exploded with new shops and boutiques to help make the experience well worth the drive for visitors. Plan to arrive with extra time so that you will be able to walk up and down Jefferson St. and check these places out.
Oak Hill Winery (111 East Marion St.)
We carefully planned our visit to start with tastings at Oak Hill Winery that is located at the corner of the downtown business area.Â The winery has a cozy cottage charm to it and they specialize in naturally-madeÂ wines without the use of preservatives. There are plenty of wines to try and we landed on their blackberry wine and enjoyed it so much that we stayed and had an additional glass before moving on to the downtown area.
As we moved our way down the street to the restaurant, we hit shop after shop and had a lovely time looking at the merchandise and ended up purchasing several items. All of the places are within walking distance so just park your car and enjoy your time.
Here's a snapshot of what we found:
Jane's Antique Junction (401 N. Jefferson St.)
Ledbetter's Grand Fudge Shop (108 N. Jefferson St.)
Itty Bitty Acres (315 N. Jefferson St.)
Free Verse BoutiqueÂ (102 N. Jefferson St.)
Cahoots SoapÂ (107 N. Jefferson St.)
Jefferson Street BBQ (101 N. Jefferson St.)
So once we finally settled in at Jefferson Street BBQ our appetites were pretty big and it's a good thing because it encouragedÂ us to orderÂ one of their 4 meat, 4 sides platters that allows you to sample multiple items from their menu. We sampled the sausages, pulled pork, ribs and the brisket. All of the meats are locally sourced and were among some of the best I've had - EVER. For us, the brisket by far stole the show. It was tender, juicy and the char on the outside was heavenly. We actually ordered a second helping during our meal and gobbled that up as well. (Don't judge til you try it)
From their barbecue sauce to their mouth-watering side dishes, everything is homemade from family recipes and delicious. Their meats are smoked daily and they do sell out early so I strongly suggest you have reservations or arrive early to make sure you get your favorites.
This is some serious barbecue and I now understand why everyone is talking about this restaurant and why it literally put this town on the map. DO make the trip to this EPIC small town restaurant and definitelyÂ bring your appetite.