I was missing my daughter, who lives in Asia, and I yearned for a taste of her new home. A trip wasn't in the cards this year, but a local hidden gem promised an Asian-fusion adventure. Asparagus Restaurant in Merrillville, Indiana, beckoned with its Vietnamese and Thai influences.

Asparagus Restaurant

On a recent Friday evening, my husband, a friend, and I ventured into the restaurant. Bamboo decor, paintings of serene Asian boats, and a welcoming lion statue greeted us. We were seated quickly and presented with elegant menus. Descriptions for each item, including appetizers, proved a lifesaver as we navigated the unfamiliar territory.

The Appetizer

First up were the appetizers: Asparagus Crispy Rolls, a surprising yet delightful combination of fresh asparagus and bacon dusted with parmesan cheese, wrapped in rice paper with a citrus dipping sauce. Then came the Crab and Cream Cheese Crispy Rolls – a creamy dream for any cheese lover like myself. The delicate balance of crab meat, cream cheese, and vegetables was in perfect harmony. We devoured every bite.


The Main Course

For the main course, we embarked on a culinary exploration. My vegetarian friend opted for the Pad See Eiw, a dish of stir-fried flat rice noodles with scrambled eggs and colorful vegetables bathed in a sweet pepper soy sauce. My other companion dove into the Mojito Halibut Steak, a pan-seared masterpiece drizzled with an exotic spicy mojito sauce. Disappearing act – every last morsel vanished from his plate.


My choice? The Pineapple Cashew Chicken. Sautéed with asparagus, mushrooms, pea pods, pineapple, red peppers, and cashews in a Thai chili paste, it was a symphony of flavors. Despite the waiter's warning about a potential kick, I found it simply delicious. The portions were incredibly generous, leaving us with happy leftovers to enjoy later.



The Atmosphere

Asparagus Restaurant wasn't just about the food. The multiple dining rooms boasted tasteful and fitting decor. The full bar promised a perfect setting for a larger group, with the possibility of live music on weekends adding to the ambiance.

By the end of the evening, Asparagus Restaurant had climbed to the top of my favorite restaurants in northern Indiana. It offered a delightful escape, filling the void left by my unfulfilled trip to Asia. And the best part? The memory of that delicious meal and the promise of a return visit were a delicious consolation prize.