Ramblin' Recs


Schererville Lounge

48 E. Joliet St.
Schererville, IN 46375


Jolene had a craving for crab legs. While I’ve never been a huge fan of crab, or more specifically, the hard labor associated with eating one, I can never pass up the opportunity to eat at the Schererville Lounge, so I was quick to suggest we start off the new year with a trip to her favorite local place for all things seafood. We called her sister, and off we went.

The dish: Classic Americana comfort food not pretentious enough to call itself cuisine but guaranteed to warm the cockles. Meat and potatoes, as well as a topnotch selection of seafood that should render all future visits to Red Lobster unnecessary.

Feeling adventurous? Not tonight. While I harbor no particular offense to the idea of frog legs—a favorite among the regulars—the sound of Kermit's voice ringing out in my head has left me unable to give them a try.

What are you having? Back when I ate red meat I never could pass up the ribs. While they won’t make me forget my days living in Tennessee, they’re as good as any I’ve found in this neck of the woods. These days I go for the fried chicken, which means two plump, juicy breasts coated to perfection.

Jolene and her sister came for the crab legs and were not disappointed. Her thoughts on the matter: “Every now and again, I get a mad craving for crab legs, and Schererville Lounge is always at the top of my list of places to go for them. My sister and I each ordered the two-pound portion, but by the time we had our bread, salads and sides we realized we could have easily split one order. We brought home enough to make four hamburger-sized krabby patties.

“Three nights each week you can get all-you-can-eat crab legs. Finally, a few months ago I decided to try it out for myself. While there were tons of people happy to consume their money’s worth, I was definitely not one of them. One perk of ordering the all-you-can-eat crab legs is that it also includes all-you-can-eat lake perch, bluegill and frog legs. So, if you like to have the opportunity to try several dishes, and you haven’t eaten in several days, this is an option you might like to explore.”

Did you get enough? Oh yeah. The folks at Schererville Lounge aren't taking any chances that you might go home hungry, so be careful about filling up on the crackers and garlic toast in the baskets on each table. Once you place your order, you'll be serenaded by a warm loaf of bread with honey butter and cheese spread, as well as a selection of beets, cottage cheese, and coleslaw. Entrées are portioned for the heartiest appetites and often could be mistaken for family-style dining. And just in case it's not enough, every meal comes with soup or salad (great blue cheese dressing), and choice of potato—a true survey of the many amazing things that can be done with the spud. We suggest the seasoned wedges.

Would you like a drink with that? As the name implies, Schererville Lounge is more than happy to serve, and while I'm not always one to have a drink with dinner, when I'm here I can't help but feel encouraged to knock back a pint or order a classic cocktail.

Will your sweet tooth be satisfied? One problem with the generous portions encountered at dinner is that dessert seems suicidal. The options are classic and almost guaranteed to be satisfying, but I have yet to to make it that far.

The scene: Warm and familiar. One of my favorite things about Schererville Lounge is the old-school, dimly lit, half-bar, half-restaurant, hole-in-the-wall feel to it. To get to the dining area, you have to enter through the smokey bar, which may be a turnoff to some. I'm a nonsmoker, but the scene always invokes a nostalgic feeling of "the good old days" I was never lucky enough to experience firsthand. I can imagine Grandpa Leather sitting at the bar, Manhattan in hand, telling stories with a few of the fellas from the factory and not quite ready to head home for the night.

Who's coming for dinner? The crowd—and depending on the time of day or week, there can be quite a crowd—is generally a low-key mix of working-class families enjoying a night out together, old friends meeting up for dinner and drinks, and the regulars hanging out at the bar. It seems like it would be hard not to fit in.

Table for two? Why not bring a date? It may not be fancy or what some would call romantic, but the dim lighting and cozy booths make it an awfully comfortable place to sit and talk.

Expecting company? If not a date, invite friends or family. The low noise level and casual vibe make it perfect for a gathering.

Is that what you're wearing? While there's no need to get dressed up for the occasion, you could, and it wouldn't feel weird.

Locally owned? They’re as local as local gets.

Big tip? Maybe I'm old-fashioned, but nothing beats having an older waitress give you a hard time and then call you honey. You couldn't feel more comfortable if your Aunt Helen was serving you coffee.

What's the damage? It isn’t necessarily cheap, but considering the quality and quantity of food, it’s really a hell of a deal.

Will you be back? We don’t go to Schererville Lounge too frequently—I would be round if I did—but it's the type of place that always makes you wish you did.