Monday, October 24, 2011

Paulee Restaurant — a Richmond tradition

By Amy Lynch

Lifelong Richmond resident and Pearl Harbor survivor Paul Brittenham passed away on Oct. 5, 2011 at the ripe old age of 94, but his legacy lives on at the popular northside diner he founded back in 1948.

Brittenham opened Paulee Restaurant several years after returning home from his military service tour. A businessman first and foremost, he knew his profits depended on frequent turnover. With just 10 seats to work with, Brittenham discouraged dawdling, often telling customers to “eat and get out!” His loyal patrons didn’t mind, and the winning combination of good food and fair prices kept them coming back. The restaurant still draws crowds of devoted regulars, some who’ve been known to come in for breakfast, leave and then return a few hours later for lunch.

An on-site fixture for decades, Brittenham retired just a few years ago at age 89, passing the torch to Jenny Orbik, a loyal employee who had worked for him for 20 years and didn’t want to see the restaurant close. Orbik has made the business a family affair; her son Josh and daughter Jessica can be found helping out behind the counter on any given day.

Not much has changed at Paulee through the years. The joint still serves good, no-nonsense food in a nostalgic diner atmosphere, much as it did when it opened decades ago. If you’re in the mood for a hearty basic breakfast, this is the place to go. Eggs come any way you want alongside toast and meat choices that include bacon, fresh or smoked sausage, ham, chopped steak, pork chop and even tenderloin. Biscuits and gravy fans take note – the recipe at Paulee is top-notch, and available in one, two and three biscuit portions to please any appetite. The three-egg omelets are another popular breakfast choice, and if you need a sweet treat, Paulee carries donuts and Danishes from local bakeries.

For lunch, Paulee offers a lineup of classic burgers, sandwiches and soups, along with an old-fashioned daily special along the lines of cabbage rolls, tuna casserole or green beans stewed with sausage and potatoes.

Today, Paulee Restaurant finds itself ideally situated amid prime real estate in Richmond’s emerging Historic Depot District. Neighborhood improvements, the renovation of the depot itself, and the addition of new businesses are attracting a whole new generation of clientele to the area, many happy to be discovering Paulee for the first time.

Whether you come in for breakfast or lunch, you’ll find Paulee’s prices more than reasonable for the amount and quality of food. Just don’t forget to hit the ATM first, this cash-only diner doesn’t accept credit cards.

420 N. 8th St., Richmond
(765) 962-5621
Monday through Friday, 5 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Saturday, 6 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Closed Sunday

Born and raised in Richmond, freelance writer Amy Lynch now makes her home in Indianapolis with her husband and three-year-old son. Read more about her food and travel adventures at

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Did someone say FREE chocolate?

Free chocolate. Beautiful words, aren’t they?  Free is a wonderful thing in itself, but “free chocolate” just about makes my head spin.  Just thinking about the possibilities makes it hard for me to focus on my work.  Fortunately for me, “free chocolate” relates to my work, in the form of a “Chocolate Trail” experience our Visitors Bureau has created for other chocolate lovers.

It seems like when I get together with my girlfriends for lunch, we always go where we can get some kind of chocolate dessert -- either a beautifully crafted dessert at Ghyslain Chocolatier & Bistro, or a piece of fresh fudge at the Pour House. We give each other small boxes of chocolates from Olympian or Abbott’s Candy, or chocolate scented candles from Warm Glow, to show our friendship. I guess it could be said that chocolate enhances the female bonding ritual.  For instance, last fall I had an amazing lunch while I got to know my then new supervisor Nancy, at the beautiful Gennett Mansion, where every course had chocolate as an ingredient (3-course lunches and 5-course dinners with chocolate ingredients are served monthly). I was so pleased to recognize her as a kindred spirit when I saw the ecstatic look on her face as she tasted the fresh green salad with white chocolate citrus vinaigrette.

I think chocolate enhances romantic rituals too.  I imagine sipping chocolate wine, as I cuddle next to my husband during a romantic dinner at J&J Winery, warming up to hot chocolate after we take the kids snow tubing at nearby Valley’s Edge,, or sharing a chocolate ice cream cone at Parker’s General Store.

So I’m thinking our new Wayne County Chocolate Trail, with free chocolate samples and discounted services or products, is the perfectly-affordable girls’ getaway or romantic adventure. It’s a self-guided journey that takes you to Wayne County’s one-of-a-kind bistros, candy factories and shops, historic homes, spas, a winery and intriguing gift shops. Complimentary chocolate-related samples, ranging from candy to candles to wine, are featured at each stop, and many Chocolate Trail attractions offer exclusive discounts, or Chocolate Bucks, to those participating in the Trail.  Even a discounted spa treatment featuring chocolate is offered!  Imagine that!

To receive your free chocolate samples, you must present a Chocolate Trail Passport, which is only available at our Old National Road Welcome Center, at 5701 National Road East, Richmond (just off I-70, exit 156A). For more information about the Chocolate Trail or the many attractions in Wayne County which offer chocolate-related products and services, give us a call at 800-828-8414 or visit   

Friday, October 14, 2011

Autumn Inspiration in Southern Wayne County

Whether we live in a big city, the suburbs, a small town, or in the country, we tend to travel the same routes day after day, rarely deviating from our comfortable, well-worn paths.  We get used to the same sights and sounds and forget there is something different, interesting, or awe-inspiring, just minutes away. This summer, as I scouted sites for our Hometown Scavenger Hunt, I was reminded of how easy it is to live and work just miles from beautiful landscapes, interesting buildings, significant historical sites, and unique resources, without ever realizing they are so close and accessible. I was also reminded of how energizing and inspiring it is to get out and about to explore and happen upon unexpected pleasures.

One of my favorite places to explore during my 120-mile scouting trek was the area in the southern part of Wayne County, south of Centerville, near and around Abington.  I keep thinking how pretty it must be there this time of year, as the leaves change color.  I also keep remembering the fresh, hot, homemade apple pie that was offered to me at the old Abington General Store, at the corner of Abington Pike and Pottershop Road. I think I need to make another trip there soon to see the fall colors and sit inside the store, near their potbelly stove, or out front in a rocking chair, and eat that pie with a cup of hot coffee.  After my treat I would browse the antiques and collectibles in the quaint store, which has been in business for over 125 years (in a structure which is c. 1840s).   (Abington General Store Hours are Mon.-Sat. 8-4, phone (765) 855-3706).  

If you go to experience this perfect fall-like activity for yourself, you should also visit some of the other beautiful sites nearby, ones I visited during my scouting trip this summer.  West of Abington, off Pottershop Road at Abington Township and Chapel Roads, I was awe-struck by the most beautiful old chapel, surrounded by a lovely cemetery, rolling fields, and dense woods.  The brick Doddridge Chapel, with its tall, white steeple and arching windows, looks like something out of a movie.  I can imagine having a small romantic wedding, a harvest picnic, or family pictures taken there.  I am sure history lovers and genealogy buffs would love to wander through the gravestones that date back to the mid-1700s, including markers for Revolutionary War and Civil War veterans. 

The drive back east on Pottershop Road was breathtaking in the summer and should be even more beautiful this fall, with its panoramic views of the Whitewater Valley. I drove back east through Abington to US 27, turned left then took a quick right onto Estep Road, where I saw beautiful old farms and homes.  The steep and winding, stone wall-lined drive to the historic Elkhorn Cemetery is located on the left, just over the stream.   It’s another great resource for genealogists and history buffs, or those who just want to walk outdoors in the autumn splendor.  It's one of Indiana's oldest cemeteries dating back to 1806. Vist at for more information and images of the area.

For more southern Wayne County beauty, continue north on Esteb Road, turn right on Beeson Road, right on Straightline Road, then left on Boston Road, to Boston, Indiana, where you’ll find one of Wayne County’s artistic treasures, Magaws of Boston. In an interesting Arts & Crafts style home at 5774 State Road 227, the Magaws create unique, contemporary metal and wood sculptures for gardens, interiors, and businesses; they are nationally and internationally known. If you want to browse their studio and see their one-of-a-kind sculptures, you will need to call ahead for an appointment -- (765) 935-6170.  

To make this a full-day’s trip, you can first visit Dougherty Orchard and Historic Centerville before you head south to Abington.   Dougherty Orchard is the oldest family-owned orchard in Indiana and is located off Washington Road (north of US 40/National Road and south of I-70), halfway between Cambridge City and Centerville. While there you can pick your own apples, eat caramel apples or drink cider, visit their petting zoo, and purchase produce, jams & jellies, and gift items.  Centerville is home to the amazing Warm Glow Candle Outlet, Webb’s Antique Mall and other antique shops, Scott Shafer Stoneware Pottery, and its Main Street is lined with unique historic structures, including the home of Oliver P. Morton, Indiana’s Civil War Governor.

For more information about this fall journey in Wayne County, Indiana, contact the Wayne County Convention & Tourism Bureau’s Welcome Center at 765-935-8687 or 800 828-8414, or visit us at