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Risen from the ashes, My Dad's Place serves up some great wings

Well…there was a lot of drinking, a lot of smoking, and a lot of cussing when I walked into this place, and it was just noon on a Wednesday.

I’ll admit I was a little intimidated when I sat down, but by the time I walked out I found that My Dad’s Place, 51425 S.R. 19 in Elkhart, is just a relaxed tavern where one can talk to some good people and find customers who are just there to relax after a day on the job.

First time I was in this place it wasn’t called “My Dad’s Place.” I do remember walking across the street from Lakeshore Grill (now known as Flippin’ Cow) and butchering “Desperado” on karaoke. Luckily, there were only about three people in the bar that night, and I even made it up to them with a timeless rendition of “Every Rose Has Its Thorn.”

Over the years, when Lakeshore Grill and Pete’s Simonton Lake Tavern went non-smoking, My Dad’s Place kept it and became known for having a more “relaxed” crowd on the weekends. Then one day I drove by and the bar was just a pile of rubble smoldering against the dawn sky.

Like all momentous structures, they vowed, “We will rebuild.” And rebuild they did.

Although the building doesn’t look like much on the outside, inside has a huge u-shaped bar, many tables and plenty of TVs to watch the game (or race).

Back to that intimidation factor I talked about? As I sat there eating my wings, a young guy asked me about how they were today and said it might sway his decision to take some home.

Well, I’m always happy to have a conversation about what I am eating, so I went on and on about how good they were. He then apologized for interrupting my lunch. I was like, “Dude, if I didn’t want to talk to people, I’d be sitting in the corner, not up here at the bar mawin’ down on a basket of wings.”

It goes to show you, no matter what your impressions are of people at a strange bar that may not be what you are used to, people are going to be nice to you — you just need to show up with a smile on your face and a good attitude.

About the wings here.

When I visited on a Wednesday, it was 50 cent day for the wings. I have to say these were some of the largest wings I’ve had. For 50 cents, these were a bargain.

I ordered buffalo and Caribbean jerk. They came out breaded and smothered with their respective sauces. The buffalo was the best one. It wasn’t a Frank’s sauce — it had more of a Tabasco flavor. The Caribbean jerk sauce wasn’t as good as the one from Bdubs, but it had a nice sweet flavor.

The chicken inside was really juicy, and the breading and the strong sauces complemented the extra-jumbo chicken fully. Twelve was a lot for lunch; I was so full that I left one untouched. Like I said, 50 cents on Wednesdays was an awesome price, but even a CPW of 90 cents is worth it on a regular night.

They serve up some great wings down at My Dad’s Place. I probably wouldn’t bring a date around on a Saturday night, but if you’ve got a group of buddies that are looking for a place to eat some wings and hang out and watch the game, this would be an excellent place for it.

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