Monday, December 18, 2006

Destination Dining

Posted By on 12.18.06 at 02:46 PM

Perhaps you're Tom Cruise and you need a good stopping-place on the drive to Toledo to spend Christmas with the in-laws.  If I were he I think I'd stop at the Chatt Bar, a spot that keeps popping up on the you-gotta-try-it Midwestern radar. Okay, Chattanooga, Ohio, just over the state line from Indiana, is not exactly on the Reader's delivery route, but it's never too cold for a road trip.

Chattanooga, pop. 70, has been home to the Chatt Bar for 100 years. And for the last 30 of those the bar has specialized in deep-fried pizza, something that co-owner Russell "Barney" Lehman invented after being "inspired by strombolis and chimichangas he saw being made at a food show in Chicago." According to the Journal Gazette article above, Chatt Bar pizza is a delicious, strangely nongreasy, "gigantic 8-inch-wide-by-5-inch-deep brick of browned dough." Best of all, making them is "time-consuming and dangerous, as an improperly made pizza will explode in the deep-fryer."  The Chatt Bar also reportedly serves great $2 deep-fried bologna sandwiches, hand-cut pork tenderloin, smelt baskets, and cream pies.  I wonder if they deliver for lunch.

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