There’s a lot to be said about taking the road less travelled. It is often far more interesting than the path laid out by others, and can produce delights that are unrivaled. Such a path leads to Shift Restaurant and Bar in Bright, Indiana. Winding your way up from the Ohio River, you’ll pass through unassuming villages, passed vast expanses of fields and large gardens, to a modest crossroads with the midwestern staples of McDonalds and a couple of pizza franchises. A little further down the road is an absolute gem of a restaurant that is setting itself apart from any other dining option for miles. The path they’re paving in their community is one that no other has done before – establishing a restaurant that is as welcoming as it is beautiful, with a locally driven menu that offers superbly crafted, seasonal fare as well as pub classics and family favourites. Their aim has been to shift the mentality that pub food is not nutritious or fresh, and judging by the crowds, they have succeeded – it was hopping, even on a Sunday!
We started our culinary journey with a local classic – pretzel and beer cheese. Now 5 months into my pregnancy, I have finally regained my appetite, and nothing screams “eating for two” than a massive knot of warm salt dusted bread with a deep, deep bowl of sharp beer cheese sauce on the side. What arrived was a work of art – any gallery curator would be envious of the display, and this former fine art student and self confessed décor lover fell hard for the gold trimmed china.
Despite having made our menu choices en route, we considered every single entrée on the menu upon arrival: after deciding against the Fish Sandwich (don’t worry, we’ll be back to try the house tartar sauce), Justin opted for a trio of street tacos: pulled organic chicken, blackened mahi, and pièce de résistance: braised jowl bacon. The succulent, tender bacon was drenched in a parsley chimichurri, which we could have drank by the glass it was so full of flavour – sour and zesty, it paired perfectly.
Trying to keep my meat consumption low (this baby doesn’t like meat apparently), I swapped from having the hummus plate and a salad to the off-menu Summer Veg Melt, a grilled cheese with zucchini, squash, tomatoes, olives, and spinach, jammed between slices of perfectly toasted whole wheat bread. I am not usually a fan of cheddar as the cheese of choice for grilled sammies – creamier alternatives such as Provolone, Muenster, even goat are far superior than the bog-standard choice of cheddar, but it works with this dish pretty well.
Shift is a great little spot that is driven by the mission of offering healthier (though not always healthy) alternatives to the fast food many of us veer towards out of convenience. Over-salted soggy fries are nowhere to be seen on their menu, instead you are served generous portions of skin on fries with fresh herbs with your protein and veggie packed meals. Shift is neat, clean, modern, and a real treat. Offering a variety of buffet style evenings throughout the month, from a gargantuan brunch buffet every Sunday, to seafood bars and BBQ nights, there is something for everyone. But go for the tacos on your first visit, you won’t regret it.
Shift Restaurant and Bar
24253 State Line Rd
Bright, IN 47025
Mon – Wed 11:00am – 12:00am
Thu – Sat 11:00am – 1:30am
Sun 9:00am – 12:00am