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MCL Cafeteria

Richmond Square Mall, Richmond, IN - (765) 966-2939
Posted By Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle on 2/21/2009 11:01:00 PM
We don't have cafeterias where we live (at least none that we'd want to eat in), so we're always impressed when traveling in a cafeteria-rich region with the bounty of home-style cooking available with the same ease, and minimal expense, of visiting a fast-food chain back home. We normally avoid chain restaurants on our travels, but one cafeteria chain we enjoy when passing through Indiana is MCL. Born in Indianapolis in 1950, MCL now numbers 18 primarily-Indiana restaurants.

MCL attracts a generally older clientele, reflecting both the reasonable prices and a cooking style that pre-dates the rootsless and restless current fashion for mix-and-match innovation. As you pass through the cafeteria line, the serving ladies are friendly, chatty, and encouraging, as is the woman who roams the dining room refilling iced tea glasses. There are plenty of homey vegetables and Jell-O salads, pies and puddings and cakes galore, hot fresh rolls, and some excellent fried chicken and catfish that does not sog out on the steam table. There is also a large roast turkey on display for fresh-carved dinners with the works. Everything we've tried has been good (save for a lemon pie that tasted like a lemon lollipop) and wholesome, without the mass-produced aromas and flavors typical of chain dining.

For a quick and homey meal on the road, MCL fills the bill nicely.

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Scorecard

4 - Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
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Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

We were happy to find a very good version of Indiana's official state pie, sugar cream.
"We were happy to find a very good version of Indiana's official state pie, sugar cream."
Cliff Strutz





There is a kaleidescope of options at the Jello salad section of the line.  We don't know the flavor of the blue cubes of Jello, but it sure does add visual interest to the lineup, doesn't it?
"There is a kaleidescope of options at the Jello salad section of the line. We don't know the flavor of the blue cubes of Jello, but it sure does add visual interest to the lineup, doesn't it?"
Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle


We loved the crunchy, greaseless catfish.  Some good, goopy macaroni and cheese and refreshing chopped slaw completes the picture.
"We loved the crunchy, greaseless catfish. Some good, goopy macaroni and cheese and refreshing chopped slaw completes the picture."
Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle


It's very difficult to restrain oneself when passing through a cafeteria line with so many appealing options.
"It's very difficult to restrain oneself when passing through a cafeteria line with so many appealing options."
Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle


Note the huge roasted turkey breast to the left.
"Note the huge roasted turkey breast to the left."
Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle


Dessert offers many cafeteria classics.
"Dessert offers many cafeteria classics."
Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle


Dine without pretense.
"Dine without pretense."
Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle


Although this restaurant is unattached, it's located adjacent to a shopping mall, where many MCL's are found.
"Although this restaurant is unattached, it's located adjacent to a shopping mall, where many MCL's are found."
Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle



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