The calendar said it wasn’t quite summer. But it only felt right on a scorching June night as temperatures tipped toward the 90s to indulge in a favorite seasonal tradition: A small-town supper-club dinner.
Reading this in July, you’ve probably grilled out a half-dozen times. (Or a half-dozen times this week.) It’s customary this time of year, but you’ll inevitably hit a few points where you simply want someone to do it for you some night. That’s part and parcel with supper-club cuisine’s simple pleasures — tried-and-true, but tasty, variations on steak, fish or chicken.
You’d be hard-pressed to find sturdier, or more satisfying, supper-club fare in the area than at Treece’s Restaurant & Lounge in Rossville. The décor is all that’s minimal about the place, a beer sign here and a framed historical accolade there. The sizable marquee promotes catfish and steak and the building dominates the downtown drag. But a deep-bench menu goes well beyond those regionally famous moneymakers.
Treece’s boasts enticing specials almost every night of the week — renowned prime rib on weekends, two nights of all-you-can-eat chicken plates and a two-for-$16.99 special every Tuesday and Thursday.
On this Monday night, my wife and I had to try the all-you-can-eat chicken wings (eight to start, with your pick of two flavors). We started on the safe side of heat, with the tangy-sweet glaze of honey garlic BBQ and the tart zing of orange ginger, before moving on to Caribbean jerk. That’s my kind of wing, spice introducing itself with a firm, confident handshake. There’s no skimping on the sauce, either; this was a six-napkin affair.
The wings are light enough that you can easily split other dishes. Tales are told for miles of Treece’s catfish, so we couldn’t possibly pass it up. The breaded catfish curl appetizer is delicious but dangerous; with coating this light and tartar sauce this sweet, you could take down the whole plate. In addition to catfish, Treece’s offers nearly 20 more seafood offerings — including smelt and frog legs.
And while the teriyaki-tinged Black Diamond steak is a house favorite, I opted for the “Aussie” Sirloin — spiced, seared and served at a perfect medium temperature.
This doesn’t even include sides, salads and slices of garlic bread thrown in with dinners at no extra cost. We tried nothing else only because the stomach can only stretch so much. But we saw at least a half-dozen other items we’d love to sample next time.
Lucky for us, there’s still plenty of summer left for that.
Rob Ford is Tipmont and Wintek's communication director, a role he's held since 2015.
Rob has a bachelor's and a master's in Communication from Purdue University. He lives in West Lafayette with his wife and three children and has a life-sized Yoda statue in his office. Away from the office, you’ll find Rob working on his golf swing, jump shot, or hope for a Purdue basketball national title – all futile endeavors.