Arby’s

I-65 Highway 114
Rensselaer, 47978
Reviews:
I have different expectations of a fast food resturant than other resturants and I was quite impressed with this Arby's. Talkative guy at the window who made conversation while we waited for our food (point one!), was very polite and our order was great and he wished us a good day. Before we left we noticed we were missing a value fry so we drove up again and the guy said I only charged you for one sorry about that let me get you another one. When we showed him our recipet that said two he apologised, told us he was tired and then upgraded our value fry and added in dessert on the house. The food was good but I was mostly impressed with his attitude, I have worked at a drive thru and I know how frustrating it can get a times, but he seemed polite and was conversational the whole time. Best fast food experience I have ever had :) way to go Arbys guy.

(219) 866-8385

Fast Food

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Janet’s Kitchen

112 N Van Rensselaer St
Rensselaer, 47978
Reviews:
Great breakfast, very friendly, great biscuits and gravy and homemade crispy hashbrowns. How can you beat 93 cent cup of coffe!

(219) 866-5804

Restaurants

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Subway

576 S College Ave
Rensselaer, 47978
Reviews:
As soon as we walked in and Bryan greeted us in a friendly manner (sounded sincere) I knew this was not the average Subway. There were three of us and Bryan did a great job of multitasking and working on building, toasting, and adding fixings to all three sandwiches at once. While most Subway employees I've encountered can work multiple sandwiches at once they can rarely do it with a smile and hold a conversation with each customer as well. Turned out Bryan hadn't ever heard of Yelp (yes, I had to ask twice then describe the site and purpose) but this is located in small-town America and not on top of an expressway. Our sandwiches were all pretty close to perfect. Just mine had a minor issue being my roast beef was all just shreds and tiny end pieces and not the traditional slices. But when I asked for greater servings of some of the veggies I got exactly what I wanted (many Subways I've encounter just have employees who sneer and demand more money for additional block olives or red onions) with a smile. They currently have Star Wars kids meals. It was hard not to order off the kids menu. The restrooms were both in great shape. The men's restroom could have used a good mopping and some detailed attention around the sink knobs and spout but these are pretty minor issues. As I was leaving I went to get a drink refill and Rachel was cleaning the spouts on the soda dispenser. This is a rare occurrence in most restaurants so that impressed me. That also resulted in a friendly conversation and that proved this Subway has a great focus on customer service. Most Subway Sandwich shops can't ever get close to a five star review. The employees I encountered here (Bryan and Rachel) really made the experience great. Good customer service is a rarity these days but not here. Very impressive.

(219) 866-8897

Sandwiches, Fast Food

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Wagon Wheel Bar & Grill

776 S College Ave
Rensselaer, 47978
Reviews:
Ahhhh, Benny's.....one of the best little dive bars that ever was. I too am a college alumni and have had many fun times here. 5 stars for the memories. We actually got Benny to tell us "most" of the ingredients in the legendary "Down on One Knee" one night. And we all thought we would be able to remember it the next day. Yeah right. During senior year, my entire marketing class skipped our last class and came here at 10am. This was also the first place the party bus stopped after I was married. The bridal party had several "Down on One Knees." Yum. I've never had a Wagonmaster sober but I know 1) it's a sandwich 2) it tastes delicious when you're intoxicated 3) it's not healthy 4) it's always a good idea after 1am. Cheers!
Good food, cheap beer, friendly staff. Stopped by here on a drive home from Indy to Chicago and needed a place for lunch with a TV. Perfect place. The Wagon Master burger hits the spot and they had free soup as well. Definitely worth checking out if you're in need of a place while driving down I-65 in the area or if you're ever in town.
I've known Rennselaer since I was a kid and have visited it nearly every year or two, on and off. Until I looked on yelp for nearby restaurants, did I know this place existed. Asking relatives about it, I realized the reputation and tradition it's established for the nearby college, and how long-time memories exist of it; long before things like yelp existed, to review it. This is what I know about it; though the 'Wagon Master' is worthy of it's reputation as a burger, and that this is a standout place somewhat hidden obscurely in a town like Rennselaer, and I am pleased to know that it has preserved it's establishment, which in this day and age would often sink under the modern cookie-cutter mindset for business models and "modernity"; the reality is it is a somewhat insular and local-catered establishment. This might stem from the fact that people aren't to be trusted unless they are "known" and can be gauged accordingly. Things might have changed to the local surroundings to make some of the Rensselaer I knew and grew up with, change in it's way it could be perceived. It might be that anyone that comes in and doesn't sit at the bar is assumed to only be there for a carry-out, and nevertheless would be one to be by themselves; just passing through vibe. One basis for the assumption of this interpretation, is that they don't offer incentive to stay and drink at the bar, and nor do they insure that people that come in to eat are able to entertain themselves at the arcade machines requiring coin slots. It may just be that the arcade machines pander to competetive spirit, that much of any college-catered nearby atmosphere tends to address, and for that reason a lone-spirit type of individual is given something of a nod to go on about there way once they come out to give the order; perhaps. Irregardless I see it as something of an oversight in how the business functions/operates, even though I likely was the only person that entered the establishment 40 minutes after they opened, because they were just getting the grill heated up. Granted it is a single individual that was operating it, from whom I know to be the owner's Wife whom wasn't yet ready for business, to be able to offer the option of receptive business practice. Now to the Wagon Master burger review. I've cooked on charbroil grills before so I'm familiar with how the grease tends to "stick" to the burger when grilled, as the grease doesn't usually get the chance to separate away from it; it's one of the secrets of why charbroiled burgers tend to be known for their "flavor," which is imbued with the spirit of dead cow meat sizzling and charring, much as how iron skillets are left to stay greasy and do much the same. One thing I would do is try to ensure that the grease wasn't as apparent, usually by pressing down on the burger to keep it somewhat free from the grease, and that the wrapper wasn't soaked beyond ability to handle it (which is often a forgotten luxury of old-school burgers; this might be nothing to complain about for those with nostalgic traditions.) The first observation I made of it was that the hamburger meat might be filled with filler such as breadcrumb, or that it is pre-formed. Looking at photos on yelp it appeared to be a steak fillet. When asking a relative (lifelong resident of Rensselaer) she thought the pepper-jack cheese was once more noticeable; granted as you get older your taste buds aren't as receptive to spices. She thought that maybe it was a combination of sausage and hamburger, much like a meatball recipe. I see no problem with this, and believe it allows for some of the flavor of the grease-seeped into the burger, and allow for a somewhat spongy texture. She summed it up that "it wasn't the same burger as she remembers," though it might just be the nature of unavailable ingredients that changed the options, or trying to cheapen the recipe to make it more economical for them to run the place. I believe Canadian bacon or a ham slice, ketchup, mustard, onions, and pickle, were used. The main difference in other words are with the ham slice, and the hamburger meat ingredients, apart from other places such as Burger King. Typically such a place should incentevize that they also offer sweet potato fries, as I would have checked it out for review, as otherwise I forgot to order it. From photos I saw of the burger, I could have sworn it contained a broiled egg, and from the aroma of the burgers upon the drive back to the house, I believe another ingredient is vinegar within the meat; though it might just be the ketchup and mustard. It's worth going to see, but I like to replicate similar types of burgers myself, and have no idea why it seemed to evade noticing what ingredients were used; or at least to mention it in the reviews. It is a place I'm glad to recognize in the memories I have of the town, even if my experience of those memories will probably not be as optimistic as others have. Thank you anyways.

(219) 866-9942

American (Traditional), Bars

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KFC

8737 West State Road 114
Rensselaer, 47978
Reviews:
This particular KFC in my opinion is they best. The buffet is my favorite with having chicken and noodles (dumplings) on it. Fried okra, gizzards..... The Colonel would be proud. I live about an hour away so when near by I go. I've tried Lowell's, crown points but always disappointed, chicken is dry, and they don't have the noodles!
So some of you may be reading this and wondering, "Why are you giving KFC of all places a perfect rating? It's KFC, not HBFC." And I would be one of those people. But hear me out. As an alumni of IU, I would always make the commute from home to Bloomington by car, and every time I would pass by the billboard sign for the KFC buffet in Rensselaer, I swore I would try it, just to say that I did. Time passed. I graduated. And not once in my four years did I try the Colonel's buffet. Fast forward to last weekend, after a rousing weekend in Indianapolis visiting my best college buddy and various other friends, I found myself driving north on I-65 Sunday morning. I passed by the billboard sign once again, advertising the buffet as it always did. And something inside me clicked. Now, it felt as though was right time. I got off the highway at exit 215 for the first time, and drove into the KFC parking lot, just as they unlocked the doors to open at 10am. Now, it was DEFINITELY the right time. I was greeted enthusiastically by the manager, who smiled and asked if I wanted the buffet. I said, "Oh, yeah." He laughed, rang me up, gave me a plate, and proceeded to hand me as many orange ginger and honey BBQ sauces as I wanted. Now, the food. Let's not mince words: it's KFC. But it was KFC that was pulled fresh out of the cooker. And not just dinky wings or thighs... Legs. And breasts. BIG, JUICY BREASTS. I have never been more satisfied with four giants breasts in front of me since...I digress... Fresh cooked chicken in all varieties, with all the coleslaw, corn, green beans, mac and cheese, mashed potatoes with not one, but TWO kinds of gravy, peach cobbler, and bread pudding I could handle, with a clean table and facilities, a friendly, attentive staff, all for $8.55, $6.95 on Monday nights? It's a good thing Rensselaer is so far away. Or is it a bad thing?
KFC, yes. But it's a buffet. Oh man, talk about messing up your diet. You can go in here and eat all the fried and grilled chicken possible. Also they have two kinds of gravy so you can really add calories by cutting a biscuit in half and pouring on both kinds. There are so many customers going through here that the food looks kinda picked over most of the time. This is in spite of the crack staff of 10 or 15 people lounging around at various places behind the counter. They do have some nice outdoor picnic tables, and also some cool memorabilia about the Colonel and stuff on the walls that I'm probably the only person to ever read.

(219) 866-8700

Fast Food, Chicken Wings

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Trail Tree Restaurant & Convenience Food Mart

9435 W State Rd,Ste 114
Rensselaer, 47978
Reviews:
I ate here on my way out of town, and really enjoyed my breakfast. This restaurant is inside a truck stop, and after your meal you pay at the "fuel counter". There are plenty of tables and also a U-shaped dining counter. Smoking is allowed, but the ceilings are high and the place is big enough that you likely won't get much exposure. I had scrambled eggs with an English muffin and hash browns and a side order of fried mush. Everything arrived quickly and hot, and there was plenty of it. The mush was perfection! Crunchy on the edges and just slightly browned, and creamy and a little sweet on the inside. The best I've had in years. The hash browns were the kind which I don't prefer (like Denny's serves), but most people like them fine. They also serve American fries (like home fries?). Eggs were good, English muffin was perfectly toasted...I love English muffins. Some people near me got the Chicken & Noodles, which was the day's special, and it looked fantastic. Even the half-portion was huge! If you don't want the smoke exposure, there's another local restaurant on the other side of the interstate (Rensselaer Restaurant) which is smoke free.
We stopped on the way to visit family for breakfast. Huge portions and reasonable prices. Definitely not fancy, but good (how can you mess up breakfast, really?) It's the kind of place where you will see farmers alongside truckers along with highway passers-by. The kids thought the sausage was really good. I didn't have that, I had bacon, which really was the main complaint of the meal-- the bacon wasn't drained, and was sitting in a pool of grease on the plate. Huge coffee mugs for the big cup of joe to keep you going on the road.
I've not eaten here, but based on some of the other reviews I will def be checking it out. I've stopped in several times for gas and diet cola. Good place to fill up if you are on your way into the city since it just gets more expensive as you get closer.

(219) 866-5436

American (Traditional)

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McDonald’s

8834 W State Rd 114
Rensselaer, 47978
Reviews:
The dirtiest fast food restaurant I have ever been in. Incredibly rude staff. Owner standing in front observing all of this and doing nothing. There are no condiments including salt and pepper or napkins and my fries were quite old. It would seem they are trying to save money and yet there were people milling about the back of the store while I sat at a table that my arms stuck do it was so nasty. This store was about to be torn down but if they run the next one the same way it won't be any better .... just newer
The newly remodeled location has a great design. There is plenty of parking and all the food is perfectly made.
I always think reviewing a McDonald's is weird... because, you know, it's McDonald's. But I couldn't resist because of how great the staff at this location were. I'm in a walking boot post-surgery. The employee at the counter who took my order noticed and offered to let me sit down while she brought my food to me. The manager stopped by our table later to see how everything was and got me a drink refill. It looks like this location is new (or recently renovated?). It's immaculately clean, food was good, and service was outstanding.

(219) 866-4408

Fast Food, Burgers

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Strike Zone

812 S College Ave
Rensselaer, 47978
Reviews:
This place smells like vomit. THE most disgusting bowling alley I've ever been to. I was afraid to touch anything, let alone put my feet in their shoes.

(219) 866-9911

Pizza, Bowling

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Little Creek Campground

10391 S 80 W
Rensselaer, 47978
Reviews:
No review available for this restaurant

(219) 866-8807

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Clauss Bakery and Cafe

110 W Washington St
Rensselaer, 47978
Reviews:
No review available for this restaurant

(219) 866-7970

Store is open now