On my third visit to TC’s Restaurant & Tavern, I asked our server: “What’s the TC’s Special sandwich?” Turns out it’s a boneless rib sandwich with jalapeños and barbecue sauce on a hoagie roll, and as she told us, using her fingers to illustrate, “It’s about this long and this tall.”
This was proof to me that — In the best way possible — you cannot trust any potion size at TC’s, whether it’s your server’s eyeballed estimate or a printed line on the menu. Case in point: Does that look like a 10-ounce filet? It’s cool. You can answer whenever you’re done salivating. (Note also the behemoth baked potato bundled on the plate.)
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Steak is both the sort of entrée most restaurants serve out of habit and one about which diners are so finicky or skeptical, they generally skip it. There are other things you could order at this unassuming bar and grill just off the main drag in Battle Ground. And you should, if you can go light on breakfast, lunch … and maybe even the previous night’s dinner.
Don’t feel awkward ordering TC’s corn dog; the light, sweet cornmeal is a perfectly good sidecar to your meal. Spring allergies got you down? Lift your spirits and sinuses with TC’s zesty, delicious wasabi crab / shrimp balls. The tenderloin sandwich — sized the Hoosier way, bun like a beanie — is another good choice. About the only course TC’s doesn’t do is dessert … and even then, sort of. Their alcoholic pudding shots are a delectable, single-serving cap to the meal.
As the steaks go, the ribeye is excellent. The porterhouse clocks in at 1 ½ pounds. But that 10-ounce filet is TC’s true pièce de résistance. Sorry. “10-ounce” filet. (Need to make it a two-mealer? No sweat. While nothing will ever beat “fresh off the grill,” a low-and-slow oven reheat with a little butter for flavor makes for luxurious leftovers.) Bacon-wrapped, cooked to order and accompanied by your choice of potato, salad or soup and dinner rolls, this filet makes its case for the county’s best steak and you’ll find it in a town of just over 1,000 people. (Even on a weeknight, a good 5% of the town probably rolls through. Soon enough, you’ll know how good it is, too.)
TC’s ambience is small-town tapestry all the way, historical Battle Ground photos and tchotchkes hung on the walls alongside the justly deserved best-of plaques. It’s the kind of place where the drinks never run low but the prices do — just $24 for that “10-ounce” and all those sides. As a kingly option for area steak, TC’s is unfussy, unhurried and generally unparalleled.
IF YOU GO
- TC’s Restaurant and Tavern
- 109 N. Railroad St.
- Battle Ground, IN 47920
- (765) 567-2838
- 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Mondays-Saturdays
- Closed Sundays
- Appetizers: $6 to $8
- Sides and Salads: $3 to $8
- Sandwiches: $3 to $7
- Entrees: $11 to $28
- 10-ounce Filet (a must)
- Hand-Breaded Tenderloin
- Onion Rings
- Corn Dog
- Pudding Shots
- Wasabi Crab/Shrimp Balls