Sigler’s: Where a Taste of the Past Is a Real Present

Sigler's Restaurant in Lebanon#LebanonIN — Sigler’s Restaurant, located off State Road 39 between Lebanon and Mechanicsburg, Indiana is minutes away from better-known Boone County restaurants and miles from the trendy eateries found in Indianapolis. But when you walk into the 70-year old former bank, you’ll be dining in the past. And it’ll taste better than you remember.

I must have looked like an “out-of-towner” instead of a “down-the-roader,” because a paint contractor who stopped by for lunch, shared with me stories of how he ate breakfast on the very I was sitting on “every day of my childhood.”

I asked if he wanted his old seat back and he looked downright offended. “No! of course not! But make sure you have the macaroni salad as a side.”

Counter-top service at Sigler'sThe restaurant only seats 25; maybe eight around the L-shaped diner bar and 18 around tables that seat three or four. It feels like the diner experience The Steak & Shakes and Frisch’s of the world are trying to recreate.

I tried the simple bacon cheese burger with crinkle cut fries. “Everything hold the onion?” Martha Sigler, who co-owns the restaurant with her husband George.  She actually guessed it right. That’s exactly how I like my burger, but I added, “No mayo either.”

I stared longingly at the pie display as they prepared my food under the plastic Coca-Cola menu board. They put dessert right there on the bar with you . . . not very fair, but a good sales tactic.

Sigler's bacon cheeseburger with onion ringsOnce the burger slid under my nose, I knew I made a mistake. It was the best burger I’d had in months, but the special of the day was chicken n’ dumplings and EVERYBODY was either eating it or was in the process of ordering it.

When I make a second visit, I’ll return on a Friday and get the apple dumpling, which is only served on TGIF. I’m told several of the dumplings have made cross-country journeys in coolers to far-flung Boone County natives who long for a taste of home. Oh! And I’ll try the chicken and dumplings too.