RESTAURANT REVIEW: Old Train Depot in Pierceton

The sign at Old Train Depot in Pierceton welcomes diners to the historic train station. (Photo by Laura Weston-Elchert for The News-Sentinel)
Old Train Depot's reuben sandwich had an abundant layer of corned beef that was evenly matched with the sauerkraut and Thousand Island dressing. (Photo By Laura Weston-Elchert for The News-Sentinel)
The Old Train Depot’s German potato soup was not a cream-based soup. Instead, it was thick and chunky with little broth. (Photo by Laura Weston-Elchert for The News-Sentinel)
I was tempted to have cheesecake after our server told us I could have it topped with a sauce that tasted like creme brulee - one of my favorite desserts. I didn’t taste creme brulee, but the cheesecake had a great texture. (Photo by Laura Weston-Elchert for The News-Sentinel)
Old Train Depot's caboose burger was topped with lots of grilled onions, mushrooms and bacon strips; the whole schmeer was smothered in Swiss cheese. (Photo by Laura Weston-Elchert for The News-Sentinel)
This pretzel appetizer was the perfect size and didn’t spoil our dinner. It was a tasty opener; I would order it on a return visit to Old Train Depot. (Photo by Laura Weston-Elchert for The News-Sentinel)
Pierceton's Old Train Depot is a venue for weddings and parties. The dining car at the back of the station is also available for rent. (Photo by Laura Weston-Elchert for The News-Sentinel)
At Old Train Depot, my friend had raspberry and chocolate sauces drizzled on her cheesecake. Both cheesecakes were resting on a spiderweb of sauces. (Photo by Lisa M. Esquivel Long of The News-Sentinel)

In the rustling of the leaves, you can almost hear the steam locomotives of long ago chugging along the rails, their whistles blowing mournfully. Those bright orange-and-red leaves begin to fade as nightfall arrives.

With today being Halloween, it’s easy to imagine the Old Train Depot in Pierceton as the location for a spooky story. But I’m happy to say that when it comes to food, the depot offers plenty of treats.

When the previous rail station burned, the 1867 historic depot was built. It handled trains from the Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne and Chicago Railroad. This sturdy structure has walls that are three bricks thick.

There are a few dining tables on the first floor, but you’ll want to go upstairs and sit in the bar area (provided you’re older than 21, of course). That gets you a look down over the large banquet room that’s a venue for weddings and parties. The dining car at the back of the station is also available for private parties.

For an appetizer, my companion and I chose the pretzel bites with a generous cup of nacho cheese. The bites were very hot and had a slight crunch on the soft pretzel. The cheese didn’t have much fiery heat. I appreciated the pretzel salt, too. This appetizer was the perfect size and didn’t spoil our dinner. It was a tasty opener; I would order it on a return visit.

I had to stay with the restaurant’s train theme and order the caboose burger. The large beef patty was cooked until the edges were charred, just how I love them. The burger was topped with lots of grilled onions, mushrooms and bacon strips; the whole schmear was smothered in Swiss cheese. It was delicious, but it was too big for my appetite. The patty was larger than the buttery ciabatta bun. Plan on taking home a half sandwich for a late-night snack.

The Old Train Depot’s German potato soup was not a cream-based soup. Instead, it was thick and chunky with little broth. Potatoes, carrots, celery and rivelets — small balls of dough-like dumplings — made this soup hearty and very flavorful.

The soup was a perfect pairing with my friend’s reuben sandwich, which was served on slices of grilled, buttery marbled rye bread. The abundant layer of corned beef was evenly matched with the sauerkraut and Thousand Island dressing. As the aroma of the reuben was wafting my way, I was plotting how I could steal half of her sandwich. Both sandwiches came with kettle chips.

I was tempted to have cheesecake after our server told us I could have it topped with a sauce that tasted like creme brulee — one of my favorite desserts. I felt greedy and opted to have caramel sauce, too. I didn’t taste creme brulee, but the cheesecake had a great texture. The tangy cheese flavor was a good balance to the sweet sauces. My friend had raspberry and chocolate sauces drizzled on her cheesecake. Both desserts were resting on a spiderweb of sauces. These servings were large; so large my friend couldn’t eat all of hers. Of course, I ate all of mine.

There was nothing spooky about the food at Old Train Depot. If you’re in or around Pierceton tonight, stop by to have dinner and a cocktail and see whether you see or hear a train on this haunted night.

Happy Halloween!

This column is the commentary of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of The News-Sentinel. Email Laura Weston-Elchert at lweston@fortwayne.com, or call her at 461-8468.

Old Train Depot

Where: 115 E. Market Street, Pierceton

When: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday; Closed Sunday-Monday

Phone: 1-574-594-2090

Website: http://theoldtraindepot.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/The-Old-Train-Depot-Venue-684728384889627/

Menu sampler

• Pretzel breadsticks with cheese: $5.99

• Pesto pizza appetizer: $8.99

• Cobb salad: $9.95

• Steak burger: $8.49

• Reuben sandwich: $8.99

• Caboose burger: $9.99

• Spaghetti with marinara and meatballs: $10.99

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