New Frozen Dinner Restaurant Opens in Hobart
HOBART, IN– Residents in the communities surrounding Indian Ridge golf course have a new culinary option close to home as Dîner Surgelé, a new restaurant specializing in just serving you food acquired from the frozen section of some grocery store, recently opened its doors in the shopping plaza on the East side of the street across from St. Mary’s Medical Center.
With offerings such as Tender White Meat Turkey & Stuffing in a Homestyle Gravy with Russet Mashed Potatoes, Ketchup Glazed Classic Meatloaf made with Natural™️ Beef & Pork, and Six Salisbury Steaks made with Chicken, Pork, and Beef with 9g of Protein per serving, Dîner Surgelé is already proving to be extremely popular with residents of the town, known for its love of high school football, lakeside entertainment, and excessive traffic law enforcement.
“A lot of the commercial spaces zoned for restaurant use have had a hard time staying open outside of downtown in general,” local jeweler and golf enthusiast Kevin Gobbler told us when interviewed near a postal box located in the plaza. “Most of the places in town that offer food only do it because they need it for their liquor licenses. I mean, there are a lot of great options if you’re going out for like nine beers. The pizza place has always done well, especially since the Little Caesars went out of business. The (bar with pool tables and live music) has pretty good burgers and wings. The one (bar that has illegal poker and pull tabs) towards Lake Station has a crock pot with stew and those crackers that come wrapped in pairs. Sometimes, especially when it’s cold like this, I like to get quesadillas at the (Mexican bar).”
Downtown Hobart resident Jason “Korn” Thomas also voiced considerable enthusiasm for the new establishment when we spoke to him on his motor scooter as he stopped at an ATM in the plaza on his way to the local Garden and Feed store.
“…they could have twelve different types of Hot Pockets ready for me to go in seven minutes, sooner if I phoned ahead” -Jason “Korn” Thomas
“When I first saw the place’s name, I was like ‘What the hell?’” Thomas told us, emphasizing his point by gesturing towards the restaurant’s new, ice-blue neon sign from across the parking lot through heavy wool mittens in 22° February weather. “The name made me think it was a fancy doughnuts place or another place that they’d have breakfast. I didn’t think much more about it until I saw that they were open late Wednesday night when I stopped at the drug store on my way home from drinking at my friend Joel’s house. I ended up stopping by and asking the girl who worked there what the deal was because she was smoking out front.”
“She told me they could have twelve different types of Hot Pockets ready for me to go in seven minutes, sooner if I phoned ahead,” Thomas explained, checking his cell phone. “I’m actually 12 minutes late to pick up some French bread pizza from there now.”
Seeing an opportunity to get an inside look at the new eatery’s day to day operations, we followed along. General Manager Kristen Taylor was happy to speak with us.
“We originally intended to open a small French Bistro with an unassuming wine list, maybe a handful of daily entrée selections that sell out when we run through them and a handful of reliable wine offerings. Just a nice place to get simple, lovingly prepared food for a quiet evening with friends” Taylor told us, ringing Thomas’ order up and wishing him a pleasant night.
“That lasted about six weeks before the Yelp reviews and Facebook ‘suggestions’ made it pretty clear that this was not only an unpopular business model for the area, but one that people found offensive, even threatening, for some reason.”
“I’m a people-pleaser, so I took the online comments, anonymous letters, Trip Advisor reviews, and shouts from across the parking lot and I did what a lot of people in this business don’t. I listened,” Taylor emphasized, gesturing towards a framed piece of correspondence above the cash register that appeared to be written in red sharpie with an unusual number of exclamation points. “When people tell you what they want, it’s easy to think about yourself and what you think they should be asking for. That’s what the guy who ran (bar with craft beer that was in the location previously) did. That was his first mistake.”
Asked about the transition from their original concept to their new focus on frozen foods prepared to order, Taylor was emphatic; “This industry has been hit hard by resignations, product price increases, and staff shortages these past few years. I couldn’t have come across this concept at a better time! Most weekdays I can handle our peak business hours entirely on my own now that we got the second oven installed and an additional six microwaves. On weekends there’s a girl I hired to run the register and take phone orders. The amount of money she saves us by limiting the number of napkins and plastic utensils people take has pretty much paid for us to bring her on already.”
Dîner Surgelé is located on South Lake Park Avenue, just South of Downtown Hobart. They are open from 5AM to 4AM daily, with special offers and discounts on major holidays. They are currently entertaining partnership offers to open a second location, possibly in the Four Seasons area, where they feel their concept would be particularly successful. We highly recommend diners consider their “Two Pounds of Signature Select Garlic Toast” to share. Their Stouffer’s “Lasagna with Meat Sauce” Large Family Size is a popular individual entrée but consider planning on taking some of it as leftovers as they have the finest Anytizers™️ menu in the South half of Lake County.