Some say that side dishes make the meal; on our journey, we found a few old-school delights that ably support the theory.

1. The molded fruit salad at Strongbow Inn in Valparaiso, Indiana.

2. An assortment of sides at Hollyhock Hill, in Indianapolis: cottage cheese, pickled beets, iceberg lettuce salad, and apple butter.

3. The sweet-and-sour stewed tomatoes, topped with fried croutons, at the Pine Club in Dayton, Ohio.

4. A cooling, pepper-flecked glass of tomato juice at Hollyhock Hill.

5. The red roquefort salad (lettuce topped with roquefort and julienned carrots) at the Pine Club.

6. Creamed spinach at the Pine Club.

7. Sardines on rye bread offered at the Pine Club.

8. The fried green tomatoes, green beans, and mashed potatoes at Boone Tavern in Berea, Kentucky.