eating indy

  • king bbq 003
  • thai paradise 006
  • bent rail 021
  • Chatam 019
  • Mimi Meatball 003
  • Ludwig 003
  • pearl street 014
  • biscuits 001
  • Brockway 011
  • thai fusion 004

Latest

King Rib’s Bar B Q 3145 W. 16th Street

king bbq 003

King Rib’s is an old-time local chain of BBQ joints. They have four restaurants, and according to some folks this is the best. I don’t know about that; but this place is pretty darn good.

king bbq 022

This is their “smoking” area. They have three of these bad boys out back. It has fencing all around so you can’t really get too close. I took these shots from the car, only because it was too cold to get out.

They have a small and sensible menu, featuring smoked meats, a few sides and pie. That is probably one of the reasons for their success and longevity.

king bbq 014

king bbq 001

Pat’s ribs were big, meaty and cost 9 bucks and change. No sides. I decided on their Tuesday special. Rib Tip dinner with two sides for less than $8.00. Their prices are more than reasonable. Especially when you factor in the amount of food you get.

king bbq 009

They offer their sauce three ways. Mild, hot and mixed. I ordered my tips with mixed. I also got mac and cheese and baked beans. I read one review that suggested that their sides were their weak link. Well I am not sure I necessarily agree. The beans were tasty, just not as thick and gooey as I like. As for the mac and cheese it was more than passable. There are better examples out there. Unfortunately more, that aren’t as good. Now as far as the main act goes it was right on point. In addition to being a generous pile of meaty and tender pieces it had an excellent smoky presence. The sauce they prepare is thinner than the more Southern style. But it had enough leg to cling to the meat. All in all I think it was a stellar example of the smoking art.

king bbq 019

One last thing; the pie. They have Chess Pie and Sweet Potato Pie, both made in-house. Both $2.25 per slice; $8 for a whole pie. I had a piece of Chess pie. Wow. It was good. Very good,and very sweet.

So we thoroughly enjoyed our lunch. Good food with good prices. Just make sure you save room for pie.

 

King Ribs Bar-B-Q on Urbanspoon

Thai Paradise

This is another new restaurant that has just opened in the last few weeks. I haven’t counted but it seems that Indy has several Thai eateries. This one is just a block off of the Circle,on Market. Making it the most urban place.

Their menu is pretty much like every other Thai restaurant. Noodles, rice and veggies in varying degrees of sweet and spicy. And as most Asian style restaurants around here you can get a great lunch for $7.99, complete with soup and egg roll.

The place is small,with two rows of tables along both walls and  an aisle running down the center. They seem to have a regular lunch crowd and the joint filled up really fast. Under these circumstances you really need to have your act together or else the scene can turn into a fiasco. In that regard they really know what they are doing.

thai paradise 006

As you can see the soup wasn’t the most photogenic of dishes. It was barely a cup but it was pretty tasty. It was also lukewarm, which leads me to believe they stage them in advance to get a jump-start on the service. The egg roll was okay, I prefer a spring roll, but a crisp fried roll is pretty good on a cold winter day. We had just finished our first course when our main dishes were delivered. I ordered a Pad Thai with chicken, I had a major hankering for rice noodle.

thai paradise 007

It had a nice balance of sweet and spicy and a good composition of textures. About what I would expect from an Oriental” dish. I did order it hot, not Thai hot. The result was an excellent level of heat that accentuated the inherent sweetness of the sauce. The combo of mung beans and noodles is one of my favorites.

thai paradise 008

thai paradise 009

thai paradise

thai paradise 009

So now all of you downtown workers have another lunch spot. I can’t say it is a superlative example of Thai cuisine I can say it is well made and good food. Also for all folks that don’t drive downtown it is no more than a block away from the two major bus stops in the city.

Thai Paradise on Urbanspoon

Bent Rail Brewery

bent rail 001

bent rail 003

Another new joint. According to the Star newspaper twenty new places are opening in Indianapolis this year, most of which are locally owned.  This place was the most anticipated, to me because it was the most ambitious project. A large property right on the Monon Trail with a huge old building that started its life in the 1930’s as a commercial cleaner. I doubt that the folks that put the building up could have guessed that 70 years later it would become a brewery. Or at least will soon be an actual brewery. Right now they are pouring other local beers. Of course some folks are whining about that. After all this time, etc. My thoughts are, get a million bucks and try your hand and see how easy it is.

I got a look at the menu just the other day and I was pretty excited. Naturally it all depends on the execution if it flies or not.

bent rail 021

The place is enormous. It will seat 200 folks. Right now they are not jamming tables into every inch, so there is plenty of room to move

bent rail 007

Yep that is a pin ball and a Pac-Man game. They also have a pool table by the brewery tanks.

bent rail 009

Surprising,to me they have a three-way license so they can sell spirits at their bar.

bent rail 011

But we are here for the food. I knew it would push Pat’s comfort level because all of their sandwiches are complex builds. That is to say they offer a protein and other “stuff” to both enhance the taste and the size. Pat likes, basically no more than two things on his sandwich. Preferably meat and cheese. I think he would have enjoyed other sandwiches on the menu, but he decided on the pulled pork.

bent rail 017bent rail 022

bent rail 020

One comment on Pat’s reference to cumin as a herb. Most folks consider it a spice as it is a seed from a plant related to parsley. Like coriander is the seed from cilantro. He is right though, cumin has become rather trendy around here.

bent rail 013

I got the Banh Mi. It was not traditional, but I think it held true to the intent. Pork and sausage spiked with the pickled veggies, and punctuated with fresh jalapeno and mellowed with cilantro. The mayo was very unassuming, as it should be. The portion of meat was not huge I would guess it to be in the 4 to 5 oz. range but the other “stuff” made it  a big taste. I think anymore meat would have been a distraction. All food,especially sandwiches should have a proper balance and I think this one achieved that.

Oh as for Pat’s coleslaw it was very good. It would most definitely rock on a BBQ sandwich. As for the pricing it definitely has a downtown price, but then it is downtown food. I really want to go back. I mean look at that menu. And pints of a great beer for $4.50. Well needless to say we both liked this place. I think this joint will be rocking Sobro when it gets warm,especially when they start pouring their own beer.

Bent Rail Brewing on Urbanspoon

Chatham Tap Pub 719 Mass. Ave.

Chatam 019

As you can imagine,this is an English type Pub. Complete with soccer games on TV, English draft beers and a few English style food items. Pat swore we had eaten here before. I remember coming here I just don’t recall eating here. Obviously it was pre- blog days.

The menu struck me as one where the folks have a creative spin for their sandwiches. They offer different bread choices,which isn’t uncommon. The uncommon part is the 2 ciabatta choices they have. Both of which are done in-house. They buy the dough and then proof it and bake it. For one they add rosemary. They also offer a rye, a Parisian and a black bean and salsa bread. I like that. It gives the customer a chance to “personalize” their meal.

What sort of pub would it be without fish and chips? As we all know Pat is a freak for fried fish.

So naturally he ordered a full order.

Chatam 006

Chatam 001

 

 

Chatam 010

Chatam 003

I was more interested in the sandwiches. My first thought was a pear and Gorgonzola with bacon. I loved the idea,I was concerned about how much heat was applied to the cheese. I love bleu cheese,I just don’t like it hot. It tastes metallic to me. Of course I didn’t ask before hand. I ordered a Granny Smith apple and smoked Gouda on rosemary ciabatta. I added bacon. They refer to their bacon as rasher bacon. Now what does that mean? Rasher means slice. Some people use that term in reference to a portion of bacon. Chatham uses a bacon made from pork loin not pork belly. Similar to “Canadian bacon. That is their Rasher Bacon. The sandwich was full of apple, with a slight taste of cinnamon. The bread was excellent, but I think the added bacon carried the sandwich. I think that without it I would not have enjoyed it nearly as much. As for the smoked Gouda, the cheese could have phoned it in. A very small piece that was hardly melted. Don’t get me wrong. I really enjoyed the taste I just, by default, ponder how it could have been better.

More cheese, melted, and maybe a “dressing” of a whole grain mustard. A Panini press would be a perfect tool. Also I appreciate the lettuce and tomato but I though it was superfluous. Oh I will be back. After talking with Taylor,our bar tender she gave me the 411 on the pear, Gorgonzola sandwich. The cheese was enhanced with a mayo so the result was a creamy and sweet. And it comes with Rasher Bacon. So you get sweet and salty and savory. Bonus

Chatam 003

Chatam 013

Chatam 016

So there you have it. Right smack dab in the middle of Mass. Ave. you too can enjoy the taste of an English Pub. Good food and good beer.

 

 

Chatham Tap Pub on Urbanspoon

Mimi Blue Meatballs 874 Mass. Ave.

This was the place I was headed to Saturday night when logistics got in the way. It is also the one joint I thought Pat couldn’t eat at. I couldn’t imagine a meatball without onion. As it turned out I forgot to even ask. Sorry Pat.

It is an attractive place, nice furnishings and decor. It is also on the small side. Which makes for a cozy dining experience. I arrived shortly after opening and they already had a good crowd. So I didn’t try to take any interior shots. I find it awkward taking pictures with a bunch of people in them. Not everyone likes their image up on the internet.

The menu is simple. You get a laminated menu and an erasable marker to check your choices. They offer five different meatballs and five different sauces. They also give you about 10 different sides to choose from for $5 each. All are available on the side or under the meatballs. The concept is simple, and pretty much self-explanatory. So much so that rather than confuse everyone by explaining, here is a link to their online menu.

http://www.mimibluemeatballs.com/menu/

Mimi Meatball 003

I decided on the 4 baller. Classic with marinara, veggie with garlic cream, turkey with mushroom gravy, and beef and spicy Bolognese. All on a bed of creamy polenta. A $16 meal with bread. For what it was I think the price was fair.

Each meatball had its own individual texture and flavor. The veggie was the most assertive, and not just from the cayenne pepper. It had a nice veggie component to it but it lost its charm after a couple of bites. I may have expected something more like a falafel. This tasted more cornmeal than chick pea. The turkey ball was fine. What you would expect. The classic was a nice example of a beef and pork combo. Flavorful and robust. The beef may have been my favorite because I tasted a bit of fennel seed in it. At least I think it was the beef. As for the sauces both red sauces were okay. If it weren’t for the spice I don’t think I could tell the marinara and Bolognese apart. One did have a darker color, as though it had been on the heat longer. The garlic and cream was good and just as advertised. The mushroom gravy was very delicate. I had it over the turkey ball,because I didn’t want the sauce to have too much competition. But really it is hard to keep all the tastes separate, after a while, on one bowl. On the bottom of all the balls and sauce was one common element. The polenta. It was indeed creamy and should have been an excellent accompaniment to all these balls,but I thought it was too salty.

Mimi Meatball 002

I think this place has a good idea. They have only been open 4 weeks so they are doing an exceptional job so far. I can see myself coming back for a slider or two.

Mimi Blue Meatballs on Urbanspoon

Ludwig Bavaria Haus 4302 S. E. East Street.

Ludwig 003

It does have a bit of a Bavarian feel to it, doesn’t it. Originally it was built as a Steak and Ale. That was a local chain of joints that tried for an English Manor house effect, as you can tell from the name. This particular incarnation opened a few months ago. Since then it has been savaged by some of the reviewers. As a general rule I ignore the most complementary post as well as the meanest one. In this case I noticed that some reviews were awfully hostile, just because their steak was tough. Some almost seemed personal. You always have to realize that some folks will trash a place for reasons other than food and service. Just like some friends of the owner will try to help by heaping on the praise. Frankly I think the former is worse than the latter. If you get canned from the joint,deal with it. It makes no sense to trash a restaurant simply because you couldn’t handle the job. Move on already. And as for the friends of the owner you aren’t really helping the place out. Eventually every place stands or falls on what they do. Not what others say.

So one thing the new owners kept was the Salad Bar. A foundation of the 70’s and 80’s it is not seen much anymore.

Ludwig 014

Ludwig 016

Ludwig 012

I know I took an awful lot of pictures of the salad bar, but as I said people don’t seem to have them around much;except for buffets that is.

They started out with dinner only and then opened up for lunch after they were under way. They have a nice website which features both menus so I didn’t add that to my post. I did get a scan of the beer menu,which I am adding at the end.

For lunch they offer a few lunch portions of their dinners as well as sandwiches. With the plates you get a side and a trip to the salad bar. Pat decided on Schweinbraten, slow cooked pork shoulder.

Ludwig 005

Ludwig 017

Ludwig 009

Ludwig 007

What you see here is a Frikadellen. Germany’s burger! Fresh ground pork and beef, herbs, and spices come together in this awesome sandwich. Char-grilled with caramelized onions and served on a pretzel bun.      8. I have seen these at Claus’ before. Claus is where they buy their sausages. I asked our server if that is where they got theirs. Oh no they make their own. Sold me.

The sandwich was nicely built on a pretzel bun with lettuce and tomato and topped with carmelized onion and a white cheese. The cheese offered a nice creaminess and the lettuce had a wonderful crunch. The bun was able to stand up to the patty which had a great mouth feel to it and  a nice crispy exterior. The bite was reminiscent of a sausage, tight but still moist. It was really a great sandwich. I opted for German Potato salad for my side. It was cubed red potatoes and the vinegar flavor wasn’t as pronounced  as I have had before. I enjoyed it and I thought the potatoes were done perfectly. Not soft as in some cases just properly done with a slight bite to them.

Ludwig 008

So needless to say Pat and I both enjoyed this place. All I can say is if your want a taste of German food try this place out. I don’t think you will be disappointed. And if people are indeed trashing this place simply because they have an ax to grind all I can say is stop it. Let these folks get on with running a business. Let the customers be the true arbiters.

Here is the beer menu.

Ludwig 018

 

Ludwig Bavarian Haus on Urbanspoon

Pearl Street Pizza Pub 65 E. Pearl Street

pearl street 014

I don’t usually go out at night. Especially on Saturday night. However I decided to make an exception this Saturday night. I had plans to meet some friends at a new joint on Mass. Ave. I really wanted to check this particular joint out.

When I go downtown I always take a bus;or a cab. Parking is insane, and expensive. Bus fare is cheap and even cab fare is reasonable compared to driving. However I had no idea that there were two events going on at the Stadium and the Arena. So long story short I decided to head to Pearl Street. Pat and I have been there before, before the blog and we had talked about going back. Well I just jumped the gun.

I know from earlier experience they can make a good pie. I ordered an 8 inch deep dish pizza. The basic price is $8.75. For meat it is an extra $ 1.50 and $1.00 for veggies. That makes a sausage and mushroom deep dish pizza pie $11.25. I think that is pretty expensive. Another reason I prefer lunch. They do offer a cup of soup or a salad for an extra $1.99 with a pizza.

The soup they had for the day was a spicy chicken with gorgonzola.

pearl street 013

A smooth soup with a bit of a bite and a touch of bleu cheese funk from the Gorgonzola. I found it to be a very good soup. What I enjoyed most about it was the bleu cheese component was added as a garnish so the taste wasn’t changed by heat.

pearl street 016

Now the pie. I thought it was delicious. The dough was fluffy and bread like around the edges. With a nice buttery top

crunch and the bottom with the all the good stuff in it was nice and crisp. I think every part was great. From the sauce to the sausage and mushrooms I thought it was a fine piece of work.

pearl street 015

I think this place is a wonderful choice for a pizza and beer. Right smack dab in the middle of the down town loop. It sits on Pearl Street. That is the alley that runs from Meridian Street to Penn. on the North side of the Century Building. In that area called the Wholesale District. So if your are in the area and have a hankering for a pie and beer this is as good as you will find.

 

Pearl Street Pizza & Pub on Urbanspoon

Biscuits Cafe

biscuits 001

This place has been opened for a few years, but just doesn’t get the play it should. It is at the end of a strip mall right off of the strip in Broad Ripple. The fact that it is hidden by Three Wise Men doesn’t help much. Also they have nada in the way of public out reach via a website or even Facebook. There is a “menu” on Urban Spoon but it is not even close. The food is listed as Mediterranean. Well no it’s not. It is a joint that offers both Mexican and what you might call Ameri-Mex breakfast food. The menu is huge. From pancakes, to skillet to enchiladas they have it. Oh and pancakes too.

The last time anyone reviewed it was about 6 months ago. So It seems they are due for another review.

With the name Biscuit in the name they better have some great biscuits. Right? Pat stayed clear of the Mexican style fare due to the onion content and opted for a half order of biscuits and gravy for $4.50. In addition to the half and full orders they also offer a single biscuit and gravy for $2,50.

biscuits 007

biscuits 012

Several things caught my eye. They offer mole, green sauces and pastor. All of which I am a sucker for. I decided on the lunch chimichanga with shredded chicken and mole. The lunch comes with beans and rice and a small salad,topped with  cream for $7.95. It was pretty good. The tortilla was full of juicy shredded chicken and the sauce was really pretty good. Slightly spicy from the chiles, a little sweet from the chocolate, a good execution. The beans and rice were decent. Probably better than what you normally get from a Mexican joint in Indy. All in all I would say that this is a solid choice for a lunch dish.

biscuits 008

Of course I had to try the biscuits and gravy. A single biscuit with spicy gravy. The biscuit was excellent. Large and fluffy. The gravy was good as well, just not real spicy. Of course they had several different bottles of hot sauces available to add to the kick.

biscuits 006

biscuits 009

Once again my pictures don’t do the food justice. The mole comes out as black in the picture when it is a deep and rich mahogany. Also today would have been a perfect day to bring my scanner. The menu they have just loves being scanned with a wand. Sorry but the pictures and words will have to do for now. In a way this joint reminds be of some joints I have been to in New Mex and Texas. American sandwiches, Mexican fare and Breakfast. Breakfast food is a language all its own. A good joint to hit anytime.

 

Biscuits Cafe on Urbanspoon

Brockway Pub

Brockway 011

Although a newer construction it tries to offer an air of an old-time public house. For the most part it worked well,giving a cozy feel to the place. Pat discovered it while playing with the inter net. It is located,with shops, in a new building in Carmel surrounded by several other new buildings.and it appears as if there are apartments on the upper floors as well. The building also offers a Yat’s and a Stacked Pickle,so you can have some variety.

Brockway 013

The lunch menu is a nice size, offering a good choice of appetizers, sandwiches and plates. They make their own fried mozzarella appetizer. They slice a fresh loaf into wheels, bread them and then deep fry them. The owner also has a brewery called Danny Boy. Now that is one that neither of has ever heard of. They offer 4 Danny Boy beers and you can get a flight of 3 for $6.75.

Brockway 008

They serve the flight in half pint glasses. Twenty four ounces of beer. That is a proper sampling. The beers were your typical suspects. A Witte, light with a bit of citrus and with Danny Boy a touch of ginger. A heavier Dark IPA, and a hoppier and lighter version. The beers were first-rate. I think the Witte was my favorite. As for the cheese, ho-hum. I give them props for doing it themselves but the result was bland and overcooked. I wonder if they prepared them in advance and froze them. Frying a frozen hunk of cheese that size could be a problem. The sauce provided was a type of marinara, I guess, served chilled. Again I think the idea was good but the execution was a bit off.

On their menu they mention their award-winning Fish and Chips. A 3 piece plate for $13 and a 2 piece one for $10.50. Well we all know Pat’s feelings about fried fish.

Brockway 020

Brockway 001

The batter was tasty,just too thick. The batter shell was an easy quarter-inch thick. The danger with that is fish can overcook. I thought the fries were done well.

Brockway 026

This is the batter Pat removed from one of the pieces of fish. Too much?

Brockway 024

I was more moved by the Shepherd’s Pie. A lamb ragout topped with mashed potatoes and mozzarella cheese. Now how can you resist a ragout? The mere sound of it promises pure food porn. Well another swing and while not a miss not a hit. Let’s call it a foul ball.

The meat part was okay, a bit small but okay. The potatoes were good as well and spread pretty thick and the cheese was lavish as well. I just think the ragout should be the standout,with the potatoes and cheese acting as accompaniments. So decent and priced pretty well at $8.75 just not a WOW dish.

Brockway 028

I bought a pint of Danny Boy Keg Killer for $4. They use Nitrogen as a driver and golly it was good. Nitrogen gives a micro foam that imparts a delicious creaminess to the brew. This Keg Killer is an exciting beer. It has notes similar to a Fat Tire and yet it isn’t merely a copy cat. It brought its own personality to the taste. So to me this beer took the lunch up a notch. I would most definitely go back. From what we sampled the food is good and just a wee bit away from being exceptional.

The Brockway Public House on Urbanspoon

Thai Fusion 9250-B West 10 th Street

thai fusion 004

Last week after lunch we stopped at a little bar on West 16th street for a beer. There we met Dawn who told us about this joint. She was very excited about the place,so we had to check it out. The place is pretty small. It is located in a small commercial space next to same sort of movie rental place. According to Nellie, the owner that generates a bit of business for here. People order food and then go get a movie. Sounds like a plan to me. We had a nice talk with Nellie after lunch. She is a very charming woman. Knowledgeable and cordial. And she is comfortable with her own food so she is more than happy to suggest other Thai food spots.

thai fusion 006

They have the menu on the wall, which is always convenient. They also have selected items as $4.95 lunch specials. We decided on the big board menu. First we ordered a vegetable spring roll for $3.95 and deep-fried tofu for $4.95.

thai fusion 010

The Spring roll was huge. Even cutting it in half gave us 2 pieces easily 5 inches long. Possibly because it was so long but it didn’t seem to be wrapped as tightly as others I have tried. Of course that in no way detracted from the taste and the freshness of the roll. It was very nice and the sauce served with it was outstanding. A sauce like this is served with a lot of rolls I have tried,however this seem to be a cut or two above the others.

thai fusion 012

I am not a big fan of tofu. I must admit that I enjoy cooking with it though. I liked the creaminess of the inside, it just had very little flavor of it’s own. But it was a nice contrast of texture.

thai fusion 018

thai fusion 021

Pat was more concise today than normal. I know he is a big fan of fried tofu, since it is a common item on his house menus. I just don’t have the requisite knowledge to compare the 2 different textures. So now I am curious about the difference.

I was compelled by the pineapple and bell pepper listed in the ingredients of the Pad Prew Waan. It is a type of sweet and sour using a sweet chile as a sweetening agent. It was good. A great array of texture,with a spicy sweetness that slowly increases in heat that you have a nice buzz on the tongue. And it came with white rice.

thai fusion 014

What a splendid lunch for $8.95. Of course the tomatoes were your typical winter variety, not fully ripe. This didn’t really effect the overall dish, just an observation.

thai fusion 016

So now all the folks on the West side can get their Thai fix. And at an excellent place,too. So Nellie thanks again for the food and good luck to you.

Thai Fusion on Urbanspoon

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 167 other followers

%d bloggers like this: