eating indy

  • garretts 006
  • 317 burger 008
  • 317 burger 001
  • Thai Cafe 003
  • courses 008
  • unleavened bread cafe 002
  • 506
  • chef dan 002
  • king bbq 003
  • thai paradise 006

Latest

Garrett’s Smokehouse Barbeque 5502 N. Emerson Way

Pat and I have tried to hit every Q joint we can find in the area. This place hasn’t been considered because it doesn’t open until 4 PM during the week. On weekends, commencing Friday they open at 11. Since this particular place had mixed reviews it intrigued me, so we changed our plans. Not really sure it was a good decision.

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That's Pat waving at the dude taking pictures

That’s Pat waving at the dude taking pictures

The place is small and clean and has seating for about a dozen diners. They have a small menu featuring the usual fare. Ribs, pulled pork, chicken and brisket. The sides are what you would expect and the deserts are house made. My interior shots will have to suffice because I forgot to take any pictures of the food. And the saddest thing was I didn’t remember that I forgot until I got home.

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They have a cool collection of Pig Art displayed in the corner. All of their tables are covered in red and white checkered cloth and the chairs have an old school flair with comfy seats.

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Since the brisket wasn’t ready I got pulled chicken on an onion bun. The bun was pretty good and not too common around here. The portion was tremendous for $6 but it was pretty dry. I think their biggest problem is the reheat of the meat. I am not positive how they re-thermalize their product but what ever way they use I don’t think is working. A BBQ sauce should not be used to make meat moist. I think their chicken may have been done well initially however their re heat needs some work.

The greens were good but nothing superlative. The peach cobbler was outstanding. A healthy amount of fruit and a good cobbler crust. I am sorry I don’t have any pictures to show you what we ate.

So all in all it was a passable lunch for me. Like Pat were I in the area I would try the joint again. However I wouldn’t travel that far just to eat there.

After lunch Pat and I went to the Tick Tock Lounge to meet some friends and I took the opportunity to try one of their signature Bloody Mary Cocktails, featuring in house bacon infused vodka, house made Mary mix and a unique array of garnish.

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It was delicious. Spicy with a good amount of horse radish and with all the “stuff” added it is like brunch in a glass. A pint of Bloody goodness for 10 bucks.

 

 

Garrett's Smokehouse Barbeque on Urbanspoon

317 Burger 915 Westfield Blvd.

Okay. I have messed this post up already. This is the second joint we visited today, with the raw cafe being the first. So I should have written this first so it would be seen second. That way it would have a logical sequence. Oh well.

After our first course we needed some meat. This burger joint started out as dinner only but a few weeks ago they started serving lunch. During lunch they use a smaller version of their menu. No appetizers and most of their speciality burgers aren’t on there. Pat decided on their classic for $9 at lunch with chips instead of homemade fries. That is their basic Angus burger with cheese and usual cold set.

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When I asked our bartender about their speciality burgers he told me they could fix anything on the menu. Which I thought was very nice of him. I had my eye on the Parthenon. A lamb burger with “gyro bacon”, feta and tatziki sauce on a pita; with fries for $12.

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My burger was more than the mid rare I ordered and the “gyro bacon “was sliced gyro meat. I guess they figured that some crisp strips from a gyro cone would give a bacon effect. Well the overall flavor was very good but I think some lamb bacon from Smoking Goose would do a better job. As for the over cook that was just an all around goof. The meat had a bit of pink to it so it wasn’t  rendered uneatable, and as I said it was tasty. As far as the fries went they were your usual limp house cut fries. Tasty but not real crisp.

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So all in all they offer a pretty good burger. I would like to try one of their regular Angus burgers and see if they can do one medium rare.

317 Burger on Urbanspoon

Ezra’s Enlightened Raw Food Cafe 6516 Ferguson

Welcome to Indy’s 1st RAW, “BEE”-GAN, GLUTEN-FREE & GMO-FREE cafe!

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The top line is from their website. I know little about raw food. I do know that when creating dishes the temperature of the ingredients never exceeds 118 degrees F. As I understand it if the temperature goes beyond 118 degrees the food is harmed. Nutrition is lost and elements may even become toxic.

This cafe opened up several months ago. I was intrigued by it from the beginning, but it took a while for me and Pat to work up the nerve to visit. Our plan was to visit here for an “appetizer” and then go to a new burger joint, also in Broad Ripple.

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I never asked what was in Pat’s bowl. Other than the obvious ingredients he mentioned and the greens and sprouts the bowl was a mystery to me. I really should have been more curious. The presentation was nice and the portion size seemed adequate for $10.

They have a display case for all of their ready-made unbakery confections.

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I opted for a bowl of corn soup, a lemon square and a cup of cold tea. A very interesting combo as it turned out.

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The lemon square was tasty. Sweet but not all that much lemon for my taste. It was a decent size, approximately 4 inches square but pricey at $6.

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I saw the soup on their website. Organic corn with jalapeno. Five dollars for a good-sized bowl. I was looking forward to it, but was rather disappointed. I found no heat component to it and the consistency was much too “creamy”. All I could taste was sweet corn and it really could have been helped by some chunks of chile, or corn or something to break the monotony of the oatmeal like texture.

The tea was good. It had a slight natural sweetness and a gentle tea flavor. A 16 ounce cup, with refill, a bargain at $2.75.

Pat and I found their pricing high. However considering their commitment to local organic sources that is to be expected. Their dishes seem well crafted and thoughtful. They just don’t “call to us”. So I don’t expect to put Ezra’s on my list of go to joints.

Ezra's Enlightened Raw Food Cafe on Urbanspoon

Thai Cafe 1041 Broad Ripple Avenue.

There is something about rainy weather that makes Thai food compelling. Pat and I decided on Thai,again. Indy has a few Thai style restaurants available. For this occasion we decided on one in the “Village”. The address may seem familiar because it is the epicenter of what I call Ripple Food Central. That is a strip mall that houses several different ethnic eating options, as well as a brewery. Pretty convenient.

This particular joint has been around for a while but has changed owners. A few of the reviews have been less than complimentary concerning the owner and the service. I notice reviews, and I take them into consideration, up to a point. Bottom line I need to check out the joint first hand.

The place is compact, nicely appointed and neat and clean. Our first impression of the servers was they were competent and actually looking forward to waiting on us. After we were seated the first thing I noticed was their vaulted ceiling and this part of the decor.

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I have no idea what it is. I only hope it lights up at night, and possibly spins. Oh I hope it spins.

The first thing I noticed about this particular Thai restaurant was they offer Sushi. That is rare,in my experience. Oh one thing about this particular mall is that all the restaurants have a menu posted to the outside windows. You can see what to expect before you walk in. As much as I love Sushi I resisted. One of my all time favorite Sushi joints is about one block west. Besides to me Sushi without sake is like pizza without beer.

I really enjoy noodles. I really enjoy bean sprouts and veggies, so I ordered Khauk Swe Kyaw. Like all of their lunch specials they come with soup or salad choice for about 8 or 9 bucks. Pat and I both opted for the soup, lemon grass.

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I have never had a Lemon Grass soup as assertive as this. Most often soups of this nature are flat and singularly flavored. A mild chicken broth with a weak citrus taste and a hint of cilantro. To me this cup was an explosion of lemon and chicken flavor and the cilantro was more than a passing herb, it brought its true taste to the forefront. I would venture a guess that this was due to the fat structure of the soup. You could taste it in the soup and fat is not only flavor it transfers flavor. So, yeah I dug the soup.

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Now isn’t that a beautiful plate. An amazing abundance of veggies and chicken  with a nuance of peanut and topped with fresh carrot and mung sprouts. One of my favorite combos.

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So now…Here’s Pat.

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Now don’t ask me why the one photo had a green cast to it. I give my camera to Pat to take the shots of his own lunch and I have no idea what happened. I do think it’s sort of cool though.

Well regardless of the photos Pat and I are in agreement of this place. Even though we did have differing opinions of the soup. I think Pat was working on a cold. No matter we both think this joint is a keeper. So add this to your list of joints to eat at in the Ripple.

 

 

Thai Cafe on Urbanspoon

Courses Restaurant 2820 N. Meridian Street

I had the most singular luncheon experience today. Courses is a student staffed restaurant connected to the Culinary Program of Ivy Tech. From the preparation to the presentation, everything is done by the students. The building that the Culinary Program calls home was originally  Stouffer’s Inn. Built in 1966 it was operating as a hotel until 1980.

When Ivy Tech acquired it in 2010 the thing was redone to meet the needs of a growing College. I believe the Restaurant proper and its production kitchen are in what once was Stouffer’s Lounge and dining room. Some of that ambiance remains.

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They offer a Prix Fixe Menu which changes periodically. They also offer, beer and wine.

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Yes the price is $12. That is not a mis-print. Three miles North; Broad Ripple, or South: Downtown and a burger would cost you 10 bucks.

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Naturally I opted for the sausage and cheese plate. Their cheese offering was a medium hard Gruyer cheese and a semi soft brie. For the meats they provided a prosciutto, a type of dried sausage and a salumi. I thought the combination was well thought out and executed. By giving both spicy and sweet meats with differing textures of cheese your taste buds had a delightful workout. They also kept the pickled accents small. Enough to break up the richness of the meat and cheese but not enough to skew your mouth.

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For my entre, or featured part of my lunch I decided on the duck sandwich.

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I must say I was very pleased. The duck confit was excellent. Moist and unctuous,with a great flavor. The portion was massive as well and the addition of a slice of duck bacon was a most welcome Lagniappe. All in all it was one of the top 5 sandwiches I have had in the last couple of years. The bread, which they make as well, was a perfect partner to the duck. Speaking of bread. As soon as you are seated you are brought a basket of bread and a plate of butter. This particular service they offered a sourdough. To me the best possible bread with butter and sausage.

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Now what could possibly be the perfect ending to such a rich and luscious lunch? How about Chocolate pots de creme.

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Now when was the last time you saw something this decadent? The chocolate wasn’t completely smooth. Every now and then you would get a tiny chunk of chocolate. Chocolate so dense and thick your spoon stands up in it. Delicious.

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The restaurant is only open for lunch on Wednesday and Thursday with seating from 11:00 to 12:15 PM. And reservations are recommended. We first heard about it late last year but couldn’t get in. Unfortunately Pat had to go out-of-town this week so I had to go solo. They also serve dinner. So now I have to start going out in the evening. This is a hidden gem. Excellent food and a warm and wonderful staff. Very impressive joint. It is definitely worth the wait for a reservation.

Courses Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Unleavened Bread Cafe 3003 N. Central Ave.

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This little place sells their food for the greater good of their ministry. They are very upfront about that. They have the cafe to spread the word and to make the money for their works.

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They are open from 6:00 AM to 2:00 PM for breakfast and lunch only. You won’t find any sauce reductions here and their idea of local sourcing is whatever the neighborhood grocery sells. But what they offer is well made and reasonably priced. And don’t expect any urban chic or otherwise trendy decor.

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We were on the road today before 10:30 so naturally our thoughts turned to breakfast. This cafe has been on our radar for some time, but we were never able to catch it open before today. As you can see their breakfast menu is very straightforward.

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We split a full order of biscuits and gravy, for $4.50.

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My eyes were bigger than Pat’s. I chose pancakes over French toast and added potatoes and a sausage patty to the bacon.

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Well their bread may be unleavened but you can’t say the same for the biscuits and pancakes. The pancakes I had were nearly one inch high. Now that is fluffy. The same goes for the biscuits. The gravy was loaded with sausage and quite good. It was the sort of biscuits and gravy you could eat with regularity and enjoy every time.

I thought the hash brown was the weakest link of all the food. You can buy shredded patties like that in the meat case of several grocery stores. That was hardly a deal breaker though.

So if you’re in the area and are hungry you know where to go. I think if you ask them nice they may be able to add some blueberries to those fluffy pancakes. There is room, and you know you want to.

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Unleavened Bread Cafe on Urbanspoon

Burgerhaus 335 West 9th. Street.

This joint is on the Canal walk. Which means it is tough to find the first time. There is a parking garage above the it and they do validate the parking. So it is free to park. Just don’t be confused by the credit card only sign. You can get a ticket and then go ahead to the parking area. Don’t. I repeat don’t back up and go park someplace else.

As for the place itself it is really nice. Oak wood throughout. A charming and cozy little place. With a killer out-door space right on the Canal.

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They have a little bar in the front. We chose to sit in the dining room. We thought it would lessen the temptation for beer drinking. As the name suggests they offer burgers. They have a proprietary blend of local source meat portioned out into 1/2 pound patties. I had a few questions about the source of the beef, and the buns. Also what was in the slaw etc. Unfortunately our server,Suzy had only been there 2 weeks so she did not know.

Now Suzy did a bang up job in service, I just would like to see more knowledge of servers about the stuff they are trying to sell. So maybe the bosses should stress that a bit more.

Well as for the burgers. They really and truly rock.

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Their Haus burger is served on a Brioche bun with butter lettuce , tomato and red onion. Also with a choice of “typical” cheese and fries or coleslaw. All this for $9.50. In some areas that is pricey. Downtown it is, unfortunately typical.

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I ordered my burger mid rare. And that was exactly how it came out.

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It was a delicious piece of meat and bun. Simple food is so wonderful. This was one. I must say this. They offer more exotic cheeses as an option for a $1.50 upcharge. I opted for Brie. Now that was a mistake.

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The Brie was okay. The portion was not. I think that this burger is best served sans cheese. If you feel as though you need a bit of dairy just go for the more typical options.

They have other stuff on the menu. Salads and such. But if they have Burger in its name. What does that tell you. They also have a Burger of the month, and you can sub a portabella cap for any burger for no additional charge. So this is a serious Burger joint. Enjoy.

 

Burgerhaus on Urbanspoon

Chef Dan’s Southern Comfort Restaurant 5539 E. Washington St.

Anyone familiar with the Indy food truck scene is aware of Chef Dan. They have served their food out of a little yellow truck since 2011. Their decision to go the brick and mortar route is a big move for them and Indy. Now everyone knows exactly where to go to get their Delta food itch scratched.

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As you can see the menu covers the Mississippi and Louisiana food culture pretty well. You order at a counter and the food is brought to you when it is done. We ordered an appetizer and dessert when we ordered our main meals. We wanted to try as much as we could. Without going crazy. We started with Boudin balls.

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Without getting into the weeds on explanation Boudin is a blood sausage with rice. A piece is removed from the casing, breaded and deep-fried. These were pretty good. As expected it had a nice smooth texture with that welcome coppery flavor you find in cooked blood or organ dishes. They were served with a mayo based dipping sauce. The sauce was so-so and I found it too thick to actually dip the sausage in. But actually I think the balls can stand on their own without the need for a sauce.

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I took a of Pat’s chicken breast and I agree it was indeed exceptional. I opted for a catfish dinner so I could get 2 sides.chef dan 026The presentation of the fish is very down home. By cutting the fish and bread in half I was able to have 2 sandwiches. Which is a pretty good deal. The fish was nicely breaded and nicely fried. Nothing to make it unique but it was tasty . I ordered greens and beans and rice as my sides. As Pat said the greens were indeed spot on. They use smoked turkey when they cook down the greens so I guess it could pass for a healthy dish. The red beans were nicely done as well they didn’t have much rice in them though and no sausage. The last part enables them to say that they are vegan.

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As for our dessert, beignets they were pretty good. Although I thought they were more dense than I have had before.

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So there you have it. Chef Dan’s and his Southern comfort food. A nice little joint that is well worth a visit. I plan on going back to try something from the Louisiana side of the menu. And some pie, and or pudding.

 

 

Chef Dan's Southern Comfort Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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