eating indy

  • Ludwig 003
  • pearl street 014
  • biscuits 001
  • Brockway 011
  • thai fusion 004
  • J & M Smoke 015
  • punchburgers 031
  • local greens 002
  • 002
  • 86 th. Street Pub 006

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Ludwig Bavaria Haus 4302 S. E. East Street.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Ludwig Bavarian Haus on Urbanspoon

Pearl Street Pizza Pub 65 E. Pearl Street

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

 

J & M’s Smoke House 7220 Rockville Road

Well;here we are on the West side. We don’t seem to get here too often. For some reason we seem to stay in that central corridor of South, Central and North. Well we gonna’ try and fix that.

I am not sure how long this Smoke House has been around,but I first heard of it a few weeks ago, and the reviews I have read have been pretty positive. It’s located in a strip mall,and can be a bit tricky to find,as it is a distance from the street. However once you get close the aroma draws you, literally right to the front door.

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This bad boy sits right in front of the joint,and the day we were there it was in service,smoking some pork butts. I was able to chat with the young man working the post and he told me they used a bit of dry rub only on the brisket. This aroma is the best ad I could think of for a BBQ joint.

Once inside we found a neat little space. Bright and clean.

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They make their own sauces and keep them in squeeze bottles on the tables. They offer a sassy sweet, a hot and a more east coast mustard style. We started off with an order of fried mushrooms.

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I have to say that their mushroom appetizer was average, at best. Small button mushrooms with a rather boring coating and served with a very non descript Ranch dressing. Average price and average taste. Our server gave us a taste of their pulled pork, which sealed the deal for Pat.

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I was really tempted by their smoked meatball sandwich. But I thought I would play it safe and go with the brisket sandwich with Lava beans.

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Where do I begin? The meat had a really nice smoke flavor and a picture perfect smoke ring, but the overall it missed the mark. The meat was chewy and hard to bite and pretty bland. In order to get some flavor I had to add some sauce. Sauce should be used sparingly to enhance an existing flavor. Not as a substitute for flavor. For what it is worth I think they should use a rub and adjust the cook time. A rub does two things. Adds an extra level of flavor and it also does a Chemistry thing to help tendering the meat. They have their smoker set on 175 degrees, which is a sweet zone for Q. So, again this is just one man’s opinion.

The beans were really good. A nice level of heat and full of meat. A really good accompaniment for cow or pig. The sauces were decent , and the prices were on point as well.

Some bloggers don’t like to say if they like or dis like a joint. I have no problem with that. I rarely dis-like a place. The most I usually do is abstain from like or dis-like. Like a Congressman that votes present. This is the case here.

J&M's Smokehouse on Urbanspoon

Punch Burger 137 E. Ohio St.

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This place has been opened for a while and has gotten some pretty good reviews. Of course some folks complain about the prices. The burgers they offer are all $6.50, and they are all natural. Whatever that means. Sadly that is about normal for downtown,even for 6 oz.

In addition to some specialty burgers you can pick just what you want from a pretty good list of options.

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PunchBurger

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Pat usually is the more oblique part of the team but this time he was darn near Gabby. He isn’t a big fan of grass-fed beef because he ran into a couple of tough steaks one time,so he views all grass-fed cows with suspicion.

I settled for a cow burger,on a pretzel bun with swiss cheese house made sweet pickles and a side of waffle fries.

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I agree with Pat the burger was really good, When we ordered we were asked if we wanted our burger well done or a bit of pink. We both wanted pink and pink is what we got.

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The burgers are cooked on a flat top so you get a nice crispness. Marry it with a bit of pink and you get a good little burger. They also do a nice job as pickle makers. A slightly sweet pickle is a great change of pace from the standard dill.

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They have a web site that shows the menu, but I don’t think it shows pricing. The burgers are $6.50, cheese $.65 and waffle fries are $2.25 while fries of the sweet potato variety cost $2.75. Oh and they also sell beer and wine. I actually can see myself eating on their little patio this summer. Burgers and beer and conveniently located. Sounds good.
Punch Burger on Urbanspoon

 

 

Public Greens 900 E. 64 th Street

local greens 002This is another Patachou Inc. project. This new space is unlike any of their other locations. The others focus on cooked to order meals and full service. This Urban Kitchen and Grill is more cafeteria than restaurant.

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http://publicgreensurbankitchen.com/menu/

They have a menu on the wall as you walk in. I couldn’t get a good picture of it so I stuck a link to it here. As you can see they offer several different vegetable medley and they decrease in price the more you order. They also have the usual proteins and some not so usual for $6 to $8. Everything is alla carte’. You decide what you want to eat, tell the nice young lady with the tablet, the tablet transmits the order to the kitchen, you walk down the aisle,pay the man and get your food. Not unlike Micky D’s. Now that remark is in no way meant to be snide or mean. Regardless of the food McDonald’s business has been pretty successful.

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This is on the wall directly opposite the front door. A very laudable goal. For that reason people should be hoping for their success. Goals aside this is a business. In order to do their acts of charity they must sell food. So will this newest venture follow with the success the others have shown? This particular joint has been opened less than 2 weeks and when we visited the place was full. So it seems like it has a good start. But the food will keep it that way.

They change their soup daily. This particular day the offering was a vegan carrot topped with pine nuts. It didn’t trip my trigger.

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The red smear is hot sauce Pat got for the chicken. All of the condiments are at one central location opposite the kitchen.

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Pat’s chicken was over done in my estimation. I tasted a piece and it had a heavy breading making it difficult to taste the meat. The carrot soup was pretty tasty, also pretty thick. To me I don’t think I would pay 6 bucks for that particular soup.

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I ordered an Israeli cous cous combo with sun-dried tomato, red onion, oregano and feta cheese with olive oil and lemon juice. The portion was abundant and the flavors melded well together. The amount of red onion etc may have been sparse but I would definitely eat it again. I paired that with trout. A big piece of trout. It was very tasty,possibly a tiny bit under done, but a nice job over all. The two together made for an excellent lunch. And I think $14 was a fair price.

All in all we had a nice lunch. There are some things that may or may not pose trouble down the line. Payment for one. From what I saw, considering the crowd, things went smoothly. After lunch I went back to get a couple of cookies. They were brought up quickly, yet I had to wait behind two ladies who were splitting a trout with kale salad. I could see my cookies. Languishing by the register. Mocking me. Well maybe it won’t be a problem. Maybe I just need to remind my self to be patient. But seriously the space is on the small side and it wouldn’t take much to get the diners stacking up like planes at O’Hare. Just another incentive for everyone to bring their ‘A’ game, every day.

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Here are our cookies. Oatmeal lace and chocolate chip. Six dollars of cookie. Worth it? They were well made. As you would expect from a Patachou Production, but Pat and I both lean more toward a softer cookie. All of their sweets are on display in the kitchen area behind the glass partition that separates the production area from the public. Which leads to another area I am curious about.

All of the veggie and grain combos are ready-made and setting on a heat rail. The proteins are not cooked to order per se they are cooked en masse. A cook prepares several at one time and stores them on the heated platform. Small amounts ;sell quick; no problem. Actually my main thought is the fish. Regardless of the type of fish they have delicate flesh. Anything continues cooking after it is pulled from the fire. Put it on a warming apparatus and it will just cook more. With fish that can be a calamity. So time will tell

Back to my original purpose. The joint is very good. It fills a much-needed niche in Indy, in my estimation. A place that offers some seriously thoughtful grub in a very casual atmosphere. They are also heavy on local sourcing and their cause is just. It can be cramped, it can be noisy but it’s cramped because people want to eat well and it’s noisy because people are talking to one another. Live in person. So next time you are north of the Canal I recommend it.

I took some pictures of the back side, facing the trail but they didn’t turn out. Hey they have a fire thing out side. A long box with a gas line covered in lava rock. Not sure what they are called but it is both warming and cool.

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Public Greens on Urbanspoon

 

Sahm’s Restaurant & Pub

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Patrick does have issues with reading a menu in its entirety. He told me that if the Clam Chowder had no onion he would order that with a grilled cheese sandwich. If the  soup had onion he would go with the breaded fish sandwich. He assumed that all sans came with chips. So when the server asked his side he was lost. My stare was far from “impatient”. I merely wanted him to go ahead with alacrity; as the joint was full and the server busy. He opted for “curled carrots”. An interesting choice.

Pat didn’t write a review of his lunch except for the carrot curls. He said that would come in the form of a comment, once the post is published.

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As you can see the fish looked great. The curls were thin sliced carrots that were quickly deep-fried. Very curious. I found them to be an interesting side dish. I enjoyed my taste but I don’t know that I would enjoy a full side.

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As you can see if you peruse their menu they offer a big one. I have been to some of their other sites in the past and Pat and I have hit the place down town. Why that was never written about who knows. So I can say these guys know how a joint should run.

So they offer a lot of great comfort food options I decided on the meatloaf melt. That is a healthy portion of grilled meatloaf with sautéed onions, American and Munster cheeses on white toast, with a brown sugar glaze.

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I was curious how much the bells and whistles would detract from the center piece of the sandwich. The onions added to the over all taste. The cheese does what cheese always does. It brings another layer of flavor and is more complement that adversary. Now we come to the glaze. It tasted like catsup and brown sugar. Which to some folks is mandatory on meatloaf. To me;not so much. It did distract from the actual loaf itself. However only in the slightest degree. The size of the portion was such that it was easy to find a few bites with no enhancements. To me the meatloaf had both good flavor and a nice texture and density. If you are a meatloaf junkie this would be a great fix for you. They also offer it as a dinner. As far as the mushrooms go they were fine as a side. Pretty ho-hum. Standard mushrooms,cut in half and tossed in flour and deep-fried. Then presented with a pretty generic horse-radish sauce. Adequate as a side, you could at least taste mushroom.

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For dessert we each had a slice of their sour cream coffee cake, for $1.29. They serve the same cake with their salads. It is really nice. Not overly sweet and a great crumb. So we liked this place. Good and attentive service, good food and more than fair pricing. Pat’s cod was $9.49 and my meatloaf was $7.99. And no matter where you are there is probably a Sahm’s close to you.

Sahm's Restaurant & Pub on Urbanspoon

86th Street Pub

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Whatever you might say about our choices in places to eat you gotta’ admit we can sure find some interesting pubs.

The 86th Street Pub has been around since 1990. I have never heard of it. They have a “sister” joint on the South side; Pat’s turf; that had gone through some extensive remodeling, including a name change. Pat stopped in there for a beer and that’s where he learned about the place.

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It’s a nice sized place and they are far from shy decorating for Christmas. They have raised paneling throughout and they took the time to cover the recessed portions in gift wrapping paper. It makes the whole dining area look as though it is walled with presents.

Since they have hand breaded mushrooms on the menu; and since Pat and I both love good ‘shrums we ordered an appetizer.

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These beauties were as tasty as they look. Hand breaded mushrooms, when done right, are wonderful. These were done right. They were as good as the ones at the Checkered Flag Tavern. And they cost $5.50. You can also choose a combo of mushrooms and pickles for the same price.

I had a bit of trouble on what else to order. I couldn’t decide on their cheese steak or the French dip. They do a house roasted beef, which they use for their Pub Cheese Steak. Meat,peppers,onions and mushrooms all topped with Swiss cheese for $8.75. The French Dip was  shaved steak with Swiss and au jus for $7.75. Both come with chips or fries. I decided on the cheese steak with chips.

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The sandwich was big. Definitely able to handle the hardy appetite. Overall it was pretty tasty. However I think it would have been better had they not been so assertive in re-thermalizing the already cooked meat. Put the beef in the au jus to reheat. Drop on the flat top just long enough to transfer the veggies and cheese. I actually think that would improve an already good sandwich.

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So in our estimation the 86th Street Pub is a keeper. Unpretentious. Honest food and honest drink. They offer an exceptional collection of craft beers. I’m sure that is due to the Manager, Brian, being a beer freak. For which I thank him. And in addition to all that they are not afraid to celebrate Christmas.

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86th Street Pub on Urbanspoon

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