eating indie in indy

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  • ike and jonesy's 010
  • bourbon & BBQ 002
  • BL&T 002
  • milano inn 018
  • Garden Table 006
  • garretts 006
  • 317 burger 008
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OOPS

There is a possibility that some folks may have seen a couple of “unusual” posts on this blog. I just got my first smart phone and I have been playing around with the camera. I wanted to see the result when I shared pictures with WordPress. I had no idea that in addition to sending the images to the media library it would publish them. I am just glad I chose G pictures.

We now resume our regular broadcast.

 

Oasis Diner 405 W. Main Street Plainfield Indiana

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This place is as American as you can get. The diner was built in New Jersey in 1954 and then shipped to Indiana where it opened along US 40; The National Highway. It served food until 2009 when structural issues forced its closure in 2009.The Historical Society intervened to prevent its destruction. New owners were found and it was moved down the road and re-opened last year. A link to their website is below. There you can find a short video of the move as well as its menu.

http://www.oasisdiner.com/

According to the reviews on Urbanspoon folks haven’t given a lot of love to this little diner. Of the 3 reviews from this year 2 didn’t like the joint. So I was really interested in eating there.

They do a lot of scratch cooking from biscuits to pies and pastries to gravies. They also make their own sodas. So in that they certainly are following in the diner tradition. And like any self-respecting diner they serve breakfast all day.

We started lunch with an appetizer of fried mozzarella with house made marinara for $6.50.

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As you can see they do it themselves. The cheese is cut into triangles and then lightly battered and deep-fried. They were really pretty good. The sauce they serve with it is has a bit of cream added to it, a nice little surprise.

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Pat went with biscuits and gravy for $3.50 and I decided on a turkey Manhattan for $10. We also had a side of coleslaw each.

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I had a bite of Pat’s food and it was right on and they didn’t skip on the sausage, which is nice.

As for my Manhattan; It was huge.

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They also offer a beef Manhattan but the turkey was cooked in-house which is why I decided on turkey. They shred and not slice their meat, which I find interesting. Regardless the meat was both tender and abundant. They toast the bread which imparts a taste like dressing or stuffing to the dish after it sits under the gravy for a while. An effect I like. As for the gravy they sure do use a lot. So much I really couldn’t tell too much about the potatoes. Also they used a bit of chicken or turkey base which made it very salty. That is something I think they can work on.

So Pat and I were both pretty happy with our food. I think they have some room to improve but don’t most joints? The fact that they make their own fried mozz. app. makes me think this joint is capable of following the tradition of the American diner.

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Oasis Diner on Urbanspoon

Ike & Jonesy’s 17 Jackson Square

I never would have thought of Ike & Jonesy’s for lunch until Pat suggested it. Back in the day; as they say; this was a night club. It opened in ’80 or ’81 right on the periphery of the old Union Station,the train station that was revitalized to be a destination for the party goers of Indy. Ike & Jonesy’s was probably the hottest. Out in front over the front door they have a cut out of the iconic pose of Marilyn Monroe with dress all a flutter. You know the one. Over the subway in “Seven Year Itch”. It’s still there as is the general nostalgic motif. From the wall art to the use of old pin ball machines as table tops at the booths.

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This greets you as soon as you walk in. Say hello to Ms. Monroe.

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I have no idea what this is. I guess it is supposed to be a take off on Marilyn. It can be a bit scary, but it is striking.

The menu is very typical bar or tavern fare. Their execution is better than most. To me their lunch specials are the big draw at lunch time. From roasted pork, prime rib sandwiches to fried chicken all in the 6 to 8 dollar range they seem to have a knack for a business man’s lunch.

Their special this day was a fried chicken breast, mashed potatoes and gravy with coleslaw and cornbread for $7.95. The lighting over the booths cast a red hue over the tables. It wasn’t that noticeable to me,but it shows up in the pictures.

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I thought the special was very special. A nice breast fried crisp with a tasty breading. The mashed were probably not house made, as well as the gravy but they both were nicely done. The coleslaw was really terrific, slightly tossed with a creamy dressing. The corn bread came from a mix and wasn’t anything spectacular but it was fluffy and came with real butter. It was a really nice lunch;especially for the money.

On the menu they offer a group of sandwiches utilizing strip steak. All variations on the theme of a Philly, all for $8.95. Pat opted for their Indy. He had his with only steak and mushrooms, leaving off the onion and cheese.

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Ike and Jonesy's

Oh the Dick and Spiro that Pat is talking about are Nixon and Agnew. On the back wall they have a bit of memorabilia from that era. I don’t think they have changed much of the interior design since 1980. I am not too sure though. The times I was there back then I wasn’t that attentive to the decor. They also have a small reasonably priced dinner menu featuring steaks and chicken. So Ike and Jonesy’s. It’s not just for parties any more.

Ike & Jonesy's on Urbanspoon

Barbecue and Bourbon 1414 W. Main St. Speedway In.

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Yep here we are. Speedway in May. There is just something special about the month of May in Speedway. Granted it is not the month-long spectacle it once was, but it is still a fun time. I would guess Barbecue and Bourbon has only been open for a couple of years, but as you can see from their sign they know how to make you feel welcome.

They don’t have a real big menu but they have all the essentials needed for a BBQ joint, done on their smoker out back. The first thing we ordered was mushrooms for $5.99.

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These were quite tasty. Nice firm mushrooms with a slight coating that stayed in place went you bit into them. Some places just toss them into a pile of breading and hope for the best. These guys do it right.

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All of their dinners come with 2 sides, ala carte they cost $1.99. Pat ordered a pulled pork sandwich for $6.79 and a side of fried cabbage. I got sliced brisket and mac and cheese. The brisket sandwich will cost you $7.99.

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Way back there in the distance you can see the stands that Pat referenced. Not a great view but that sound is hard not to notice.

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My brisket sandwich was nicely done. The meat was moist and tender, lean and tasty.I didn’t detect a lot of smoke but that’s all right it was still a good sandwich and the toasty bun was great. The mac and cheese was better than your average BBQ place. I can only think of one maybe two places that do it better. But it is a side dish after all and it complemented the beef well.

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It was a beautiful day so we ate outside. However we decided to go in side for our adult beverage.

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It is a compact little joint with a compact little bar. However compact or not they have one of the best, if not the best, collection of Bourbons around. Pat had a light beer for $3.75. Me, being the bargain hunter that I am got a Long Island Ice Tea for $2.50. Now I can not remember the last time I had one of those. No matter how dim my memory is I think that this was an out standing cocktail.

So we had good Q and good drinks, all reasonably priced. So the track isn’t the only reason to head to Speedway. Remember. Don’t go Bacon my Heart.

Oops. I put up the wrong pic for Pat’s pulled pork.

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Here it is.

Barbecue and Bourbon on Urbanspoon

Bacon, Legs & Turntables 1 N. Meridian Street

Now isn’t that an unusual name? I think it may suit because I think this is the most unusual joint to open in Indy in a long time. They offer an eclectic and provocative menu; featuring,of course bacon and all things legs. They also offer at night-time a D.J. Hence the turntables. They have juggled both their schedule and the menus a couple of times. I am not positive of their current hours. I know they have been shortened.

I went there right after they had their “soft” opening and ordered off of their opening menu. I had a couple of beers and a BBQ pork bruschetta. The dish was pretty good. It wasn’t bad, it just didn’t make the final cut. I have wanted to check them out once they had their last, for real menu up and running. I just never did until today.

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Now this is what we used to call a swank joint. Seriously they have done an outstanding job in the decor. Attractive and fashionable seating in a spacious and colorful space. Of course this was the site of the King Cole Restaurant, back many years ago. A place I have special feelings for, after 40 years.

Now I have got into the habit of checking out Bloody Mary’s when I think of it at various locations. This started with the Tick Tock Lounge, a few weeks ago. So now I am still in the hunt for “Which Mary shall reign Supreme”. This is the BL&T OMG Bloody Mary.

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Now this Bad Boy comes with  LONG skewer with a chicken drummie, a piece of bacon, a hard-boiled egg, a grape tomato and a pickled chile pepper. And of course the obligatory piece of celery. All of this to present a pint of Pinnacle Vodka and house-made Bloody Mary sauce. Twelve bucks. I say money well spent. A very nice cocktail and a snack. Appetizer and cocktail in a glass.

One last thing about the Mary. The wing was pretty good. I am not much on ordering wings out , but this little drummie was breaded and fried very well. Pretty tasty.

When it came time to order my lunch I decided on their OLD MCDONALD BBQ BACON CHEESEBURGER 
Lamb/Duck/Jowl Bacon/White Cheddar/Chipotle Bbq Sauce/Crispy Onions/LTP
$14

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Now isn’t that something? The first thing I did was cut my burger in half. I almost always do that just to make it easier for me to eat. The first thing I noticed was the aroma. A wonderful scent of toasted bread, smoky bacon and succulent beef. Now there are several burger joints in town that offer a wonderful piece of meat but this one particular burger with this one particular set of ingredients is quite possibly one of the best burgers I have had.

You have a large burger, big enough to cover the bun. That increases the surface area for the cooking and the carmelization of the meat. You have a very good bun, fresh lettuce and a wonderful assortment of bacon. Bacon. A treat direct from Heaven. Imagine all that with a sweet and spicy BBQ sauce and you have all the necessary ingredients for a spectacular burger.

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The only thing I can say negative is the menu called white cheddar and crispy onions. I got a white and yellow shredded cheese mix and some garden variety sliced onion. I am not a fan of shredded cheese on a sandwich. It might work if the kitchen has a salamander or a broiler. If you don’t save the shredded for a quesadilla. I expected a crispy pile of onions from your menu description. I’m not a bit upset at what I got. As a matter of fact I would suggest you 86 the onion and the cheese. That burger was that good.

Also I must comment on the house-made ketchup. It was really good. The fries are like a bunch of joints but your ketchup sets them apart.

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I know this last picture is possibly not best to present, since it shows a half eaten burger. But I must say it does show the result of a happy diner.

 

 

 

Bacon, Legs & Turntables on Urbanspoon

The Milano Inn 231 S. College Ave.

Sometimes a body just needs some pasta. That was the mood I was in when I suggested to Pat that we have a go at the Milano Inn. It had been several years since either one of us had been there. I had heard that they had under gone some major redecoration and I also read that they offer a Lunch Buffet on Wednesday through Friday, And the buffet offers fried chicken!

To me both of these are comfort foods. Pasta and fried chicken. Toss in a meatball or two and I am set.

As much of the salad bar that I could fit in.

As much of the salad bar that I could fit in.

The salad mix they use is a basic iceberg with a touch of red cabbage and carrot for color. They offered a nice array of toppings as well as cottage cheese and both macaroni and potato salad. They also had cucumber and onion in a sweet vinegar, something you don’t see too often anymore. The ready-made salads were a touch sweet for me but all in all it was a very nice spread.

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The best buffet brownie around.

The best buffet brownie around.

On the hot line they had a very nice display of food. Mostaccioli in pesto, Penne Primavera, and of course lasagna. In addition they offered a potato dish and meatballs. It was a really nice little buffet, with a very good selection for $10.

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I thought they did a decent job with their food. The sausage in the lasagna was pretty good but the sauce had a slight tinny taste. The meatballs were good as was the chicken and noodles. I think the chicken was very nicely done. The breaded was a touch salty to me, but I am pretty sensitive to salt. It doesn’t take a bunch to satisfy me.milano inn 014

As you can see I over did my trip to the salad. I was able to finish it all but I barely had room for dessert. And I definitely did not have room for seconds at the hot line.

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Now I am pretty sure these cookies are of the slice and bake variety but I thought they were pretty good. Heck I ate 4 of them. Peanut butter and chocolate chip. Both soft and chewy.

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This dark square hovering over this white saucer is actually a dark chocolate frosting on top of a white cake. The icing was like that you would find on a Boston Cream Pie. Pretty tasty.

So two thumbs up to Milano. Don’t expect homemade pasta on the buffet but if you want an honest and tasty lunch I don’t think you can go wrong. They also had a Minnestrone soup, which I didn’t get a chance to try. Which makes me eager to go back. I would also like to try some of their made to order dishes. And a 10 buck buffet just can not be ignored.

Milano Inn on Urbanspoon

Garden Table 908 E. Westfield Blvd.

I am not sure when Garden Table opened, there hasn’t been as much hoopla generated about it as other places. It operates as a local sourced eatery that is vegan friendly. But it is also carnivore friendly in that they offer Smoking Goose bacon. I have heard very little about it. It is across the street from 317 Burger, the place we went to a couple of weeks ago. It is a small space decorated in what I would call industrial or urban chic. Exposed duct work, chalk menus on the walls and utilitarian furniture. I though it was cute. It was crowded so I wasn’t able to take all the pictures I wanted to.

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In addition to the beer and wine they also offer in-house prepared juices. I haven’t really done much research on the topic so I don’t know if the claims about them are hype or are based on reality. I probably should do my homework on the topic. The descriptions they give make them sound great.

They have a few set sandwiches and salads on their menu all in the $10 range. With the sandwich you get a choice of greens or fruit. Pat opted for a BLT Smash. That is a BLT with avocado for $10.

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I ordered a BMT. That is basil, mozzarella and tomato on toasted bread, served open face with a drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette. The base price is $9. I added Smoking Goose bacon for a $3 upcharge. I decided on house greens as my side.

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I thought the sandwich was nicely done. It was basically a hot Caprese on a toasted French loaf. Oh yeah it had bacon. Perfectly cooked and crisp bacon. The salad worked well with the sandwich. The different flavors of the various greens punctuated the basil and played well with the sweetness of the Basalmic and tomato. I could eat it again. I think the fruit would have worked as well. It just would have accentuated the sweet components more.

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So this joint is definitely worth consideration for lunch or breakfast. They do offer breakfast as well. And don’t forget the juice.

After eating we went across the street to 317 for a beverage. There I discovered some stiff competition to Tick Tock Lounge for Bloody Mary domination.

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It wasn’t as decked out as Tick Tock’s but I think it was tastier, and it was only $6. When it is run as a special they offer them for 5 bucks. You also get a choice of vodka. Absolut, Tito or Absolut Peppar.

So I must say all in all it was a most satisfying lunch outing.

Garden Table on Urbanspoon

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

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