By any other name it is still a brewery or a Brasserie if you will. The Brugge Brasserie has been in Broad Ripple for a few years and has been doing quite well. So well in fact they are building a new joint just Northwest of Michigan and College. As I understand, it will house all the brewing equipment. So kudos to the small business owner. I have heard good reports about the place but honestly, I have never felt compelled to go there, until now. Pat and I had lunch there Friday before Christmas. As to why it took me this long to finish this post only the ghosts of Christmas past know. Well, in keeping with the old adage better late than never, here goes.
The place is really swanky. A “hip” interior and copper sheathed tables accented with decent artwork on the walls you have an attractive and comfy place to eat. Shucks the tables look like disproportioned picnic tables; what with the oversized hole in the center to accommodate their signature pomme frites in their paper cones. In case you just came out of a 30 year coma pomme frites are what we colonials call fried taters, or french fries.
Pat ordered waterzooi,or fish stew. I decided on one of their mitraillettes. Mitraillettes are a French version of a hoagie or a grinder. My particular “gun” was a meatball and peppers, braised in beer and tomato sauce. All their “sandwiches” come with fries,and 2 sauces (for the fries). Lordy the thing was Huge and COVERED with pomme frites. So much so I nearly went into carb overload just eating my way to the meat. But when I finally made it ;it was really, really good. Plump succulent meat balls of beef and veal smothered in a sweet tomato sauce. The fact that they added fennel seed to their mixture didn’t hurt things;since I’m a freak for anything with even a hint of licorice. As for Pat’s stew it was spot on ! All you must do is imagine a large bowl of potato, cod and mussels ala nage in a luscious “soup” of fish stock,white wine,butter and cream. And yes. It is as decadent and tasty as you can imagine. Pat did allow me to taste the soup. He also was generous in sharing his mussels. So I agree with Pat that it was delicious and worth the $14.00 price. As was my $11 hoagie. On the beer tip they offer a flight of 3 for 7 bucks. Since they are in the process of growing their business, they,at this time , didn’t offer all their own brews. However they had a great guest brewery. Victory out of St. Louis. So whether you come for the food and stay for the beer;or vice versa I don’t think you can go wrong with The Brewery.
Another new joint has opened in Fountain Square;Pure Food Eatery and in this case Pure means simple.It is a lovely little place,not too artsy fartsy or too urban tavern chic;just nice.The menu is Panini Press centered.Sandwiches and wraps in simple and tasty combos.Not a single french fry or chicken wing to be found;no fryers anywhere.They did fall into the aioli trap however.That is where you flavor mayo call it (fill in the blank)mayo and “jazz”up your menu.A good emulsion sauce has its place but sometimes people stick it in the most unlikely places;like grilled cheese.Since I am still dentally challenged that is what I ordered.Actually a half sandwich and a cup of soup.All their Panini are available as 1/2 or whole.The wholes are reasonably priced,in the $7-$8 range;the 1/2′s are not as reasonable;at $6.The 3 cheese Panini was pretty good.A curious combo of Havarti,Swiss and Provolone cheeses with the obligatory slice of tomato.Their addition of Pesto mayo;although not traditional,did bring a nice additional taste to the mild cheeses;also a touch of unctiousness to the toasted sour dough bread.Patrick decided on a BLT.Nothing out of the ordinary except for the avocado spread;which Pat turned down;due to onion content.We both enjoyed our sandwiches;and more than enjoyed the SOD;Chicken and Rice. A delicious home-made stock loaded with fresh Tarragon.The stock alone was worth the 90 cent up-charge,the diced chicken and rice was a bonus.In addition to sour dough they also offer wheat and rye bread,which would go well with some of their other filling options.
The biggest deal of the day was the Thursday beer special.New Belgiums for $2.50.I discovered Shift by New Belgium.They call it a Lager but it has a definite Ale quality.Delicious;and a bargain at $2.50 for a 16 oz can.The thing about good beer is you get nutrition and you can consume regardless of the condition of your teeth.
Well we went to Fat Dan’s Deli in broad Ripple this week.To say we were both disappointed, would be an accurate statement. This joint has been on our list ever since I learned they used a dry rub on their brisket.We would normally order difference dishes. This time we decided we both needed to try the brisket. So we got two identical sandwiches and an order of fries to share. The portions were nice size, the toasted bun was decent. However, approximately 25 to 30% of the sandwich was fat. And I’m not talking about the crisp kind that adds crunch I’m talking about the high cholesterol, flabby kind of fat that damn few people would like. I will say this the rub, the man used is one of the better ones I’ve tried.What meat there was,was quite tasty.And obviously I must have misread the menu. I thought the brisket was smoked, and yet there was not a trace of the smoke Ring or even the faintest flavor of smoke. It was much like the smokehouse in Fountain Square, more pot roast then smoked brisket.I was going to get into greater detail about how I was taught to smoke and trim and slice brisket in Texas. But I will wait until I get my recipe blog up and running.
Now we come to the french fries. They refer to them as the best fries in the universe. Well they must exist in a smaller universe than I remember; because I would consider them average. Again they were nicely seasoned, a little salty, but it didn’t appear as any attempt was made to drain any of the oil.And another thing. If you’re going to call your fries the best of the universe. You might consider double frying them. A lower temperature at first then at a higher temperature before you sell them, that way they won’t be so limp. I know it’s more work but you get to $2.75 per order.
What is interesting, we decide to go there because of a beer.Last week after lunch we went to the sinking ship for beer and they had Falls City on draft. For you younger folk out there, Falls City was a “working-class” beer from the 60s and 70s. And if I remember correctly it sucked. But Pat goaded me into trying one. And it wasn’t my daddies Falls city. It was a good IPA; naturally I knew it wasn’t the original formula. So when I got home I checked it out on the Internet and sure enough, the formula is different. First off it’s being crafted in Louisville and the formula they are using is supposed to be more reminiscent of the original from the 30s. And according to their website. You can only find it at three places in Indy. The Sinking Ship, Brothers and Fat Dan’s. Irony of ironies Fat Dan’s no longer serves it. So after lunch we decided to walk down to brothers to try it there. And guess what ?They didn’t have it either. So I guess the only place I can get my Falls City fix is at The Sinking Ship on College Ave.
So have I given up on Dan’s?Will I ever go back?Possibly.Vienna dogs aren’t easy to find.
We went way out of our comfort zone to go to Speedway, Indiana, in May. We have talked about going here several times but usually road construction interfered. But it was really worth it. I have not been to Speedway in years and it is really a lovely community. Dawson’s sits on the corner of Main Street and some tree-lined picturesque street that to me has no name. I don’t recall. The joint was rocking at noon, but we were still able to get seats out of doors. The menu for lunch is rather large. Several appetizers, big salads, a dozen or more sandwiches and wraps and a few lunch entrées.
One of the entrées was a breaded and fried Capensis. To non-fish groupies Capensis, also known as Cape Capensis; or poor man’s Orange Roughy is as delicious as it is hard to find. I have never seen it fried, but there is no reason why it can’t be, obviously. The fish came with french fries and coleslaw for $8.99. Since as we already know, Pat is a fried fresh freak that is what he ordered.I had to try the pot roast. It was a large portion of tender, moist braised beef smothered with sautéed mushrooms, caramelized onions and a mushroom ragout,all sitting on top of two twice baked potato cakes. It also came with steamed broccoli, but since I’m not a big broccoli fan. I traded that for Pat’s coleslaw; and everybody was happy.And that lovely lunch was only $9.99.
At first thought the pot roast dish might seem redundant with sautéed mushrooms and onions and Ragout; which is basically mushrooms and onions in a red wine cream sauce. Redundancy aside. It was a delicious lunch. As an old chef I used to work with told me a long time ago, I would be proud to serve that dish.Pat tried a piece of the pot roast and naturally loved it. I tried a piece of his fish and I can honestly say it was the best fried fish I have had in many years.According to Pat the broccoli was perfect. And according to me the potato cakes were wonderful. They were delightful cakes approximately 3 1/2 inches in diameter consisting of riced potatoes mixed with peppers, one of which had a little heat to it, and then baked, and since they were called twice baked I can assume they were baked originally.Left overs from dinner ? No matter ;left over bakers are the perfect source for baked cakes or home fries and a perfect platform for this meat.
Well I think I have said enough, it would well be worth your effort to go there for lunch or dinner. The food is that good. Just don’t wait too long, the farther May progresses the bigger the crowds will get.Oh as you probably noticed we did it again.we started eating before we took the pictures.Honestly we try not to.