Pat and I normally plan our excursions well in advance. This time our decision to go to Irvington was totally spontaneous. The reason I’m putting this in is we have a friend,Jim, who lives in Irvington and works out of his home. Whenever we have lunch in that vicinity we call him and he joins us, This time, since this decision was spur of the moment and I didn’t have my phone with me, and since Pat didn’t have his number-we could not call. So now on to the food.
They have a trendy chic menu of sandwiches,salads and home-made soups. Featuring ham, turkey, different cheeses and sprouts. They also have roast beef which I avoided, thinking it was pre- sliced deli meat. I found out later it might be roasted in-house. Now that is a cow of a different color. Their SOD was creamy chicken and mushroom. We each had a cup and it was wonderful. Thick with chicken and mushrooms in a delicious real heavy cream sauce. The best I have had in quite a while.
Pat had a combo with the aforementioned soup and half a grilled cheese. The sandwich was pretty standard. Thick toast, cheese and tomato. Pretty basic. I on the other hand ordered the most pedestrian sandwich on the menu; a sloppy Joe. What can I say, I’m a Hoosier. I can’t pass up sloppy Joe or meat loaf. The sandwich was good, but it is what it is. Ground beef browned up with peppers and onions with a sweet tomato sauce. You see a sloppy Joe sandwich is like beer. They are all good;just some are better than others.
They don’t serve chips with their sandwiches they serve something they call veggie straws. These are square little tubes in pale green,light red and beige. They don’t have a distinctive flavor. My guess is they are an extruded potato product with vegetable color. Whatever they are they are different and definitely cute. Make paste of cheese or a compound butter and you could make a funky edible log cabin. Oh,one more thing they offer pastries and locally made chocolates. They have a display case up front. I not sure why I didn’t take any pictures. At least of the chocolates. They are turtles and hearts approximately 1-1/2 – 2 inches in diameter. They are made off premise and brought in and painted. That’s right painted in pastel colors. They look like little enameled jewels. Next time I go I am both taking pictures and biting the heads off a few turtles.
This week’s target was the Red Lion in Fountain Square. Pat and Fran had been there before so it wasn’t a complete mystery. The location is the old GC Murphy lunch counter; so it’s not too big of a space. Our server Katie told us up front she was fighting a hangover;something I’m sure we can all appreciate. I told her before lunch is over I would have to take her picture for my blog. She groaned, and then posed obligingly. However due to her frail condition at the time I won’t publish her picture; especially since I remembered to take pictures of our food. Patrick decided on a Hoosier tradition, a breaded tenderloin. He declared it a first-rate effort. A nice portion of tender meat with minimal breading; just enough to protect the flesh and offer a pleasant crunch. All their sandwiches come with fries, or you could substitute baked beans, or tater tots. They hand cut all their fries and the result is a great 7/16 skin on french fry properly fried and seasoned. Naturally I chose the meatloaf sandwich with tater tots. The meatloaf came on toasted white bread, with a little dab of gravy, Swiss cheese and topped with onion rings. The meatloaf was well-prepared however to me it was too peppery. I don’t believe it was the gravy I think it was the meatloaf. The two onion rings on top were crispy and tasty. However, the bread could have been a whole lot crisper. The slightly crisp bread coupled with the gravy made the bread more chewy then crisp. Overall I think lunch was quite good.It gives me a “hankering” for some of their more substantial fare. Like ; bubble and squeak, bangers and mash, and hot pie. However if I ever go back to that particular place is still debatable. I will explain later.
I discovered a new beer; a Triton Brown ale. Katie first told me it was a double barrel Brown from Triton. And then she told me it was Sweet Georgia Brown from Triton. In either event it was delicious.Today I went to their website and discovered all they had was a double brown, no Sweet Georgia Brown. Now I am confused. No matter, as that Shakespeare fella said that which we call a rose etc.
Now back to the buzz kill. I took pictures of our server Katie, a delightful Fat Tire neon sign at the end of the bar as well as our food. No problem. We were sitting at a deuce next to a wooden partition that separated the kitchen from the dining area,it was all of 5 foot high. When I stood to take a picture of the kitchen I was told by someone in a position of authority that picture-taking was not allowed. I thought it was funny. I asked Katie what would happen if “the big boss” caught me taking pictures. Would he confiscate my camera or what. She told me, in a joking fashion that he would “beat me up”.I had no problem with what had transpired up to that point. It was their prerogative to allow pictures or not. However they could have handled it differently. What appalled me was the fact that prior to this we got smiles and in general acknowledgment of our existence. Afterwards we were treated as pariahs.No one spoke to us or even looked at us. That led to an interesting situation in trying to get our check and pay our bill and leave. It doesn’t negate the fact that the food is decent, the prices are okay and the service is good, as long as you don’t piss off the Boss Lady. Any issue I might have with this joint is just that, my issue. The joint is worth trying. Just keep the cameras in your pocket.
The Steer In has been a staple in Indy’s food scene for a long time;and with good reason.When we first sat down I couldn’t help but notice my neighbor’s plate of meatloaf.A big slab with potatoes and gravy;the perfect elixir for a chilly,rainy day.But I resisted the impulse to order it immediately and went through the menu.They have an extensive new menu.Matter of fact it’s so complete that if you can’t find something to eat either you aren’t hungry or you are too picky to eat out.They offer pizza,with fresh made dough and with that comes various Italian style sandwiches.They also have a section of favorites that includes among other things the aforementioned meatloaf and beef and noodles;which is what I had.Tender chunks of beef with spaetzle style noodles.The noodle choice was an excellent one; just enough “tooth”to balance the smoothness of the real mashed potatoes.They even serve Hoosier green beans;cooked down with bacon.Not that easy to find.Pat wanted a stuffed pizza;which we had on good authority was excellent.However figure on a 40 minute wait time;so he got a mushroom, jack burger instead.And of course it was great;their burgers are always great.Our other companion;Jim; ordered a Pizza Bomb.Toasted Hoagie bread with pepperoni,salami,peppers and onions,topped with red sauce and cheese.It gave him a Happy Danish face,actually we all had Happy faces when we got through.The pictures on this post were all taken by me with my camera phone;they’re not so hot.Trust me the food is a lot better than the photos.They just started delivery service;I don’t know the delivery area but if you fall into that zone consider yourself a lucky eater.