eating indie in indy

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Leviathan Bakehouse 1101 N. College Ave.

The Leviathan is a new joint which opened in September this year, during the pandemic and all of the restaurant closures. That move could be considered either foolhardy or brave. I am leaning toward courage rather than foolishness. Time will tell.

https://www.leviathanbakehouse.com/

I was torn between the Breakfast sandwich and the roast beef but the Porridge loaf sold me on the Roast Beef Chimichurri. It was a substantial sandwich with a lot going on in it. So much so that I could not fully appreciate the chutney.

As you can tell it is a colorful sandwich. As you might expect the bread was the lead role in this creation. The beef and peppers did their job properly and it was a very good sandwich. I would do it again but next time I will try their breakfast sandwich… a blanket of soft shallot baked eggs, and mild salsa verde has me intrigued.

I very nearly forgot the salad that came as my side. It is a vegan grain salad. It is made with wheat berries and a bunch of healthy things and as a bonus it was pretty good. I could order it again. Check out their website they have a bunch of stuff.

Ann’s Restaurant 77 W. Monroe Street Franklin Indiana

We have been to Franklin before. It is a small college town south of Indy with nice houses and friendly people. Pat suggested this place and we thought we should get there while the weather was still good. They serve breakfast all day and that is appealing to us both.

This day the lunch specials caught our eye. Fried chicken or beef and noodles. Both $8.99 and both came with 2 sides and bread choice.

This is the sort of joint I like to find. A restaurant that does more cooking than assembling. I decided on the beef and noodles with mashes and gravy, beans and a biscuit as well. I know it is carb heavy but they are so good.

The mashed potatoes were very good and the amont of gravy was just right. Some joints drown the taters with gravy. So much you aren’t sure what you are eating . As for the green beans they were soft and had real bacon in them. As you would expect in Middle America.

Like last week my lunch is far from being photogenic. No matter it was good and filling. The beef was shredded and the gravy had a good flavor. The noodles had a good tooth to them and were reminiscent of home made but I don’t think these were. Still they made for an excellent lunch.

So if you ever get down here check out Ann’s. Or if you are bored of places around you and want a drive you know where to come

Taste of Havana 8329 Michigan Road

This place opened in 2013 in Broad Ripple. After a while I guess the parking and the pub crawling clientele got tiresome so they moved to a place with parking. I have been here a few times and really like it. This is Pat’s first time.

I decided on a Picadillo platter. That is a plate of ground beef cooked with olives and raisins served with black beans, rice and a sweet plantain. It is a delicious plate of food however it did not have the amount of olives as I remember. However the beans and rice were as good as I recall.

I really enjoy this place. With the expanded parking hopefully I can get back more often. One quick thought on Pat’s plantain debacle. I think what he had in the past was green plantains or Tostones. What is served here are ripe or sweet plantains. When they are green they have to be beat and cooked twice and turn out like french fries. For dessert I had a cup of Cortadito. That is half milk and half cuban coffee and of course sugar. If you like coffee then you should love their coffee.

I have never had a bad meal here. From their sandwiches in the authentic Cuban bread to their bean soups and sweet pastelitos I really think you will enjoy this little joint.

Lockerbie Pub 631 E Michigan St. (revisit)

This is another place we enjoy and thought it would be nice to do a revisit. They have one cook and the owner is tending bar with a friend. Their menu has been pared back considerably because no one knows what the mayor is going to do next. Places were closed right before St. Patricks day so losing all of that inventory was definitely a big hit and he is not eager to do that again.

Since Pat decided on a cow burger I opted for a turkey burger. Theirs is pretty popular so I thought it worth a try.

It was pretty good. Of course I don’t know that you can taste the difference once the meat is ground up and it is seared on the flat top but maybe my arteries can. In either event I would do it again.

Since we were here the mayor has decided to let taverns and restaurants seat 50% indoor occupancy and 100% outdoor. You still must close at midnight and I think bar seating is still a no no. Full outdoor seating just in time for Fall.

5 Guys Burgers 48 E. Washington Street

Yep we were definitely out of our bailiwick this time. Pat was so insistant I figured they had to have something to offer. What I found was an overpriced Steak and Shake without the ambiance. Pat’s single was over 7 bucks and my double burger was more than $8. They do give you a bunch of fries for $3.69 but they were tepid and had an old oil taste to them. Their primary hook is they offer sauteed mushroom and onions as free toppings but that wouldn’t be enough to entice me back.

THIS IS PROBABLY HALF OF THE ORIGINAL AMOUNT OF FRIES WE WERE GIVEN. WE BOTH ATE A FEW BEFORE I REMEMBERED THE PICTURE.

So in summation I don’t see anything worth going back for. I probably should try another location to satisfy my curiosity but I don’t know that I am that curious.

The Red Key Tavern 5170 N. College Avenue. (revisit)

Since we hve been back we have done mostly revisits. Part of the reason is the food industry here is still in flux with all of the Government second guessing. Another reason is we like to do a welfare check on some of our more favorite joints. When it comes to favorites the Red Key ranks right up there.

I know the trend in bars is craft beers and the whole gastropub scene but the Red Key is a comfortable joint with beer and liquor and just a few food offerings. https://www.redkeytavern.com/

I decided on a cheese burger. A simple patty fully cooked on a griddle with some onion and pickle.

I appreciated a good burger cooked medium rare but I also like a drug store burger cooked to one temperature. Fully cooked.

So if you haven’t been to the Key you should ask yourself why. It’s a nice and relaxing atmosphere with very good cheese burgers and they only take cash. However on Wednesday the drink special is a $4.75 Manhattan. Now that is a good deal.

Mug n Bun 5211 W. 10th Street Speedway Indiana

Mug n Bun is an old time drive in. Complete with eating in your car and “carhops”. They also give you an indoor option with an enclosed dining room in a separate building. Take a seat, order you food and your server radios in to the kitchen and in a short time your meal is brought out to you. To me drive ins are as much about memory as it is about the food. The food is what you would expect, tasty and oh so cheap. That is why I usually order two sandwiches, to enjoy the diversity of the menu.

I usually order a BBQ sandwich. A large portion of pulled pork on a big bun. The Mug n Bun version sells for $3.70. This reminds me of all of the drive in theaters I visited as a teen. Good food as well as memories. I also ordered a coney dog with house made sauce. I didn’t publish that picture because all of the food is wrapped for its trip and coney dogs don’t travel well in deli wrap. It was a good dog and the sauce was pretty good it just wasn’t too photogenic.

What I couldn’t understand was the piece of toast serparating the beef patties. Do they usually have a middle bun and ran out or do they consider the toast as a quirky signature for their double burgers. Proably should have asked. Regardless I think this is a must visit. Whether you have memories of drive ins or not you should go because no one knows how they will be around

Barringer’s Tavern 2535 S. Meridian St.

Barringer’s Tavern opened in 1879 and I believe it has been some sort of business continuously. During Prohibition it sold ice cream, candy, lunch and dinner. Legend has it they sold more than food from a window in back. Their signature foods were turtle soup, with the turtles being raised in a pond out back. Also pig’s feet; in 1947 they sold over 97000 feet. I am not sure why they say they were re-established in 2019 because I think Pat and I ate here before we started writting about it. It isn’t a fancy place but it is airy and comfortable. They are hardly a Gastropub but the food they serve is good, and the prices are resaonable.

They had a meatloaf special that came with mashed potatoes and mac & cheese. That was too much starch for me, but what I did order was even more heart unhealthy. A Last Chance hot dog. That was a 1/4 pound beef hot dog wrapped in bacon and fried. It came with sweet relish and Sirachi sour cream. I should have stood pat with that just 86 the crema and sub mustard. However for an extra buck I could get it covered with chili. Why not.

It wasn’t the most photogenic lunch but the dog was really good. The chili was so so and looked as if it had been hanging out on a steam table too long. I would do it again with relish and mustard. It was only $5.69 plus a buck. Pat’s fish was $8.29 so eating here won’t hurt your pocket book. I drove yesterday so I know the short cuts that only a local can provide so I will be back. I want to try the fish and chips and add some coleslaw.

The District Tap. 141 S. Meridian St.

The first District Tap opened up on 82nd street and then last year they had the opportunity to open downtown and I think it will be a good fit. We have not been to the first one so the whole experience was new to us. They have a very nice menu with several side options. Not just fries or tots. That is nice to see.

I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to eat but I was pretty sure it wasn’t a sandwich. Then I noticed that they offer 2 wood fired pizzas on the appetizer menu. A Margherita or a sausage and pepperoni both $11 but on Wednesdays they were discounted a buck. Well the one thing better than pizza is a pizza on sale. I decided on a sausage and pepperoni pie. I also thought I needed some salad to precede it so I opted for a side Caesar for $5.

I was expecting a small “side” salad not this larger entree size bowl of romaine and dressing. It was a very good salad and an excellent bargain. I was even more amazed when my appetizer flatbread pizza arrived.

This pie was easily 12 inches. Big enough to be an app for a four top at least. Now only was it big it was good. Thin crust, tasty sauce and some wonderful anise loaded sausage from Gordon Food Service. Great pie and it too was a great bargain. I only have good things to say about this joint. Food was very good and so was the service. You guys should be proud of the job you are doing especially in the times we are in. Thanks.

Johnson’s BBQ Shack 100 Byrd Way Greenwood In.

Johnson’s BBQ started out as a food truck. Then they opened a shack in Bargersville Indiana. We tried them as a food truck on the Northside of Indianapolis. Now they are serving up Q in the old Jonathan Byrd building. Well a piece of it as the building is huge.

I definitely wanted to try their brisket. Several joints sell good pulled pork. Basically the difference between them is the amount of exposure to the smoker, but brisket is still elusive.

The brisket that is sold here is excellent. Tender and moist and all the smokiness you would want and it was only 10 bucks. I can spend more than that for a burger at several joints. I also like that it is sliced. Some joints “chop” their brisket and call it a day. Chopping the point is one thing but the flat really should be sliced. At least for me.

So overall I think this joint is definitely a keeper. The growth of this brand is indicative of the product they sell. This location is in the process of getting a liquor license so folks can get a beer here and not go somewhere else after eating. I mean beer and Q go hand in hand don’t they?

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