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King Dough 452 N. Highland Ave.

King Dough is a hip new pizzeria that originated in Bloomington In. Their main hook is a wood fired oven for their pies. Unfortunately that didn’t make the trip. They use a beautiful gas-fired one instead.

This little fella’ can get as high as 900 degrees when busy and cruises at 700 when not.

They offer several set pies with unusual combos that allow no substitutions. They also have a build your own which starts at $13 for a 13 inch pie.

http://www.kingdoughpizzas.com/

The base for the build your own is sauce, no sauce. Fresh or aged mozzarella. Then you add toppings which run 75 cents to $4 more.

Pat ordered his with Italian sausage and double mushroom. I opted for something a bit different. kalamata olives and Anchovy with sauce and fresh mozz.

I must agree with Pat. They have a good pie but Mama Nita’s is as good. Matter of fact I think Nita’s crust and sauce are better. Their crust is chewy and the bottom is not as crisp as I would like. Also the sauce had no carmelization. I liked the way they chopped the fresh mozz into pieces to give more coverage and the way they pull the dough. I just think they need some more work on the baking thing. Of course I will be back because I found a deal for 2 $25 gift certificates for $25 that I could not pass up. I may try their appetizer list this time.

Continental Grill Family Restaurant 3815 W. Washington Street

https://www.continentalgrill.net/

For some reason we don’t venture to the west side very often. I discovered this place by “surfing the web.” It started out as a Waffle House and opened in 1970. It changed identities recently and appears to be doing very well.

The menu is huge and they have different specials every day, breakfast and lunch and dinner. It would seem as though some of their lunch specials are menu items at a reduced price. However they did offer a Swiss Steak Manhattan which really intrigued me. They also offered an 8 ounce rib eye with toast and 2 sides for $9.99. That I couldn’t resist.

They aren’t much on presentation; as you can see. It didn’t matter. The steak was a perfect medium rare and delicious. They had an extensive list of sides but I decided on butter beans and potato pancakes.

Butter beans are not seen on too many menus. I enjoy them; and here they even serve them with a fresh buttery taste spread.

The pancakes were probably not made in-house but were pretty tasty. They were made with mashed potatoes and had a nice crisp to them.

So if you are hungry but not sure what you want than this joint may be just the place for you. Lots to choose from with big portions and good prices.

 

 

 

Lena’s Sugar Shack 5560 S. Brookville Road

This place is a rare item. A neighborhood bar. Not a Gastropub. A Bar. This whole stretch of road had more when I was young. That was when the International Harvester plant and later Navistar was open across the street. Now the building is gone.

They offer basic bar food at a very reasonable price. They also have specials featuring Domestic bottles for $2 and $2.50. Their half pound burger is only $5.99 with chips. That was what I decided on.

One other thing that is unique with this joint is they have a griddle, fryer and cold table right behind the bar. So all the cooking is done in sight. I bet it is a lot of fun when it is busy. As for my burger it was pretty tasty. Nicely toasted bun with a medium burger built the way I wanted it. Instead of chips I opted for some onion petals. I have never had these before and I really liked them.

The Sugar Shack isn’t too close to me but I intend to go back. Breakfast in a bar is great and their porch is just made for a little day drinking.

Momma’s Kitchen 2853 E. 25th Street

This place used to be Taste Budds Soul Food. When it closed it didn’t take long before someone stepped in to claim the place. I was really fond of Taste Budds food so I was half way expecting something similar. Honestly I was a bit disappointed with the menu. They offer a few breakfast items but the everyday lunch was only 4 combos for $10. A Herby Burger, Fried chicken, quesadilla and nachos. All came with fried potatoes or home fries and a drink. Their rib tips and fried fish were only available on certain days as specials. Evidently roasted chicken is not an option.

Per the menu you can get any part of the chicken for your meal. In reality they only offer wings. Pat had wanted a fried breast but ordered a Herby Burger instead.

The potato options on the menu become french fries for service. Lots of french fries. We each got a basket like this.

I decided on their wing combo.

I got 6 wings placed on top of 2 pieces of white bread. The wings were nicely done. Hot and crisp with good seasoning. I probably should have ordered their chicken and waffle special. A buttery waffle sounds better than 2 slices of plain white bread. I enjoyed my lunch and I think it was reasonably priced. I really should go back to try their tips. I believe they serve them on Thursday or Friday.

 

 

Mama Nita’s 11007 Allisonville Road Fishers In.

I found this place by accident a few weeks ago on my way to my son’s new house. They are an Italian food restaurant which offers the trio of Italian fare. Pasta, Pizza and subs.

https://www.mamaknowspizza.com/

However their main bag is the buffet; $5.99 for lunch. Honestly Pat and I were dubious about this joint because we really didn’t expect much for 6 bucks. Boy were we ever wrong.

It isn’t a large buffet but the quality of the pies is excellent. Both the sauce and crust were top-notch. They offer a basic salad service and they are constantly replenishing the pizza, keeping about 8 of them on deck at all times. The man even takes requests. He made Pat a mushroom no onion and a cheese burger pie; with dill pickle; for a couple of other guys. I think that is what I liked best about Mama Nita’s the guy put out pies with different toppings; not just the traditional. Buffalo and BBQ chicken and bacon plus he wasn’t afraid to load up different veggies.

They even have bread sticks and some are stuffed with pepperoni.

I know the pictures aren’t much but you know I have issues with taking pictures of buffets. For your sweet tooth there is a small freezer at the end which holds ice cream sandwiches. Only one per customer regardless how cute you are. He also has a cinnamon pie. It is simply a pizza loaded with cinnamon sugar and topped with a white icing. Like a breakfast bun.

I thought that was great, especially hot out of the oven. Try a slice with an ice ream sandwich.

So like that adage about books and covers you should never judge a pizza joint by its pricing. Here you will get an exceptional meal as well as an exceptional value. With the senior discount lunch for 2 was $11.17 with tax. Worth the trip.

 

Daredevil Hall 2721 E. 86th Street Suite 180

Last week it was a small joint run by 3 women and this week it is a well know brewery that started in Speedway and now has expanded to the North side of Indy. The place is spacious and has a great patio for the warm weather. The Brewery Taproom in Speedway offered a small menu but also allowed folks to bring in carry out or order food from other places nearby. That is something a few breweries do. They may not offer food so they let customers bring in their own.

However here I don’t see them letting someone brown bag it. Their menu is predictable. That is not to say it is a bad menu or that the food is bad it is just that it is like so many “gastro pubs”. Some bar faves and others more trendy and hip.

http://daredevilbeer.com/thehall/

We had another fellow with us named Ed. He has an appreciation of food and drink and it is always nice to hear his thoughts. He ordered a steak sandwich for $12. All of their handhelds come with fries or salad.

While we were waiting for Ed Pat ordered some Poutine, because he was hungry and that served as our appetizer. Sadly I didn’t take a picture until after we had started eating.

Normally Poutine is served with a gravy covering the fries and the cheese curds on top of that. Pat wanted the gravy on the side because of possible onion issues. There were a few really burned pieces of potato but those were my favorite bites. A good layer of gravy probably would have prevented that. Now for Ed’s steak sandwich.

Ed thought his steak sandwich was good. The meat tender with no gristle, and the fries were excellent. I agree with him on the fries. They were twice fried so they ended up crisp and hot.

I opted for the Daredevil dog. That is an all beef sausage with pub cheese and a Colorado pork green chile. I wasn’t sure what this was but if it has green chiles in it then I am in. It turned out to be a nice portion of pork simmered in a green chile sauce. I would have been happy with a bowl full with a couple of flour tortillas. As it was I used it as a topping for my dog and a dipper for my fries. I ate most of it with a spoon. Overall it was a good plate. The dog was tasty and the pub cheese was a slightly spicy bridge for the green chile. I would get it again but sub a salad for the fries. Who can eat all the fries they give you?

So this joint has pretty good food and very good beer but the service left a bit to be desired. Our server was nice enough he just seemed a couple of steps behind. If he want’s to work in this industry he might want to develop a sense of urgency.

Paleo Soul 7305 E 96th Street

I found this place on a net search. I thought that such a clever name needed further study.

The Paleo Diet is an eating plan that tries to duplicate the eating habits of our ancestors; 10000 years ago. In other words food a hunter gatherer would consume. That means no grains, legumes or dairy. The owner came up with the idea because members of her own family have some food allergies and she thought Paleo could be an answer. Not all the menu is Paleo but it has a few items and if our lunch is an indication all of it is delicious.

I was tempted to order beans and rice and chicken and noodles two of their non Paleo dishes for $3.95 each. However once I learned that the meatloaf was just out of the oven I could not resist.

I know I said that I would never order mac & cheese out again but I just had to try theirs. I am glad I did. This was creamy and cheesy with a slightly crisp top. A great partner to the meatloaf. As for the meatloaf I thought it was delicious as well. It was seasoned perfectly and I loved that it had a bit of ketchup on the top. When you took a bite you would taste the savory gravy and then a taste of vinegary sweetness from the ketchup.

Both of our entres were $10.99; drink included. After consuming my meatloaf I was beguiled into ordering a piece of cheese cake, for $4.

This wasn’t a cheese cake that you would get at GFS or Sysco this was scratch made by the owner’s cousin. It was thick and rich without being overly sweet. I don’t know that I have had better.

Every thing in this little joint is made from scratch. The food is excellent and the prices are good and the only thing left to comment on is the staff. The folks here are wonderful. They went out of their way to make us truly feel at home. It was like eating at a friend’s house. It is a shame it is so far from me. I will try to get back soon.

Whiskey Business 5220 Southport Road.

Well another tavern. From what I was told by the bartender we had last week this is a joint that scratch makes 90 % of their food. They have 2 locations. This one and one up north on Pendleton Pike.

http://www.whiskeybiz.com/

This spot is clean and nicely done up and offers 25 lunch specials every day for $7.95. They are the same every day so the kitchen doesn’t have to do something new every day. Also for the most part they are regular menu items at a reduced price.

Pat gave me a piece of his tenderloin and it was well seasoned and the meat had a great texture; but it had that unmistakable after taste of old oil in the deep fryer. That is a shame.

When I order I try to get something that I wouldn’t do at home. Because of the time it takes or the mess it would make. In this case it would have been the battered and fried cod sandwich. However I mis-heard Pat and I thought that was what he ordered so I went for the Sloppy Joe with fries.

I have a fondness for Sloppy Joe sandwiches. I know they are hardly a challenging dish but I do enjoy them. What I got yesterday was very good. I can’t say that it did or did not come from a can because I have never knowingly had that canned sauce. I make it from scratch, that is just how I am wired. The only bad thing I can say about my lunch was the fries. They had that same after taste as Pat’s tenderloin.

I am with Pat. I would like to try their $9 steak special but it is too far for me to drive. Overall it was a good lunch but it could have been better.

Monkey Business 5055 S Dearborn Street

Pat picked this place. He learned of it from his cousin, who is a regular. That is one of the interesting things about taverns. Their regulars usually visit more often than a regular at a dinner house. When you go to a dinner house you go to eat. Same can be said for a lunch place. When you visit a tavern you can eat or drink. Taverns also have a bunch more appetizers than a  restaurant. So the occasions to go to a tavern are more numerous. Pat mentioned that this joint was previously named Harry C’s. I have never heard of that place either.

We started out with some fried pepper jack cheese cubes. For some reason I neglected to take a picture. These little things were very good. Lightly breaded and cooked perfectly. I was really surprised that they weren’t hand-made in the kitchen. I have had these before and they weren’t nearly as good.

Pat didn’t write about what he had for lunch. I guess he was still thinking of his prime rib dinner. He had a grilled cheese sandwich with bacon and tomato for $6. I guess he liked it. I mean it is really hard to mess up a grilled cheese sandwich.

They offer a fish and chips platter with a choice of walleye or catfish for $7.50. Either fish will get you fries, coleslaw and tarter sauce. I opted for walleye, because it is a good white fish and you don’t see it around too often.

I liked it. It was a good portion of fish and it had  very tasty breading, Also the coleslaw was house-made and the amount of fries they give you is reasonable. Some places think it is necessary to serve up more french fries than 1 human can eat. I would like to see them offer an extra piece of fish for an up-charge. I could have handled another piece of walleye. On Fridays they offer an all you can eat fish and chips for 12.95. I think that is the price.

I like this little place. Good food and great prices. For the bonus their special that day was $2 Domestic bottles. They offer several draft beers and a  Craft brew cost $5. If I lived closer I would try that Prime Rib dinner myself

Kruger’s Tavern 323 N. Delaware St.

Well this is another import from Cincinnati, courtesy of the Thunder Dome Restaurant Group. This is the group that controls Eagle and Bakersfield which expanded to Indy recently. Bakersfield in 2013 and The Eagle in 2015. I know this joint barely qualifies as an independent but it is owned by 3 people 2 of which are brothers. They are just hugely successful and are expanding their brand.

https://www.kruegerstavern.com/locations/

This place grinds their own meat for the hamburgers and the basic burger is $9.99. They use 2 patties per burger and cook them on a flat top so I was a bit surprise the meat didn’t have crisper edges.

They also make their own sausages. That is what I opted for.

It was their Italian. Sicilian style sausage, polenta cake, braised fennel and olives, Parmigiano Reggiano

This was an outstanding dish. The sausage had a bit of heat from the Calabrian chiles as did the broth the fennel and olives were braised in. This was almost a perfect meal for me. It featured 2 of my favorite non meat items. Fennel and olives. Add in the pig and “corn bread” and I was as happy as a camel on hump day. They offer 2 other styles of sausage all are $12.

I want to come back and try the other two but it will have to be when it is warmer. When I go downtown I use the bus. I don’t even like driving through our downtown. Parking is always an issue when you go downtown to eat. Same with Krueger’s. All I can say is it is worth the trip.

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