eating indie in indy

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Sister’s Comfort Food 2236 E. Tenth St. (John H. Boner Community Center)


I try to start out with a picture of the places facade. This one doesn’t really have a facade of its own. What it does have is a cozy little corner in the John H. Boner Community Center, just east of the Tech High School campus. They have been opened for 3 years and I just learned of it last week. After eating here Pat and I both think that it’s a wonder it isn’t always full of hungry customers.

The menu is basic and the prices are in line with most other restaurants of its kind. When you factor in the quality and the quantity it is a true bargain.


The printing on their carry out menu was light so my copy may be difficult to read for the ocularly challenged.

It is a pretty sweet space. A neat and clean dining room and a spacious kitchen nearly as large as the dining area.



As for the food it was pretty sweet as well. Pat ordered a breaded tenderloin, $7.50 with a side choice. The cool thing about a “meat and 2” joint is you aren’t stuck with fries or onion rings as side options.





Yep. Meatloaf. To me the quintessential comfort food. Here you can get a dinner for $11. In addition to a substantial portion of meatloaf you get 2 sides and cornbread. My 2 sides were collard greens and mashed potatoes and gravy. The meatloaf was done very well. It had an excellent flavor and texture. The density was spot on. The Sisters use oats as the filler. Specifically steel-cut oats. To some that may sound odd but steel-cut oats were probably the original binding agent for the “modern” meatloaf. Starting in the 30’s I believe Quaker and others pushed rolled oats as a more economical alternative. That would be the meatloaf of my childhood. In either event the Sister’s version was excellent. The greens were good as well,however Pat and I thought they were a bit on the salty side. As you can imagine the mashed and gravy were outstanding  also. Buttery ‘taters and creamy gravy really rounded out the meal.


So now you know. As they say this place is on point. The real deal. They offer good cooking in a nice environment at more than fair pricing. I might suggest you save some room for dessert as they also offer a variety of baked goods.



Sister's Comfort Food Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Johnson’s BBQ Shack – Food Truck


Like most cities Indianapolis has a growing population of food trucks. These are trucks or trailers that go to different spots around town and sell food that has been prepared in their brick and mortar kitchens. Commissary style. Occasionally more than one gathers and it is a ClusterTruck. This is what converged on an IU Health facility at 250 N. Shadeland Ave. today.

In addition to Johnson’s was Gaucho’s FireAuthentic Brazilian Food and Flying Cupcake. I had envisioned getting a BBQ sandwich, a Brazilian snack and a cupcake for desert. Didn’t happen. After a BBQ sandwich each Pat and I were pretty full. I might have had room for some Coxinhas but they didn’t have them this day.





Pat’s sandwich was 7 bucks. The chips were $2, as were the other 2 sides. Mac & Cheese and Corn Casserole. Considering that each sandwich was one half pound makes this THE best bargain around.


I decided on a brisket sandwich for $8. Boy O Boy. It was one heck of a sandwich. It was tender and juicy. Which is the hallmark of good Q. The juiciness came from the fat that was partially melted into the other flesh. There was a small piece that escaped the heat but that just made the bite that much more sweet. The smoke was pervasive throughout. It was on my hands the rest of the afternoon. We went to Manley’s Irish Mutt afterward and Pat threatened to bite by hand; just because of the aroma of smoke.


I love eating smoked meat as much as I like smoking meat. In the above pic notice the slight evidence of bark. That wasn’t sauce. I did add a touch of their sweet sauce just to wet the bun. So I really think this is one of the best; if not the best; smoked brisket sans I have had in Indy. Hell even if it isn’t it is worth tracking down. If you can’t get to Bargersville by all means hit Twitter for the location of their food trucks. You will not be disappointed.

Johnson's BBQ Shack Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Mug (Irvington) 118 S. Audubon Road


Well the wait is over. The Mug East has finally opened. The Mug owner bought the building and did a wonderful job rehabbing it. Originally the space where the Mug is was a Christian Science reading room. The center spot was a laundromat. Now it houses a Tyner Pond Farm store. That is the farm that supplies the Mug with all of its protein. That too is owned by Chris Baggott. Owner of both Mugs. The end unit used to be a cafe but will eventually house an upscale restaurant.

The Mug’s menu is the same as the one in Greenfield. They have Draft beer here. They also raised the prices. What was $5 is now $6.75. What was $6.75 is now $8. Life in the Big City.



Jimmy has joined us on a couple of other occasions. Since he still has a job we have to plan in advance for the pleasure of his company. He ordered one of their excellent house made sausages.


I was tempted to order a chicken sandwich. All free range and stuff. I think I ordered a chicken sandwich once. To me grilled chicken is an option only if beef or pork isn’t. I think the 8 buck price turned me off. Not that $8 is too much for a sandwich. Just that maybe $8 for a grilled chicken sandwich is. Since I had already tried their beef and dog I opted for a house smoked pork sandwich. Covered in BBQ sauce and topped with homemade coleslaw, for $6.75. Formerly $5.


It was a pretty good sandwich. Not bad, just not knock your socks off good. I couldn’t detect much smoke in the pig and the sauce was average. As for the slaw I prefer a sweet slaw with a more prominent sauce presence. So a pretty good sandwich. A decent value at $6.75. Excellent value at 5 bucks.

I think their burgers, hot dogs and breaded tenderloin will keep people coming back. I know I will be back for another burger. One of the multi-patty ones. Their basic patty is one-quarter pound,so two will make a substantial sandwich. That is what Pat ordered. They also serve two forms of fries. One is your standard IQF variety  which was $2.25 in Greenfield. ( same as McDonald’s) They also offer a hand cut version fried in lard for one dollar more. For an extra buck they will take any fry toss it in olive oil and then parsley and garlic. Like Boogie Burger in Broad Ripple.

So I think they will be successful here in Irvington. They offer good service and a good product and now they have beer.

The Mug Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Hibachi Bar -Japanese Steak House. 921 Broad Ripple Avenue.


Well Broad Ripple has one more new joint. This is Hibachi Restaurant. New for the Ripple scene. It is located where the Sabbatical used to be. Curiously that’s right next door to the Triton Taproom and the Sushi Bar. The Hibachi Bar is owned by the same folks who have the Sushi Bar. All they need is one called the Tempura Bar for a true hat trick.

Their dining room is really nice looking.


All of the seating is for Hibachi. So you get a show even if you order from the hot kitchen or the sushi kitchen.


This is their basic dining unit. In the background is the sushi bar. Their menu is an odd Frankenstein affair. Cut and paste with several items marked off. Of course this is only their first week of operation so I am sure they will be making adjustments along the way. Being true to their name they offer a lot of steaks and combos with fish. They also have a few noodle dishes ( from the kitchen) and Teriyaki Chicken as well as salmon.

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Funny thing about the sake. The chef had it in a big squeeze bottle. I figured it was just water and the sake bit was a joke. When Pat told me it was indeed sake I was jealous. Hell Pat doesn’t even like sake. Oh well. I ordered Yakisoba. That is  a buckwheat noodle dish cooked with veggies and a protein. I opted for chicken.


I thought this dish was excellent. The chicken was not overly abundant but the overall flavor and amount made it an excellent value at $12. I especially liked the tender crisp celery and its crunch.

About the prices. I thought the pricing was reasonable. They feature strip steak and filet mignon as well as ocean-going sea food, which ain’t cheap. Pat’s Teriyaki chicken was only 9 bucks. And in celebration of their Grand Opening they were offering a 15% discount. So I don’t see the pricing as a problem. I can only image things getting better for this place. I think it is a nice addition to Broad Ripple.


Hibachi Bar Japanese Steak House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Big City Grill and Lemonade 23 E. 38th Street


This joint opened 7 years ago. I remember getting some carry out from here when it was newly opened. It doesn’t seem that long ago. The food was pretty good but I basically forgot about it. It is a shame I never remembered it until now. The place has some pretty good reviews. Some folks say the area is sketchy. I say it is a high traffic area and it’s no more “sketchy” than a lot of other areas.

Their main bag is Philly style sandwiches and top-notch lemonade drinks. The have a pretty good menu with fried fish, and wings as well as sandwiches.





The mushrooms were strictly prefabbed econ frozen fare for $2.99. Not worth trying again. Their main bag are the sandwiches. I got a Philly combo for $8.99, the same as Pat’s. My lemonade was a cherry.


The sandwich was outstanding. Their version of a “Philly” is shredded steak with peppers,onions and mushrooms with provolone cheese. The individual ingredients were well-balanced and the seasoning was well done.


I was very impressed with the sandwich and the overall operation of their joint. They have fish that they bread in-house as well as chargrilled burgers and Gyros. The lemonade may be the hook,it is that good,but the sandwiches will make you come back.


This is the flavors they add to the lemonade. They start out with a slushy lemonade and add the flavor, shake it up and there you go.


This is a partial shot of their kitchen. On the far left end is a spit for the meat for the pita, I couldn’t get a shot because people were working. I thought the owner was nice enough to allow me to take the shot I got. So if you want a very good sandwich with an excellent lemonade slushy without paying  SoBro prices try a trip to the “hood”.

Big City Grill & Lemonade Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

WB Pizza 6155 Allisonville Rd.


People toss around the phrase “hidden jewel” probably too often. This little place may well be just that. The make all of their own crust and bread as well as cheesecakes and gelato. This time around we didn’t have room for desert but there is always another time.

We noticed this place some time back when we went to “Some Guys Pizza”; which is about one block away.Its proximatey to “Some Guys” may be the reason it isn’t that well know. It has been around since 1999 and Pat and I have never heard of it. It isn’t a “sexy” joint with a wood or coal-fired oven. It doesn’t offer duck confit or organic kale toppings. It is just a little Pizza joint that offers a good pie at a good price.

Naturally when you go to a Pizza place you need to overload on carbs so we ordered some garlic bread for $5.00. It comes with your choice of 2 sauces. We opted for red sauce and garlic & butter.


The bread had a good flavor and a nice chew to it. The red sauce was very good with a touch of sweet. The fingers don’t come with it.



Pat’s critique of the crust was correct. I don’t think olive oil before hand would have necessarily fixed the issue. However a brushing with some would have given it a sheen and an extra luscious mouth feel. My personal pie was the same way. I,however like the slight char. As long as the crust stays soft. This crust was soft and stayed soft sitting in Pat’s car and on my kitchen counter for about 5 hours,in a go box.


My pie was a two topping one. Black olives and anchovy. I really like that combo. Both pies were under 8 bucks. A single $7.20 and a double for $7.90. The crusts we got are called their original thin crust. They also have a really thin crust if that is your taste; as well as a deep dish.

I am with Pat about the calzone. I am going to get one, maybe to go. That way I can try some cheese cake and gelato.

WB Pizza Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Mel’s Drive In 3045 Mars Hill Drive.

How many folks remember drive ins? I am sure you know what I am talking about. You drive up and park and the server comes out; takes your food order and then delivers it to you on trays that clip to your car windows. If you don’t recall first hand I am sure you have heard tales from your parents or Grandparents.

I am not sure how long Mel’s has been serving food to the folks in Mars Hill,but I would guess more than 50 years. It isn’t easy to get to but it is worth the effort. It is about 50 yards from a busy highway and a railroad track. I am not sure how busy the track is but a train came by while we were there.


As you can see it is pretty close. Mel’s is the building in the foreground.


A couple of old-fashioned drive ins in town have house made root beer as their hook. Mels’ doesn’t. All it offers is its food and great pricing.


They have no indoor dining. You eat in your car or on some picnic tables out back. That may turn some people off but Pat and I loved it. You may not be able to see the prices all that well on my picture but both Zomato and Yelp have shots of the 2014 menu. The new menu is about a half buck more per item. Pat ordered a single hamburger, a small order of mushrooms and cheese bites as well as a hot dog and vanilla malt.






I opted for a breaded tenderloin. I don’t know if it was just the special for that day or if it’s the normal pricing but the girl asked me if a wanted a second tenderloin sandwich for $1.10. One for $2.75 two for $3.85. At first I said no. I quickly realized I had made a faux pas and changed my order. I figured that Pat and I could share the ‘shrums and cheese bites so I finished my order with a coney dog and a Chocolate Malted.


I only ate one of the tenderloin. It was a pre-breaded item not hand breaded in-house. So it wasn’t representative of scratch cooking but it was representative of a damn fine sandwich. For $2.75 each and $3.85 for two make that an excellent sandwich.


The coney dog was very good as well. A dirty water dog on a common place bun and smothered with a pretty good coney sauce. Pat asked me if I thought it was house made. I don’t know but I doubt it. Why should they. I would guess they bought it ready-made and spiced it up with chile powder and cumin. I don’t think this joint ever felt the necessity to scratch build food items. Their mission is to feed people,what they want to eat. And I gotta’ feeling folks like the food a lot.


Oh and the Chocolate Malted was pretty good too. I mean Chocolate is the best of all Malts.

Mel's Drive-In Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tomo Japanese Steakhouse 7411 N. Keystone Ave.

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Pat called me the other day and we were talking about lunch this week. He informed me that he had just read the last few posts and realized that he had ordered several burgers. He wanted to get out of that rut ; quickly. I told him that I thought that the quickest way to carry out that was to go to a Japanese joint. I think we have gone to one before. That was Sushi Bar in Broad Ripple. Pat ordered a Tempura lunch special and I ;as usual; had a medley of sushi rolls. This time I was determined to change the pattern.

This is a very attractive place. Spacious and nicely decorated. I found it pretty dark though. Nice enough for a date night but so much for a lunch.

Their menu is very nice. They feature actual Bento boxes with Teriyaki, noodle dishes, maki and sashimi and,of course Hibachi. All are in the $7.50 to $10.75 range, and they come with soup or salad.

I wanted some cooked salmon so I ordered Salmon Hibachi for $10.75. The Hibachi dishes come with the soup or salad, fried rice and veggie of the day. I opted for Miso soup. I do so like Miso soup.

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This particular version was excellent. A lovely broth with just the right amount of tofu.

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The rest of the luncheon was expertly prepared. The Salmon was a thinner cut than I am accustomed to so it was cooked more than I would like. However it was still very tasty, and the fried rice was superb. It was a brown rice with flecks of egg and onion and the veggies were as you would image from a Japanese kitchen. Tender crisp with a hint of soy. They serve each diner with 2 sauces. A mustard sauce and a “ginger” sauce. Or at least that is what our server told us it was. The mustard had no kick and the “ginger” sauce brought nothing to the table. Flat ; no flavor.

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So Pat and I both enjoy our lunches. They were well prepared, excellent quality and great service. He won’t go back because he lives too far away. I wouldn’t mind going back;there are some dishes they have I would love to try. However there are several joints that offer similar food. They may be better or worse;but I will not know that until I eat there. I only have so much time left and there are so many places to visit I have to use my time well. So eat and enjoy it.

Tomo Japanese Steakhouse Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Serendipity at the Post 2210 E 54th Street

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About 3 months ago Pat and I “reviewed” the American Legion Post # 34. Well in actuality we reviewed the food which was put out by a fellow named Pete. I guess Pete has moved on because I got word that a catering company, Serendipity has taken over the management of the kitchen. Here is the link to their webpage. It shows the menus for both their food truck and the Legion.

I was looking forward to the meal because the menu was not your typical bar menu. Sure they have some of the stuff you would expect at a bar but also they offer crab cakes and truffle fries. To start the ball rolling I ordered a side salad.


The salad was predominately spinach with the traditional onion and grape tomatoes. It was topped with goat cheese and candied walnuts,which brought a bit of sweet and a nice tang to my mouth. The whole dish was rounded out with an excellent Raspberry Vinaigrette. A great salad and bargain at $3

I opted for a Crab Cake sandwich. The chef doesn’t fry the cakes like a lot of people would he puts a sear on it and finishes it off in the oven. So I can tell myself it is Heart Healthy.

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The cake was big with a nice and juicy interior and what I would consider a near perfect texture and consistency. You could actually taste the crab. If I were to order it again I think I would do without the mayo and onion. Both seemed to interfere with the “crabbiness” of the cake.

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Pat ordered a burger, no onion, with a side of slaw. He also ordered a side of steamed broccoli for 3 bucks.

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Well I think the Legion has a winner here. It is going to be a challenge I’m sure. The clientele is more “mature” than other joints so that could be problematic. Some old guys can be stuck in their ways. Also Legions are known for low prices, and Bill;the Chef/owner of Serendipity uses very high quality ingredients so that right there can make the thing difficult. I think that the crew at the Legion is in for some good eating. Also it is open to the public so you don’t have to be a member to dine there. I think they have plans to have certain designated nights for BBQ ribs and Prime Rib. So that ought to be all kinds of fun.

American Legion Post 34 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Jimmy’s Diner 3301 Shelby Street

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About 2 years ago this place was doing business as Ma and Pa’s Diner. It was just sold and re-opened as Jimmy’s on August first. Pat goes by it regularly and told me about it last week. We decided to try it out with our buddy Jimmy, who has lunched with us a couple of times.

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I didn’t make a copy of their menu and I honestly can’t remember too much of it. They serve breakfast all day and the menu starts out with JJ’s Special. Two bacon, 2 sausage, 2 eggs and potatoes. With a half order of biscuits and gravy and choice of pancakes,waffles or French toast for $9.75. That I remember. That and a double cheese burger and fries sell for $5.75 and on Fridays they have all you can eat Flounder for $14.

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Pat couldn’t wait to try the B&G.

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The biscuits and gravy were pretty good. A decent tasting gravy ( that could have used more sausage) over a ready-made biscuit. The pancakes were of the usual mix variety. Tasty but nothing to get overly excited about. The hardest thing for me to review are breakfast foods. Most biscuits are pre-made and the pancakes come from a mix. There are a few exceptions but this holds true for most joints. For breakfast the execution is everything. People are as finicky of their eggs as they are of their steaks. Most folks will let it slide over a med rare steak ending up more medium but don’t dare break the yolk on their over easy eggs. For my breakfast the preparation was flawless. The eggs were beautiful and the bacon had the proper crisp. As for the sausage I commented to the owner how I liked it and he told me that when he opened up he was using a fresh sausage but folks complained. They didn’t like the pinkness of the meat;so he went back to the pre-cooked patties the previous owner used.

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As you can see the potatoes are crisp and brown. The other potato option was a home fry. If they are as crisp as these that would be the way to go.

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Don’t expect anything fancy or pretentious here just expect some good cooking.

Jimmy's Diner Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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