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Mayberry Cafe 78 West Danville In.

This is going to be a fun post. Not only does this joint have good food it also has some great photo ops. Even for a bad photographer.

This is parked out front. I couldn’t get the whole car into the pic. I backed up all the way to the wall to get this shot.

This is the view we got when we parked. That is right. We parked right behind Sheriff Taylor’s squad car.

The town of Danville is the home for this Cafe. The cafe is an homage’ to Andy Taylor and the popular TV series featuring Sheriff Taylor and all of his friends and family. In addition to all the kitsch and pictures they also offer an amazing menu of good food.

To start we had to try the mushrooms. They served them in a metal cone, more apt for pomme’ frites;. I thought it was pretty cool for mushrooms.

The mushrooms were pretty good. Not exceptional but good. Worth the 6 buck charge. This place offers beef in many ways, all of which are slow roasted brisket.

I was torn. They offer a very nice salad bar for $7.50. They also offer variations with soup or baked potatoes with the salad bar. I was tempted but their house burger is a combo of  sirloin and brisket ground fresh daily and grilled to order. That was my call. I asked for it rare. I was told they could do that. The burger came out more medium.

In defense of the kitchen Indiana has rules regarding the temperature of ground meat products. If I remember properly all ground meat patties should reach a temp of 165 degrees. So I can see a kitchen dude just agreeing with the server and then cooking the burger to what they consider “legal temp”. Some joints will cook me a med- rare burger with no problem. Some won’t. So it is probably a crap shot. What I can say is this was a very good burger. Had it been cooked to rare or medium rare it would have been fantastic.

So I must say I was quite impressed with the food. I also thought that the decor was wonderful. It is a combo of country kitsch and old-time TV memory.

As an end to our lunch we shared a strawberry shortcake. It was very good. Two thick slices of pound cake smothered in strawberries and covered with whipped cream. Three bucks.

So I think this is a wonderful place to visit. Not only do you have an opportunity to hang in a Mayberry joint you also have a chance to have some excellent food.

Mayberry Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

New Bethel Ordinary 8838 Southeastern Ave. Wanamaker Ind.

Some time back Pat and I made a small tour of Wanamaker eating at Extraordinary Pizza and Wheatley’s. We had heard of The Ordinary but never got around to going there. Last week our server at Rebar  made a pitch for us to give it a try. He is a night-time cook there and told us they offered more than pizza.

I am not sure how old the building is but the floor looks ancient. The dining area is a comfortable size and the menu is of a reasonable length featuring all the foods you would expect of a Hoosier tavern.

Pat decided on an individual pizza for $6.50 with 2 bread sticks.

The bread sticks are fashioned from their pizza dough and are first-rate. They come with a generic canned nacho cheese sauce for dipping.

The first thing I noticed on the menu is the prices. They are very reasonable. All of their sandwiches come with waffle fries and one other side. I wanted a burger. Their basic burger is a half pound Angus for $7.95. I decided on the Texas BBQ Burger for $8.95. It comes with bacon, cheddar cheese, an onion ring and of course BBQ sauce.

It was a pretty good burger cooked on a griddle. I did order it mid-rare but it came out more medium. I think I may start ordering my burgers rare. Never the less it was a good bite. The bacon was freshly fried and the bun was nicely toasted. I would order one of their burgers again.

My other side dish was homemade potato salad.

It was a very good potato salad. Small pieces of potato that were almost of a mashed consistency. Not what I am accustomed to but still nice.

I like Wanamaker. In some ways that stretch of Southeastern Ave reminds me of a short stretch of Route 66 that is the main drag for Moriarty New Mexico. A whole bunch of restaurants and bars in a short piece of road. The Ordinary has some pretty good food with excellent prices and it is close to Indianapolis so I think it is worth a visit.

New Bethel Ordinary Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Rebar 20 N. Delaware

Yep; it is a bar. But to be more accurate it is a Rebar. Now what is a Rebar? Well in this case I would say it is a joint that has a wall of serve yourself beer. The concept is great. You get a plastic card. You place it on a sensor and the pour yourself as much beer as you like. You are charged by the ounce and they offer 20 different rotating taps. You can get  2 ounces for a taste or a 12 ounce glass to enjoy with your meal. To me it is a winner for everyone concerned. For the consumer you do not need to worry about an over worked bartender, and for the house the bartender is free to do other things. Plus the place gets paid for the tastes that folks expect to get. I should have taken a picture.

But we were here for the food. From what we sampled I would say that these guys have probably the best “bar” food around. The kitchen staff is composed of young people who went to the Chef’s Academy here in town. So they have a crew of knowledgable and creative folks that are in this business by choice. Which does make a difference.

They make the majority of the food from scratch. The exceptions are the buns, fries and cheese curds. The batter on the curds is reminiscent of what you would find on a corn dog. They were pretty good but there is better out there. It is a shame they don’t have the room to batter their own. I think they would probably hit it out of the park.

The dipping sauce they served with them was a dill Ranch dressing. Too close to tartar sauce for me but it was a decent condiment. They have set lunch specials. Pat opted for the house burger for $8.

Now isn’t that a splendid hunk of meat. Pat gave me a bite and it was as tasty as it looked. I decided on a pair of sliders for $7. You get your choice of an Angus blend burger, house smoked and pulled pork or a spicy sloppy Joe. I ordered the BBQ and the Sloppy Joe. Again I was impressed. I know pulled pork and sloppy Joes are hardly haute cuisine but some preparations are better than others . Even with the simplest of dishes.

Pat and I are in agreement about the chips. They served a whole bunch of them but they were fried too crisp for us.

This place is in a perfect location for me. It is a short block away from the new Transit Center. Since I do not drive downtown, and since it has a patio on a very busy street I can see myself sitting there having lunch and a couple of Adult beverages. Speaking of  beverages they have a Adult milk shakes featuring Graeter’s Ice Cream with various liquors.

https://www.rebarindy.com/

They are changing their menu soon so I am sure I will be back there at least once more when that happens. Actually I will probably be back with some regularity. It is a fun joint to visit.

 

Rebar Indy Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thunderbird 1127 Shelby Street

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The sign is a bit misleading. The Thunderbird opened as a night club in 1950, and “rocked” it old school until 1972. I was never there. I went to old-time “divey” bars and for late night entertainment there was Broad Ripple.

I think this new incarnation opened 2 years ago as a dinner house. They just recently decided to give lunch a go. Here is a link to their website.

http://thunderbirdindy.com/

I suggested this place a couple of weeks ago. I think Pat agreed just to humor me. As he has said many times he is a simple man with simple tastes. Also he has a well know aversion to onion.

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I don’t agree with Pat’s assessment that this place is a bistro. Their food is pretty much comfort foods with a Southern focus and a chef driven spin. Are their prices high? Yep;on some items. A 9 buck grilled cheese is high. On the other hand at $3 my biscuit sliders were quit reasonable. Especially when you realize a McDonald’s bacon, egg and cheese biscuit costs more.

One thing Pat commented on was how oily the chips were. Tasty but oily. Evidently they flash them in the fryer for a bit and then sprinkle them with old bay seasoning.

They have okra fries on their menu. I like fried okra. Finding it around here is difficult. The few places that offer it give you this frozen stuff in a bag . Here they buy it fresh, cut it and fry it to order.

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You get a nice sized bowl for $5. They offer a spicy mayo based dipping sauce I wasn’t really a fan of. I did enjoy the okra though. It is pickled before it is breaded and fried. Which adds a whole new layer of flavor and it also adds a bit of acid to the mix. Now for the biscuit sliders.

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They offer two options. Braised pork belly and fried chicken. I got one of each. The belly was melt in your mouth tender. They topped it with an onion jam, which was pretty sweet. It fit well with the fatty pork but after a few bites it became almost cloying. The next time I get it I will 86 the jam.

You can get your chicken biscuit mild or hot. I chose hot and it had a pleasant burn. The chicken biscuit comes topped with their slaw and house pickles. The slaw was vinegar based and played off the spicy crunch of the chicken nicely. My taste for slaw leans more towards the creamy style but this variety did its job well. I think a side of the slaw might be too “dry” when eaten by itself. The biscuits themselves were nice. Flaky yet substantial enough to hold up to fried chicken. The pickles were unique to my taste buds. They are of the refrigerator variety. You slice ’em; pickle ’em and stick them in the fridge. I enjoyed them.

This place is well-appointed with lots of wood and custom light fixtures. The whole joint has a dimly lit ambiance. Suitable for an evening of cocktails and snacks. I think that would be the best way to enjoy this space. With some friends and a few cocktails and eats. They offer craft draft as well as wine but I think they take their mixed drinks very serious. The bartender has several bottles of syrups that they use to flavor some of their liquors. The bartender is also serious about Bourbon. He likes to keep Bonded bottles around. Nothing says commitment like a few bottles of 100 Proof bottled in bond liquor.

Thunderbird Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Charlie Brown’s Pancake and Steak House 1038 Main St Speedway In.

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No. Not that Charlie Brown. This Charlie Brown

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Sorry. I couldn’t resist. This Charlie Brown has only been around since 1975, serving breakfast and lunch to 1000’s of folks in this west side community of Speedway. Pat and I have had this on our list for so long we had damn near forgot about it. Today we remembered and thought it was time.

Some folks call it a diner. Some folks call it a truck stop;without all the trucks. Out of all the reviews I read no one really had anything bad to say about the food. Except for one guy, and he was down on the whole Speedway thing.

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Pat allowed me a bite of his cakes and they were quite good, nice and fluffy. I too fell in line with breakfast. A sausage omelet with raisin toast instead of pancakes.

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I thought it was great. Three eggs loaded with a large portion of sausage and cheese. I can’t say anything bad about my meal or this joint. I believe my plate was less than $7 and Pat’s was about $5. They also have some excellent breakfast specials they serve before 11 AM. They offer regular lunch items as well as country fried steaks smothered with sausage gravy. That is for a serious appetite. Also they have a “fritter” as well as a breaded tenderloin. I would guess that would be closer to something we got at the drive in when we were kids. So folks who have been here know. New folks in the area should probably find out. It is a nice little joint.

 

Charlie Brown's Pancake and Steakhouse Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Fort Ben Pub 5645 N. Post Road

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We have been asked before why we go to so many bars or taverns. Some folks don’t consider such places as “legitimate restaurants”. Well considering the crowd these joints feed at lunch time I would say that is a minority opinion.

We have been to all the bars we lunch at before; for a beer or cocktail. The ones that  offer something unique or special we add to our list. This week we couldn’t really decide on what we wanted to eat. I recalled Fort Ben’s Wednesday Special. A 6 ounce bacon wrapped filet with fries, toast and a salad for $9.25. Now that is a special Special.

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Pat ordered his medium and mine was medium rare. For all practical purposes they were the same temperature. The beef was very tender and had a very nice char quality to it. It was a record for speed that is for sure. I believe it was because the steak was par cooked prior to the order, and the fries were probably fried earlier and stored under a heat lamp. All perfectly reasonable and legitimate “tricks” done to expedite the lunch service. Also you could eat it in record time since you didn’t need to cool anything down. The meat was still tasty and I would do it again were I in the area. However Murphy’s @Flynn’s use to have a similar steak special for $9.99;and the steaks didn’t start cooking until you ordered. They might have raised the price a buck since Pat and I were there. Check their website.

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This particular place has a full repertoire of daily specials; both lunch and dinner. The specials may make this particular spot your destination. So don’t be too quick to overlook lowly bars or taverns for a bite to eat. Remember some of the best scratch type cooking can often be found at these bars.
Fort Ben Pub Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Lord Ashley’s Pub 11703 Pendleton Pike

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Once upon a time there was 2 Lord Ashley’s. One on East Washington and one near Oaklandon. The one on Washington is no more. This location is going strong with a change of ownership 12 years ago. It is a kid friendly joint with both a full menu and a full bar.

When we can we like to start off with come fried mushrooms. They serve a generous portion for $7.99.

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Pat and I both agreed that; while good they didn’t compare with Checkered Flags. Unfortunately all subsequent fried mushrooms will be compared with the Checkered Flag.

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Usually I decide quickly on what I want to eat. Not yesterday. Our server bailed me out by suggesting a breaded pork loin.

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It was huge. It was also confusing. I have never seen one pounded out so thin. My first impression was it was a pre-breaded item. However it was full muscle meat and invariably pre breaded “fritters” are chopped and formed. Normally I would have preferred a thicker slice of meat but the more I ate the more I enjoyed it. I can see myself ordering it again. However I think I would take the owner up on his offer of a second bun. I took the loin out of the bun and cut it in half and ate the first half sans bread.

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They make their own chips and they do a good job with them. Too often “home-made” chips are either burnt or under done. I also enjoyed the added kale garnish, that is old school.

It is so far away I can’t see going there very often. I can see myself stopping in when I am in the area or even making it a destination for a Springtime lunch. They are such nice people and they give you a good product at a good price.

Lord Ashley's Pub Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Mama’s House 8867 Pendleton Pike

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For the life of me I have no idea why we haven’t been here before now. It is located in a strip mall just west of Post Road. Unless you are actually looking for it you would more than likely not even notice it. That would be a shame because this is definitely a place worthy of notice.

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Pat forgot to mention the soup he got as a first course.

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It was a delicate broth with small cubes of tofu added. It also had a mystery vegetable(?) in it as well. Opaque strips of something that didn’t really have much intrinsic flavor. It was pretty good for an opening act.

I was really second guessing my lunch choice after Pat was served. I ordered Seolleong- Tang. That is beef tongue boiled in an ox bone broth.  While I am not a fan of boiled meats I like tongue and I am especially fond of bone broths so it sounded like the answer to a cold afternoon.

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The broth was very nice;not as rich as I thought it would be but still very good. The beef tongue was plentiful and tender. As I ate I discovered little bits of tripe and sweet potato starch noodles as well. That was a pleasant surprise. I got another surprise when they brought out the sides for the soup.

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Little bowls of pickled onion and mung bean sprouts, kimchi and some delicious slices of cucumber in a sweet chile sauce. These additions turned a good soup into a great soup. All of their lunch specials are $6.99 or $7.99. I am definitely going back.

Mama's House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

1911 Grill 1067 Main Street Speedway In.

Well we are back in Speedway. Their Main Street is shaping up as a prime destination. In addition to the already existing business they have added Daredevil Brewing, Big Woods and,in 2016 Speedway Indoor Karting.

This is a huge 2 story building that has 2 kart tracks. An oval and a road course. The coolest thing  is, it is owned and operated by Sarah Fisher and her husband Andy O’Gara. For those who don’t know, Sarah Fisher ran in 9 Indy 500 races; more than any other woman driver. She still holds the fastest Indianapolis 500 Qualification run by a woman. 229.439 MPH. Of course we didn’t come to race we came to eat at their adjacent restaurant. The 1911 Grill.

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It is a beautiful place. It has 2 stories and seating that overlooks the kart tracks.

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Their menu is pretty typical featuring burgers, fish and tenderloin. They also offer a few dinner choices for evening.

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One of their lunch specials was a Breakfast Burger. A house burger topped with a fried egg and bacon and American cheese. With fries for $8.99. I know that tossing an egg on a burger is the thing to do now but I have never tried it. I like the yolk and I am not sure It would come out that way. I decided to try it and ordered the egg soft and the burger mid-rare.

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It wasn’t a bad burger. Not the best and definitely not the worse. It was your Standard Sysco ready-made burger. Of course I think it would have had more personality had it come out with more yolk in the egg and more blood in the burger. But it was pretty good and the price was reasonable.

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I think Karting there would be a blast. We set by a window and were able to see several racers while we ate. If you were to go there to race eating at the Grill would be a natural choice. If they want to make the restaurant a destination place as well I think they need to step it up a bit and have some more creative options. At least check out different burger options. You never know I may be back to race; if I can get someone to go with me.

1911 Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Big Woods Speedway 1002 W. 10th Street Speedway In.

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Big Woods is a brewery AND distillery and originated in Nashville Indiana. They also have a joint in Bloomington Indiana. I believe last year they decided to make the move north to Speedway. The home of America’s Greatest Spectacle in Racing; the 500. It is a big beautiful building with an amazing interior of varnished wood.

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Quaff On is the name of the beer they produce. Also each beer has an individual name. So when you order a Quaff On flight you get 5 five ounce pours of beers that are representative of their brewing skills.

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I am not going to begin to describe each beer. I will say they were excellent examples of their craft. All for $13.

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As soon as we pulled up I could smell their smoker. I love smoked meats. I find pulled chicken boring. Brisket is still hit and miss around here. A good smoked pork butt is getting easier to find and from the aroma of their smoker I figured this one should be pretty good.

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It was excellent. A great smokiness and the pickled veggies were a marvelous counterpoint. Of course I would have enjoyed more and a larger variety but carrot and onion are pretty commonplace in most kitchens. The bun was nice and I appreciated the sauce on the side. Their side options were kettle chips with truffle oil and parm, fries or kicked up slaw. For some reason I chose chips. They were okay but I think the truffle and parm bit looked better on paper. I forgot all about the slaw option. That was silly. Next time. My sandwich was $11.25 and Pat’s 2 topping pizza pie was $10.95.

In the beginning I mentioned that Big Woods was a distillery too. Their brand of liquor is called Hard Truth. They offered Vodka, Rum and Gin at first. Now they have a whisky. It is a clear liquor; like moonshine. So in keeping with the spirit of adventure I ordered a Manhattan cocktail.

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It was a wonderful beverage. It was incredibly smooth. Too often when all the components of a cocktail are alcoholic the first taste can be a bit astringent. Not here. That is a testimony to the bartender and the liquor. In my opinion.

Pat and I had a swell time. The food is good. The beer is good. The surroundings are good and the service was outstanding. I think Pat and I will both be back;even though it is a drive for both of us. We think it may be worth it.

Big Woods Speedway Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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