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George’s Neighborhood Grill 6935 Lake Plaza Drive.

Without a doubt this is the best looking place we have been to in a long while. Dark wood tables and a massive oblong bar made it a very inviting space. It was also the largest. A barroom dining area as well as 2 other dining rooms. It was pretty obvious that this joint considers Hospitality a serious business.

The menu was pretty serious as well.

http://www.georgesneighborhoodgrill.com/home.aspx

Since Pat had a grilled tenderloin last week he got a breaded one this week for $9.49. A Hoosier can’t get too much pig.

Creamy Portobello Mushroom Soup

Since it was a cold and rainy day I was pretty sure I needed some beef, and they have several options. I decided on the 8 ounce open face steak sandwich for $11.49.

It was a very healthy cut and expertly grilled to Medium Rare. I just love a good piece of char-grilled beef; especially on a cold day in February. It is definitely something I would re-order. I also got a cup of soup, for a $1.50 up charge. It was very warming and a good start for a steak lunch.

I am with Pat about this joint. I would love to have it in my neighborhood. However it isn’t so far away  a return trip is out of the question. A lovely environment with great food and service what more could you want?

 

 

George's Neighborhood Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sahm’s Ale House 1435 E. 86th St.

About three years ago the Sahm’s family opened their first craft brewery, right on the Monon Trail, Big Lug. Shortly after they opened their second Rockstone Pizza next door. I thought a pizza joint was a perfect match to a craft brewery. However after one year they decided to close the pizza joint and turn it into an Alehouse.

I have always been a fan of the way Sahm’s conducts their business. From their side dish offerings to the extensive salad menu and that they still serve a slice of sour cream coffee cake with every salad. These guys know how to run a joint.

I had my eye on their seafood bisque so I was pleased that I could get it as a side; for $1 up charge.

It was a much larger portion than I expected. It was very creamy and had a very good flavor.  Except for the clams you really couldn’t taste any other sea food though.

SEAFOOD BISQUE SOUP

ROASTED SHRIMP, ATLANTIC COD, CLAMS, SEAFOOD STOCK, CREAM, OLD BAY SEASONING, ROASTED GARLIC, TOMATOES

However I would probably order it again and just consider it a fortified clam chowder.

To go with my “bisque” I got a meatball sandwich.

I found this to be the perfect sandwich size and the soft roll the perfect mate to the tender meatballs. It is nice when the bread and filling both separate at the same time. As for the pricing it is as you would expect. My sandwich was $10.99 plus a buck for the soup. Pat’s tenderloin was $11.99, which I thought was pretty steep. However Pat certainly seemed to enjoy it regardless of the cost. Of course they had beer. Big Lug beer as well as the guest kegs. Once again Sahm’s has hit it out of the park. Good food, good beer and good service. Definitely worth a return trip. With or without a bike.

 

The Yard Line 6466 E 82nd Street

We had planned on having lunch at the only Russian restaurant in Indianapolis. It has been around for a while but only open for dinner service. I discovered this week that they had started serving lunch . I was really excited but I have been disappointed before. I looked up back up joints in the area just in case. Well, they changed their hours and reverted back to dinner only. So I told Pat that he had a choice of Indian or American pub. He decided on American Pub.

The cheese curds were very good. They weren’t built-in house but they were tasty. I don’t think much on the menu is house made. Surprisingly enough it is a one person kitchen. Our bartender/cook was the manager ,who was left by herself because the bartender called in sick. That young lady rocked it.

I had wanted to order the Stromboli but since Pat beat me to it I ordered the Roast Beef Panini.

Roast Beef: Panini pressed
roast beef, Horse radish, cream
cheese, banana peppers and
Yard sauce….

It was an interesting sandwich. The meat was deli roast beef, which is a bit dry by itself. The cream cheese and sauce brought a much-needed moistness and the peppers gave the sandwich a nice little hint of spice and acid. Our cook asked how I wanted it toasted; which was a nice touch. Like Pat’s sammie I got a heaping helping of Tater Tots. I took half the tots and half the sandwich home. Both were bargains at $9.

I am with Pat about the joint. Were it closer I would be a regular. For me it wasn’t .the food menu or the expansive draft heads it would be the bartender/server/cook. She was a very capable and charming young lady. As a retired member of the restaurant biz I am glad to see someone young wanting to take up this industry as a profession. She even expressed an interest in going to Culinary School. I thought her excitement for food was great. If you are in the area you really should stop in for a bite and a beverage. I am sorry I didn’t do a proper introduction; so I do not know her name. But drop in and introduce your self.
The Yard Line Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Side Wok Cafe 1087 Broad Ripple Ave.

This is one business among many in a strip mall on the main drag in Broad Ripple. That may be why we never hit it up before now. Had I known what was in store for us I would have wanted to go sooner.

They offer lunch specials similar to other Chinese joints in town but we ordered from the regular menu. We each ordered a pork egg roll for $1.60. It was a pretty good roll, however I forgot to take a shot of it. I could have eaten another one. The first thing I noticed was they serve everything in and on disposable ware. Even the cutlery is plastic.

We each received a large paper plate of white rice for our entrees. This place doesn’t skimp on serving size.

That haze in the upper left hand corner is steam from the food. That was how fast the food came out.

I felt a need for pork in black bean sauce.

Usually pork in stir fry are in small pieces. This was large slices of pork loin. Two to three inches in diameter and one-quarter inch thick. A delicious surprise.

I understand Pat’s hesitation about a return visit as he lives a distance. I am only a few miles away and am in the area at least once a week. Also they are built for carry out. The amount of food we were served was crazy and the quality was as good as any in Indy. Each of our lunch dishes were $8.45. Two people could easily share one of the entrees. I am sure some folks may be turned off by the paper plates and plastic forks but it doesn’t bother me a bit. I consider it a testimony to the tenderness of the meat that a plastic knife can cut it. So the utensils shouldn’t be a negative so large the tasty food can’t over come.

 

 

Side Wok Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Uptown Cafe 6404 Rucker Road

This place is a sister restaurant to one in Noblesville so it is tough to find any info about the menu. The only site that has a menu has the Indianapolis address but a website for a joint with the same name in Butte Montana! Those silly folks at Google.

I had planned on scanning the menu and posted it with the review but of course I forgot to bring my wand with me. I am adding a link to their place in Noblesville. It may not be identical but it should be similar.

https://www.facebook.com/SunriseCafeatUptown/menu/

They make several things in-house so we had to try a couple just to “sample”.

The first was a cinnamon roll.

It was a beauty and tasted pretty good. It was a bit tough, as though it had been microwaved to reheat.

We also got a half order of biscuits and gravy to share. The biscuit was a bit doughy but the gravy was pretty good. I second Pat’s thoughts about Ollies.

They also offer a series of Breakfast Bowls. That is simply a bowl with stuff in it and eggs on top. You can also get more stuff on top of the eggs if you so desire. I opted for a corned beef hash bowl.

They do their hash in a clever way. They offer a Reuben sandwich so they keep shaved corned beef on hand. They take that meat,chopped and add it to their shredded hash browns. Hash; with no onions. This particular bowl had onions in it, also Swiss Cheese. Actually I believe it was a processed cheese, white American cheese. In either event it was one heck of a breakfast. I really enjoyed their corned beef hash. The meat was tender and the potatoes were crisp. Make sure you have an appetite because it is a Big bowl of food.

Pat is still watching his carbs so he didn’t eat his jam so I did. It was sweet and had a strong strawberry presence. It also has a great deal of pectin in it. Which is neither good nor bad. Just an observation. It would be good smeared on some toast with a cup of coffee. Overall I think this little joint is going to do well. It is close enough to me that I will be back. When it gets warmer. As for prices both of our breakfasts were under $9. You may get it a bit cheaper at one of those breakfast chains but why would you want to go there?

Billy O’Neal’s Irish Pub 7445 W. 10th. Street

As tempted as I was by Pat’s Fish I decided on a burger. As matter of fact I ordered a double. Word of warning. Stay with a single, the double is a lot of food. They cook their burgers on a flat top so the patties are smashed and crisp; reminiscent of those greasy burgers served at drug store lunch counters.

Cheese comes with the burger but the bacon is $.99. It was an awfully good burger and the slaw was excellent as well. Creamy and sweet. I manage to eat all the meat but I didn’t eat all the bread. I was so full I couldn’t even drink a beer afterwards. I may make a point of coming back. If I do it will be to try the fish and chips.

Although that burger sure looks good. If another one of their smashed burgers is in my future it will be a single.
Billy O'Neal's Pub & Eatery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Big Hoffa’s BBQ 800 E. Main St. Westfield Indiana.

This is a rather peculiar building. A big metal thing with the entire outer surface painted in such a way as to suggest it is actually many different shops. I only photographed the 2  functioning doors. It was cold and sleeting that day.

Inside it was cozy and quite utilitarian. You ordered at a counter and then when they called your name you picked it up. Simple and efficient. We got there a few minutes before noon and it was just starting to pick up steam. By 12:15 there was a considerable line.

This is the only smoker I could see; and it wasn’t working that day. I wonder if they have a tough time keeping up.

Did you notice anything odd about Pat’s sides? They offer Jasmine rice. I have never been to a BBQ joint that had rice. Unless it was Korean BBQ.

http://bbqindianapolis.com/

When I go to a BBQ joint I usually go with brisket. If they have it.

My sides were slaw and baked beans. The beans were pretty good. Not as thick as I would like but pretty good. The slaw was nice but not the best I have had. Which brings us to the beef. It was nice and tender and pretty lean. Just enough fat to add flavor. I could not detect much smoke though. It was pretty good and it went well with the 2 sauces we tried. The sweet and the spicy.

Our lunches were thoroughly legit and reasonably priced. A half pound of meat with 2 sides and 2 rolls for less than $9. I am with Pat though. It is too far to drive with any regularity. I will say this if I lived closer I would be back. They make their own Key Lime pie and peach cobbler.

 

Big Hoffa's BBQ Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

3 Carrots 920 Virgina Avenue

Three Carrots has had a presence in the City Market Downtown for a few years. This joint in Fountain Square is new. As a matter of fact it still has an “under construction” vibe for the exterior. As the name may suggest it is not a place for cheese burgers. It is a vegan restaurant. Pat and I may not be vegans or vegetarians but we can appreciate a Vegan lunch every now and then. Our server suggested that as many as 40 percent of the diners are neither vegetarian or vegan. They come because the food is good. Gook cooking will draw a crowd no matter the fare.

I tried a bite of Pat’s “tenderloin” and the texture was a very good match. The flavor was nice but I couldn’t say it was a match to pork. The taste stood on its own.

For my lunch I was intrigued with the Seitan Bahn Mi sandwich. The seitan was marinated in ginger, soy and lime juice and as  expected the sandwich was dressed with jalapeno, cilantro, avocado mayo and pickled carrot and daikon. I am a sucker for pickled veggies so the choice was easy.

It was a big sandwich and it had a lot going on. I can honestly say I am not sure about the marinated “meat”. I  liked it but the texture; while “meaty” had an unusual bite. Maybe if it were done in one piece instead of pieces. I am not sure. Maybe it was all in my head. You know the faux meat thing. In either event it was an excellent sandwich and I am glad I got it.

They offer chips and salsa with their sandwiches. They have other sides available for an up charge.

The chips and salsa were okay but I am not a fan of “blue” tortillas. However the size fits well with their sandwiches. I am sure I am preaching to the Vegan ,Vegetarian choir when I say how good this joint is but to all of those that eat meat remember. Good food is worth searching for, whether it is plant or animal.
Three Carrots Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Crispy Bird 115 E. 49th Street

Well; after more than a year; Crispy Bird has opened. Since it was the latest link in the Patachou chain lots of folks were excited. After all Martha Hoover is the Maven of Hipster Dining in the city and all the Patachou restaurants are successful. The OCD Chef in me was excited. To me a Hoover restaurant is always well run with a well thought out menu and procedure to match. One of her restaurants may be criticised for food choice or decor but no one can ever say that the joint is not well run and that every thing is done by the numbers. Of course the Border Town line cook in me half way wants someone to draw a big old mustache on the picture. That ain’t happening here.

There was 4 of us for lunch. Included in our party was Pat’s wife, Fran and their friend Shae. We ordered like “diners” not “reviewers”, and since the menu is rather small there were repeats.

https://www.crispy-bird.com/

Three legs and thighs, one breast and one “snack” of fried chicken skin. They offer fried skin ( chicken chicharrones) in several dishes.

Pat’s breast

The leg and thigh were very nicely done, moist and tender and still hot when I got it. The thing with chicken is it all tastes the same once you get past the skin. In this case the skin was wonderfully crisp just lacking in flavor. The most discernible taste was salt. At 5 bucks a piece I was a bit disappointed. I agree with Pat about the slaw and pickles. Also they have some rocking hot sauces to kick up the chicken. The sauces have the appearance of being house made as well.

These are the chicken skins ( cracklings ). They come with a citrus mayo for dipping and were a hit with everybody.

I thought the chicken was good but I have had better. The Garrison at Fort Ben comes to mind. However their snacks could make a return trip necessary. I believe this place has only been open for a month and they were hammered at lunch ( 20 minute wait) yet they carried it off flawlessly. That is what I mean about a Martha Hoover joint. The folks from Patachou sure know how to do it right.

 

 

The New York Slice 5564 Madison Avenue

I am sure the name is familiar to several people. However if you can’t quite place it how about if you put the name on a truck.

Now it probably comes together. The popular food truck is now a brick and mortar on the South side. Folks that follow the food trucks know about the pizza but for the ones who don’t rest assure that this is the “real deal”. Also they have more than just pie at the shop.

http://thenyslice.com/

Since it is so close to Pat’s house he brought the joint to my attention. Pat likes their product for the same reason most folks like it. It is good pizza and you can buy just a slice. If you want just a taste you can get a big slice for about 4 bucks. If you want more you can go the whole pie route in the form of a 16 or 20 incher. If pie doesn’t suit you  try a Stromboli for $5.99. Now to me a Stromboli is a sandwich but here it is like a Calzone filled with sausage, pepperoni and cheese.

And it is huge and delicious

At first sight you might think that, as big as it is, it can’t have much filling in it. However you would be wrong. It had “stuff” in every bite. So it was big, full of cheese sausage and pepperoni and it was tasty as well. I could go on about the crust being an excellent partner to the creamy cheese and slightly unctuous pepperoni and sausage. Or the red “gravy” on the side added a wonderfully acidic note to the creation. But I will merely say it was good and oh so economical and you should try one.

So there you have it. The New York Slice. For when you are in a New York “frame of mind” and are hungry.

 

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