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Loco Mexican Restaurant & Cantina 2205 N. Delaware Street.

There is a growing trend in Indy to erect buildings with a relatively small footprint that has retail spaces on the ground floor and rental residence on upper floors. The structure that Loco is in is one of these mixed use buildings. I think it has been around about three years. The bottom floor has a Mashcraft tasting room and Loco. I believe that it has been there since the beginning. The space that houses Loco has had a sort of revolving door on it; as far as tenants are concerned. That is one reason I was eager to go here. I wanted to see the place if they were gone in 6 months.

I ordered their Chile Colorado plate for $11. That is skirt steak simmered in a red chile and served with rice, salad, avocado and some flour tortillas to build your own mini burritos. The first thing you notice is the size of the meal. Neither one of our dishes were skimpy. Even Pat’s lunch special, which was only $8.

I thought my Chile Colorado was excellent. The chile sauce had that wonderful earthiness of a red chile pod sauce. Even the rice; which is normally just a spear carrier in a Mexican meal had a personality of its own. The meat was abundant and had just a slight chew to it. Which is to be expected of skirt steak. I would do it again. However there are so many other things I would like to try.

https://www.locoindy.com/

One more thing I had to try.

Yes that is a Frozen Margarita. A 27 ounce one for $9. I have not had one in over 30 years. I still have no idea why I ordered one today. It was okay but I prefer my ritas to be up or on the rocks.

Frozen cocktails aside I think this joint has a staying quality the other places didn’t have. It is a beautiful place with a nice patio and they serve kids. Something I think the neighbors might appreciate. I will be back.

A wall of tequila

 

 

 

Jimmy’s Dairy Bar 7065 S. State Road 67 Pendleton Indiana

Jimmy’s is an old-fashioned drive in. No car hops but you can order at the window and eat in your car; eat in doors or use their drive up. A triple threat. I am afraid places like this are slowly vanishing. Hopefully they can still flourish in small towns. There are a few left in Indianapolis but I am afraid “progress” will eventually take its toll.

This is the sort of joint that has a concise menu made up of both house made and “store-bought” items.

Pat and I both ordered two sandwiches and some mushrooms to share. I ordered a BBQ and a Sloppy Joe.

The BBQ was excellent. It was not dry rubbed and smoked and served sauce on the side. It was cooked in an unknown manner then sauced in a very unique sauce, with mushrooms. It was moist, tasty and abundant; and less than $5. When they serve the sandwiches they are wrapped in paper, which can be problematic when you unwrap to photograph.

Sloppy Sloppy Joe. It fell apart when I unwrapped it.

As you can tell from the pictures both of these sandwiches require a fork. I have been a fan of the Sloppy Joe since I was a kid and I think the one at Jimmy’s is the best I have eaten. The meat was looser than most and didn’t have the sweetness that most others have. It wasn’t a Maid Rite or Loose meat but probably something in between; as it had a tomato presence. In either event it was a big hit.

Pat wanted to show what was under the lid. Look closely and you can see the mushrooms.

This is Pat’s tenderloin and the mushrooms. The mushrooms were one of those “store-bought” items on the menu. Not worth doing again.

Pat got a chocolate malt to top off his lunch I got a chocolate soft serve cone. I honestly can not remember the last time I had soft serve. It was so good it makes me wonder why it has been so long.

Their dining room is actually pretty spacious and don’t forget the drive through if you don’t want to come in.

They even have picnic tables out back. They got you covered no matter how you roll. This place is a keeper.

 

 

Sea Kings Seafood Kitchen 5523 E 38th Street.

This place has been home to eating establishments for probably 40 years. So three joints in about 40 years is well above the average life span. Of course I don’t have any idea how many years; if any the property set vacant.

It is an oddly shaped building that reminds me of a Gazebo. I should have taken some outdoor shots but didn’t. Their menu has a few surprises on it but it is mostly the predictable Hoosier seafood.

http://seakingsindy.com/

The new owner is a retired LEO from California so we had a good time talking with the man. Being gun enthusiasts we talked both guns and gun ranges with him. He was born in Indy and raised in this neighborhood and he wants to do his part in its revitalization.

Most of their fish are available fried, grilled or blackened. Also their meals come with hushpuppies but they only give up two per meal. I ordered a catfish meal for $10.99 with the fish blackened and for my 2 sides I opted for coleslaw and an extra side of hushpuppies.

Even with an additional side I only got 6 pups. That is unfortunate. Joints around here are so frugal when it comes to giving out pups. The fish was pretty good. It wasn’t truly blackened; in the traditional sense of the term. It was cooked on a griddle with some Cajun seasoning. The fillets were probably about 4 ounces each which give you a decent size meal. The coleslaw was sweet and creamy which I like. Overall I liked my meal. On any return trips I am trying their fried fish. They use a batter with a touch of cornmeal in it. That sounds interesting.

Pat’s 2 sides

Don’t let the container size deceive you. Both of these containers hold a good 4 ounce portion. An amount I think is adequate for a meal. His whole meal was $14.99, which I thought was high, but shrimp is always expensive when you eat out. That is why I prepare shrimp at home.

Overall this is a good choice for your seafood fix. I believe they have $7.99 specials for lunch featuring a sandwich, fries and a drink. Which is definitely competitive with the arches.

 

Dukes Honky Tonk 2352 S. West Street

This building has been around for a while as the Ice House, a legendary tavern on the near South side. The owners decided to retire and an old customer decided that he wanted to realize his dream. Owning a Honky Tonk. To him that meant live music and fried chicken dinners at night. During the day the menu is like most taverns or bars, with a few exceptions. They feature a rotating BBQ special from Black Metal BBQ which is a mobile catering truck that has its base at Dukes. They also feature Hatch Chiles on their menu in the form of a green chile cheeseburger and as a pick me up in their mac and cheese. They import them; I assume from New Mexico. I asked but our server wasn’t sure. No matter where they came from that was what I had to order. I also went for a side of mac and cheese, for a slight up charge.

The sandwich was excellent. A moist patty smashed on a flat top served on a bun wonderfully toasted with just a hint of hamburger grease. The only thing I would do different would be to 86 the lettuce and tomato. They just interfere with the chiles. As for the mac and cheese it was Ok, the chiles carried it for me. To me mac and cheese has a roux made cheese sauce mixed with macaroni. Then the dish is put into an oven with buttered bread crumbs. I can appreciate and enjoy other versions but they are not my preference. The noodle in this dish was nicely done and the cheese sauce was smooth and creamy. It just wasn’t what I expect in a mac and cheese around here.

So if you are a freak for Hatch chiles or if you need a pressure fried chicken dinner then now you have a place to go.

https://www.dukesindy.com/

https://www.blackmetalbbqindy.com/

 

BBQ Heaven 2515 Martin Luther King Blvd.

This place has been around since 1952 and yet I believe this is only the second time I have been here. I have gone to their store on 30th street several times and they only offer carry out. I honestly don’t recall an out-door deck on this joint before. Well it is there now. When I eat here I usually get the BBQ on a bun or the rib tips. When I was younger it would be a big slab of BBQ’d beef Bologna on bread. Well today it was a small tip. No sides just meat. As much as I enjoy side dishes I just felt like meat.

What I enjoy about tips is they are for the relaxed eater. No gnawing on a bone ; you just pop a piece in your mouth and start chewing. Stopping long enough to remove any bone or otherwise inedible part. That is why I get them already sauced. One box of tips and 2 pieces of bread was enough to sate my appetite.

I didn’t get a taste of Pat’s ribs but I can say that they were some of the best looking bones I have seen.

Big and meaty just ready to be dipped into some hot BBQ sauce. I have always liked BBQ Heaven. Growing up there was only 2 joints for BBQ in the city Zeb’s and BBQ Heaven. I have no idea what happened to Zeb’s; it just disappeared. I am glad BBQ Heaven is still around.

http://www.barbqheaven1952.com

I hope this link helps plan your next BBQ trip

Burgerhaus 335 West 9th Street (revisit)

This place has the coolest patio in Indianapolis. It is located right on the canal, which is pretty sweet. However when it is July and the humidity and temperature are in a race to hit 90 sitting inside with AC is always the better option. We first reviewed this joint more than 3 years ago. This was their only location at the time and their basic burger; the Haus ; was $9.50. Now they run 4 locations and the basic burger is $11. Progress. Of course choice of cheese and side come with your burger.

https://visitburgerhaus.com/

I had the basic burger as well with cheddar and for an extra $1.50 I added bacon. I opted for fries since it has been months since I have eaten a french fry. The burger was as great as I remember and the fries were especially delicious. Probably because it had been such a long time since I have had any. What I especially appreciated about this joint is they cook the burgers the way you order them. Medium is medium and mid rare is just that. Quite a few places miss it for what ever reason.

All I can add is I agree with Pat. This is the best burger in Indy. Well at least of all the burgers I have tried. On the down side they no longer have Bitburger beer. They had several Indiana Craft beers and they even offer cocktails. Just not Bitburger. Hopefully we will have some decent weather so that sitting outside will be an option before winter. I would love to sit on that patio with a great burger and a beer.
Burgerhaus Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Happy Brewing 3902 N. Illinois Street

I am sure some people will ask the same question that is always asked when a new brewery opens. “Do we really need any more breweries?” Well I don’t see how that is possible. Can you have too much happiness or too many smiles? I don’t think so.

Happy Brewing opened in one of the defunct Double 8 grocery stores. It opened about 2-3 months ago with typical brewery hours. No lunch just evenings and noon opening on weekends. My first trip there was on a Sunday to sample some beer. I really enjoyed the beers I tried. They have a nice ale and a great cream ale but the show stopper was their Happy Hopper. Be advised though it has a ABV approaching 11 so it is best consumed in small quantities. Their cream ale is less than 5 ABV so it is more like a session beer. A brew you can drink while mowing your lawn. I think the owner Gabe has plans on canning it in the future. As of the past week they took the bold step to open for lunch.

Their menu is small and concise and it is all done in a kitchen without an exhaust hood. For those who don’t know all commercial kitchens require an exhaust hood when the cooking process produces fumes or smoke. Further more you will also need a fire suppression system. All of this runs into a bunch of dollars. Dollars they did not want to spend at this time. So now they have an impinger conveyer belt oven, a Panini press and a soup warmer. I think they pulled it off well.

On my first trip there I had their Italian sausage. It was a solid sandwich. The sausage had a slight spiciness to it but what carried the dish was the red sauce. It was very good. I ordered it with chips and pickle but in the future I will probably just opt for the sandwich alone. Beer carbs are superior to chip carbs.

On my return trip I ordered a pizza. They buy all the pizza product from Delco a Hoosier firm founded in 1957 that sells all things Italian related. That includes the raw dough they use for the pizza and the Calzone.

I thought it was a nice pie. The crust had a slight chew and again that marinara sauce has great flavor and richness.

I have only tried 2 items on their menu but I plan on trying more. This joint is very close to home so I can see myself there weekly. I had a very good conversation with Gabe on my first lunch trip. He has some great plans for his place. Patio seating and even a rooftop beer garden and in time he would like to have a “proper” kitchen. I am always excited for new places to eat. Especially one so close.

shalom

Why do we  have this blog? I am sure some folks ask that. It is really simple. We are two old friends that enjoy having lunch together, and an occasional Adult beverage. When I retired from the Restaurant Biz my old friend Pat and I decided to have lunch every week and BS about the past. After a few weeks we decided that we needed to share our experiences with people. Actually we bring some unique experiences to the table. I spent several years “touring” the south-west and old Mexico. I also spent a tour in Las Vegas. That is where I went to Culinary School; UNLV. After Vegas I opened a few joints in New Mexico, so I think I have an understanding of what it takes to be an owner/ operator. As for Pat he is very analytical and has pretty good food instincts. So we hope you enjoy our posts. More importantly we hope you find a place you want to go to and break that chain habit of eating

Christina’s Pancake House ( formerly Sister’s Place ) 215 Terrace Ave.

I am starting off my lunch review with a picture of the best part of my lunch. Pie

A delicious slice of Lemon Meringue pie for $3.50. They buy the pies from Hoosier Mama Pie Company in Chicago. The same outfit that the previous owner use. It was an excellent piece of pie. I can’t say the same for the rest of my lunch. My meat loaf dinner was $9.45 and came with soup or salad, roll and VOD as well as a plate of meat loaf and “lumpy mashed potatoes” all smother with gravy. One of the soup options was Chicken Gumbo. Well it was not what I expected.

I think you could call this many things but Gumbo isn’t one of them. I have never seen a Gumbo that didn’t have the Trinity in it. Nor have I ever had a Gumbo with macaroni added to it. Overall it had the flavor of a Campbell’s Soup. Would not do it again.

The roll was interesting. It had a slight Ciabatta chew to it which I thought was nice and they use real butter which is always good. As for the veggie. Why bother. It was straight from a bag of frozen vegetables and no attempt was made to even make them even interesting.

Now we come to the center of the plate. The meat loaf. It wasn’t bad just not really good. I would guess that it wasn’t made in-house. I based that on the compaction and the fine grind of the meat. If I am wrong then they can redeem it by using seasoning in a more bold fashion. Since they refer to their potatoes as lumpy I would guess they are made here from real potatoes. They are pretty lumpy and pretty good. The gravy was more than likely from a mix but had a decent flavor to it. I think if you want a more “scratch made ” experience you should try breakfast, which they sell all day. It is a really large menu so you could probably find something you like.

Tavern at the Point 401 Mass. Ave.

As you can see the building seems to come to a point. Hence the name.

It is hard to see in this pic but that’s Pat pointing at the sign over the door. It’s a Tavern at the Point sign. Yeah that’s funny.

The place has been gentrified since it was the Old Point. They added a second bar. This one seats 5 bodies and, like a sushi bar, gives a nice view of the kitchen operation, and it was a pretty busy kitchen that day. I had a great time watching.

I decided on a Smoked brisket melt. Horseradish Havarti cheese, candied onion, horseradish sauce and of course brisket. All on Sourdough bread. It was a very formidable sandwich. I always like to order any meal the way the chef or cook has planned it. Most times it is done a certain way for a reason. I was a bit wary of the candied onion but I thought the boldness of the horseradish and the fat from the brisket would keep the sweetness in check. Not quite. I first encountered an “onion marmalade” at a joint I worked in California about 30 years ago and have seen it a few times since then. It is still a practical and popular element to a sandwich but it can overwhelm the other ingredients. This was a very good sandwich that wasn’t bullied too much by the candied onion. I personally would have enjoyed it more with a more pungent horseradish.

Pat and I both had the slaw. It was a slightly sweet vinegar affair that had a big old Southwest spin to it. It was garnish with a bit of cilantro. That was a big old kick in the taste buds. I enjoyed it tremendously and I am going to rip the idea off the next time I make slaw. The sandwiches are in the $12 – $ 13 range and beers are $7. It is Downtown after all. The only negative I have is about the bar stools they are bolted to and floor and do not swivel so they are hard to get it. Other than that this joint is a hit and I will be back.

https://www.tavernatthepoint.com/

Here is our post for the The Old Point Tavern; FIVE years ago. That is a long time.

https://kosherhamandcheese.com/2013/04/24/the-old-point-tavern/

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