eating indie in indy

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The Red Key Tavern 5170 N. College Avenue. (revisit)

Since we hve been back we have done mostly revisits. Part of the reason is the food industry here is still in flux with all of the Government second guessing. Another reason is we like to do a welfare check on some of our more favorite joints. When it comes to favorites the Red Key ranks right up there.

I know the trend in bars is craft beers and the whole gastropub scene but the Red Key is a comfortable joint with beer and liquor and just a few food offerings. https://www.redkeytavern.com/

I decided on a cheese burger. A simple patty fully cooked on a griddle with some onion and pickle.

I appreciated a good burger cooked medium rare but I also like a drug store burger cooked to one temperature. Fully cooked.

So if you haven’t been to the Key you should ask yourself why. It’s a nice and relaxing atmosphere with very good cheese burgers and they only take cash. However on Wednesday the drink special is a $4.75 Manhattan. Now that is a good deal.

Mug n Bun 5211 W. 10th Street Speedway Indiana

Mug n Bun is an old time drive in. Complete with eating in your car and “carhops”. They also give you an indoor option with an enclosed dining room in a separate building. Take a seat, order you food and your server radios in to the kitchen and in a short time your meal is brought out to you. To me drive ins are as much about memory as it is about the food. The food is what you would expect, tasty and oh so cheap. That is why I usually order two sandwiches, to enjoy the diversity of the menu.

I usually order a BBQ sandwich. A large portion of pulled pork on a big bun. The Mug n Bun version sells for $3.70. This reminds me of all of the drive in theaters I visited as a teen. Good food as well as memories. I also ordered a coney dog with house made sauce. I didn’t publish that picture because all of the food is wrapped for its trip and coney dogs don’t travel well in deli wrap. It was a good dog and the sauce was pretty good it just wasn’t too photogenic.

What I couldn’t understand was the piece of toast serparating the beef patties. Do they usually have a middle bun and ran out or do they consider the toast as a quirky signature for their double burgers. Proably should have asked. Regardless I think this is a must visit. Whether you have memories of drive ins or not you should go because no one knows how they will be around

Barringer’s Tavern 2535 S. Meridian St.

Barringer’s Tavern opened in 1879 and I believe it has been some sort of business continuously. During Prohibition it sold ice cream, candy, lunch and dinner. Legend has it they sold more than food from a window in back. Their signature foods were turtle soup, with the turtles being raised in a pond out back. Also pig’s feet; in 1947 they sold over 97000 feet. I am not sure why they say they were re-established in 2019 because I think Pat and I ate here before we started writting about it. It isn’t a fancy place but it is airy and comfortable. They are hardly a Gastropub but the food they serve is good, and the prices are resaonable.

They had a meatloaf special that came with mashed potatoes and mac & cheese. That was too much starch for me, but what I did order was even more heart unhealthy. A Last Chance hot dog. That was a 1/4 pound beef hot dog wrapped in bacon and fried. It came with sweet relish and Sirachi sour cream. I should have stood pat with that just 86 the crema and sub mustard. However for an extra buck I could get it covered with chili. Why not.

It wasn’t the most photogenic lunch but the dog was really good. The chili was so so and looked as if it had been hanging out on a steam table too long. I would do it again with relish and mustard. It was only $5.69 plus a buck. Pat’s fish was $8.29 so eating here won’t hurt your pocket book. I drove yesterday so I know the short cuts that only a local can provide so I will be back. I want to try the fish and chips and add some coleslaw.

The District Tap. 141 S. Meridian St.

The first District Tap opened up on 82nd street and then last year they had the opportunity to open downtown and I think it will be a good fit. We have not been to the first one so the whole experience was new to us. They have a very nice menu with several side options. Not just fries or tots. That is nice to see.

I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to eat but I was pretty sure it wasn’t a sandwich. Then I noticed that they offer 2 wood fired pizzas on the appetizer menu. A Margherita or a sausage and pepperoni both $11 but on Wednesdays they were discounted a buck. Well the one thing better than pizza is a pizza on sale. I decided on a sausage and pepperoni pie. I also thought I needed some salad to precede it so I opted for a side Caesar for $5.

I was expecting a small “side” salad not this larger entree size bowl of romaine and dressing. It was a very good salad and an excellent bargain. I was even more amazed when my appetizer flatbread pizza arrived.

This pie was easily 12 inches. Big enough to be an app for a four top at least. Now only was it big it was good. Thin crust, tasty sauce and some wonderful anise loaded sausage from Gordon Food Service. Great pie and it too was a great bargain. I only have good things to say about this joint. Food was very good and so was the service. You guys should be proud of the job you are doing especially in the times we are in. Thanks.

Johnson’s BBQ Shack 100 Byrd Way Greenwood In.

Johnson’s BBQ started out as a food truck. Then they opened a shack in Bargersville Indiana. We tried them as a food truck on the Northside of Indianapolis. Now they are serving up Q in the old Jonathan Byrd building. Well a piece of it as the building is huge.

I definitely wanted to try their brisket. Several joints sell good pulled pork. Basically the difference between them is the amount of exposure to the smoker, but brisket is still elusive.

The brisket that is sold here is excellent. Tender and moist and all the smokiness you would want and it was only 10 bucks. I can spend more than that for a burger at several joints. I also like that it is sliced. Some joints “chop” their brisket and call it a day. Chopping the point is one thing but the flat really should be sliced. At least for me.

So overall I think this joint is definitely a keeper. The growth of this brand is indicative of the product they sell. This location is in the process of getting a liquor license so folks can get a beer here and not go somewhere else after eating. I mean beer and Q go hand in hand don’t they?

Two Deep Brewing 714 N. Capitol Ave. (revisit)

Pat and I have been here a few times. The last time was just 6 months ago. I am not sure what the urge was to go back so soon except for the beer and some really good burgers.

I wanted one of their burgers. They are really good just a little bit pricey. Even downtown. I got their “regular” burger for $11.95. Now they serve them as two patties each with a slice of cheese and a normal cold set. I got a bacon topper which probably cost a couple of bucks and like Pat’s sandwich you get a choice of fries or tots. I opted for fries and they actually served a modest portion.

They have gone from a single 1/2 pound patty to 2 1/4 pounders. I think I like them better that way. More charred surface flavor and more cheese. The bun is nicely textured but they do get a bit aggresive in the toasting but I like it that way.

So we liked the joint 2 months ago and we like it now and it is big enough for social distancing.

Biscuits 1035 Broad Ripple Ave.

I try to meet my friend Joey for at lunch at least once a year. If it is a great year I also get together with her whole family for brunch. Well this year we were actually able to meet for lunch. Of course we could meet more often if it weren’t for that pesky job of hers. Any way we met at Biscuits in Broad Ripple. It has a huge menu featuring both Mexican and American foods. We both opted for ala carte from their Mexican menu.

We each ordered 2 Al Pastor tacos. They were excellent tacos. Full of meat and flavor with small cubes of pineapple tossed in. They were 3 bucks each and I could eat these all day. I also got a side of their mole but the tacos didn’t really need any embellishment.

The mole may have been a bit sweet but it did have a nice depth and a touch of heat on the back end. Turned out to be a good accompaniment to my tamales.

We also wanted to try their tamales. Two for me and one for her. All they had left were chicken and they were very different to what I am used to. I don’t think I have ever had a tamale that did not come with the filling dressed in a chile sauce. These had naked pulled chicken and were covered with queso. I like cheese sauce but I would prefer a chile in with the meat. These were a bit bland.

I did not like these nearly as much as the tacos. I think Joey though the same since she ate one or 2 bites and left it. She ate both her tacos and remarked how good they were.

Pat and I reviewed this joint some time ago and tried the Americn menu and liked it so now I know the Mexican menu is done equally as well. As in most cases it isn’t always about the food often it is about the company, Thanks for meeting me for lunch Joey. I just wish it could be more often. You do too much young lady. Take the time for some afternoon tacos and cerveza.

Upland Brewery Fountain Square 1201 Prospect Street

This is our first visit to this particular outlet but we know enough about the Upland brand to know we would get some good food. They have a comprehensive menu that should interest any appetite. https://uplandbeer.com/fountain-square/

Pat went in all in on the carbs when he ordered Mac & Cheese. A huge bowl of Cavatappi loaded with cheese for $14

My decision was made as soon as Pat told me they offered Bone Marrow. I really enjoy bone marrow but it is very hard to find. I can’t even find it fresh to make at home. So I was pretty excited.

I thought their presentation was spot on. Traditionally marrow is served with a parsley salad . They served theirs with an arugula salad. They also topped the bones with a “toasted almond relish” which didn’t really excite me that much. However what did was the addition of some beatifully pickled slices of a Fresno or Pepadew chile.

They also added some cherry tomato halves which brightened the whole plate up. Overall it was very nicely done. There seemed to have been a slight delay between heating and serving the marrow bones as the marrow was stubborn to get out. Hardly a deal killer as I will definitely get it again. Since my plate was considered an appetizer I was still a bit hungry so I ordered some dessert. A fried apple hand pie for 7 bucks.

Pat and I shared the slice and it was delicious. Fried crust with apples and cinnamon all on a puddle of caramel and topped with ice cream. What more could you want? It also went well with my choice of Champagne Velvet, which was their featured beer for the day so it only cost $4 per pint. I can’t think of a more pleasing lunch. The food, the beverage and the atmosphere were all great.

Good Morning Mama’s 1001 E. 54th Street

Pat and I went to this place a few years ago for lunch. This day we decided on breakfast. This converted gas station has grown quite popular for brunch. Every time I drive by on Saturday or Sunday there is always a line. They have 3 outdoor eating areas so they should be okay regardless of what the Mayor decides.

Pat’s breakfast was called Mama’s and came with 2 eggs, potatoes or grits, biscuit or toast and choice of meat for $6.99 to $8.99 depending on the meat. I chose the same plate with toast, over easy eggs and grits.

Everything was done well. Yolky eggs and grits are the reason I carry a Bottle of Crystal hot sauce with me. It turns good into great. I think this is a great place for a morning meal. Good prices and good quality plus you can good a Mimosa to go with your bacon and grits. Just in case you want to reduce the caffeine in your diet.

Downtown Ollie’s 822 N. Illinois St.

Downtown Ollie’s is one of our favorites places to visit. Pat and Fran are frequent breakfast visitors. Up until this year I would go to my gym downtown on my Birthday and come here for a breakfast of biscuits and gravy and a Bloody Mary. A couple of years ago the ownership changed and as far as I can tell the only thing that has changed is the decor. Ollie’s had a perpetual Christmas theme going on with twinkle lights. The lights are gone and overall the decor is a bit more “grown up”.

It is a shame that Pat’s lunch was sub par but as he said they have a bunch of other stuff that is not. As for me I opted for their Sloppy Joe sandwich with tater tots. The same thing I had when I first visited here.

It was just as good as I remember it. On an intersesting side note the sandwich is about $1 more and the portion is smaller. That is fine because they served a whole bunch of food before and now the portions are more reasonable.

This was there featured coctail for the day. Coconut rum with some sort of juice. I have no idea what gave it the green color but it was tasty and cost 5 bucks.

So we will be probably be doing some revisits until things get sorted out. It is OK to get out and have a meal away from home. So do it.

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