eating indie in indy

The Elbow Room


How I could have overlooked this place for so long, I just don’t know. Well I corrected that over sight Friday. This joint is the quintessential tavern. Dim lighting and wood paneling. It is a credit to its generation. And their food and service is a credit to taverns everywhere. I discovered a new beer from Sun King. I don’t recall the name but after the obligatory notes of hop, the finish had a definite chile pepper smack. This beer made for a great pairing with the Hot Sicilian sandwich. Now this sandwich is standard fare in a lot of places. Ham, pepperoncinis, bacon and mozzarella cheese on a toasted roll with shredded lettuce. The way they prepare their version is what sets it apart from the rest . They par cook the bacon and then finish it per order on the flat top with the remaining ingredients. The result is a flavor filled sandwich full of greasy bacon goodness. I would also recommend a side of potato salad to go with. The salad is of the smashed variety. The first taste is hard-boiled egg, followed by the potato with a touch of sour cream and a hint of vinegar. If you like potato salad as much as I do I think you’ll love this.

After my successful scouting trip Pat and I decided to make this joint our weekly destination. As you will see I wasn’t the only one taken by this joint. Following is Pat’s ode to a French Dip.


004I was torn between a grilled chicken sandwich or a burger. Since the menu mentioned char broiled burgers I ordered one, medium rare, with a side of cole slaw. I was a wee bit disappointed. There wasn’t a whole lot of char on the meat and it was cooked past medium. All in all the meat was a little dry. That could have been caused by aggressive spatula use or patty compaction. In either event it really is not that big of a deal. The burger temp is regulated by the Board of Health. The last I heard all ground meat must be cooked to an internal temp of 160 degrees, and held for 15 seconds. Which precludes even a true medium. As for the slaw I thought it could have used more dressing. Now that is purely subjective. Hell you can’t hit a home run every time.


So this is a place worth visiting. And from the lunch crowd I guess a lot of folks feel the same way. Oh. I almost forgot the Chile. I had a cup to start things off. It was house made and really good. Mild enough to appeal to non chile heads and packing enough chile powder and cumin to make it interesting. Also like so many joints the help is such a key to success; and the help here appears to be professional. At least in the front of the house; where it matters. I would also like to thank Kelly for such attentive service. Thanks from both of us.

018 Room Pub & Deli on Urbanspoon

6 responses

  1. Thank you for your great review! Hope to see you at the VIP Party on the 26th!

    June 13, 2013 at 11:45 am

    • No thanks necessary Kristina. I write what I think. Now; what was this about a party ?

      June 13, 2013 at 4:33 pm

      • Hannah Wingo

        Hi! I’m Hannah, Kristina’s intern from Butler. The party is The Elbow Room’s 80th birthday celebration! It runs from June 26th through June 29th. Each day has different specials, samples, prizes, etc. Here is the run down..

        June 26- VIP Templeton Rye party in the Park View Banquet Room from 6-8. Come dressed in gangster/flapper gear. First 100 in the door get a free anniversary etched rock glass. Meet the Templeton Rye Ambassador and grandson of the original producer of the recipe. Jazz, drink specials all day, and samples.

        June 27- Prohibition Era trivia night & Flat Twelve tapping party with our 80th anniversary brew from 7:30-9:30. Hendricks gin sampling and specials from 9-11. Flat Twelve and Hendricks specials all day!

        June 28- Makers Mark special all day & dipping party with specials from 9-11.

        June 29- Batch 19 on the 19th hour (from 7-9). Half priced apps available, so come and receive a free Batch 19 pint glass and fedora! There will also be a grand prize raffle at the end of the 19th hour (8:00). Batch 19 special all day!

        Please come! There are some very hard working people at The Elbow Room who are doing everything they can to make this a blast!

        June 13, 2013 at 5:14 pm

  2. The Elbow Room is celebrating their 80th anniversary, June 26th thru June 29th. We are kicking it off with a Templeton Rye Whiskey VIP Party 6p-8p
    If you would send me an email address, I would like to send you the event info for the week and details on the party. There will be Jazz, food, and cocktails!

    June 13, 2013 at 4:35 pm

  3. Erik M Stutzman

    I read this place is closed now. Shame when a good place is no longer with us.

    May 30, 2017 at 7:53 pm

    • Yes I just read that. It is a shame. It will be probably be replaced with another “gastropub” with a bright industrial chic vibe and too many craft beers on tap. Those joints are fine just that sometimes a guy needs a dark place to eat a burger and have a rye manhattan in.

      May 31, 2017 at 6:47 am

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