eating indie in indy

Julia’s Homestyle American & Caribbean Food 1002 East 38th Street

Everyone hopes to find a little “hole in the wall ” place where the food is good while the structure is ho-hum. Well,this could be one of them.

The building is an odd little A-frame type structure with white stucco walls and rust colored tile roof that gives it a distinct Southwestern air. Common in Arizona but distinctive in Indy. Sitting just east of the State Fair Grounds makes it a familiar sight to quite a few people. It has housed several different “restaurants” over the years. The latest being “Great Western”; or some kind of Western. Pat and I reviewed it last year. The closing of that unfortunate joint was definitely an improvement for the dining community of Indianapolis.

The new operator,Julia, is a retired postal worker and self-taught cook. She is a warm and charming woman who made us both feel at home. She definitely has skill in the kitchen and a tremendous passion for cooking and the history of food that shows in her meals. Whether that successfully translates into a viable business, with the fickle and often cranky public remains to be seen.

She has a very nice website. It does not show the daily specials;for that you have to look on Facebook. Although they don’t always show up in a timely fashion. Or you can always roll in and check out the chalkboard.

Julia's 001

Julia's 004As you can see the prices are reasonable. June 2 started Chowdown Midtown. That is a promotion for restaurants that aren’t downtown. Joints that elect to participate offer 3 course meals at a special price. Julia’s special was 2 dinners, 2 drinks, and 2 desserts for $25, so you save a couple of bucks. It was Pat’s turn to buy and he had to be cajoled a wee bit. The deciding factor was when he discovered he could get meatloaf without onion.

Look at that hunk of meatloaf.

Look at that hunk of meatloaf.

Julia's 010

Julia's 006

Julia's 008

As you can see I decided on roast chicken with greens and mac and cheese. Since Pat got cornbread I got a homemade roll, that way we could try both. Of course the heathen cut the roll before I could take the picture.

Normally I prefer dark meat but I opted for white meat. All the better to “evaluate” you see. The chicken was very nicely done. Moist, tender and an excellent flavor. Definitely worth repeating. The mac & cheese was very creamy and well seasoned. It may not be the best I have had but it is up there. The greens were of the Collard variety. Unless they are cooked real long they have a tendency to be a wee bit bitter. However that effects the texture. These had a great texture. I cook my greens really long. I am more interested in the complexity of pot liquor and the mellow flavor of the greens. No right or wrong. Just different. The roll was really nice. It’s a shame they don’t have a warming drawer to store them in. A hot roll and unsalted butter. That would rock.

Now for dessert. Julia makes her own custard for the banana pudding. Well, sorry Mr. Cosby but it sure beats Jello pudding. Oh before I forget. I had a glass of their dirty tea. It is ice tea with a secret ingredient. At first taste it had a hint of citrus similar to an Arnold Palmer, but more subtle. I think I know the secret. I’ll never tell. But it is good. Good enough to send you to the moon. Am I right Julia?

One thing that isn’t a secret. That’s the fact that this is nice little joint with good food. A joint that makes you feel welcome.


Julia's American and Caribbean Food on Urbanspoon

11 responses

  1. I don’t know–I think you might should move down to the Ol’ South bc they have the sides you like! Oh, Pat and his anti-onion nature. !! It all looks yummy. I’ll take banana pudding over Jello pudding, too. It does look like Julia may have to explain what those papers are under the table top (newspaper).

    June 6, 2014 at 11:28 am

    • Oh. Those are copies of local newspaper ads from 1941. Her Aunt copied them, laminated them and turned them into place mats. Good eye. I also like green chiles. The places I lived before in Texas and the “real” South I enjoyed. But if I moved and the climate were better what would I complain about?

      June 6, 2014 at 11:37 am

      • Good point.

        June 6, 2014 at 11:37 am

  2. It’s a shame that you didn’t try what she probably really prefers to make – Caribbean food. I saw jerk on her menu board. That’s what I’d order first.

    June 6, 2014 at 11:39 am

    • Oh I’ll be back. The first thing I wanted to do was to determine if the lady could cook. I believe the jerk was wings and I prefer other parts. She has jerk or curry goat and oxtail on weekends.

      June 6, 2014 at 11:44 am

  3. Benson, every time I read your blog posts, I gain three pounds from looking at the pictures. You have a truly edible life. YUM!

    June 8, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    • I am not sure how edible it is but it certainly is indulgent. I am working on a diet digital camera. It is slow work.

      June 8, 2014 at 12:41 pm

  4. The food looks similar to that at the Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, which started 25 years ago here in Syracuse and is now slowly franchising throughout New York State and other points. I hear from an inside source that Chicago is coming. Anyway, they call it the Not Your Mama’s Meatloaf, and the hunk is akin to that you show. I love it. Their collard greens make me dance, too, and add cornbread and mac ‘n cheese and it’s a meal you need to taste, Benson. (You, too, Kerbey.)

    June 12, 2014 at 8:48 am

    • Dinosaur BBQ. With a name like that it is worth a try. If I get the opportunity…

      June 12, 2014 at 8:57 am

  5. Thank you guys for visting julia’s i really injoyed your company yes we do have jerk chicken in dark meat also we change are menu dailyso there is alway’s something differnt. socome join us if you are in the area so thanks again guy’s love the story.

    June 24, 2014 at 5:29 pm

    • Thank you my lady we loved your joint. I plan on coming back as soon as I get a chance. I need some ox tails.

      June 24, 2014 at 6:00 pm

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