eating indie in indy

Checkered Flag Tavern 5725 W. Morris Street.

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Well Ladies and Gentlemen, this is a bar. A bar that dates back to the 1940’s. A bar that was redone about a year ago. A spacious bar with pool tables, about a dozen beers on tap and a grand out-door seating area with a fire pit. It also is a bar with some of the best tavern food I have had. They offer blackened catfish and frog leg appetizers, as well as real deal smoked pork sandwiches. We ordered some breaded mushrooms to start. Fresh breaded ‘shrums are always a bonus and they offered theirs for $5.50, with a horseradish sauce. Nothing prepared us for the monsters we were given.

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We received 5 mushrooms that were in excess of 3 inches in diameter. Each one was impeccably breaded in a thin breading reminiscent of a cornmeal breading usually reserved for catfish. The horse-radish dip that came with the mushrooms matched well; as did the one buck pints of Pabst Blue Ribbon.

As for our “entre” Pat and I were both conflicted. Pat for the “Big Ass Bacon Burger” and the “Big Pig”. Me for the catfish special and the “Big Pig”. Pat decided on the Burger. A 1/2 pound burger topped with 8 slices of bacon and cheddar cheese. He substituted pepper jack cheese and ate the whole thing. With fries the “Big Ass Bacon Burger was $7.50.checkered flag 004

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They offer a catfish sandwich for 8 bucks, choice of fried or blackened. This day the lunch special was a fried sandwich, with fries for $5. Now I love bargains. But the lure of smoked pig drew me to the porcine side. The “Big Pig” is a toasted bun with smoked ham, smoked pork and smoked bacon. Now is that not a pig tri fecta?

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The bun is nicely toasted. The ham appears to be a buffet ham exposed to extra smoke and then cooked on a griddle. The bacon looked as if it were deep-fried. No matter it was still pretty good. What carried it over the top was the pulled pork. They have a large smoker out back attached to the back of the kitchen. That way you can access the product without having smoke in your joint. Of course on the down side you must go outside to load and stoke. But heck artists must suffer for their craft.

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This imaginative sandwich is only $8.50, with fries. It is worth every darn dime. When Pat and I went to Squealers, Pat had the smoked pork. After tasting a piece of my pork sandwich he was ready to declare Checkered Flag better. I don’t know about you but I think that is pretty good for a Westside bar.

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We don’t think you can go wrong with this joint. It is simply a neighborhood bar with some outstanding food.

Checkered Flag Tavern on Urbanspoon

11 responses

  1. You had me at horseradish and one buck pints. And pig trifecta. The mushrooms made me salivate.

    October 2, 2014 at 11:51 am

    • I have never had anything like them. That I think is why some bars do better than others. You can buy beer anywhere, and bar menus are predictable to some degree. The really good ones have a hook. This joint more than others. I am sure to be back. I did notice on Facebook they are having a BBQ gumbo. Not sure what that is but if I did not have plans I’d be heading West.

      October 2, 2014 at 12:24 pm

      • BBQ gumbo? What on earth?

        October 2, 2014 at 1:08 pm

      • I haven’t the foggiest idea. I had a partial view of the kitchen and one guy was busy cooking something that required attention. From the sound it could have been a dark brown roux being made. Other than that. ??

        October 2, 2014 at 1:34 pm

  2. Holy cow … and pig. Wow, what a fabulous find, Benson. I would be a nightly regular at this joint. And probably within a couple of months, I’d be a building with feet. But a really happy building with feet.
    I love restaurants that truly smoke their own meats – and that can do an exceptional job of it. There is a place near to me, where a fellow who trained at the CIA worked at a four star hotel/restaurant and made the most divine food available. What skills this guy has. But he grew tired of the fancy shmancy and decided to open his own BBQ joint a few miles away. He has made some fine diners very sad, but has gathered hoards of new fans for his talent behind the smoker.
    Think I may just have to mosey on over …
    🙂

    October 4, 2014 at 11:59 am

    • By all means mosey on. I loved smoked anything. As long as it’s real smoke, not that so called liquid smoke. There has been an up surge of joints smoking around Indy. I know that in 1995, when I got back to Indy there were very few. This one joint I started working at I built a smoker out of an old Jim Beam barrel. That was fun. We smoked ribs, pork loin, chicken, quail. Oh my I do get off topic don’t I. Well as always I am plum tickled to death to hear from you and that you like my humble postings. Also I know it’s Sabado and I can expect a post from you. You and Kerby always make me smile. Adios and thanks.

      October 4, 2014 at 12:10 pm

  3. Leann

    They just released a newer menu a week ago. All the popular items stayed but Stacey Snead the GM/Chef added a couple new burgers and appetizers. Hope you come back and try it out.

    December 18, 2014 at 9:46 pm

    • Will do. Thanks for the update

      December 19, 2014 at 9:18 am

  4. Wow on the big pig!!!
    I could sell this one to The Mister easily, sayin stuff like “Big Ass Bacon Burger”!

    April 27, 2017 at 6:48 pm

    • Ha. Men are so easy.

      April 28, 2017 at 7:43 am

      • You said it.

        April 28, 2017 at 12:29 pm

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