The Tavern 802 S. West Street
Once upon a time there was The Stadium Tavern. It was called that because it is an Andrew Luck football throw from Lucas Oil Stadium; where the Colts play their games. In November 2016 a new set of owners took over and re-did the joint. The history of the building is quite interesting. It was built-in 1875 and for 113 years it housed various bars, taverns and saloons. I am including a link to their website which elaborates on its past.
They have an outdoor smoker which they use to smoke pork and chicken for pulled meat sandwiches. They also offer smoked wings and on Monday and Saturday they sell smoked burgers. After lunch we had a nice talk with one of the owners; a charming and enthusiastic woman with some good ideas. She told us the back story on the smoked burgers. A few weeks ago there was an Indy Burger week. Several eating places offered burgers at a special price to celebrate the ground meat sandwich in Indianapolis. The Tavern went from selling 15 burgers per day to 157 per day and they just couldn’t keep up. So they fired up the smoker and started grilling burgers on it. Evidently they were so well received that they reserved two days for the special burgers.
The menu is small but succinct. One of the first things I noticed on the app menu was Mozzarella sticks. House made Mozzarella sticks for $8.50
These were fantastic. Worth a return trip just for them. Wonderfully crisp on the outside and cheesy gooey on the inside. Everything you would want in fried cheese. Also the portion of Marinara ( house made as well) was spot on. So many joints insist on doling out the dipping sauce as a 2 ounce portion which is just enough for one stick. Here they give you enough for the entire order.
I opted for a lettuce wrap platter with pulled pork.
As you can see you get a pile of pig and several Romaine leaves to roll it in with a bit of pickle slices and chopped onion to add. The pork had a nice flavor but didn’t have a lot of smoke . The lettuce was a nice change of pace from bread and it also provided a nice crunch. I think I would have cut more of the core from the Romaine leaves; the bottom two were smaller than the rest. It was still a tasty and filling lunch.
Since Wednesday’s special was $1.50 smoked wings I had to try a couple. They use the full wing not those “Party Wings” that most joints use.
These were the real deal. A meaty wing with a health dose of smoke I couldn’t finish them all, had to take one home for later.
We had a very nice lunch without breaking the bank. Our main plates were $9 each and the craft beers were on special for 4 bucks. I got a PBR Tall boy for $2.25. Sometimes I just can’t resist old school beer. Even if it isn’t too good. When I go back for some more wings I am asking for some hot sauce. My left over was delicious with a few splashes of Crystal Hot sauce. So all in all I think this new joint is a welcome addition to the long list of taverns and bars in the area. I wish them luck.