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Billy O’Neal’s Irish Pub 7445 W. 10th. Street

As tempted as I was by Pat’s Fish I decided on a burger. As matter of fact I ordered a double. Word of warning. Stay with a single, the double is a lot of food. They cook their burgers on a flat top so the patties are smashed and crisp; reminiscent of those greasy burgers served at drug store lunch counters.

Cheese comes with the burger but the bacon is $.99. It was an awfully good burger and the slaw was excellent as well. Creamy and sweet. I manage to eat all the meat but I didn’t eat all the bread. I was so full I couldn’t even drink a beer afterwards. I may make a point of coming back. If I do it will be to try the fish and chips.

Although that burger sure looks good. If another one of their smashed burgers is in my future it will be a single.
Billy O'Neal's Pub & Eatery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Big Hoffa’s BBQ 800 E. Main St. Westfield Indiana.

This is a rather peculiar building. A big metal thing with the entire outer surface painted in such a way as to suggest it is actually many different shops. I only photographed the 2  functioning doors. It was cold and sleeting that day.

Inside it was cozy and quite utilitarian. You ordered at a counter and then when they called your name you picked it up. Simple and efficient. We got there a few minutes before noon and it was just starting to pick up steam. By 12:15 there was a considerable line.

This is the only smoker I could see; and it wasn’t working that day. I wonder if they have a tough time keeping up.

Did you notice anything odd about Pat’s sides? They offer Jasmine rice. I have never been to a BBQ joint that had rice. Unless it was Korean BBQ.

http://bbqindianapolis.com/

When I go to a BBQ joint I usually go with brisket. If they have it.

My sides were slaw and baked beans. The beans were pretty good. Not as thick as I would like but pretty good. The slaw was nice but not the best I have had. Which brings us to the beef. It was nice and tender and pretty lean. Just enough fat to add flavor. I could not detect much smoke though. It was pretty good and it went well with the 2 sauces we tried. The sweet and the spicy.

Our lunches were thoroughly legit and reasonably priced. A half pound of meat with 2 sides and 2 rolls for less than $9. I am with Pat though. It is too far to drive with any regularity. I will say this if I lived closer I would be back. They make their own Key Lime pie and peach cobbler.

 

Big Hoffa's BBQ Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


3 Carrots 920 Virgina Avenue

Three Carrots has had a presence in the City Market Downtown for a few years. This joint in Fountain Square is new. As a matter of fact it still has an “under construction” vibe for the exterior. As the name may suggest it is not a place for cheese burgers. It is a vegan restaurant. Pat and I may not be vegans or vegetarians but we can appreciate a Vegan lunch every now and then. Our server suggested that as many as 40 percent of the diners are neither vegetarian or vegan. They come because the food is good. Gook cooking will draw a crowd no matter the fare.

I tried a bite of Pat’s “tenderloin” and the texture was a very good match. The flavor was nice but I couldn’t say it was a match to pork. The taste stood on its own.

For my lunch I was intrigued with the Seitan Bahn Mi sandwich. The seitan was marinated in ginger, soy and lime juice and as  expected the sandwich was dressed with jalapeno, cilantro, avocado mayo and pickled carrot and daikon. I am a sucker for pickled veggies so the choice was easy.

It was a big sandwich and it had a lot going on. I can honestly say I am not sure about the marinated “meat”. I  liked it but the texture; while “meaty” had an unusual bite. Maybe if it were done in one piece instead of pieces. I am not sure. Maybe it was all in my head. You know the faux meat thing. In either event it was an excellent sandwich and I am glad I got it.

They offer chips and salsa with their sandwiches. They have other sides available for an up charge.

The chips and salsa were okay but I am not a fan of “blue” tortillas. However the size fits well with their sandwiches. I am sure I am preaching to the Vegan ,Vegetarian choir when I say how good this joint is but to all of those that eat meat remember. Good food is worth searching for, whether it is plant or animal.
Three Carrots Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Crispy Bird 115 E. 49th Street

Well; after more than a year; Crispy Bird has opened. Since it was the latest link in the Patachou chain lots of folks were excited. After all Martha Hoover is the Maven of Hipster Dining in the city and all the Patachou restaurants are successful. The OCD Chef in me was excited. To me a Hoover restaurant is always well run with a well thought out menu and procedure to match. One of her restaurants may be criticised for food choice or decor but no one can ever say that the joint is not well run and that every thing is done by the numbers. Of course the Border Town line cook in me half way wants someone to draw a big old mustache on the picture. That ain’t happening here.

There was 4 of us for lunch. Included in our party was Pat’s wife, Fran and their friend Shae. We ordered like “diners” not “reviewers”, and since the menu is rather small there were repeats.

https://www.crispy-bird.com/

Three legs and thighs, one breast and one “snack” of fried chicken skin. They offer fried skin ( chicken chicharrones) in several dishes.

Pat’s breast

The leg and thigh were very nicely done, moist and tender and still hot when I got it. The thing with chicken is it all tastes the same once you get past the skin. In this case the skin was wonderfully crisp just lacking in flavor. The most discernible taste was salt. At 5 bucks a piece I was a bit disappointed. I agree with Pat about the slaw and pickles. Also they have some rocking hot sauces to kick up the chicken. The sauces have the appearance of being house made as well.

These are the chicken skins ( cracklings ). They come with a citrus mayo for dipping and were a hit with everybody.

I thought the chicken was good but I have had better. The Garrison at Fort Ben comes to mind. However their snacks could make a return trip necessary. I believe this place has only been open for a month and they were hammered at lunch ( 20 minute wait) yet they carried it off flawlessly. That is what I mean about a Martha Hoover joint. The folks from Patachou sure know how to do it right.

 

 


The New York Slice 5564 Madison Avenue

I am sure the name is familiar to several people. However if you can’t quite place it how about if you put the name on a truck.

Now it probably comes together. The popular food truck is now a brick and mortar on the South side. Folks that follow the food trucks know about the pizza but for the ones who don’t rest assure that this is the “real deal”. Also they have more than just pie at the shop.

http://thenyslice.com/

Since it is so close to Pat’s house he brought the joint to my attention. Pat likes their product for the same reason most folks like it. It is good pizza and you can buy just a slice. If you want just a taste you can get a big slice for about 4 bucks. If you want more you can go the whole pie route in the form of a 16 or 20 incher. If pie doesn’t suit you  try a Stromboli for $5.99. Now to me a Stromboli is a sandwich but here it is like a Calzone filled with sausage, pepperoni and cheese.

And it is huge and delicious

At first sight you might think that, as big as it is, it can’t have much filling in it. However you would be wrong. It had “stuff” in every bite. So it was big, full of cheese sausage and pepperoni and it was tasty as well. I could go on about the crust being an excellent partner to the creamy cheese and slightly unctuous pepperoni and sausage. Or the red “gravy” on the side added a wonderfully acidic note to the creation. But I will merely say it was good and oh so economical and you should try one.

So there you have it. The New York Slice. For when you are in a New York “frame of mind” and are hungry.

 


Superbowl Pho 5603 E. Washington Street

Well we went back to Irvington to try a new Vietnamese joint that opened right next to Batters. They have a restaurant in Westfield, by the same name and evidently business is good.

Like most Asian places around here they have excellent lunch specials all in the sub $7 range and all come with a choice of egg roll, spring roll or soup. To start things off we decided on a fish cake appetizer for 6 bucks.

These are shredded fish and potato cakes and are pretty good. They have a nice flavor with the slightest hint of spice on the back-end. They have an odd texture. By odd I don’t mean off-putting or gross I merely mean it is unique to me. I enjoyed them but I think I would have liked a more assertive sauce. They served a Mae Ploy sauce; that ubiquitous bottled sweet chili that is so popular. It is a fine sauce just rather sweet for these cakes.

After our app we got our spring rolls. I prefer spring rolls over egg rolls possibly because they aren’t fried.

These were big, nicely constructed and full of “stuff”. One complaint is the peanut sauce. Too thick and too sweet. It was like a little dish of pudding. However that is a very small complaint compared to the size of the spring roll.

Pat chose from the stir fry section of the special menu.

I had to go with Pho. I mean the place has Pho in its name. Normally I would get a beef Pho. Thin slices of raw beef in the broth. However this time I thought I would be adventurous and go with meatball . Asian meatballs are different from Western meatballs in that the meat is pounded not minced and adding fish to the beef and, or pork is not uncommon. Every bowl of Pho must have a plate of garishment.

This plate was a bit light compared to some Pho I have had. It consisted of a lime wedge, 2 jalapeno slices some basil and a whole bunch of mung bean sprouts.

This was a very good bowl of food. I would be happy to try it again if I were in the area and hackering for a Pho fix. The food is not so unique as to make this a destination. However if your normal joint is getting boring give this a try. Or if you are in the Irvington area for some of the Christmas festivities give it a try. If I lived here I would be ecstatic that they moved in. Just one more option for lunch or dinner.


Batters 5543 E. Washington Street

Well there is another new joint in Irvington. A self-described pancake house that serves breakfast all day. I hope this place lasts longer than the 2 previous tenants. If they don’t survive it won’t be because the food isn’t good or the prices are too high. Most of the dishes are in the $6 to $7 niche with specials going for $9 with soup or salad included. As for the quality of their fare the items we had were top-notch.

I opted for breakfast as well. For me it was “Bases Loaded” (?) for $7; the same as Pat’s omelet. Mine was biscuits and gravy with 2 eggs and 2 bacon or sausage.

I was quite impressed. I believe I have tried every biscuit and gravy in town and I think that Downtown Olly’s does it best. Now I may have to reconsider that proposition. The first bite was loaded with sausage flavor and a hint of bacon fat, as though bacon fat was used in the making of the roux. It could have been from the bacon on the side but what ever it was I hope they do it every time. The gravy had a very creamy quality that most country gravies don’t have. It was an excellent dish and bargain priced at 7 bucks.

The only thing I would do differently is order a side of toast to sop up all the gravy and egg yolk. I was able to used Pat’s crust from his toast so none of it went to waste. I think I will be back again. They do list their specials on Facebook so I am keeping my eye open for liver and onions. I have it on good authority they do a respectable job with that diner classic.

 

 


Hoagies and Hops 414 Dorman Street.

This is Indy Bacon Week. That is one week that NUVO invites restaurants to showcase all things bacon. Each joint comes up with their own bacon special for 5 bucks. Similar to Burger Week which happened in June. Both of these promotions also serve as a fundraiser for Second Helpings. This is an easy promotion since Hoosiers have such a “thing” for pork. We love all that is pig. From crisp bacon to deep-fried tenderloin as big as a truck tire or pulled pork on a toasted bun. Beef may be what’s for dinner in Texas but in Indiana it is pork.

Hoagies and Hops opened in 2015. A husband and wife  from Pennsylvania grew “nostalgic” for East coast hoagies and cheese steaks and decided to bring the food here. They get their bread from an Italian bakery in New Jersey and their deli meats from Dietz and Watson in Philadelphia.

The truly clever part of this opening is the location. It is right inside Flat 12 Bierwerks. Flat 12 has been around since 2010 and have consistently produce high quality beers. The only food that was provided was by the occasional food truck so if you wanted food with your beer you were out of luck. Now when you walk in you have the food counter on the left and the beer counter straight ahead. A genius idea. Hoagies and Hops opens at 11:30 Flat 12 noon.

I opted for the Paddy’s something or other.

Paddy’s Pub Cheesesteak
Smoking Goose Bacon, Sliced Ribeye, House Horseradish Mayo, House Pepper Relish, & Muenster Cheese

Now this was a very good sandwich. The meat was tender and flavorful and the sweetness of the relish helped balance out the mayo. I would have preferred more bacon; but more bacon is always the answer to just about any food question. I agree with Pat. The bread they use is top shelf and like Pat I would do it again. In a heart beat.
Hoagies and Hops Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Greek’s Pizzeria 4901 N. College

This posting will be different from the others; as I have few pictures to go with it. For some inexplicable reason my computer no longer recognizes my Canon Camera. I do have a few shots taken with my sorta’ smart phone.

This place originated in Valparaiso Indiana in 1968. Now it has over 100 joints covering more than just Indiana.

https://greekspizzeria.com/

It has the feel of a small local pizza joint, although done up in “industrial chic”.

It has that aroma. The earthy scent of yeast mixed with the bite of red sauce and a hint of garlic.

They have other locations, that was how Pat knew they would customize his Stromboli.

Actually this is my Meatball Shell; that is what they call the Calzones. However they were same in appearance so imagine that it is a Strom.

Now here is my Meatball Shell.

It was wonderful. The meatballs were tender the sauce had a nice tang and the shell was done to a beautiful tender crispness. The only minor flaw was the amount of the sauce. However that was rectified by ordering extra solos of sauce. It is a large offering and I was surprised I ate it all as quickly as I did. It was good. Since it is right on my way to Broad Ripple I would image stopping there for lunch or carry out. The shells were $8.99 and they offer a pizza lunch special for $6.99. I can see why this place has lasted and grown. They have a good plan and they stick to it. Good house made food at a good price.


Ruth’s Cafe 3443 E. 86 th Street

We had a very pleasant breakfast today. The restaurant is open from 7 AM to 3 PM and serves breakfast all day as well as lunch. We took advantage of that by ordering some of both.

Among their specials for the day were two different Quiche. One had no onion so that is what Pat ordered. I know it had artichoke in it and cheese as well as other stuff; but I don’t recall the other stuff. I also have no idea what it cost. It was Pat’s turn to buy and I neglected to ask.

This is the half order of B&G Pat got for $6.

This is the Quiche Pat ordered, price not known. They give an option of salad or fruit. As you can see he opted for the greenery. A very nice looking salad with lots of Spring mix.

I was intrigued by their hash. It is made with smoked brisket. You can order it as a side for $4.75 or as a Not so Old School breakfast for $8.50; which is what I ordered. They have several bread choices for toasting as well as muffin and all come with house made berry jelly. What berries? Haven’t a clue but it was pretty good.

This was a very respectable hash. Big chunks of beef and potatoes cooked just right. Tender yet with enough texture to give your teeth something to do. The only minor flaw was my eggs were not quite over easy; more over medium. They worked out though. All I wanted was some yolk to mix in.

Since they make their own scratch biscuits I got one for an extra $1.75. It was very light and fluffy. One of the better biscuits I have had around town. In addition to the jelly they also make their own sausage. We thought it was quite good. Lightly spiced and tasty which made for an excellent taste. However there is just something about Ollie’s that makes their B&G; in my opinion; the best in town.

They also have an interesting lunch menu; which you can reach here:

http://www.ruthscafeindy.com/menu/4589349372

When I get time I am going back to try lunch; hopefully soon. On a “side note” Zomato classifies this joint as a diner. Of course like with a lot of things Zomato does that is debatable.

Ruth's Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato