eating indie in indy

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Next Door Eatery 4573 N. College Ave.


This place opened less than 2 years ago by Kimbal Musk the brother of Elon Musk of Tesla fame. It was the curiosity that prompted me to eat here. Musk owns a restaurant group that started in Colorado in 2004. Another brand is Hedge Row. He opened one of those on Mass Ave. prior to the opening of Next Door.

The building used to be a Double Eight grocery. A local chain that closed a few years back. It was started in the 50’s as Seven Eleven. Long before that convenience store chain started. A few years back our local chain changed its name. As a homage to a by gone era Musk incorporated a sign into their interior design.

Several Indianapolis restaurants are currently running a Devour promotion. That is when participating restaurants serve a special meal or discounted normal menu items. Next Door was offering 3 courses for $16.95. That was my original plan but I changed my mind at the last minute. I thought a 3 course lunch was too much and I was drawn to their Pineapple Express burger. That would be a Black Angus burger from local Fisher Farms on a toasted bum with fresh grilled pineapple, bacon, swiss cheese and Siracha honey.

All of their burgers and sandwiches come with chips and a “simple salad”.

I really enjoyed my burger. The bun was nicely toasted and they cooked it medium rare as I requested. That combo of sweet pineapple and smoky bacon was really excellent. The burgers are one third pound. With this particular sandwich any thing bigger would be too much.

Although this joint is not Downtown their prices are. A basic burger is $10.95. They also offer a burger that is half ground beef and half crimini mushrooms for $11.95. My Pineapple Express was $13.95. Expensive but tolerable. My Sun King beer was $6.75 and wasn’t even a pint. Across the street Scarlet Lane opened a tap room so if you feel like a couple of beers that is the place to go. I would like to follow up and try their Next Door 50/50. That is their crimini and beef mix burger. All in all I enjoyed the joint. It is attractive and has a great out door space and they cook a very good burger.

https://www.nextdooreatery.com/location/indianapolis/#food


Fat Cat Bar 3015 Lafayette Road.

When we can’t come to a quick agreement on destination we know we can always agree on the ever popular, hardly controversial “dive bar”. Pat, because the food is simple and me because the beer is cheap. This place has been a bar for as long as I can recall. For years it was Bud’s Lounge. Bud’s closed a couple of years ago and Fat Cat moved in. Fat Cat was originally down the street at 38th Street so they have some experience in the bar business.

Their menu is pretty common with a bunch of frozen apps and a few basic sandwiches and pizza. We ordered a side of mushrooms to start our meal off for $5. They were pretty good. Like most things frozen apps are not all the same. Some ARE better than others. These were better than average.

half eaten appetizer

Of course a picture should be taken before you start eating. Makes for a more professional effect.

I was leaning toward their fried catfish dinner but our great bartender told me it goes from $8 to $6.75 on Fridays. Unfortunately they stopped selling them with hush puppies. Their customers weren’t eating them. There is just no accounting for some folks tastes. So I went for the pig in the form of a grilled tenderloin.

This was an exceptional piece of meat. This was no light weight “fritter” this was an 8 oz. slice of pork loin that was pounded out and cooked really well on a flat top. Tender and moist with good flavor and just the right amount of chew.

So we really enjoyed this little place. It had good food, exceptional service and Domestic bottles were a buck and a half. So for 2 sandwiches, one order of mushrooms and three beers our tab was $25; with tax. That is a value. I will be back on a Friday and try their catfish special; even without puppies.


Kazablanka Grill & Bar 5801 Rockville Road.

Before I get into our review this week I would like to announce that today; the 14th of August is our 8th Anniversary. Yay.

I am not sure how Pat decided on this particular place. The only thing I can figure is that he saw it in his travels and thought it sounded interesting. Well it was definitely interesting. Some may say it was fascinating. It has a great lay out and could probably seat over 150 people. The bar has plenty of seating and located on one end so the other dining area can be used for family dining. It also has a big deck. Of course the deck could used some work. The whole joint could use an overall but it is clean. They offer a $6.99 lunch buffet, but we decided on ordering from the menu.

The menu is quite large and they offer several specials. The prices are excellent as well. After much deliberation Pat decided on Lasagne, which came with a side salad. Our wonderful server/ bartender went to the buffet and made it for him.

This was a huge salad. It would pass for two at most joints.

It took me nearly as long to order and I was just looking at sandwiches. The sandwiches come with no sides and are all $7.49 and most sides are $1.50. So that is just a bit cheaper that other joints. I decided on a new addition. A hand breaded cod sandwich. I also got a side of coleslaw and our server brought it out with Pat’s salad.

The slaw was homemade and pretty good. I don’t think Grandmas should be worried but it was better than most. I must admit I was not prepared for my sandwich.

I have never seen such a poorly presented sandwich. Four ounces of fish on 8 ounces of bread. The cold set consisted of one small piece of iceberg, one tomato slice and a few scraps of onion. Oh yes and a big solo of mediocre tartar sauce. I was more bemused than angry. Who could ever say that this plate was something they would admit to creating. It is all well and good to control portions. I further understand how two ounce cod loin portions seem attractive to control cost but couldn’t you find a smaller hoagie bun. If you insist on a 4 oz cod sandwich why not a round bun? Of course this is just a rhetorical question because who ever is in charge of your kitchen either doesn’t know any better or doesn’t care. Also it is doubtful they will even read this. I just chuckled and cut half of the bun in half and used that to make my sandwich. It made a nice size sandwich that way. However after all that the fish itself was pretty bland. The tomato tasted fresh though.

So Pat was the big winner. He got a double side salad and enough Lasagne to take home for a second meal for $10.49. I got a average at best sandwich, some assembly required, for $7.49. I also met a very charming lady who served us our food and drinks and made me a very nice Margarita for $5. In a Mason Jar.

My Margarita after I had drank half.

Well I don’t have much to add. I can’t recommend the cod sandwich but the Lasagne is pretty good. If that cod portion had been 6 ounces or more and fit the bun like other places I would not have said a word. Except that it would probably still be bland


El Jalapeno 4902 S. East Street

This was Pat’s choice. Normally he shies away from any “Mexican” food because of onion and he doesn’t like beans and the rice they serve. However he loves a crisp ground beef taco, or three.

As soon as we were seated we were served some chips and salsa. The chips were warm and the salsa was okay. It was the thought that counted. After some deliberation Pat decided on 3 tacos for $6.99 and a large side of cheese sauce for $5.50.

A large cheese sauce

I was hardly impressed with the size of the cheese sauce they offered. A monkey dish worth for 5 bucks! What does the small come in. A potion cup. The tacos were a different story.

I wanted to try as many different things as I could so I ordered a combo for $8.99. That was a pork tamal and a steak burrito. The steak was $1 more.

The meat portions of my lunch were very generous. The tamal was overflowing with thick chumks of pork, something I have not seen before. The masa shell was unusual as well. The bottom was about one half inch thick and the top was nearly an inch thick. I like masa but it can become dry as it cools so you need quite a bit of chile to keep it moist. The amount of red sauce they add was not enough for me. However the amount of meat they used and the flavor of the steak made up for it. I would get it again but with some adjustments.

With the exception of their cheese sauce this joint offers good food and a good value. Worth the drive.


Taco & Burrito Place 4102 N. Keystone Ave.

This little joint was across the street from the garage that was servicing my vehicle. The name makes it pretty clear what to expect. Of course they do offer other items but I was here for the tacos, and maybe a burrito.

The place is small but bright and clean with a rather extensive menu. All of the items are on a board and you order at the counter pay and pick up when your number is called. I got there a little past 11 and they already had customers. From the time I arrived until the time I left they had a constant stream of customers. Mostly ordering take out.

I ordered 2 tacos. One pork and one beef. I got them topped with cilantro and onion only for $2 each. You could also get them with the whole Taco Bell garden but to me cilantro and onion are enough.

The amount of meat used was amazing. Granted they use a 4 inch tort but the ratio of meat to tortilla was impressive. They offer 2 sauces. One green and one red. That is what you see on top. I found both tacos to be delicious. The pulled pork butt was a touch dry but that was rectified by the sauce. The steak had a chile presence that gave it a bit of heat. I know I have a tendency to over state when I really like something but Damn those were some great tacos.

Naturally my eyes were bigger than my appetite so I ordered a small burrito as well. I went with a ground beef. They added lettuce and tomato inside with the beef and cheese. That too was a hit. I think I would have appreciated it more had it been the first thing I ate.

I know I will be back. A taco this good for only 2 bucks cannot be ignored.


Puccini’s Pizza and Pasta 1508 West 86th Street

This pizza shop is also known as Puccini’s Smiling Teeth Pizza. I haven’t the slightest idea where that name came from. I do know they open their first location in this area in 1991 and now have 10 locations in Indiana and Kentucky. That was why we had to have a “conference” about our criteria. It is hardly a small little place with an owner operator but it is family owned so it fits.

I was leaning toward a Calzone my self until I saw their Ultimate Warrior pie listed. A unique combo of
sausage, pepperoni, onions, black olives, mushrooms & green peppers.

This was a really good pie. A crisp crust and an excellent sauce with a generous amount of toppings. Enough to make me overlook the jumbled placement of the toppings. Normally a peeve of mine. I had eaten some of their pies a few years back with my son but had forgotten how good they were.

I think this joint should be ranked up there with some of the best in the city. The prices are more than reasonable. Both our lunches were less than $9 each.


Jail Bird 4022 Shelby Street

This is a mural on the inside wall of the bar
This on the outside wall of the bar

When you see the inside mural the first thing you notice is the little jail bird in the center. He seems to glow or have a light surrounding him. Don’t worry you have not been over served nor is it an epiphany. It is just painted with a window behind it. That is the bottom picture. The one on the outside wall. I thought it was pretty clever. Clever is a good word if you just wanted one word to describe this joint.

As I understand it this place was opened by the same fellow that opened Thunderbird, which is just a few miles North, also on Shelby. Thunderbird is a more sophisticated joint. More sophisticated in that both food and cocktail menus are more complex. One thing they have in common is. I believe what ever you order it will be expertly prepared and tasty.

You can see the kitchen from our position at the bar so I was able to see the cook take ball of ground meat, place it on the flat top and smash it down. Sort of like the Culver’s commercial. So, yeah they are “old school” burgers.

They don’t prepare their sides in house. The fries, etc come in frozen. Which is fine with me. Half the time frozen fries and rings are as good or better than “house made”. That holds true for mozzarella sticks as well. Their sandwiches are served ala carte. I ordered a meat loaf sandwich with a side of mozzarella sticks.

This was one great sandwich. Their meat loaf is simple and good. Nothing fancy. A nice thick slice heated on the flat top, topped with an onion ring and a chipotle ketchup. All put together on a lovely toasted Brioche bun. The mozz sticks were as good as they ever were and they serve them with a very nice house made marinara sauce,

So Pat and I both really like this spot. If you go for lunch hopefully Morgan will be there to be your server. I can not say enough nice things about her. Pleasant and efficient and she does make a very good Whiskey Sour. Thanks again Morgan.

Here is a link to their menu

https://www.jailbirdindy.com/


Fuji Sushi & Hibachi 1705 W. McGalliard Rd Muncie Indiana.

Saturday my Granddaughter Emily graduated from Ball State University in Muncie Indiana. Afterwards we all decided to go to Fuji. We were a party of 11 so we had a wait. The place was really crowded so I didn’t wander around taking any pictures of the decor but I probably should have taken the time, The place is really attractive. Dark wood, a huge sculpture in the lobby and even a small water fountain. They offer a large dining area for Hibachi as well as a smaller area with booths. Of course they have a sushi bar as well as the usual booze bar.

I did not take this shot it was way too hot too dawdle out of doors. I borrowed it from their gallery on their website.

http://www.fujimuncie.com/

The majority of the diners opted for hibachi. My son Adam ordered a couple of rolls for people to try. I was the odd one and I ordered their lunch special sashima for $10.95. It consisted of 7 pieces assorted sashimi and a California roll. That is par for all of the sushi joints I have visited.

This is the only food pic I took. It was pretty straight forward. The fish was fresh and tasty although I think some places cut bigger pieces but that could be my imagination. The roll was very good as well and fit the weather nicely. They display the fish on a bed of glass noodles. That is as good a way as any to achieve some elevation on your entre. Of course cellophane noodles are pretty much tasteless. Of course I did not think of placing them in my bowl of soy and wasabi until much later, which is a shame because I like the texture of noodles in broth.

I think everyone enjoyed their food and the prices seemed reasonable. If you are in Muncie and have an urge for Sushi or Hibachi I would suggest Fuji. It is a charming spot with good and reasonably priced food. However I don’t know If I would make a trip from Indy just for it. I think you can get as good or better at home


Old Gold BBQ @ Metazoa Brewing 140 S. College Ave.

Wednesday wasn’t a good day. It was terrible weather, hot and humid. The sort of weather that makes you yearn for winter. We had plans to visit Old Gold since last week. The last time we were at Metazoa the bar tender gave us each wooden coins good for a one meat upgrade, so we could pay for 1 meat and get 2. Nothing better than bargain BBQ. Of course when we got there we realized that they had expired. Sad me. Fortunately the lady in charge allowed for us to use them. So I was able to get a two meat plate with 2 sides for $14.

https://www.oldgoldbarbecue.com/

I uncovered my side dishes. Coleslaw and Ranchero beans to take a couple of pictures. Unfortunately I was so busy running my mouth I forgot and started eating. Here is the shot I took after I had eaten half my brisket.

Not very appetizing is it? Well as for the taste the sides definitely could stand some improvement. The beans tasted like canned beans with a bit of meat and a whole lot of cumin. I could not eat them all. The cole slaw was supposed to be a vinegar slaw but it too came up short. The predominant flavor was raw cabbage. The brisket was excellent. Thick slices of some of the most tender brisket I have eaten. It did not have a great smoke flavor but the texture made up for it. The pulled pork was pretty good especially with their mustard style Carolina sauce. It really made the meat stand out. As for their traditional red sauce I wasn’t a fan. Once again, too much cumin. Another thing I did not get was the amount of onion they included in their basic cold set. I don’t think a few half slices is enough.

So should you be at Metazoa and decide to eat I don’t think you can go wrong with the pulled pork or brisket. The ribs and sausage may be good as well, my guess would be they are. These folks just need to work on the accompaniments.


Zaharikos 329 Washington Street Columbus Indiana

This is definitely an historic site. It has been a functioning ice cream parlor since 1900 and it definitely has that old time air about it. From the carved fretwork to the hardwood cabinetry and the marble soda syrup dispenser.

The space is airy with high ceilings and filled with natural light. From the shiny hardwood floors to the pressed tin ceiling you can’t help but feel the history of the place.

Well as charming as the space is we were there to have lunch. Fran; Pat’s wife went with us and she is a Sloppy Joe junkie like me. On their menu is a Gom sandwich, which is their version of a Sloppy Joe. You can get it with or without cheese, they come grilled on white bread. That is what we ordered.

It was really a very nice sandwich. If you like Sloppy Joes then I think you would like this. It is tighter than most Joes and the flavor is mild compared to some but it definitely has that tangy sweetness common to “loose meat” sandwiches. Since this is above all an ice cream parlor that makes its own ice cream some form of frozen confection was required. Fran decided on a Root Beer Soda.

Fran’s Root Beer Soda
Pat’s Chocolate Malted, prior to the fall.

Boy when that glass hit that hard wood floor it went every where. As quickly as they got on the clean up you can tell they had been there before. They even replaced his Malt. For Free. Very nice gesture.

Since I had water with my lunch I was ready for some Ice Cream. I ordered a 2 scoop Sundae with hot fudge. My O My it was delicious.

I ordered a Mint Chocolate Chip and a Raspberry Chocolate Chip. The Mint was very good but the Raspberry was incredible. A true raspberry taste in an ice cream. If anything would make me drive for an hour that might be it. They put the hot fudge sauce in the bottom of the dish and built the sundae on top. They also supplied a small boat with more for the top.

As formidable as the task was I was still able to clean the bowl.

I sincerely hope people have an opportunity to visit. They have a small museum of antique soda fountains in the dining room adjacent to the one we ate in. I took several pictures but they were really of poor quality. The rooms may have had a lot of sunlight but it was too diffused for my camera to get some good shots. I am including a link to their website. Listen to their sample of mechanical music. That played in the dining area. Continuously. This “modern” ear thought less would be better. Thankfully as more people came in the normal conversation took the edge off.

http://www.zaharakos.com/

So we had a splendid time in Columbus. We had plans on dropping by Zwanzigz for a beer but we were all too full to even consider it. Imagine that. Too full for a beer.


The Most Delicious Pancake House 5010 S. East Street


How is that for a name for a restaurant? No faux humility for them. Pat told me about this place and how could I pass up a joint called most delicious.

I don’t think Pat’s BT was cut and pounded in house, I believe it was brought in already breaded. It appeared to be a solid piece of meat and the consumer liked it so it probably doesn’t matter.

I decided that I needed a burger and I opted for a Most Delicious burger. That would be their standard half pounder with ham and bacon. Oddly enough I don’t believe it had any cheese. It came with a usual cold set and a spicy mayo. It was sloppy but good.

I especially liked the bacon. It was thick and crisp and just greasy enough to bring an added layer of flavor to the sandwich. What I didn’t get was the ham. It was nicely done; thinly sliced with a slight char but I don’t get the connection. It reminded me of a time , long ago, when stuffed burgers were in vogue. I had good success with various combinations so I offered one stuffed with chopped ham and Swiss cheese. “We put the ham in hamburger”. Boy that went over like the proverbial lead balloon.

I think I ordered it for the bacon. I wonder how it would be with an egg on top. Regardless the burger was pretty good the way it was.

This place doesn’t have any media presence yet so there is no menu to show. Just be assured they probably will have something you want to eat and it will be nicely prepared at a reasonable price. I think our sandwiches were under $10 each.

This fancy chandelier is in the center of the dining room. I don’t think the new tenants brought it in so it came from Shoney’s or Lucky 8 buffet. In either event it certainly adds a bit of Bling to the joint.


Pupuseria Casa Maria 7363 N. Michigan Road

I have been wanting to try this place for a while. One of those times when Pat was gone I went there but they were closed for a remodel. Pat is hardly ever interested in eating something different but some times he surprises me.

Pupusas are thick tortillas stuffed with various other food items. This place offers several different varieties along with tamales and tacos.

Pat ordered a steak and cheese and a chicken and cheese pupusa. All of the pupusas come with a cup of pickled cabbage. We also had a basket of chips with different salsas.

I ordered 2 pupusas, a pork and cheese and a loroco and cheese. I also got a tongue taco and a chicken tamale. More food than I was able to eat so I was able to take them home for an evening snack.

My pupusas were excellent. Large and hearty. Loroco is an herb used in some parts of Latin America. The pupusa I ordered was made with a cheese with the bud chopped up in it. So the actual flavor of the herb was minimal regardless they were very tasty and went really well with the slaw.

That large dolma looking object is my tamale. They use banana leaves instead of corn husks. This was the biggest tamale I think I have ever had. I probably should have unwrapped it to photograph but I was more concentrated on eating. It was pretty good. It did have a thicker “shell” than some tamales I have had but it wasn’t a deal breaker to me. As for the taco it was ideal for me. Two soft corn torts with a lot of meat and topped only with cilantro and onion.

I really liked this joint. It is small but nicely appointed and the food is very good and more than reasonably priced. The total cost for our feast was $18, and for a Bonus Pat tried something he never thought he would try.


Holy Smoke Heavenly BBQ 2073 N. Emerson Ave.

Pat has been out of town and I’ve been loafing. I have stayed in doors more than usual because the weather has been lousy. Well Pat is back and the weather has slightly improved so we ventured out. Actually this post is from Friday 6/21. Since we moved our lunch to Friday that week we opted for carry out food and a visit to a brewery. I have had my eye on this joint for a while but it is carryout only. We have done a carryout joint before and went to a park to eat. Well a beer hall is better than any park I can think of

Coleslaw

Pat was correct when he said that this joint offers tremendous value. His pulled pork sandwich was $6 and came with a side and a drink. The sandwich was huge. I would estimate it was more than 8 ounces of meat. For me I opted for a small tip lunch for $8 which came with side and a drink.

I was really pleased by my tips. I ordered them with the combo sauce which was a mix of sweet and spicy. The tips were meaty and abundant. That little go box was filled with BBQ. I ordered a side of greens but didn’t get a shot of them. The greens were very good, almost too salty but good and the liquor was excellent. I really like this little BBQ joint. The folks running it are very nice and professional. They run a tight little joint with good food and prices.

After we got our food we went to Metazoa on South College Ave. They don’t have a kitchen but they do have a food truck nearly always around. It is Old Gold BBQ and I hear it is pretty good stuff. So we may have to go back for a bite.


Pots & Pans Pie Co. 4915 N. College Ave.

This post is long over do. I found this place a few months ago and have been several times. Pat and I came her for pie after we ate at Upland. They offer both sweet and savory pies and I have sampled both, however I don’t have pictures of them all.

This my latest slice from yesterday, a Bourbon chocolate pecan pie. I had forgotten how well Bourbon and Chocolate go together especially a dark chocolate. The innate smokiness and sweetness of the liquor coupled with the slight bitterness of the Chocolate makes for a delicious union. Add all of the above to the normal lusciousness of a pecan pie and you get an amazing hunk of pie. The bakers use leaf lard from Smoking Goose so you can imagine the flakiness of the crust.

Margarita lime pie
Salted Caramel and Pear.

This place offers savory pies as well as sweet. The pie slices are $5, galettes are $6. A 9 inch sweet pie is $25. They offer savory pies in two sizes 6 inch for $10 to $11 and 9 inch for $35.

Beef and mushroom

Their beef and mushroom pie was the first savory offering I tried and it was excellent. It was easily as good cold as hot. Possibly better. I also tried a 6 inch sausage and gravy and a 6 inch meatball and mozzarella. The fillings on the later two were good just not as good as their beef and mushroom.

So if you like pie now you know where you can get your fix. If for some reason you are on the fence about pie get to the Pie Co. I think that will get you off that fence.


Pull Up Grill & BBQ 2412 E. Raymond Street

This joint has only been open since March. Pat learned of it from a teller at his bank. As you can see it isn’t that big and there was already a line at 11:30.

Their special on Wednesday was a Rib Tip dinner with 2 sides for $9.95. So that is what we both ordered but with different sides.

I ordered my special with greens and mac and cheese. I know I said I wasn’t going to order mac and cheese out any more but the pan they had on the steam table just looked so inviting and the weather was so rainy I could not resist. All of the portions were healthy.

The tips were really very good. Most of the pieces were plump and tender with a thin layer of fat that helped keep them moist in the cooking process and with a very nice flavor of smoke. A few of the pieces were very lean so they ended up a bit on the tough side. Still edible just a bit chewy. The greens were outstanding. The liquor had a nice peppery finish to it. As for the mac and cheese it was pretty good. Nice and cheesy and I got to it during the sweet part of the day. Before the constant heat on the steam table started working on it.

Pat’s green beans.

So for a new joint they really seem to have their act together. I am with Pat. I would like to return for some ribs and pulled pork and of course Brisket. They have so many good things to try. Here is a link to their website. https://pullupgrill.com/daily-menu


10th Street Diner 3301 E 10th Street

This is a Vegan restaurant. I am neither Vegan or Vegetarian. I am a Carnivore. I don’t judge anyone’s food choices. When I go to any meatless joint I merely critique the taste of the food and its preparation. Whether it is BBQ, burgers or Vegan skill can always be appreciated.

The building used to be a gas station and the new guy did an outstanding job in the construction of the new space. The owner has been Vegan for 10 years and his background is in catering. This day he got off on a wrong foot with me though. One of my pet peeves about a joint is having your whole menu ready by the time you open. Pat wanted the Lasagne for $14.50 but the owner told us he needed 20 minutes more to finish it so Pat had to order something else. He opted for the Seitan Rueben for $ 9.50 with the Bistro sauce on the side. Bistro is their horseradish and vegan mayo which replaces the traditional 1000 Island dressing.

All of the sandwiches come with a basic round corn chips. For an upcharge of $2,50 you can get a different side. For my sandwich I opted for the Submarine sandwich for $9.50. It consists of “beef” Seitan, peppers and pickled onion. I also got fried Brussels sprouts.

Honestly I had an issue with the sandwich. I could only detect 2 small pieces of pepper and no pickled onion. Subsequently the sandwich was pretty bland. Hopefully that was just a miscue. I took half the sandwich home and a little salad mustard improved the taste a great deal. The sprouts were pretty good. Crisp with a touch of Balsamic vinegar. If I am in the area I will go back. I really want to try his Lasagne. Zucchini “noodles”, Seitan in red sauce and cashew ricotta sounds pretty good.

This is a shot of the interior. It was taken from outside one of 2 double doors. That spot in the upper left hand is from the idiot photographer.

Half Liter BBQ & Beer Hall 5301 Winthrop

You may remember the 2 reviews of Liter House. One solo and one a few months later with Pat. Well this is the long anticipated Beer Garden and BBQ joint built on the back of the Liter House. It is a large space with an upstairs bar and the menu is all about smoked meats.

https://www.halfliterbbq.com/

They serve the food on a paper lined school lunch tray and give you paper plates to plate your food.

Pat ordered from the combo section of the menu. One meat 2 sides for $13.95 I am afraid I did not do a very good job highlighting his brisket in the picture. I did what I could with cropping the picture but the only thing that really shows well are his sides.

I had to try their ribs so I went to the From the Smoker section where they sell their meats by the quarter pound. I don’t usually think of ribs by the pound but by the bones so I had to guess one pound would be approximately one half rack. That was 14 bucks and I splurged on Pat’s dime and ordered a side of Collards for $4.

Wow. As someone younger might say. These ribs are Fire. Tender and a great smoky flavor. They had a beautiful smoke ring. I really should have taken a picture. Both meats are placed on top of a slice of white bread. I used mine to sop up the liquor from the greens. Not as good as corn bread but it worked. As for the greens they were very tasty, not as much meat as I am accustomed to ( a few pieces of bacon) but they had a deep flavor with a nice vinegar tang in the broth.

All of the smoked meats are served without sauce. They offer 3 sauces. A sweet sauce, a mustard sauce and a “hot” sauce; which tasted like a combo of steak sauce and a Louisiana hot sauce.

This place is the coolest of all Sahm’s spots. Well to me it is. You get Liter House and Big Lug beer plus some of the best BBQ in the city. Be advised they have a special board inside which features the Special of the day plus the veggie, soup and fish of the day. Just in case you don’t want BBQ. I can certainly see myself going back. Trust me though it won’t be on a bike.


Turn 3 Chicken and Waffle @ Flat 12 Bierwerks 414 Dorman Street

Flat 12 is the brewery that housed Hoagies and Hops. It was independent from the brewery. As I understand Turn 3 is an adjunct to the brewery. They have only been open for about one month and they are taking it slow with 4 items only. Curiously all of their food is breakfast oriented.

The only thing I really wanted to try was the dish the joint was named after, and I was dubious of that. I couldn’t develop much enthusiasm for a “battered” chicken breast. As it turns out the chicken was coated with a “waffle breading” and I was more than happy with the results.

The chicken breast was beautifully crisp, plump and moist and the waffle was as good as any I have had. They only have Sriracha in-house. That is an excellent hot sauce I am just accustomed to a more Louisiana type sauce with its vinegar tang. They serve 2 solos of syrup but ask for their Sriracha and honey blend they are experimenting with. It works really well.

So I went in skeptical but left a believer. Looking forward to seeing this joint grow. They have exciting times ahead.

One last thing about their waffles. They use Flat 12 Cream Ale to mix the batter. Batter Up.


Hoagies and Hops 4155 Boulevard Place

Eight years ago Flat 12 Brewery opened. Like most breweries the food option consisted of the occasional food truck. Then three years ago Hoagies and Hops set up shop in their tasting room. We reviewed it for the Indy Bacon week about a year ago and they put out an impressive sandwich. Now Flat 12 is going their own way on food and Hoagies and Hops has moved to another spot and hooked up with Chilly Water Brewing.

It is a very nice spot. Each business has its own area separated by a wall; with an opening and 2 separate entrances. That I am sure was to placate our curious alcoholic beverage laws.

The husband and wife team that started the eatery are purists; they import the bread from South Jersey and use House sliced Delmonico rib eye for their cheese steaks. Their Hoagies and cheese steaks come in 3 sizes; 7,9 and 18 inches. As for their cornerstone cheese steak you order it with or without onions and Provolone or Cheese whiz. I got a 7 inch cheese steak or Shorty with onions and cheese whiz for $7.99. Wow. It was a very nice sandwich. Flavorful and loaded with steak. The bread was the perfect complement to the meat and cheese.

On my second trip I wanted to try one of their cold hoagies. They use Dietz and Watson cold cuts. That is considered the Godfather of luncheon meats. I ordered the Hog Island. It offered Salami, Ham, Prosciutto, Capicola and Provolone. I enjoyed the freshness and crispness of the fillings and great texture of the bread.

Both of the sandwiches I tried were top-notch. Since this joint is so close to me I will definitely be a regular. FYI on Wednesday Chilly Water features $4 pints and $7 Growler fills. In addition Hoagies and Hops discounts their half Cheese steaks by 2 bucks. Now how can a beer drinking bargain seeking carnivore resist that.


King Dough 452 N. Highland Ave.

King Dough is a hip new pizzeria that originated in Bloomington In. Their main hook is a wood fired oven for their pies. Unfortunately that didn’t make the trip. They use a beautiful gas-fired one instead.

This little fella’ can get as high as 900 degrees when busy and cruises at 700 when not.

They offer several set pies with unusual combos that allow no substitutions. They also have a build your own which starts at $13 for a 13 inch pie.

http://www.kingdoughpizzas.com/

The base for the build your own is sauce, no sauce. Fresh or aged mozzarella. Then you add toppings which run 75 cents to $4 more.

Pat ordered his with Italian sausage and double mushroom. I opted for something a bit different. kalamata olives and Anchovy with sauce and fresh mozz.

I must agree with Pat. They have a good pie but Mama Nita’s is as good. Matter of fact I think Nita’s crust and sauce are better. Their crust is chewy and the bottom is not as crisp as I would like. Also the sauce had no carmelization. I liked the way they chopped the fresh mozz into pieces to give more coverage and the way they pull the dough. I just think they need some more work on the baking thing. Of course I will be back because I found a deal for 2 $25 gift certificates for $25 that I could not pass up. I may try their appetizer list this time.


Continental Grill Family Restaurant 3815 W. Washington Street

https://www.continentalgrill.net/

For some reason we don’t venture to the west side very often. I discovered this place by “surfing the web.” It started out as a Waffle House and opened in 1970. It changed identities recently and appears to be doing very well.

The menu is huge and they have different specials every day, breakfast and lunch and dinner. It would seem as though some of their lunch specials are menu items at a reduced price. However they did offer a Swiss Steak Manhattan which really intrigued me. They also offered an 8 ounce rib eye with toast and 2 sides for $9.99. That I couldn’t resist.

They aren’t much on presentation; as you can see. It didn’t matter. The steak was a perfect medium rare and delicious. They had an extensive list of sides but I decided on butter beans and potato pancakes.

Butter beans are not seen on too many menus. I enjoy them; and here they even serve them with a fresh buttery taste spread.

The pancakes were probably not made in-house but were pretty tasty. They were made with mashed potatoes and had a nice crisp to them.

So if you are hungry but not sure what you want than this joint may be just the place for you. Lots to choose from with big portions and good prices.

 

 

 


Lena’s Sugar Shack 5560 S. Brookville Road

This place is a rare item. A neighborhood bar. Not a Gastropub. A Bar. This whole stretch of road had more when I was young. That was when the International Harvester plant and later Navistar was open across the street. Now the building is gone.

They offer basic bar food at a very reasonable price. They also have specials featuring Domestic bottles for $2 and $2.50. Their half pound burger is only $5.99 with chips. That was what I decided on.

One other thing that is unique with this joint is they have a griddle, fryer and cold table right behind the bar. So all the cooking is done in sight. I bet it is a lot of fun when it is busy. As for my burger it was pretty tasty. Nicely toasted bun with a medium burger built the way I wanted it. Instead of chips I opted for some onion petals. I have never had these before and I really liked them.

The Sugar Shack isn’t too close to me but I intend to go back. Breakfast in a bar is great and their porch is just made for a little day drinking.


Momma’s Kitchen 2853 E. 25th Street

This place used to be Taste Budds Soul Food. When it closed it didn’t take long before someone stepped in to claim the place. I was really fond of Taste Budds food so I was half way expecting something similar. Honestly I was a bit disappointed with the menu. They offer a few breakfast items but the everyday lunch was only 4 combos for $10. A Herby Burger, Fried chicken, quesadilla and nachos. All came with fried potatoes or home fries and a drink. Their rib tips and fried fish were only available on certain days as specials. Evidently roasted chicken is not an option.

Per the menu you can get any part of the chicken for your meal. In reality they only offer wings. Pat had wanted a fried breast but ordered a Herby Burger instead.

The potato options on the menu become french fries for service. Lots of french fries. We each got a basket like this.

I decided on their wing combo.

I got 6 wings placed on top of 2 pieces of white bread. The wings were nicely done. Hot and crisp with good seasoning. I probably should have ordered their chicken and waffle special. A buttery waffle sounds better than 2 slices of plain white bread. I enjoyed my lunch and I think it was reasonably priced. I really should go back to try their tips. I believe they serve them on Thursday or Friday.

 

 


Mama Nita’s 11007 Allisonville Road Fishers In.

I found this place by accident a few weeks ago on my way to my son’s new house. They are an Italian food restaurant which offers the trio of Italian fare. Pasta, Pizza and subs.

https://www.mamaknowspizza.com/

However their main bag is the buffet; $5.99 for lunch. Honestly Pat and I were dubious about this joint because we really didn’t expect much for 6 bucks. Boy were we ever wrong.

It isn’t a large buffet but the quality of the pies is excellent. Both the sauce and crust were top-notch. They offer a basic salad service and they are constantly replenishing the pizza, keeping about 8 of them on deck at all times. The man even takes requests. He made Pat a mushroom no onion and a cheese burger pie; with dill pickle; for a couple of other guys. I think that is what I liked best about Mama Nita’s the guy put out pies with different toppings; not just the traditional. Buffalo and BBQ chicken and bacon plus he wasn’t afraid to load up different veggies.

They even have bread sticks and some are stuffed with pepperoni.

I know the pictures aren’t much but you know I have issues with taking pictures of buffets. For your sweet tooth there is a small freezer at the end which holds ice cream sandwiches. Only one per customer regardless how cute you are. He also has a cinnamon pie. It is simply a pizza loaded with cinnamon sugar and topped with a white icing. Like a breakfast bun.

I thought that was great, especially hot out of the oven. Try a slice with an ice ream sandwich.

So like that adage about books and covers you should never judge a pizza joint by its pricing. Here you will get an exceptional meal as well as an exceptional value. With the senior discount lunch for 2 was $11.17 with tax. Worth the trip.