eating indie in indy

bbq

Madera Tex Mex BBQ & Tap 5711 E. 71st St.

Well we are back and at a new brisket joint. This location was G.T. South BBQ a few years back and then they closed rather abruptly. This place may very well fill their void quite nicely. https://maderatexmexbbq.com/

While chatting with our server Betsy I learned that they make their own tortillas. They do not offer a chips and salsa but they do sell a chips and queso for 7 bucks. One thing about their tortillas. They are flour torts not corn. They work well with the cheese sauce just expect them to be “flakey”. That is just the nature of a flour tortilla free floating in hot oil.

Pat didn’t want any bread so he opted for a half pound of pulled pork for $8. He was unable to get slaw because they put onion in theirs.

I had to have brisket since a good sliced brisket sandwich is still difficult to get around here. And I discovered that they have a good one for $10.

These guys may be new to town but they do a great job with their brisket. The smoke was subtle and the meat was tender and moist. The rub they used is unassuming so you can really taste the beef.

Since I currently have no difficulty eating onion I ordered a side of slaw for $3. I usually prefer my slaw to be sweet and creamy; like Grandma’s brand. The slaw that Madera puts up is lightly dressed with a slightly sweet and tangy effect. I really liked it. It had a great mouth feel and would work on top of a pulled pork sandwich very well.

Rarely do I make it back to a joint a second time. It is like that bear and mountain thing. However I have done it before and it looks like it is going to happen again. I am indeed planning on going back to Madera. Welcome to Indy.


Beach Bum BBQ Washington Square Mall

Beach Bum is a well know food truck in Indy. For a while they had a home in Irvington. I believe their idea is to have a brick and mortar presence to make the food for the truck and to sell to the sit down crowd. Currently they are only open Thursday through Sunday. This may change as the weather changes.

The dismal surroundings Pat was referring to is the deteriorated and broken Mall. Washington Square opened in 1974 and it was a quite a place at one time. It had all of the requisite anchor stores and dozens of hip and trendy “boutiques”. Now it can barely keep up with its own maintenance. Of course I am sure the rent is cheap.

Since Pat went with pork I opted for brisket. Actually I probably should have gotten a plain brisket sandwich in order to get the full effect of the meat. However I ordered a Pecos Bill for $12. That is brisket with pico de gallo and jalapenos. Pat’s pork was $8

The portion was very generous so I was able to taste the beef all by itself and it was excellent. It wasn’t pulverized like some joints do when they chop the brisket. It was cut into nice size pieces. Also Pat’s pork appeared to be cut the same way not pulled as you might expect. They offer 3 sauces. A honey mustard, a Sirachi and the Beach Bum which I assume to be a more traditional mild sauce. I tried a bit of the hot Kracken sauce and enjoyed it, and it wasn’t overly hot. I also got a side of slaw and agree with Pat it was spot on and it was only 2 bucks.

So now I know Beach Bum is a truck to be on the look out for. It is also nice to know that if you need a BBQ fix you can get it met on the far east side. If you are old enough to remember the Mall from the 70’s and 80’s try not to be too sad. Remember you have some tasty Q waiting for you.


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.


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.


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


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.


His Place Eatery 6916 E 30th Street (revisit)

About 4 years ago Pat and I had lunch here. We both enjoyed it very much. I haven’t had an occasion to go to that part of town until today. Recently my friend Joey wanted to know if I wanted to join her and the family for Linner. ( her word). I promptly accepted and she asked where we should go. I sent her links to 5 different places and the entire family decided on His Place.

Joey is a turkey Manhattan junkie so that is what she ordered.

Her daughters ordered a pulled pork sandwich with mac and cheese and potato salad and a breaded chicken sandwich with fries.

Jason ( AKA The Mister or Jake ) opted for sliced brisket with 2 sides. For some inexplicable reason I did not take a picture. Luckily for me everyone enjoyed their meals.

Last time I had ribs. This time I tried the rib tips with greens and  Coleslaw. Everything was excellent. The tips were full of flavor and wonderfully tender. They could be the best tips I have eaten.

The portions are lavish. Everyone had food to take home. It was an excellent lunch. I really enjoy sharing a meal with Joey and her family. They are great conversationalist and have a real appreciation for good food. A really nice family.

So His Place is still putting out good food and well worth the trip. The entrees are in the $11 to $12 range and come with 2 sides and bread. The sandwiches are about 8 bucks.

https://hisplaceeatery.com/

If you haven’t been there you really should go.


Jimmy’s Dairy Bar 7065 S. State Road 67 Pendleton Indiana

Jimmy’s is an old-fashioned drive in. No car hops but you can order at the window and eat in your car; eat in doors or use their drive up. A triple threat. I am afraid places like this are slowly vanishing. Hopefully they can still flourish in small towns. There are a few left in Indianapolis but I am afraid “progress” will eventually take its toll.

This is the sort of joint that has a concise menu made up of both house made and “store-bought” items.

Pat and I both ordered two sandwiches and some mushrooms to share. I ordered a BBQ and a Sloppy Joe.

The BBQ was excellent. It was not dry rubbed and smoked and served sauce on the side. It was cooked in an unknown manner then sauced in a very unique sauce, with mushrooms. It was moist, tasty and abundant; and less than $5. When they serve the sandwiches they are wrapped in paper, which can be problematic when you unwrap to photograph.

Sloppy Sloppy Joe. It fell apart when I unwrapped it.

As you can tell from the pictures both of these sandwiches require a fork. I have been a fan of the Sloppy Joe since I was a kid and I think the one at Jimmy’s is the best I have eaten. The meat was looser than most and didn’t have the sweetness that most others have. It wasn’t a Maid Rite or Loose meat but probably something in between; as it had a tomato presence. In either event it was a big hit.

Pat wanted to show what was under the lid. Look closely and you can see the mushrooms.

This is Pat’s tenderloin and the mushrooms. The mushrooms were one of those “store-bought” items on the menu. Not worth doing again.

Pat got a chocolate malt to top off his lunch I got a chocolate soft serve cone. I honestly can not remember the last time I had soft serve. It was so good it makes me wonder why it has been so long.

Their dining room is actually pretty spacious and don’t forget the drive through if you don’t want to come in.

They even have picnic tables out back. They got you covered no matter how you roll. This place is a keeper.

 

 


Dukes Honky Tonk 2352 S. West Street

This building has been around for a while as the Ice House, a legendary tavern on the near South side. The owners decided to retire and an old customer decided that he wanted to realize his dream. Owning a Honky Tonk. To him that meant live music and fried chicken dinners at night. During the day the menu is like most taverns or bars, with a few exceptions. They feature a rotating BBQ special from Black Metal BBQ which is a mobile catering truck that has its base at Dukes. They also feature Hatch Chiles on their menu in the form of a green chile cheeseburger and as a pick me up in their mac and cheese. They import them; I assume from New Mexico. I asked but our server wasn’t sure. No matter where they came from that was what I had to order. I also went for a side of mac and cheese, for a slight up charge.

The sandwich was excellent. A moist patty smashed on a flat top served on a bun wonderfully toasted with just a hint of hamburger grease. The only thing I would do different would be to 86 the lettuce and tomato. They just interfere with the chiles. As for the mac and cheese it was Ok, the chiles carried it for me. To me mac and cheese has a roux made cheese sauce mixed with macaroni. Then the dish is put into an oven with buttered bread crumbs. I can appreciate and enjoy other versions but they are not my preference. The noodle in this dish was nicely done and the cheese sauce was smooth and creamy. It just wasn’t what I expect in a mac and cheese around here.

So if you are a freak for Hatch chiles or if you need a pressure fried chicken dinner then now you have a place to go.

https://www.dukesindy.com/

https://www.blackmetalbbqindy.com/

 


BBQ Heaven 2515 Martin Luther King Blvd.

This place has been around since 1952 and yet I believe this is only the second time I have been here. I have gone to their store on 30th street several times and they only offer carry out. I honestly don’t recall an out-door deck on this joint before. Well it is there now. When I eat here I usually get the BBQ on a bun or the rib tips. When I was younger it would be a big slab of BBQ’d beef Bologna on bread. Well today it was a small tip. No sides just meat. As much as I enjoy side dishes I just felt like meat.

What I enjoy about tips is they are for the relaxed eater. No gnawing on a bone ; you just pop a piece in your mouth and start chewing. Stopping long enough to remove any bone or otherwise inedible part. That is why I get them already sauced. One box of tips and 2 pieces of bread was enough to sate my appetite.

I didn’t get a taste of Pat’s ribs but I can say that they were some of the best looking bones I have seen.

Big and meaty just ready to be dipped into some hot BBQ sauce. I have always liked BBQ Heaven. Growing up there was only 2 joints for BBQ in the city Zeb’s and BBQ Heaven. I have no idea what happened to Zeb’s; it just disappeared. I am glad BBQ Heaven is still around.

http://www.barbqheaven1952.com

I hope this link helps plan your next BBQ trip


Greens & Things Eatery 4709 Shadeland Ave.

This place used to be called Bookers BBQ. We reviewed it in January 2017 and then they were out of BBQ so there won’t be any comparisons.

Pat order the pulled pork meal which comes with 2 sides for $12. I think he was bummed that it came in the form of 2 sandwiches. He is still avoiding non beer carbs and was expecting a pile of pork on a plate with a side of green beans and greens. He had the meat scraped of the buns before I had a chance to even think of taking a picture.

Pulled pork pulled from the buns.

I decided on a half slab rib dinner with collard and coleslaw also $12. I also ordered a small side of hush puppies.

My greens

Hush puppies!

I ordered my food with sauce on the side (SOS). I got it hot which had an interesting flavor. It was simply a sweet sauce with hot sauce added. I have had it at other joints but this one had a more vinegar kick, which I enjoyed. The ribs could have spent more time on the fire. They had a bit of fat and were a bit chewy. They weren’t the best I have had nor were they the worse. There was no noticeable smoke ring so I figured they were cooked in an oven. More time in the oven would have made then more tender and rendered more of the fat. Since this joint is new I have faith that they will get it together. The coleslaw was nice and sweet which I like with BBQ. The greens did have a nice flavor but they could have used a touch of crushed red pepper and a shot of vinegar. The pups had a great corn flavor and would have been great dipped into the collard pot liquor but I didn’t get much liquid in my greens.

Their menu is pretty basic and seems to cover most of the country food groups.

Overall I enjoyed my lunch. I was full and I had some food to take home. I will enjoy a return trip. They have a bunch of sides and they also have meatloaf on Sundays. It isn’t close but it is an easy drive.

 

 

 


The Rib Kitchen 1501 Prospect Street

This is a new joint that opened in November 2017. As I was told by the owner after they opened they closed for a while to do some re-organization. They did the re-organization well because this is a neat little joint. The menu is intentionally sparse. They also do a nice array of deep-fried appetizers sold by the pound. On the Q menu they only offer ribs and rib tips reserving the smoking of brisket and pork shoulder for specials.

This little guy stands at the counter where you order. The building used to house a KFC so the format is similar.

Pat and I both ordered the special. A pulled pork sandwich with a drink and 2 sides for $9.99. What he didn’t mention was the order of fried mushrooms we shared. The owner was kind enough to split them up for us. The mushrooms were interesting, the batter was tasty just a bit thick. I agree with Pat’s assessment on the pig and the sides 100 percent.

These are our 2 sides. Creamy slaw and Greens. The slaw wore a creamy dressing that coated without drowning the cabbage and the greens were in that perfect range of done but still having some tooth. The man also makes his own sauce which was really good as well. As we ate he told us about the brisket that he had to try as a special in the near future. A slow smoked brisket sounds wonderful, so that will be for my return trip.


The Patio 7206 E. Washington Street

The building that houses the Patio used to be a fast food place.( Arby’s?) Now it is a some of this, some of that Mom and Pop joint. The menu is extensive. They called themselves a Mediterranean Restaurant. Well they have that covered with Gyros and pizza. They also toss in a few BBQ items, some Mexican choices as well as fried fish, burgers and Tenderloin. A big menu. The Gyros were recommended but we felt more like BBQ.

This is not a place I would normally order ribs from. To me ribs cry out for a smoker and this place has none. So they would be baked; hopefully not boiled beforehand. Well I think they were boiled a bit before baking but they were still pretty tasty. They reheated them on a flat top and then sauced them. The meat wasn’t falling off the bone but you could separate the bones with a plastic knife so I think they passed the tender test. I was surprised at how meaty the ribs were, often spare ribs are a bit sparse. The slaw was very good. A mayo based dressing with a bit of vinegar that gave it a very nice acidity. I agree with Pat about the fries. They were fried perfectly. Crisp exterior and tender in side.

The only weak link would be the toast. Their attempt was laudable ( a touch of rosemary ) but it could have been toastier. However in the operators defense he may have felt hurried. Pat was up to retrieve the food prematurely so the guy may have felt like he had to sell it asap. However you could make a point he should have dropped the bread sooner. But that is such a nit I won’t attempt to pick it. Any more than I already have.

So we had a very nice full slab of ribs dinner for $19.25. We ordered an extra side of slaw and I think they gave us an extra side of toast and our total was about $22 ; including tax.

All of their prices seem more than reasonable and as big as the menu is if you can’t find something you want you aren’t hungry.

 

The Patio 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


Soul Bear Bar-B-Que 9120 Crawfordsville Rd. Clermont In.

We heard about this place when we had lunch at Jimbo’s, which is about a quarter-mile away. They don’t have a very big electronic foot print but I was able to find out enough to make me decide it was worth the drive. It is a basic BBQ joint with a basic menu. In addition to the usual pig and chicken they also sell fried fish.

Pat and I decided to share a full slab of ribs. A slab comes with 2 sides. Pat opted for greens while I decided on mac and cheese. Since we ate the same thing I only took 2 pictures. Unfortunately I screwed one up, so I can only show the one.

The pile of bones was huge. So big that we were able to eat our fill and have some left to take home.

I thought the ribs were pretty good. They had a good smokiness and while not falling off the bone they were still tender and juicy. I think they rank in the top 5 ribs I have had in the city. Their BBQ Sauce was excellent. We got medium and it had a bit of spice to it. They ladle sauce over the ribs just before service giving a nice puddle in the bottom to dip your bread in. The sides were rather small but with the pile of meat you get the sides are really secondary. I couldn’t make any comparison between this joint and Jimbo’s because Bear doesn’t do brisket. I can compare mac and cheese though and I liked Bears a bit more. It had a more “natural” cheese flavor.

It is a drive but I can see myself going back for the rib tips. Clermont is really a nice little town. It sits in the shadow of its more famous neighbor Speedway but it is doing pretty well on its own. Two BBQ joints, a coffee shop and a great little bar all within a half mile. It is large enough to support local business and still small enough to avoid the Starbucks encroachment. I think is a town with a future.


Jimbo’s BBQ 9211 Crawfordsville Road

This joint is located in an old house right on US 136. They have limited seating and parking in the rear. Just in case you aren’t sure where you are this is on the side of the house.

It is small place that is as neat as a pin. All of the food they offer is listed on 2 chalkboards on the wall.

As soon as you park and step outside your car you can smell it. When you walk through the front door you can smell it. A carnivore’s dream. Smoked meat. Pat and I both enjoy BBQ and have eaten at several but I don’t recall that many joints that offer chili; and none that offer Brunswick stew. The stew tempted me but I was there to try the BBQ so I ordered their brisket special with one side and drink for $8.99.

The bun was pretty generic but the brisket was far from being run of the mill. It had a nice smoke ring and an excellent smoke flavor. It was also very tender and lean. The sandwiches come undressed but they offer 4 different sauces at the table. Texas, Memphis, Kansas City and Carolina. The first three are tomato based with varying degrees of sweetness. The Carolina a vinegar based. I liked a combo of Carolina and KC. While the meat was exceptional the mac and cheese was ho-hum. Macaroni with canned cheese sauce. Very cheesy just not what I look for in a Mac and cheese.

Pat is right there are several joints that do a good job with pulled pork. It is just a matter of how good that determines where to go. That and location. Clermont is pretty far for the both of us so I can’t see me hanging out there. However I can see myself going back for the stew. That is not something you see every day.

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


Big Woods Speedway 1002 W. 10th Street Speedway In.

big-woods-001

Big Woods is a brewery AND distillery and originated in Nashville Indiana. They also have a joint in Bloomington Indiana. I believe last year they decided to make the move north to Speedway. The home of America’s Greatest Spectacle in Racing; the 500. It is a big beautiful building with an amazing interior of varnished wood.

big-woods-013

Quaff On is the name of the beer they produce. Also each beer has an individual name. So when you order a Quaff On flight you get 5 five ounce pours of beers that are representative of their brewing skills.

big-woods-004

I am not going to begin to describe each beer. I will say they were excellent examples of their craft. All for $13.

big-woods

big-woods-008

As soon as we pulled up I could smell their smoker. I love smoked meats. I find pulled chicken boring. Brisket is still hit and miss around here. A good smoked pork butt is getting easier to find and from the aroma of their smoker I figured this one should be pretty good.

big-woods-006

It was excellent. A great smokiness and the pickled veggies were a marvelous counterpoint. Of course I would have enjoyed more and a larger variety but carrot and onion are pretty commonplace in most kitchens. The bun was nice and I appreciated the sauce on the side. Their side options were kettle chips with truffle oil and parm, fries or kicked up slaw. For some reason I chose chips. They were okay but I think the truffle and parm bit looked better on paper. I forgot all about the slaw option. That was silly. Next time. My sandwich was $11.25 and Pat’s 2 topping pizza pie was $10.95.

In the beginning I mentioned that Big Woods was a distillery too. Their brand of liquor is called Hard Truth. They offered Vodka, Rum and Gin at first. Now they have a whisky. It is a clear liquor; like moonshine. So in keeping with the spirit of adventure I ordered a Manhattan cocktail.

big-woods-012

It was a wonderful beverage. It was incredibly smooth. Too often when all the components of a cocktail are alcoholic the first taste can be a bit astringent. Not here. That is a testimony to the bartender and the liquor. In my opinion.

Pat and I had a swell time. The food is good. The beer is good. The surroundings are good and the service was outstanding. I think Pat and I will both be back;even though it is a drive for both of us. We think it may be worth it.

Big Woods Speedway Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Bookers BBQ 4709 Shadeland Ave.

bookers-001

This is a little hole in the wall in a strip mall that is supposed to have some good Q.

It is also a neat and tidy little joint.

bookers-002

I especially liked the window treatment. How often do you see curtain sheers and swags in a business?

Or an aquarium;outside of a Dr.’s office.

bookers-003

As cozy as the spot was we were quickly disappointed. They were OUT OF Q. It seems they took the last 3 days off for New Years and were building their inventory. I think Pat was more bummed than I. They serve breakfast all day so he was somewhat placated with a bacon platter.

bookers-005

bookers

bookers-004

I had an easy choice. Their House Burger. That is a “big” burger patty filled with peppers and onion; like a meat loaf. Then topped with cheese. I had no idea how big until I got it.

bookers-006

It was a full pound of meat and I liked everything about it. From the crisp exterior to the peppers and onions inside. From the processed cheese to the over sized toasted bun. It was a guilty treat. As much as I enjoyed it I could only eat half.

Bookers has very reasonable pricing; both of our lunches were $7 each. Frankly I don’t see how they can put out a one pound burger stuffed with onions and peppers for 7 bucks.

Will I be back. Of course. I have to try their BBQ.

Bookers Bar-B-Que Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Grilliant Foods 4320 W. 96th Street

grilliant-003

This a very unique and interesting place. It is a small house in a predominately industrial area, stuck between 2 warehouse type buildings. For years it was just a grocery specializing in Eastern European foods. The place had a commercial kitchen and the owner would occasionally cook up since special meals from the old country. When he decided to retire he needed a special someone to take over. Enter Ernie. He was butcher by trade that had started a catering business that also was active in the competitive BBQ scene. He wanted a commercial kitchen so a deal was made. Ernie could sell his food from the kitchen as long as he maintained the European grocery and deli roots.

grilliant-001

These are two of the smokers Ernie uses. He offers ribs, pulled pork and brisket. He also makes sausage.  Both sweet and spicy Italian as well as Brats. Which he sells both smoked and raw. Their menu is small with a couple of specials tossed in. This day the specials were burnt end chili for $5.99 and beef and noodles for $4.99. For the beef and noodles he used short rib. He smoked them until they fell off the bone and them added them to broth and noodles.

grilliant-006

grilliant

grilliant-005

I wanted the brisket. A decent smoked brisket is still hard to find around here. So that is what I got, for $7.99.

grilliant-008

The meat was chopped which isn’t my favorite way of eating brisket. However I couldn’t complain because the amount I was given was more than generous. Also it had a wonderful smoky flavor. They serve the meat dry and you dress it with your choice of 4 different sauces on a cupboard to the side of the dining room. All of the sauces are pre-made. Sweet Baby Ray’s among them. That tells me that this joint puts it attention to the meat. For an extra 2 bucks I bought a side of baked beans. These were great. Thick and sweet; the way I like them. They could well have been the best I have had. We were also given a sample of their brat. It was delicious and practically melted in your mouth.

grilliant-007

Grilliant also competes in BBQ competition. Hanging above the fireplace are the ribbons they have won.

grilliant-010

So if you have a hankering for some real Q then you can get it on 96th Street. They also have huge breaded tenderloin. Speaking of which they have a challenge plate. One BT, a double order of fries and coleslaw and a full slab of ribs for $40. If you finish in 45 minutes you get your money back. A Fishers fireman tried and failed. I was told that a 119 pound woman body builder is set to try it this weekend. As Pat said it can be tricky to find. As soon as you turn off Michigan Road onto 96th Street start looking. It’s on the north side of the street. That big smoker is right out front.

Grilliant Foods Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Stacey and Rick’s Soul Food 3399 N. Sherman Dr.

Stacey and Rick 007

This place is primarily a take out meat and two joint. It does offer 2 booths on opposing ends that will accommodate 8 bodies; if they know each other well. Their small meals are a reasonable $10.

Stacey and Rick 006

I decided on a small tip dinner with greens and mac and cheese.

Stacey and Rick 010

Well the tips they serve are some of the skinniest I have had in a while. The meat was still tasty,just not a whole lot of it. Their sauce seemed to be a mixture of a prepared BBQ sauce doctored up with some hot sauce. Nice flavor just pretty commonplace. The greens were pretty good,hardly if any meat but they still held that hearty greens taste. The mac and cheese was pretty boring though. Cooked macaroni and a weak cheese sauce. The corn bread tasted like Jiffy. Which is fine with me,I like all types of corn bread; Jiffy included.

Stacey and Rick 012

Stacey and Rick 008

Stacey and Rick 001

Stacey and Rick 009

So I would give this place a 3+ out of 5. Good greens and decent cornbread and a fried pork chop that Persnickety Pat liked. I am sure their other food is at least as tasty,it just isn’t a destination for me. However I think if it was in my neighborhood I would try other things if for no other reason than curiosity. And to support local independents.


Divine 2 8748 W. Washington Street

divine 271

This is a BBQ joint;no more no less. It occupies one half of a building in a predominately industrial area.

When you drive up you can see a smoker out back and a big catering truck on the side. It is built for cue,not for style.

divine 279

divine 272

The sign out front says it all. Chicken,ribs and pulled pork. Of course,as their menu board suggests they also have some more non typical fare,like BBQ nachos and a BBQ Manhattan; which is bread topped with mashed potatoes, pulled pork and BBQ sauce. I’ve never heard of that before but pig and taters does sound interesting. Pat ordered his usual pulled pork sandwich with a mild sauce. They dry rub their pig so the sauce is served on the side.

divine 275

The portion they offer is easily a half pound,that is why it is served in a basket with the bun on the side.  With the amount of meat you get you could have made two sandwiches.

divine 001

Pat’s sandwich was $5.25 and the porkburger was $3.25. I neglected to take a shot of the burger,but I did get a bite. It was really good. Nice and moist with a decent hint of smoke. I would recommend it as an alternative to the common pulled pork sandwich.

I had the rib dinner for $12. It came with 2 sides and bread,plus sauce. I too got the mild and it had a slight taste of cumin,which I thought was interesting. For my sides I ordered mac and cheese.

divine 278

It was creamy and cheesy just not smack in the mouth out of this world. I guess folks don’t finish mac and cheese off in the oven any more,with buttered bread crumbs. For my second side I picked baked beans.

divine 277

These were some of the best I have had in town,if not the best. Brown sugar sweet and seasoned with bacon. They would be a wonderful foil to some peppery coleslaw. This brings us to the center of the plate. The ribs. I got 6 nice size bones. The amount was such that I would consider it a half slab;or close to it. The meat was super tender and the smoke waited for just a bit before it hit your taste buds. A bite off the bone,dip in the sauce,repeat. Not only were they delicious they were fun to eat. Definitely worth the trip.

divine 276

divine 273

The place is called Divine 2 but I never got around to ask where or what Divine 1 was. The catering truck? No matter this humble little joint does sell some great BBQ. I think it is more than worth the trip.

Divine 2 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Black Diamond BBQ 6404 Rucker Road

Black Diamond 013

Black Diamond is a small place with big BBQ. It doesn’t seat many people inside but it has a beautiful out-door area. We opted to stay inside to avoid the sun. They offer $6.99 lunch specials,which consist of a sandwich, side and drink. We opted for something more substantial with meat on a bun dinners. Pat got his usual pulled pork sandwich with sauce on the side.

Black Diamond 008

Black Diamond 002

Black Diamond 009

Normally I get a taste of whatever Pat is having,but this time I had enough on my plate just to finish. The portions we received were huge. I would guess 8 ounces each. I got the beef on a bun with beans and home made coleslaw. As I said the portion was huge, and since I opted for sweet sauce directly on the sandwich I had to use a fork to eat it.

Black Diamond 011

The size of the sides were more than adequate to complement the meat. Oh the meat. It was moist and tender and it melted in your mouth. Next time I will opt for SOS

. The beans were so so but the slaw was a nice tart and creamy counterpoint to the sweet sauce.

Black Diamond 010

So all in all I can’t think of any reason not to like this joint’s food. They also have pie and cobbler on weekends. They are in a great location too. Right off Binford Blvd. Easy access. And the prices are more than reasonable. We ordered 2 dinners and they were about $ 11 each. Like I said a good place to visit.

Black Diamond 010

Click to add a blog post for Black Diamond Barbecue on Zomato


Barbecue and Bourbon 1414 W. Main St. Speedway In.

bourbon & BBQ 002

bourbon & BBQ 004

Yep here we are. Speedway in May. There is just something special about the month of May in Speedway. Granted it is not the month-long spectacle it once was, but it is still a fun time. I would guess Barbecue and Bourbon has only been open for a couple of years, but as you can see from their sign they know how to make you feel welcome.

They don’t have a real big menu but they have all the essentials needed for a BBQ joint, done on their smoker out back. The first thing we ordered was mushrooms for $5.99.

bourbon & BBQ 011

These were quite tasty. Nice firm mushrooms with a slight coating that stayed in place went you bit into them. Some places just toss them into a pile of breading and hope for the best. These guys do it right.

bourbon & BBQ 013

All of their dinners come with 2 sides, ala carte they cost $1.99. Pat ordered a pulled pork sandwich for $6.79 and a side of fried cabbage. I got sliced brisket and mac and cheese. The brisket sandwich will cost you $7.99.

bourbon & BBQ 016

bourbon & BBQ 001

bourbon & BBQ 023

bourbon & BBQ 007

Way back there in the distance you can see the stands that Pat referenced. Not a great view but that sound is hard not to notice.

bourbon & BBQ 016

My brisket sandwich was nicely done. The meat was moist and tender, lean and tasty.I didn’t detect a lot of smoke but that’s all right it was still a good sandwich and the toasty bun was great. The mac and cheese was better than your average BBQ place. I can only think of one maybe two places that do it better. But it is a side dish after all and it complemented the beef well.

bourbon & BBQ 019

It was a beautiful day so we ate outside. However we decided to go in side for our adult beverage.

bourbon & BBQ 027

bourbon & BBQ 029

It is a compact little joint with a compact little bar. However compact or not they have one of the best, if not the best, collection of Bourbons around. Pat had a light beer for $3.75. Me, being the bargain hunter that I am got a Long Island Ice Tea for $2.50. Now I can not remember the last time I had one of those. No matter how dim my memory is I think that this was an out standing cocktail.

So we had good Q and good drinks, all reasonably priced. So the track isn’t the only reason to head to Speedway. Remember. Don’t go Bacon my Heart.

Oops. I put up the wrong pic for Pat’s pulled pork.

bourbon & BBQ 021

Here it is.

Barbecue and Bourbon on Urbanspoon


Garrett’s Smokehouse Barbeque 5502 N. Emerson Way

Pat and I have tried to hit every Q joint we can find in the area. This place hasn’t been considered because it doesn’t open until 4 PM during the week. On weekends, commencing Friday they open at 11. Since this particular place had mixed reviews it intrigued me, so we changed our plans. Not really sure it was a good decision.

garretts 006

That's Pat waving at the dude taking pictures

That’s Pat waving at the dude taking pictures

The place is small and clean and has seating for about a dozen diners. They have a small menu featuring the usual fare. Ribs, pulled pork, chicken and brisket. The sides are what you would expect and the deserts are house made. My interior shots will have to suffice because I forgot to take any pictures of the food. And the saddest thing was I didn’t remember that I forgot until I got home.

garretts 007

They have a cool collection of Pig Art displayed in the corner. All of their tables are covered in red and white checkered cloth and the chairs have an old school flair with comfy seats.

garretts 008

garretts 010

Since the brisket wasn’t ready I got pulled chicken on an onion bun. The bun was pretty good and not too common around here. The portion was tremendous for $6 but it was pretty dry. I think their biggest problem is the reheat of the meat. I am not positive how they re-thermalize their product but what ever way they use I don’t think is working. A BBQ sauce should not be used to make meat moist. I think their chicken may have been done well initially however their re heat needs some work.

The greens were good but nothing superlative. The peach cobbler was outstanding. A healthy amount of fruit and a good cobbler crust. I am sorry I don’t have any pictures to show you what we ate.

So all in all it was a passable lunch for me. Like Pat were I in the area I would try the joint again. However I wouldn’t travel that far just to eat there.

After lunch Pat and I went to the Tick Tock Lounge to meet some friends and I took the opportunity to try one of their signature Bloody Mary Cocktails, featuring in house bacon infused vodka, house made Mary mix and a unique array of garnish.

garretts 009

It was delicious. Spicy with a good amount of horse radish and with all the “stuff” added it is like brunch in a glass. A pint of Bloody goodness for 10 bucks.

 

 

Garrett's Smokehouse Barbeque on Urbanspoon