eating indie in indy

Brewery

Two Deep Brewing 714 N. Capitol Ave. (revisit)

Pat and I have been here a few times. The last time was just 6 months ago. I am not sure what the urge was to go back so soon except for the beer and some really good burgers.

I wanted one of their burgers. They are really good just a little bit pricey. Even downtown. I got their “regular” burger for $11.95. Now they serve them as two patties each with a slice of cheese and a normal cold set. I got a bacon topper which probably cost a couple of bucks and like Pat’s sandwich you get a choice of fries or tots. I opted for fries and they actually served a modest portion.

They have gone from a single 1/2 pound patty to 2 1/4 pounders. I think I like them better that way. More charred surface flavor and more cheese. The bun is nicely textured but they do get a bit aggresive in the toasting but I like it that way.

So we liked the joint 2 months ago and we like it now and it is big enough for social distancing.


Upland Brewery Fountain Square 1201 Prospect Street

This is our first visit to this particular outlet but we know enough about the Upland brand to know we would get some good food. They have a comprehensive menu that should interest any appetite. https://uplandbeer.com/fountain-square/

Pat went in all in on the carbs when he ordered Mac & Cheese. A huge bowl of Cavatappi loaded with cheese for $14

My decision was made as soon as Pat told me they offered Bone Marrow. I really enjoy bone marrow but it is very hard to find. I can’t even find it fresh to make at home. So I was pretty excited.

I thought their presentation was spot on. Traditionally marrow is served with a parsley salad . They served theirs with an arugula salad. They also topped the bones with a “toasted almond relish” which didn’t really excite me that much. However what did was the addition of some beatifully pickled slices of a Fresno or Pepadew chile.

They also added some cherry tomato halves which brightened the whole plate up. Overall it was very nicely done. There seemed to have been a slight delay between heating and serving the marrow bones as the marrow was stubborn to get out. Hardly a deal killer as I will definitely get it again. Since my plate was considered an appetizer I was still a bit hungry so I ordered some dessert. A fried apple hand pie for 7 bucks.

Pat and I shared the slice and it was delicious. Fried crust with apples and cinnamon all on a puddle of caramel and topped with ice cream. What more could you want? It also went well with my choice of Champagne Velvet, which was their featured beer for the day so it only cost $4 per pint. I can’t think of a more pleasing lunch. The food, the beverage and the atmosphere were all great.


Two Deep Brewing 714 N. Capitol Ave.

https://www.twodeepbrewing.com/

Two Deep has been around since 2014 and I have been there several times. However this was my first time to eat. The previous owners seemed unsure of who they were. They changed their hours and food offerings a few times. It seem that they wanted it to be a club house for beer drinkers and at first encouraged customers to bring in food. When that didn’t work they added food service. At first it was pizza, I think,and then they moved on to something else. Now the new owners are treating the joint like a bar or pub that brews beer not as a brewery taproom with limited food choices. They have an extensive list of appetizers so we started with cheese curds.

They do not make these in house but they were pretty good for $7.45

Pat rationalized that since the cheese curds were considered protein he could order a battered mushroom app for $8.45. These they do in house.

I was leaning toward a brisket sandwich but then Heidi our server told me they buy it already smoked I changed my mind. In most cases “smoked” meat you buy has been enhanced with liquid smoke. They also offer smoked pork and smoked chicken so I guess I can assume they are all purchased ready to go. I eventually decided on a burger. If you look at their menu you will notice that the burgers are pretty pricey. A regular cheese burger for $11.95. I wonder why. The burgers come with a choice of fries or tots, I decided on a burger with Swiss and tots.

The burger was pretty good and the amount ot tots was rediculous. Pat and I both ate on them and I still had a pile to take home.

The piece of lettuce on my sandwich was really green and my first thought was they used the outer most leaf on a head of iceberg. The part that some cooks throw away. It did not influence the taste any it just looked “odd” to me.

Our food did take longer to come out then I think it should have. Also I ordered my burger med rare and that is not how it came out. These are minor issues that will usually work themselves out. The nuts and bolts of this joint are solid. Good beer, good hours and an appropriate menu. Most imprtantly they have good service. Heidi is excellent and the new “trainee” is spot on as well. I will be back I just wish they would start smoking their own meats.


Rad Brewing. Formerly know as Flat 12 Brewing 414 Dorman Street.

Another brewery but definitely not a Gastropub. I reviewed this joint not so long ago as Turn 3. Shortly after Books and Brew bought the joint out. https://kosherhamandcheese.com/2019/05/04/turn-3-chicken-and-waffle-flat-12-bierwerks-414-dorman-street/

The first thing I noticed was the pricing. They have downtown pricing for less than downtown sandwiches. They want $7.99 for a quarter pound hamburger which comes with a standard cold set and cheese. All of their sandwiches come with waffle fries. Rather than go with a burger I opted for their chicken. It comes both grilled and breaded. I wanted to see if the breast tasted the same as the chicken I had with my waffle. Well it didn’t. It was a good piece of chicken but the breading was different. So I don’t know what to make of that. Did they change the breading or change to a pre breaded product? My taste buds are old, like me, but I don’t think it is the same chicken. That could be why Rad has to charge $7.99 for a 4 ounce sandwich and Turn 3 charged $7 for the same size breast and a fresh waffle.

Normally waffle fries are treat but these were only average and not as crisp as I think they should be. As I wrote previously all sandwiches come with chose of cheese. I chose Swiss. Well what I got was not Swiss it was that abomination that food providers call Americn Swiss or White American. Cheese food without the annatto coloring.

One final thought about this joints pricing. Some places that sell burgers offer different burgers with different toppings and clever names or a list of available toppings at an upcharge. This joint decided to sell “packaged” upgrades at different price points. I think the price points, at $3.50 to $5 are just too high. Especially when they are in addition to a $7.99 base. I understand they use Smoking Goose bacon and chorizo and their product is expensive but I think I would go a different route. I still want to go back and try their waffle and chicken and maybe a grilled chicken sandwich as well. If for no other resson than to see what I get.


Taxman Brewing Co. 310 S. Delaware St.

When I can’t come up with someplace interesting to go to there is always a bar or tavern to fall back on. Or since the proliferation of Craft Brewerys the Gastropub. I think that word was coined so people would know it isn’t just a common bar that slings common beer but a joint that dispenses Craft Beer. One sign that it is a Gastropub is if they offer Frites instead of fries. Taxman has Frites. Their menu isn’t too convoluted just some basics that beer drinkers would enjoy. https://www.taxmanbrewing.com/home-cityway/

You may not be able to tell from the photo but Pat’s tenderloin is thick. Eight ounces of barely beaten pork thick. It was nearly an inch thick, something you would see served on a plate for dinner. Pat really enjoyed it regardless of how it was prepared.

I had wanted to try one of their waffles but they were out for some reason. So I opted for a double smash burger.

It was an unpretentious sandwich. Two patties from Turchetti smashed on a flat top and covered with American cheese. Like Pat’s sandwich it came with a pile of Frites.

Pat and I both were not overly impressed with the fried potatoes. In our estimation the fries from Upland and Chicago Beef and Dog were better. They were crisper which we both preferred.

The building used to be a stable and it was moved to this location and rehabed. They did a fantastic job. They also added a beer garden for the warmer weather. I think this will be a great place to grab a bite or a beer after work. They also serve spirits and wine and will be open for Brunch and everyone loves Brunch.


Offshore at Sun King 1021 Broad Ripple Ave.

Sun King is the largest Brewery in Indianapolis and has been around since 2009. It has expanded quite a bit in that time. Their main brewery downtown has grown from half a ware house to 3 large buildings and they have smaller locations in Carmel and Fishers. I don’t believe they would have a presence in Broad Ripple were it not for the closing of Three Wise Men. They bought all of their equipment at action which included a full kitchen. Sun King does beer but it doesn’t do food. That is where Offshore comes in to play. Offshore is the small sibling of Pier 48 Fish House & Oyster Bar which is new to Indy. It currently is a lunch and dinner house in the new Hyatt hotel downtown. The owner, Fred Knipscheer is a former Boston Bruin hockey player whose family has fished the Atlantic for generations. That is his hook, serving fresh fish caught by his family and flown in from Maine. As a “foodie” that was the most exciting news I have heard all year. After a shopping trip I stopped for a wheat beer and a bowl of clam chowder.

The picture was rotten but the chowder was excellent. Hot bowl of clams, cream and potatoes. A cold Hefeweizen was a perfect match. A bowl was a reasonable $8.

Patrick’s coleslaw without onion.

Lobster Roll- $15.50, Wee Mac beer- $6. Rendering Pat speechless- Priceless.

They offer sliders at various price points. Since fried oysters is one of my favorite sandwich fillings I opted for 2 Oyster BLTs for $11.50. The sliders are served with a bag of their house made chips.

The little Oyster sliders were delicious. A bright combination of briny sweet oyster and a salty smoke of the bacon all topped off with a cold set and a spicy mayo. The roll they use appears to be a lobster roll bun cut in half. Excellent bread and the chips were possibly the best I have had in this city. A slight BBQ flavor that would go well with any beer.

I think this is easily the best addition to the Ripple that I have seen. At least since Three Wise Men came in because it was only the second brewery in the village. Well Sun King has better beer and seafood beats out pizza and calzone any day in my book. I am sure some folks will be put off by the price of some of their items but what you must keep in mind is the fish has never been frozen. And in Indiana in the winter time that is indeed something.


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.


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.


Daredevil Hall 2721 E. 86th Street Suite 180

Last week it was a small joint run by 3 women and this week it is a well know brewery that started in Speedway and now has expanded to the North side of Indy. The place is spacious and has a great patio for the warm weather. The Brewery Taproom in Speedway offered a small menu but also allowed folks to bring in carry out or order food from other places nearby. That is something a few breweries do. They may not offer food so they let customers bring in their own.

However here I don’t see them letting someone brown bag it. Their menu is predictable. That is not to say it is a bad menu or that the food is bad it is just that it is like so many “gastro pubs”. Some bar faves and others more trendy and hip.

http://daredevilbeer.com/thehall/

We had another fellow with us named Ed. He has an appreciation of food and drink and it is always nice to hear his thoughts. He ordered a steak sandwich for $12. All of their handhelds come with fries or salad.

While we were waiting for Ed Pat ordered some Poutine, because he was hungry and that served as our appetizer. Sadly I didn’t take a picture until after we had started eating.

Normally Poutine is served with a gravy covering the fries and the cheese curds on top of that. Pat wanted the gravy on the side because of possible onion issues. There were a few really burned pieces of potato but those were my favorite bites. A good layer of gravy probably would have prevented that. Now for Ed’s steak sandwich.

Ed thought his steak sandwich was good. The meat tender with no gristle, and the fries were excellent. I agree with him on the fries. They were twice fried so they ended up crisp and hot.

I opted for the Daredevil dog. That is an all beef sausage with pub cheese and a Colorado pork green chile. I wasn’t sure what this was but if it has green chiles in it then I am in. It turned out to be a nice portion of pork simmered in a green chile sauce. I would have been happy with a bowl full with a couple of flour tortillas. As it was I used it as a topping for my dog and a dipper for my fries. I ate most of it with a spoon. Overall it was a good plate. The dog was tasty and the pub cheese was a slightly spicy bridge for the green chile. I would get it again but sub a salad for the fries. Who can eat all the fries they give you?

So this joint has pretty good food and very good beer but the service left a bit to be desired. Our server was nice enough he just seemed a couple of steps behind. If he want’s to work in this industry he might want to develop a sense of urgency.


Upland Brewing College Ave. 4842 N. College Ave.

Upland is a successful brewery from Bloomington. In the early days of the blog we visited it. About 10 years ago they opened up a tasting room on College. It was a place where you could have a few beers and maybe get a growler refilled. I was only there once or twice because they never seemed open when I wanted to go. A couple of years ago Open Society opened a large space next to Upland’s. When they closed Upland moved in and now they have a real restaurant/bar at a very convenient location.

When I go out to eat I try to get stuff I don’t like to make at home. Either it requires too much time or the ingredients are hard for me to get. On this day I opted for their grilled cheese.

Toasted Sour Dough Bread, Smoking Goose Ham,
Pimento Cheese, Peppadew Peppers

I love each and every one of those ingredients.

It was a messy sandwich but what should you expect? The pimento cheese was very good and the ham had been browned a bit on a flat top so it had a nice crispness. The bread was well toasted and it even had marks that it been but on a char grill. I like that because it brings another layer of flavor. The Peppadews seemed to have gotten lost but it was still a good sandwich. They offer it with fries or chips from the Broad Ripple Chip Co. I got chips. They were okay nothing extraordinary.

We knew the beer was good and now we know that their food on College is on a par as the food they serve in Bloomington and that after all is the Mothership.


Liter House 5301 Winthrop Avenue. (revisit)

I visited this place solo about 2 months ago. Pat was out-of-town and he didn’t seem too excited about their menu. He considered it too nouveau or something. I just think it had more embellishments than he would have prefered. That is just the way restaurants conduct their business anymore. It takes a lot of bells and whistles to make someone pay 9 or 10 dollars for a sausage sandwich.

https://literhouse.com/

Their smokehouse is finished so I was looking forward to some smoked meats. They have a few items and they also have the occasional special. The first thing I noticed was “burnt ends” for $8. I think burnt ends are some of the best part of the brisket. It comes from the second cut of the brisket which is also the fatty part. If done correctly, and that includes a proper trim they are delicious. Moist and tender with just enough fat to be flavorful. They are also not too common around here.

They serve theirs with a side of pickles and Crystal hot sauce and they were excellent. It was a nice size portion that I couldn’t finish.

The other thing that jumped out at me was fried smelt. I have a thing for smelts and they are even harder to come by than burnt ends.

Another nice amount well worth the 10 buck price tag. The offered a garlic mayo which was all right but I would have preferred a cocktail sauce or a plain old tartar sauce. Another plate I enjoyed but couldn’t finish. My eyes were bigger than my stomach but I did take home dinner.

Their beer garden isn’t quite finished but I expect it will be hopping once warm weather arrives once more. Imagine a nice Spring day munching on a plate of dry rubbed smoked wings and drinking a Big Lug beer under a warm Hoosier sun. Sounds good doesn’t it.


Books and Brews 6420 Cornell Ave.

This a local chain with about 9 locations with the Mothership up around 96th Street. According to their website franchising may be available so I have no idea how many if any are franchises. The concept is rather novel. All of their places have print book libraries where you can browse and read with your lunch. The books are also available for sale.

https://www.booksnbrews.com/broad-ripple

All of their beers and menu items have literary names and to be honest some are pretty cheesy; but that’s okay. Beer and cheese go well together. Pat ordered off the Special menu and got the Return of the King

In addition to Panini style sandwiches they offer Naan-Fiction. That is their version of pizza. The flat breads can be ordered with choice of sauce and various other toppings. The options are red sauce, BBQ sauce or buttermilk Ranch. I really don’t get the Ranch at all, but I am sure they offer it for a reason.

My piece of Naan-Fiction was called the Wilbur. Pulled pork with mozzarella, cheddar cheese and garlic salt. With that combo I went with BBQ sauce. It was really pretty good. The Naan made a nice crisp crust. The sauce seemed exceptionally sweet but not excessively so. The amounts of pork and cheese were a trifle sparse but all in all not a bad lunch for $9. I would probably do it again, but more than likely I would try one of their other options.

This is a nice little joint. It is North of the Canel. That is the quiet part of the Village. It is also the part with trees in the front. We ate on the porch so it was more like having lunch at a friend’s house. I want to get back and enjoy the quiet and their beer and food again.

 


Liter House 5301 Winthrop Ave.

https://literhouse.com/

This was Bent Rail Brewery and now it is another part of the Sahms Family empire. I thought their Big Lug was ambitious but this could at least rival that location. As you can tell from the name that they have a German theme going on with a beer Garden planned. They also have a large smoke house in the works. They hope to have the whole project completed by Oktoberfest.

As an appetizer I was tempted between the rabbit pate and the Cornwurst. They were out of the pate; so by default it was the Cornwurst; pulled pork corn dogs, curried ketchup, rutabaga mustard for $8.

These little things were crazy. A nice pulled pork wrapped in a beautiful corn dog type batter. The curry ketchup and the mustard were very good complements to the corn-ness. The only possible critique would be the dryness of the “wurst”. In order to shape and coat the pork balls they were limited on the amount of sauce they could use. More ketchup would help.

For my main lunch I ordered a Bratwurst. They don’t make their own sausage yet. They do make their own buns though. Right now they have Smoking Goose make their sausages to their own specs.  The brat was excellent, full of flavor and a very nice snap to it. The mustard creme fraiche brought a nice creaminess to the sandwich which balanced nicely with the fried shallot.

For my side I got a simple side salad. However it was hardly simple in taste.

I ordered it with their smoked peach hefeweizen vinaigrette. It was a clean and fresh dressing that clung to the greens and enhanced their taste. The way I think a salad should be. It could be my imagination but it seems as though every salad I have gotten from a Sahms restaurant has been a cut or two above other joints. This new place is another home run for the Sahms and I am looking forward to Oktoberfest.


Happy Brewing 3902 N. Illinois Street

I am sure some people will ask the same question that is always asked when a new brewery opens. “Do we really need any more breweries?” Well I don’t see how that is possible. Can you have too much happiness or too many smiles? I don’t think so.

Happy Brewing opened in one of the defunct Double 8 grocery stores. It opened about 2-3 months ago with typical brewery hours. No lunch just evenings and noon opening on weekends. My first trip there was on a Sunday to sample some beer. I really enjoyed the beers I tried. They have a nice ale and a great cream ale but the show stopper was their Happy Hopper. Be advised though it has a ABV approaching 11 so it is best consumed in small quantities. Their cream ale is less than 5 ABV so it is more like a session beer. A brew you can drink while mowing your lawn. I think the owner Gabe has plans on canning it in the future. As of the past week they took the bold step to open for lunch.

Their menu is small and concise and it is all done in a kitchen without an exhaust hood. For those who don’t know all commercial kitchens require an exhaust hood when the cooking process produces fumes or smoke. Further more you will also need a fire suppression system. All of this runs into a bunch of dollars. Dollars they did not want to spend at this time. So now they have an impinger conveyer belt oven, a Panini press and a soup warmer. I think they pulled it off well.

On my first trip there I had their Italian sausage. It was a solid sandwich. The sausage had a slight spiciness to it but what carried the dish was the red sauce. It was very good. I ordered it with chips and pickle but in the future I will probably just opt for the sandwich alone. Beer carbs are superior to chip carbs.

On my return trip I ordered a pizza. They buy all the pizza product from Delco a Hoosier firm founded in 1957 that sells all things Italian related. That includes the raw dough they use for the pizza and the Calzone.

I thought it was a nice pie. The crust had a slight chew and again that marinara sauce has great flavor and richness.

I have only tried 2 items on their menu but I plan on trying more. This joint is very close to home so I can see myself there weekly. I had a very good conversation with Gabe on my first lunch trip. He has some great plans for his place. Patio seating and even a rooftop beer garden and in time he would like to have a “proper” kitchen. I am always excited for new places to eat. Especially one so close.


Bent Rail Brewery 5301 Winthrop Ave. (Revisit)

We visited this place about 2 years ago, right after they first opened. They weren’t brewing their own beer yet but they did offer some quality grafts. Now they are now offering their own brews. There are a couple of eating places close by that I thought we could try and then stop at BRB afterwards, but we couldn’t agree so here we are. New beers and a new menu makes this like a new joint.

The menu on their website isn’t up to date as they changed it about a week ago. The biggest change may be the bread they use. The menu suggests several different bread options but all we saw was Texas Toast. I hope they have other breads because, as much as I like the TT I don’t think it works on every sandwich. Pat’s BLT for example.

Unless you plan on using a pound of bacon I think 3 full slices of Texas Toast is a bit much.

I fell back to my comfort food zone and ordered the Meat Loaf Sandwich. Their version was a big slab with bacon, fried onion straws and smoked Gouda cheese. Alas the cheese was of the shredded variety and I am not a fan of shredded cheese on a sandwich. The fried straws added a nice crunch along with the bacon. The poor cheese was pretty over whelmed though. The meat loaf itself was quite nice and I really appreciated the “bark” on the edges. I would have it again with a few alterations.

The beer is top notch as well. Their wheat beer is oh so drinkable. They sell pints for $5 to $5.50  They also have a an interesting selections of house cocktails in the $7 to $9 range. Our sandwiches were $9.50 each and for an extra buck fifty we were able to pick our sides. Normally the sandwiches come with chips. All in all this joint is working out to be the joint I thought it would be. Good food made in-house and now some great beer to go with it.

 

Bent Rail Brewery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


ZwanzigZ Pizza 1038 Lafayette Avenue Columbus Indiana

On the road again. Of course we picked one of the hottest days to do it but we had a reward of cold beer awaiting us. ZwanzigZ is not just a pizza parlor it is a small brewery as well. It has won awards for their effort so they take their beer seriously. Their menu is small; revolving around fresh dough, sauce and cheese.

I decided on one of their specials a 3 meat slice with 2 bread sticks, dipping sauce and drink  for $ 5.49. I am not sure what Pat’s sandwich cost because of his modifications but the total was less than $11; with tax. That is the deal of the year. No wonder the place was full with a line.

My slice was huge. The crust was more bread like than I like but the sauce and cheese more than made up for it. It was a really nice slice and with the bread sticks a carb coma inducing bargain.

You order at a cashier station, take a number and they bring the food to you. We sat in the bar area so we could have some beer.

The beers we sampled were quite tasty. The ales were not overly hoppy and the wheat beer had a nice finish. The most unique was the Chocolate beer. It was a sweet amber beer loaded with vanilla. The stout was probably our favorite. The beers are as reasonably priced as the food. A flight of five is $7.50 and a growler refill is $7. This place may be new to us out of towners but it is definitely a success with the locals. It is only a 40 minute drive from Indy and I think it is worth it. There is also the added attraction of Zaharakos Ice Cream. We’ll save that for another time.

 

Zwanzigz Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Hoosier Brewing 155 Holiday Place Franklin Indiana

We just love new Breweries. We especially love the ones open for lunch. Quite a few don’t open until 4:00 PM. This particular one has been opened for a while but I didn’t discover it until recently. It is quite the drive; 27 miles from me and 20 miles from Pat’s. Even with a map we still got lost.

Now what would be a trip to a new brewery without a flight of beers.

We opted for the flight of 8 for $10. I think only 6 of the beers offered are brewed at Hoosiers, the remaining two were guests. I was not sure which beer was which I just drank ’em. I think they may want to find a way to name the brews for the patrons without relying on the memory of the server. At least they may want to have a beer list.

They have a nice sized menu; featuring the usual stuff and a few “surprises”.

https://www.facebook.com/HoosierBrewhouse/menu/

I was intrigued by cod for the fish and chips and the  tenderloin. Both are smoked then battered and fried for service. Pat wasn’t too sure about cold smoked cod so he opted for a tenderloin sandwich for $9.99.

In addition to a sandwich they a General Tso’s Tenderloin in a bowl. That would be a bowl of rice topped with Red Flyer battered tenderloin bites with Tso sauce and green onion. Sounded good and it was.

I enjoyed the slight smokiness of the meat and the batter was a pleasant alternative to a more conventional breading. Their Tso sauce tasted a lot like Mae Ploy; a sweet Thai chile sauce. That was fine I like Mae Ploy. I usually keep a bottle on hand at home. I would have liked some sauce between the rice and meat as well as on top; or at least some soy available. Over all a pretty good lunch for $8.49.

So these guys brew some pretty good beer. A nice stout? As well as one with a coconut flavor to it. They seem to have a nice balance of hop and malt in their selections. As for the food they offer a smoked ribeye steak dinner for $19.99 in addition to a respectable lunch menu. That may be the reason for a return trip.

Hoosier Brewing Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


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

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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


Four Day Ray 11671 Lantern Road Fishers Indiana

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This joint brews beer. But it is more; it is a Gastropub. I have seen that word around a lot more recently. That led me to believe it was possibly more than a made up word. Like Gastronaut. I looked it up on Google and this is what I discovered.

gas·tro·pub
ˈɡastrōˌpəb/

noun

BRITISH
  •                   a pub that specializes in serving high quality food.
 Yelp even offers a list of the “best” gastropubs in Indy. According to the list I have eaten at a few of these places and I hadn’t even noticed. I am guessing that if their menu uses the words confit and or aioli you may be at a gastropub.  What ever the joint calls itself as long as the food is done well that is all that matters.
As I mentioned this is a brewery. The picture I started with is on the outside of the building in the parking lot. The place is huge and appears to have been constructed just for this operation. They have an upper level  that allows them to seat more than 200 eaters and drinkers.
four-day-ray-006The sandwiches are in the $10 to $13 range and the beers are $5.50 per pint. The going rate at most breweries; and most joints in Fishers. A cautionary note about their beer flights. They serve the flights in 5 ounce pours; as many as you would like at $2.50 each. I think that is a bit high for anywhere.
four-day-rayfour-day-ray-005Since Pat got the BT I opted for a burger. I just feel better when we order different things. I noticed they had a double burger available which made me ask the server how big a patty they serve. He had no idea. He just said they were “big”. Hopefully he will learn his menu soon. I ordered my burger Mid-rare. It came out close to medium. They use a 2-year-old cheddar from Fair Oaks Farms as one of their cheese choices. That is what I ordered and it was delicious. As a matter of fact the burger was pretty damn good, overcook and all. I was also impressed with the fries. They had a crunchy exterior and a soft interior and the sprinkling of coarse salt really made them exceptional. For what it is worth the burgers appear to be 6 ounce.
four-day-ray-004So I wouldn’t mind going back but I agree with Pat about the distance. Maybe when the weather warms again.

Four Day Ray Brewery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


The Tap 306 Mass. Ave.

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Well one more brewery has come to town. Actually this one isn’t brand new. It originated in Bloomington where it still does a brisk business they just thought they would follow some of the grads to Indianapolis. Be careful with the address. The place is right on the corner of New York and Delaware in the new Pulliam Square project. Where the Indianapolis Star and News building used to be. How they managed to get Mass. Ave out of this I have no idea. This Pulliam Square is a rather swank affair and The Tap blends in well.

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It is a large venue with 2 rooms and 2 bars. Above the main bar is a stage for a DJ and a pull down screen with a rear projector for sports. After all the Big Ten football tourney will be coming to town in December. In the above picture the forlorn Santa looking fellow is Pat,and behind him is the row of beer taps. Seventy of them. It doesn’t seem too long ago that a joint having 6 drafts on-line was a big deal. Progress.

Their menu is the new typical for a brewery/bar. The Zomato link has a path to their website showing both food and beer menus. They offer pizza which uses a pre-made dough that comes in frozen and they stretch it to shape. Pizza is always a great choice with beer.

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I was drawn to the Ahi salad. A seared to rare sashimi grade Tuna on a salad bed. The bed is a coleslaw, sans dressing, topped with chopped romaine and cheese. In place of croutons they used crisp noodles. The kind that come in a bag that you serve over some Chinese dishes. Frankly I like them,they give a nice crunch without adding a big flavor. The tuna was expertly prepared. Rare and melt in your mouth tender with a great little punch from the Teriyaki glaze used. The salad part was so-so. I have had better salad mixes before. The shaved Parmesan would have been a nice touch had there been enough to have noticed. It was almost as if it was added as an after thought. One very nice part of the assembly was the half-dozen grape tomatoes on it. You don’t usually see that many. The dressing they served is a cucumber wasabi creation. I don’t know if they make it in-house or buy it ready-made but it was very good. I think you could take some fallen leaves from your back yard and add this stuff and it would be delicious.

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So, overall I really enjoyed my salad, and like Pat. I would order it again. After the pizza;and burger. Another thing I like about this joint is that the windows let in a bunch of natural light so taking pictures is great. Also you can access their WiFi almost without trying. Parking;while hardly good;is better than a lot of places downtown. Of course the Pulliam Project is on going. There is a huge hole at the corner of New York and Penn. Still;I think it is worth a trip.
The Tap Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Big Lug Canteen 1435 E. 86th Street

Well we have another Brewery in Indy. Or as some folks called it a few years ago Nap Town. This particular place is unique if only in the fact that it is part of the Sahms’ Family of businesses. The Sahm family has been involved in the restaurant business for more years than I can remember,and I think their total stands at 10 across the city. So we have pretty high expectations for this, their first endeavor into brewing. They opened this past Monday and on Tuesday I went in to have a look. The place is a two-story beauty right on the Monon Trail at the corner of 86th St. and Westfield Blvd. To ease some of the traffic problems on 86th they provided a cut in onto Westfield Blvd. Good for them.

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This sign is a large sheet of plate steel with the name cut out by laser or water jet. Pretty dramatic. I was told that the cutouts were used for a sign in the upstairs dining area. I didn’t check that out then I thought I would wait until I came back. They offer their beers in sizes ranging from 20 oz. to 7 oz. The prices go from $6 to $3. So that means you can try 2 different beers and consume less than a pint doing it. I had a pint of their IPA and a Hoss-Dip appetizer for $7. The app was melted mozzarella cheese,topped with avocado mixed with Greek yogurt;Greekamole; spicy hummus and a black bean and corn salsa served with a big side of Frito scoops. The dip was pretty tasty. A nice bite to go with a beer.

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Today we both went,and we were both impressed with the space. An up stairs deck;overlooking the trail and an expansive patio mere feet from the Monon.

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These are the cutouts from the outdoor sigh;downstairs.

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These are the remaining letters.

Not only do they offer smaller pours for their beers they also offer half sandwiches and half salads. They even have a Big Lug Half N’ Half. That is a half a sandwich and a half a salad for 2 bucks off the regular price. That is what I opted for. A Bahn Lug; their facsimile of a Vietnamese sandwich with Smoked Pork Belly, Chicken Pate and Bahn Mi vegetables. I married that with a half Judo Chop Salad. The salad was a bowl of mixed greens topped with ham and cappacola as well as olives and bleu cheese. My choice may seem odd but all the flavors worked well together and there could not be any complaining on the size of my meal.

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Patrick decided on a BLT with grilled chicken and avocado; a full size and a half salad as a side.

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We spent $11 each for our sandwiches, a price I think is more than reasonable. The menu they give is unique and from what I have had well prepared. So. Good food. Good beer. Good prices. I especially liked that they offer “specialty” salads and each one offered a protein,be it chicken, veggie patty or ham. Basically all of their salads;except the House salad was a version of what could be called a Chef Salad. I am really excited about this place and what it can do to revitalize Nora.

Big Lug Canteen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Redemption Alewerks 7035 E. 96th Street.

Today we headed North to Fishers; the high rent district. It seems as though the new breweries,with few exceptions,have bypassed the far north of the Metropolitan area. That is why I was surprised when I realized that I had missed this one. It is a new construction in a strip mall in a heavily traveled area of the North side.

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It is an attractive joint and the brewing equipment is highly visible as you enter.

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As soon as you walk in you are greeted by the large semi-circular bar in front of you and the aroma of smoked meat and brewing beer all around you. If that doesn’t get your appetite up and running you are a lost cause.

The menu offers some unique items not usually found on a beer joint’s menu. Battered and deep-fried artichoke hearts or a basket of hush puppies on the appetizer menu. The artichokes at $7.49 are reasonably priced,I supposed, as I have never seen them on a menu around here. I do question the pups being priced at $8.49 though. I think across the board the food prices are a bit higher than what you would find at joints closer to the city.

We thought the beer they brew is excellent,having a beginning,middle and finish. Something desirable in food as well as drink. The pricing is from $5 to $6.50,with imperial pints selling for the higher price. That is the going rate for a lot of microbrews. They do offer a flight of 6 5 oz. glasses for $10,but I was told they would be raising the price to $12. So that may be incentive to go sooner than later.

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Pat’s sandwich was $10.49. Frankly I thought that a bit high for a below average portion. If I may digress a bit on the sliced vs pulled “controversy” pulling as opposed to slicing would save some money.

The sandwich I ordered was unique to me. It included items that I would not necessarily put together but I was intrigued. Here is the description from the menu.

http://www.redemptionalewerks.com/homeRedemption Alewerks Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Broad Ripple Brewpub 840 E.65th Street

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This is the oldest craft brewery in the state,opening in 1990. It was modeled after an English Pub. It is a series of several connected rooms,wood-paneled and rather dark. Just the right atmosphere for sipping ESB and single malts,not so much for picture-taking.

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Pat and I have both been here before. I just never felt compelled to write about it because;frankly I thought the joint was a bit boring. Not bad just not too interesting. Well they have changed their menu and have added a couple of new and exciting brews so I thought today would be a good day to review the Papa of Hoosier brewing. They have always had a good selection of vegetarian dishes and with the new menu they offer even more. The also added a cheese curd appetizer for $8.75.

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These were just plain good. A nice size with just the slightest outside crunch to offset the mozzarella cheesiness inside. I think these are possibly the best in town.

Pat ordered a Pub BLT for $7.95. You could get it with Applewood smoked bacon or veggie coconut “bacon”. For 2 bucks you can add Braunschweiger as well.

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I was intrigued by the Thai spiced Pork sandwich,for $10.

Marinated in our ESB and slow braised with cumin, Chinese Five Spice and fresh ginger, flat grilled on toasted baguette with shredded carrots, spicy cucumbers, fresh cilantro and mayo.  10.00

Sound really great doesn’t? Unfortunately it reads better than it eats. The bread was hard,the meat was dry and offered little flavor. If they were trying to offer a version of a Bahn mi I can think of a few ways they could have pulled it off better. I also decided on a side of onion rings which were okay. Thin slices of onion simply coated and fried. Nice but nothing to shout about.

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The beers were great. The stars of the line were two cask ales. A red and an ESB. Both were very drinkable. Pat tried a mix of the two. Pretty tasty. If you are a beer drinking vegetarian this may be the place for you. They have a nice new menu on their website so one bad sandwich won’t deter me from going back.

Broad Ripple Brewpub Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato