eating indie in indy

Brewery

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