eating indie in indy

Brewery

Blind Owl Brewery 5014 E. 62 nd Street

Well we have a new brewery in town. I think that brings the number to an even 2 dozen. Some say this influx will glut the market; I say; is it possible to have too much beer?.

Last week after lunch at Black Diamond we stopped there for beer.

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The place is a looker. Expansive with high ceilings,exposed brick and interior garage type doors to separate the different dining spaces. They also have a beautiful outdoor seating area,complete with bocce ball court, herb gardens and even bee hives for their brewery.

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The menu they are currently using is a pared down version of their opening menu. As I was told the kitchen had trouble keeping up with the huge rush of the hungry and thirsty. So they trimmed the menu down with plans on adding more options as the crew became more proficient.

Their house soup is Tomato soup with bacon and Creme Fraiche. A cup is $3.99 That is how I decided on starting my lunch.

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The soup was really good. A nice bright tomato presence with a hint of herbs and slight creaminess. The addition of bacon is always good and the slightly tart creme balanced it out nicely.

As for the entre the only thing I was sure of ,was that I wanted to try their onion rings. For that reason I ordered a grilled chicken sandwich. Normally I don’t order chicken breast out. The boneless,skinless breast can be a pretty boring piece of meat. What sold me on the Coop sandwich was that they added Gouda cheese and apple slices to the chicken and served it on a Brioche bun.The resultant sandwich was really good. The basic sandwich was $10.99 and for onion rings you pay an extra dollar. The rings were excellent. The batter they make is great and the result is crisp and tasty.

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Pat’s pizza was about $12, and you might notice that they use a cheese blend for the pies. Personally not a big fan of cheddar on pizza. I do agree with is assessment of Lisa. She was a perky delight.

The whole joint is just what you expect from a Lux restaurant. A well-trained staff and nicely crafted food. Oh and the beer is pretty great too.

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St. Joseph Brewery & Public House 540 N. College Ave.

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This was actually a church from 1880 to 1949. It was owned by the Diocese from then until it was sold to private concerns in the 1990’s. Nothing was done with it until a group bought it to turn into a brewery. This same group owns a couple of other joints in town. Chatham Tap and Ralston Draft House. Now both of these places are solid. I like them both. However I gotta’ say this. Considering the magnitude of this project they might wanna’ kick it up a notch. So let’s go in

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When you first walk in you are simply amazed at the size of the place. Wood floors. Wooden pews and foot worn stairs leading up to the balcony for the choir. Wood and windows gives it bright and warm atmosphere. I spent a half hour just looking at stuff.

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All of these last shots were taken from the loft. They also have seating up there. Pat and I decided to set downstairs. I  ordered a flight of 4 beers. I picked two and Pat picked two

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The flight was $7. That is pretty typical.

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Pat chose his lunch from the small plates or appetizer section of the menu.

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Pat was right. His small plate was $8.50. Small sweet tater tots, a few scraps of bacon and a bit of shredded cheese. They were pretty good, but they were pretty pricey.

I thought the menu was spot on. Of course, as always it depends on the execution. All of their sandwiches come with a choice of fries, pickled veggies, slaw or fruit. I decided on their burger. Named after the chef/partner.

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Smoked cheddar, pork belly, red onion & Beer B-Q sauce

Sounds tasty, doesn’t it. Well it wasn’t what I thought it would be. There was no bacon,pork belly. As it was explained to me the pork belly was incorporated into the patty, like a frikadellen. That is nice but it should have been written that way. I ordered my burger mid rare. It came out medium. Which is as it should be if there is pig in the mix. Tell people please. Also the smoked cheddar was shredded cheddar. Sorry I do not get it. Shredded cheese is good for a quesadilla. Not a burger.

The BBQ sauce was pretty good. The fries were ho-hum. And I really think a $12.50 price tag was a bit much.

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The bun was really good. Crisp and toasty.

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I did like their choice of greens. So I am not too concerned about this joint. They have experience. They have skill. I am just miffed that my burger wasn’t what I thought it would be. Of course your IPA was pretty good. So I know you will get it together. Just a matter of time. Just do it the way you say you will do it.

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Bent Rail Brewery

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Another new joint. According to the Star newspaper twenty new places are opening in Indianapolis this year, most of which are locally owned.  This place was the most anticipated, to me because it was the most ambitious project. A large property right on the Monon Trail with a huge old building that started its life in the 1930’s as a commercial cleaner. I doubt that the folks that put the building up could have guessed that 70 years later it would become a brewery. Or at least will soon be an actual brewery. Right now they are pouring other local beers. Of course some folks are whining about that. After all this time, etc. My thoughts are, get a million bucks and try your hand and see how easy it is.

I got a look at the menu just the other day and I was pretty excited. Naturally it all depends on the execution if it flies or not.

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The place is enormous. It will seat 200 folks. Right now they are not jamming tables into every inch, so there is plenty of room to move

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Yep that is a pin ball and a Pac-Man game. They also have a pool table by the brewery tanks.

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Surprising,to me they have a three-way license so they can sell spirits at their bar.

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But we are here for the food. I knew it would push Pat’s comfort level because all of their sandwiches are complex builds. That is to say they offer a protein and other “stuff” to both enhance the taste and the size. Pat likes, basically no more than two things on his sandwich. Preferably meat and cheese. I think he would have enjoyed other sandwiches on the menu, but he decided on the pulled pork.

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One comment on Pat’s reference to cumin as a herb. Most folks consider it a spice as it is a seed from a plant related to parsley. Like coriander is the seed from cilantro. He is right though, cumin has become rather trendy around here.

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I got the Banh Mi. It was not traditional, but I think it held true to the intent. Pork and sausage spiked with the pickled veggies, and punctuated with fresh jalapeno and mellowed with cilantro. The mayo was very unassuming, as it should be. The portion of meat was not huge I would guess it to be in the 4 to 5 oz. range but the other “stuff” made it  a big taste. I think anymore meat would have been a distraction. All food,especially sandwiches should have a proper balance and I think this one achieved that.

Oh as for Pat’s coleslaw it was very good. It would most definitely rock on a BBQ sandwich. As for the pricing it definitely has a downtown price, but then it is downtown food. I really want to go back. I mean look at that menu. And pints of a great beer for $4.50. Well needless to say we both liked this place. I think this joint will be rocking Sobro when it gets warm,especially when they start pouring their own beer.

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