eating indie in indy

Burgers

Between the Buns 102 S. Madison Avenue Greenwood In.

This place opened about 2 or 3 years ago in the heart of Old Greenwood. It is housed in a 100-year-old building and is decorated more or less as an homage to the 70’s and 80’s. The table tops are all decoupaged with cut outs from that era. I think they are pretty cool but the shellac used to cover and protect the artwork can be a bit tacky to the touch. Unfortunately that can lead some folks to mistakenly think the table tops are dirty. Unfortunate.

The big hits on the menu are their burgers and their dogs. The burgers are hand formed half pounders and the dogs are 4 oz. The hook is the clever and creative toppings for them.

They have a lunch menu which features a select number of their sandwiches at a reduced price. All of their items come with fries. Pat and I are both trying to watch are carbs, so I was surprised when he ordered a plain Jane dog as an app.

I did get a bite ( a one inch piece) and it was very nice. It had little rips in it as though it had experience great heat. Maybe dropped in a deep fryer and then put on a grill? I don’t know but I think it would have been killer with some relish and mustard.

I ordered off the regular menu. A PB&J Burger for $9.99. Sound interesting? It is a burger smeared with peanut butter topped with bacon, pepperjack cheese and jalapeno. jalapeno is the J in the name. Then the thing is drizzled with maple syrup. Crazy.

It is a big burger and I had to cut it in half to eat it. First thing they cooked it mid rare for me; which is a big plus. Secondly the burger is really good meat. Finally all the odd toppings made sense. The peanut butter melted onto the burger bringing a degree of fat to the lean meat. The chiles and cheese brought some heat and the bacon brought a nice smoky crunch. The syrup just brought a sweetness that your taste buds never expected but appreciated.

One last thing. The french fries. I really liked them. They were nice and crisp on the outside yet a little mushy on the inside. As for the seasoning I found it to be a rather sublime accent to the potato. Most house seasonings are too spicy or too salty. This was like Goldilocks. Just right.


Between the Bun - Burgers, Dogs & More Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Rebar 20 N. Delaware

Yep; it is a bar. But to be more accurate it is a Rebar. Now what is a Rebar? Well in this case I would say it is a joint that has a wall of serve yourself beer. The concept is great. You get a plastic card. You place it on a sensor and the pour yourself as much beer as you like. You are charged by the ounce and they offer 20 different rotating taps. You can get  2 ounces for a taste or a 12 ounce glass to enjoy with your meal. To me it is a winner for everyone concerned. For the consumer you do not need to worry about an over worked bartender, and for the house the bartender is free to do other things. Plus the place gets paid for the tastes that folks expect to get. I should have taken a picture.

But we were here for the food. From what we sampled I would say that these guys have probably the best “bar” food around. The kitchen staff is composed of young people who went to the Chef’s Academy here in town. So they have a crew of knowledgable and creative folks that are in this business by choice. Which does make a difference.

They make the majority of the food from scratch. The exceptions are the buns, fries and cheese curds. The batter on the curds is reminiscent of what you would find on a corn dog. They were pretty good but there is better out there. It is a shame they don’t have the room to batter their own. I think they would probably hit it out of the park.

The dipping sauce they served with them was a dill Ranch dressing. Too close to tartar sauce for me but it was a decent condiment. They have set lunch specials. Pat opted for the house burger for $8.

Now isn’t that a splendid hunk of meat. Pat gave me a bite and it was as tasty as it looked. I decided on a pair of sliders for $7. You get your choice of an Angus blend burger, house smoked and pulled pork or a spicy sloppy Joe. I ordered the BBQ and the Sloppy Joe. Again I was impressed. I know pulled pork and sloppy Joes are hardly haute cuisine but some preparations are better than others . Even with the simplest of dishes.

Pat and I are in agreement about the chips. They served a whole bunch of them but they were fried too crisp for us.

This place is in a perfect location for me. It is a short block away from the new Transit Center. Since I do not drive downtown, and since it has a patio on a very busy street I can see myself sitting there having lunch and a couple of Adult beverages. Speaking of  beverages they have a Adult milk shakes featuring Graeter’s Ice Cream with various liquors.

https://www.rebarindy.com/

They are changing their menu soon so I am sure I will be back there at least once more when that happens. Actually I will probably be back with some regularity. It is a fun joint to visit.

 

Rebar Indy Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


The Mug (Irvington) 118 S. Audubon Road

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Well the wait is over. The Mug East has finally opened. The Mug owner bought the building and did a wonderful job rehabbing it. Originally the space where the Mug is was a Christian Science reading room. The center spot was a laundromat. Now it houses a Tyner Pond Farm store. That is the farm that supplies the Mug with all of its protein. That too is owned by Chris Baggott. Owner of both Mugs. The end unit used to be a cafe but will eventually house an upscale restaurant.

The Mug’s menu is the same as the one in Greenfield. They have Draft beer here. They also raised the prices. What was $5 is now $6.75. What was $6.75 is now $8. Life in the Big City.

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Jimmy has joined us on a couple of other occasions. Since he still has a job we have to plan in advance for the pleasure of his company. He ordered one of their excellent house made sausages.

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I was tempted to order a chicken sandwich. All free range and stuff. I think I ordered a chicken sandwich once. To me grilled chicken is an option only if beef or pork isn’t. I think the 8 buck price turned me off. Not that $8 is too much for a sandwich. Just that maybe $8 for a grilled chicken sandwich is. Since I had already tried their beef and dog I opted for a house smoked pork sandwich. Covered in BBQ sauce and topped with homemade coleslaw, for $6.75. Formerly $5.

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It was a pretty good sandwich. Not bad, just not knock your socks off good. I couldn’t detect much smoke in the pig and the sauce was average. As for the slaw I prefer a sweet slaw with a more prominent sauce presence. So a pretty good sandwich. A decent value at $6.75. Excellent value at 5 bucks.

I think their burgers, hot dogs and breaded tenderloin will keep people coming back. I know I will be back for another burger. One of the multi-patty ones. Their basic patty is one-quarter pound,so two will make a substantial sandwich. That is what Pat ordered. They also serve two forms of fries. One is your standard IQF variety  which was $2.25 in Greenfield. ( same as McDonald’s) They also offer a hand cut version fried in lard for one dollar more. For an extra buck they will take any fry toss it in olive oil and then parsley and garlic. Like Boogie Burger in Broad Ripple.

So I think they will be successful here in Irvington. They offer good service and a good product and now they have beer.

The Mug Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


The Tie Dye Grill 1311 N. Shadeland Ave.

Pat and I had lunch here a few years back but it was never properly reviewed. I did mention it in a post with some other places but nothing specific to the Tie Dye. I remember that I ate a Reuben sandwich and was not overwhelmed. That isn’t all that unusual for a joint that only sells Corned Beef as an option. This place has a very faithful following, and that prompted us to go back.

They offer a large menu with lots of cute counter-culture names for the food items that mimic the “psychedelic 60’s”.

http://www.thetiedyegrill.com/

According to the reviews the burgers are the “bomb”. Pardon the current vernacular but I haven’t used “outta’ sight” in more than 40 years. They use a 10 ounce burger and grill it to order,so if you order it medium rare that is what you get. I ordered a Chong’s chilli cheese burger for $8.95.

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The burger is huge as is the bun. I ordered it medium rare and that is what I got. This sucker is definitely a knife and fork sandwich. The burger itself was excellent and coupled with a nicely toasted bun made for a wonderful sandwich. The chili covering it was a bit average;too much cumin for my liking. I would order a burger again but it would be the “Keep on Truckin” burger. Just a burger with a bun and garden for $7.95

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This is a really squared away place,clean,organized and the service is great. I think it would be a good choice for lunch or dinner. They also have some very good music in the background;a nice selection of 60’s and 70’s music, not too loud either. So if you are an old hippie or a young hippie wanna be you have your old little “Woodstock” to visit for a bite.

 
Tie Dye Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


The Working Man’s Friend Tavern 234 N. Belmont

After going to more contemporary joints the last couple of weeks I thought we needed a change. We needed to go back to our roots. So we decided to visit a local legend. The Working Man’s Friend. Pat and I have both been here several times but this is the first time we visited together. Sometimes we forget that the older joints have as much to offer a community as the newer more trendy spots. This place opened in 1918 as a lunch counter built by an immigrant from Macedonia named Louie Stamatkin. We met the third generation owner; Becky, and she has as clear a business perspective as her ancestor. She showed us a copy of the history of the joint, the short version;but I didn’t bring my scanner so I had to rely on the phone camera.

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I apologize for the poor copy. I was unable to find an alternate source so this is all I am able to give.

The place offers several tables and a 60 foot long bar. A bar that was the longest in Indianapolis when it was built in 1952. Since their menu is limited they rely on 2 signs to tell the clientele. A small one on a side wall.

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And a more extensive sigh behind the bar.

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As a bar they do offer the basic liquors and bottled beer. As for their drafts they only offer Bud and Bud Light. Of course they do sell a 32 ounce frosted goblet for about 5 bucks.

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As for the “ambiance” it was as old-time as you would expect. No exposed ducts or art work. Just the usual beer distributor give a ways behind the bar.

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Pat and I both opted for burgers. They do have a fish sandwich,but Pat forgot that,or didn’t notice so he ordered a double with fries.

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About their burgers. They are simply ground beef, nothing proprietary,just plain cow. They seem to be put up in 4 ounce patties and then smashed on a hot griddle. The seasoning is minimal;if at all. The appeal is the beefy crispness of the burger. The bun is a generic store bun but the overall flavor makes this an exceptional bite. They use shredded lettuce;which I do like, even though I opted for just onion and pickle. For the double they give a middle bun;like a Big Mac. But you can get it without.

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My single was crispy and tasty. There is always a danger that a smashed burger can be dry. But if they are done with the proper amount of attention and brought out in time that is not an issue. Pat opted for fries but I decided on onion rings. These are beer battered and fried and are delicious.

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I was very impressed with the rings. I know they are the bane of Pat’s existence but if you aren’t allergic a good battered onion ring is a wonder. So if you want to wander into an Old School lunch room then by all means try this one. They are open from 11 to 5 and only take cash.

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Bacon, Legs & Turntables 1 N. Meridian Street

Now isn’t that an unusual name? I think it may suit because I think this is the most unusual joint to open in Indy in a long time. They offer an eclectic and provocative menu; featuring,of course bacon and all things legs. They also offer at night-time a D.J. Hence the turntables. They have juggled both their schedule and the menus a couple of times. I am not positive of their current hours. I know they have been shortened.

I went there right after they had their “soft” opening and ordered off of their opening menu. I had a couple of beers and a BBQ pork bruschetta. The dish was pretty good. It wasn’t bad, it just didn’t make the final cut. I have wanted to check them out once they had their last, for real menu up and running. I just never did until today.

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Now this is what we used to call a swank joint. Seriously they have done an outstanding job in the decor. Attractive and fashionable seating in a spacious and colorful space. Of course this was the site of the King Cole Restaurant, back many years ago. A place I have special feelings for, after 40 years.

Now I have got into the habit of checking out Bloody Mary’s when I think of it at various locations. This started with the Tick Tock Lounge, a few weeks ago. So now I am still in the hunt for “Which Mary shall reign Supreme”. This is the BL&T OMG Bloody Mary.

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Now this Bad Boy comes with  LONG skewer with a chicken drummie, a piece of bacon, a hard-boiled egg, a grape tomato and a pickled chile pepper. And of course the obligatory piece of celery. All of this to present a pint of Pinnacle Vodka and house-made Bloody Mary sauce. Twelve bucks. I say money well spent. A very nice cocktail and a snack. Appetizer and cocktail in a glass.

One last thing about the Mary. The wing was pretty good. I am not much on ordering wings out , but this little drummie was breaded and fried very well. Pretty tasty.

When it came time to order my lunch I decided on their OLD MCDONALD BBQ BACON CHEESEBURGER 
Lamb/Duck/Jowl Bacon/White Cheddar/Chipotle Bbq Sauce/Crispy Onions/LTP
$14

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Now isn’t that something? The first thing I did was cut my burger in half. I almost always do that just to make it easier for me to eat. The first thing I noticed was the aroma. A wonderful scent of toasted bread, smoky bacon and succulent beef. Now there are several burger joints in town that offer a wonderful piece of meat but this one particular burger with this one particular set of ingredients is quite possibly one of the best burgers I have had.

You have a large burger, big enough to cover the bun. That increases the surface area for the cooking and the carmelization of the meat. You have a very good bun, fresh lettuce and a wonderful assortment of bacon. Bacon. A treat direct from Heaven. Imagine all that with a sweet and spicy BBQ sauce and you have all the necessary ingredients for a spectacular burger.

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The only thing I can say negative is the menu called white cheddar and crispy onions. I got a white and yellow shredded cheese mix and some garden variety sliced onion. I am not a fan of shredded cheese on a sandwich. It might work if the kitchen has a salamander or a broiler. If you don’t save the shredded for a quesadilla. I expected a crispy pile of onions from your menu description. I’m not a bit upset at what I got. As a matter of fact I would suggest you 86 the onion and the cheese. That burger was that good.

Also I must comment on the house-made ketchup. It was really good. The fries are like a bunch of joints but your ketchup sets them apart.

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I know this last picture is possibly not best to present, since it shows a half eaten burger. But I must say it does show the result of a happy diner.

 

 

 

Bacon, Legs & Turntables on Urbanspoon


317 Burger 915 Westfield Blvd.

Okay. I have messed this post up already. This is the second joint we visited today, with the raw cafe being the first. So I should have written this first so it would be seen second. That way it would have a logical sequence. Oh well.

After our first course we needed some meat. This burger joint started out as dinner only but a few weeks ago they started serving lunch. During lunch they use a smaller version of their menu. No appetizers and most of their speciality burgers aren’t on there. Pat decided on their classic for $9 at lunch with chips instead of homemade fries. That is their basic Angus burger with cheese and usual cold set.

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When I asked our bartender about their speciality burgers he told me they could fix anything on the menu. Which I thought was very nice of him. I had my eye on the Parthenon. A lamb burger with “gyro bacon”, feta and tatziki sauce on a pita; with fries for $12.

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My burger was more than the mid rare I ordered and the “gyro bacon “was sliced gyro meat. I guess they figured that some crisp strips from a gyro cone would give a bacon effect. Well the overall flavor was very good but I think some lamb bacon from Smoking Goose would do a better job. As for the over cook that was just an all around goof. The meat had a bit of pink to it so it wasn’t  rendered uneatable, and as I said it was tasty. As far as the fries went they were your usual limp house cut fries. Tasty but not real crisp.

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So all in all they offer a pretty good burger. I would like to try one of their regular Angus burgers and see if they can do one medium rare.

317 Burger on Urbanspoon