Why do we have this blog? I am sure some folks ask that. It is really simple. We are two old friends that enjoy having lunch together, and an occasional Adult beverage. When I retired from the Restaurant Biz my old friend Pat and I decided to have lunch every week and BS about the past. After a few weeks we decided that we needed to share our experiences with people. Actually we bring some unique experiences to the table. I spent several years “touring” the south-west and old Mexico. I also spent a tour in Las Vegas. That is where I went to Culinary School; UNLV. After Vegas I opened a few joints in New Mexico, so I think I have an understanding of what it takes to be an owner/ operator. As for Pat he is very analytical and has pretty good food instincts. So we hope you enjoy our posts. More importantly we hope you find a place you want to go to and break that chain habit of eating
Three Carrots has had a presence in the City Market Downtown for a few years. This joint in Fountain Square is new. As a matter of fact it still has an “under construction” vibe for the exterior. As the name may suggest it is not a place for cheese burgers. It is a vegan restaurant. Pat and I may not be vegans or vegetarians but we can appreciate a Vegan lunch every now and then. Our server suggested that as many as 40 percent of the diners are neither vegetarian or vegan. They come because the food is good. Gook cooking will draw a crowd no matter the fare.
I tried a bite of Pat’s “tenderloin” and the texture was a very good match. The flavor was nice but I couldn’t say it was a match to pork. The taste stood on its own.
For my lunch I was intrigued with the Seitan Bahn Mi sandwich. The seitan was marinated in ginger, soy and lime juice and as expected the sandwich was dressed with jalapeno, cilantro, avocado mayo and pickled carrot and daikon. I am a sucker for pickled veggies so the choice was easy.
It was a big sandwich and it had a lot going on. I can honestly say I am not sure about the marinated “meat”. I liked it but the texture; while “meaty” had an unusual bite. Maybe if it were done in one piece instead of pieces. I am not sure. Maybe it was all in my head. You know the faux meat thing. In either event it was an excellent sandwich and I am glad I got it.
They offer chips and salsa with their sandwiches. They have other sides available for an up charge.
The chips and salsa were okay but I am not a fan of “blue” tortillas. However the size fits well with their sandwiches. I am sure I am preaching to the Vegan ,Vegetarian choir when I say how good this joint is but to all of those that eat meat remember. Good food is worth searching for, whether it is plant or animal.
Breakfast at IKEA
I know we are the guys who go to independent eateries in Indy; but this place just opened a week ago; and I have never been to Ikea. To me this is just some Swedish company that sells furniture kits and meatballs. A punchline to a joke. However they have a Cafe that sells breakfast and lunch and prices are low. The place is huge; a gigantic warehouse where you can buy anything you might want. They also sell 75 cent hot dogs.
The cafe has a cafeteria setup with one serving line that sells breakfast from 9:30 to 11:oo, lunch 11:00 to 3:00 and dinner from 5:00 to close. Pat got what they call a small breakfast for $1. That includes eggs, potatoes and turkey sausage. Milk is $1 as are the cinnamon rolls and a side of bacon is $1.29. So you get a pretty comprehensive breakfast for less than 5 bucks. Also if you become a “Family Member” you get free coffee.
I opted for a Swedish American Breakfast for an extra dollar. That is a small breakfast with the addition of Swedish pancakes and strawberry jam. The eggs are your typical cook in bags eggs you find on steam tables everywhere. Nothing spectacular about them at all. The potatoes were okay and the bacon was very good. Nice and crisp. The sausage was a surprise. It was turkey sausage but it actually tasted like sausage. The “pancakes” were not so good. They looked more like a crepe and they were quite chewy. Would not eat them again.
The best part on my morning meal was my piece of cake for $1.99.
It was called a Chocolate and Butterscotch Cake had it had a slightly toffy like crust and tasted like a creamy Heath bar with just the slightest crunch. It was very good. I would eat that again.
After breakfast we had to walk around and look at all the stuff. That is why they sell food here. To keep the customers in the store looking. After a couple of hours browsing, and after eating 75 cent hot dogs we went back to the Cafe. One note on the dogs. They are pretty good but they offer no condiments. I like at least a bit of mustard on mine.
Lunch at Ikea
I have heard so much about the Ikea meatball I just had to try them. Besides I had a coupon for buy one get one. So for $5.99 we got two Swedish Meatball entrees.
It was an interesting plate of food. The mashed potatoes taste real, the gravy was okay and the veggie medley was unique. It consisted of cauliflower, sweet potato and carrot with a bit of red onion. It was interesting. The vaunted meatballs were also interesting. To me I think less is better for these. The first few were tasty enough but the more I ate the less tasty they became. Maybe I just got full. If I find my self back there I will probably try them again.
This place is definitely a destination; just not for food. However it is nice to know that you can get some decent food while you are there; and it is cheap.
Yep we drove all the way into Fishers. The only reason I can think of is that Pat was on a mission. Earlier that day I proposed 2 possible joints for us to go to and Pat came up with some alternatives. His primary location was halfway between my 2 suggestions. Therefore it would be a “halfway house”. He also had 3 others on the list, which was a good thing, because we never found the first three. This whole Geist, Fishers area is crazy. If you don’t live here don’t try to navigate it without help. I have been in the area several times because my kid lives up there and every time I think I find his house more by accident than design.
Murphys has been around for years. In addition to the place we went to they have a Pub House on Thompson Road and a Craft House in Oaklandon. These are in addition to Murphys at Flynn’s; the home of the $11 filet lunch special.
It was a bit cool today with a nearly constant drizzle. The sort of day that demands beef. Since their steak special isn’t until Thursday I opted for the Steak Hoagie. It was a huge sandwich filled with steak, peppers, onions and mushrooms and topped with 2 different cheeses.
It was an excellent sandwich. Meaty and cheesy with just the right amount of veggies. It was too big for me to finish. Actually it would be a perfect sandwich to share. If I lived closer I would definitely get this to go; at least weekly.
This is really a great place to visit. Well run with good food and staff. The prices are what you would expect. Pat’s tenderloin was $9.99 and my hoagie was $13.99. Which at first seemed high until you see it. An easily shared sandwich for 14 bucks is a deal. So we had no complaints and highly recommend the place.
As you can see this is the most historical and stylish place we have yet to visit. I have included a link to their website which offers more information than the Cliff’s Notes version on the plaque in the front yard.
Naturally when you visit a house as grand as this you want to take lots of pictures. Unfortunately my camera battery was fading so I was only able to take a few. Fortunately they allow self guided tours M-F 9 AM -5 PM. They also offer tea on Wednesday from 1 to 4 with a prior reservation.
The food is provided by Food Guys Catering and they did a splendid job. The menu is familiar and yet it has a few offerings that are not that common. They serve Chicken Velvet soup which was a standard at the old L.S Ayres Tea Room and is legendary in these parts. They also use both Campari and Kumato tomatoes which is rare. In addition they have a Nicoise salad on the menu, also very uncommon. That is what I ordered.
Their version omitted the skinny French green beans ( Haricot Verts ) and used asparagus. They also added artichoke hearts and substituted fingerling potatoes for the red. The basic salad ( sans canned tuna) is priced at $6. For an up charge you can add grilled chicken, grilled tuna or blackened salmon. Feeling lucky today I opted for the salmon for 3 bucks. The salmon was actually skillet blackened and nicely done. I would have liked it a little less cooked but it was fine and it complemented the salad very well. I really appreciate a Nicoise salad because of all of its different components. From the saltiness of the olives to the sweetness of the tomato to the snap of the asparagus it was nicely designed and prepared. Speaking of tomatoes they seem to have use Kumato tomatoes on my salad, that explains the “odd” color.
At the end they brought us two cinnamon rolls that were pretty tasty, day old, but tasty.
So if you want to have lunch in a lovely old dinning room and eat some very good food at a more than reasonable price than you must try the Cafe at the Prop.
This review is long over due. Open Society has been open for more than a year but I never seemed to have the time to get there. It appears their main bag is coffee. They open at 7 AM serving pastry along with their coffee. They also offer Brunch from 11 to 3. After that it’s dinner time. The front of the place has all the coffee service, the back houses the bar. The picture I took is of the bar area.
Their Brunch/lunch menu has the usual suspects. Featuring egg dishes, hanger steak and fried potatoes. They also have a burger of beef and lamb. I have to get back another time to try that. However for today I wanted their version of eggs Benedict. With a Mimosa.
This is a first for us. The J.E.Light Cafe is a student run cafe associated with North Central High School. We have reviewed Courses; the equivalent outlet for Ivy Tech; but I wasn’t aware Indianapolis High Schools had such programs. North Central isn’t the only one but it was the one with the most up to date media ensuring us they were indeed serving Thursday.
The menu was small yet quite eclectic, with an International flair. From Korean soup to Vietnamese sandwiches and All American cheeseburgers. The prices; as you can imagine are more than reasonable. The entrees were $6.95; soup was $1.50 per cup and desserts were $3 and $1.50.
We both started off with a cup of soup.
The soup was very well done. Chunks of smoked brisket in a rich chile infused broth. An excellent remedy for a rainy day. Prior to the service of the soup we were given a basket of house made chips.
Quite a few “professional” joints make their own chips. I don’t think any place does them better, and most don’t do them as well.
As I mentioned earlier their menu had a distinct International spin. As tempting as the choices were I decided on a lighter offering. Sushi. I was more than a little surprised by that option. Sushi requires a few years to become proficient. However I think that if young cooks are taught the basics of rolling and forming and the ever important knife work then those skills will be beneficial in all cooking. So a tip of the hat to the JEL Cafe staff.
Their Sushi plate was composed of spicy tuna roll, inside out roll, salmon and tuna Nigiri and seasoned edaname. Plus the ever popular wasabi and soy as well as pickled ginger.
Once again I was impressed with the dish. Actually sushi is difficult to critique for me. Most rolls are consistent in the ingredients used. The only difference is the portion of the ingredients. I found this offering most enjoyable. Last but not least I opted for a dish of their Chocolate Gelato.
Another hit. Well made and richly chocolate. A steal at $1.50. It is a shame that their “season” is nearly over. Next week is their last service. Cinco de Mayo. I just might have to go back.
I think North Central has a program they can be proud of. Now is an exciting time to be part of the culinary scene in Indy.
This is going to be a fun post. Not only does this joint have good food it also has some great photo ops. Even for a bad photographer.
This is parked out front. I couldn’t get the whole car into the pic. I backed up all the way to the wall to get this shot.
This is the view we got when we parked. That is right. We parked right behind Sheriff Taylor’s squad car.
The town of Danville is the home for this Cafe. The cafe is an homage’ to Andy Taylor and the popular TV series featuring Sheriff Taylor and all of his friends and family. In addition to all the kitsch and pictures they also offer an amazing menu of good food.
To start we had to try the mushrooms. They served them in a metal cone, more apt for pomme’ frites;. I thought it was pretty cool for mushrooms.
The mushrooms were pretty good. Not exceptional but good. Worth the 6 buck charge. This place offers beef in many ways, all of which are slow roasted brisket.
I was torn. They offer a very nice salad bar for $7.50. They also offer variations with soup or baked potatoes with the salad bar. I was tempted but their house burger is a combo of sirloin and brisket ground fresh daily and grilled to order. That was my call. I asked for it rare. I was told they could do that. The burger came out more medium.
In defense of the kitchen Indiana has rules regarding the temperature of ground meat products. If I remember properly all ground meat patties should reach a temp of 165 degrees. So I can see a kitchen dude just agreeing with the server and then cooking the burger to what they consider “legal temp”. Some joints will cook me a med- rare burger with no problem. Some won’t. So it is probably a crap shot. What I can say is this was a very good burger. Had it been cooked to rare or medium rare it would have been fantastic.
So I must say I was quite impressed with the food. I also thought that the decor was wonderful. It is a combo of country kitsch and old-time TV memory.
As an end to our lunch we shared a strawberry shortcake. It was very good. Two thick slices of pound cake smothered in strawberries and covered with whipped cream. Three bucks.
So I think this is a wonderful place to visit. Not only do you have an opportunity to hang in a Mayberry joint you also have a chance to have some excellent food.
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.
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.
The sign is a bit misleading. The Thunderbird opened as a night club in 1950, and “rocked” it old school until 1972. I was never there. I went to old-time “divey” bars and for late night entertainment there was Broad Ripple.
I think this new incarnation opened 2 years ago as a dinner house. They just recently decided to give lunch a go. Here is a link to their website.
I suggested this place a couple of weeks ago. I think Pat agreed just to humor me. As he has said many times he is a simple man with simple tastes. Also he has a well know aversion to onion.
I don’t agree with Pat’s assessment that this place is a bistro. Their food is pretty much comfort foods with a Southern focus and a chef driven spin. Are their prices high? Yep;on some items. A 9 buck grilled cheese is high. On the other hand at $3 my biscuit sliders were quit reasonable. Especially when you realize a McDonald’s bacon, egg and cheese biscuit costs more.
One thing Pat commented on was how oily the chips were. Tasty but oily. Evidently they flash them in the fryer for a bit and then sprinkle them with old bay seasoning.
They have okra fries on their menu. I like fried okra. Finding it around here is difficult. The few places that offer it give you this frozen stuff in a bag . Here they buy it fresh, cut it and fry it to order.
You get a nice sized bowl for $5. They offer a spicy mayo based dipping sauce I wasn’t really a fan of. I did enjoy the okra though. It is pickled before it is breaded and fried. Which adds a whole new layer of flavor and it also adds a bit of acid to the mix. Now for the biscuit sliders.
They offer two options. Braised pork belly and fried chicken. I got one of each. The belly was melt in your mouth tender. They topped it with an onion jam, which was pretty sweet. It fit well with the fatty pork but after a few bites it became almost cloying. The next time I get it I will 86 the jam.
You can get your chicken biscuit mild or hot. I chose hot and it had a pleasant burn. The chicken biscuit comes topped with their slaw and house pickles. The slaw was vinegar based and played off the spicy crunch of the chicken nicely. My taste for slaw leans more towards the creamy style but this variety did its job well. I think a side of the slaw might be too “dry” when eaten by itself. The biscuits themselves were nice. Flaky yet substantial enough to hold up to fried chicken. The pickles were unique to my taste buds. They are of the refrigerator variety. You slice ’em; pickle ’em and stick them in the fridge. I enjoyed them.
This place is well-appointed with lots of wood and custom light fixtures. The whole joint has a dimly lit ambiance. Suitable for an evening of cocktails and snacks. I think that would be the best way to enjoy this space. With some friends and a few cocktails and eats. They offer craft draft as well as wine but I think they take their mixed drinks very serious. The bartender has several bottles of syrups that they use to flavor some of their liquors. The bartender is also serious about Bourbon. He likes to keep Bonded bottles around. Nothing says commitment like a few bottles of 100 Proof bottled in bond liquor.