eating indie in indy

local sourced

Next Door Eatery 4573 N. College Ave.


This place opened less than 2 years ago by Kimbal Musk the brother of Elon Musk of Tesla fame. It was the curiosity that prompted me to eat here. Musk owns a restaurant group that started in Colorado in 2004. Another brand is Hedge Row. He opened one of those on Mass Ave. prior to the opening of Next Door.

The building used to be a Double Eight grocery. A local chain that closed a few years back. It was started in the 50’s as Seven Eleven. Long before that convenience store chain started. A few years back our local chain changed its name. As a homage to a by gone era Musk incorporated a sign into their interior design.

Several Indianapolis restaurants are currently running a Devour promotion. That is when participating restaurants serve a special meal or discounted normal menu items. Next Door was offering 3 courses for $16.95. That was my original plan but I changed my mind at the last minute. I thought a 3 course lunch was too much and I was drawn to their Pineapple Express burger. That would be a Black Angus burger from local Fisher Farms on a toasted bum with fresh grilled pineapple, bacon, swiss cheese and Siracha honey.

All of their burgers and sandwiches come with chips and a “simple salad”.

I really enjoyed my burger. The bun was nicely toasted and they cooked it medium rare as I requested. That combo of sweet pineapple and smoky bacon was really excellent. The burgers are one third pound. With this particular sandwich any thing bigger would be too much.

Although this joint is not Downtown their prices are. A basic burger is $10.95. They also offer a burger that is half ground beef and half crimini mushrooms for $11.95. My Pineapple Express was $13.95. Expensive but tolerable. My Sun King beer was $6.75 and wasn’t even a pint. Across the street Scarlet Lane opened a tap room so if you feel like a couple of beers that is the place to go. I would like to follow up and try their Next Door 50/50. That is their crimini and beef mix burger. All in all I enjoyed the joint. It is attractive and has a great out door space and they cook a very good burger.

https://www.nextdooreatery.com/location/indianapolis/#food


Turchetti Salumeria 1106 Prospect St.

I have wanted to come here for a while now. They have been open for a few months and are primarily a production butcher shop that serves as a deli on Friday and Saturday. They have extended hours just this week so we were fortunate we were able to try them out.

Their menu is small but more than adequate.

https://www.turchettis.com/

Patrick is not too adventurous so he ordered their Pastrami sandwich, without 1000 island dressing, for $14. Their sandwiches come with chips but for a upcharge you can get Tallow fries. Like McDonald’s use to have.

I felt compelled to try as many different things that I could. Rather than try one of their Charcuterie boards I opted for Turchetti’s Tour . That is a sampling of 5 salamis for $10.

Their boards are long so taking a picture was tricky. The selections that day; from back to front; Cacciatorini, Finocchiona, Pepperone, Sopressata and Cotto. Each piece had its own distinct taste and personality and were all excellently prepared. How ever I usually default to a pepperone as my favorite salami. This was the case here. Turchetti’s salami is special. It is softer than most and practically melts in your mouth and would be excellent on a pizza.

Since N’duja was not included in the tour I ordered a plate of N’duja deviled eggs for $5. These were the craziest things I have had in a while. I am looking forward to trying that spicy spreadable salami by itself.

I read that they were now offering a Braunschweiger plate for $6. Now how can anyone pass up a chance to try this Classic German deli spread?

If this isn’t the best I have had it is up at the top. Most Braunschweigers are very assertive, they attack your taste buds. This one slips up on you and you can’t help but want more. I think the word sublime comes to mind. Another thing I discovered was Batch No 2 mustard. It is made locally as well. I have heard of it but have never tried it until today. It has an assertive start, to get your attention, but a more elegant finish with a slight hint of sweetness. A perfect partner to this sausage. Another home run. Overall I think this joint has a definite future in Indy. They are already in the process of re-modeling the space next door. They expect that to be ready by Spring 2019 in which case they are expanding their hours to 7 days per week. That is definitely something to look forward to.

 

 


Gallery Pastry Shop 1101 E. 54th Street G

This shop is a little tricky to find. The address is on 54th. but you can’t see it from the street. It is behind a building. You turn into an entryway and drive to the back of a small business area. Turn right and at the end is the neatest little joint you can imagine.

At the far end you can see what appears to be a Chess set on the ground. That is exactly what it is.

A little whimsy is always appreciated.

Each piece is about 2 feet high and seem to be a lightweight plastic. I say light weight because as we were leaving I saw two little kids moving them off the “board”.

I met my friend Joey, 2 of her teen daughters and her husband Jason today for brunch. The seating is nicely spaced but the acoustics and the loud music made it difficult to talk.

They offer a week day menu and a Brunch menu for Saturday and Sunday.

https://www.gallerypastryshop.com/

Once you are seated you receive small printed sheets with all the menu items listed. You check what you want, add you name and pass it to the server. It sounds pretty efficient but the service was rather choppy. Not bad just not smooth. I ordered 2 crepes, one sweet and one savory. My sweet crepe came out first. Lemon curd folded in and topped with whipped cream.

This was delicious. A tender crepe and a light curd with the proper amount of tartness. Possibly the best I have had.

My savory crepe was chorizo sausage from Smoking Goose, a “mushroom mix” and mozzarella cheese. It was a big hit as well. It held a good amount of meat and the chorizo wasn’t spicy at all. It balance well with the sweet tartness of the lemon curd.

 

I know this is an atrocious picture. I felt hurried for some reason. Each diner in our party had 4 plates and servers were in and out bringing the plates out at different times. I am glad we had a big round table.

This shot is only marginally better, which is a shame. As good as the crepes were this plate was the show stopper. It consisted of a split croissant with a piece of bruleed Trillium Cheese nestled in it. It was placed on a smear of honey with a fresh berry compote next to it.

Trillium cheese is a triple cream cheese similar to Brie and Camembert. This particular cheese comes from a local creamery. Tulip Tree in Zionsville. If you enjoy a warm and gooey cheese you would love this dish. The rind is sugared then torched making a sweet crust. Slice the crust off and put on a piece of the buttery croissant and enjoy the first bite. As you continue eating you get tastes of the cheese, the sweet honey and the slight tartness of the berries. Our table had 4 of them so it wasn’t just me that enjoyed it.

https://www.tuliptreecreamery.com/about-us/

I will be back. Joey and her girls got a dozen Macarons to go, but I was too full. Also on Wednesday they sell them for a buck. Normally they are $2.50. So I will be there at 10 AM this Wednesday.


Crispy Bird 115 E. 49th Street

Well; after more than a year; Crispy Bird has opened. Since it was the latest link in the Patachou chain lots of folks were excited. After all Martha Hoover is the Maven of Hipster Dining in the city and all the Patachou restaurants are successful. The OCD Chef in me was excited. To me a Hoover restaurant is always well run with a well thought out menu and procedure to match. One of her restaurants may be criticised for food choice or decor but no one can ever say that the joint is not well run and that every thing is done by the numbers. Of course the Border Town line cook in me half way wants someone to draw a big old mustache on the picture. That ain’t happening here.

There was 4 of us for lunch. Included in our party was Pat’s wife, Fran and their friend Shae. We ordered like “diners” not “reviewers”, and since the menu is rather small there were repeats.

https://www.crispy-bird.com/

Three legs and thighs, one breast and one “snack” of fried chicken skin. They offer fried skin ( chicken chicharrones) in several dishes.

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The leg and thigh were very nicely done, moist and tender and still hot when I got it. The thing with chicken is it all tastes the same once you get past the skin. In this case the skin was wonderfully crisp just lacking in flavor. The most discernible taste was salt. At 5 bucks a piece I was a bit disappointed. I agree with Pat about the slaw and pickles. Also they have some rocking hot sauces to kick up the chicken. The sauces have the appearance of being house made as well.

These are the chicken skins ( cracklings ). They come with a citrus mayo for dipping and were a hit with everybody.

I thought the chicken was good but I have had better. The Garrison at Fort Ben comes to mind. However their snacks could make a return trip necessary. I believe this place has only been open for a month and they were hammered at lunch ( 20 minute wait) yet they carried it off flawlessly. That is what I mean about a Martha Hoover joint. The folks from Patachou sure know how to do it right.

 

 


ClusterTruck 729 N. Penn. Indianapolis.

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I am sure anyone familiar with the “food scene” in Indy has heard the term ClusterTruck. I think originally it referred to a gathering of food trucks. Two to four trucks would converge on a site and sell their food. It was perfect for a crowd with diverse appetites. It also allowed the individual truck to gain exposure to a different base of eaters.

Now before I go any further I have a few comments about the food scene in Indy. We have a great collection of restaurants in town and the quality and quantity is ever-growing. However the one aspect Indy sucks in is the delivery. Before now all the food delivery was done by a middleman who would pick up the food and then deliver it. That led to slow delivery and cold food. Now this ClusterTruck comes in. I am including a link to a Nuvo article that explains the origin of ClusterTruck better than I.

http://www.nuvo.net/indianapolis/clustertruck-indys-food-delivery-revolution/Content?oid=3995626

So for that reason this review is unique. It is also unique in that we had our lunch delivered to our friend, Jimmy’s office. Being a Realtor he has a tough time meeting us for lunch. Luckily his office is a stone throws away.

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They have an expansive menu. One you can get access to at this link. You can also check out their delivery area.

https://www.clustertruck.com/

This place seems to do a first class job of the delivery. In addition to having “fancy” go boxes they have their boxes and bags personalized.

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Jimmy opted for a burger. Now the menu says it is a Bru Burger. What connection; if any it has to Bru Burger I do not know.

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I believe he had a Bourbon Burger. That is a cheese burger with bacon and a Bourbon sauce. The sauce seems a bit thin for a burger, to me, but Jimmie though it was the best burger he has eaten.

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As for me I wanted something different. They had a whole category of smothered tater tots. I decided on a short rib and kimchi topped order.

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It was actually pretty tasty. It had an abundance of meat ,a slight amount of kimchi, but with kimchi the aroma precedes it and sates the appetite. The only complaint I had with the dish is that the kimchi sauce was thin and the dish was a bit on the dry side. Still it had a good flavor and the short ribs were nicely done. However I wouldn’t get it again unless the sauce was given a leg and maybe the amount was increased beyond a 2 ounce solo.

So Indy I think diners should be happy about this new place. You can actually get food from a place that knows how to prepare it and knows how to deliver it. No more reliance on a second-hand delivery agent. Also the prices include a tip. An actual tip not a hidden delivery charge.

 

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


Rooster’s Kitchen 888 Massachusetts Ave.

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If the address seems familiar that is probably because it is where R Bistro used to be. Now it is a cozy little joint with a great array of comfort food and excellent beer. With a nice porcine centric menu.

With a name like Rooster’s some folks might be expecting fried chicken. However the origin of the name is more personal to the owner. It seems when Ross was a little boy he had a habit of getting up before dawn and waking up the house. His Mother convinced him to stay in bed until dawn. Well he did. Of course he awoke long before dawn so he get wake the house up right at dawn. Naturally that led to the nickname of Rooster. So it was only logical that would be the name of his new restaurant.

Keeping with the pig theme we order a basket of Pork Rinds for $5. They fry them in-house and then dust them with a BBQ seasoning. They were still crackling when they were served. I thought they were great. Pat wasn’t a big fan.

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Pat’s lunch was a Neanderthal plate for $14. Choice of pork shoulder, brisket or roast turkey with 2 sides.

I was more in a sandwich mood so I opted for a Lucy for $12. This was their answer to the Cubano. It was roasted pork shoulder, cured pork loin with,I believe Havarti cheese, pickles and mustard.

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I am with Pat on the pork shoulder and the carrots. So many joints do a good job with pig anymore you can’t really say who has the best. You can say that Rooster’s puts up a very good roasted pork shoulder. The carrots were outstanding as well. They had the right amount of tooth and just a touch of char. I for one would have enjoyed more char. The cured loin set the tone for the sandwich. An excellent curing job on the pork and an excellent sandwich all the way around.

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We sat at the bar so I felt compelled to take a shot of the back bar. Pretty, and they offer some serious beers as well as some serious eats. So I can’t think of any reason why this little place isn’t crowded all the time. Thanks to all of you guys.

Rooster's Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Serendipity at the Post 2210 E 54th Street

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About 3 months ago Pat and I “reviewed” the American Legion Post # 34. Well in actuality we reviewed the food which was put out by a fellow named Pete. I guess Pete has moved on because I got word that a catering company, Serendipity has taken over the management of the kitchen. Here is the link to their webpage. It shows the menus for both their food truck and the Legion.

http://www.serendipitytruck.com/

I was looking forward to the meal because the menu was not your typical bar menu. Sure they have some of the stuff you would expect at a bar but also they offer crab cakes and truffle fries. To start the ball rolling I ordered a side salad.

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The salad was predominately spinach with the traditional onion and grape tomatoes. It was topped with goat cheese and candied walnuts,which brought a bit of sweet and a nice tang to my mouth. The whole dish was rounded out with an excellent Raspberry Vinaigrette. A great salad and bargain at $3

I opted for a Crab Cake sandwich. The chef doesn’t fry the cakes like a lot of people would he puts a sear on it and finishes it off in the oven. So I can tell myself it is Heart Healthy.

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The cake was big with a nice and juicy interior and what I would consider a near perfect texture and consistency. You could actually taste the crab. If I were to order it again I think I would do without the mayo and onion. Both seemed to interfere with the “crabbiness” of the cake.

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Pat ordered a burger, no onion, with a side of slaw. He also ordered a side of steamed broccoli for 3 bucks.

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Well I think the Legion has a winner here. It is going to be a challenge I’m sure. The clientele is more “mature” than other joints so that could be problematic. Some old guys can be stuck in their ways. Also Legions are known for low prices, and Bill;the Chef/owner of Serendipity uses very high quality ingredients so that right there can make the thing difficult. I think that the crew at the Legion is in for some good eating. Also it is open to the public so you don’t have to be a member to dine there. I think they have plans to have certain designated nights for BBQ ribs and Prime Rib. So that ought to be all kinds of fun.

American Legion Post 34 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Turf Catering & Kitchen 8155 Castleway Court W. Suite C.

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Usually when I see Suite in an address for a restaurant I figure it is one slot in a big building in a strip mall. Well this place is in a slot, a tiny one at that. However the big building only has 2 businesses. Turf’s on the far end and a big old muffler place. I would guess it is in a quasi industrial use area. Unusual for a restaurant but not so for a caterer. The place is 90 percent kitchen with minimal space for sitting and ordering and the walk in cooler on the outside. Another thing they have is exceptional food.

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I learned of this place from a food blog. The writer was really excited about the grilled cheese and the Crogue as well as the pimento cheese. Everything was very tempting but I opted for the short rib sandwich and a side of pimento cheese. The picture of the menu board isn’t that legible so at the end I am including a scan of the menu. They have a very impressive set of side dishes at a more than respectable price.

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Their pimento cheese was wonderful. Creamy and cheesy. Some of the best I have had,and with their homemade bread it could be a meal all by itself.

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The short rib and cheese sandwich was excellent as well. Super rich and with a sweetness from the red onion jam that would make it an excellent dining companion with an IPA. Alas they only offer soft drinks. I especially liked the char they put on the bread. That always adds a new dimension of flavor.

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Pat was really excited about this place once he was told that he could substitute on their menu.

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As the sign noted they have only been open since 2013. Their main bag is catering so I am glad they decided to serve lunch during the week. Since they are caterers I am sure they have a propensity for fresh product more so than the average restaurant. I am in full agreement with Pat. Anyone planning on a catered affair with these guys, let us know.

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TURF Catering + Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


The Mug 117 Apple Street Greenfield In. 46140

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Now this place is far from our normal turf but it seemed like it would be a good choice for today. It took over for a Drive In by the name of The Frosty Mug,which opened in 1954 but was forced to close in 2011. The owner of local Tyner Pond Farm bought it at auction in 2013 and started selling the usual drive in fare;with a twist. All of the product is local and the beef and pork all come from his own farm.

Their basic burger is a quarter pounder with cheese,white onion and pickle for $2.75 and grows from there;culminating in a triple patty with triple bacon and cheese for $9.50. I started with the “Two and change Burger” for $2.75.

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It certainly isn’t much to look at but it was just what I wanted,a tasty little piece of meat with white onion and pickle.

 

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I don’t think a shot under the cover helps much;does it?

I also wanted to try one of their dogs. They offer a “Kiply Dog for $3.50. That’s one of their dogs topped with Sloppy Joe meat. They have a Sloppy Joe sandwich for $3.75.

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It was very good. They make the dogs at Tyner Farm and they are excellent tasting more sausage than Ball park dog. The Sloppy Joe meat was a bit sweet; as it should be and made a very nice balance.

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The last item I ordered was the house made onion rings. I was a bit disappointed in these;only because they added mustard to the batter. Not a big fan. Wouldn’t get them again.

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Yes I was slow in eating my lunch;but I had two sandwiches and rings to deal with and Patrick only had one sandwich. Speaking of which he gave me a hunk to try and I was impressed with the quality of the meat. Oh here is a pic of Pat’s naked dog.

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I personally would love to go back and try their Cuban and their pulled pork. And some other stuff but they are so damn far. Luckily they are adding a second place in Irvington; sometime. It was supposed to be open by now I have no idea what the hold up is. They also sell a locally source ice cream. What brand I do not know. I do know they have a sweet corn flavor as well as a maple bacon. Can you image a waffle cone with one scoop of each in it. Ain’t Indiana Grand.

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


Bittersweet Irvington 5543 E. Washington Street

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This joint just opened up in March. I knew nothing about it until a couple of friends;who live nearby told me about it. Their main bag is baking. Cakes,cupcakes, tarts, and cookies. They expanded their repertoire to include more savory dishes. They offer a nice selection of breakfast and luncheon dishes.

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I did not bring my scanner,but I was fortunate to take some decent pictures with my new camera. Well,not so new. I bought it from Ebay a couple of weeks ago. I figure with my smart phone and my camera I can take some decent pictures. I know. Too much Info. The only reason I mention this is this joint has no electronic footprint. No website. No Facebook. That is my pet peeve. There is a great venue to advertise and it is free. Why not take advantage of it? Okay. I am done.

The place is bright and clean. When you walk in you see the menu up on the wall. That is what I took pictures of. The other thing you see is a merchandising case with all sorts of sweet stuff.

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These are chocolate cookies stuffed with vanilla butter cream. Five inches in diameter and an inch and one half thick. I bought 2 to go. $2.75 each. As of this writing I had not tried them. So I have no thoughts. Yet.

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There you go. What more can be said about that cake. A towering 3 layer cake of chocolate and stout smothered in a glossy, shiny ,glorious ganache. 10 inches of goodness . For 5 bucks!

Lets see it again.

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Well this place is not just about the sweet. They also can do a notable job with savory. Pat’s Tomato Tart was nicely done for $8. I didn’t get a taste, all I can rely on is my own chile relleno tart also $8. Both dishes were modest in size. And with both you get choice of salad or fresh fruit. By modest I mean a reasonable portion.

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So. Yep we dig this new joint in Irvington. I am planning on going back to try one of the sandwiches. The Cuban or Muffuletta more than likely. Also I saw a sour cream Bundt cake sitting on top of the display case. That deserves a look-see.

 

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


Love Handle 2829 E. 10th Street

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Well another new joint has opened in Indy. This one is unique in that the owner/operators Chris and Ally Benedyke are from Indianapolis originally and have just returned from Milwaukee where they owned a similar place by the same name. The new place, like the old one features specialty sandwiches and small plates using local sources. Since they plan on changing the menu weekly they are relying on Facebook and not a web site. Since that was the case I felt compelled to do a bit of reconnaissance, or reconn-oink-ering if you prefer. You know since they do a lot with pig. Well in either event I went in on Tuesday morning for breakfast.

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It is a small place with a counter and a few tables, so it is rather cozy. I was told it used to be a Subway, if that is the case the size makes sense.

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The one item I was most intrigued with was their version of bacon,egg and toast for $7. It was a big slice of pork belly with a jellied egg yolk and toasted french style bread. It was probably one of the most unusual things I have put in my mouth but also one of the tastiest. The pork belly;or bacon is self-explanatory. Salty and unctuous ( I know I use that word a lot but sometimes it just fits) with just the right amount of tooth. The egg was odd in all the right ways. A poached egg yolk encapsulated in an aspic derived from the preparation of hog feet or trotters. Since it was cold it was a shock to my tongue after puncturing the jelly and seeing the yolk flow out but it was as good a mopping egg as any warm poached one. And you had the bonus of pig jelly. Any talk of egg yolk mopping has to lead to bread and their choice of Amelia’s was good but their treatment of it was better. The bread is toasted then spread with a mixture of unsalted butter, apple butter and a hint of seranno chile. It was delicious. The whole plate was a hit.

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I also tried some of their miso and brown butter ice cream for $4. A browned butter is the start of a caramel so if you add that to sugar and cream you get a true decadent caramel. You freeze it you get this. Again a good job. However I didn’t taste much from the miso. But the earthiness of a brown miso can mimick an aspect of caramal I suppose. Regardless it was a great ice cream I would not hesitate to try again.

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I also tried a sweet roll, a Miso- Ovaltine Sweet Roll to be precise, and in full disclosure Ally gave it to me. I guess she thought I wasn’t getting enough to eat. It was an excellent roll and sells for 4 bucks

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So this brings us to Wednesday, the day Pat and I have decided for lunch. I had told Pat about this place and how I was going to check it out beforehand,and he groaned at my oink joke as I am sure most people would. Actually I was surprised that he was willing to give it a try,possibly because it was my turn to buy.

I was pretty sure what I wanted to try from the beginning the Tesa, $7 and the Trotter Croquettes for $6.

Tesa is similar to Prosciutto in that it is slow cured and is eaten without further cooking. Where it differs is the part of the pig it comes from. Prosciutto is from the hind or ham area Tesa is from the belly.

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I received a big old plate of piggy goodness with a bit of cooked beet,sour turnip and jalapeno as accompaniment as well as a bunch of toast. I also got another one of Chris’s eggs as a bonus. Once again everything fit like a glove. Actually I found this more interesting than prosciutto. With the ratio between fat and lean as it is on pork belly it was like getting Lardo as a bonus.

I also had to try the Trotter. Before you freak remember that there is some good meat in a pig’s foot. It just takes a while to get to it,but you do get the added value of the gelatin. Like everything else these croquettes were very good. A crisp exterior and a moist and meaty interior.

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With Pat it wasn’t so easy. I think he just agreed to go just to humor me.

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I was too busy feeding my face so I forgot to take any shots of Pat’s food until the very end.

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Pat's Popcorn

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They toss the corn in bacon fat and then sprinkle it with Nutritional Yeast, the result is unique and tasty.

The sauces Pat referenced was a soy type reduction and a soda pop mustard both made in-house. They both went well with the Tesa and the trotters,especially the mustard. That was made with Tamarind flavor Jarrito’s soda pop and minimally ground. A very interesting taste.

One last thing. We shared a slice of Lavender and coconut cream tart.

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Great crust,nice and creamy with good coconut flavor. As for the lavender it wasn’t as pronounced as I thought it would be. Good pie regardless. So as you can see I really enjoyed this place and its food. Pat; not so much. But he was a trooper for going there with me. In either event I think it a place worth exploring.

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Repeal Restaurant 630 Virginia Ave.

I have looked forward to this place opening for a while. It is the restaurant part of 12.05 Distillery. The distillery opened several months back;the second one in Indianapolis. The whole facility, distillery,dining room and kitchen is in an old bank building,built-in 1924. The exterior features the original terra-cotta exterior and uses an abundance of old wood in the interior. The name is a dedication to the date when Prohibition ended. December fifth. I think they are trying to capture a 1930’s vibe and the menu reflects that.

The chef did his due diligence in making some dishes reflective of the era. They offer a Mock Turtle soup as well as a Cream Mongole.

http://repealrestaurant.com

I opted for a cup of a cup of Mongole to start. This is a crazy combo of split pea, creamy tomato and various root vegetables. It was very earthy and flavorful. It would be great winter time fare for $4 per cup and $8 for a bowl.

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The only critique I could make is the soup,as good as it was cries for some cracker. A bit of a crunch to balance the creaminess.

For my main dish I was really torn. They offer a Hot Brown, a Monte Christo and a smoked beef Manhattan. Well I decided on the raw Beef “sandwich” for $13. It was a half pound mound of chopped steak on a thick slice of a rye type bread, topped with a raw egg, pickled onion and a neon relish.

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I thought it was a very elegant and tasty bite for lunch, but then I have a thing for tartare and Kibbeh Nayyeh and the like so I jumped at the chance. I think there are only 2 joints in Indy that offer this particular dish. Once again I must pick a nit. I don’t know if serving it on a thick slice of bread is the way to go. I slid the meat off of the bread and ate it with pieces of the bread I tore off. Luckily Pat didn’t eat all of his bread so I had enough to finish. Also I always though naan was a thin flat bread. Hey I may be wrong. In either event I admire the person that put it on the menu.

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Pat, true to form, ordered the smoked pork sandwich, for $9.

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So;this is Repeal. A nice little joint with a few minor details to iron out. We had two menus. One said Brioche bun the other said Cholla bun. I guess Cholla is the new name for Challah. Oy Vey. Still I think it is a great new joint. I want to go back and try the Mock Turtle soup and the Pimento Cheese. And while I am there I might as well have a cocktail.

Click to add a blog post for Repeal on Zomato


Penn & Palate 28 East 16th Street

I believe this place opened just a few weeks ago. It is owned by the same folks that have Legends in Irvington, so I was confident that it would be pretty good. Since Pat is out in Cali for the next two weeks I was all by myself. I had planned on visiting this place at a later date and was actually on my way to a different joint when I decided to stop at the last-minute.

The place is nicely appointed with dark woods, leather seats and cozy booths. The large windows make for a very bright setting as well.penn and palette 012

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I was also quite impressed with the level of service. My server Katie was spot on. She was very knowledgable of the menu and not shy of venturing an opinion when asked. As a matter of fact it was her description of their special appetizer of the day that convinced me that I needed it. Normally I don’t get an app for lunch when I am solo. In this case the app was an arancia, a deep-fried polenta (oops, that should be risotto) ball, for $8.

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I thought they were nicely done and with the creamy cheese sauce proved a tasty combo of flavors and textures.

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For my main dish I opted for a shaved ham and Swiss sandwich. I know that sounds pretty mundane but it was hardly your standard diner fare. It featured Smoking Goose City Ham, a dry cured ham and orange marmalade with a fennel and apple slaw. They offer a choice of bread from Amelia so with Katie’s recommendation I went with semolina.

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The bread was a good choice. Dense and herbaceous enough to balance the other strong tastes. The structure of the sandwich was really very delicate and nicely balanced. A hint of orange and apple, a passing note of mustard and the strong presence of ham. And of course the cheese just sort of hanging out to keep the ham company. A really good sandwich for $10. I may have wanted a more prominent presence of fennel but this was probably for the best. You know that meme about moderation.

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I noticed on their beer tap they offer a brew called Diesel Oil. It is a Stout from Columbus Indiana and Powerhouse Brewing Company. Well I thought a good Stout would make for a nice desert. Well it does, especially when paired with a Chewy Fruitmeal Cookie.

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They make about a half-dozen cookies and their Fruitmeal is an Oatmeal cookie loaded with dried fruit. It was an excellent bite for a buck. Now marry that with a Milk Stout and its touch of chocolate and coffee and you are on to something really nice.

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So this is Penn and Palate. So lets recap. Conveniently located in a newly gentrified locale on the near North Side. A swank and charming interior. Well trained staff. And finally an excellent menu that is well prepared and delicious. I think that this is the start of a beautiful friendship with this joint and this City.

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Farmers Market Cafe. 650 W. Washington Street

This is both a cafe ,in that you are served your food and a cafeteria ,in that you order your food at a cashier and then take your seat. Are you with me? It is located in the Indiana State Museum which is right on the canal so you can’t get much better scenery in the summer.

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This picture was taken at the bottom of the street ramp leading to the Museum.

When you enter you find the cashier stand with menus posted. This is where you order,pay and receive a numbered plastic placard, like an old-time Sizzlers.

You walk through the cooking area to get your drinks,or frozen yogurt from their soft serve machine. Or for some impulse buy.

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Once you pay and get your beverage you can sit inside or out on a wide veranda overlooking the canal.

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In the bottom picture you can see the skyline of the IUPUI campus in the background. Now really isn’t this a great place to eat?

Now for the food. They had a pepperoni flat bread special for $7.99. Evidently it fulfilled Pats dream.

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Pat suggested this place because his wife; Fran, who works at the university went there and recommended it. She also mentioned that she had a fried green tomato BLT. Well I did not see that when I checked out the menu on their website this morning but I sure saw it on the menu board. I really like fried green tomatoes, and I really,really like BLT sandwiches. So the combo of the two was a no-brainer. They use Smoking Goose bacon so it was mandatory for me for lunch. They put theirs on a whole grain toast with both green leaf and iceberg lettuce and a nice slathering of mayo. Normally I can take or leave mayo,but with both fried green tomato or BLT sammiches you need the mayo. Of course as a kid we used Miracle Whip( salad dressing). It was cheaper. But as I entered my teens I acquired a taste for mayo.

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Now this was a great sandwich. Crunch from the bacon and the lettuce. Tart and tangy tomatoes with a nice creaminess from a healthy dose of mayo. $9.99 with sweet potato chips.

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So. Yes I liked this sandwich. Was it unique and original. No,but how many sandwiches are? I think this is a great place to catch lunch, and check out the State Museum. Plus you get to look over the canal. Now that is a bonus,if for no other reason than the chance for people watching.

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Garden Table 908 E. Westfield Blvd.

I am not sure when Garden Table opened, there hasn’t been as much hoopla generated about it as other places. It operates as a local sourced eatery that is vegan friendly. But it is also carnivore friendly in that they offer Smoking Goose bacon. I have heard very little about it. It is across the street from 317 Burger, the place we went to a couple of weeks ago. It is a small space decorated in what I would call industrial or urban chic. Exposed duct work, chalk menus on the walls and utilitarian furniture. I though it was cute. It was crowded so I wasn’t able to take all the pictures I wanted to.

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In addition to the beer and wine they also offer in-house prepared juices. I haven’t really done much research on the topic so I don’t know if the claims about them are hype or are based on reality. I probably should do my homework on the topic. The descriptions they give make them sound great.

They have a few set sandwiches and salads on their menu all in the $10 range. With the sandwich you get a choice of greens or fruit. Pat opted for a BLT Smash. That is a BLT with avocado for $10.

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I ordered a BMT. That is basil, mozzarella and tomato on toasted bread, served open face with a drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette. The base price is $9. I added Smoking Goose bacon for a $3 upcharge. I decided on house greens as my side.

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I thought the sandwich was nicely done. It was basically a hot Caprese on a toasted French loaf. Oh yeah it had bacon. Perfectly cooked and crisp bacon. The salad worked well with the sandwich. The different flavors of the various greens punctuated the basil and played well with the sweetness of the Basalmic and tomato. I could eat it again. I think the fruit would have worked as well. It just would have accentuated the sweet components more.

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So this joint is definitely worth consideration for lunch or breakfast. They do offer breakfast as well. And don’t forget the juice.

After eating we went across the street to 317 for a beverage. There I discovered some stiff competition to Tick Tock Lounge for Bloody Mary domination.

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It wasn’t as decked out as Tick Tock’s but I think it was tastier, and it was only $6. When it is run as a special they offer them for 5 bucks. You also get a choice of vodka. Absolut, Tito or Absolut Peppar.

So I must say all in all it was a most satisfying lunch outing.

Garden Table on Urbanspoon


Ezra’s Enlightened Raw Food Cafe 6516 Ferguson

Welcome to Indy’s 1st RAW, “BEE”-GAN, GLUTEN-FREE & GMO-FREE cafe!

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The top line is from their website. I know little about raw food. I do know that when creating dishes the temperature of the ingredients never exceeds 118 degrees F. As I understand it if the temperature goes beyond 118 degrees the food is harmed. Nutrition is lost and elements may even become toxic.

This cafe opened up several months ago. I was intrigued by it from the beginning, but it took a while for me and Pat to work up the nerve to visit. Our plan was to visit here for an “appetizer” and then go to a new burger joint, also in Broad Ripple.

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I never asked what was in Pat’s bowl. Other than the obvious ingredients he mentioned and the greens and sprouts the bowl was a mystery to me. I really should have been more curious. The presentation was nice and the portion size seemed adequate for $10.

They have a display case for all of their ready-made unbakery confections.

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I opted for a bowl of corn soup, a lemon square and a cup of cold tea. A very interesting combo as it turned out.

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The lemon square was tasty. Sweet but not all that much lemon for my taste. It was a decent size, approximately 4 inches square but pricey at $6.

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I saw the soup on their website. Organic corn with jalapeno. Five dollars for a good-sized bowl. I was looking forward to it, but was rather disappointed. I found no heat component to it and the consistency was much too “creamy”. All I could taste was sweet corn and it really could have been helped by some chunks of chile, or corn or something to break the monotony of the oatmeal like texture.

The tea was good. It had a slight natural sweetness and a gentle tea flavor. A 16 ounce cup, with refill, a bargain at $2.75.

Pat and I found their pricing high. However considering their commitment to local organic sources that is to be expected. Their dishes seem well crafted and thoughtful. They just don’t “call to us”. So I don’t expect to put Ezra’s on my list of go to joints.

Ezra's Enlightened Raw Food Cafe on Urbanspoon


Burgerhaus 335 West 9th. Street.

This joint is on the Canal walk. Which means it is tough to find the first time. There is a parking garage above the it and they do validate the parking. So it is free to park. Just don’t be confused by the credit card only sign. You can get a ticket and then go ahead to the parking area. Don’t. I repeat don’t back up and go park someplace else.

As for the place itself it is really nice. Oak wood throughout. A charming and cozy little place. With a killer out-door space right on the Canal.

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They have a little bar in the front. We chose to sit in the dining room. We thought it would lessen the temptation for beer drinking. As the name suggests they offer burgers. They have a proprietary blend of local source meat portioned out into 1/2 pound patties. I had a few questions about the source of the beef, and the buns. Also what was in the slaw etc. Unfortunately our server,Suzy had only been there 2 weeks so she did not know.

Now Suzy did a bang up job in service, I just would like to see more knowledge of servers about the stuff they are trying to sell. So maybe the bosses should stress that a bit more.

Well as for the burgers. They really and truly rock.

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Their Haus burger is served on a Brioche bun with butter lettuce , tomato and red onion. Also with a choice of “typical” cheese and fries or coleslaw. All this for $9.50. In some areas that is pricey. Downtown it is, unfortunately typical.

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I ordered my burger mid rare. And that was exactly how it came out.

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It was a delicious piece of meat and bun. Simple food is so wonderful. This was one. I must say this. They offer more exotic cheeses as an option for a $1.50 upcharge. I opted for Brie. Now that was a mistake.

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The Brie was okay. The portion was not. I think that this burger is best served sans cheese. If you feel as though you need a bit of dairy just go for the more typical options.

They have other stuff on the menu. Salads and such. But if they have Burger in its name. What does that tell you. They also have a Burger of the month, and you can sub a portabella cap for any burger for no additional charge. So this is a serious Burger joint. Enjoy.

 

Burgerhaus on Urbanspoon


Public Greens 900 E. 64 th Street

local greens 002This is another Patachou Inc. project. This new space is unlike any of their other locations. The others focus on cooked to order meals and full service. This Urban Kitchen and Grill is more cafeteria than restaurant.

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http://publicgreensurbankitchen.com/menu/

They have a menu on the wall as you walk in. I couldn’t get a good picture of it so I stuck a link to it here. As you can see they offer several different vegetable medley and they decrease in price the more you order. They also have the usual proteins and some not so usual for $6 to $8. Everything is alla carte’. You decide what you want to eat, tell the nice young lady with the tablet, the tablet transmits the order to the kitchen, you walk down the aisle,pay the man and get your food. Not unlike Micky D’s. Now that remark is in no way meant to be snide or mean. Regardless of the food McDonald’s business has been pretty successful.

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This is on the wall directly opposite the front door. A very laudable goal. For that reason people should be hoping for their success. Goals aside this is a business. In order to do their acts of charity they must sell food. So will this newest venture follow with the success the others have shown? This particular joint has been opened less than 2 weeks and when we visited the place was full. So it seems like it has a good start. But the food will keep it that way.

They change their soup daily. This particular day the offering was a vegan carrot topped with pine nuts. It didn’t trip my trigger.

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The red smear is hot sauce Pat got for the chicken. All of the condiments are at one central location opposite the kitchen.

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Pat’s chicken was over done in my estimation. I tasted a piece and it had a heavy breading making it difficult to taste the meat. The carrot soup was pretty tasty, also pretty thick. To me I don’t think I would pay 6 bucks for that particular soup.

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I ordered an Israeli cous cous combo with sun-dried tomato, red onion, oregano and feta cheese with olive oil and lemon juice. The portion was abundant and the flavors melded well together. The amount of red onion etc may have been sparse but I would definitely eat it again. I paired that with trout. A big piece of trout. It was very tasty,possibly a tiny bit under done, but a nice job over all. The two together made for an excellent lunch. And I think $14 was a fair price.

All in all we had a nice lunch. There are some things that may or may not pose trouble down the line. Payment for one. From what I saw, considering the crowd, things went smoothly. After lunch I went back to get a couple of cookies. They were brought up quickly, yet I had to wait behind two ladies who were splitting a trout with kale salad. I could see my cookies. Languishing by the register. Mocking me. Well maybe it won’t be a problem. Maybe I just need to remind my self to be patient. But seriously the space is on the small side and it wouldn’t take much to get the diners stacking up like planes at O’Hare. Just another incentive for everyone to bring their ‘A’ game, every day.

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Here are our cookies. Oatmeal lace and chocolate chip. Six dollars of cookie. Worth it? They were well made. As you would expect from a Patachou Production, but Pat and I both lean more toward a softer cookie. All of their sweets are on display in the kitchen area behind the glass partition that separates the production area from the public. Which leads to another area I am curious about.

All of the veggie and grain combos are ready-made and setting on a heat rail. The proteins are not cooked to order per se they are cooked en masse. A cook prepares several at one time and stores them on the heated platform. Small amounts ;sell quick; no problem. Actually my main thought is the fish. Regardless of the type of fish they have delicate flesh. Anything continues cooking after it is pulled from the fire. Put it on a warming apparatus and it will just cook more. With fish that can be a calamity. So time will tell

Back to my original purpose. The joint is very good. It fills a much-needed niche in Indy, in my estimation. A place that offers some seriously thoughtful grub in a very casual atmosphere. They are also heavy on local sourcing and their cause is just. It can be cramped, it can be noisy but it’s cramped because people want to eat well and it’s noisy because people are talking to one another. Live in person. So next time you are north of the Canal I recommend it.

I took some pictures of the back side, facing the trail but they didn’t turn out. Hey they have a fire thing out side. A long box with a gas line covered in lava rock. Not sure what they are called but it is both warming and cool.

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Public Greens on Urbanspoon

 


Taste Cafe and Market Place

Go for breakfast stay for dessert.Go for lunch stay for dessert.What I’m getting at is they bake really well.Pat and I stopped there for lunch and we tried a salad and sandwich;and 4 of their bakery items.A Caesar salad is pretty universal;Romaine,Parm and croutons.In this case the parm was shredded and the dressing was homemade;and delicious.I tried a grinder sandwich.Theirs is a baguette filled with cured Italian meats,provolone and tapenade.The combo of meats and tapenade meld into a tasty salty flavor spiked with a wee bit of mustard in the vinigrette.I think the fresh tomato was supposed to add a little sweet to balance the salt;but the time of year probably hurt that.But the side of cucumber slices in a sweet vinegar did the job well.There’s one more san I want to try before I expand to their strata or quiches.And contrary to Playboy Magazines admonition Real men do eat Quiche;especially if they are well made.And if their confections are any indication their ovens are golden.Try anything,I’m confident everything is well made.But don’t forget the chocolate Torte;try that no matter what else.Taste Cafe and Marketplace on Urbanspoon