eating indie in indy

pub grub

Vinny's Drive Bar 707 N. Lynhurst Drive

Pat and I have been doing this for nearly 8 years and have reviewed more than 450 eating establishments. Some weeks are easier than others to pick a place. It is my function to find the joints to eat at. Pat has a hand in the process when there is a place he would like to try or when I come up empty. That was the case this week. He had a list from the westside and I thought Vinny’s would work. Of course I read it as Dive Bar and I figured that any joint that admits its diviness should be visited. Of course Pat and I were both wrong.

We started out with an order of Portabello fries. An interesting spin on the ever present breaded mushroom. They were pretty good. Thick and meaty and were served with a spicy ranch dressing. They were a pretty good way to start a meal and cost 6 bucks.

Their menu is typical bar. Basic sandwiches and appetizers. They offer BBQ and pizza as well but they do it with a different spin. The Q comes from BBQ Heaven and the pies come from Rolynos. That is a local joint that started putting out pies in the early 70’s. I find that interesting; especially the pizza. Their special that day was a Spanish burger with fries for $7.50. Now that would be a seasoned and hand formed burger marinated and then cooked in a spicy tomato based sauce with added green peppers, onions and jalapenos.

I thought it was a pretty good burger. Nicely spicy and good flavor but what really made it stand out was the compaction of the patty itself. If all of their pattys are done this way it may be worth a trip back to try one chargrilled. It could be a prefect candidate for a medium rare one.

When we review a place we don’t expect folks to drop everything and run and try it out. What we would like is for those times when people are out and decide they want to eat they may remember a joint nearby that we reviewed and want to give it a try. If you are in the area keep Vinny’s in mind.


Monkey Business 5055 S Dearborn Street

Pat picked this place. He learned of it from his cousin, who is a regular. That is one of the interesting things about taverns. Their regulars usually visit more often than a regular at a dinner house. When you go to a dinner house you go to eat. Same can be said for a lunch place. When you visit a tavern you can eat or drink. Taverns also have a bunch more appetizers than a  restaurant. So the occasions to go to a tavern are more numerous. Pat mentioned that this joint was previously named Harry C’s. I have never heard of that place either.

We started out with some fried pepper jack cheese cubes. For some reason I neglected to take a picture. These little things were very good. Lightly breaded and cooked perfectly. I was really surprised that they weren’t hand-made in the kitchen. I have had these before and they weren’t nearly as good.

Pat didn’t write about what he had for lunch. I guess he was still thinking of his prime rib dinner. He had a grilled cheese sandwich with bacon and tomato for $6. I guess he liked it. I mean it is really hard to mess up a grilled cheese sandwich.

They offer a fish and chips platter with a choice of walleye or catfish for $7.50. Either fish will get you fries, coleslaw and tarter sauce. I opted for walleye, because it is a good white fish and you don’t see it around too often.

I liked it. It was a good portion of fish and it had  very tasty breading, Also the coleslaw was house-made and the amount of fries they give you is reasonable. Some places think it is necessary to serve up more french fries than 1 human can eat. I would like to see them offer an extra piece of fish for an up-charge. I could have handled another piece of walleye. On Fridays they offer an all you can eat fish and chips for 12.95. I think that is the price.

I like this little place. Good food and great prices. For the bonus their special that day was $2 Domestic bottles. They offer several draft beers and a  Craft brew cost $5. If I lived closer I would try that Prime Rib dinner myself


Vern’s Place 2322 E. Washington Street

The sign pretty much says it all. It is a nondescript block building that would be easy to miss. However when you go inside it’s a whole different story. Inside is a clean and well put together bar. Pool tables in the front and electronic Dart machines in the back. It is like a shotgun house. Stand at the front door and you will pretty much see it all.

Their menu is as straight forward as the building. A few common appetizers and sandwiches and of course pizza. As an added bonus they offer breakfast. If you haven’t eaten breakfast in a bar at least once in your life you are missing out.

I opted for biscuits and gravy. A full order with fried potatoes is $4.99. I added 2 eggs for $2 and a side of 3 pieces of bacon for 3 bucks. So for $10, the price of a burger in some joints, I got a huge breakfast.

The gravy wasn’t as good as Olly’s but the biscuit was excellent and the potatoes were wonderful as well. You can tell from the picture the potatoes were nicely browned and appropriately crunchy. The eggs burst as they were being plated and the kitchen apologized. I thought that was sweet. Mixing the yolk in with the gravy was my goal. Nicely done.

Pat decided on a lunch type meal A tenderloin.

I don’t know if it shows up in the picture but they batter and fry their tenderloin. I have never eaten a battered tenderloin before.

Now no meal at a bar would be complete without a bit of day drinking.

So don’t let the facade fool you. Inside you will find pleasant service and good food at a good price. They open at 11 during the week and are closed on Tuesday. They start at 8 AM on weekends and they have their own lot.


The Whistle Stop Inn 375 S. Illinois Street

This is a little place. A place folks like to call a hole in the hole or a dive bar. None of these are meant to disrespect they are merely meant to describe an old school bar. A place that has no pretense of being a hang out for hipsters or a gastropub. It is a joint that has bar food and proud of it. It is a joint where the owner serves your beer and cooks your food. It is a bar from my youth.

They don’t have much of an electronic foot print. I should have made a copy of their menu. Their menu is small and basic. The usual range of sandwiches you might find in a small bar around here and they are all in the $6 to $7 range. The first thing we ordered was an app of clam strips. You don’t see these very often. They come with a nice homemade cocktail sauce and are worth doing again.

I was really torn between meatloaf and Sloppy Joe; both are made by the owner and I am a sucker for either. I finally opted for a meatloaf sandwich on a bun. I could have gotten it on bread; toast even. That is how accommodating the owner is.

The meatloaf was nicely done. A great texture, neither too dense or loose. It also had a great beef flavor. You didn’t taste a bunch of non-meat additives. This ranks with the best I have had.

Pat and I both enjoyed our lunch immensely. I want to go back and try the Sloppy Joe. As for the service it was wonderful. I never got the owner’s name but she is incredible. She remembers what the regulars drink and eat and she is a first class Hostess. Keep this hole in the wall in mind when you go see the Colts or just drop in if you are in the area. I think you will like it.


Whit’s Inn 1020 N. U.S Highway 31

Well as the man said this week is Tenderloin week and several bars and restaurants chose to participate. Of the few we had never been to this joint appeared to be the most interesting.  It is a neighborhood dive. The sort of place that draws the same crowd with karaoke on Wednesday night and live music on weekends. As a matter of fact Henry Lee Summers played there a while back. If you recognize that name you are probably over 50 and from Indiana. If you don’t never mind.

One thing we did not consider was the smoking. In Marion County smoking is no longer allowed in public places in Johnson County its smoke em if you got em. It wasn’t as off-putting as I thought it would be. The aroma was present it just wasn’t so bad that it ruined my visit. However as Pat said if I came back it would be to sit outside.

This place hand cuts the tenderloin and then cubes them in a cuber before they bread them by hand. So the sandwich is legit I just wasn’t in the mood for a hunk of fried meat. Their menu is small and predictable and nothing really jumped up and said “pick me”. I decided on a double bacon cheese burger; 86 the bun and garden. I wanted just the meat.

It was nothing spectacular. Two half pound beef patties topped with cheese and 2 nice slices of bacon. To me they were over cooked. I understand most joints are leery of not following Board of Health guide lines but I think 160 degrees is allowable. No matter; it was meat and it was filling.

Like most bars this joint has a Golden Tee golf machine and next to it is the coolest cocktail table.

Pretty neat isn’t it.

I enjoyed my self because the folks were friendly ( small Indiana town). As a matter of fact we met a fellow named Tom who worked for the city of Greenwood and has for 40 years. He was one year from retirement and on vacation. He decided that we were such nice guys that he had to buy us lunch. That was especially nice. If you are in the Franklin area and want a cold beer and a bite and you don’t mind smoke check out Whit’s Inn.

Thanks again Tom; enjoy your vacation.
Whit's Inn Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


The Long Acre Bar and Grill 4813 South Madison Avenue

One more bit of trivia about the Long Acre. Back in the day it was owned by a local celebrity D.J. Jimmy Mattis, AKA The Dog. While he was the proprietor he worked on a beef stew recipe in trying to replicate John’s Famous Stew. The Dog gave the recipe to the new owner; Sonley and a young lady named Shannon made a batch. Pat learned this on Monday when he did a bit of recon on the joint. He was also told that it had too many chiles in it. So we had to try some just to see for ourselves.

It was a pretty good bowl of stew and a close match to John’s. However John’s was a tomato base and this wasn’t. In either event it was a good stew and it wasn’t too hot.

Their menu is standard bar fare, and they offer daily specials. The special today was salmon patties with a choice of fries or onion rings for $7.95. It also came with coleslaw.

Here is the Coleslaw

As you can see I opted for the rings. They were your pretty standard IQF ring but they were pretty tasty and actually were solid onion rings. The salmon patties were pretty tasty as well just a bit flatter than what I am accustom to.

So the Long Acre is back in business. Service is great. Shannon waited on us. The same Shannon that made the stew. She also made the salmon patties. The domestic drafts are only $2.25 and are super cold. Pat’s sandwich was $7.95 and our “cup” of soup was $3.95. So you can’t complain about the prices. They even have a working fireplace in the dining room. I would be back on a regular basis but it is too far for me to drive. But I will be back.

 


Billy O’Neal’s Irish Pub 7445 W. 10th. Street

As tempted as I was by Pat’s Fish I decided on a burger. As matter of fact I ordered a double. Word of warning. Stay with a single, the double is a lot of food. They cook their burgers on a flat top so the patties are smashed and crisp; reminiscent of those greasy burgers served at drug store lunch counters.

Cheese comes with the burger but the bacon is $.99. It was an awfully good burger and the slaw was excellent as well. Creamy and sweet. I manage to eat all the meat but I didn’t eat all the bread. I was so full I couldn’t even drink a beer afterwards. I may make a point of coming back. If I do it will be to try the fish and chips.

Although that burger sure looks good. If another one of their smashed burgers is in my future it will be a single.
Billy O'Neal's Pub & Eatery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


The Thirsty Turtle 2949 S. Meridian St.

I know. Another bar. We have been going to several of these lately because we can’t find any Independent lunch joint that we haven’t already been to. I love bars, taverns, saloons; what ever you want to call them but sometimes we want something different. Actually we came here by a happy accident. The joint we were going to visit had abruptly changed their hours and stopped serving lunch during the week. The Thirsty Turtle was a place I have been by a few times and never took the time to stop.

This day they were having a very busy lunch. They were selling 50 cent wings, or maybe it was wings for a quarter. They do a wing special on Wednesday and Thursday, 50 cents one day 25 on the other. Either way it was crazy. Especially since the kitchen staff consisted of one young woman. I sat at the end of the bar and was able to see all the action in the kitchen. The work is strong in this one. She did an outstanding job and I had a grand time watching.

I wasn’t in a burger mood so I opted for catfish. I decided on “blackened” for two reasons. First I didn’t want to compound the kitchen’s fryer load. Also I was curious to see how they did it.

They had a nifty little stove and griddle combo featuring a 4 eyed stove and oven as well as the flat top. So the fish could have been prepared in a skillet or on the griddle. As you can see from the color of the fish it wasn’t really blackened. It was cooked on the flat top and seasoned with a “cajun” spice. It was still nicely done and I liked it.

I really enjoyed our lunch. It was nice to see some real kitchen work. It has been a while. It isn’t close to me but I would like to go just because the people are just so darn nice. Oh and the prices are fantastic. The food totaled $15 and my Lite bottles were 2 bucks and Pat’s Rolling Rock was $3. You won’t find that Downtown.
Thirsty Turtle Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Fireman’s Raceway Pub 9104 Crawfordsville Road.

This joint is a first for us.  The food is cooked to order, but with pre- made product. They use a frozen crust and a ready-made sauce for the pizza. The pizza product comes from a well know purveyor that sells a good product. They also use an independent restaurant supply for the rest of their inventory.

We learned of this joint recently after visiting Jimbo’s BBQ. Actually this was where we heard of Soul Bear’s. The hook to us was the fact they were just blocks from the BBQ and they offered $1 domestic bottles on Wednesday. As for the reason we decided to eat here was solely because of Danielle. She waits tables, tends bar and cooks the food all with an amazing amount of energy and humor. She told us she wanted to go to a Culinary School but was having second thoughts. Her attitude about cooking and tending to the customers is very refreshing. She does everything to the best of her ability which is very exciting to see. That is why we opted to have lunch here. There are several joints that have one person doing it all. Serving drinks and cooking food and they are all independently owned and they deserve some attention as well as a Gastropub.

Staying with the “sausage” motif I opted for a corn dog as my app.

It was pretty dark in the bar so my pictures are less that stellar. For my “main dish” I chose a Stromboli. As Danielle explained it to me she prepares the sandwich the same as a deluxe pizza. Ground meat, sauce, peppers,onions, mushrooms, pepperoni and cheese all on a toasted Hoagie bun. All of the pizza product comes from Delco Foods, a well know supplier of Italian food products. This sandwich was a big hit. The bun was exceptional and the toast was just right. It hit all the right notes and went down quickly. For $6 it was a bargain.

You don’t always need scratch made food to have a good meal. Good product and good preparation go a long way in making a joint shine.
Firemen's Raceway Pub Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Dugout Bar 621 Virginia Ave.

On a rainy day there is just something about an old bar that draws me. We decided to do lunch on Monday instead of Wednesday this week. Since it was rainy we came here. Also since it was raining I forgot to take an outside shot. As soon as we walked in we were greeted by both the bartender and 2 guys sitting at the bar. That is always a good sign. We started off with some breaded mushrooms for $7.95. They offer a choice of 3 dippers, which is unique. Marinara as well as cocktail and ranch.

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They tasted pretty good. I have had a few better. I couldn’t place the breading. Had I know that the Head Food Dude was sitting at the bar with us I would have asked. By the time we were introduced the mushrooms were gone and so was the question.

After a long weekend of tryptophan, turkey and carbs Pat and I both craved a burger. We opted for a bacon cheeseburger for $8.75.

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The only difference in our orders was Pat wanted pepperjack cheese and pickle only. I opted for Swiss with pickle and onion. I asked our bartender if they used red or white onion. I can tolerate red onion in a salad but not a burger. Yes I can be finicky. She told me I could have either one. Now that is service.

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The burger was tasty, the pickles were crisp, the onions crunchy and the Brioche bun was beautiful. It was a very nice sandwich and they didn’t scrimp on the bacon; 3 strips.

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As we entered we were informed of the lunch specials. A Cajun seasoned pork tenderloin and a blackened salmon Etouffee. Normally I would have jumped on the fish but as I said I was craving  red meat. As we chatted with the 2 fellows sitting at the bar I discovered that their current chef had worked at Bourbon Distillery around the time Pat and I went there. If that is the case then he was responsible for my blacked trout with Etouffee that I had that day. The dish was excellent. So this just gives me an added incentive to return and try one of his fish dishes.

So we have an old bar with friendly patrons, excellent service and great food. On and the prices are reasonable. They even offer up great beer specials. PBR and Killian Red for $2.50 per pint. I wish I could remember our server/ bartender’s name. She did a terrific job. So I’ll be back with or with the rain.

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


The Kitley Inn 825 S. Kitley Ave.

Yes we went to the Kitley Inn. Laugh if you want but it is a piece Of Indianapolis History. It opened across the street from The Kitley Speedrome in 1946 and has been a viable joint ever since. Now the Speedrome is the oldest operating Figure 8 track in the US and is considered to be the first. I remember taking my boys there for races back in the 70’s. Great times.

Last week,after lunch at Tie Dyed Grill we decided to travel 2.1 miles South to check out the Kitley Inn.since neither of us had ever been there before. What we discovered was an old school bar with old school pricing and friendly customers. Our bar tender/ server; Nancy was a delight. Gracious and efficient she made us feel welcome. There was a handful of regulars sitting at a table playing a bowling game and drinking beer who welcomed us as we entered. Furthermore they told us goodbye and even remarked that it was a pleasure to have met us. I go out a bit and I never experience that in some other parts of the city. I think that,plus Nancy, was what prompted us to go back today for lunch

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Now this is a bar with bar food. They offer scratch made specials, but the most of the food they offer is from Sysco. The appetizers are an IQF product, with the possible exception of one. The jalapeno stuffed chicken wrapped in bacon. I neglected to ask about that one. We ordered some fried mushrooms for $5.99. They are what you might expect from Sysco. Decent and nicely prepared.

 

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Per Nancy’s recommendation Pat opted for a mushroom pizza. A 7 inch cheese is $6.99 with toppings an extra buck.

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Well Pat was partly correct. This joint is older than us by 4 years. I think all 3 of us are holding up pretty well.

I decided on a shroom burger for $6.99,and for a $1 up charge I got (drum roll) tater tots. A whole bunch of tater tots. When we got are app. we were given both Ranch dressing and marinara sauce. I kept the Ranch for the tots. Not too bad.

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That is a whole lot of tater tots for a buck. The only reason I was able to finish them was Pat “helped” me. It was really a pretty good lunch. The burger was a standard pre-made patty, slacked in advance and then cooked to order. Very common practice in most bars. The unique aspect of this joint is the large bun with a very nice char. As a matter of fact it could have used some more. Also it offered an abundance of shrooms and a nice cheese cover.

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So if you want “scratch cooking” if it’s not the specials you ain’t gonna’ get it. If you want to have a few beers or a few cocktails and maybe meet some new friends then this is the place. If you want to grab a bite after a race, well this is the place. I mean,after all it has been the place for over 65 years.
Kitley Inn Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Bearcats Restaurant 1055 N. Senate Ave. (Revisit)

Pat and I had lunch here in July 2013. We heard sometime back that the joint had changed owners and quite a few changes were made. I also heard that they were going to start corning their own brisket. Before they bought raw corned beef and cooked it off in-house. I haven’t heard any more about it so we decided to go today. As I understand it the fellow that originally opened the Living Room Lounge is the new owner. At the Lounge he perfected a technique to cook a burger on a griddle that makes it crispy on the outside yet tender and moist on the inside. Pat remember that and he was jonesin’ for a burger.

The last time we were here the place had a definite industrial vibe, concrete floors the whole bit. Now they have a wood floor. They also had mushrooms. The menu offered fresh breaded mushrooms both times. The last time they were out, not this time.

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Now these suckers were hot, fresh and delicious. An excellent appetizer.

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They had all the lunch specials typed out in the caddie on each table so you knew as soon as you sat down what the specials were. I opted for the Mahi burger. I really didn’t know what to expect. Our server wasn’t sure how to describe it. She did know they came in frozen and were good. As it turned out it was a round cutout of a fillet. It wasn’t chopped as you might expect from a sandwich called a burger. However it was a solid piece of fish and it was really pretty good. Of course this “burger” begs the question. What do they do with the rest of the fish? Don’t know. I liked this one and I really liked the sweet potato waffle fries it came with.

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The special had cheese choice so I went with swiss. I probably should have gone with no cheese. The swiss was too mild to bring much to the table.

So Pat and I both think this new joint is an improvement over the old one. Better looking, interesting specials and a much friendlier atmosphere.

Bearcats Restaurant on Urbanspoon


Sawmill Saloon 1313 N. Sherman Drive

Okay. Normally our lunch day is Thursday. Pat decided that we would go “rogue” today and hit some joint that we would never normally consider. I decided to hit a joint I have noticed on the “net” that is located in Brightwood. This is a working class neighborhood that some folks call the hood. I grew up in that neighborhood. So actually I was rather excited to check out the new Brightwood.

The building has been around for a long time. For years it was called the Bungalow. A joint noted for its catfish dinners and bar service. I had been there a few times 35 years ago. My dad went there on a few occasions. Actually I forgot about it until I saw an entry on Urbanspoon. From what I recently discovered the Sawmill has been opened for quite a while. It was named after the veneer factory across the street. That particular factory has been around since I was a kid.

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The joint has not changed much in the last few years. A long bar, several tables and a rather cool back bar.

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Their menu is unpretentious and very Hoosier. I didn’t bring my scanner so I was not able to present the menu. Now that is a bummer. I always pride myself on the fact that I can usually present a joint’s menu for everyone to see. This time my camera was not up to the task.

They make their own fries, and onion rings. They also hand cut and pound out the pork loins for breading. Normally I try to avoid breaded and fried food. I am supposed to eat a Heart Healthy diet. However, sometimes a man needs some fried meat.

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Their version of the Hoosier staple was a great example of a simply good sandwich. It was not as intricate as some places. It was simply a nice hunk of pork that was hand pounded and breaded and fried. It wasn’t a great BT by any standard. It was a good one. It was tender. The breading was a little light.

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The fries were nice. They cut them in-house. I don’t think they double fry them. Which I think is how it should be. In either event they really should season the bad boys. Their fries are pretty good. They just need some cojones. One thing I enjoyed was that they put the tenderloin on toast. Not the obligatory Texas toast, on a flat top,but white bread toast from a toaster, I liked the crunch.

The previous day the Sawmill had a hog roast. So they ran their pulled pork sandwich as a lunch special.

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I think I agree with Pat’s assessment. If I found myself in the neighborhood I would go again. However Brightwood is hardly a destination;anymore. The food is tasty,the beer is cold and the new owner; Rhonda is a delight. So should you find yourself on Sherman Drive by all means pop in. For two sandwiches and fries the tab came to under 14 bucks. And a domestic bottle will cost you $2.75. So I think it was a good afternoon in the neighborhood.
Sawmill Saloon on Urbanspoon


Manley’s Irish Mutt -7041 East Tenth Street

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Saloons…Bars…Taverns no matter what term you use Manley’s is a perfect example of one. A  menu heavy on appetizers and with certain must have, or you’re not a real bar, sandwiches. Namely a breaded tenderloin, a burger, some type of chicken and roast beef, or steak. All bars have these. Some do them poorly. Some do them well and in the case of the Mutt some do them extremely well.

We started off with some mushrooms. You could tell from the uniform size that they were probably not made in-house. However at first bite you might think they were hand battered and then breaded back in the kitchen. They were excellent. Very crisp on the outside and almost liquid on the inside. Sort of like a savory mushroom cordial.

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As you can see I nearly forgot to take the picture. That stain at the top of the basket isn’t grease. I’m not sure what it is. These ‘shrums were not at all greasy.

The lunch special that day was a breaded tenderloin, for $6.99. Believe it or not I really try to watch my fried food intake; so I took a pass. Not Patrick.

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I completely forgot to take any pictures until Pat was finished and I was half done. Luckily a guy next to us at the bar ordered one, and he was kind enough to let me use his plate as a stand in.

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I ordered a Cuban Sandwich. Jerk seasoned pork,ham, pickle and swiss cheese on a grilled hoagie. The fillings are pretty much the same at most places around here the only question is the pork and the bread. This version was $6.99 and the coleslaw was an additional $1.99. The sandwich was excellent. From the spicy tenderloin through the ham and pickle to the swiss cheese it was a complete hit for me. So very tender. All the components represented themselves in tasty fashion and the melding of the 4 created another layer of taste. As for the coleslaw it turned out to be a good complement to the sandwich. Creamy and sweet.

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Pat thought I should have tidied the plate up before taking the shot. Obviously I thought otherwise. I think Pat was right.

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They have the usual selection of adult beverage. A few crafts for $4 and more Irish whiskeys than I have seen in one joint in my life. And they sell them for 4 bucks on Saturdays. I must say it is refreshing to see a back bar that doesn’t have 25 different vodkas.Manley's Irish Mutt on Urbanspoonhttps://kosherhamandcheese.com/?p=2342&preview=true


Time for the Tick Tock Tavern to ReOpen

On the near east side of Indy ; on 10th street ; there once was a nice little neighborhood. It was anchored by Arsenal Technical High School and three wide thoroughfares of huge turn of the century homes. Several of which even had carriage houses. But that area ; like a lot of places in this country ; deteriorated. One of the businesses that fell on “hard times” was the Tick Tock Tavern. Fell ? Hell it jumped. Back in the early 90’s one of its bartenders shot a customer. That ain’t good customer relations. No matter now, it closed and two sharp and savvy business women have re built it and are starting a new chapter on 10th Street. The born again Tick Tock is bright and airy and offers no pretense. Some new joints try to play a hip and/or sophisticated card. Not this place. You get what you see. They offer about 6 or 7 craft beers. Mostly local and they only charge $5. Their food menu isn’t that large. Which should be common for the first one. Their fare is common bar food; with a slight creative twist. They cook their burgers on a flat top ; like the Living Room Lounge. Imagine that. Tammy, a co-owner, and our bartender/server used to own the Living Room. Well as soon as Pat learned how they cook ’em he ordered one so fast I thought he was gonna’ bite his tongue. 007 tick tock 2 001-001 006 They had 4 lunch specials that day. One included pig. Pulled pork with bbq sauce. They had me at the 1st B. The portion was legit and the flavor had a slight smokiness that I enjoy. Even if it might have come from a bottle. The meat was both shredded and in bigger chunks. The chunks had some great crusty brown pieces and parts. The special came with cole slaw and choice of side. You can see that on the menu that is accompanying this post. We have made some changes in the bistro. Tammy told us she was planning on changing the menu , and adding more apps. Pat and I have already discussed a revisit. We will have to find some peeps to go with us ; so we can try more stuff. This is an exciting little joint. GOOD LUCK LADIES. 005 Oh I almost forgot. Their “hook” is flavored vodkas. At first thought that may not seem too exciting but they infuse their own. Pat and I sampled some bacon vodka ; the center piece for their signature Blood Marys. All we can say is: Damn. 011 004 <img style="border:none;padding:0;width:130px;height:36px;"Tick Tock Lounge on Urbanspoon https://kosherhamandcheese.com/tick-tock-tavern-menu/


A Visit to the Grove.

Last week Pat and I decided to try out a new shooting range at Beech Grove Firearms. The range is first-rate. In my opinion the best around. After wards we decided to hit The Grove Sports Bar and Eatery for food and beer. For non-locals Beech Grove is a small non incorporated area southeast of Indy. In that regard it is similar to Wanamaker. However that is where the similarities end. It isn’t that everyone we ran into was unfriendly,the folks at the gun store were quite cordial. Maybe they just felt compelled to be nice to guys that were armed. In either event the bartender was a trifle cool,and the 3 or 4 regulars hanging out were far from cordial. Maybe we have just been spoiled by other joints we’ve been to. Oh well; I doubt if we ever go back. The menu is basic bar food; just a little more basic than most. We both decided on their “lunch special” for $5.50. That would be 2 quarter lb. patties, one slice of bacon and one slice cheddar cheese. Well, it was food. The cold set was fresh and the pickle chips were tasty but that’s about all I can say. All they offer for beer is domestic,at $2.25. Well sometimes you find a real gem in some 014015-001013out-of-the-way joint,other times you find the Grove Sports Bar & Eatery.Grove Sports Bar on Urbanspoon


IS INDY READY FOR MEN IN SKIRTS?

Well, we went to the Tilted Kilt for lunch. We knew it was a corporate Place, but Patrick wanted to try it out for quite some time.I know what you’re thinking, he wanted to check out the outfits the ladies wore, but that is only part of the reason. His wife, Fran, had tried the fish and chips while out-of-town and was quite complimentary about them, so Pat wanted to confirm they were as good as she said. And guess what, Paddy liked them.He thought the batter was delicious, and he especially liked the fact that the fish were big chunks, crisp on the outside and moist on the inside. The fries were fries. Nothing spectacular, but he did enjoy the coleslaw which is rare. It had no onions and was sweeter than most slaws;that might explain it.He thought the pricing was reasonable at $8.

I tried their “Irish stew“. You can get it as a bowl for about five dollars or a bigger portion for about$ 10 with garlic bread. They also offer a shepherd’s pie and I think it would be a good guess that they use the same stew for that as well.I know I would.In either event both portions came with delicious smashed tater on top. Actually, I was quite pleased with the stew. They make it, as well as the soups, in house.Since I still have a wee bit of a “dental challenge” I opted for the small version, and was pleasantly surprised to discover that the meat and veggies were all small diced. That,and the savory gravy just added to my overall enjoyment of the dish.I definitely will try it again, but I would probably go for the larger portion with bread.

As for liquid refreshment. They had the usual suspects of craft brews on draft in the $5 range and three dollar domestic bottle.They also have the obligatory über cheap PBR drafts. It’s nice to see one of the beers of the greatest generation is still being enjoyed by their kids and grandkids.

Now,about those uniforms.Neither Pat or I were too impressed by them.We thought the skirts were too Britney Spear-ish and the tops were way too tight. We couldn’t see how those ladies could be comfortable. We did discover, however, that the guys that work nights wear kilts as well. So ladies, that might be something you would want to check out.As for me if I want to see a dude in a kilt I’ll watch old British WWII movies on TCM.Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery on Urbanspoon


Fireside Brewhouse

We had planned on hitting a place in the “inner city” but we had to make a run to Gander Mountain in Greenwood first.And what do you think was right across the street?Well the Fireside Brewhouse that’s what.And I cannot imagine two men passing up any place that calls itself a brew house;even if it really doesn’t make its own beer.The place is huge and really GOOD looking;you might even call it beautiful.I took a few more structure shots than normal;since I forgot, again,to take any pictures of our food until the plates were in such disarray it would be a waste of time to try to salvage a shot.

But you should be aware that they practice Down Town Pricing;some one has to pay for the pretty.They offer over 100 beers;a dozen or so are on draft.I had a couple of Flat 12 Half Cycles at $6 each and Pat had a Hacker-Pschorr Weisse for 6 bucks;and it wasn’t even a big bottle.Like I said downtown prices.Their menu is standard Tavern fare,with sandwiches in the 9-10 dollar range.They offer a variety of Angus Burgers combos.They have one called The Dude.It’s a fully cooked burger topped with Velveeta cheese;placed on a bun and the whole damn thing is beer battered and deep fried.Naturally it comes with fries;as do all their sandwiches.Normally I like my burgers naked;no garden,no mayo, maybe cheese.However on this occasion I ordered their Tijuana something or other.A southwest seasoned patty topped with fried green chiles,onions,white cheese,guacamole and “chipotle mayo”.I added lettuce and tomato( a man needs some veggies )so the end result was quite a mouthful.The overall taste was quite good.The slight spiciness of the seasoning and the mild heat of the lightly breaded poblanos brought a welcome crunch to blend with the creaminess of the guacamole.The only negative is they don’t toast the buns,so near the end the mayo and the guac.made the sandwich a little mushy.

Pat ordered an Italian Beef sandwich.A decent portion of roast beef on a hoagie roll with red sauce,pickled veggies and provolone cheese.Per the bartender’s suggestion he got the sauce and veggies on the side along with a side of au jus.It came out open face so he ate it with a knife and fork.When I asked him how it was, he said the quantity was “street level”.Meaning he didn’t get enough meat.However when he attacked the other half he commented that the meat wasn’t “evenly divided”;so he was happy again.I thought he was enjoying the food because I thought I caught a glimpse of sparks coming from his knife and fork;but maybe it was just a trick of the lighting.One thing we both agreed on was the fries had a great house seasoning.

So; in summation if you live or work around here it’s a nice place to go for a bite;they even offer a kid’s menu.If you desire a beer after work before you head home to the Mr. or Mrs.they offer daily specials.Thursdays special was $2.75 domestic drafts,but since all I am allowed to drink at home is domestic light beers on Thursday I require a real beer.Fireside Brewhouse on Urbanspoon


Lockerbie Pub

12 – Mercedes Benz

I can’t believe I haven’t written about this place before.Pat and I have been there a few times for drinks.And I know we ate there;I had a turkey Manhattan;as big as your head;I can’t remember what Pat ate,I think it was a burger.What got me thinking about it was last week;after eating we popped in for a beer and were greeted by the same two smiling faces as before.Amanda,the bartender and the owner(whose name I cannot remember,sorry)who also waits tables.It is so refreshing to see an owner actually working,not just “owning”.However when I went back through my “archives” I couldn’t find any posts for it.So since I knew the food was tasty;we decided on a revisit,a do-over,a Mulligan so to speak.So here we are.

Their menu is your typical bar menu,burgers,tenderloin and the like;but they also offer lunch specials;like Manhattans and meat loaf sandwiches.Naturally I ordered the meat loaf sandwich.( see my Kountry Kitchen posting ).I wasn’t disappointed at all.I got a huge slab of tasty home-made meat loaf on a big toasted bun,with a mound of crinkle cut fries;all for only$6.50.Pat got a triple-decker grilled cheese with tomato and some of the best looking bacon I’ve seen in a while;all on marble rye.He opted for tater tots;what is it about tater tots that seems to bring out the little boy in grown men?Our entire lunch bill came to less than $16 after tax.

As far as beverage goes they have a nice selection of Sun King beers on draft for $5; we had some scary good Sky Cake, deep and hoppy.They also offer beer specials for $3.75;like Summer Shandy.I out did my self this week I didn’t remember to photograph our food until Pat was half way through his grilled cheese.And I was doing so good for a while.I’ve heard people refer to The Lockerbie as a dive.Well maybe since I’ve worked a few border towns I have a different criteria;so I don’t consider it a dive.I prefer to think of it like your favorite sweater;easy to slip into and right makes you feel right at home.

The song I am inserting I dedicate to Amanda and the owner (whose name I forgot;sorry ) I decided to go back and add another song;just because I really like it.The Joplin is for Lockerbie;Sally Ford and the Sound Outside is just for the hell of it.03 – Cage(1)Lockerbie Pub on Urbanspoon


The Tin Roof

I know;I know the Tin Roof is a corporate joint but I had to conduct some business at the City County building and when I finished I needed sustenance quickly.And since it took such a long time for it to open I was flat-out curious.So I called Patrick and told him to meet me there.It’s located in the Century building;at the corner of Penn and Maryland St.This whole area is becoming quite the destination for food and drink.Tin Roof anchoring the south corner;Coaches at the north corner and O’Reilly’s in the middle.Around the corner on Pearl in the same building is Pearl Street Pizza.Factor in Scotty’s Brewery and Mo’s across the street and Morton’s one block north;so if you come to this part of town and you go home hungry or thirsty it’s your own damn fault.Well enough of the tourism talk let’s get back to the subject at hand, The Tin Roof.

The joint is deceptively airy,since they tore out part of two walls facing Penn and Maryland and added huge glass sliding doors;similar to Brother’s in Broad Ripple.Also since they can access 2 side walks they can have two patio seating areas. The walls are covered with old signs ,which is pretty cool;but the cool factor faded when I ordered a Flat 12 draft and it came in a plastic cup.I thought I was at a college kegger.I figured when Pat came he would have a beer and we would leave;go someplace more “civilized”.However the more I watched Amanda;our bartender/server work the more impressed I became.She was the perfect adherent to the old restaurant adage:”You have time to lean,you have .time to clean”.She was energetic and efficient;I figured any joint that has the good sense to hire some one like her;can’t be all bad;regardless of what they serve their beer in.

As for the menu I found it odd they didn’t offer a hamburger of any kind.They had the typical apps,wings etc.,the obligatory entrée salads and a rather large array of quesadillas,Panini style sandwiches and something they call pizzadillas;built like a quesadilla but stuffed with pizza ingredients.The various combinations offered for the ‘dillas and the sandwiches was varied and all sounded really good.Pat got a Shroom quesadill .A plain 12 inch tortilla with jack cheese mushrooms,chicken and avocado;served with rather run of the mill tortilla chips and a side of home-made salsa that was more sweet than spicy.His over all opinion was that it was tasty just not spectacular.He thought it could use more stuff inside.The same could be said for my sandwich.It consisted of turkey,bacon, avocado and provolone cheese.It was well crafted and the bread was excellent;it just seem to lack pizzazz.The side of Basalmic vinaigrette helped some what, but it still needed something.It did come with a side of crinkle cut fries,and both meals only cost $8 each.As for malt beverages they sell a flat 12 draft for $5;but the special that day was Pabst Blue Ribbon tall boys for 2 bucks.So all in all I think this may be a joint to check out;even though it is a chain all the people who work there are really special.Tin Roof on Urbanspoon


South Meridian Pub

On South Meridian at Epler Avenue is an old building that has housed different bars at different times.Now it’s newly remodeled and renamed the South Meridian Pub.I should have taken a lot more pictures but I didn’t bring my A game Thursday;and was more preoccupied by good honest bar food and cheap beer.Well we got both.One of their specials was a smothered smoked sausage sandwich with fries;for $6.50.It was a flat-out solid good sandwich.The sausage was nicely crisped and the peppers and onions were  wonderfully carmelized and it was all on a tasty hoagie roll.I know it has been quite a while since I have eaten french fries but these were especially tasty;I know they weren’t any thing special, but they were so good I was surprised my cardiologist didn’t call to yell at me.Pat had his eye on the catfish sandwich;but he’s not keen on the cornmeal breading usually used.But Kellie,our delightful server/bartender asked Steve,the cook what he could do differently.So Steve offered to mix up a batter for Pat’s fish,now I call that above and beyond the call of cookery.It’s served with chips and coleslaw,for $6.95;and Pat truly enjoyed it and appreciated the extra effort the cook went to.

For the beer portion of our experience their menu is not that large.They have the usual suspects of domestic bottles and offer Miller Lite,Bud Light and Fat Tire on draft.On Tuesday they sell Fat Tire drafts for $3;Thursday’s special is $1.75 Domestic bottles and their everyday price for Miller drafts is $1.75.So it is a very reasonable place to eat and drink.

Speaking of reasonable places to eat and drink;there is a bunch of them on South Meridian.From Shapiro’s on south there are several joints to choose from.I am fuzzy on the details but I read something about a cultural food trail;celebrating local food establishments;probably along the Monon.I think someone ought to celebrate the Taverns and Restaurants of South Meridian.Can I get an Amen?

Now for the embarrassing portion of our review;pictures.I only took 3 pics.The pictures of the food weren’t taken until we already started eating;that’s pretty normal;I am working on that problem.I did take a picture of our lovely server (she okayed it) but didn’t want it published;so it’s not.If you want to meet Kellie and Steve and have a solid lunch and some good beer prices you’ll just have just go there.Old Meridian Pub on Urbanspoon


If they’re not Deeps;then they are….Shallos.

That was pretty lame I know;but the place,Shallos,in Greenwood is anything but.They stock 500 bottled beers and 36 on draft.They were no longer serving the IPA I wanted to try so the Bartender offered me several suggestions and even gave me a few samples.I ended up drinking 3 beers,in ascending ABV;so by the time I finished I was quite happy,as well as hoppy.But;being the responsible drinker that I am,I ate-and quite well I must say.I ordered their burrito.I knew I wouldn’t get an “authentic” burro,but that’s not what I wanted.I wanted a midwestern version;and I wasn’t dissappointed.I received a big burrito stuffed with well seasoned meat,smothered with a good enchilada sauce,garnished with crisp lettuce and diced tomato.It was a really good-looking plate.I’d planned on taking a picture of it but I forgot until I was half way finished-oops.But I did discover that the slightly spicy and sweet tastes of the southwest marry quite well with the bitter hoppiness of an IPA.As for Patrick he had an IPA too and opted to try a battered cod sandwich.Now this guy loves cod I think we’ve covered that before,he’s probably eaten deep-fried fish everywhere that it is offered in Indy.And Paddy declared that this hunk of battered and deep-fried cod was the best he had ever tried.So there you have it.Unless you live in Elkhart try Greenwood’s Shallos for an honest lunch and a good beer,or 2.Shallo's Restaurant & Brewhouse on Urbanspoon


Just Judy….Judy….Judy

Who said SoBro had to be expensive? On 54th street ( a street I shall hence forth refer to as SoBro restaurant row ) sits Just Judy’s.And like Alice’s you can get anything you want there.Pizza,burgers,burritos and breakfast any time.And the prices are more than reasonable.For 4 bucks you can get a grilled cheese and all you care to eat house made soup.I opted for their $4.75 sloppy joe and fries special.I may have had better but never  one so reasonably priced.Pat tried the breaded tenderloin and ate the whole thing;I think we’re in a race to become the largest ambulatory resident of Indy.You know the biggest gainer.I didn’t try any of it but I must say that was one of the best looking BTs I’ve seen in a while.These folks even make their own chips and cobblers.I went into lunch without my usual hearty appetite.I would have liked to try some cobbler;you don’t find that too often.But as they say tomorrow’s another day.All and all ( what’s that supposed to mean anyway? )We strongly recommend this place.For variety,freshness, taste and price you can’t go wrong.Just Judy's on Urbanspoon


Bud’s Tavern

Our original plan for Thursday was to have lunch at Reuben’s Cue and then grab a couple of beers at Bud’s Tavern. Well much to our surprise we couldn’t find it. We’ve been by it before; always planning on stopping in at some future date. So now that we finally decided to go the joint has vanished. This could be a metaphor for the consequences of delayed plans;postponed dreams etc.;or not. In either event we cruised Lafayette Road twice with no luck.No problem we had a back up plan; Marbel’s Southern Cooking, 2 blocks away. Guess what ,Marbel’s only serves dinner, on weekends. So that left us with Bud’s.In all honesty lunch at Bud’s wasn’t high on my wish list. Don’t get me wrong Ma&Pa bars usually have decent food; some more decent than others. It’s just that the last few weeks it seems as though Pat and I have allowed ourselves to be seduced by the Broad Ripple scene,and this week we had our collective mouths set for cue. No matter; Bud’s grub was very good. I think the execution was the key.The cook was more mature than the average pub cook which says something about experience. I had a patty melt; a common bar treat; but usually the onions are barely sweated, on this sandwich they were truly grilled. The simplest things can make the most common meal delicious. They also have  lunch specials;”reduced portions” for a special price. Pat had a breaded tenderloin and this BT was unique; in that it appeared to be about a 4 oz boneless loin chop;breaded and fried without the benefit of beaten’ or cubein’. Regardless Pat thought it was delicious. Bottom line, lunch for 2 ; 14 bucks. And afterwards you can get a pint of Miller Lite for $1.75. I know the Speedway air isn’t the same rareified air as Downtown or the Ripple but sometimes it’s cleaner and one hell of a lot cheaper. And I’ll match this west side food with any bar food anywhere.Bud's Tavern on Urbanspoon