eating indie in indy

taverns and stuff

Ice House 2352 S. West St.

This is indeed a bar. A tavern. I am sure some folks would call it a dive. They would be wrong. It is a big old-fashioned place that sells Adult beverages and well made food. They aren’t too worried about food trends and I am sure no one in the kitchen dreams of James Beard. The bartenders and servers are just that; not mixologists or Flairtenders. They have done the job for a while and do it with both professionalism and a smile. I am a big fan.

The Ice House is a big building sitting in an industrial area all by itself with the sign on top of the building. Like a road house from days gone by.

They always have a big lunch crowd when we go there. If you try their food I think you will see why.

This joint changed owners a few years back and the prices are indeed fancy. The double Pat got was $12.50; but when you consider the extras they include and the fact they only charge $.75 for cheese I guess it balances out. The real values are in their specials. On Wednesday they offer a 6 ounce fillet for $10.95. Included in the price is a salad and a hash brown potato casserole.

Several taverns offer a 6 ounce fillet for 10 to 11 bucks but this one; I believe; is the best around. Moist and tender. Hot with just the right amount of char and most importantly it was cooked mid rare. The potatoes were an interesting dish. It was tasty but I just didn’t want that many carbs for lunch.

Another big item on their menu is broasted chicken. For that you will need a hardy appetite. I really enjoy this place. People talk a lot about “keeping it real.” Well this is one joint that does nothing but. Keep it real.

Ice House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Robby’s Pub 1345 West Southport Road

Pat suggested this place because he and Fran ate breakfast there on Saturday and he was quite impressed with his omelet. The menu is comprised of  typical tavern fare with daily specials thrown in to liven things up. It is a large joint with a huge bar. It is definitely built for crowds and the employees are super friendly. As soon as we set down our bar tender introduced herself. She also introduced us to the other server and the owner. Very friendly people. As we were talking to the owner I asked her about their fried chicken liver appetizer. I love chicken livers but I recently learned there is an IQF product that some joints use. I am not ready for those. She assured me that they were indeed done in-house. So as I was scanning the menu for something to add with them the owner told me she had put an order of livers for me. How nice.

They were delicious. Crisp on the outside and soft on the inside with a nice seasoned breading. A great snack later on with a bit of Dijon mustard.

Pat’s special came with a side salad. I was pleased to learn that with a sandwich you get a choice of several side options and salad was one. Without a upcharge

I really had no idea what I wanted to eat. I decided on a blackened chicken sandwich. The chicken is grilled or breaded. They blacken it by adding a Cajun seasoning to it and grilling it. Not traditional but it can be tasty if done well;and this was done well.

It was a huge single lobe breast that was probably 8 ounces. It had a nice spicy exterior and a moist interior. Something I like to have with a chicken breast yet seldom get in most preparations. I was only able to eat half of it.

Also this joint is noted for the beer specials. Wednesday was $1 Coors bottles. I am not a huge fan of the Silver Bullet but  it was really cold and only a buck, and it hit the spot. Both the Bullet and baked spaghetti special happen only on Wednesday. The special was $6.95. My chicken sandwich was $7.25, and happens everyday.

I want to thank both Liz, our server and Jerry, Robby’s owner for their graciousness. They both made our day.

Robby's Pub Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


New Bethel Ordinary 8838 Southeastern Ave. Wanamaker Ind.

Some time back Pat and I made a small tour of Wanamaker eating at Extraordinary Pizza and Wheatley’s. We had heard of The Ordinary but never got around to going there. Last week our server at Rebar  made a pitch for us to give it a try. He is a night-time cook there and told us they offered more than pizza.

I am not sure how old the building is but the floor looks ancient. The dining area is a comfortable size and the menu is of a reasonable length featuring all the foods you would expect of a Hoosier tavern.

Pat decided on an individual pizza for $6.50 with 2 bread sticks.

The bread sticks are fashioned from their pizza dough and are first-rate. They come with a generic canned nacho cheese sauce for dipping.

The first thing I noticed on the menu is the prices. They are very reasonable. All of their sandwiches come with waffle fries and one other side. I wanted a burger. Their basic burger is a half pound Angus for $7.95. I decided on the Texas BBQ Burger for $8.95. It comes with bacon, cheddar cheese, an onion ring and of course BBQ sauce.

It was a pretty good burger cooked on a griddle. I did order it mid-rare but it came out more medium. I think I may start ordering my burgers rare. Never the less it was a good bite. The bacon was freshly fried and the bun was nicely toasted. I would order one of their burgers again.

My other side dish was homemade potato salad.

It was a very good potato salad. Small pieces of potato that were almost of a mashed consistency. Not what I am accustomed to but still nice.

I like Wanamaker. In some ways that stretch of Southeastern Ave reminds me of a short stretch of Route 66 that is the main drag for Moriarty New Mexico. A whole bunch of restaurants and bars in a short piece of road. The Ordinary has some pretty good food with excellent prices and it is close to Indianapolis so I think it is worth a visit.

New Bethel Ordinary Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Rebar 20 N. Delaware

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

https://www.rebarindy.com/

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

 

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


Fort Ben Pub 5645 N. Post Road

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We have been asked before why we go to so many bars or taverns. Some folks don’t consider such places as “legitimate restaurants”. Well considering the crowd these joints feed at lunch time I would say that is a minority opinion.

We have been to all the bars we lunch at before; for a beer or cocktail. The ones that  offer something unique or special we add to our list. This week we couldn’t really decide on what we wanted to eat. I recalled Fort Ben’s Wednesday Special. A 6 ounce bacon wrapped filet with fries, toast and a salad for $9.25. Now that is a special Special.

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Pat ordered his medium and mine was medium rare. For all practical purposes they were the same temperature. The beef was very tender and had a very nice char quality to it. It was a record for speed that is for sure. I believe it was because the steak was par cooked prior to the order, and the fries were probably fried earlier and stored under a heat lamp. All perfectly reasonable and legitimate “tricks” done to expedite the lunch service. Also you could eat it in record time since you didn’t need to cool anything down. The meat was still tasty and I would do it again were I in the area. However Murphy’s @Flynn’s use to have a similar steak special for $9.99;and the steaks didn’t start cooking until you ordered. They might have raised the price a buck since Pat and I were there. Check their website.

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This particular place has a full repertoire of daily specials; both lunch and dinner. The specials may make this particular spot your destination. So don’t be too quick to overlook lowly bars or taverns for a bite to eat. Remember some of the best scratch type cooking can often be found at these bars.
Fort Ben Pub Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Lord Ashley’s Pub 11703 Pendleton Pike

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Once upon a time there was 2 Lord Ashley’s. One on East Washington and one near Oaklandon. The one on Washington is no more. This location is going strong with a change of ownership 12 years ago. It is a kid friendly joint with both a full menu and a full bar.

When we can we like to start off with come fried mushrooms. They serve a generous portion for $7.99.

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Pat and I both agreed that; while good they didn’t compare with Checkered Flags. Unfortunately all subsequent fried mushrooms will be compared with the Checkered Flag.

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Usually I decide quickly on what I want to eat. Not yesterday. Our server bailed me out by suggesting a breaded pork loin.

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It was huge. It was also confusing. I have never seen one pounded out so thin. My first impression was it was a pre-breaded item. However it was full muscle meat and invariably pre breaded “fritters” are chopped and formed. Normally I would have preferred a thicker slice of meat but the more I ate the more I enjoyed it. I can see myself ordering it again. However I think I would take the owner up on his offer of a second bun. I took the loin out of the bun and cut it in half and ate the first half sans bread.

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They make their own chips and they do a good job with them. Too often “home-made” chips are either burnt or under done. I also enjoyed the added kale garnish, that is old school.

It is so far away I can’t see going there very often. I can see myself stopping in when I am in the area or even making it a destination for a Springtime lunch. They are such nice people and they give you a good product at a good price.

Lord Ashley's Pub Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


1911 Grill 1067 Main Street Speedway In.

Well we are back in Speedway. Their Main Street is shaping up as a prime destination. In addition to the already existing business they have added Daredevil Brewing, Big Woods and,in 2016 Speedway Indoor Karting.

This is a huge 2 story building that has 2 kart tracks. An oval and a road course. The coolest thing  is, it is owned and operated by Sarah Fisher and her husband Andy O’Gara. For those who don’t know, Sarah Fisher ran in 9 Indy 500 races; more than any other woman driver. She still holds the fastest Indianapolis 500 Qualification run by a woman. 229.439 MPH. Of course we didn’t come to race we came to eat at their adjacent restaurant. The 1911 Grill.

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It is a beautiful place. It has 2 stories and seating that overlooks the kart tracks.

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Their menu is pretty typical featuring burgers, fish and tenderloin. They also offer a few dinner choices for evening.

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One of their lunch specials was a Breakfast Burger. A house burger topped with a fried egg and bacon and American cheese. With fries for $8.99. I know that tossing an egg on a burger is the thing to do now but I have never tried it. I like the yolk and I am not sure It would come out that way. I decided to try it and ordered the egg soft and the burger mid-rare.

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It wasn’t a bad burger. Not the best and definitely not the worse. It was your Standard Sysco ready-made burger. Of course I think it would have had more personality had it come out with more yolk in the egg and more blood in the burger. But it was pretty good and the price was reasonable.

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I think Karting there would be a blast. We set by a window and were able to see several racers while we ate. If you were to go there to race eating at the Grill would be a natural choice. If they want to make the restaurant a destination place as well I think they need to step it up a bit and have some more creative options. At least check out different burger options. You never know I may be back to race; if I can get someone to go with me.

1911 Grill 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


Nickel Plate Bar & Grill 8654 E. 116th Street Fishers Indiana

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This is their sign facing 116th Street. I don’t even know if there is a functioning door on the front. The parking is on the side. Where there is definitely a door.

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This is a relief beside the door off the parking lot. It is sculpted from clay and embedded in the brick exterior wall. Worth the trip just to check it out.

As we often do we started with an order of mushrooms for $7.99.

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They give you a bunch. A basket full of hot and crunchy ‘shrums. We consider them as good as that served at the Checkered Flag. Which says a bit.

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I was torn between the brisket and a bison burger. The thought of a bloody hunk of meat won me over and I settled on the bison, mid-rare. As you can see it was a large patty; nearly an inch thick and it was cooked perfectly. Sometimes some joints won’t cook ground meat anything less than 160 degrees; which is a bit more than medium. This was as I wanted it. They use a Brioche bun comes from S. Rosen’s from Chicago. It was wonderful. A shiny soft top and a tender and sweet interior. It was a perfect foil to a mid-rare burger. For sides they give a choice of several different options. Except fries. Fries are a 99 cent up charge. I got the potato salad. It is a brand I am familiar with and like. It was a grand lunch for $10.99/ Pat’s fish was $9.99. pricing you would expect for Fishers.

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This is another member of the R. Lux family of restaurants. We have been to everyone; except for the Meridian. Maybe we’ll do that for the Holidays. The place is very comfortable and the service is as good as the food. Our server/ bar tender, Brenda did a Masterful job. She also makes a wonderful Margarita; which they had on special today for 4 bucks. So I think this joint is worth the trip. Even all the way to 116th Street.

 

 

 

Nickel Plate Bar & Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Scotty’s Dawghouse. 4702 Sunset Ave. #100

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Well the Dawghouse is the just the latest in the ever-growing chain of restaurants and brewhouses started by Scott Wise. The original opened in Muncie Indiana in 1996. Since then he has developed the 3 Wise Men breweries and expanded his original concept to 18 locations. He recently added one in Florida and is soon to move into Ohio. I have been to the first Wise Men brewery in Broad Ripple several times and the Brewhouse downtown a couple of times. Interestingly enough the joint is built into the Majestic building; where my gym is located. Purely co-incidental.

This place is in a golden place. It is across the street from the Holcomb Gardens and within a basketball throw of Hinkle Fieldhouse. When you sit on their patio you have a spectacular view of woods. Wrap all of that ambiance into a college campus add beer and good eats and you have all the earmarks of a grand time.

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I decided to change-up my normal eating habits. I started off with a cup of chili.

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It was pretty good. A bit of spice and heavy meat. The tomatoes were diced and hadn’t had a chance to cook down so there was a definite sweetness and texture. It also had a strong cumin presence. Pretty typical of this area. I also ordered 2 items from their Snacksty menu. These are “little bites”. Sliders, tacos, tots etc. They offer them for $2.99. A couple of nights a week and all day Thursday they sell them for 2 bucks.

I opted for a BBQ slider and  a burnt end taco.

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The slider was pretty tasty. A nice amount of meat with a decent sauce and topped with a good slaw. The bun was very good. It had a brioche quality which gave it a pretty good firmness. It was worth 3 bucks. My second choice was the taco.

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This was very interesting. The ends weren’t what I consider burnt  but they were pretty tasty. I wasn’t a big fan of the BBQ sauce, but that was my fault. The sweet from the taco and the slider added up. In the future I would 86 the sauce and opt for a bottle of hot sauce. I also wasn’t a fan of the slightly crisp flour tort. I prefer corn torts for my tacos.

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Wings were my last choice. They had them as a special for $.75 each. I bought 4 with a pineapple jerk sauce. It was pretty good but I should have considered the sweetness factor in my ordering. So Scotty’s did its job well. The wings were really meaty. I think next time I would roll with a hot sauce. They charge 50 cents each for the celery and blue cheese. Which is not too common,but for .75 each,I get it.

Well, Pat really enjoyed the Dawghouse and so did I. Their menu is large, the service is prompt and pleasant and the space is amazing. Oh and did I mention it is just down the way from the Fieldhouse?

Scotty's Dawghouse Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato