eating indie in indy

taverns and stuff

Sahm’s Tavern & Big Lug Tap 435 N. Capitol Ave.

That’s right another Sahm’s. Some might say that reviewing one is like reviewing them all. Well this isn’t Mickey D’s. There may be some commonality in the menu selections, however even these aren’t identical. Since the introduction of Rockstone Pizza; a wood fired pie; you can order pizza at several of their locations.

The base price for a 10 inch pie is $10 with a $1.39 charge for toppings. Pat ordered double mushrooms.

Another thing all the Sahm’s I have been to have in common are outstanding salads. Even the standard side salad is exceptionally well done. I think their secret is they pay attention to each salad they make. They treat them as some thing more than just a side dish. This is quite evident in their entre salads.

This is the Chop Chop Salad. A huge salad loaded with diced bacon, peppadew peppers, capacolla, black olives, blue cheese, pistachios, beets and grape tomatoes. To me the cool thing about this salad is that the greens are tossed in a balsamic vinaigrette and a creamy Italian before the goodies are added. I liked the double dressing and especially liked the greens being dressed in the beginning. That is how salads used to be served. Now this is an epic salad. For an up charge you can gild the Lily by adding steak or chicken. All of their big salads are available as full or half. I got the full for $10. The half is $6.

Another plus for ordering a salad is that you get a slice of their coffee cake. I guess that is your reward for eating your veggies.

It is such a simple confection. A sweet cake with a nut paste in the center and dusted with powdered sugar. So simple yet so good. Another addition to all the Sahm’s is Big Lug Beer. That is the Sahm’s Brewery and has been around 3 or 4 years. I believe they were one of the first beer joints to offer their beer in a glass other than a pint. They still do and it is still a great beer.

 


Books and Brews 6420 Cornell Ave.

This a local chain with about 9 locations with the Mothership up around 96th Street. According to their website franchising may be available so I have no idea how many if any are franchises. The concept is rather novel. All of their places have print book libraries where you can browse and read with your lunch. The books are also available for sale.

https://www.booksnbrews.com/broad-ripple

All of their beers and menu items have literary names and to be honest some are pretty cheesy; but that’s okay. Beer and cheese go well together. Pat ordered off the Special menu and got the Return of the King

In addition to Panini style sandwiches they offer Naan-Fiction. That is their version of pizza. The flat breads can be ordered with choice of sauce and various other toppings. The options are red sauce, BBQ sauce or buttermilk Ranch. I really don’t get the Ranch at all, but I am sure they offer it for a reason.

My piece of Naan-Fiction was called the Wilbur. Pulled pork with mozzarella, cheddar cheese and garlic salt. With that combo I went with BBQ sauce. It was really pretty good. The Naan made a nice crisp crust. The sauce seemed exceptionally sweet but not excessively so. The amounts of pork and cheese were a trifle sparse but all in all not a bad lunch for $9. I would probably do it again, but more than likely I would try one of their other options.

This is a nice little joint. It is North of the Canel. That is the quiet part of the Village. It is also the part with trees in the front. We ate on the porch so it was more like having lunch at a friend’s house. I want to get back and enjoy the quiet and their beer and food again.

 


Ralph’s Great Divide 743 E. New York St.

Another old school joint I haven’t been to in a while. They are noted for their house made pies and creamy potato soup, but you really need to try the ham. The soup comes 3 ways. Plain, Hot Pot Aug (as in Ah Gee) which is covered with cheddar cheese or the Hot Pot Pig. As you can imagine the Pot Pig has bacon and hot pepper cheese.

Going in I knew I needed to save room for pie so I ordered one of their combos. A half a ham sandwich and a cup of Hot Pot Aug soup.

Their pit ham is bourbon glazed so that should get your attention. The result is delicious. It makes for a nice and simple sandwich. As good as the ham was the soup stole the show. It had an excellent consistency and the sharpness of the cheese paired nicely with the subtle richness of the soup. It was a tandem I would definitely enjoy again.

For dessert I opted for a slice of Butterscotch cream pie.

It was every bit as good as it looks. Flaky crust and a rich Mousse like filling. It was definitely worth the calories.

As good as the food was I think the service we received may have been even better. I would like to thank Samantha and Libby for their courtesy and hospitality. Next time I am trying the Hot Pot Pig. I am also sure to have some pie.


Tavern at the Point 401 Mass. Ave.

As you can see the building seems to come to a point. Hence the name.

It is hard to see in this pic but that’s Pat pointing at the sign over the door. It’s a Tavern at the Point sign. Yeah that’s funny.

The place has been gentrified since it was the Old Point. They added a second bar. This one seats 5 bodies and, like a sushi bar, gives a nice view of the kitchen operation, and it was a pretty busy kitchen that day. I had a great time watching.

I decided on a Smoked brisket melt. Horseradish Havarti cheese, candied onion, horseradish sauce and of course brisket. All on Sourdough bread. It was a very formidable sandwich. I always like to order any meal the way the chef or cook has planned it. Most times it is done a certain way for a reason. I was a bit wary of the candied onion but I thought the boldness of the horseradish and the fat from the brisket would keep the sweetness in check. Not quite. I first encountered an “onion marmalade” at a joint I worked in California about 30 years ago and have seen it a few times since then. It is still a practical and popular element to a sandwich but it can overwhelm the other ingredients. This was a very good sandwich that wasn’t bullied too much by the candied onion. I personally would have enjoyed it more with a more pungent horseradish.

Pat and I both had the slaw. It was a slightly sweet vinegar affair that had a big old Southwest spin to it. It was garnish with a bit of cilantro. That was a big old kick in the taste buds. I enjoyed it tremendously and I am going to rip the idea off the next time I make slaw. The sandwiches are in the $12 – $ 13 range and beers are $7. It is Downtown after all. The only negative I have is about the bar stools they are bolted to and floor and do not swivel so they are hard to get it. Other than that this joint is a hit and I will be back.

https://www.tavernatthepoint.com/

Here is our post for the The Old Point Tavern; FIVE years ago. That is a long time.

https://kosherhamandcheese.com/2013/04/24/the-old-point-tavern/


Mikie’s Pub 5135 S. Emerson Ave. (revisit)

We visited this place 4 years ago, I really enjoyed the place but I live too far to enjoy it regulary. The place has changed owners but they have kept the style that I found so compelling the other time. A large menu with an emphasis on all things meat. I understand that they are changing the menu again, removing some items and adding new.

http://www.mikiespub.com/

Their big food special that day was a 6 ounce filet with shrimp scampi, 2 sides and Texas toast for $10.50.

It was as good as the first time I went. A wonderful piece of steak; tender and juicy coupled with a half-dozen 21-25 count shrimp in a garlic and butter sauce. The sides I opted for were a side salad and mushrooms.

The salad was large and the addition of cheese was a nice surprise. The mushrooms were a standard pre breaded type that you can get in most bars.

Pat and I both ordered mushrooms but he ordered coleslaw. They use Grandmas brand which is his favorite. Mine too.

So Mikie’s Pub is definitely a great place to go for food and a few drinks. I really want a joint like this on my side of town.


Basey’s Downtown Bar & Grill 419 S. West Street.

If you’ve gone to either a football game or a baseball game you have probably seen this place. It is close to both Lucas Oil Stadium and Victory Field. So for anyone wanting to grab a bite before a game this would be a logical starting place.

Well as the man said now is time for Savor Downtown. This is another marketing ploy to get folks out to eat more. It is just focused on Downtown restaurants; unlike Devour which covers all of the city.

Basey’s menu has few surprises. It appears that they may make their own Mozzarella sticks but neither of us were hungry enough to find out. One item they offer is grouper. They do it grilled, blackened or deep-fried. I prefer it blackened but so many places just dust the fish in “Cajun” spices and grill it. I got mine just plain grilled and they did a very good job with it.

Some folks have a tendency to over cook fish but this one was cooked just right. I couldn’t eat all the roll because it was very chewy and tough to bite through. Not sure why that would be. Sometimes a microwave will do that to bread, but I couldn’t see any reason to nuke the bread. If I return I can get it on a salad.

You get a choice of side with a sandwich so I ordered coleslaw. Of course. And it was pretty good. It brought a nice crunch to my lunch.

It was a good lunch and the service was solid. There was just one server/bartender working and she was very busy. She had a big party working when we walked in and customers just kept coming. She did a nice job with it all.

I might be back to try the Mozz sticks. I have a thing for Mozz sticks.

Basey's Downtown Grill & Spirits Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


George’s Neighborhood Grill 6935 Lake Plaza Drive.

Without a doubt this is the best looking place we have been to in a long while. Dark wood tables and a massive oblong bar made it a very inviting space. It was also the largest. A barroom dining area as well as 2 other dining rooms. It was pretty obvious that this joint considers Hospitality a serious business.

The menu was pretty serious as well.

http://www.georgesneighborhoodgrill.com/home.aspx

Since Pat had a grilled tenderloin last week he got a breaded one this week for $9.49. A Hoosier can’t get too much pig.

Creamy Portobello Mushroom Soup

Since it was a cold and rainy day I was pretty sure I needed some beef, and they have several options. I decided on the 8 ounce open face steak sandwich for $11.49.

It was a very healthy cut and expertly grilled to Medium Rare. I just love a good piece of char-grilled beef; especially on a cold day in February. It is definitely something I would re-order. I also got a cup of soup, for a $1.50 up charge. It was very warming and a good start for a steak lunch.

I am with Pat about this joint. I would love to have it in my neighborhood. However it isn’t so far away  a return trip is out of the question. A lovely environment with great food and service what more could you want?

 

 

George's Neighborhood Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Sahm’s Ale House 1435 E. 86th St.

About three years ago the Sahm’s family opened their first craft brewery, right on the Monon Trail, Big Lug. Shortly after they opened their second Rockstone Pizza next door. I thought a pizza joint was a perfect match to a craft brewery. However after one year they decided to close the pizza joint and turn it into an Alehouse.

I have always been a fan of the way Sahm’s conducts their business. From their side dish offerings to the extensive salad menu and that they still serve a slice of sour cream coffee cake with every salad. These guys know how to run a joint.

I had my eye on their seafood bisque so I was pleased that I could get it as a side; for $1 up charge.

It was a much larger portion than I expected. It was very creamy and had a very good flavor.  Except for the clams you really couldn’t taste any other sea food though.

SEAFOOD BISQUE SOUP

ROASTED SHRIMP, ATLANTIC COD, CLAMS, SEAFOOD STOCK, CREAM, OLD BAY SEASONING, ROASTED GARLIC, TOMATOES

However I would probably order it again and just consider it a fortified clam chowder.

To go with my “bisque” I got a meatball sandwich.

I found this to be the perfect sandwich size and the soft roll the perfect mate to the tender meatballs. It is nice when the bread and filling both separate at the same time. As for the pricing it is as you would expect. My sandwich was $10.99 plus a buck for the soup. Pat’s tenderloin was $11.99, which I thought was pretty steep. However Pat certainly seemed to enjoy it regardless of the cost. Of course they had beer. Big Lug beer as well as the guest kegs. Once again Sahm’s has hit it out of the park. Good food, good beer and good service. Definitely worth a return trip. With or without a bike.

 


The Yard Line 6466 E 82nd Street

We had planned on having lunch at the only Russian restaurant in Indianapolis. It has been around for a while but only open for dinner service. I discovered this week that they had started serving lunch . I was really excited but I have been disappointed before. I looked up back up joints in the area just in case. Well, they changed their hours and reverted back to dinner only. So I told Pat that he had a choice of Indian or American pub. He decided on American Pub.

The cheese curds were very good. They weren’t built-in house but they were tasty. I don’t think much on the menu is house made. Surprisingly enough it is a one person kitchen. Our bartender/cook was the manager ,who was left by herself because the bartender called in sick. That young lady rocked it.

I had wanted to order the Stromboli but since Pat beat me to it I ordered the Roast Beef Panini.

Roast Beef: Panini pressed
roast beef, Horse radish, cream
cheese, banana peppers and
Yard sauce….

It was an interesting sandwich. The meat was deli roast beef, which is a bit dry by itself. The cream cheese and sauce brought a much-needed moistness and the peppers gave the sandwich a nice little hint of spice and acid. Our cook asked how I wanted it toasted; which was a nice touch. Like Pat’s sammie I got a heaping helping of Tater Tots. I took half the tots and half the sandwich home. Both were bargains at $9.

I am with Pat about the joint. Were it closer I would be a regular. For me it wasn’t .the food menu or the expansive draft heads it would be the bartender/server/cook. She was a very capable and charming young lady. As a retired member of the restaurant biz I am glad to see someone young wanting to take up this industry as a profession. She even expressed an interest in going to Culinary School. I thought her excitement for food was great. If you are in the area you really should stop in for a bite and a beverage. I am sorry I didn’t do a proper introduction; so I do not know her name. But drop in and introduce your self.
The Yard Line Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


B&C’s Hideout 7242 W U.S. 52 New Palestine In.

It is tenderloin week in Indianapolis. That means several restaurants, bars and taverns sell tenderloin at a special price. Pat got his pork but it wasn’t in Indy and it didn’t have a special price.

B&C is short for Bonnie and Clyde so the menu is loaded with outlaw references which didn’t appeal to me but I was game. With the image of an outlaw hideout the real building surprised me. I was expecting a rather run down joint with squeaky floors. What I saw was a fancy house, which is close to what it used to be, a realtor. It was far from being a dive it was an attractive and comfortable joint. For the most part it was your typical bar menu but it had a few spins to make it unique.

Our host Jimmie ordered a BLT with a side of Italian slaw. The slaw is a vinegar based slaw similar to what my Mom called a freezer slaw. Jim’s Mom made something similar.

As for me I opted for the Gangster Fish Pieces. That is white fish served deep-fried, blackened or grilled with side choice. Since I didn’t feel like pushing my luck with the blackened I chose battered and deep-fried.

They were delightful. Crisp and fluffy fish nuggets that really hit the spot on this Fall feeling day. I would guess it was pollock since they didn’t call it by name. Cod has a name recognition. Even tilapia has some name recognition so that is why I guess it was pollock. It is an excellent cold water fish suited to frying; it just doesn’t get the respect other fish does.

The pasta salad I asked for was interesting. It was over dressed and the dressing tasted like a Caesar dressing that comes in a jar. It wasn’t to bad but I couldn’t finish it all because of the abundance of dressing. I also tried their “jerk” sauce. It was pretty tasty just too spicy for my old taste buds.

So I know it is out-of-the-way but I think if you get that way it is worth a stop. Our meals were in the $9 range which puts them more in the Downtown Indy range than the New Palestine range, but regardless of geography they were worth it.

B&C's Hideout Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato