eating indie in indy

taverns and stuff

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


The Tavern 802 S. West Street

Once upon a time there was The Stadium Tavern. It was called that because it is an Andrew Luck football throw from Lucas Oil Stadium; where the Colts play their games. In November 2016 a new set of owners took over and re-did the joint. The history of the building is quite interesting. It was built-in 1875 and for 113 years it housed various bars, taverns and saloons. I am including a link to their website which elaborates on its past.

http://www.thetavernindy.com/

They have an outdoor smoker which they use to smoke pork and chicken for pulled meat sandwiches. They also offer smoked wings and on Monday and Saturday they sell smoked burgers. After lunch we had a nice talk with one of the owners; a charming and enthusiastic woman with some good ideas. She told us the back story on the smoked burgers. A few weeks ago there was an Indy Burger week. Several eating places offered burgers at a special price to celebrate the ground meat sandwich in Indianapolis. The Tavern went from selling 15 burgers per day to 157 per day and they just couldn’t keep up. So they fired up the smoker and started grilling burgers on it. Evidently they were so well received that they reserved two days for the special burgers.

The menu is small but succinct. One of the first things I noticed on the app menu was Mozzarella sticks. House made Mozzarella sticks for $8.50

These were fantastic. Worth a return trip just for them. Wonderfully crisp on the outside and cheesy gooey on the inside. Everything you would want in fried cheese. Also the portion of Marinara ( house made as well) was spot on. So many joints insist on doling out the dipping sauce as a 2 ounce portion which is just enough for one stick. Here they give you enough for the entire order.

I opted for a lettuce wrap platter with pulled pork.

As you can see you get a pile of pig and several Romaine leaves to roll it in with a bit of pickle slices and chopped onion to add. The pork had a nice flavor but didn’t have a lot of smoke . The lettuce was a nice change of pace from bread and it also provided a nice crunch. I think I would have cut more of the core from the Romaine leaves; the bottom two were smaller than the rest. It was still a tasty and filling lunch.

Since Wednesday’s special was $1.50 smoked wings I had to try a couple. They use the full wing not those “Party Wings” that most joints use.

These were the real deal. A meaty wing with a health dose of smoke I couldn’t finish them all, had to take one home for later.

We had a very nice lunch without breaking the bank. Our main plates were $9 each and the craft beers were on special for 4 bucks. I got a PBR Tall boy for $2.25. Sometimes I just can’t resist old school beer. Even if it isn’t too good. When I go back for some more wings I am asking for some hot sauce. My left over was delicious with a few splashes of Crystal Hot sauce. So all in all I think this new joint is a welcome addition to the long list of taverns and bars in the area. I wish them luck.

 


Big Daddy’s Bar & Grill 2536 S. Meridian St.

When Pat called Wednesday he told me he had a taste for beef; pot roast, cow. After little research I thought Big Daddy’s fit the criteria. We have been here some time ago in the pre blog days. They have an extensive menu offering pot roast nachos, a pot roast sandwich and even a pot roast quesadilla as well as the usual bar fare.

I was tempted with their pot roast Manhattan special for $8.95. For you non Hoosiers a Manhattan is an open-faced sandwich served with mashed potatoes and smothered in gravy. Very tasty but too much food for me in the Summer.At least for lunch. I followed Pat’s lead and ordered a burger. A plain burger for $7.99. I added cheddar for $.79 and bacon for $.99

 

I had the same problem as Pat with my burger. It was a bit overcooked as well. However that wasn’t as big a deal as was the blandness of the meat. I think they may want to add a house seasoning to their list of kitchen essentials. On the plus side was the house chips. Pat declined his because of the carbs which just forced him to eat mine. Here they get the potatoes waffle cut from a local vendor and fry them in-house. They were great. The best chip I have had. Hands down.

As I commented in the beginning they have an extensive menu so a bland burger won’t keep me away. As for pricing Pat’s burger was about 12 bucks and mine was less than $10. That may seem high for the South side but as Pat noted their closest competitors are no more. That may have been an incentive to goose the prices a bit. I don’t know. Another way to look at it is that you may get Downtown pricing but you also get free parking. As for the service it was stellar. They were having a busy service yet our service took it in stride and kept everything flowing nicely. Another plus are the beer specials. Wednesday they had 24 ounce draft light beers for $3.75. Now that is not at all Downtown pricing. So I can see my self back again. I just won’t order a burger.

Big Daddy's Bar & Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


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