eating indie in indy

taverns and stuff

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


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