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Two Deep Brewing 714 N. Capitol Ave. (revisit)

Pat and I have been here a few times. The last time was just 6 months ago. I am not sure what the urge was to go back so soon except for the beer and some really good burgers.

I wanted one of their burgers. They are really good just a little bit pricey. Even downtown. I got their “regular” burger for $11.95. Now they serve them as two patties each with a slice of cheese and a normal cold set. I got a bacon topper which probably cost a couple of bucks and like Pat’s sandwich you get a choice of fries or tots. I opted for fries and they actually served a modest portion.

They have gone from a single 1/2 pound patty to 2 1/4 pounders. I think I like them better that way. More charred surface flavor and more cheese. The bun is nicely textured but they do get a bit aggresive in the toasting but I like it that way.

So we liked the joint 2 months ago and we like it now and it is big enough for social distancing.

Biscuits 1035 Broad Ripple Ave.

I try to meet my friend Joey for at lunch at least once a year. If it is a great year I also get together with her whole family for brunch. Well this year we were actually able to meet for lunch. Of course we could meet more often if it weren’t for that pesky job of hers. Any way we met at Biscuits in Broad Ripple. It has a huge menu featuring both Mexican and American foods. We both opted for ala carte from their Mexican menu.

We each ordered 2 Al Pastor tacos. They were excellent tacos. Full of meat and flavor with small cubes of pineapple tossed in. They were 3 bucks each and I could eat these all day. I also got a side of their mole but the tacos didn’t really need any embellishment.

The mole may have been a bit sweet but it did have a nice depth and a touch of heat on the back end. Turned out to be a good accompaniment to my tamales.

We also wanted to try their tamales. Two for me and one for her. All they had left were chicken and they were very different to what I am used to. I don’t think I have ever had a tamale that did not come with the filling dressed in a chile sauce. These had naked pulled chicken and were covered with queso. I like cheese sauce but I would prefer a chile in with the meat. These were a bit bland.

I did not like these nearly as much as the tacos. I think Joey though the same since she ate one or 2 bites and left it. She ate both her tacos and remarked how good they were.

Pat and I reviewed this joint some time ago and tried the Americn menu and liked it so now I know the Mexican menu is done equally as well. As in most cases it isn’t always about the food often it is about the company, Thanks for meeting me for lunch Joey. I just wish it could be more often. You do too much young lady. Take the time for some afternoon tacos and cerveza.

Upland Brewery Fountain Square 1201 Prospect Street

This is our first visit to this particular outlet but we know enough about the Upland brand to know we would get some good food. They have a comprehensive menu that should interest any appetite. https://uplandbeer.com/fountain-square/

Pat went in all in on the carbs when he ordered Mac & Cheese. A huge bowl of Cavatappi loaded with cheese for $14

My decision was made as soon as Pat told me they offered Bone Marrow. I really enjoy bone marrow but it is very hard to find. I can’t even find it fresh to make at home. So I was pretty excited.

I thought their presentation was spot on. Traditionally marrow is served with a parsley salad . They served theirs with an arugula salad. They also topped the bones with a “toasted almond relish” which didn’t really excite me that much. However what did was the addition of some beatifully pickled slices of a Fresno or Pepadew chile.

They also added some cherry tomato halves which brightened the whole plate up. Overall it was very nicely done. There seemed to have been a slight delay between heating and serving the marrow bones as the marrow was stubborn to get out. Hardly a deal killer as I will definitely get it again. Since my plate was considered an appetizer I was still a bit hungry so I ordered some dessert. A fried apple hand pie for 7 bucks.

Pat and I shared the slice and it was delicious. Fried crust with apples and cinnamon all on a puddle of caramel and topped with ice cream. What more could you want? It also went well with my choice of Champagne Velvet, which was their featured beer for the day so it only cost $4 per pint. I can’t think of a more pleasing lunch. The food, the beverage and the atmosphere were all great.

Good Morning Mama’s 1001 E. 54th Street

Pat and I went to this place a few years ago for lunch. This day we decided on breakfast. This converted gas station has grown quite popular for brunch. Every time I drive by on Saturday or Sunday there is always a line. They have 3 outdoor eating areas so they should be okay regardless of what the Mayor decides.

Pat’s breakfast was called Mama’s and came with 2 eggs, potatoes or grits, biscuit or toast and choice of meat for $6.99 to $8.99 depending on the meat. I chose the same plate with toast, over easy eggs and grits.

Everything was done well. Yolky eggs and grits are the reason I carry a Bottle of Crystal hot sauce with me. It turns good into great. I think this is a great place for a morning meal. Good prices and good quality plus you can good a Mimosa to go with your bacon and grits. Just in case you want to reduce the caffeine in your diet.

Downtown Ollie’s 822 N. Illinois St.

Downtown Ollie’s is one of our favorites places to visit. Pat and Fran are frequent breakfast visitors. Up until this year I would go to my gym downtown on my Birthday and come here for a breakfast of biscuits and gravy and a Bloody Mary. A couple of years ago the ownership changed and as far as I can tell the only thing that has changed is the decor. Ollie’s had a perpetual Christmas theme going on with twinkle lights. The lights are gone and overall the decor is a bit more “grown up”.

It is a shame that Pat’s lunch was sub par but as he said they have a bunch of other stuff that is not. As for me I opted for their Sloppy Joe sandwich with tater tots. The same thing I had when I first visited here.

It was just as good as I remember it. On an intersesting side note the sandwich is about $1 more and the portion is smaller. That is fine because they served a whole bunch of food before and now the portions are more reasonable.

This was there featured coctail for the day. Coconut rum with some sort of juice. I have no idea what gave it the green color but it was tasty and cost 5 bucks.

So we will be probably be doing some revisits until things get sorted out. It is OK to get out and have a meal away from home. So do it.

Texas Margaritas 6473 N. Keystone Ave.

We hadn’t planned on eating here but we passed it on the way to buy me a new sim card for my phone and Pat asked me about it. I told him that it was the joint where I met Joey for lunch last year and they do a good job. They also offer very nice cocktails and beer. So that is where we went.

They bring out a big basket of tortilla chips and a very nice salsa as soon as you are seated. Pat’s go to appetizer at Latin joints is a large queso to go with the chips. Did not take a picture of the cheese or the chips and salsa as we were too busy eating it.

Pat likes his tacos hard and when he saw they use both ground and shredded beef he thought he had struck gold. However as he said they are very free with the use of onions. I like soft tacos but I usually get mine at a couple of smaller joints. When I come to a big restaurant like this I opt for burros and enchilladas. So I ordered the Burrito King, a new special. That was choice of steak or chicken in a flour tortilla with rice, black beans, avocado and bacon smothered in cheese sauce. I got mine with steak and it proved to be as Regal as the name implied.

Usually I opt for my burritos to be covered in chile; red or green but today I thought cheese sounded good. I really enjoyed this burro. It had a bunch of stuff in it and you could taste every element. Often something with this much going on something gets lost but not here. The steak was nicely braised and you could actually taste the smokey bacon and the creamy avocado. The beans and rice were nice as well but since they are usual companions they weren’t that exceptional. Of course I would eat it again.

So this is our second post since restaurants were allowed to reopen. I think we will check out some of the joints we have been to in the early days of our blog. A revisit of some of our favorites. This whole virus thing is a reminder that restaurants are vulnerable to a quick demise no matter how good they are. If you like a joint visit it.

CHECKERED FLAG TAVERN 5725 W. Morris St.

Well we are finally back. Marion County is a few weeks behind the rest of the state so at the time we went here only out door dining was “allowed”. We have been here before and knew it was a great joint to visit. Sadly a few joints are not coming back and a few new ones will never open.

We thought this joint had the best breaded mushrooms in town so we ordered some. Unfortunately they were out so we opted for cheese curds. As you can imagine they were delicious. Just what you would expect for fried cheese.

These were on special for $8.45. They called them loaded. They weren’t really loaded but they had a bunch of diced pepadew peppers scattered all over. They were an excellent start, especially paired with a Lift Off IPA.

Pat wanted some pulled pork and this place does it right. He got a huge sandwich with a mountain of fries for 9 bucks and for an extra $1.25 he got coleslaw.

I had my eyes on their Big Pig sandwich. That is a pile of pulled pork on a slice of grilled ham and then topped with a pile of crisp bacon all on a brioche bun. Served with fries and a side of BBQ sauce. This pig feast was less than $11.

This is one beautifu, sandwich.

Interestingly enough this was the same sandwich I got here about 3 years ago. It does stand the test of time so that makes it a Classic. A classic of pork deliciousness.

Well we are now cleared to live our lives as close as we can to as it was before so I think we ought to take advantage of it and get out to lunch with a friend.

Well due to the Corona virus our state government has decreed that all restaurants, breweries and taverns are to cease all in house dining. So Pat and I will not be out for the next few weeks. Tentatively this will only last through March. Carryout is still allowed so we may try a carryout post. Until we are allowed to eat out again everyone be safe and support your favorite joint the best you can.

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.

Hellas Cafe 8501 Westfield Blvd.

We weren’t sure where we were going to eat this week. I thought of an Asian Grill that was scheduled to open in Broad Ripple. We drove by but they weren’t ready yet so we headed north. When we hit Nora we saw Hellas and decided we needed some Greek food.

I had a desire for Mousaka. A creamy macaroni dish just appealed to me. Their version was very good. The Sauce Bechamel was smooth and creamy and decadently rich. The sides were well executed s well The beans were cooked down Hoosier style and the potatoes were crisp and tender. All in all it was an excellent meal.

Both of our lunches came with salads; which I forgot to take pictures of. They were normal side salads and came with an excellent vinaigrette. Both cost $12.49 so I thought they were reasonable considering what you got. Our server was attentive but the overall service made me nervous. There was one server and one cook and the kitchen was building the salads to order. That really struck me as odd. The cook got behind quickly but she managed it well and never really ended in the weeds. Evidently their customers aren’t in a hurry to get back to work so if you want a warm and leisurely Greek meal consider Nora Plaza and Hellas. I don’t get this way often but if I do I want to try their Dolmades. They build theirs with ground meat which is my preference.

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