Oh Goodie! Just what Indy needs one more hip coffee-house with pressed sandwiches. Now don’t get me wrong I have nothing against coffee houses it’s just that they all try so hard to be hip. In much the same way coffee joints in the 60’s tried to be psychedelic and in the 50’s more bongo and beatnik. And Panini can be a delightful lunch. You just have to be a tad circumspect about the fillings otherwise you might have a “mushy” sandwich. This particular joint is in an excellent location at the corner of 16th St. and Alabama St. An area that seems to have changed over night from semi hood to more metropolitan. For want of a better word. As far as decor I would call it industrial chic or proletarian casual. They left the concrete floor untouched. Chipping paint and all. They also enjoyed the use of gray corrugated metal siding and wood. Whoever owns this place put some bucks into it. It was just not my cup of chai. But they obviously are targeting a young crowd, not old farts like me and Pat.
As far as food options go they offer some breakfast options, including pastries from Circle City Sweets, a local bakery that has a pretty good reputation. They also offer soup from Circle City Soups. As I understand it Sweets and Soups are owned by a husband and wife. And no I have no excuse as to why we have not tried these places before. For lunch they offer 5 pressed sandwiches each with a historic Hoosier name. As far as meat options they have smoked turkey, Mortadella and City Ham. They proudly announce that the ham is from Smoking Goose . A well know local meatery. So from that I guess we can assume the turkey and Mortadella are from the same source. Pat tried a Tarkington. A turkey and provolone sandwich 86 mustard.
I tried the Harrison. I am a sucker for avocado. One thing Pat and I both noticed, at the first bite was that they stuck romaine in the sandwich and then toasted it. Now I really like wilted lettuce but toasted romaine? Not a big fan. To me it had an odd taste that detracted from the flavor of the ham. They have spinach on the menu I think spinach would be a better choice than romaine. To me the biggest deal was the lack of texture. The only crunch was the bread, which had a nice toast to it. Between the melted Swiss and avocado the overall effect was rather bland and mushy. It needed some prominent texture and some distinctive flavor. But I am not going to go through the entire menu and suggest alternatives. This is not my joint and they did what they did for a reason. Best of luck to them.
I almost forgot my soup. Gazpacho. It was the best part of lunch. Ironic that they don’t make it here.
Pat and I have been very fortunate the last few weeks. Every place we have been to has given us a very enjoyable lunch. Good food pleasant surroundings and nice service. This week we decided to try the old point Tavern. It is located on Massachusetts Avenue. At the point where Mass. Ave. Intersects with Alabama and Vermont streets. This place has been open for several years. I have been there on numerous occasions just not to eat. First thing you notice about the menu is the lack of fried or grilled items. The only equipment they have in their kitchen is a microwave oven, conventional oven with stove top and cold tables. Their menu is pretty extensive, considering the lack of equipment.
We decided to try a different style for the blog. Instead of me writing for Pat he is going to write for himself. The idea being, he could write about his lunch later over a beer. He did get as far as the title. After lunch we change locations for beer and we both forgot for him to finish. As it turned out he wrote it at home and e-mailed me the copy. I think that is the way to go in the future.
No, Pat there wasn’t any cheese but you did add avocado.
I tried their pita, “sandwich”. It was indeed a curious collection of ingredients. The obligatory lettuce and tomato and avocado, cucumber and Havarti cheese, with dill. And the whole deal was spiced with Dijon mustard. The avocado and cheese were equally mild in flavor and the lettuce and tomato; while not adding to the flavor profile did bring a much-needed textural difference to the sandwich as did the cucumber. What really set the whole thing up for a trip to “flavor town” (apologies to Diners Drive-ins and Dives) was the Dijon mustard. For me, I still needed some crunch. So I added some of Pat’s kettle chips. My pita came with a fruit cup. Again another nice touch to fit the healthy meme they’re going for. I’d eat the same thing again. Next time I would substitute pepper Jack cheese and added some bacon. So once again we had another nice lunch . If you work in the area I highly recommend this joint for lunch. All the food items are quick pickups. The staff knows what it is doing and the outdoor seating offers some of the best people watching you could find.