Well there is another new joint in Irvington. A self-described pancake house that serves breakfast all day. I hope this place lasts longer than the 2 previous tenants. If they don’t survive it won’t be because the food isn’t good or the prices are too high. Most of the dishes are in the $6 to $7 niche with specials going for $9 with soup or salad included. As for the quality of their fare the items we had were top-notch.
I opted for breakfast as well. For me it was “Bases Loaded” (?) for $7; the same as Pat’s omelet. Mine was biscuits and gravy with 2 eggs and 2 bacon or sausage.
I was quite impressed. I believe I have tried every biscuit and gravy in town and I think that Downtown Olly’s does it best. Now I may have to reconsider that proposition. The first bite was loaded with sausage flavor and a hint of bacon fat, as though bacon fat was used in the making of the roux. It could have been from the bacon on the side but what ever it was I hope they do it every time. The gravy had a very creamy quality that most country gravies don’t have. It was an excellent dish and bargain priced at 7 bucks.
The only thing I would do differently is order a side of toast to sop up all the gravy and egg yolk. I was able to used Pat’s crust from his toast so none of it went to waste. I think I will be back again. They do list their specials on Facebook so I am keeping my eye open for liver and onions. I have it on good authority they do a respectable job with that diner classic.
This is Indy Bacon Week. That is one week that NUVO invites restaurants to showcase all things bacon. Each joint comes up with their own bacon special for 5 bucks. Similar to Burger Week which happened in June. Both of these promotions also serve as a fundraiser for Second Helpings. This is an easy promotion since Hoosiers have such a “thing” for pork. We love all that is pig. From crisp bacon to deep-fried tenderloin as big as a truck tire or pulled pork on a toasted bun. Beef may be what’s for dinner in Texas but in Indiana it is pork.
Hoagies and Hops opened in 2015. A husband and wife from Pennsylvania grew “nostalgic” for East coast hoagies and cheese steaks and decided to bring the food here. They get their bread from an Italian bakery in New Jersey and their deli meats from Dietz and Watson in Philadelphia.
The truly clever part of this opening is the location. It is right inside Flat 12 Bierwerks. Flat 12 has been around since 2010 and have consistently produce high quality beers. The only food that was provided was by the occasional food truck so if you wanted food with your beer you were out of luck. Now when you walk in you have the food counter on the left and the beer counter straight ahead. A genius idea. Hoagies and Hops opens at 11:30 Flat 12 noon.
I opted for the Paddy’s something or other.
Paddy’s Pub Cheesesteak
Smoking Goose Bacon, Sliced Ribeye, House Horseradish Mayo, House Pepper Relish, & Muenster Cheese
Now this was a very good sandwich. The meat was tender and flavorful and the sweetness of the relish helped balance out the mayo. I would have preferred more bacon; but more bacon is always the answer to just about any food question. I agree with Pat. The bread they use is top shelf and like Pat I would do it again. In a heart beat.
This joint is a first for us. The food is cooked to order, but with pre- made product. They use a frozen crust and a ready-made sauce for the pizza. The pizza product comes from a well know purveyor that sells a good product. They also use an independent restaurant supply for the rest of their inventory.
We learned of this joint recently after visiting Jimbo’s BBQ. Actually this was where we heard of Soul Bear’s. The hook to us was the fact they were just blocks from the BBQ and they offered $1 domestic bottles on Wednesday. As for the reason we decided to eat here was solely because of Danielle. She waits tables, tends bar and cooks the food all with an amazing amount of energy and humor. She told us she wanted to go to a Culinary School but was having second thoughts. Her attitude about cooking and tending to the customers is very refreshing. She does everything to the best of her ability which is very exciting to see. That is why we opted to have lunch here. There are several joints that have one person doing it all. Serving drinks and cooking food and they are all independently owned and they deserve some attention as well as a Gastropub.
Staying with the “sausage” motif I opted for a corn dog as my app.
It was pretty dark in the bar so my pictures are less that stellar. For my “main dish” I chose a Stromboli. As Danielle explained it to me she prepares the sandwich the same as a deluxe pizza. Ground meat, sauce, peppers,onions, mushrooms, pepperoni and cheese all on a toasted Hoagie bun. All of the pizza product comes from Delco Foods, a well know supplier of Italian food products. This sandwich was a big hit. The bun was exceptional and the toast was just right. It hit all the right notes and went down quickly. For $6 it was a bargain.
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.
No. Not that Charlie Brown. This Charlie Brown
Sorry. I couldn’t resist. This Charlie Brown has only been around since 1975, serving breakfast and lunch to 1000’s of folks in this west side community of Speedway. Pat and I have had this on our list for so long we had damn near forgot about it. Today we remembered and thought it was time.
Some folks call it a diner. Some folks call it a truck stop;without all the trucks. Out of all the reviews I read no one really had anything bad to say about the food. Except for one guy, and he was down on the whole Speedway thing.
Pat allowed me a bite of his cakes and they were quite good, nice and fluffy. I too fell in line with breakfast. A sausage omelet with raisin toast instead of pancakes.
I thought it was great. Three eggs loaded with a large portion of sausage and cheese. I can’t say anything bad about my meal or this joint. I believe my plate was less than $7 and Pat’s was about $5. They also have some excellent breakfast specials they serve before 11 AM. They offer regular lunch items as well as country fried steaks smothered with sausage gravy. That is for a serious appetite. Also they have a “fritter” as well as a breaded tenderloin. I would guess that would be closer to something we got at the drive in when we were kids. So folks who have been here know. New folks in the area should probably find out. It is a nice little joint.
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.
It is a beautiful place. It has 2 stories and seating that overlooks the kart tracks.
Their menu is pretty typical featuring burgers, fish and tenderloin. They also offer a few dinner choices for evening.
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.
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.
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.
About 2 years ago this place was doing business as Ma and Pa’s Diner. It was just sold and re-opened as Jimmy’s on August first. Pat goes by it regularly and told me about it last week. We decided to try it out with our buddy Jimmy, who has lunched with us a couple of times.
I didn’t make a copy of their menu and I honestly can’t remember too much of it. They serve breakfast all day and the menu starts out with JJ’s Special. Two bacon, 2 sausage, 2 eggs and potatoes. With a half order of biscuits and gravy and choice of pancakes,waffles or French toast for $9.75. That I remember. That and a double cheese burger and fries sell for $5.75 and on Fridays they have all you can eat Flounder for $14.
Pat couldn’t wait to try the B&G.
The biscuits and gravy were pretty good. A decent tasting gravy ( that could have used more sausage) over a ready-made biscuit. The pancakes were of the usual mix variety. Tasty but nothing to get overly excited about. The hardest thing for me to review are breakfast foods. Most biscuits are pre-made and the pancakes come from a mix. There are a few exceptions but this holds true for most joints. For breakfast the execution is everything. People are as finicky of their eggs as they are of their steaks. Most folks will let it slide over a med rare steak ending up more medium but don’t dare break the yolk on their over easy eggs. For my breakfast the preparation was flawless. The eggs were beautiful and the bacon had the proper crisp. As for the sausage I commented to the owner how I liked it and he told me that when he opened up he was using a fresh sausage but folks complained. They didn’t like the pinkness of the meat;so he went back to the pre-cooked patties the previous owner used.
As you can see the potatoes are crisp and brown. The other potato option was a home fry. If they are as crisp as these that would be the way to go.
Don’t expect anything fancy or pretentious here just expect some good cooking.
Well here we are at Christmas Week already. Since Pat and I both have other stuff to do we realized that Monday would be the only day we could get together to break bread before the Holiday. We further decided that breakfast would fit our schedules much better than lunch. And no joint says breakfast to us like Ollys. During the week they offer a special of 2 eggs, your choice, with bacon or sausage and toast for $2.99. Pat and I have both taken advantage of the special on many occasions. Pat with his wife,Fran, while bike riding. Me after “working” out at the gym. In addition we stop in after lunch for adult beverages when we dine in the area. It was one of those times;last week;we discovered they had changed their menu. So it was due for a re-visit anyway.
Pat won’t have his usual epic note this week since he forgot his pad. Being the Holidays I made an Administrative decision and gave him a pass. Anyone reading this blog regularly knows Pat’s eating habits. He likes his food simple. For his breakfast he ordered a special and a half order of biscuits and gravy. His standard breakfast special is scrambled eggs, crisp bacon and dry wheat toast.
Another thing about Pat and his food when he is hungry he doesn’t mess around. He started eating while I was still picking up my phone.
For me I ordered a full biscuits and gravy with 2 over easy eggs perched on top.
I believe they serve the largest biscuits and gravy in town. For the half order they use 3 biscuit halves and on the full order 5. The amount of gravy they pour over is almost excessive. It is definitely some of the best if not the best in town.
I also got a side of bacon. I went ahead and got mine crisp like Pat;normally I don’t care. One comment on the bacon. I nearly always order bacon because they always do a fantastic job with it. It is consistently well done;as in properly cooked not over cooked. I think the prices are just as nice as their food. A half order of biscuits and gravy is $4.50 and a full is $5.95. A side of 4 slices of bacon is $2.50,I think. I know ala carte eggs are $1.50 each. So I feel that for the quality and amount served this joint is a great place to try for breakfast or lunch. Keep in mind they are open 24/7 serving food. So Pat and I liked this place last year and we like it even more now.
Today we headed North to Fishers; the high rent district. It seems as though the new breweries,with few exceptions,have bypassed the far north of the Metropolitan area. That is why I was surprised when I realized that I had missed this one. It is a new construction in a strip mall in a heavily traveled area of the North side.
It is an attractive joint and the brewing equipment is highly visible as you enter.
As soon as you walk in you are greeted by the large semi-circular bar in front of you and the aroma of smoked meat and brewing beer all around you. If that doesn’t get your appetite up and running you are a lost cause.
The menu offers some unique items not usually found on a beer joint’s menu. Battered and deep-fried artichoke hearts or a basket of hush puppies on the appetizer menu. The artichokes at $7.49 are reasonably priced,I supposed, as I have never seen them on a menu around here. I do question the pups being priced at $8.49 though. I think across the board the food prices are a bit higher than what you would find at joints closer to the city.
We thought the beer they brew is excellent,having a beginning,middle and finish. Something desirable in food as well as drink. The pricing is from $5 to $6.50,with imperial pints selling for the higher price. That is the going rate for a lot of microbrews. They do offer a flight of 6 5 oz. glasses for $10,but I was told they would be raising the price to $12. So that may be incentive to go sooner than later.
Pat’s sandwich was $10.49. Frankly I thought that a bit high for a below average portion. If I may digress a bit on the sliced vs pulled “controversy” pulling as opposed to slicing would save some money.
The sandwich I ordered was unique to me. It included items that I would not necessarily put together but I was intrigued. Here is the description from the menu.
Now isn’t that an unusual name? I think it may suit because I think this is the most unusual joint to open in Indy in a long time. They offer an eclectic and provocative menu; featuring,of course bacon and all things legs. They also offer at night-time a D.J. Hence the turntables. They have juggled both their schedule and the menus a couple of times. I am not positive of their current hours. I know they have been shortened.
I went there right after they had their “soft” opening and ordered off of their opening menu. I had a couple of beers and a BBQ pork bruschetta. The dish was pretty good. It wasn’t bad, it just didn’t make the final cut. I have wanted to check them out once they had their last, for real menu up and running. I just never did until today.
Now this is what we used to call a swank joint. Seriously they have done an outstanding job in the decor. Attractive and fashionable seating in a spacious and colorful space. Of course this was the site of the King Cole Restaurant, back many years ago. A place I have special feelings for, after 40 years.
Now I have got into the habit of checking out Bloody Mary’s when I think of it at various locations. This started with the Tick Tock Lounge, a few weeks ago. So now I am still in the hunt for “Which Mary shall reign Supreme”. This is the BL&T OMG Bloody Mary.
Now this Bad Boy comes with LONG skewer with a chicken drummie, a piece of bacon, a hard-boiled egg, a grape tomato and a pickled chile pepper. And of course the obligatory piece of celery. All of this to present a pint of Pinnacle Vodka and house-made Bloody Mary sauce. Twelve bucks. I say money well spent. A very nice cocktail and a snack. Appetizer and cocktail in a glass.
One last thing about the Mary. The wing was pretty good. I am not much on ordering wings out , but this little drummie was breaded and fried very well. Pretty tasty.
When it came time to order my lunch I decided on their OLD MCDONALD BBQ BACON CHEESEBURGER
Lamb/Duck/Jowl Bacon/White Cheddar/Chipotle Bbq Sauce/Crispy Onions/LTP
Now isn’t that something? The first thing I did was cut my burger in half. I almost always do that just to make it easier for me to eat. The first thing I noticed was the aroma. A wonderful scent of toasted bread, smoky bacon and succulent beef. Now there are several burger joints in town that offer a wonderful piece of meat but this one particular burger with this one particular set of ingredients is quite possibly one of the best burgers I have had.
You have a large burger, big enough to cover the bun. That increases the surface area for the cooking and the carmelization of the meat. You have a very good bun, fresh lettuce and a wonderful assortment of bacon. Bacon. A treat direct from Heaven. Imagine all that with a sweet and spicy BBQ sauce and you have all the necessary ingredients for a spectacular burger.
The only thing I can say negative is the menu called white cheddar and crispy onions. I got a white and yellow shredded cheese mix and some garden variety sliced onion. I am not a fan of shredded cheese on a sandwich. It might work if the kitchen has a salamander or a broiler. If you don’t save the shredded for a quesadilla. I expected a crispy pile of onions from your menu description. I’m not a bit upset at what I got. As a matter of fact I would suggest you 86 the onion and the cheese. That burger was that good.
Also I must comment on the house-made ketchup. It was really good. The fries are like a bunch of joints but your ketchup sets them apart.
I know this last picture is possibly not best to present, since it shows a half eaten burger. But I must say it does show the result of a happy diner.