eating indie in indy

Posts tagged “bbq ribs

Soul Bear Bar-B-Que 9120 Crawfordsville Rd. Clermont In.

We heard about this place when we had lunch at Jimbo’s, which is about a quarter-mile away. They don’t have a very big electronic foot print but I was able to find out enough to make me decide it was worth the drive. It is a basic BBQ joint with a basic menu. In addition to the usual pig and chicken they also sell fried fish.

Pat and I decided to share a full slab of ribs. A slab comes with 2 sides. Pat opted for greens while I decided on mac and cheese. Since we ate the same thing I only took 2 pictures. Unfortunately I screwed one up, so I can only show the one.

The pile of bones was huge. So big that we were able to eat our fill and have some left to take home.

I thought the ribs were pretty good. They had a good smokiness and while not falling off the bone they were still tender and juicy. I think they rank in the top 5 ribs I have had in the city. Their BBQ Sauce was excellent. We got medium and it had a bit of spice to it. They ladle sauce over the ribs just before service giving a nice puddle in the bottom to dip your bread in. The sides were rather small but with the pile of meat you get the sides are really secondary. I couldn’t make any comparison between this joint and Jimbo’s because Bear doesn’t do brisket. I can compare mac and cheese though and I liked Bears a bit more. It had a more “natural” cheese flavor.

It is a drive but I can see myself going back for the rib tips. Clermont is really a nice little town. It sits in the shadow of its more famous neighbor Speedway but it is doing pretty well on its own. Two BBQ joints, a coffee shop and a great little bar all within a half mile. It is large enough to support local business and still small enough to avoid the Starbucks encroachment. I think is a town with a future.


Bookers BBQ 4709 Shadeland Ave.

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This is a little hole in the wall in a strip mall that is supposed to have some good Q.

It is also a neat and tidy little joint.

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I especially liked the window treatment. How often do you see curtain sheers and swags in a business?

Or an aquarium;outside of a Dr.’s office.

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As cozy as the spot was we were quickly disappointed. They were OUT OF Q. It seems they took the last 3 days off for New Years and were building their inventory. I think Pat was more bummed than I. They serve breakfast all day so he was somewhat placated with a bacon platter.

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I had an easy choice. Their House Burger. That is a “big” burger patty filled with peppers and onion; like a meat loaf. Then topped with cheese. I had no idea how big until I got it.

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It was a full pound of meat and I liked everything about it. From the crisp exterior to the peppers and onions inside. From the processed cheese to the over sized toasted bun. It was a guilty treat. As much as I enjoyed it I could only eat half.

Bookers has very reasonable pricing; both of our lunches were $7 each. Frankly I don’t see how they can put out a one pound burger stuffed with onions and peppers for 7 bucks.

Will I be back. Of course. I have to try their BBQ.

Bookers Bar-B-Que Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Grilliant Foods 4320 W. 96th Street

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This a very unique and interesting place. It is a small house in a predominately industrial area, stuck between 2 warehouse type buildings. For years it was just a grocery specializing in Eastern European foods. The place had a commercial kitchen and the owner would occasionally cook up since special meals from the old country. When he decided to retire he needed a special someone to take over. Enter Ernie. He was butcher by trade that had started a catering business that also was active in the competitive BBQ scene. He wanted a commercial kitchen so a deal was made. Ernie could sell his food from the kitchen as long as he maintained the European grocery and deli roots.

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These are two of the smokers Ernie uses. He offers ribs, pulled pork and brisket. He also makes sausage.  Both sweet and spicy Italian as well as Brats. Which he sells both smoked and raw. Their menu is small with a couple of specials tossed in. This day the specials were burnt end chili for $5.99 and beef and noodles for $4.99. For the beef and noodles he used short rib. He smoked them until they fell off the bone and them added them to broth and noodles.

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I wanted the brisket. A decent smoked brisket is still hard to find around here. So that is what I got, for $7.99.

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The meat was chopped which isn’t my favorite way of eating brisket. However I couldn’t complain because the amount I was given was more than generous. Also it had a wonderful smoky flavor. They serve the meat dry and you dress it with your choice of 4 different sauces on a cupboard to the side of the dining room. All of the sauces are pre-made. Sweet Baby Ray’s among them. That tells me that this joint puts it attention to the meat. For an extra 2 bucks I bought a side of baked beans. These were great. Thick and sweet; the way I like them. They could well have been the best I have had. We were also given a sample of their brat. It was delicious and practically melted in your mouth.

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Grilliant also competes in BBQ competition. Hanging above the fireplace are the ribbons they have won.

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So if you have a hankering for some real Q then you can get it on 96th Street. They also have huge breaded tenderloin. Speaking of which they have a challenge plate. One BT, a double order of fries and coleslaw and a full slab of ribs for $40. If you finish in 45 minutes you get your money back. A Fishers fireman tried and failed. I was told that a 119 pound woman body builder is set to try it this weekend. As Pat said it can be tricky to find. As soon as you turn off Michigan Road onto 96th Street start looking. It’s on the north side of the street. That big smoker is right out front.

Grilliant Foods Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Turf Catering & Kitchen 8155 Castleway Court W. Suite C.

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Usually when I see Suite in an address for a restaurant I figure it is one slot in a big building in a strip mall. Well this place is in a slot, a tiny one at that. However the big building only has 2 businesses. Turf’s on the far end and a big old muffler place. I would guess it is in a quasi industrial use area. Unusual for a restaurant but not so for a caterer. The place is 90 percent kitchen with minimal space for sitting and ordering and the walk in cooler on the outside. Another thing they have is exceptional food.

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I learned of this place from a food blog. The writer was really excited about the grilled cheese and the Crogue as well as the pimento cheese. Everything was very tempting but I opted for the short rib sandwich and a side of pimento cheese. The picture of the menu board isn’t that legible so at the end I am including a scan of the menu. They have a very impressive set of side dishes at a more than respectable price.

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Their pimento cheese was wonderful. Creamy and cheesy. Some of the best I have had,and with their homemade bread it could be a meal all by itself.

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The short rib and cheese sandwich was excellent as well. Super rich and with a sweetness from the red onion jam that would make it an excellent dining companion with an IPA. Alas they only offer soft drinks. I especially liked the char they put on the bread. That always adds a new dimension of flavor.

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Pat was really excited about this place once he was told that he could substitute on their menu.

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As the sign noted they have only been open since 2013. Their main bag is catering so I am glad they decided to serve lunch during the week. Since they are caterers I am sure they have a propensity for fresh product more so than the average restaurant. I am in full agreement with Pat. Anyone planning on a catered affair with these guys, let us know.

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TURF Catering + Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Divine 2 8748 W. Washington Street

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This is a BBQ joint;no more no less. It occupies one half of a building in a predominately industrial area.

When you drive up you can see a smoker out back and a big catering truck on the side. It is built for cue,not for style.

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The sign out front says it all. Chicken,ribs and pulled pork. Of course,as their menu board suggests they also have some more non typical fare,like BBQ nachos and a BBQ Manhattan; which is bread topped with mashed potatoes, pulled pork and BBQ sauce. I’ve never heard of that before but pig and taters does sound interesting. Pat ordered his usual pulled pork sandwich with a mild sauce. They dry rub their pig so the sauce is served on the side.

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The portion they offer is easily a half pound,that is why it is served in a basket with the bun on the side.  With the amount of meat you get you could have made two sandwiches.

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Pat’s sandwich was $5.25 and the porkburger was $3.25. I neglected to take a shot of the burger,but I did get a bite. It was really good. Nice and moist with a decent hint of smoke. I would recommend it as an alternative to the common pulled pork sandwich.

I had the rib dinner for $12. It came with 2 sides and bread,plus sauce. I too got the mild and it had a slight taste of cumin,which I thought was interesting. For my sides I ordered mac and cheese.

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It was creamy and cheesy just not smack in the mouth out of this world. I guess folks don’t finish mac and cheese off in the oven any more,with buttered bread crumbs. For my second side I picked baked beans.

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These were some of the best I have had in town,if not the best. Brown sugar sweet and seasoned with bacon. They would be a wonderful foil to some peppery coleslaw. This brings us to the center of the plate. The ribs. I got 6 nice size bones. The amount was such that I would consider it a half slab;or close to it. The meat was super tender and the smoke waited for just a bit before it hit your taste buds. A bite off the bone,dip in the sauce,repeat. Not only were they delicious they were fun to eat. Definitely worth the trip.

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The place is called Divine 2 but I never got around to ask where or what Divine 1 was. The catering truck? No matter this humble little joint does sell some great BBQ. I think it is more than worth the trip.

Divine 2 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato