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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Black Diamond is a small place with big BBQ. It doesn’t seat many people inside but it has a beautiful out-door area. We opted to stay inside to avoid the sun. They offer $6.99 lunch specials,which consist of a sandwich, side and drink. We opted for something more substantial with meat on a bun dinners. Pat got his usual pulled pork sandwich with sauce on the side.
Normally I get a taste of whatever Pat is having,but this time I had enough on my plate just to finish. The portions we received were huge. I would guess 8 ounces each. I got the beef on a bun with beans and home made coleslaw. As I said the portion was huge, and since I opted for sweet sauce directly on the sandwich I had to use a fork to eat it.
The size of the sides were more than adequate to complement the meat. Oh the meat. It was moist and tender and it melted in your mouth. Next time I will opt for SOS
. The beans were so so but the slaw was a nice tart and creamy counterpoint to the sweet sauce.
So all in all I can’t think of any reason not to like this joint’s food. They also have pie and cobbler on weekends. They are in a great location too. Right off Binford Blvd. Easy access. And the prices are more than reasonable. We ordered 2 dinners and they were about $ 11 each. Like I said a good place to visit.
King Rib’s is an old-time local chain of BBQ joints. They have four restaurants, and according to some folks this is the best. I don’t know about that; but this place is pretty darn good.
This is their “smoking” area. They have three of these bad boys out back. It has fencing all around so you can’t really get too close. I took these shots from the car, only because it was too cold to get out.
They have a small and sensible menu, featuring smoked meats, a few sides and pie. That is probably one of the reasons for their success and longevity.
Pat’s ribs were big, meaty and cost 9 bucks and change. No sides. I decided on their Tuesday special. Rib Tip dinner with two sides for less than $8.00. Their prices are more than reasonable. Especially when you factor in the amount of food you get.
They offer their sauce three ways. Mild, hot and mixed. I ordered my tips with mixed. I also got mac and cheese and baked beans. I read one review that suggested that their sides were their weak link. Well I am not sure I necessarily agree. The beans were tasty, just not as thick and gooey as I like. As for the mac and cheese it was more than passable. There are better examples out there. Unfortunately more, that aren’t as good. Now as far as the main act goes it was right on point. In addition to being a generous pile of meaty and tender pieces it had an excellent smoky presence. The sauce they prepare is thinner than the more Southern style. But it had enough leg to cling to the meat. All in all I think it was a stellar example of the smoking art.
One last thing; the pie. They have Chess Pie and Sweet Potato Pie, both made in-house. Both $2.25 per slice; $8 for a whole pie. I had a piece of Chess pie. Wow. It was good. Very good,and very sweet.
So we thoroughly enjoyed our lunch. Good food with good prices. Just make sure you save room for pie.
Well;here we are on the West side. We don’t seem to get here too often. For some reason we seem to stay in that central corridor of South, Central and North. Well we gonna’ try and fix that.
I am not sure how long this Smoke House has been around,but I first heard of it a few weeks ago, and the reviews I have read have been pretty positive. It’s located in a strip mall,and can be a bit tricky to find,as it is a distance from the street. However once you get close the aroma draws you, literally right to the front door.
This bad boy sits right in front of the joint,and the day we were there it was in service,smoking some pork butts. I was able to chat with the young man working the post and he told me they used a bit of dry rub only on the brisket. This aroma is the best ad I could think of for a BBQ joint.
Once inside we found a neat little space. Bright and clean.
They make their own sauces and keep them in squeeze bottles on the tables. They offer a sassy sweet, a hot and a more east coast mustard style. We started off with an order of fried mushrooms.
I have to say that their mushroom appetizer was average, at best. Small button mushrooms with a rather boring coating and served with a very non descript Ranch dressing. Average price and average taste. Our server gave us a taste of their pulled pork, which sealed the deal for Pat.
I was really tempted by their smoked meatball sandwich. But I thought I would play it safe and go with the brisket sandwich with Lava beans.
Where do I begin? The meat had a really nice smoke flavor and a picture perfect smoke ring, but the overall it missed the mark. The meat was chewy and hard to bite and pretty bland. In order to get some flavor I had to add some sauce. Sauce should be used sparingly to enhance an existing flavor. Not as a substitute for flavor. For what it is worth I think they should use a rub and adjust the cook time. A rub does two things. Adds an extra level of flavor and it also does a Chemistry thing to help tendering the meat. They have their smoker set on 175 degrees, which is a sweet zone for Q. So, again this is just one man’s opinion.
The beans were really good. A nice level of heat and full of meat. A really good accompaniment for cow or pig. The sauces were decent , and the prices were on point as well.
Some bloggers don’t like to say if they like or dis like a joint. I have no problem with that. I rarely dis-like a place. The most I usually do is abstain from like or dis-like. Like a Congressman that votes present. This is the case here.
We have been aware of this place and its reputation for quite some time. People swear by the quality of Hank’s smoked meat. He only offers carry out so we had to pick a nice day. That is the only reason I can come up as to why we were so tardy in coming here. That, and our horrid memories. Today was a beautiful day so we headed to Hank’s.
They have a menu board on the wall, but I messed up the picture. Their sandwiches range from $6.50 to $8.50. Their sides are all $1.80. The brisket is $16 per pound and the smoked corn beef is $17.50. On Urbanspoon there is an older picture of the menu. The brisket prices have gone up since that was taken. Price increase or not the man sure can smoke some beef. And it is definitely butter my butt and call me bread good.
Pat stopped and bought some buns on the way. We got one pound of brisket, one half pound of smoked corned beef and a side of potato salad and coleslaw. Conveniently there is a Dairy Queen next door, so we picked up a couple of chocolate malts. There is also a nice little park about a block away. So we had an old-fashioned picnic.
In a nutshell I don’t know which we liked better. The brisket or the corned beef. The brisket was delicious and had a beautiful bark. I think it was a wee bit better than Squealers. My previous love. As for the corned beef it was truly a taste to remember. I know this is trite and over used but it really did melt in your mouth. A nice texture, indicative of corned meat and just a hint of fat to leave a little gleam on your mouth. The slaw was good but the potato salad was better, I think. Super creamy. A sweet foil to the home-made BBQ sauce.
What is extraordinary is Hank is a self-taught pit master. As I understand it he spent 10 years perfecting his technique through trial and error. Which is, ultimately, the way all smokers learn. Try different ways until you find the one way that floats your boat. In this case Hank certainly has found his way.
This joint has a rather large fan base and subsequently receives a lot of word of mouth advertising. Which is the best. It is sincere and heartfelt, and free. And it certainly seems warranted. They have won national awards for their pig and their sauce.
The place consists of 3 separate rooms. A large main dining area with 2 smaller adjacent rooms. They also have a full bar. Which was a pleasant surprise, I wasn’t aware they sold beer.
They have an extensive menu, covering all the BBQ bases. Hog, brisket, rib eye, chicken,turkey and sausage. I found out after the fact they purchase their sausage raw and smoke it in-house. My kind of joint.
I was torn between the brisket and the smoked prime rib sandwich. They smoke off the rib, shave it and serve it Philly style with peppers and onions and cheese. Now that sounds good. I felt compelled to go with the brisket sandwich. I really like brisket.
The sandwich comes with choice of 2 sides for $7.99, and you can order it wet or dry. You also get your choice on sauce. Sweet, hot or mix of both. Pat and I both opted for the both. Their Award winning sauce was really outstanding. Nicely sweet with just the right of amount of heat. The beans were tasty with bits of meat in it. They fit really well with smoked meat. I prefer my beans just a tad thicker, but that is merely a personal preference. The coleslaw was delicious. Thick and sweet a perfect complement to BBQ. Now as for the brisket. I can’t recall the last time I had brisket so nicely done. Tasty, tender and check out the smoke ring. Now that is one beautiful sight. I especially liked that they use sweet white onion. I certainly don’t know who issued that memo that says restaurants should use “red” onions, but I wish someone would rescind it. A Vidalia style onion is the best possible choice to eat with meat. Again my personal taste
So seriously folks this is one serious smoke house. They offer the best smoked I have had,to date in Indy. Once again. My personal taste. However I think quite a few folks would agree.