Wednesday wasn’t a good day. It was terrible weather, hot and humid. The sort of weather that makes you yearn for winter. We had plans to visit Old Gold since last week. The last time we were at Metazoa the bar tender gave us each wooden coins good for a one meat upgrade, so we could pay for 1 meat and get 2. Nothing better than bargain BBQ. Of course when we got there we realized that they had expired. Sad me. Fortunately the lady in charge allowed for us to use them. So I was able to get a two meat plate with 2 sides for $14.
I uncovered my side dishes. Coleslaw and Ranchero beans to take a couple of pictures. Unfortunately I was so busy running my mouth I forgot and started eating. Here is the shot I took after I had eaten half my brisket.
Not very appetizing is it? Well as for the taste the sides definitely could stand some improvement. The beans tasted like canned beans with a bit of meat and a whole lot of cumin. I could not eat them all. The cole slaw was supposed to be a vinegar slaw but it too came up short. The predominant flavor was raw cabbage. The brisket was excellent. Thick slices of some of the most tender brisket I have eaten. It did not have a great smoke flavor but the texture made up for it. The pulled pork was pretty good especially with their mustard style Carolina sauce. It really made the meat stand out. As for their traditional red sauce I wasn’t a fan. Once again, too much cumin. Another thing I did not get was the amount of onion they included in their basic cold set. I don’t think a few half slices is enough.
So should you be at Metazoa and decide to eat I don’t think you can go wrong with the pulled pork or brisket. The ribs and sausage may be good as well, my guess would be they are. These folks just need to work on the accompaniments.
You may remember the 2 reviews of Liter House. One solo and one a few months later with Pat. Well this is the long anticipated Beer Garden and BBQ joint built on the back of the Liter House. It is a large space with an upstairs bar and the menu is all about smoked meats.
They serve the food on a paper lined school lunch tray and give you paper plates to plate your food.
Pat ordered from the combo section of the menu. One meat 2 sides for $13.95 I am afraid I did not do a very good job highlighting his brisket in the picture. I did what I could with cropping the picture but the only thing that really shows well are his sides.
I had to try their ribs so I went to the From the Smoker section where they sell their meats by the quarter pound. I don’t usually think of ribs by the pound but by the bones so I had to guess one pound would be approximately one half rack. That was 14 bucks and I splurged on Pat’s dime and ordered a side of Collards for $4.
Wow. As someone younger might say. These ribs are Fire. Tender and a great smoky flavor. They had a beautiful smoke ring. I really should have taken a picture. Both meats are placed on top of a slice of white bread. I used mine to sop up the liquor from the greens. Not as good as corn bread but it worked. As for the greens they were very tasty, not as much meat as I am accustomed to ( a few pieces of bacon) but they had a deep flavor with a nice vinegar tang in the broth.
All of the smoked meats are served without sauce. They offer 3 sauces. A sweet sauce, a mustard sauce and a “hot” sauce; which tasted like a combo of steak sauce and a Louisiana hot sauce.
This place is the coolest of all Sahm’s spots. Well to me it is. You get Liter House and Big Lug beer plus some of the best BBQ in the city. Be advised they have a special board inside which features the Special of the day plus the veggie, soup and fish of the day. Just in case you don’t want BBQ. I can certainly see myself going back. Trust me though it won’t be on a bike.
Jimmy’s is an old-fashioned drive in. No car hops but you can order at the window and eat in your car; eat in doors or use their drive up. A triple threat. I am afraid places like this are slowly vanishing. Hopefully they can still flourish in small towns. There are a few left in Indianapolis but I am afraid “progress” will eventually take its toll.
This is the sort of joint that has a concise menu made up of both house made and “store-bought” items.
Pat and I both ordered two sandwiches and some mushrooms to share. I ordered a BBQ and a Sloppy Joe.
The BBQ was excellent. It was not dry rubbed and smoked and served sauce on the side. It was cooked in an unknown manner then sauced in a very unique sauce, with mushrooms. It was moist, tasty and abundant; and less than $5. When they serve the sandwiches they are wrapped in paper, which can be problematic when you unwrap to photograph.
As you can tell from the pictures both of these sandwiches require a fork. I have been a fan of the Sloppy Joe since I was a kid and I think the one at Jimmy’s is the best I have eaten. The meat was looser than most and didn’t have the sweetness that most others have. It wasn’t a Maid Rite or Loose meat but probably something in between; as it had a tomato presence. In either event it was a big hit.
Pat wanted to show what was under the lid. Look closely and you can see the mushrooms.
This is Pat’s tenderloin and the mushrooms. The mushrooms were one of those “store-bought” items on the menu. Not worth doing again.
Pat got a chocolate malt to top off his lunch I got a chocolate soft serve cone. I honestly can not remember the last time I had soft serve. It was so good it makes me wonder why it has been so long.
Their dining room is actually pretty spacious and don’t forget the drive through if you don’t want to come in.
They even have picnic tables out back. They got you covered no matter how you roll. This place is a keeper.
This is a rather peculiar building. A big metal thing with the entire outer surface painted in such a way as to suggest it is actually many different shops. I only photographed the 2 functioning doors. It was cold and sleeting that day.
Inside it was cozy and quite utilitarian. You ordered at a counter and then when they called your name you picked it up. Simple and efficient. We got there a few minutes before noon and it was just starting to pick up steam. By 12:15 there was a considerable line.
This is the only smoker I could see; and it wasn’t working that day. I wonder if they have a tough time keeping up.
Did you notice anything odd about Pat’s sides? They offer Jasmine rice. I have never been to a BBQ joint that had rice. Unless it was Korean BBQ.
When I go to a BBQ joint I usually go with brisket. If they have it.
My sides were slaw and baked beans. The beans were pretty good. Not as thick as I would like but pretty good. The slaw was nice but not the best I have had. Which brings us to the beef. It was nice and tender and pretty lean. Just enough fat to add flavor. I could not detect much smoke though. It was pretty good and it went well with the 2 sauces we tried. The sweet and the spicy.
Our lunches were thoroughly legit and reasonably priced. A half pound of meat with 2 sides and 2 rolls for less than $9. I am with Pat though. It is too far to drive with any regularity. I will say this if I lived closer I would be back. They make their own Key Lime pie and peach cobbler.
Yep; it is a bar. But to be more accurate it is a Rebar. Now what is a Rebar? Well in this case I would say it is a joint that has a wall of serve yourself beer. The concept is great. You get a plastic card. You place it on a sensor and the pour yourself as much beer as you like. You are charged by the ounce and they offer 20 different rotating taps. You can get 2 ounces for a taste or a 12 ounce glass to enjoy with your meal. To me it is a winner for everyone concerned. For the consumer you do not need to worry about an over worked bartender, and for the house the bartender is free to do other things. Plus the place gets paid for the tastes that folks expect to get. I should have taken a picture.
But we were here for the food. From what we sampled I would say that these guys have probably the best “bar” food around. The kitchen staff is composed of young people who went to the Chef’s Academy here in town. So they have a crew of knowledgable and creative folks that are in this business by choice. Which does make a difference.
They make the majority of the food from scratch. The exceptions are the buns, fries and cheese curds. The batter on the curds is reminiscent of what you would find on a corn dog. They were pretty good but there is better out there. It is a shame they don’t have the room to batter their own. I think they would probably hit it out of the park.
The dipping sauce they served with them was a dill Ranch dressing. Too close to tartar sauce for me but it was a decent condiment. They have set lunch specials. Pat opted for the house burger for $8.
Now isn’t that a splendid hunk of meat. Pat gave me a bite and it was as tasty as it looked. I decided on a pair of sliders for $7. You get your choice of an Angus blend burger, house smoked and pulled pork or a spicy sloppy Joe. I ordered the BBQ and the Sloppy Joe. Again I was impressed. I know pulled pork and sloppy Joes are hardly haute cuisine but some preparations are better than others . Even with the simplest of dishes.
Pat and I are in agreement about the chips. They served a whole bunch of them but they were fried too crisp for us.
This place is in a perfect location for me. It is a short block away from the new Transit Center. Since I do not drive downtown, and since it has a patio on a very busy street I can see myself sitting there having lunch and a couple of Adult beverages. Speaking of beverages they have a Adult milk shakes featuring Graeter’s Ice Cream with various liquors.
They are changing their menu soon so I am sure I will be back there at least once more when that happens. Actually I will probably be back with some regularity. It is a fun joint to visit.
Big Woods is a brewery AND distillery and originated in Nashville Indiana. They also have a joint in Bloomington Indiana. I believe last year they decided to make the move north to Speedway. The home of America’s Greatest Spectacle in Racing; the 500. It is a big beautiful building with an amazing interior of varnished wood.
Quaff On is the name of the beer they produce. Also each beer has an individual name. So when you order a Quaff On flight you get 5 five ounce pours of beers that are representative of their brewing skills.
I am not going to begin to describe each beer. I will say they were excellent examples of their craft. All for $13.
As soon as we pulled up I could smell their smoker. I love smoked meats. I find pulled chicken boring. Brisket is still hit and miss around here. A good smoked pork butt is getting easier to find and from the aroma of their smoker I figured this one should be pretty good.
It was excellent. A great smokiness and the pickled veggies were a marvelous counterpoint. Of course I would have enjoyed more and a larger variety but carrot and onion are pretty commonplace in most kitchens. The bun was nice and I appreciated the sauce on the side. Their side options were kettle chips with truffle oil and parm, fries or kicked up slaw. For some reason I chose chips. They were okay but I think the truffle and parm bit looked better on paper. I forgot all about the slaw option. That was silly. Next time. My sandwich was $11.25 and Pat’s 2 topping pizza pie was $10.95.
In the beginning I mentioned that Big Woods was a distillery too. Their brand of liquor is called Hard Truth. They offered Vodka, Rum and Gin at first. Now they have a whisky. It is a clear liquor; like moonshine. So in keeping with the spirit of adventure I ordered a Manhattan cocktail.
It was a wonderful beverage. It was incredibly smooth. Too often when all the components of a cocktail are alcoholic the first taste can be a bit astringent. Not here. That is a testimony to the bartender and the liquor. In my opinion.
Pat and I had a swell time. The food is good. The beer is good. The surroundings are good and the service was outstanding. I think Pat and I will both be back;even though it is a drive for both of us. We think it may be worth it.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I wanted the brisket. A decent smoked brisket is still hard to find around here. So that is what I got, for $7.99.
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.
Grilliant also competes in BBQ competition. Hanging above the fireplace are the ribbons they have won.
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.
About 3 months ago Pat and I “reviewed” the American Legion Post # 34. Well in actuality we reviewed the food which was put out by a fellow named Pete. I guess Pete has moved on because I got word that a catering company, Serendipity has taken over the management of the kitchen. Here is the link to their webpage. It shows the menus for both their food truck and the Legion.
I was looking forward to the meal because the menu was not your typical bar menu. Sure they have some of the stuff you would expect at a bar but also they offer crab cakes and truffle fries. To start the ball rolling I ordered a side salad.
The salad was predominately spinach with the traditional onion and grape tomatoes. It was topped with goat cheese and candied walnuts,which brought a bit of sweet and a nice tang to my mouth. The whole dish was rounded out with an excellent Raspberry Vinaigrette. A great salad and bargain at $3
I opted for a Crab Cake sandwich. The chef doesn’t fry the cakes like a lot of people would he puts a sear on it and finishes it off in the oven. So I can tell myself it is Heart Healthy.
The cake was big with a nice and juicy interior and what I would consider a near perfect texture and consistency. You could actually taste the crab. If I were to order it again I think I would do without the mayo and onion. Both seemed to interfere with the “crabbiness” of the cake.
Pat ordered a burger, no onion, with a side of slaw. He also ordered a side of steamed broccoli for 3 bucks.
Well I think the Legion has a winner here. It is going to be a challenge I’m sure. The clientele is more “mature” than other joints so that could be problematic. Some old guys can be stuck in their ways. Also Legions are known for low prices, and Bill;the Chef/owner of Serendipity uses very high quality ingredients so that right there can make the thing difficult. I think that the crew at the Legion is in for some good eating. Also it is open to the public so you don’t have to be a member to dine there. I think they have plans to have certain designated nights for BBQ ribs and Prime Rib. So that ought to be all kinds of fun.
This place has been opened for about a year or so and is very close to Pat’s house. It is also very close to the Thai Restaurant we went to last week. That was how we learned of their rib special on Friday’s. We stopped there for a beer and learned from the bartender that they have the “best rib special” around on Fridays. Since we had already decided that we would do lunch on Friday this week it was a done deal.
I used the wrong camera to take the shot but you can see how rich and juicy those ribs look. My default position on all things porcine is dry rubbed, smoked and SOS (sauce on the side). These didn’t quite fit that bill but they definitely fit the taste bill. These were some of the tastiest ribs I have had. I could not detect any smoke but the meat was succulent and tender and the bones pulled right out. It did taste as though some sort of spice base was laid prior to the baking and or saucing; however the chef was a wee bit coy when I asked. Regardless, these ribs were a great example of what I call Hoosier Q. Spare ribs slow cooked in a sweet sauce until they fall off the bone. The special is a half slab with two sides for $12.95. As for the sides they were your typical choices.Fries,slaw, cottage cheese or pasta salad. Not sexy at all just basic. I opted for fries and slaw. The fries could have been fried longer but the slab of ribs were placed on top to add another dimension to them. The slaw was excellent. It was a brand called Grandma’s. A brand I am quite familiar with and do really enjoy.
I really wish I had done a better job with the pictures so everyone could see how great the ribs looked. Regardless of how they appear I don’t think you can go too far wrong from a rib dinner at Thompson’s House. Or a mushroom cheese burger for that matter.