This place opened less than 2 years ago by Kimbal Musk the brother of Elon Musk of Tesla fame. It was the curiosity that prompted me to eat here. Musk owns a restaurant group that started in Colorado in 2004. Another brand is Hedge Row. He opened one of those on Mass Ave. prior to the opening of Next Door.
The building used to be a Double Eight grocery. A local chain that closed a few years back. It was started in the 50’s as Seven Eleven. Long before that convenience store chain started. A few years back our local chain changed its name. As a homage to a by gone era Musk incorporated a sign into their interior design.
Several Indianapolis restaurants are currently running a Devour promotion. That is when participating restaurants serve a special meal or discounted normal menu items. Next Door was offering 3 courses for $16.95. That was my original plan but I changed my mind at the last minute. I thought a 3 course lunch was too much and I was drawn to their Pineapple Express burger. That would be a Black Angus burger from local Fisher Farms on a toasted bum with fresh grilled pineapple, bacon, swiss cheese and Siracha honey.
All of their burgers and sandwiches come with chips and a “simple salad”.
I really enjoyed my burger. The bun was nicely toasted and they cooked it medium rare as I requested. That combo of sweet pineapple and smoky bacon was really excellent. The burgers are one third pound. With this particular sandwich any thing bigger would be too much.
Although this joint is not Downtown their prices are. A basic burger is $10.95. They also offer a burger that is half ground beef and half crimini mushrooms for $11.95. My Pineapple Express was $13.95. Expensive but tolerable. My Sun King beer was $6.75 and wasn’t even a pint. Across the street Scarlet Lane opened a tap room so if you feel like a couple of beers that is the place to go. I would like to follow up and try their Next Door 50/50. That is their crimini and beef mix burger. All in all I enjoyed the joint. It is attractive and has a great out door space and they cook a very good burger.
In Indianapolis there is a legendary steak house. Home grown and operating since 1902 and still going strong. It is known for aged prime beef and an equally legendary shrimp cocktail. One with a sauce so hot it lingers in your mouth and memory for ages. It is called St. Elmo’s and about 10 years ago they opened a more casual affair right around the corner on Georgia Street, called Harry and Izzy’s. They are open for lunch and offer a prime beef Angus burger. Last year St. Elmo’s announced they were opening another joint right next door featuring nothing but burgers. Well Burger Study just opened last week.
All of their beef is ground Prime beef. A couple of their burgers made of St. Elmo’s dry aged beef. But we were happy to try their “regular” burgers. But before hand we ordered a fried avocado appetizer for $8.
Pat or I have never had fried avocado before so we were pretty excited to try them. Unfortunately the results were less than stellar. Some of them tasted burned, as though the fry oil was bad. It was strange not every one tasted bad but it impressed me enough to know I won’t be ordering them again.
They have a “build your own burger” offered on the menu for $9 with cheese for $1 extra. That is what Pat ordered.
I opted for the $13Thick-cut, root beer glazed bacon, smoked Gouda cheese, tomato, lettuce, mayonnaise. It was an outstanding sandwich and a great piece of beef. I don’t find the char off-putting so I enjoyed mine more than Pat. One thing I couldn’t help but notice was that the cheese looked pretty orange for Gouda. Regardless of the cheese it was an excellent sandwich and the only reason I probably wouldn’t order it when I go back is because I would like to try one of the other burgers.
I really have my eye on theSt. Elmo Steak House dry-aged beef topped with foie gras, triple-crème whipped brie, arugula, Dijon mustard, and caramelized onions on a sesame seeded brioche bun 30. That would be a burger for the ages. And at 30 bucks it would be a burger for a lifetime. I think I have tried all the burgers offered downtown and these guys put out the best. So a return trip is definitely in my future.
This is going to be a fun post. Not only does this joint have good food it also has some great photo ops. Even for a bad photographer.
This is parked out front. I couldn’t get the whole car into the pic. I backed up all the way to the wall to get this shot.
This is the view we got when we parked. That is right. We parked right behind Sheriff Taylor’s squad car.
The town of Danville is the home for this Cafe. The cafe is an homage’ to Andy Taylor and the popular TV series featuring Sheriff Taylor and all of his friends and family. In addition to all the kitsch and pictures they also offer an amazing menu of good food.
To start we had to try the mushrooms. They served them in a metal cone, more apt for pomme’ frites;. I thought it was pretty cool for mushrooms.
The mushrooms were pretty good. Not exceptional but good. Worth the 6 buck charge. This place offers beef in many ways, all of which are slow roasted brisket.
I was torn. They offer a very nice salad bar for $7.50. They also offer variations with soup or baked potatoes with the salad bar. I was tempted but their house burger is a combo of sirloin and brisket ground fresh daily and grilled to order. That was my call. I asked for it rare. I was told they could do that. The burger came out more medium.
In defense of the kitchen Indiana has rules regarding the temperature of ground meat products. If I remember properly all ground meat patties should reach a temp of 165 degrees. So I can see a kitchen dude just agreeing with the server and then cooking the burger to what they consider “legal temp”. Some joints will cook me a med- rare burger with no problem. Some won’t. So it is probably a crap shot. What I can say is this was a very good burger. Had it been cooked to rare or medium rare it would have been fantastic.
So I must say I was quite impressed with the food. I also thought that the decor was wonderful. It is a combo of country kitsch and old-time TV memory.
As an end to our lunch we shared a strawberry shortcake. It was very good. Two thick slices of pound cake smothered in strawberries and covered with whipped cream. Three bucks.
So I think this is a wonderful place to visit. Not only do you have an opportunity to hang in a Mayberry joint you also have a chance to have some excellent food.
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.
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.
Once upon a time there was 2 Lord Ashley’s. One on East Washington and one near Oaklandon. The one on Washington is no more. This location is going strong with a change of ownership 12 years ago. It is a kid friendly joint with both a full menu and a full bar.
When we can we like to start off with come fried mushrooms. They serve a generous portion for $7.99.
Pat and I both agreed that; while good they didn’t compare with Checkered Flags. Unfortunately all subsequent fried mushrooms will be compared with the Checkered Flag.
Usually I decide quickly on what I want to eat. Not yesterday. Our server bailed me out by suggesting a breaded pork loin.
It was huge. It was also confusing. I have never seen one pounded out so thin. My first impression was it was a pre-breaded item. However it was full muscle meat and invariably pre breaded “fritters” are chopped and formed. Normally I would have preferred a thicker slice of meat but the more I ate the more I enjoyed it. I can see myself ordering it again. However I think I would take the owner up on his offer of a second bun. I took the loin out of the bun and cut it in half and ate the first half sans bread.
They make their own chips and they do a good job with them. Too often “home-made” chips are either burnt or under done. I also enjoyed the added kale garnish, that is old school.
It is so far away I can’t see going there very often. I can see myself stopping in when I am in the area or even making it a destination for a Springtime lunch. They are such nice people and they give you a good product at a good price.
Yesterday when Pat called me to ask about our lunch location he told me he would really like to go to a place like the Golden Ace or the Red Key. For those who don’t know, these two joints are old school bars with menus limited to burgers cooked in a skillet, Braunschweiger sandwiches and chips. And maybe chili,in season. That sounded real good,except for one problem. Where are they? There are a few bars that may meet that criteria but they aren’t open for lunch or they have a tendency to be a bit “loud” for casual conversation and lunch. After a bit of a search I picked,what I hoped,would be a good example of Indy’s new normal Bar. Slick and sleek with a big polished menu. The Grill on Fall Creek Road. Actually I had a bit of a heads up about this place from a friend who mentioned The Grill 2 in Fortville. She goes there with her family and everyone likes the food. The Grill 2 is family friendly where as The Grill is 21 only.
http://www.thegrillatgeist.com/ Here is a link to their website. The Grill 2 has its own site but it offers no accessible menu.
Yep. Mushrooms. Lightly breaded and crisp these rank up with the best we have found for $6.99.
I went a different route and opted for an appetizer for my lunch. Fried Smelts. I know about half of the readers are saying “Eww”. Smelt is like sardines and anchovy you like ’em or you don’t, no middle ground.I happen to like them and it has been years since I have had any.
These were excellent. Delicately breaded and fried with the same skill as the mushrooms. They served them with both cocktail sauce and tartar sauce which I think is essential with these fishes. Were this place closer I would be back on a regular basis. With these on the menu that long drive has just gotten shorter.
The last shots pretty much sum up our appreciation of The Grill’s efforts. Not only was the food good but the service was top-notch as well. Our server Danielle was very attentive and more than willing to answer any questions we had about the menu.
Okay. I have messed this post up already. This is the second joint we visited today, with the raw cafe being the first. So I should have written this first so it would be seen second. That way it would have a logical sequence. Oh well.
After our first course we needed some meat. This burger joint started out as dinner only but a few weeks ago they started serving lunch. During lunch they use a smaller version of their menu. No appetizers and most of their speciality burgers aren’t on there. Pat decided on their classic for $9 at lunch with chips instead of homemade fries. That is their basic Angus burger with cheese and usual cold set.
When I asked our bartender about their speciality burgers he told me they could fix anything on the menu. Which I thought was very nice of him. I had my eye on the Parthenon. A lamb burger with “gyro bacon”, feta and tatziki sauce on a pita; with fries for $12.
My burger was more than the mid rare I ordered and the “gyro bacon “was sliced gyro meat. I guess they figured that some crisp strips from a gyro cone would give a bacon effect. Well the overall flavor was very good but I think some lamb bacon from Smoking Goose would do a better job. As for the over cook that was just an all around goof. The meat had a bit of pink to it so it wasn’t rendered uneatable, and as I said it was tasty. As far as the fries went they were your usual limp house cut fries. Tasty but not real crisp.
So all in all they offer a pretty good burger. I would like to try one of their regular Angus burgers and see if they can do one medium rare.