eating indie in indy

Posts tagged “blackened fish

Sea Kings Seafood Kitchen 5523 E 38th Street.

This place has been home to eating establishments for probably 40 years. So three joints in about 40 years is well above the average life span. Of course I don’t have any idea how many years; if any the property set vacant.

It is an oddly shaped building that reminds me of a Gazebo. I should have taken some outdoor shots but didn’t. Their menu has a few surprises on it but it is mostly the predictable Hoosier seafood.

http://seakingsindy.com/

The new owner is a retired LEO from California so we had a good time talking with the man. Being gun enthusiasts we talked both guns and gun ranges with him. He was born in Indy and raised in this neighborhood and he wants to do his part in its revitalization.

Most of their fish are available fried, grilled or blackened. Also their meals come with hushpuppies but they only give up two per meal. I ordered a catfish meal for $10.99 with the fish blackened and for my 2 sides I opted for coleslaw and an extra side of hushpuppies.

Even with an additional side I only got 6 pups. That is unfortunate. Joints around here are so frugal when it comes to giving out pups. The fish was pretty good. It wasn’t truly blackened; in the traditional sense of the term. It was cooked on a griddle with some Cajun seasoning. The fillets were probably about 4 ounces each which give you a decent size meal. The coleslaw was sweet and creamy which I like. Overall I liked my meal. On any return trips I am trying their fried fish. They use a batter with a touch of cornmeal in it. That sounds interesting.

Pat’s 2 sides

Don’t let the container size deceive you. Both of these containers hold a good 4 ounce portion. An amount I think is adequate for a meal. His whole meal was $14.99, which I thought was high, but shrimp is always expensive when you eat out. That is why I prepare shrimp at home.

Overall this is a good choice for your seafood fix. I believe they have $7.99 specials for lunch featuring a sandwich, fries and a drink. Which is definitely competitive with the arches.

 


The Thirsty Turtle 2949 S. Meridian St.

I know. Another bar. We have been going to several of these lately because we can’t find any Independent lunch joint that we haven’t already been to. I love bars, taverns, saloons; what ever you want to call them but sometimes we want something different. Actually we came here by a happy accident. The joint we were going to visit had abruptly changed their hours and stopped serving lunch during the week. The Thirsty Turtle was a place I have been by a few times and never took the time to stop.

This day they were having a very busy lunch. They were selling 50 cent wings, or maybe it was wings for a quarter. They do a wing special on Wednesday and Thursday, 50 cents one day 25 on the other. Either way it was crazy. Especially since the kitchen staff consisted of one young woman. I sat at the end of the bar and was able to see all the action in the kitchen. The work is strong in this one. She did an outstanding job and I had a grand time watching.

I wasn’t in a burger mood so I opted for catfish. I decided on “blackened” for two reasons. First I didn’t want to compound the kitchen’s fryer load. Also I was curious to see how they did it.

They had a nifty little stove and griddle combo featuring a 4 eyed stove and oven as well as the flat top. So the fish could have been prepared in a skillet or on the griddle. As you can see from the color of the fish it wasn’t really blackened. It was cooked on the flat top and seasoned with a “cajun” spice. It was still nicely done and I liked it.

I really enjoyed our lunch. It was nice to see some real kitchen work. It has been a while. It isn’t close to me but I would like to go just because the people are just so darn nice. Oh and the prices are fantastic. The food totaled $15 and my Lite bottles were 2 bucks and Pat’s Rolling Rock was $3. You won’t find that Downtown.
Thirsty Turtle Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Dugout Bar 621 Virginia Ave.

On a rainy day there is just something about an old bar that draws me. We decided to do lunch on Monday instead of Wednesday this week. Since it was rainy we came here. Also since it was raining I forgot to take an outside shot. As soon as we walked in we were greeted by both the bartender and 2 guys sitting at the bar. That is always a good sign. We started off with some breaded mushrooms for $7.95. They offer a choice of 3 dippers, which is unique. Marinara as well as cocktail and ranch.

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They tasted pretty good. I have had a few better. I couldn’t place the breading. Had I know that the Head Food Dude was sitting at the bar with us I would have asked. By the time we were introduced the mushrooms were gone and so was the question.

After a long weekend of tryptophan, turkey and carbs Pat and I both craved a burger. We opted for a bacon cheeseburger for $8.75.

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The only difference in our orders was Pat wanted pepperjack cheese and pickle only. I opted for Swiss with pickle and onion. I asked our bartender if they used red or white onion. I can tolerate red onion in a salad but not a burger. Yes I can be finicky. She told me I could have either one. Now that is service.

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The burger was tasty, the pickles were crisp, the onions crunchy and the Brioche bun was beautiful. It was a very nice sandwich and they didn’t scrimp on the bacon; 3 strips.

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As we entered we were informed of the lunch specials. A Cajun seasoned pork tenderloin and a blackened salmon Etouffee. Normally I would have jumped on the fish but as I said I was craving  red meat. As we chatted with the 2 fellows sitting at the bar I discovered that their current chef had worked at Bourbon Distillery around the time Pat and I went there. If that is the case then he was responsible for my blacked trout with Etouffee that I had that day. The dish was excellent. So this just gives me an added incentive to return and try one of his fish dishes.

So we have an old bar with friendly patrons, excellent service and great food. On and the prices are reasonable. They even offer up great beer specials. PBR and Killian Red for $2.50 per pint. I wish I could remember our server/ bartender’s name. She did a terrific job. So I’ll be back with or with the rain.

Dugout Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Castleton Grill 6010 E. 82nd Street

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This week is Burger Week in Indy. Several restaurants have agreed to offer select burgers for $5 with a part of the proceeds going to Second Harvest Food Bank. The trouble is we have already been to the Independent joints that are participating. I did find one we haven’t been to that is local and that offered a relatively simple burger. Naturally when we got there Pat decided on a fish sandwich.

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This Grill offers 3 fish. Cod, Faroe Island Salmon and Mahi. You have a choice of how your fish is prepared. Battered and fried, blackened or grilled. A burger is no competition for Faroe Salmon so I ordered blackened Salmon. For sides you can get your typical fries,chips and slaw they also offer an Andouille sausage potato cake.

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Well the both of the fish portions were small; 4 to 5 ounces. The mini hoagie roll was cute but my potato cake side was bigger than my fish. As far as taste goes it was pretty underwhelming. My fish was pretty to look at but was bland; even with Blackening spice. Salmon is a robust fish and should have a taste to match. As for the potato cake it was pretty boring as well. A “mushy” texture with no discernible evidence of sausage in it. I guess the corn relish on top was supposed to offer taste and crunch.

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There is a pretty common saying in the Restaurant biz. “People eat with their eyes” That is just an admonition to make every plate attractive. Well the dining may start with the eyes but eventually the customers will open their mouths. Make sure the statement your food makes is something you want to say.

So Pat’s Cod was $9 and my Salmon was $10. Craft drafts are $6; in other words typical Castleton prices. There are better joints to eat even up in this area.

Castleton Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Bourbon Street Distillery 361 Indiana Avenue.

I wanted to come here so I could sit out side. Today was a pleasant and bright day, without the oppressive humidity ,usually associated with a Hoosier July. Pat said we already ate here, pre blog days. I don’t think so.

Even though they have Distillery in their name they don’t distill any alcohol. They do have a decent cold beer selection and some good food. They aren’t heavy with Cajun fare, as the name would imply. They do offer a nice selection of smoked meats, crawfish etouffee,oysters,catfish and a sprinkling of blackened dishes. Pat has been her more than a few times, so he knew the menu pretty well. They did have 2 new offerings. A French Dip and a house smoked brisket sandwich. Their sandwiches come with a small side of slaw and fries or home-made chips. He opted for the Dip, with chips for $8.50. He also tried a cup of Lobster Bisque for $4,25.

Lobster Bisque

Lobster Bisque

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I don’t think the angle of Pat’s picture did the presentation of his French Dip justice. The amount of chips was huge. And they were very well made. They buy them already cut and fry and season them in-house. Good seasoning and great execution.

Blackened Trout with Etouffee and hush puppies

Blackened Trout with Etouffee and hush puppies

The Blackened Trout was a lunch special. It came with etouffee, slaw and garlic toast for $8.50. The puppies were an add on for $1.25. The fish was very good. I found their blackening interesting. Different to what I am used to. But in fairness most of my blackened meals have been made with my own spice blend. Not better or worse, just different. This spice mix was light on the front end and little stronger in the middle and with a nice finish. Not at all excessively hot. It fit well with the fish. The etouffee was good as well. Abundant, which is good because a measly cup of etouffee is just a taste. The slaw was so so, but it did bring a nice texture to the party. One thing I am not happy with is my picture. I should have had the idea of rotating my plate so as to good a good shot of the fish. A blackened piece of fish is beautiful. Dark and glistening with a slight sheen from the oil or butter.

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They also have a list of Po’ Boys. Now that is next on my list a Blackened Catfish Po’ boy. Seriously I can’t think of any reason not to go there. Good food, good pricing and good service and a nice out-door seating area and an upstairs balcony. What more can you ask for.

Bourbon Street Restaurant & Distillery on Urbanspoon

http://bourbonstreetdistillery.com/


Northside Kitchenette 6515 N. College Ave.

All of Broad Ripple Village is divided into 2 parts. That which is south of the canal, affectionately referred to as SoBro, and property north of the canal, affectionately referred to as joints north of the canal. NoBro may not have as many attractions as SoBro but the quality of the Kitchenette’s food is unequivocal.

It’s not a large place, but the seating is efficiently arranged and the counter and chairs give it a sleek Nuevo diner feel. I should have taken more pictures of the interior but I foresee a return trip when it warms up.

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This is the tea bag that Pat found so...charming.

This is the tea bag that Pat found so…charming.

northside kitchette 002northside kitchette 012northside kitchette 005northside kitchette 009All of their sandwiches are in the $10 range and are huge. Their bread is made by Scholar’s Inn, so you know that is an added value. And speaking of added value, their apparently house made pickles are out standing. They are of the “bread and butter” variety, and are large, crisp and tasty. A good addition to any sandwich.

The one item on the menu that intrigued me the most was the blackened Triggerfish. Our server told us that it was related to Snapper. Holy Gulf Coast, I had to try it. The fish was excellent. The texture and taste were reminiscent of Grouper, but I thought I detected a slight sweet after taste. But it was hard to tell with the sweet remoulade. I really enjoyed the mild blackening of the fish. That is definitely the way to go. I was only able to eat one-quarter as a sandwich. After that I reverted to a 12-year-old and de-constructed it to get at the fish. I think I would enjoy it again just as a piece of fish, with a little salad and citrus vinaigrette on the side. Oh and an extra pickle.

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The service was as excellent as the food. She was efficient, knowledgable and very pleasant. This is definitely a must go to place.

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Northside Kitchenette on Urbanspoon