When we can’t come to a quick agreement on destination we know we can always agree on the ever popular, hardly controversial “dive bar”. Pat, because the food is simple and me because the beer is cheap. This place has been a bar for as long as I can recall. For years it was Bud’s Lounge. Bud’s closed a couple of years ago and Fat Cat moved in. Fat Cat was originally down the street at 38th Street so they have some experience in the bar business.
Their menu is pretty common with a bunch of frozen apps and a few basic sandwiches and pizza. We ordered a side of mushrooms to start our meal off for $5. They were pretty good. Like most things frozen apps are not all the same. Some ARE better than others. These were better than average.
Of course a picture should be taken before you start eating. Makes for a more professional effect.
I was leaning toward their fried catfish dinner but our great bartender told me it goes from $8 to $6.75 on Fridays. Unfortunately they stopped selling them with hush puppies. Their customers weren’t eating them. There is just no accounting for some folks tastes. So I went for the pig in the form of a grilled tenderloin.
This was an exceptional piece of meat. This was no light weight “fritter” this was an 8 oz. slice of pork loin that was pounded out and cooked really well on a flat top. Tender and moist with good flavor and just the right amount of chew.
So we really enjoyed this little place. It had good food, exceptional service and Domestic bottles were a buck and a half. So for 2 sandwiches, one order of mushrooms and three beers our tab was $25; with tax. That is a value. I will be back on a Friday and try their catfish special; even without puppies.
Well another tavern. From what I was told by the bartender we had last week this is a joint that scratch makes 90 % of their food. They have 2 locations. This one and one up north on Pendleton Pike.
This spot is clean and nicely done up and offers 25 lunch specials every day for $7.95. They are the same every day so the kitchen doesn’t have to do something new every day. Also for the most part they are regular menu items at a reduced price.
Pat gave me a piece of his tenderloin and it was well seasoned and the meat had a great texture; but it had that unmistakable after taste of old oil in the deep fryer. That is a shame.
When I order I try to get something that I wouldn’t do at home. Because of the time it takes or the mess it would make. In this case it would have been the battered and fried cod sandwich. However I mis-heard Pat and I thought that was what he ordered so I went for the Sloppy Joe with fries.
I have a fondness for Sloppy Joe sandwiches. I know they are hardly a challenging dish but I do enjoy them. What I got yesterday was very good. I can’t say that it did or did not come from a can because I have never knowingly had that canned sauce. I make it from scratch, that is just how I am wired. The only bad thing I can say about my lunch was the fries. They had that same after taste as Pat’s tenderloin.
I am with Pat. I would like to try their $9 steak special but it is too far for me to drive. Overall it was a good lunch but it could have been better.
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.
We visited this place 4 years ago, I really enjoyed the place but I live too far to enjoy it regulary. The place has changed owners but they have kept the style that I found so compelling the other time. A large menu with an emphasis on all things meat. I understand that they are changing the menu again, removing some items and adding new.
Their big food special that day was a 6 ounce filet with shrimp scampi, 2 sides and Texas toast for $10.50.
It was as good as the first time I went. A wonderful piece of steak; tender and juicy coupled with a half-dozen 21-25 count shrimp in a garlic and butter sauce. The sides I opted for were a side salad and mushrooms.
The salad was large and the addition of cheese was a nice surprise. The mushrooms were a standard pre breaded type that you can get in most bars.
Pat and I both ordered mushrooms but he ordered coleslaw. They use Grandmas brand which is his favorite. Mine too.
So Mikie’s Pub is definitely a great place to go for food and a few drinks. I really want a joint like this on my side of town.
About three years ago the Sahm’s family opened their first craft brewery, right on the Monon Trail, Big Lug. Shortly after they opened their second Rockstone Pizza next door. I thought a pizza joint was a perfect match to a craft brewery. However after one year they decided to close the pizza joint and turn it into an Alehouse.
I have always been a fan of the way Sahm’s conducts their business. From their side dish offerings to the extensive salad menu and that they still serve a slice of sour cream coffee cake with every salad. These guys know how to run a joint.
I had my eye on their seafood bisque so I was pleased that I could get it as a side; for $1 up charge.
It was a much larger portion than I expected. It was very creamy and had a very good flavor. Except for the clams you really couldn’t taste any other sea food though.
SEAFOOD BISQUE SOUP
ROASTED SHRIMP, ATLANTIC COD, CLAMS, SEAFOOD STOCK, CREAM, OLD BAY SEASONING, ROASTED GARLIC, TOMATOES
However I would probably order it again and just consider it a fortified clam chowder.
To go with my “bisque” I got a meatball sandwich.
I found this to be the perfect sandwich size and the soft roll the perfect mate to the tender meatballs. It is nice when the bread and filling both separate at the same time. As for the pricing it is as you would expect. My sandwich was $10.99 plus a buck for the soup. Pat’s tenderloin was $11.99, which I thought was pretty steep. However Pat certainly seemed to enjoy it regardless of the cost. Of course they had beer. Big Lug beer as well as the guest kegs. Once again Sahm’s has hit it out of the park. Good food, good beer and good service. Definitely worth a return trip. With or without a bike.
This joint is a first for us. The food is cooked to order, but with pre- made product. They use a frozen crust and a ready-made sauce for the pizza. The pizza product comes from a well know purveyor that sells a good product. They also use an independent restaurant supply for the rest of their inventory.
We learned of this joint recently after visiting Jimbo’s BBQ. Actually this was where we heard of Soul Bear’s. The hook to us was the fact they were just blocks from the BBQ and they offered $1 domestic bottles on Wednesday. As for the reason we decided to eat here was solely because of Danielle. She waits tables, tends bar and cooks the food all with an amazing amount of energy and humor. She told us she wanted to go to a Culinary School but was having second thoughts. Her attitude about cooking and tending to the customers is very refreshing. She does everything to the best of her ability which is very exciting to see. That is why we opted to have lunch here. There are several joints that have one person doing it all. Serving drinks and cooking food and they are all independently owned and they deserve some attention as well as a Gastropub.
Staying with the “sausage” motif I opted for a corn dog as my app.
It was pretty dark in the bar so my pictures are less that stellar. For my “main dish” I chose a Stromboli. As Danielle explained it to me she prepares the sandwich the same as a deluxe pizza. Ground meat, sauce, peppers,onions, mushrooms, pepperoni and cheese all on a toasted Hoagie bun. All of the pizza product comes from Delco Foods, a well know supplier of Italian food products. This sandwich was a big hit. The bun was exceptional and the toast was just right. It hit all the right notes and went down quickly. For $6 it was a bargain.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
How many folks remember drive ins? I am sure you know what I am talking about. You drive up and park and the server comes out; takes your food order and then delivers it to you on trays that clip to your car windows. If you don’t recall first hand I am sure you have heard tales from your parents or Grandparents.
I am not sure how long Mel’s has been serving food to the folks in Mars Hill,but I would guess more than 50 years. It isn’t easy to get to but it is worth the effort. It is about 50 yards from a busy highway and a railroad track. I am not sure how busy the track is but a train came by while we were there.
As you can see it is pretty close. Mel’s is the building in the foreground.
A couple of old-fashioned drive ins in town have house made root beer as their hook. Mels’ doesn’t. All it offers is its food and great pricing.
They have no indoor dining. You eat in your car or on some picnic tables out back. That may turn some people off but Pat and I loved it. You may not be able to see the prices all that well on my picture but both Zomato and Yelp have shots of the 2014 menu. The new menu is about a half buck more per item. Pat ordered a single hamburger, a small order of mushrooms and cheese bites as well as a hot dog and vanilla malt.
I opted for a breaded tenderloin. I don’t know if it was just the special for that day or if it’s the normal pricing but the girl asked me if a wanted a second tenderloin sandwich for $1.10. One for $2.75 two for $3.85. At first I said no. I quickly realized I had made a faux pas and changed my order. I figured that Pat and I could share the ‘shrums and cheese bites so I finished my order with a coney dog and a Chocolate Malted.
I only ate one of the tenderloin. It was a pre-breaded item not hand breaded in-house. So it wasn’t representative of scratch cooking but it was representative of a damn fine sandwich. For $2.75 each and $3.85 for two make that an excellent sandwich.
The coney dog was very good as well. A dirty water dog on a common place bun and smothered with a pretty good coney sauce. Pat asked me if I thought it was house made. I don’t know but I doubt it. Why should they. I would guess they bought it ready-made and spiced it up with chile powder and cumin. I don’t think this joint ever felt the necessity to scratch build food items. Their mission is to feed people,what they want to eat. And I gotta’ feeling folks like the food a lot.
Oh and the Chocolate Malted was pretty good too. I mean Chocolate is the best of all Malts.
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.