Pat and I have been doing this for nearly 8 years and have reviewed more than 450 eating establishments. Some weeks are easier than others to pick a place. It is my function to find the joints to eat at. Pat has a hand in the process when there is a place he would like to try or when I come up empty. That was the case this week. He had a list from the westside and I thought Vinny’s would work. Of course I read it as Dive Bar and I figured that any joint that admits its diviness should be visited. Of course Pat and I were both wrong.
We started out with an order of Portabello fries. An interesting spin on the ever present breaded mushroom. They were pretty good. Thick and meaty and were served with a spicy ranch dressing. They were a pretty good way to start a meal and cost 6 bucks.
Their menu is typical bar. Basic sandwiches and appetizers. They offer BBQ and pizza as well but they do it with a different spin. The Q comes from BBQ Heaven and the pies come from Rolynos. That is a local joint that started putting out pies in the early 70’s. I find that interesting; especially the pizza. Their special that day was a Spanish burger with fries for $7.50. Now that would be a seasoned and hand formed burger marinated and then cooked in a spicy tomato based sauce with added green peppers, onions and jalapenos.
I thought it was a pretty good burger. Nicely spicy and good flavor but what really made it stand out was the compaction of the patty itself. If all of their pattys are done this way it may be worth a trip back to try one chargrilled. It could be a prefect candidate for a medium rare one.
When we review a place we don’t expect folks to drop everything and run and try it out. What we would like is for those times when people are out and decide they want to eat they may remember a joint nearby that we reviewed and want to give it a try. If you are in the area keep Vinny’s in mind.
Two Deep has been around since 2014 and I have been there several times. However this was my first time to eat. The previous owners seemed unsure of who they were. They changed their hours and food offerings a few times. It seem that they wanted it to be a club house for beer drinkers and at first encouraged customers to bring in food. When that didn’t work they added food service. At first it was pizza, I think,and then they moved on to something else. Now the new owners are treating the joint like a bar or pub that brews beer not as a brewery taproom with limited food choices. They have an extensive list of appetizers so we started with cheese curds.
They do not make these in house but they were pretty good for $7.45
Pat rationalized that since the cheese curds were considered protein he could order a battered mushroom app for $8.45. These they do in house.
I was leaning toward a brisket sandwich but then Heidi our server told me they buy it already smoked I changed my mind. In most cases “smoked” meat you buy has been enhanced with liquid smoke. They also offer smoked pork and smoked chicken so I guess I can assume they are all purchased ready to go. I eventually decided on a burger. If you look at their menu you will notice that the burgers are pretty pricey. A regular cheese burger for $11.95. I wonder why. The burgers come with a choice of fries or tots, I decided on a burger with Swiss and tots.
The burger was pretty good and the amount ot tots was rediculous. Pat and I both ate on them and I still had a pile to take home.
The piece of lettuce on my sandwich was really green and my first thought was they used the outer most leaf on a head of iceberg. The part that some cooks throw away. It did not influence the taste any it just looked “odd” to me.
Our food did take longer to come out then I think it should have. Also I ordered my burger med rare and that is not how it came out. These are minor issues that will usually work themselves out. The nuts and bolts of this joint are solid. Good beer, good hours and an appropriate menu. Most imprtantly they have good service. Heidi is excellent and the new “trainee” is spot on as well. I will be back I just wish they would start smoking their own meats.
Peppy Grill has been around this town since right after World War two. By 1960 there were 10 locations around town. Now the one in Fountain Square is the only one left. When it closed in November 2018 a lot of people doubted that it would ever reopen. Well it did reopen with a new interior and kitchen and fancy red rolled and tucked booths as well.
We started the meal off with some breaded mushrooms for about 4 bucks. They were the standard pre breaded shrums you will find at most bars or diners. Good but not great.
Pat was so intent on reminiscing about times gone by he didn’t even talk about his food. Well as you can see it was a cheese burger. A single one served with chips. He seemed to enjoy it. It appears it was started on a flat top and then transfer to a grill for some marks. It was cheap. Less than 5 bucks.
For some reason I ordered a Pollock sandwich for $7.25. Pollock is an “okay” fish it just doesn’t captured my imagination. But fried fish on a rainy day seemed like a good idea.
You could tell right off that it wasn’t breaded in house. It came in breaded and frozen so all you had to do is drop it in a fryer. Their tenderloin is the same way. Pre breaded cooked right from the freezer.Good but not great.
Maybe this hew Peppy will grow into something close to the old one. In house soups and stews and pies but until that time there is always breakfast foods.
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.