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.
Today was a day of adventure. Well, maybe not adventure exactly. The joint we were going to have lunch at changed their hours without updating their web site. That is not nice. So we headed out west on 16th Street and then turned North on High School Road. After a few blocks we came across this place. There is another Mc Gilvery’s on the South side. It has nothing to do with this place at all. It is amazing no one has been sued. This place has been around with this name for more than 20 years,it changed hands about 2 years ago. We were able to have a nice conversation with the new owner. A lovely young lady with a definite sense of the direction she is heading in.
They have a very comprehensive menu,featuring lots of house made items; including mushrooms;which is what we had as an appetizer. I want to forewarn everyone that the pictures are not too good. They have a rather dark bar. The windows have blinds that were all closed. Great for ambiance;not for picture-taking. Instead of sitting at the bar we should have set at a booth,that way I could have tweaked a blind to get more light. Oh well.
The shrums were pretty good. Nice and crisp and reasonably priced at $6.95. Pat decided to watch his carbs and get the “Trainer Platter”. That is a plate with cottage cheese, celery, carrots and choice of burger, chicken breast or grilled tenderloin for about 8 bucks.
I must say this picture is atrocious. That dark thing is the burger.
For my lunch I opted for the special. Shrimp linguine for $7.95. It was pretty straightforward. Linguine in garlic butter with a bunch of little shrimp. It was okay. I understand the use of 70 count shrimp.It allows you to put in a bunch and every piece has a pop when you bite into it. I was just used to working with bigger shrimp. What I actually found boring was the noodle. I would have liked some cheese and more garlic,and maybe a bit of white wine. It wasn’t bad,by any means,I just think it could have been so much more.
I plan on going back because they have a very nice menu and there are several items I would like to try. I was told that they have a website about ready to hit the net. When it does I will include a link in the Zomato page. Oh did I mention they have beer.
I did discover a new beer. A grapefruit Shandy. That is a mix of grapefruit juice and IPA. A lot tastier than it sounds. It would be grand in the summertime. Of course I think one would be my limit.
Well the name Murphy and Pat Flynn have been pretty well know on the North side for many years,with Murphy’s Steakhouse on Keystone and Pat Flynn’s Public House on Allisonville. A couple of years ago Murphy’s Steak house closed its Keystone location and moved to the Pat Flynn site. It has kept both names; I assume to take advantage of the name recognition of each. The menu has items suitable for both a steak house and a pub. Pat and I popped in for a beer one Tuesday afternoon and noticed that they have a set schedule of specials. On Tuesday it is a 6 ounce filet with potato choice and soup or salad for $9.99. So here we are. Tuesday at Murphy’s at Flynn’s.
Their soup offerings that day were white bean and French onion;both too filling for us. So we both decided on salad.
It was a salad. What can be said about a salad? It was fresh and chilled with crunchy stuff on top.
As for me I was very impressed with the steak. It was very tender. The seasoning was minimal if at all,which is fine with me. I prefer the naked taste of the steak. Needless to say Murphy’s has two new fans.
The time we stopped for beers we ordered some mushrooms. They were pretty good. Couple that with the steaks and I will say they know how to cook at this joint. Murphy’s offers a different lunch and dinner special every day of the week. They also have pie and cobbler.
They have 4 or 5 beers on tap,some local brews. They also build a pretty tasty Manhattan for 6 bucks.
So;in summation you can get an old school steak lunch and cocktail for $16 plus tax. Toss in a respectable tip and you have only dropped a twenty,tax not included. Of course a cocktail isn’t mandatory. I just think it makes lunch much more jovial.