Johnson’s BBQ started out as a food truck. Then they opened a shack in Bargersville Indiana. We tried them as a food truck on the Northside of Indianapolis. Now they are serving up Q in the old Jonathan Byrd building. Well a piece of it as the building is huge.
I definitely wanted to try their brisket. Several joints sell good pulled pork. Basically the difference between them is the amount of exposure to the smoker, but brisket is still elusive.
The brisket that is sold here is excellent. Tender and moist and all the smokiness you would want and it was only 10 bucks. I can spend more than that for a burger at several joints. I also like that it is sliced. Some joints “chop” their brisket and call it a day. Chopping the point is one thing but the flat really should be sliced. At least for me.
So overall I think this joint is definitely a keeper. The growth of this brand is indicative of the product they sell. This location is in the process of getting a liquor license so folks can get a beer here and not go somewhere else after eating. I mean beer and Q go hand in hand don’t they?
Wednesday wasn’t a good day. It was terrible weather, hot and humid. The sort of weather that makes you yearn for winter. We had plans to visit Old Gold since last week. The last time we were at Metazoa the bar tender gave us each wooden coins good for a one meat upgrade, so we could pay for 1 meat and get 2. Nothing better than bargain BBQ. Of course when we got there we realized that they had expired. Sad me. Fortunately the lady in charge allowed for us to use them. So I was able to get a two meat plate with 2 sides for $14.
I uncovered my side dishes. Coleslaw and Ranchero beans to take a couple of pictures. Unfortunately I was so busy running my mouth I forgot and started eating. Here is the shot I took after I had eaten half my brisket.
Not very appetizing is it? Well as for the taste the sides definitely could stand some improvement. The beans tasted like canned beans with a bit of meat and a whole lot of cumin. I could not eat them all. The cole slaw was supposed to be a vinegar slaw but it too came up short. The predominant flavor was raw cabbage. The brisket was excellent. Thick slices of some of the most tender brisket I have eaten. It did not have a great smoke flavor but the texture made up for it. The pulled pork was pretty good especially with their mustard style Carolina sauce. It really made the meat stand out. As for their traditional red sauce I wasn’t a fan. Once again, too much cumin. Another thing I did not get was the amount of onion they included in their basic cold set. I don’t think a few half slices is enough.
So should you be at Metazoa and decide to eat I don’t think you can go wrong with the pulled pork or brisket. The ribs and sausage may be good as well, my guess would be they are. These folks just need to work on the accompaniments.
This joint has only been open since March. Pat learned of it from a teller at his bank. As you can see it isn’t that big and there was already a line at 11:30.
Their special on Wednesday was a Rib Tip dinner with 2 sides for $9.95. So that is what we both ordered but with different sides.
I ordered my special with greens and mac and cheese. I know I said I wasn’t going to order mac and cheese out any more but the pan they had on the steam table just looked so inviting and the weather was so rainy I could not resist. All of the portions were healthy.
The tips were really very good. Most of the pieces were plump and tender with a thin layer of fat that helped keep them moist in the cooking process and with a very nice flavor of smoke. A few of the pieces were very lean so they ended up a bit on the tough side. Still edible just a bit chewy. The greens were outstanding. The liquor had a nice peppery finish to it. As for the mac and cheese it was pretty good. Nice and cheesy and I got to it during the sweet part of the day. Before the constant heat on the steam table started working on it.
So for a new joint they really seem to have their act together. I am with Pat. I would like to return for some ribs and pulled pork and of course Brisket. They have so many good things to try. Here is a link to their website. https://pullupgrill.com/daily-menu
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.
If the address seems familiar that is probably because it is where R Bistro used to be. Now it is a cozy little joint with a great array of comfort food and excellent beer. With a nice porcine centric menu.
With a name like Rooster’s some folks might be expecting fried chicken. However the origin of the name is more personal to the owner. It seems when Ross was a little boy he had a habit of getting up before dawn and waking up the house. His Mother convinced him to stay in bed until dawn. Well he did. Of course he awoke long before dawn so he get wake the house up right at dawn. Naturally that led to the nickname of Rooster. So it was only logical that would be the name of his new restaurant.
Keeping with the pig theme we order a basket of Pork Rinds for $5. They fry them in-house and then dust them with a BBQ seasoning. They were still crackling when they were served. I thought they were great. Pat wasn’t a big fan.
Pat’s lunch was a Neanderthal plate for $14. Choice of pork shoulder, brisket or roast turkey with 2 sides.
I was more in a sandwich mood so I opted for a Lucy for $12. This was their answer to the Cubano. It was roasted pork shoulder, cured pork loin with,I believe Havarti cheese, pickles and mustard.
I am with Pat on the pork shoulder and the carrots. So many joints do a good job with pig anymore you can’t really say who has the best. You can say that Rooster’s puts up a very good roasted pork shoulder. The carrots were outstanding as well. They had the right amount of tooth and just a touch of char. I for one would have enjoyed more char. The cured loin set the tone for the sandwich. An excellent curing job on the pork and an excellent sandwich all the way around.
We sat at the bar so I felt compelled to take a shot of the back bar. Pretty, and they offer some serious beers as well as some serious eats. So I can’t think of any reason why this little place isn’t crowded all the time. Thanks to all of you guys.
Pat and I had lunch here in July 2013. We heard sometime back that the joint had changed owners and quite a few changes were made. I also heard that they were going to start corning their own brisket. Before they bought raw corned beef and cooked it off in-house. I haven’t heard any more about it so we decided to go today. As I understand it the fellow that originally opened the Living Room Lounge is the new owner. At the Lounge he perfected a technique to cook a burger on a griddle that makes it crispy on the outside yet tender and moist on the inside. Pat remember that and he was jonesin’ for a burger.
The last time we were here the place had a definite industrial vibe, concrete floors the whole bit. Now they have a wood floor. They also had mushrooms. The menu offered fresh breaded mushrooms both times. The last time they were out, not this time.
Now these suckers were hot, fresh and delicious. An excellent appetizer.
They had all the lunch specials typed out in the caddie on each table so you knew as soon as you sat down what the specials were. I opted for the Mahi burger. I really didn’t know what to expect. Our server wasn’t sure how to describe it. She did know they came in frozen and were good. As it turned out it was a round cutout of a fillet. It wasn’t chopped as you might expect from a sandwich called a burger. However it was a solid piece of fish and it was really pretty good. Of course this “burger” begs the question. What do they do with the rest of the fish? Don’t know. I liked this one and I really liked the sweet potato waffle fries it came with.
The special had cheese choice so I went with swiss. I probably should have gone with no cheese. The swiss was too mild to bring much to the table.
So Pat and I both think this new joint is an improvement over the old one. Better looking, interesting specials and a much friendlier atmosphere.
Well guys there’s a new joint on Virginia Ave. It’s similar to a lot of new joints, in that it sports a lot of wood, granite and shiny new equipment. I think the Ember , with its use of warm colors, projects a more cozy atmosphere than most.
Their menu is a single sheet of paper which keeps it simple to start and allows them to change it without a huge cost. It also is one heck of a lot easier to peruse than the encyclopedia some joints offer. They have a smoker which they use for wings and brisket. So that separates them from a lot of places around.
Since Thursday was such a miserable, cold and snowy day I decided I needed a cup of hot soup to start. Their SOD didn’t trip my trigger but they did offer chili. Or in this case Wandering Chili. Now that means they change it on whim. One day “traditional” with ground beef, another day chopped brisket or maybe chicken chili. That day it featured ground beef and beans. Maybe more traditional but not quite typical. It was a tasty mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom and chile powder. Very good and definitely on point for the weather.
Their burgers are 1/2 pound, hand formed patties of a mixture of brisket, round steak and short rib. They cook them to order and serve them on a toasted brioche bun with choice of side for $8.50. I ordered mine medium rare. Well the kitchen guy goofed and it came out well done. One of the owners, who was also our bartender , was very apologetic and adamant about giving me a recook. Well hard-headed me was just as adamant to keep it. I kept it and the funny thing, as it grew cooler more of the flavor of the beef came out and as the Swiss cheese warmed the tastier it became. Now I am determined to go back and try the burger at a more civilized temperature. Besides, their draft beer system wasn’t up and the owner graciously took the burger off the bill.
So it appears the New Year is off to a good start. A new joint is up and running and appears to definitely be a keeper. And more are on the way. Eating places, breweries and even a distillery. And you can expect Pat and I to keep you all informed. Happy New Year.http://www.emberurbaneatery.com/
Actually the place is called Twenty Tap. But thirty-eight is the number of craft beers they offer on draught. Twenty Tap does sound better than the alternative. They are in SoBro; on N. College;across the street from the former Atlas Market location. They’ve been open for a couple of years but this is our first lunch. We have been in a few times for beer. And tried some fried cheese curds ( good) and another friend and I stopped in one evening and had some brews and the charcuterie platter ( not so good). The menu is definitely not your typical pub & grub.
Since our new ” format ” worked out so well ( for me ) we are doing it again. However Pat wants to write it during lunch. And since I forgot my notebook he wrote it on a napkin.
Deluxe Grilled Cheese- Mushroom, Tomato, Spinach, Beer Mustard (sub Pesto for Beer Mustard) $8 (veg
Oh for the record it was determined; after writing; the mushrooms were not canned. They were steamed.
I needed some meat. And what carnivore could pass up SMOKED BRISKET?
Pressed Brisket- House Smoked, Fischer Farm’s Brisket, Peppadew, Arugula, Onion, Cheddar, Anchovy Butter $9
The sandwich looked as good as it was described. However I though the taste could have used some tweaking. The portion of meat was meager and I could not detect much smoke. It reminded me of the brisket at The Smokehouse in Fountain Square. Or a leaner version of what was offered at Fat Dan’s. More reminiscent of pot roast than anything else. Good pot roast but pot roast none the less. The peppadew peppers were a good call. A nice sweet flavor and a great color; but too many can be too much. Again the arugula; another nice call;but the characteristic bitterness; that people enjoy was hit and miss. The portion might need a “review”. Same with the onion and anchovy butter. ( I couldn’t taste it. ) I know I’m coming across as a total p***k in this review. But I can be very picky regarding an ambitious menu. Seriously guys I think you are doing a good job. Owning and running a restaurant is a tough gig. Cooking for strangers can be daunting. Every patron is judging your performance, and your judgement. That can be some ominous stuff.
Well we went to Fat Dan’s Deli in broad Ripple this week.To say we were both disappointed, would be an accurate statement. This joint has been on our list ever since I learned they used a dry rub on their brisket.We would normally order difference dishes. This time we decided we both needed to try the brisket. So we got two identical sandwiches and an order of fries to share. The portions were nice size, the toasted bun was decent. However, approximately 25 to 30% of the sandwich was fat. And I’m not talking about the crisp kind that adds crunch I’m talking about the high cholesterol, flabby kind of fat that damn few people would like. I will say this the rub, the man used is one of the better ones I’ve tried.What meat there was,was quite tasty.And obviously I must have misread the menu. I thought the brisket was smoked, and yet there was not a trace of the smoke Ring or even the faintest flavor of smoke. It was much like the smokehouse in Fountain Square, more pot roast then smoked brisket.I was going to get into greater detail about how I was taught to smoke and trim and slice brisket in Texas. But I will wait until I get my recipe blog up and running.
Now we come to the french fries. They refer to them as the best fries in the universe. Well they must exist in a smaller universe than I remember; because I would consider them average. Again they were nicely seasoned, a little salty, but it didn’t appear as any attempt was made to drain any of the oil.And another thing. If you’re going to call your fries the best of the universe. You might consider double frying them. A lower temperature at first then at a higher temperature before you sell them, that way they won’t be so limp. I know it’s more work but you get to $2.75 per order.
What is interesting, we decide to go there because of a beer.Last week after lunch we went to the sinking ship for beer and they had Falls City on draft. For you younger folk out there, Falls City was a “working-class” beer from the 60s and 70s. And if I remember correctly it sucked. But Pat goaded me into trying one. And it wasn’t my daddies Falls city. It was a good IPA; naturally I knew it wasn’t the original formula. So when I got home I checked it out on the Internet and sure enough, the formula is different. First off it’s being crafted in Louisville and the formula they are using is supposed to be more reminiscent of the original from the 30s. And according to their website. You can only find it at three places in Indy. The Sinking Ship, Brothers and Fat Dan’s. Irony of ironies Fat Dan’s no longer serves it. So after lunch we decided to walk down to brothers to try it there. And guess what ?They didn’t have it either. So I guess the only place I can get my Falls City fix is at The Sinking Ship on College Ave.
OK-it’s a chain not a mom and pop joint.We did not know that until we had already started eating;mea culpa.What intriqued us about this place was the combination of beef used in their patties;sirloin,chuck and brisket.All the meat comes from a local farm,and ground and packaged locally;which is pretty cool.In either event it makes for one delicious burger.They have all the usual combos;mushroom,swiss;bbq,bacon etc.They also have a Pacific Rim;a burger topped with shrimp,pineapple,guacamole and some sort of cheese. Since we wanted to taste the burger Pat and I picked the Classic,a plain old cheeseburger;with a cold set and condiments.Among their cheese offerings they have white cheddar;rare for most burger joints but great for a mid-rare burger.Which brings me to my only “complaint”.My medium rare was more medium than rare,a very minor problem,as the hunk o meat was still delicious.They make their own ketchup as well,thinner than most and sweeter as well.It’s definitely more a dipper than a pourer.
I did discover a great new beer,a Pilsner from Fountain Square Brewery.A slight citrus start and a nice hoppy finish;great with a burger.After wards we went to Berringers;a little tavern on South Meridian.I reviewed it real early in the blog.It’s just a little bar that’s been around forever.And the beer is cheap;$2 for domestic bottles,and $1.75 for Old Style pints.All that was missing was a Cubs game on TV.
So in summation chain or not Bru Burger gives you a great hamburger.And the prices are reasonable;for downtown.I think the burgers range from $8 to $10;depending on the stuff you add to it.They also have other sandwiches on the menu;but if the joint has burger in its name why would you eat chicken?