eating indie in indy

Posts tagged “Broad Ripple Village Indianapolis

Hibachi Bar -Japanese Steak House. 921 Broad Ripple Avenue.

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Well Broad Ripple has one more new joint. This is Hibachi Restaurant. New for the Ripple scene. It is located where the Sabbatical used to be. Curiously that’s right next door to the Triton Taproom and the Sushi Bar. The Hibachi Bar is owned by the same folks who have the Sushi Bar. All they need is one called the Tempura Bar for a true hat trick.

Their dining room is really nice looking.

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All of the seating is for Hibachi. So you get a show even if you order from the hot kitchen or the sushi kitchen.

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This is their basic dining unit. In the background is the sushi bar. Their menu is an odd Frankenstein affair. Cut and paste with several items marked off. Of course this is only their first week of operation so I am sure they will be making adjustments along the way. Being true to their name they offer a lot of steaks and combos with fish. They also have a few noodle dishes ( from the kitchen) and Teriyaki Chicken as well as salmon.

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Funny thing about the sake. The chef had it in a big squeeze bottle. I figured it was just water and the sake bit was a joke. When Pat told me it was indeed sake I was jealous. Hell Pat doesn’t even like sake. Oh well. I ordered Yakisoba. That is  a buckwheat noodle dish cooked with veggies and a protein. I opted for chicken.

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I thought this dish was excellent. The chicken was not overly abundant but the overall flavor and amount made it an excellent value at $12. I especially liked the tender crisp celery and its crunch.

About the prices. I thought the pricing was reasonable. They feature strip steak and filet mignon as well as ocean-going sea food, which ain’t cheap. Pat’s Teriyaki chicken was only 9 bucks. And in celebration of their Grand Opening they were offering a 15% discount. So I don’t see the pricing as a problem. I can only image things getting better for this place. I think it is a nice addition to Broad Ripple.

 

Hibachi Bar Japanese Steak House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Fire by the Monon 6523 Ferguson

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This place has been around a few years. Located North of the Canal in Broad Ripple it doesn’t get the attention joints farther South receive. It also doesn’t have the traffic and noise some of those other places get. It is a pleasant old building with very nice outdoor seating. However with the weather we have had dining out doors was not an option.

I think I have passed this place up because the menu was;for the most part; a bit typical of so many other taverns. The reason I reconsidered was a food blog I read that praised their Grueben sandwich. That would be  flash fried grouper on grilled rye bread with Swiss, slaw and Russian dressing. In other words a Ruben sub fish. As it turned out I didn’t even order that.

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I didn’t order either the dirty Mac and Cheese or the almost famous Fish Tacos. I did order their Blacken Mahi, with side choice for $9.95.

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The fish was a very nice piece. The spice level was low so I really didn’t get the “Cajun” effect but it was flavorful. The fish was a bit overcooked, but with such a firm piece of fish it wasn’t a deal breaker. The onion rings were plentiful and tasty. However the batter was pretty salty for my tastes. Of course I did manage to finish them so I guess they weren’t TOO salty. I think I would order it again just with a different side. The rings were really filling.

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The size of the fish on Pat’s plate reminding me of another place we went to. They offered big chunky pieces and the batter was so thick it didn’t crisp up all the way through and the fish was “steamed”. That wasn’t the case here but the batter was as salty as my onion rings. Also I was able to taste a piece of the cod and I though it was very well done.

I also tried one of the $4 beers. That particular “flavor” of Upland I have wanted to try for a while and this was my first opportunity. I found it to be a very crisp and refreshing beer; perfect for the days of August. I can see my self coming back here. Sitting outside having a beer and a Grouper sandwich. It doesn’t overlook the Canal and it doesn’t have the people watching available South but it looks comfy and shady,and they have a good Draft menu.

Fire by the Monon Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Thai Cafe 1041 Broad Ripple Avenue.

There is something about rainy weather that makes Thai food compelling. Pat and I decided on Thai,again. Indy has a few Thai style restaurants available. For this occasion we decided on one in the “Village”. The address may seem familiar because it is the epicenter of what I call Ripple Food Central. That is a strip mall that houses several different ethnic eating options, as well as a brewery. Pretty convenient.

This particular joint has been around for a while but has changed owners. A few of the reviews have been less than complimentary concerning the owner and the service. I notice reviews, and I take them into consideration, up to a point. Bottom line I need to check out the joint first hand.

The place is compact, nicely appointed and neat and clean. Our first impression of the servers was they were competent and actually looking forward to waiting on us. After we were seated the first thing I noticed was their vaulted ceiling and this part of the decor.

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I have no idea what it is. I only hope it lights up at night, and possibly spins. Oh I hope it spins.

The first thing I noticed about this particular Thai restaurant was they offer Sushi. That is rare,in my experience. Oh one thing about this particular mall is that all the restaurants have a menu posted to the outside windows. You can see what to expect before you walk in. As much as I love Sushi I resisted. One of my all time favorite Sushi joints is about one block west. Besides to me Sushi without sake is like pizza without beer.

I really enjoy noodles. I really enjoy bean sprouts and veggies, so I ordered Khauk Swe Kyaw. Like all of their lunch specials they come with soup or salad choice for about 8 or 9 bucks. Pat and I both opted for the soup, lemon grass.

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I have never had a Lemon Grass soup as assertive as this. Most often soups of this nature are flat and singularly flavored. A mild chicken broth with a weak citrus taste and a hint of cilantro. To me this cup was an explosion of lemon and chicken flavor and the cilantro was more than a passing herb, it brought its true taste to the forefront. I would venture a guess that this was due to the fat structure of the soup. You could taste it in the soup and fat is not only flavor it transfers flavor. So, yeah I dug the soup.

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Now isn’t that a beautiful plate. An amazing abundance of veggies and chicken  with a nuance of peanut and topped with fresh carrot and mung sprouts. One of my favorite combos.

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So now…Here’s Pat.

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Now don’t ask me why the one photo had a green cast to it. I give my camera to Pat to take the shots of his own lunch and I have no idea what happened. I do think it’s sort of cool though.

Well regardless of the photos Pat and I are in agreement of this place. Even though we did have differing opinions of the soup. I think Pat was working on a cold. No matter we both think this joint is a keeper. So add this to your list of joints to eat at in the Ripple.

 

 

Thai Cafe on Urbanspoon


Public Greens 900 E. 64 th Street

local greens 002This is another Patachou Inc. project. This new space is unlike any of their other locations. The others focus on cooked to order meals and full service. This Urban Kitchen and Grill is more cafeteria than restaurant.

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http://publicgreensurbankitchen.com/menu/

They have a menu on the wall as you walk in. I couldn’t get a good picture of it so I stuck a link to it here. As you can see they offer several different vegetable medley and they decrease in price the more you order. They also have the usual proteins and some not so usual for $6 to $8. Everything is alla carte’. You decide what you want to eat, tell the nice young lady with the tablet, the tablet transmits the order to the kitchen, you walk down the aisle,pay the man and get your food. Not unlike Micky D’s. Now that remark is in no way meant to be snide or mean. Regardless of the food McDonald’s business has been pretty successful.

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This is on the wall directly opposite the front door. A very laudable goal. For that reason people should be hoping for their success. Goals aside this is a business. In order to do their acts of charity they must sell food. So will this newest venture follow with the success the others have shown? This particular joint has been opened less than 2 weeks and when we visited the place was full. So it seems like it has a good start. But the food will keep it that way.

They change their soup daily. This particular day the offering was a vegan carrot topped with pine nuts. It didn’t trip my trigger.

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The red smear is hot sauce Pat got for the chicken. All of the condiments are at one central location opposite the kitchen.

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Pat’s chicken was over done in my estimation. I tasted a piece and it had a heavy breading making it difficult to taste the meat. The carrot soup was pretty tasty, also pretty thick. To me I don’t think I would pay 6 bucks for that particular soup.

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I ordered an Israeli cous cous combo with sun-dried tomato, red onion, oregano and feta cheese with olive oil and lemon juice. The portion was abundant and the flavors melded well together. The amount of red onion etc may have been sparse but I would definitely eat it again. I paired that with trout. A big piece of trout. It was very tasty,possibly a tiny bit under done, but a nice job over all. The two together made for an excellent lunch. And I think $14 was a fair price.

All in all we had a nice lunch. There are some things that may or may not pose trouble down the line. Payment for one. From what I saw, considering the crowd, things went smoothly. After lunch I went back to get a couple of cookies. They were brought up quickly, yet I had to wait behind two ladies who were splitting a trout with kale salad. I could see my cookies. Languishing by the register. Mocking me. Well maybe it won’t be a problem. Maybe I just need to remind my self to be patient. But seriously the space is on the small side and it wouldn’t take much to get the diners stacking up like planes at O’Hare. Just another incentive for everyone to bring their ‘A’ game, every day.

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Here are our cookies. Oatmeal lace and chocolate chip. Six dollars of cookie. Worth it? They were well made. As you would expect from a Patachou Production, but Pat and I both lean more toward a softer cookie. All of their sweets are on display in the kitchen area behind the glass partition that separates the production area from the public. Which leads to another area I am curious about.

All of the veggie and grain combos are ready-made and setting on a heat rail. The proteins are not cooked to order per se they are cooked en masse. A cook prepares several at one time and stores them on the heated platform. Small amounts ;sell quick; no problem. Actually my main thought is the fish. Regardless of the type of fish they have delicate flesh. Anything continues cooking after it is pulled from the fire. Put it on a warming apparatus and it will just cook more. With fish that can be a calamity. So time will tell

Back to my original purpose. The joint is very good. It fills a much-needed niche in Indy, in my estimation. A place that offers some seriously thoughtful grub in a very casual atmosphere. They are also heavy on local sourcing and their cause is just. It can be cramped, it can be noisy but it’s cramped because people want to eat well and it’s noisy because people are talking to one another. Live in person. So next time you are north of the Canal I recommend it.

I took some pictures of the back side, facing the trail but they didn’t turn out. Hey they have a fire thing out side. A long box with a gas line covered in lava rock. Not sure what they are called but it is both warming and cool.

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Public Greens on Urbanspoon

 


The Ripple Bagel Deli 850 Broad Ripple Avenue.

Now this place has been open since 2003. I first noticed it 1 year ago, and just now we visit. I guess we wanted to wait until they got all the opening bugs worked out. Well if they have any bugs in the beginning I don’t know. They certainly have a slick operation now.

I tried to take a shot of the exterior, however I couldn’t get the whole view in without stepping into the street. Since my momma always told me not to play in traffic this is the best I could get.

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The place isn’t real big but it is colorful

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You order from a long counter and they call you when it’s ready and you pay at the end. The counter has stools, so I guess it also serves as overflow seating. They have a few laminated menus lying around but the focal points is the huge menu chalkboard on the wall behind.

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They offered a bialy as an option on the menu, so naturally I had to inquire if it was the real deal. Well the young lady behind the counter was informed enough to satisfy me that it was indeed the real thing. It is refreshing to find someone who really knows what is going on in the joint they work. So many restaurant workers are McDrones that don’t have a clue. But the people we interacted with had their stuff together.

The young lady told us that the bialy comes from Cincinnati, and the bagels come from Bagel Fair in Nora. Those folks have been making bagels in this town for more than 30 years. They have, in my estimation the best bagels in Marion County, if not the state.

Pat was happy that they had so many onion-less options. He decided on The Natty Dread.

Now that is Bacon, Colby and smoked Cheddar cheeses, lettuce,tomato and sprouts on a bialy. Since this particular bread had onion in it he subbed a whole wheat bagel. This whole thing was only $ 6.00.

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When it was my turn I knew exactly what I wanted. A Tape Your Ankles, subbing bialy for an onion bagel. This tasty bite consists of ham,pepperoni, salami, provolone, red onion, banana peppers and Italian dressing. And it was only $6.95. I also ordered a cup of Santa Fe chili for $3.50.

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The soup is house made. Just not in this house. I was told they buy it from, I thought she said Bagel Fair, but I am not positive. In either event it was pretty good. It tasted like a lot of chili I have had in Indiana. I don’t have any idea why it was dubbed Santa Fe. Maybe it was because of the addition of black beans and corn. Some folks think adding black beans and corn into a dish turns into a Southwest offering. Well, not anymore than adding soy sauce makes a dish Oriental. But as I said it was pretty good.

As for my sandwich it was very tasty. I could taste the salami and pepperoni as distinct and separate meats. The ham sort of blended into the background, but I think were it not there it would be missed. the cheese delivers a nice unctuosness and the peppers do what pickled peppers always do. They bring a hint of both vinegar and heat. I found it to be a great bite and a great value. So. I am sure Pat and I are one of the last to learn about this place but just in case we aren’t you should check this joint out. Great bagels,creative combinations and nice folks working there.

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Oh one last thing. I don’t make a habit of taking pictures of bathrooms but I made an exception here. They offer one facility and all the walls are covered in old record albums, that’s right old school vinyl. So here you go.

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Oh one last thing. This might be a clue to the deliciousness of their bagel creations, After they build them whey foil wrap them and then steam the whole damn thing. Crazy huh? Crazy good.

Ripple Bagel Deli on Urbanspoon


Taste of Havana 810 Broad Ripple Ave.

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Most joints have a Cuban sandwich. In one version or another.What you need first is a long roll. Call it a hoagie, baguette, or a pistolette and you are good to go. Now stuff it with a cooked pork, ham, Swiss cheese and pickles; slather on yellow mustard and. Voila; an El Cubano. I have had several in many different places and at many different times. While they have all been good sandwiches I never considered them legit. Because none had real Cuban bread. Well guess what? Taste of Havana has the real deal. The bread has a flat almost lacquered finish on the outside. When you bite into it the bread offers a little resistance and then you break into a flaky interior. It reminds me of a thick bottom pie crust. A delicious way to enclose a sandwich.

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After the original encounter with the bread pastry you come to the stuff inside. They roast the pork in-house. They prepare and cook the ham on premise as well. So you won’t encounter the injected deli style “lunch meat” used by some joints. In addition to my sandwich I ordered a bowl of black bean soup for $4.25. They offer their sandwiches in 3 sizes. I believe it is small, medium and large. The size difference is all about the weight of the meat. The amount of bread stays the same. I got the mini for $6.50.

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The soup was as straight forward and tasty as the sandwich. I also like the fact that they didn’t “dress” the soup with sherry, onions or sour cream like some joints do. I talked with the owner for quite a while. He gave me a taste of his yellow seasoned rice. He even gave me a pack of Sazon. the seasoning he uses. He used to use Bijol, also called the poor man’s saffron. He changed to the Sazon because in addition unlike the Bijol it had a tiny touch of saffron. But the greatest score was his Picadillo. That was one of the specials today. He gave me a taste. This was straight up delicious. The aroma was rich and deep. A complex flavor of wine, tomato and olives. Just to start. This is something he has on the board weekly. So I will be back.

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I had a super good lunch and a wonderful time. This Father and Daughter team do a wonderful job, and are the most gracious pair I believe I have ever encountered. They are a great addition to Broad Ripple and I wish them all the best.

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Taste of Havana Cuban Sandwiches on Urbanspoon

http://www.tasteofhavanaindy.com/


Flat Water Restaurant 832 E. Westfield Blvd.

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I thought I’d open with a shot of Canada Geese, to set the mood. As you can tell we went to eat in Broad Ripple,right on the canal. This property is a prime location and one of the nicest joints to sit outside. After the pizza joint,Bazbeaux, moved to a bigger location a new restaurant took over. I am pretty sure it wasn’t called Flat Water. I can’t remember the name,but they only had a beer and wine license and they had some pretty good food. This incarnation has a full license and is carrying on the practice of selling some good food.

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I mean how could you not enjoy sitting on a deck and watching ducks and geese “frolicking” in the water? Throw in some good eats and a couple of Margaritas for dessert and you have great lunch time.

I didn’t scan the menu,as they have a website. However the menu on the site is not current, Sorry about that.

Their lunch special was a buffalo tenderloin. A breaded tenderloin smothered with hot sauce and topped with blue cheese crumbles. That was $9. Pat decided on the menu tender for the same price. For a $1.50 up charge he got a side of grilled asparagus. Before Pat gives his take on his sandwich I want to add my 2 cents. That breaded tenderloin was the prettiest piece of breaded pork I think I have seen. Also I tried a piece of asparagus and it was great. Tender crisp with a nice light char. Good job.

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In sympathy with our dining companions out in the canal I tried the house smoked salmon sandwich. It was lightly hot smoked. That is to say it was cooked on a grill with wood chips added so the fire cooked it and the light smoke was a tasty hitch hiker. I would have liked it a little less cooked but that wasn’t enough to rate anything less than very good and well made.

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Since it was well crafted I shall engage in a little “nit-picking”. The bread, while good was too much club for the salmon. The spinach and other mixed greens was a nice touch just maybe too abundant. The bacon was a nice addition. Adding both texture and a different level of smokiness. The avocado really got lost. Salmon is pretty assertive and the poor thing got overwhelmed. It did impart a bit of creaminess but maybe something with more cojones might accomplish the job better. But that is just one guy’s opinion. In either event it was an excellent bite and value at $11.

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For the adult beverage part of the review they have a nice selection of draft beers and they feature PBR and Miller High Life cans for $2.50. They also offer Margarita specials on Thursday. Their house version for $ 5 and one featuring El Jimador and Cointreau for 6 bucks. Well I opted for the top shelf. It was as good as it sounds.

So in summation I really don’t think you can go wrong with Flat Water. Good eats, good drinks and a wonderful deck overlooking the canal. Also the service is good as well Thanks Gary we appreciate the job you did.flatwater 012

Flatwater Restaurant on Urbanspoon

http://flatwaterbroadripple.com/


Red Key Tavern 5170 N. College Ave.

This week we didn’t have lunch at just any joint, we had lunch at an Indianapolis Landmark. The Red Key. The Red Key has been an institution on the north side since 1953, when Russ Settle and his wife opened. Mr. Settle was a WW II veteran. A B-17 co-pilot and a POW. So to say he didn’t suffer fools gladly would be an understatement. I think the epitome of his approach to business would be his rules. They are as valid now as they were then.

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This joint is as rugged as John Wayne and as authentic as Humphrey Bogart. I don’t think the decor has changed in at least 40 years. But it sure is comfortable. Like a pair of favorite slippers.

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Pat suggested this place a few weeks back. Fran, Pat’s wife wanted to go there for her Birthday. She’s not a native Hoosier and she had heard a lot about its history and wanted to see for herself. She enjoyed the charm and simplicity of the place and it got Ol’ Pat thinking. Since we are cheerleaders for the small business owner why not go to a place that is the epitome of Mom and Pop joints. After all Red Key has been around for 60 years. As you can expect the menu is small. During the day there is only one person on duty. Bartender / server / cook.

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Pat and I both opted for cheeseburgers. His with BBQ chips and mine with potato salad.

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The burgers are simple flat top affairs. Grocery store meat and grocery store buns. No aioli, or special sauces. Beef cooked through, with crispy edges and American cheese. Personally I like the fact that they don’t use red onion. If I get a cold set on a burger it will be white or yellow onion and dill chips. So the burgers 4 thumbs up. I can’t say the same for the potato salad. It was home-made,and of the whipped variety, but it was pretty bland. It seemed to be cold mashed taters, a touch of mayo and some crunchy bits. Not real exciting.

Mr. Russ Settle passed away in 2010, and his son is running the show. After his passing IBJ wrote an article giving a bit of the history of the Red Key. I am including a link to that article to give people a feel for what the Red Key Tavern is.

http://www.ibj.com/red-keys-rules-will-live-on-after-owners-death/PARAMS/article/19104

I think a place like the Red Key is essential for the sanity of a city’s people. A quiet spot where you know what to expect. A place that has open and expressed rules. Unlike so many other joints that seem to have no limits on what goes on. I think that might appeal to a lot of folks. Not just old timers.
Red Key Tavern on Urbanspoon


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


Three Sisters in Broad Ripple

I have wanted to try this joint for a while. I am not sure why we waited so long? Maybe we needed to wait for a Dark and Stormy Halloween afternoon. You know; to balance out the hip granola vibe of The Ripple.

The place is in an old house; so it’s not too big. The menu is interesting and it has been on Diners, Drive Ins and Dives. And that appearance has yet to go to its head. Unlike some joints in Indy.

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As you can see on the menu it offers quite a bit of Vegan Fare. That is why Pat tried their breakfast service. He and Fran went here when their two vegan daughters were in town. Their pricing can be a trifle high on some items. That may be why he was a wee bit snarky at first. It was his turn to buy. Although he did suggest the spot. Ahem.

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These must be the Three Sisters. The name sake of the Cafe.

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3 Sisters 011Our service was a little perfunctory. Everyone was pleasant but our server just seem rather new to the work.

As for the food; I thought my sandwich was outstanding. It was slow cooked Fresh Ham with braised Kale and pepper jack cheese. In other words slow roasted pig and Country Greens. Everything worked so well together. The more you ate the more you enjoyed it. Well you can keep your Manhattans; be they beef or turkey. When the snow stars flying give me one of these. Every time.

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Now every great sandwich deserves a great side. And here that would be calico potatoes. A combo of grated sweet and yellow potatoes. A huge portion fried perfectly, toasted handsomely and tasting wonderfully.

3 Sisters 0183 Sisters Cafe on Urbanspoonkosherhamandcheese.com/?p=2202&preview=true