Well, back to Wanamaker. This Wheatley’s place is very well-known and highly thought of in Wanamaker, and elsewhere. It started out as a grocery store but has since turned to cooking the food before they sell it. It has the oddest hours though. They are only open for business Friday, all day for a fish fry. Saturday morning for biscuits and gravy and Sunday morning for breakfast and fried chicken dinners for the after church lunch crowd. And even with those restrictions they are seasonal; closing up in October. We missed out last year and we were bound and determined to check it out this year. Now, I surely do not understand the fuss. From what people had to say about the food I expected some gum smacking’, salivating fried goodness. Well not quite. It was pretty average. We both had too high of expectations. The fish appeared to be ocean perch. However one review said they used pollock. I am pretty sure it was perch but I think it was priced a little high for what you got. The dinner was $10.49; for 3 pieces of fish, crinkle cut fries, a solo of cole slaw and a portion of so-called baked beans. Oh, and a hush puppie. One hush puppy. The pups were house made and pretty good, with corn kernels mixed in. You could buy them ala carte. A quarter each or 5 for $1. You waited in line to place your order. The fried stuff was stocked under heat lamps and your order was placed into a to go box; whether you carried out or ate in. And then you got a seat at one of several picnic tables in one of two large rooms or outside on a covered patio.
The fish may have been crisp when it was put into the box but once that lid was closed even the short walk to a seat sort of wilted it a bit.
If you look real close you can see the hush puppy under the fish, at the bottom.
I just had to take a picture of one of the tables. They all had seats like that. Have you ever seen such seats. Pat was a little more frugal than I. After all it was his turn to buy. He ordered a 3 piece fish with fries for $7.99.
So neither one of us were too impressed with the fish fry. However they do have desert. Home made pies and cake. I did not take any pictures of the desert case; because we would be tempted to buy something. My O my the cakes were 6 inches of chocolate delight. And they had a deep dish apple pie that stood a full 5 inch high. Truly this joint is sort of a case where they show a whole Lotta’ hat and no cattle. Like the joint last week.http://www.wheatleysfishfry.com/
Do yourself a favor and go to the Fort. For non residents that would be Fort Benjamin Harrison; former Finance Center for the whole U.S.Army. Now that it is no longer a functioning Federal Post, it is home to a few commercial enterprises. To me, possibly the finest of them all is Audrey’s at 9134 Otis Avenue. It’s not a large place and it is only open for breakfast and lunch so if you decide to go don’t dawdle. It strikes me as the kind of joint that opens to a crowd and keeps hopping ’til 3:00.
The menu isn’t ” cutting edge or avant-garde” it is typical American Cafe. However if what Pat and I ate are representative their preparation is far from typical. The mozzarella sticks were your typical IQF variety; but in addition to the “normal” variety they offered a spicy variety which we really liked. It was a nice change from the more bland stick.
Now normally I am not a real big fan of fried fish. But for some reason I had a “hankering” for some fried fish. I could get it as a sandwich, or a one or two piece platter. With a choice of two sides. I am so glad I opted for the Big Boy plate. The breading was SO good. At the risk of sounding overly dramatic I think that was the best tasting breading I have eaten. It had a sufficient amount savory and spicy to add pizzazz to the mild swai fish. The portion I got for $10.99 was outstanding. It was a good 10 ounces of fish. And the two sides were a bonus. The potato salad was quite good, with a hint of vinegar; which is always welcome with fried fish. The mac and cheese was pretty typical. Maccaroni covered with cheese;possibly from a can. Don’t get me wrong I am not criticizing just commenting. The dish worked well and I did not leave a trace. So would I order it again” Ya’ betcha’.
Oh. Did I mention they make their own desserts and ice cream? I didn’t. Well….. Pat tried a strawberry shortcake. They use Madeleine as a base for the ice cream and strawberries. And no, they don’t make the Madeleine in house. I was able to try one bite. I got a taste of cake, ice cream and strawberries a perfect bite of Summer.
I got a slice of home made Key lime Cheese cake. All I can say is It was good. It was delicious. And instead of reading about it maybe you ought to go eat some of it.
Looks as though it could have been a school-house at one time doesn’t it. Or a WW II barracks. I hope all the past memories are pleasant ones because I’m pretty sure the future ones will be. Once again I feel compelled to mention the staff. Everyone I saw was super busy and super enthusiastic. There are no slackers at this place. I especially want to thank our server. Sorry I forgot your name. Excuse me. Don’t lose your zest and thanks for the great service. Even though you “forced” us into dessert. Well… maybe you didn’t actually force us.https://kosherhamandcheese.com/?p=1876&preview=true
There is a new “best” restaurant in Indy. The Cerulean, at the Alexander Hotel on South Delaware Street. It has nothing to do with the Hotel per se, it is independently owned and operated. Frankly I was ambivalent about the joint. The menus are heavy in chef speak. Quite often that speech does not translate into good cooking. The lunch menu offers a choice of entrees which you pair with three side dishes. The whole meal is served in a series of square ceramic boxes in a larger bento box.
I wanted stripped bass. Since bass is an assertive taste and it had the added richness of the gribiche I felt I needed some acidity. I could have over did it with my choices of bib lettuce with blood orange vinaigrette; asparagus and grapes with lemon and rice noodle with vinegar. But every thing fit like the proverbial glove. The fish was crisped in a fry pan, placed on a bed of fresh spinach and topped with the aforementioned gribiche. Every bite was as flawless as the first. As a matter of fact every dish was on point. When ever I eat I automatically try to figure out how the dish was prepared, how I could replicate it and finally how I would change it. With this meal I would not change a thing. I am fighting the urge to write about each and every dish. With this meal I could easily rip off 500 words. I will comment about the economic model for this enterprise. They use all local vendors for their food; and that can be pricey. However as far as the lunch prices go I think the pricing is more than fair. I do have a small confession to make. Deep down inside since there was so much chef speak on the menus I was half way hoping they wouldn’t stand up to their words and I could stick a fork in a sacred cow; so to speak. I know shameful of me. In this case I’m glad to be disappointed.
I had to come back and add something I forgot to mention. The staff. The entire crew was pleasant, healthful and knowledgeable. If I had to choose one phrase to describe my impression of the staff it would be esprit de corps. Everyone seemed excited about working there. That is something an owner operator strives for. That also should tell the diner that the owner does indeed have a clue.
Pizza-glorious Pizza, that ubiquitous American treat available everywhere in the USA.I tried Datsa Pizza with my eldest son quite some time ago and fell in love at first bite.This was before I started This Ain’t no Bistro;but I did post a very lauditory review on Yelp.However I am admittedly a Pizza junkie;but I think my pallet is mature enough to differentiate the quality of various pies.Now Pat,on the other hand is a Pizza epicure;a connoisseur if you will;he is very particular.That’s probably why it took me so long to get him to try it.
Guess what?Pat liked it as much as I did.He declared only one pie better;in his opinion;that being some joint in Homecroft. I believe it is some joint that was a quasi hang out when we were in highschool.
You see they make their own dough which is a great first step.I know a lot of pizzerias make their own crusts but not all brush them with garlic butter.And not all end up with the same result.A beautiful brown with a crisp exterior and soft interior.It is quite literally a hand tossed beauty.I’m sure they don’t make their own sauce but it is one of the better canned sauces I’ve tried;rich and tomato sweet.The sausage they use isn’t from Smoking Goose but it’s very good,both the sweet and the spicy.Pat would have prefered a finer grind but I enjoy either one.You won’t see duck confit or smoked salmon on the menu but you will find anchovies and all the usual suspects that most people want.The coolest thing is at lunch you can get an individual pizza for $4.75 and additional toppings are 50 cents and 75 cents.Pat and I had a small garlic bread and 2 individuals pies with 2 toppings each and spent $16.We drank water;we almost always drink water when we eat;in order to save room for beer.Speaking of which, Datsa does sell beer,$ 2.75 for domestic bottles and I think $ 3.25 for imports.However in this case we decided to “wet our whistles” at The Living Room Lounge;conveniently located across the street.No matter if you drink beer;H2O or Cola if you like Pizza you really ought to give Datsa a try.
I know I resolved to be my normally cranky, and demanding self writing my blogs this year. As luck would have it everyone we’ve gone to so far has been doing their job. However at the risk of appearing a complete marshmallow I wanted to show the staff that we met at end of the line public house. Since they were all so swell and kind enough to let me take their pictures. Only relying upon my word that I wasn’t a pervert.
I believe I mentioned early on that Pat and I have been doing this for about 2 years and have hit 200 joints;give or take.I think I have also bemoaned the fact that we can only remember a few,really well,so we are going to have to go back to some.A lot of the truly great cafe or diner types are no longer in business.That’s a sad reality of the business that isn’t mentioned on the Food Network.But the good news is we’ve barely made a dent in the independent Taverns,Bars and Saloons that offer lunch.So don’t lose hope Indy.The Chains may take our strip malls but they can never take our burgers and beers.