This is Indy Bacon Week. That is one week that NUVO invites restaurants to showcase all things bacon. Each joint comes up with their own bacon special for 5 bucks. Similar to Burger Week which happened in June. Both of these promotions also serve as a fundraiser for Second Helpings. This is an easy promotion since Hoosiers have such a “thing” for pork. We love all that is pig. From crisp bacon to deep-fried tenderloin as big as a truck tire or pulled pork on a toasted bun. Beef may be what’s for dinner in Texas but in Indiana it is pork.
Hoagies and Hops opened in 2015. A husband and wife from Pennsylvania grew “nostalgic” for East coast hoagies and cheese steaks and decided to bring the food here. They get their bread from an Italian bakery in New Jersey and their deli meats from Dietz and Watson in Philadelphia.
The truly clever part of this opening is the location. It is right inside Flat 12 Bierwerks. Flat 12 has been around since 2010 and have consistently produce high quality beers. The only food that was provided was by the occasional food truck so if you wanted food with your beer you were out of luck. Now when you walk in you have the food counter on the left and the beer counter straight ahead. A genius idea. Hoagies and Hops opens at 11:30 Flat 12 noon.
I opted for the Paddy’s something or other.
Paddy’s Pub Cheesesteak
Smoking Goose Bacon, Sliced Ribeye, House Horseradish Mayo, House Pepper Relish, & Muenster Cheese
Now this was a very good sandwich. The meat was tender and flavorful and the sweetness of the relish helped balance out the mayo. I would have preferred more bacon; but more bacon is always the answer to just about any food question. I agree with Pat. The bread they use is top shelf and like Pat I would do it again. In a heart beat.
Whatever you might say about our choices in places to eat you gotta’ admit we can sure find some interesting pubs.
The 86th Street Pub has been around since 1990. I have never heard of it. They have a “sister” joint on the South side; Pat’s turf; that had gone through some extensive remodeling, including a name change. Pat stopped in there for a beer and that’s where he learned about the place.
It’s a nice sized place and they are far from shy decorating for Christmas. They have raised paneling throughout and they took the time to cover the recessed portions in gift wrapping paper. It makes the whole dining area look as though it is walled with presents.
Since they have hand breaded mushrooms on the menu; and since Pat and I both love good ‘shrums we ordered an appetizer.
These beauties were as tasty as they look. Hand breaded mushrooms, when done right, are wonderful. These were done right. They were as good as the ones at the Checkered Flag Tavern. And they cost $5.50. You can also choose a combo of mushrooms and pickles for the same price.
I had a bit of trouble on what else to order. I couldn’t decide on their cheese steak or the French dip. They do a house roasted beef, which they use for their Pub Cheese Steak. Meat,peppers,onions and mushrooms all topped with Swiss cheese for $8.75. The French Dip was shaved steak with Swiss and au jus for $7.75. Both come with chips or fries. I decided on the cheese steak with chips.
The sandwich was big. Definitely able to handle the hardy appetite. Overall it was pretty tasty. However I think it would have been better had they not been so assertive in re-thermalizing the already cooked meat. Put the beef in the au jus to reheat. Drop on the flat top just long enough to transfer the veggies and cheese. I actually think that would improve an already good sandwich.
So in our estimation the 86th Street Pub is a keeper. Unpretentious. Honest food and honest drink. They offer an exceptional collection of craft beers. I’m sure that is due to the Manager, Brian, being a beer freak. For which I thank him. And in addition to all that they are not afraid to celebrate Christmas.