There is a growing trend in Indy to erect buildings with a relatively small footprint that has retail spaces on the ground floor and rental residence on upper floors. The structure that Loco is in is one of these mixed use buildings. I think it has been around about three years. The bottom floor has a Mashcraft tasting room and Loco. I believe that it has been there since the beginning. The space that houses Loco has had a sort of revolving door on it; as far as tenants are concerned. That is one reason I was eager to go here. I wanted to see the place if they were gone in 6 months.
I ordered their Chile Colorado plate for $11. That is skirt steak simmered in a red chile and served with rice, salad, avocado and some flour tortillas to build your own mini burritos. The first thing you notice is the size of the meal. Neither one of our dishes were skimpy. Even Pat’s lunch special, which was only $8.
I thought my Chile Colorado was excellent. The chile sauce had that wonderful earthiness of a red chile pod sauce. Even the rice; which is normally just a spear carrier in a Mexican meal had a personality of its own. The meat was abundant and had just a slight chew to it. Which is to be expected of skirt steak. I would do it again. However there are so many other things I would like to try.
One more thing I had to try.
Yes that is a Frozen Margarita. A 27 ounce one for $9. I have not had one in over 30 years. I still have no idea why I ordered one today. It was okay but I prefer my ritas to be up or on the rocks.
Frozen cocktails aside I think this joint has a staying quality the other places didn’t have. It is a beautiful place with a nice patio and they serve kids. Something I think the neighbors might appreciate. I will be back.
Well another new joint; at a familiar location. The Front Page Sports Bar & Grille occupied this site for a few years until late last year. After an amazing make over they opened the last of December for dinner and opened for lunch just this past week.
This is a sister to a place by the same name in Cincinnati so they aren’t rookies. They are noted for their bone in fried chicken. I know people usually associate fried chicken with the deep South but there is a long German tradition of fried chicken as well,and Cincinnati has a solid German heritage. Here is a link to their website
Their menu is unique in that they don’t offer appetizers they offer “snacks”. Snacks that are a bit different from what you usually get. To start out I ordered a snack of their house made corn nuts for $3. I thought they were outstanding,Pat wasn’t as taken with them as I.
One cautionary note on the nuts. If you can’t eat them all and you take them home they do get hard over time. So eat ’em while they’re hot.
I was drawn to their pork sandwich.
PORK pork shoulder, broccoli rabe, sharp Asiago, house made hot peppers ……… $9.00
This was a superb sandwich. It hit all the notes. A large portion of moist pork layered with the pleasant “bitterness” of the rabe,the creamy sharpness of the cheese and finished off with just the right amount of heat from the chiles. Really an excellent job.
We decided on sharing some of their pickled veggies with our sandwiches. Those weren’t as impressive to me. It was a nice assortment but I thought the strength of the pickle was too light and the $4 a bit much. Oh $4 is the price for all of their sides,but they seem big enough for two to share.
Pat ordered a fried chicken breast sandwich for $9.
In keeping with the current “trend” in modern dining they offer half salads and beer pours less than a pint. In this case 10 ounce. Some time back it would have been called a short beer. I really like this development in dining and I really like this particular beer and food hall. I can see a few more visits in my future. Especially when it warms and their patio opens. Also I don’t think I can say enough good things about the staff. They were all very helpful and seem genuinely happy to help.
The City Market is a piece of Indianapolis history. Originally it was an open area that had stalls for merchants to sell meat, fish and produce. In 1886 a large brick building was erected to make it a one stop shopping place. Similar to a modern grocery store.
The Market is now a large two-story building that houses several vendors that sell ready to eat food, fruits and veggies and specialty snacks. The Tamale Place has its first facility out west. A place that I never have had an opportunity to go to. So when they opened the outlet at the City Market I was more than glad to check it out.
They offer more than tamales, but to me tamales are the Greatest food ever from south of the border. Well, with a taco a close second. Since I was solo I wanted to try both their red and green variety. And what is a trip to a Latin style joint without a taco? I ordered a red pork tamale and a green chicken tamale and a steak taco. Since I am forced to admit to the “aging” of my belly I got the mild salsa. I just can’t handle hot chiles any more.
Let’s talk taco. Their tacos are $2.99 and they certainly don’t mess around with the amount of meat they use.
I probably should have taken the picture before adding the salsa. This just doesn’t show the large amount of steak used. I don’t think I have ever had this much steak in one taco before. And every morsel was tender and tasty. Also the mild was too mild. In the future I think I will opt for the hot stuff.
Now, for that most noble of corn creations the Tamale.
Their regular tamales are $3.49 and you should be advised that they are 8 ounce monsters, not the 4 or 6 ounce deals that you normally get. They offer smaller versions called sliders, but they offer them in limited varieties. The first one I tried was the red chile pork.
Like the taco they were not at all stingy with the pork filling. And like the taco the pig was tender and had great flavor it just needed more intensity, more heat. Of course I realized the solution after I finished the pork and moved on to the chicken.
When you bite into the chicken tamale you really taste slow cooked chicken at its best. To me it was reminiscent of a piece of chicken out of a pot of chicken and dumplings. Once again their tomatillo sauce was missing heat. While pondering the situation I realized the answer was right there all along on the menu board. For a quarter you can get a 2 oz. portion of red or green sauce, mild or hot.
Next time I think I can see an Xmas tamale with my name on it. So should anyone from the Tamale Place read this I tip my hat to you folks for constructing a beautiful tamale.
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/