eating indie in indy

Posts tagged “Chili con carne

MacNiven’s Restaurant & Bar 339 Mass. Ave.

My first-born son and I decided to recognize his Birthday with lunch; rather than dinner. Initially it was to be Saturday dinner but he got some tickets to the National Drag Races. No father can compete with a dragster. So we decided on MacNiven’s; a Scottish American Tavern, since neither one of us had ever been there before. Frankly I was looking forward to trying their version of Haggis. I had also had read good reviews of their burgers. They take 8 ounces of Angus beef, shape it into a über thin patty 6 to 8 inches in diameter, soak it over night in Worcestershire and cook it on a flat top and serve it on a toasted bun with the usual garden. They also offer a nice selection of house cooked beef selections.

In addition to a Haggis entree they also offer it as an appetizer. That is the first thing I ordered. Along with a Tennents. A Scottish brewed Lager I have never tried before. Unfortunately Adam has had haggis before and did not like it. So I was forced to go it alone. I must tell you I found it to be excellent. Rich and meaty with a great texture. Easily spread on the little pieces of rye bread over a nice foundation of whipped butter. The bread was the weak link. Dry and a trifle generic for such a spread. Akin to serving caviar on a Ritz. Of course I am not sure if I can think of an alternative to keep the same price point. As far as the Tennents beer is concerned it is a great beer with food. An ABV of 4 and a sublime taste perfect to have with a meal.

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Adam decided on Chicken Tenders and Fries. Unfortunately he was not overly impressed. He thought they were pretty run of the mill. I couldn’t really detect any signs that they were prepped in-house. My son thought they were a pre made and frozen piece of chicken.

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As for my entre I opted for a burger. Unfortunately I was underwhelmed. Being a big fan of Worcestershire sauce I was rather disappointed in the flavor. Or lack there of. I think it was because the patty had sort of flat top steam cooking thing going on. It definitely could have benefited from a little carmelization and crunch. For all their sandwiches or Baps as they call them they offer a large variety of sides. I tried a cup of Vegetarian Chili. It was surprisingly tasty, I say surprisingly only because I think of Vegetarian Chili as an oxymoron. This, however had a good Southwest background and was loaded with various beans. Plump Butter Beans ( my favorite) included.

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Naturally I ended up taking half of my food home. From the beginning I wanted to keep room for desert, somehow that never works out. They have a bread pudding with raisins soaked in 18-year-old Glenlivet over night and topped with vanilla ice cream and caramel syrup. Well, not today. But someday; someday I shall have that desert. Before I forget I wish to thank Julie, our, server. She might have been new but she did a great job.MacNiven's Restaurant and Bar on Urbanspoonhttp://www.macnivens.com/


English Ivy’s

Well this week we are back on a regular schedule. Last week we had lunch on Tuesday because I had a dental appointment on Wednesday to get some teeth removed.Well the procedure was so successful I have to eat soup until my dental project is finished.Ivy’s offers three soups at all times. A soup du jour, a house Black Bean soup and Chili. Their soup of the day was a Southwest chicken, so I ordered a cup of that and a cup of black bean soup. The chicken soup was really good. A slightly creamy base with a touch of tomato and a bunch of cumin. In addition to chicken ,it had  black beans and corn.Evidently, to a lot of folks you add cumin, black beans and corn and you automatically have Southwestern food.Regardless of what you called it, the soup was good;and I believe I’ve had it before;and I believe it is made by Gordon Food Service.It is not uncommon for joints that offer three  soups to buy ready-made soups; especially for the changing soup of the day. I am reasonably sure the black bean soup was made in-house. While not as good as the chicken soup it was pretty tasty. Although I must say I have had better. But at $2.75 per cup, with two packs of crackers it was a bargain.

Patrick; the eternal culinary question mark; had a grilled Portobello mushroom sandwich.It was actually two baby Bella caps grilled then glazed with a balsamic vinaigrette.Since I couldn’t sample it. I had to rely solely on Pat that it was as good as it looked. And it came with a full garden and a side of french fries for only $6.75.As for beer their selection seemed rather limited. I got the feeling that this was more a hard liquor cocktail place than a beer joint. They had three beers on draft. Two domestics and Blue Moon.They offered SunKing cans;but they were out.So I opted for the Blue Moon and Pat had a MGD 64 with tomato juice.That’s right a red beer;a bloody beer or a poor man’s bloody Mary.Come on don’t knock it until you try it.

As for the pictures you’re just going to love them. You see, I forgot to take any of our food. Usually I catch myself after we start eating; however; this time I did not even think of the camera until after we were done and the dishes were removed. But don’t worry I got some background shots and Pat drew a picture of his sandwich.So in addition to an original review of  a local eatery you get an original drawing by Pat, a true Renaissance man.

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