If you are an aficionado of neighborhood bars, you should definitely put this on your list.Pat and I have stopped in there a few times for beers but this is the first time we ate. We always enjoyed ourselves. Nice place,friendly crowd. Especially as it gets closer to race time. After all the 500 Track is just up the street. However their beer selection is limited to draft Silver Bullet and domestic bottles. But the prices are right.
They serve breakfast all day and that is a plus. The lunch/dinner menu is pretty typical bar although they do have a few atypical items. For example they offer both home-made chili and beef stew year round. They also have fried chicken livers. I love chicken livers but I’m not supposed to eat them. You know fat, cholesterol and all that stuff. So I tried their signature Spanish Burger. That is an 8 ounce patty of seasoned beef and onion that is baked, meatloaf style. It is then placed on a toasted bun and smothered with their Spanish Sauce. Which is a tomato based sauce with green pepper and redolent with cayenne pepper. The burger itself was pretty good. Nicely made and nicely textured. It was difficult to taste the seasoning of the meat due to the spiciness of the sauce. If you like a high level of heat then you will probably like this. Personally my taste buds have gotten pretty Gringo-fied;since my return to Indiana. Also I think it could use some different types of chile pepper in addition to cayenne. All in all it was a pretty good sandwich for 6 bucks. That’s with choice of fries or a bag of chips.
Pat ordered a grilled tenderloin. Like a lot of joints they beat out their own with a mallet. He found it to be tender and tasty. Like a lot of tenderloin in a lot of places. He did particularly enjoy the made in-house made cole slaw. It had no onion. Patrick’s kryptonite. It too was $6,with choice.
Do you know that over used phrase “…better than ever” ? Well guess what? The Aristocrat is back and it is “better than ever”. For any locals that live under a rock the Aristocrat was (is) a long time establishment that was gutted by fire. It took quite a while but it is back,and Mr. Rising-Moore should be proud of the result. I thought the old layout seemed cramped. The bar was to the side and you had to walk through a dozen doors and through the dining room to get to the facilities. The new layout is open and spacious. The large U-shaped bar,with its 60 tapheads, is the center of attention. And all of the beer they pour are craft or “micro” brewed and cost 5 bucks. You gotta’ love the in your face display of excess. We’re beer; we’re here and we’re not going to go away. Now;to the food.
Patrick,who is evidently on a pork tenderloin diet; had just that, a grilled pork tenderloin. It was a nice size;nicely grilled, tender&tasty. Everything you would expect from the state mammal. I had to have a tuna sandwich. The description was compelling. Grilled tuna topped with a slice of grilled pineapple,with a side of cucumber relish and chipotle mayo. You just can’t escape “exotic” mayo it seems. The tuna was delightful,even though it was closer to medium than med-rare. The pineapple ring was pretty much so-so,too thin to accomplish what I think they wanted to accomplish. As for the mayo it was pretty much what you would expect. A slightly spicy mayo that did enhance the flavor of the fish. The salsa was compelling as well. Small cubes of sweet and hot peppers and cucumber that had a sweet and spicy effect. I still don’t get what they were trying to do with that combo,but just because I can’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s not there to be seen. No matter, it was a fine sandwich and I would eat it again in a minute. So,in summation The Aristocrat is back and well worth the wait.