This place used to be called Bookers BBQ. We reviewed it in January 2017 and then they were out of BBQ so there won’t be any comparisons.
Pat order the pulled pork meal which comes with 2 sides for $12. I think he was bummed that it came in the form of 2 sandwiches. He is still avoiding non beer carbs and was expecting a pile of pork on a plate with a side of green beans and greens. He had the meat scraped of the buns before I had a chance to even think of taking a picture.
I decided on a half slab rib dinner with collard and coleslaw also $12. I also ordered a small side of hush puppies.
I ordered my food with sauce on the side (SOS). I got it hot which had an interesting flavor. It was simply a sweet sauce with hot sauce added. I have had it at other joints but this one had a more vinegar kick, which I enjoyed. The ribs could have spent more time on the fire. They had a bit of fat and were a bit chewy. They weren’t the best I have had nor were they the worse. There was no noticeable smoke ring so I figured they were cooked in an oven. More time in the oven would have made then more tender and rendered more of the fat. Since this joint is new I have faith that they will get it together. The coleslaw was nice and sweet which I like with BBQ. The greens did have a nice flavor but they could have used a touch of crushed red pepper and a shot of vinegar. The pups had a great corn flavor and would have been great dipped into the collard pot liquor but I didn’t get much liquid in my greens.
Their menu is pretty basic and seems to cover most of the country food groups.
Overall I enjoyed my lunch. I was full and I had some food to take home. I will enjoy a return trip. They have a bunch of sides and they also have meatloaf on Sundays. It isn’t close but it is an easy drive.
This is a little hole in the wall in a strip mall that is supposed to have some good Q.
It is also a neat and tidy little joint.
I especially liked the window treatment. How often do you see curtain sheers and swags in a business?
Or an aquarium;outside of a Dr.’s office.
As cozy as the spot was we were quickly disappointed. They were OUT OF Q. It seems they took the last 3 days off for New Years and were building their inventory. I think Pat was more bummed than I. They serve breakfast all day so he was somewhat placated with a bacon platter.
I had an easy choice. Their House Burger. That is a “big” burger patty filled with peppers and onion; like a meat loaf. Then topped with cheese. I had no idea how big until I got it.
It was a full pound of meat and I liked everything about it. From the crisp exterior to the peppers and onions inside. From the processed cheese to the over sized toasted bun. It was a guilty treat. As much as I enjoyed it I could only eat half.
Bookers has very reasonable pricing; both of our lunches were $7 each. Frankly I don’t see how they can put out a one pound burger stuffed with onions and peppers for 7 bucks.
Will I be back. Of course. I have to try their BBQ.
I try to start out with a picture of the places facade. This one doesn’t really have a facade of its own. What it does have is a cozy little corner in the John H. Boner Community Center, just east of the Tech High School campus. They have been opened for 3 years and I just learned of it last week. After eating here Pat and I both think that it’s a wonder it isn’t always full of hungry customers.
The menu is basic and the prices are in line with most other restaurants of its kind. When you factor in the quality and the quantity it is a true bargain.
The printing on their carry out menu was light so my copy may be difficult to read for the ocularly challenged.
It is a pretty sweet space. A neat and clean dining room and a spacious kitchen nearly as large as the dining area.
As for the food it was pretty sweet as well. Pat ordered a breaded tenderloin, $7.50 with a side choice. The cool thing about a “meat and 2” joint is you aren’t stuck with fries or onion rings as side options.
Yep. Meatloaf. To me the quintessential comfort food. Here you can get a dinner for $11. In addition to a substantial portion of meatloaf you get 2 sides and cornbread. My 2 sides were collard greens and mashed potatoes and gravy. The meatloaf was done very well. It had an excellent flavor and texture. The density was spot on. The Sisters use oats as the filler. Specifically steel-cut oats. To some that may sound odd but steel-cut oats were probably the original binding agent for the “modern” meatloaf. Starting in the 30’s I believe Quaker and others pushed rolled oats as a more economical alternative. That would be the meatloaf of my childhood. In either event the Sister’s version was excellent. The greens were good as well,however Pat and I thought they were a bit on the salty side. As you can imagine the mashed and gravy were outstanding also. Buttery ‘taters and creamy gravy really rounded out the meal.
So now you know. As they say this place is on point. The real deal. They offer good cooking in a nice environment at more than fair pricing. I might suggest you save some room for dessert as they also offer a variety of baked goods.
Anyone familiar with the Indy food truck scene is aware of Chef Dan. They have served their food out of a little yellow truck since 2011. Their decision to go the brick and mortar route is a big move for them and Indy. Now everyone knows exactly where to go to get their Delta food itch scratched.
As you can see the menu covers the Mississippi and Louisiana food culture pretty well. You order at a counter and the food is brought to you when it is done. We ordered an appetizer and dessert when we ordered our main meals. We wanted to try as much as we could. Without going crazy. We started with Boudin balls.
Without getting into the weeds on explanation Boudin is a blood sausage with rice. A piece is removed from the casing, breaded and deep-fried. These were pretty good. As expected it had a nice smooth texture with that welcome coppery flavor you find in cooked blood or organ dishes. They were served with a mayo based dipping sauce. The sauce was so-so and I found it too thick to actually dip the sausage in. But actually I think the balls can stand on their own without the need for a sauce.
I took a of Pat’s chicken breast and I agree it was indeed exceptional. I opted for a catfish dinner so I could get 2 sides.The presentation of the fish is very down home. By cutting the fish and bread in half I was able to have 2 sandwiches. Which is a pretty good deal. The fish was nicely breaded and nicely fried. Nothing to make it unique but it was tasty . I ordered greens and beans and rice as my sides. As Pat said the greens were indeed spot on. They use smoked turkey when they cook down the greens so I guess it could pass for a healthy dish. The red beans were nicely done as well they didn’t have much rice in them though and no sausage. The last part enables them to say that they are vegan.
As for our dessert, beignets they were pretty good. Although I thought they were more dense than I have had before.
So there you have it. Chef Dan’s and his Southern comfort food. A nice little joint that is well worth a visit. I plan on going back to try something from the Louisiana side of the menu. And some pie, and or pudding.
Well;here we are on the West side. We don’t seem to get here too often. For some reason we seem to stay in that central corridor of South, Central and North. Well we gonna’ try and fix that.
I am not sure how long this Smoke House has been around,but I first heard of it a few weeks ago, and the reviews I have read have been pretty positive. It’s located in a strip mall,and can be a bit tricky to find,as it is a distance from the street. However once you get close the aroma draws you, literally right to the front door.
This bad boy sits right in front of the joint,and the day we were there it was in service,smoking some pork butts. I was able to chat with the young man working the post and he told me they used a bit of dry rub only on the brisket. This aroma is the best ad I could think of for a BBQ joint.
Once inside we found a neat little space. Bright and clean.
They make their own sauces and keep them in squeeze bottles on the tables. They offer a sassy sweet, a hot and a more east coast mustard style. We started off with an order of fried mushrooms.
I have to say that their mushroom appetizer was average, at best. Small button mushrooms with a rather boring coating and served with a very non descript Ranch dressing. Average price and average taste. Our server gave us a taste of their pulled pork, which sealed the deal for Pat.
I was really tempted by their smoked meatball sandwich. But I thought I would play it safe and go with the brisket sandwich with Lava beans.
Where do I begin? The meat had a really nice smoke flavor and a picture perfect smoke ring, but the overall it missed the mark. The meat was chewy and hard to bite and pretty bland. In order to get some flavor I had to add some sauce. Sauce should be used sparingly to enhance an existing flavor. Not as a substitute for flavor. For what it is worth I think they should use a rub and adjust the cook time. A rub does two things. Adds an extra level of flavor and it also does a Chemistry thing to help tendering the meat. They have their smoker set on 175 degrees, which is a sweet zone for Q. So, again this is just one man’s opinion.
The beans were really good. A nice level of heat and full of meat. A really good accompaniment for cow or pig. The sauces were decent , and the prices were on point as well.
Some bloggers don’t like to say if they like or dis like a joint. I have no problem with that. I rarely dis-like a place. The most I usually do is abstain from like or dis-like. Like a Congressman that votes present. This is the case here.
Now this is a rarity for this spot. I bought a voucher for food for a joint and was able to use it. I purchased a voucher from Amazon Local for G.T.’s. Nine bucks for 15 dollars of food. Good deal. I don’t know why they ran the promotion, because the food is really pretty good.
As soon as you walk in you are seduced by the aroma. BBQ. Smells like a rib joint. The ribs are not available until dinner. However they have a very solid lunch menu.
They have a website but it doesn’t show any prices. I didn’t even try to scan their book like menu. But for what it’s worth their prices are very good.
Pat’s platter was huge. We’re talking 12 inch oval with just enough room for a muffin. The sides were put up in 4 oz. ramekins and had to be placed on the side. A bunch of food for $11.50.
They serve the meat dry, with sauce on the side,which I like. They offer 3 sauces. Hot or medium red and a Carolina pepper, vinegar. I decided on a brisket sandwich. It comes 2 ways. Standard for,I don’t remember and a Jumbo for $8.50. With the sandwiches they provide chips and choice of side.
I expected the brisket to be sliced, as that is what I am told that is how it is done for platters. Oops. It’s shredded on the sandwich. Actually they might have even said that on the menu. I don’t recall. No matter the sandwich was very good. The brisket was both moist and tender,with a nice smokiness. The Carolina sauce I asked for on the side was so-so. As were the greens I ordered to go with it. They were tasty enough but they needed an oomph. Maybe some hock or more cooking time. I was concentrating more on my cow meat. I can say the pot liquor for the greens was pretty flat. No matter. My sandwich was good. And I like ruffled chips served with sandwiches, more joints should do that. In my opinion.
Our server tried to tempt us with desert. We were too full. She did manage to talk Pat into a cookie. And it was gratis. Cool. It was my turn to buy. On the service, it was spot on. Everyone I saw or came in contact with friendly and professional. I saw a busser walk through our dining area at least 3 times during our lunch. Each time he was on point. The last time he asked me if I needed a go box,as I was letting my food “settle” before I commenced eating. Our personal server was wonderful. All in all this joint has a great wait staff. So. In our opinion: Great food + Great service = Go there.
Well it seems like we are off on the right foot again. We stopped at a place that knows how to cook. It’s a small and modestly furnished place that is very neat and tidy and has a super clean kitchen in view of the dining area. Pat and I had a friend join us and while we waited we chatted up with the owner. She is a super nice lady and is also a student. She is in the last year of her Masters of Divinity degree from the Christian Theological Seminary. They are open early and serve breakfast all day. They close at 2 PM during the week and have Soul Food Sundays. During the week in addition to their regular menu they offer daily specials. The specials today were breaded and fried chicken wings or Turkey Tips, both were $8.50 and came with 2 sides and choice of roll or corn bread.
Now I am sure you are wondering what is a turkey tip. Well they are de-boned turkey ribs. As to what a turkey rib is. I don’t know. The only info I have is from a sales rep several years ago. He offered that they were not formed nor processed. They were honest pieces of white meat cut by a special method that has been patented. That was the first and last time I ever thought of them until today. Lynn offered us a taste and they were really good. Moist and tender with a light BBQ sauce. On the inter-net someone did say they were pressured cook prior to shipment. I don’t know. I could not detect any signs of overcooking. A lean piece of muscle meat will invariably be chewy if it is over cooked. That was not the case here. The included link might be helpful
I ordered corn bread, sweet potatoes and greens to go with my turkey. At the first bite I was impressed with how the tips tasted. An individual piece was tasty but a plate full was greater than the sum of its individual pieces. In either event they made be a believer. The sides matched the center of the plate well. The greens were cooked long enough to exude a nice liquor and developed a great flavor. The sweet potatoes were of the fresh variety and were whipped like russets. The candy like sweetness was a great foil to the slight bitterness of the greens and the slight smokiness of the meat. The cornbread was well made as well. It did seem a touch old but that was hardly a deal breaker.
Our guest decided on a grilled chicken sandwich on whole wheat with fries. We didn’t make her write a review, but she cleaned her plate and remarked it was all very good.
After lunch Lynn gave us a piece of chocolate cake to share. Three layers of dark deliciousness.
So the west side scores another one. This place is a definite keeper. Good food and a great lady running the joint. Remember Soul Food Sunday.
I know this is a lousy shot but that is one great looking stove. Double ovens, 8 eyes and a flat top. A beauty.
This is without a doubt the fanciest BBQ joint I have ever been to. Everything was new and bright and quite attractive. For a moment I thought we might have stumbled into the wrong place.
The light fixtures were really cool. You can see one in the above picture. You can tell that pros set this joint up. From the table placement to the bar every thing was on point. After we were seated the Hostess let me check out the smokers in the kitchen.
The exhaust fans are located right behind the outside wall. Also it appears as though it has a digital temp readout. Really nice units. Back in the day I thought an Alto Shaam was high tech. Well enough of the HGTV. Our server was Laura. Delightful and very knowledgeable. I ordered a cup of chili; a cup of red to start.
I thought it was very good. A little spicy, no beans and no pasta; which is unusual in the Midwest. They used cubes of smoked brisket and a touch of house bacon. It had the consistency of Texas red; as I remember it. They also threw in a few cubes of fat. I like to think it was done intentionally not accidentally. Fat adds flavor. Of course my Cardiologist might disagree; but I don’t take him to lunch.
As you can see from the menu the food choices are very solid and the prices are quite reasonable.
Pat decided on a brisket entree with a choice of two sides for $12. When he discovered that the slaw had no onion he picked that with cornbread. After we ordered Laura brought out the Sauce caddy, all made in house.
The sauce options are pretty basic. A Kansas City molasses sweet, a Carolina mustard vinegar, a “Standard”, a little sweet and savory and a Texas spicy. Laura suggested a mix of KC and Carolina. Which worked like a charm for me. The other two were a little non descript. I really like a Carolina sauce sometimes and I definitely have a thing for molasses. Well back to Pat.
As you can see Pat’s coleslaw was a side with some assembly required. I guess he didn’t want to assemble. Since he ordered the brisket I ordered the pulled pork with Collards and Mac& cheese for $10.
The pork was straight up good. Nice flavor and good smoke. My first thought was the dry rub wasn’t as assertive as I would like,but upon a bit of reflection I thought with the 4 sauces maybe an assertive rub might not be the best. I am still pondering. One thing for sure Laura hit the pig on the head with her sauce mix suggestion. The KC and the Carolina together was a great taste. As for the sides I had mixed feelings. The greens were quite good not as much pot liquor as I would like but good none the less. Now for the mac & cheese. I believe they used a Cellentani, a spiral pasta that holds sauce well. As for the sauce it was pretty good it just isn’t what I had anticipated.They added a “jam” which I believe is a mix of KC sauce and spices which did add another layer of flavor but I prefer my mac a bit thicker with a cheesy roux and a buttery brown top. No harm no foul I’ll just keep that in mind next time.
Even though I had to get a go box for some of my pig I thought we should share a slice of Sugar Cream pie. It was unlike any other Sugar Cream pies I’ve had. It appeared that the crust was a crumb crust, not a pastry. Also the filling had almost a carmelized top to it. The pie was rather hard to cut; me thinks it was over cooked. No matter, the filling was delicious. I forgot to take a shot until it was almost done. Here is the ravaged result.
So don’t think that this place is too cool for Que. It isn’t. I read one reviewer who thought they took BBQ too seriously. Well it is BBQ. I really don’t know how anyone can be too serious about BBQ. After all it is All American. Seriously if you want some good Q you should give this joint a try. I’m not saying this is the best Q in the city. I am saying it is really good and it is run by pros. Also everyone that works here is really nice and it is a really pretty place.
Today is a beautiful Saturday; and, you know you have had a long, hot and hard week. So I think you and the whole family should hop into the car; jump on your bikes or pop into an IndyGo; and go to 25th and Oxford streets and have lunch. Taste Budds is a place you must go to if you like good cooking, think you like good cooking or like a lot of people don’t even know what good cooking is. Depending on your age a meal at Taste Budds is the kind of food your mom or grandma would’ve made for you when you were young.I don’t care who you are or what you prefer to eat; I think you’ll find something to like there.They offer small plates for $8.18, tax included and large plates, for $11.99. Either size comes with two sides and choice of bread; one of which is hot-water cornbread; or some would call it Johnnie cake. They also offer $3.99 lunch specials,that are served with fries and coleslaw.
Normally I don’t order, rib tips ; when I go out. The quality as well as the technique is hit and miss. This time,I asked the young man where they got their meat and how they were cooked. That might sound extreme, but believe me, I’ve been burned before by fatty and/or bony tips. I ordered the small plate of tips with collard greens, mac & cheese, and of course cornbread. When I opened the clamshell I was astounded by the big pile of beautiful pieces of pig inside. The pieces were small enough you could pop one into your mouth and chew around the occasional small bone before discreetly depositing it in a napkin. At the same time the pieces were tender enough to cut with a plastic fork.You could taste the slight smokiness from the grill and the sauce did its job properly;enhancing the flavor of the pork not overpowering it. As any good backup singer should.The greens were as good as you would expect from a kitchen this good. They used smoked turkey to season them;a pleasant alternative to the more usual smoked ham hock. As for the mac & cheese all I can say is, it is hands down,the best I’ve eaten in any restaurant I have been to.
Pat opted for a small plate as well.He chose herb roast chicken, mashed potatoes, greens and cornbread. He enjoyed the greens as much as I did, this being the first time he has had them with smoked turkey. And if the speed at which he ate the mashed potatoes and gravy, he must have liked those too. At the risk of sounding gushy the chicken was beautiful. It was a lemon and herb crusted and roasted airline breast. That is to say it was a breast half with a wing attached. The skin was golden brown and the flesh inside moist and tender. Now that I was able to try since, Pat couldn’t finish his meal either.It always amazes me how something so simple could be so delicious and so hard to do by so many folks.The only thing that Pat and I could not agree on was a cornbread. He thought it was the best we have had and I thought it was a tie between , theirs and Dee’s and Pa and Ma’s.
Since the number five bus stops right in front of the place I’m going back, soon. I have to try their liver and onions. To date, every place I’ve gone to always overcook the meat and undercook the onion’s.So folks this place is the real deal.So to all those folks who “whine” about how the chains are taking over; get off your back sides and get to Brightwood and support this great little independent café. To paraphrase myself in my post about Kountry Kitchen: These guys have the skill of a master carpenter and the soul of a church choir.