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Posts tagged “cook

Manley’s Irish Mutt -7041 East Tenth Street

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Saloons…Bars…Taverns no matter what term you use Manley’s is a perfect example of one. A  menu heavy on appetizers and with certain must have, or you’re not a real bar, sandwiches. Namely a breaded tenderloin, a burger, some type of chicken and roast beef, or steak. All bars have these. Some do them poorly. Some do them well and in the case of the Mutt some do them extremely well.

We started off with some mushrooms. You could tell from the uniform size that they were probably not made in-house. However at first bite you might think they were hand battered and then breaded back in the kitchen. They were excellent. Very crisp on the outside and almost liquid on the inside. Sort of like a savory mushroom cordial.

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As you can see I nearly forgot to take the picture. That stain at the top of the basket isn’t grease. I’m not sure what it is. These ‘shrums were not at all greasy.

The lunch special that day was a breaded tenderloin, for $6.99. Believe it or not I really try to watch my fried food intake; so I took a pass. Not Patrick.

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I completely forgot to take any pictures until Pat was finished and I was half done. Luckily a guy next to us at the bar ordered one, and he was kind enough to let me use his plate as a stand in.

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I ordered a Cuban Sandwich. Jerk seasoned pork,ham, pickle and swiss cheese on a grilled hoagie. The fillings are pretty much the same at most places around here the only question is the pork and the bread. This version was $6.99 and the coleslaw was an additional $1.99. The sandwich was excellent. From the spicy tenderloin through the ham and pickle to the swiss cheese it was a complete hit for me. So very tender. All the components represented themselves in tasty fashion and the melding of the 4 created another layer of taste. As for the coleslaw it turned out to be a good complement to the sandwich. Creamy and sweet.

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Pat thought I should have tidied the plate up before taking the shot. Obviously I thought otherwise. I think Pat was right.

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They have the usual selection of adult beverage. A few crafts for $4 and more Irish whiskeys than I have seen in one joint in my life. And they sell them for 4 bucks on Saturdays. I must say it is refreshing to see a back bar that doesn’t have 25 different vodkas.Manley's Irish Mutt on Urbanspoonhttps://kosherhamandcheese.com/?p=2342&preview=true


Big Fella’s… it’s Back

Several years ago; back in the day; so to speak; there was a joint called Big Fella’s. It was a great place for a bite. For whatever reason it changed hands. None of the later tenants fared too well. But no matter the success, or lack there of, of the subsequent tenants the building was always well maintained. Well now Big Fella’s is back. This time under the guidance of The Big Fella’s nephew. It always was an attractive and expansive place and now it has become downright pretty. From the color coordinated walls to the white tablecloths and linen napkins it has added a touch of elegance.

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They have retained their Sunday buffet and added a raised dias in their big dining room with a baby grand piano. They now offer live gospel music on Sunday as well as jazz performances selected nights of the week.

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Their menu is small, featuring the essential dinners for $11.49, with bread and 2 sides. They also offer sandwiches in the $6 to $7 range with a side of fries. They make everything from scratch. The sides, the desserts, and the cornbread all done on premise. This particular day they were offering specials of baby back ribs for $9.99 and rib tips for $8.99. All with 2 sides and cornbread. Pat opted for the ribs.

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They smoke all their own pig. Which is always a good sign. And since they use the same source for the tips as Taste Budds, and since it was one buck cheaper that is what I ordered. And they were as tasty and tender as Taste Budds. The greens had an excellent flavor and a wonderful pot liquor. They were just a tad bit on the salty side. As for the mac and cheese I can think of only one joint that might of had some just a tad bit better. Just because they added real cream. And as Julia Child said: “If you’re afraid of butter just use cream.” So folks, without reservation this is a place to check out. I don’t think you will be disappointed. Personally I am real happy Big Fella’s is back. It’s close to home.

Oh one last thing. When you go, save room for dessert. And if you only have room for one dessert make it Buttermilk pie. I mean what could be a better ending to a meal than a piece of custard goodness.

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Big Fella's on Urbanspoonhttp://www.bigfellas.biz/   3469 N. College Ave.


black market

A poor shot of a cool artifact on the building across the street.

A poor shot of a cool artifact on the building across the street.

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This is a joint we have been wanting to go to for quite a while. It has a reputation for very good food and a nice selection of craft beers. It’s not a very big place with the seating consisting of a few tables along the wall, a large bar and 3 very big tables in the center. Long and slender, like you would find in a banquet hall. It is an attractive place; all industrial chic with exposed duct work, dark walls, slate and black iron pipe fittings in the men’s room.

We had the bar to ourselves and had the most delightful server. Efficient, professional and attentive, and very knowledgeable of the menu. After much reassurance from the aforementioned server, that he would not get any onion Pat selected baked rigatoni. A pasta dish with butternut squash,kale and both house made mozzarella and focaccia, all for $10.

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At time of service our waitress told Pat that they made a special sauce, just for him, sans onion. I went off menu and ordered their special for $11. That was fried perch with waffle. Served with baked beans, young curly kale and Sirachi butter. Odd ain’t it. This particular dish did not hit on all cylinders for me. I do admire their cojones for doing it though. I think restaurants should push the envelope; as far as they can. In this case I think it could have used a few adjustments. They used, what appeared to be black beans for the baked beans. Not the most attractive choice. That might be why it was buried under the kale. They also could have cooked the beans a mite longer and reduced the cayenne, especially with the Sirachi butter ; which was excellent,as was the perch. As for the waffle it was a wee bit dry. Actually I thought the whole dish was on the arid side. I am surprised they didn’t add some sort of syrup. Possibly a gastrique . I think a little sweet and sour would have fit in well. But; that is just my opinion. This was just one dish and a special at that. I will definitely be back first chance I get. I want to try their chicken pozole and the blue gill and grits. They both sound like a bunch of lip smackin’ fun.Black Market on Urbanspoon

http://www.blackmarketindy.net/

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Legends in Irvington (Revisit)

Charming. That is my word for the day. That is the best one word description of this restaurant that I can think of. We have been here before with our friend Jimmie. That is the reason we decided to go back. We had planned on meeting him there but he had some schedule conflict. So it was just me and the other old guy.

It was a blustery sort of fall day. The kind of day that really suggests comfort food. Which is exactly what Pat ordered. I believe the dish was Dad’s Chicken. That is a breaded breast, pan-fried and finished in the oven. It came with 2 sides for $8. He opted for roasted garlic mashed potatoes and steamed snap peas.

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As you can see I didn’t post Pat’s usual review. The reason for that is I reworked my browser, and upgraded my version of Windows. And with the changes; when I downloaded my scans of his post it went to a different area than I am not accustomed to. And frankly I can’t locate it. Luckily I managed a taste of his food so I can write about it. Pat’s original post was succinct as usual. All I can do is flesh it out; so to speak

The chicken was very tasty and moist. The portion was 5 oz.,and the sides were nicely portioned as well. The ‘taters were garlicky good and fluffy; and buttery enough that gravy would have been a distraction. As for the peas they were incredibly tender, considering their size.

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Regardless of the weather, I had a craving for their salmon wrap. It had both smoked salmon and asparagus. Two of my (many) favorite foods. It also featured cukes, lettuce and wasabi mayo. And it was as good as it sounded. However I think more salmon would have helped. I understand the price of the salmon necessitates the $ 9 price tag, but I think they could get a better product if they smoked their own.

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legends-11-21-2013 008legends-11-21-2013 009Legend Classic Irvington Cafe on Urbanspoonhttp://www.thelegendcafe.com/


McGinleys’ Golden Ace Inn 2533 E. Washington Street.

As soon as you walk into this place you are struck with the history of this joint. It was opened one month after Prohibition ended in 1934; and it has been run by the McGinley family ever since. From the dark wood back bar to the all mechanical cash register the scene probably has not changed much in the intervening 70 odd years.

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The menu is small and is displayed on a sign above the window to the kitchen. The pictures I took did not turn out, so I’m including a link to their website which also shows a bit of their history. They only have two draft heads, both offering Michelob. A brew I haven’t had in probably 30 years. They also have a pretty good inventory of Crafts and imports in a cooler by the door. So I don’t think selection would be an issue.

golden ace inn 008golden ace inn 009golden ace inn 025In addition to the few sandwiches they have they also offer Hoosier chili, clam chowder and bean soup, all made in-house. Since Indianapolis Monthly and the Indianapolis Star both declared the cheeseburger as one of the best in town that made our lunch decision easier. Chili and cheeseburger for me, and since they made the chowder sans onion Clam Chowder and cheeseburger for Pat.

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The chili was wonderfully representative of the type prepared by Hoosiers for generations. Meat and beans in a rather tame tomato sauce with a slight hint of cocoa powder and filled with tiny pieces of pasta. Served with saltine crackers, of course.

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In today’s world of half pound Black Angus, Wagyu, Bison Beef, Sourdough, Pretzel Bun burgers, the burgers at Golden Ace Inn are a refreshing change of pace. They serve one-third pound patties, hand formed and cooked in a skillet and then put on a common grocery store bun. They still use white onion and even cut them in half. This is a joint dedicated to simplicity and value.

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Pat and I really enjoyed this place. I find it hard to believe that neither one of us had been here before. This joint is an anchor of the neighborhood. The fact that it has continually operated this long is a testimony to the business, the neighborhood and the family. I look forward to going back. Price? You ask. Two bowls of soup and two cheeseburgers– $12.25. Three Draft beers and one shot of Bushmills – $11.25. I think this is definitely a place to check out.

golden ace inn 029Golden Ace Inn on Urbanspoonhttp://goldenaceinn.com/


Shoefly Public House. 122 East 22nd Street

There is a new place in town and it just happens to be in my neighborhood. To say there was a need in this area, Mapleton Fall Creek , would be a pretty accurate statement. Saturday was their Grand Opening and from all accounts it was very successful. The owner really did it right. A nice wide open space with a lot of room to stretch your legs. And the man built the wooden bar and the tables with his own hands. Now that is special.

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I think the bottles are Ginger Beer, that they bottle on premise.

I think the bottles are Ginger Beer, that they bottle on premise.

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The menu is refreshingly different. They also have a nice supply of local beers. As you know Pat and I have been known to tip a malted beverage every now and again. I didn’t scan the menu but I am including a link for their website which shows their food and beer.

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This joint does something different for the sides that come with sandwiches. They offer a small chef side that changes daily. In this case it was a potato “croquettes” with a Sriracha mayo. The little ‘tater cake was pretty tasty and spicy sauce fit well. I was drawn to the “cold pressed Spanish chicken sandwich. As it was explained to me after the chicken is cooked it is mixed with capers, anchovy, roasted red pepper and olives. Then a focaccia roll is split coated with olive oil and the “fixings” are stuffed inside. Then the whole thing is wrapped and pressed with a brick for two days. I am not familiar with the technique but the result is definitely worthwhile. The texture was soft and almost creamy. Imagine a bread rillette. The only thing else I can add is the flavor was very much a single note. An excellent single note but singular none the less. I added a taste of the spicy sauce that came with the potato cake and it added a nice spot of heat. It could have used some crunch. In my humble opinion.

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I really recommend checking out the menu on the website. It might be a trifle hard to read but I think you can navigate it all right.

A nice view of Talbot Street from the front window.

A nice view of Talbot Street from the front window.

Shoefly Public House on Urbanspoonhttp://www.shoeflypublichouse.com/


Kim’s Kake & Kupcake Kreations

Kim's Kakes 005-001Well, that name sure is  a mouthful. But it leaves no doubt as to what this place is all about. It is on the south side, 5401 Madison Avenue, to be precise. I believe it has been open for about three years. It relocated recently to a larger building across the street from its original location. So business has been pretty good. They have a website but I don’t think it is updated too often. So most of their business appears to be by word-of-mouth.

They recently added soups and sandwiches to the menu. The usual fare, you would expect from a joint that made its own bread. With a couple of atypical twists.

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From the beginning, I was intrigued by the pretzel bun. EVERYBODY has a pretzel bun now. Even Wendy’s. But the only similarity between this bun and everyone else’s is the spelling. This creation has the texture and density of a good bread and the flavor and saltiness of a soft German pretzel. I ordered a pretzel club. Which is Cotto salami, ham, bacon, lettuce, tomato and ranch dressing. Ranch dressing would not be my first choice for such a bread but I try to try a dish the way the Cook planned it. The salami was assertive enough to stand up to the bread. The other stuff did not fare as well. When I go back. I hope to try the smoked sausage and pretzel bun sandwich. Or if that’s not available, the straight up salami with mustard. I tried a cup of the loaded potato soup. It was pretty good. Tasty even on a 90° day. The Eclair Pat mentioned was one we got to share. I cannot say that this is the best Eclair I have had. Sometimes when I taste something that I really enjoy I tend to gush like a 14 year old boy meeting a 14 year old girl. But it surely was an excellent pastry. One anyone would be proud to serve. The entire preparation was spot on. From the Choux Pastry to the vanilla cream filling to the chocolate “Shell” on top.

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I couldn’t finish my lunch so I took one half of the sandwich home along with my “better than Hostess” cupcake. As well as a few other items. I mean, these cases are hard to resist.

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My better half, Clara, ( who has a background in Food and Beverage as well ) really liked the pretzel bread, and the cupcake. She just took exception to my chose in take out. Two of them were pretty close in taste. That is why I MUST go back. To score some more pretzel bread and some Cake Truffles. They also offer a gluten free eclair. As far as other gluten free products I honestly am not sure.

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Kim's Kakes 013Kim's Kake & Kupcake Kreations on Urbanspoonhttp://www.kimskakekreations.com/


Foundry Provisions

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Oh Goodie! Just what Indy needs one more hip coffee-house with pressed sandwiches. Now don’t get me wrong I have nothing against coffee houses it’s just that they all try so hard to be hip. In much the same way coffee joints in the 60’s tried to be psychedelic and in the 50’s more bongo and beatnik. And Panini can be a delightful lunch. You just have to be a tad circumspect about the fillings otherwise you might have a “mushy” sandwich. This particular joint is in an excellent location at the corner of 16th St. and Alabama St. An area that seems to have changed over night from semi hood to more metropolitan. For want of a better word. As far as decor I would call it industrial chic or proletarian casual. They left the concrete floor untouched. Chipping paint and all. They also enjoyed the use of gray corrugated metal siding and wood. Whoever owns this place put some bucks into it. It was just not my cup of chai. But they obviously are targeting a young crowd, not old farts like me and Pat.

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As far as food options go they offer some breakfast options, including pastries from Circle City Sweets, a local bakery that has a pretty good reputation. They also offer soup from Circle City Soups. As I understand it Sweets and Soups are owned by a husband and wife. And no I have no excuse as to why we have not tried these places before. For lunch they offer 5 pressed sandwiches each with a historic Hoosier name. As far as meat options they have smoked turkey, Mortadella and City Ham. They proudly announce that the ham is from Smoking Goose . A well know local meatery. So from that I guess we can assume the turkey and Mortadella are from the same source. Pat tried a Tarkington. A turkey and provolone sandwich 86 mustard.

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I tried the Harrison. I am a sucker for avocado. One thing Pat and I both noticed, at the first bite was that they stuck romaine in the sandwich and then toasted it. Now I really like wilted lettuce but toasted romaine? Not a big fan. To me it had an odd taste that detracted from the flavor of the ham. They have spinach on the menu I think spinach would be a better choice than romaine. To me the biggest deal was the lack of texture. The only crunch was the bread, which had a nice toast to it. Between the melted Swiss and avocado the overall effect was rather bland and mushy. It needed some prominent texture and some distinctive flavor. But I am not going to go through the entire menu and suggest alternatives. This is not my joint and they did what they did for a reason. Best of luck to them.

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I almost forgot my soup. Gazpacho. It was the best part of lunch. Ironic that they don’t make it here.

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Keystone Sports Review.

Pat and I stopped here last week for beers. We were both taken by the friendliness of the crowd at the bar and Mary our bartender. We also enjoyed that draft beers were only $3.50, microbrews included. The menu was inviting and the prices are more than reasonable. Also, Mary seemed genuinely excited about the food. No one should ever underestimate the power of “a happy server face”.

Since Thursday, our normal lunch date was also July 4, we decided to go on Wednesday. Mary. Wasn’t working but Jen, our bartender was equally friendly and gracious. On their appetizer menu they have several half orders as well as full orders. Which I think is a great idea. Quite often appetizer portions are so large, people have an appetizer as an entrée. Which, from a business standpoint lowers your ticket averages. With that in mind we decided to split a half order of battered and fried mushrooms. They were excellent. A crisp fried batter full of flavor was a great foil to the softness of the fried mushroom. We had homemade bleu cheese dressing as a dipping sauce. That was probably the wrong move. Not that the dressing wasn’t very good. It was just too thick to dip the mushrooms in. I think ranch dressing or the cocktail sauce that was offered would’ve been a better choice.

Hand battered and deep fried mushrooms in all their glory.

Hand battered and deep-fried mushrooms in all their glory.

One of their specials for that day was homemade lasagna. It came with soup or salad and garlic toast for $7.25. Since only onion powder was used in making the sauce for the lasagna, Pat felt it was safe to order.

They make their own croutons.

They make their own croutons.

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The picture doesn't do it justice.

The picture doesn’t do it justice.

I ordered strictly off the menu. Something I’ve never had before. A grilled chicken club. that is like a conventional club, 86 turkey, and substitute grilled chicken. I hesitated ordering it because a lot of kitchen guys don’t like making them. If you are busy it doesn’t take too many club orders to put you in the weeds. mine came on some beautiful marbled rye bread. It was an excellent sandwich, and fun to eat. Since it was a triple-decker , you could break it down into smaller flavor profiles. There is just something about the sweetness of fresh tomato and mayonnaise paired up with salty bacon and ham that is delicious. and replacing deli turkey with the tender grilled chicken breast is a no-brainer. And their homemade blue cheese dressing is a great dip for the copious quantity of ruffles that come with the sandwich. I couldn’t eat all of my sandwich so I took it home for my better half. She promptly declared it was the best sandwich I ever brought home.

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So ladies and gentlemen, that was our experience at the Keystone Sports Review. not only is the food good;the prices right and the service great, but to me it was a pleasure to watch such a well-run business. I think it is more than worth a trip. Oh one last thing. The Dr Mc Gillicuddy Pat referred to was Mentholated Schnapps. That was also one of their specials,$ 2 /shot. We each had one as an aperitif. It settled his stomach and gave him fresh breath. I ‘m sure his better half appreciated that.Keystone Sports Review on Urbanspoonhttps://kosherhamandcheese.com/?p=1771&preview=true


Lunch at His Place

012Eureka. I have finally found a place in town that can produce a proper smoked rib. It’s His Place Eatery at 30th Street and Shadeland  Avenue. They call themselves  a soul food restaurant, which is a catch phrase for country cooking. If that is supposed to mean that they offer good food; then they nailed it. They don’t just offer smoked pig they also grill or fry chops, chicken and fish. They even have big salads. And of course they make their own deserts.

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As you can tell they don’t spend a lot on plate garnishment. They want their food to be the center of the plate with no distractions. That little splotch on Pat’s review is a drop of rib juice. Clumsy. The owner does the cooking and he is a man after my own heart in that he prefers a dry rub. Saving sauce as optional not mandatory. The rib is the king. Hands down. The meat really just slides off the bone. The dry rub accentuates the flavor of the pig and keeps it moist. Every bite fills your mouth with smokiness. Not that intense overwhelming liquid smokiness that some people pass off as ” smoked”. But the real hard wood and fire kind. I didn’t even use any of the sauce they provided. 

The sides they provide match the quality of the protein they serve. The greens were as good as any that I have had; and the mac and cheese is on a par with Taste Budds. The bourbon cream corn was interesting. It was pretty good. I am just not a big fan of cream corn. But I had to try it. I also had to try the sweet potato cheesecake. Even though I had to take half my lunch home. The cheesecake was rich and potato sweet. A definite home run. The only negative was the corn bread. It was more a corn muffin of the average kind. But that should not be a deal breaker. To me if you like a lot of sweet red sauce with your Que then by all means go with the Wonder. Which brings to mind. Chef, should you read this, have you ever considered a Carolina vinegar and pepper sauce to go with your ribs? Just a thought.

017https://kosherhamandcheese.com/?p=1720&preview=trueHis Place Eatery on Urbanspoon


Moe and Johnnys

This is a different sort of review. I went here with my eldest son, for lunch. I am never sure why I don’t write about some joints that I go to. This is a perfectly fine place. Clean and respectable; with good food. I know I have eaten here a few times; pre- blog days. And Pat and I have been there a couple of times for beers. So today I write.

Adam ( my first-born ) likes to eat and cook he just isn’t crazy about it. So our conversation covered my grand daughters and his work. He has a real job. He has nothing to do with food and beverage. He ordered a pulled pork sandwich with bbq sauce. All he volunteered was that he liked it. He added the lettuce and tomato but removed the onion and pickle. So the pork sandwich has my kid’s approval. 

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I ordered an All American cheese burger. But first I determined it was indeed charbroiled and I could  get it mid-rare. I added cheddar and got the whole garden. Usually I enjoy my burgers the same way I enjoy my Irish Whisky; neat. This was a fine ass burger. And no amount of salad could interfere with the flavor of that char grilled and juicy hunk – of- meat. I am sure a whole bunch of folks know and like this place so I’m sure I am not telling people anything new.

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http://www.moeandjohnnys.com/menu/MJ-Full-Menu.pdfMoe & Johnny's on Urbanspoon


The Sinking Ship

I am sure that anyone under the age of 30 who lives anywhere in the vicinity of 49th St. and College Avenue has been to the Sinking ship. After all, I’m told that it is a joint for hipsters. I’m not sure what that means. All I know is that it’s a big bar, a clean bar with really good beer and really good prices. It also has a very unique menu for a tavern. It offers several vegan options. That includes but is not limited to, soy chorizo and soy cheese. They even offer seitan wings. Seitan is also called “wheat meat“. It is created by some mystical process where wheat is reduced to gluten, leaving protein rich, “meat like” product. I have been wanting to try it for quite a while. However it reminds me too much of the movie Solyent Green. But someday, someday.
Pat and I have been there several times for beer. They don’t start serving lunch until noon and, we like to get started around 11-ish. You know old dudes. Last week I made a solo trip to break the ice. So to speak.I didn’t order off the menu. I tried their special. Which was a chili dog with fries for $7.50. The dog was a good all beef wiener but was only a quarter pounder. They make their own chili and it worked great as a Coney sauce. I will have to try it by itself to see how it works as straight up chili.
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When Pat and I went back together I knew exactly what I would order. They offer smoked pork in two different forms. One as a barbecue sandwich; the other as a Cuban sandwich. That is a combo of pork, ham, cheese, dill pickle and mustard. Pressed in a hoagie roll. And they actually smoke their pig in a smoker, outback behind the kitchen. You could actually taste the smoke, faint but definitely there. The ham was decent Deli style, and worked really well with the cheese and everything else. A compact package of good food in a  Gonnella roll. The fries I had were decidedly different from the ones that came with my hotdog. I asked Bartender Ben and he told me that they had indeed changed. They were now making their own french fries. Well, I think Bartender Ben was pulling my leg a little bit. But that’s okay. He did an outstanding job anticipating our refills.

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As I’ve mentioned before Pat is a traveling puzzlement as to what he’s going to eat at any given time. As if to illustrate the point, he ordered fried tofu with peanut sauce and a slice of pepperoni pizza. Pizza was their three dollar lunch special.He enjoy the pizza,telling me he thought the crust was home-made. The only reason I’m writing this much is that Patrick’s review is a little more esoteric than normal. Nicely done just a little, well, esoteric.

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sinking ship-moe-johnnies 010https://kosherhamandcheese.com/?p=1491&preview=trueThe Sinking Ship on Urbanspoon


The Elbow Room

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How I could have overlooked this place for so long, I just don’t know. Well I corrected that over sight Friday. This joint is the quintessential tavern. Dim lighting and wood paneling. It is a credit to its generation. And their food and service is a credit to taverns everywhere. I discovered a new beer from Sun King. I don’t recall the name but after the obligatory notes of hop, the finish had a definite chile pepper smack. This beer made for a great pairing with the Hot Sicilian sandwich. Now this sandwich is standard fare in a lot of places. Ham, pepperoncinis, bacon and mozzarella cheese on a toasted roll with shredded lettuce. The way they prepare their version is what sets it apart from the rest . They par cook the bacon and then finish it per order on the flat top with the remaining ingredients. The result is a flavor filled sandwich full of greasy bacon goodness. I would also recommend a side of potato salad to go with. The salad is of the smashed variety. The first taste is hard-boiled egg, followed by the potato with a touch of sour cream and a hint of vinegar. If you like potato salad as much as I do I think you’ll love this.

After my successful scouting trip Pat and I decided to make this joint our weekly destination. As you will see I wasn’t the only one taken by this joint. Following is Pat’s ode to a French Dip.

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004I was torn between a grilled chicken sandwich or a burger. Since the menu mentioned char broiled burgers I ordered one, medium rare, with a side of cole slaw. I was a wee bit disappointed. There wasn’t a whole lot of char on the meat and it was cooked past medium. All in all the meat was a little dry. That could have been caused by aggressive spatula use or patty compaction. In either event it really is not that big of a deal. The burger temp is regulated by the Board of Health. The last I heard all ground meat must be cooked to an internal temp of 160 degrees, and held for 15 seconds. Which precludes even a true medium. As for the slaw I thought it could have used more dressing. Now that is purely subjective. Hell you can’t hit a home run every time.

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So this is a place worth visiting. And from the lunch crowd I guess a lot of folks feel the same way. Oh. I almost forgot the Chile. I had a cup to start things off. It was house made and really good. Mild enough to appeal to non chile heads and packing enough chile powder and cumin to make it interesting. Also like so many joints the help is such a key to success; and the help here appears to be professional. At least in the front of the house; where it matters. I would also like to thank Kelly for such attentive service. Thanks from both of us.

018https://kosherhamandcheese.com/the-elbow-room-menu/Elbow Room Pub & Deli on Urbanspoon


The Old Point Tavern

Pat and I have been very fortunate the last few weeks. Every place we have been to has given us a very enjoyable lunch. Good food pleasant surroundings and nice service. This week we decided to try the old point Tavern. It is located on Massachusetts Avenue. At the point where Mass. Ave. Intersects with Alabama and Vermont streets. This place has been open for several years. I have been there on numerous occasions just not to eat. First thing you notice about the menu is the lack of fried or grilled items. The only equipment they have in their kitchen is a microwave oven, conventional oven with stove top and cold tables. Their menu is pretty extensive, considering the lack of equipment.

We decided to try a different style for the blog. Instead of me writing for Pat he is going to write for himself. The idea being, he could write about his lunch later over a beer. He did get as far as the title. After lunch we change locations for beer and we both forgot for him to finish. As it turned out he wrote it at home and e-mailed me the copy. I think that is the way to go in the future.

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No, Pat there wasn’t any cheese but you did add avocado.

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I tried their pita, “sandwich”. It was indeed a curious collection of ingredients. The obligatory lettuce and tomato and avocado, cucumber and Havarti cheese, with dill. And the whole deal was spiced with Dijon mustard. The avocado and cheese were equally mild in flavor and the lettuce and tomato; while not adding to the flavor profile did bring a much-needed textural difference to the sandwich as did the cucumber. What really set the whole thing up for a trip to “flavor town” (apologies to Diners Drive-ins and Dives) was the Dijon mustard. For me, I still needed some crunch. So I added some of Pat’s kettle chips. My pita came with a fruit cup. Again another nice touch to fit the healthy meme they’re going for. I’d eat the same thing again. Next time I would substitute pepper Jack cheese and added some bacon. So once again we had another nice lunch . If you work in the area I highly recommend this joint for lunch. All the food items are quick pickups. The staff knows what it is doing and the outdoor seating offers some of the best people watching you could find.

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005-001 Old Point Tavern on Urbanspoon


A Byrd in the Hand…Jonathan’s Byrd Cafeteria

When Pat and I first started going out to lunch and writing about it. We only had one rule, only independent restaurants, diners or bars would be considered. For the most part we have managed to stick by that. With all kinds results. Both bad and good. We decided on lunch because he didn’t want to fall into that “old man-trap of early bird specials and 3 PM dinners. Besides Pat needed to get home and get dinner ready for his wife when she got home from work. However our list of places to go is getting smaller with every passing week. So we decided to try Jonathan Byrd’s cafeteria in Greenwood. So bring on the blue haired ladies. The joint is well-known for its homemade food. And it is a large and attractive space.

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At the very beginning I made a rookie mistake when visiting a cafeteria or buffet; I did not check out all the options first. In the cafeteria they will put the deserts at the front of the line with the salads; in order to entice you to eat and spend more. With buffets it’s nearly a war of attrition. They try to spread things out so you will spend as much time walking as you can. So what I’m getting at is I got too much food. Again. Pat, almost always the sensible one ate rationally. He had a nice piece of breaded fish with a side of steamed broccoli, a side of carrots and a nice whole-wheat dinner roll. Although the fish had been fried. He blotted any excess grease off prior to eating. They did have a baked option for fish, but the portion was much larger. Pat’s lunch was tasty, filling and nutritionally fulfilling. Very much keeping in line with the man of his maturity.

005Now me, on the other hand, picked a lunch fit for two. Pasta salad, Boston cream pie (why it is called a pie. I don’t know why. It is obviously cake). Having picked the beginning and the end of my lunch . I needed something for the middle. So, I opted for a side of corn bread dressing with a touch of gravy, Turkey pot pie and a biscuit with butter.

004The pasta salad was tasty. One of the better versions I’ve had. Multi colored tortellinis with grape tomatoes, and thin slices of red radish. All in a dressing reminiscent of Buttermilk Ranch. The cornbread dressing was very “genteel”. Fine textured and mildly flavored. But considering the rest of my food it fit in well. The biscuit was nice and fluffy but considering I already had pot pie it was redundant. The pie was rather unique. Don’t get me wrong it was very good. Just in my estimation different from the usual Boston cream pie. The cake was fluffier than I am accustomed to and the chocolate glaze was more milk chocolate, then dark chocolate. As for the cream filling. It was sweet vanilla cream. What’s not to like. However, the winner, winner, turkey dinner was the pot pie. it had a top crust only which was more than sufficient. The crust was handmade and flaky, barely containing a large , thick portion of filling. Big chunks of turkey with carrots and peas in a rich gravy. I cannot imagine this dish being done better. The peas even had a slight bite to them. Meaning they were not cooked into mush. If you have an opportunity to try this. I strongly recommend it.

As soon as we sat down we unloaded our trays. We didn’t want people thinking we are institutionalized.The prices were quite reasonable. I believe the whole tab came to less than $19 and we got a lot of food.

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 Jonathan Byrd's Cafeteria on Urbanspoon


Hey…I Do So Have Followers…

This post does not have anything to do with eating;directly. It’s about my favorite blog that I follow. I Don’t Get It;by Kerby. It’s about things that make no sense. So she has plenty of material to work with. It is written by a young lady from Texas. Having spent some time in Texas I have good feelings towards Texans. I don’t wish to generalize,but in general the Texicans I dealt with were stand up folks that could definite weave a good yarn. Kerby definitely fits that description. She tells a mean story and she leaves no doubt on what she means.

One of her recent posts was about Roquefort cheese. Specifically Roquefort dressing and how old coots preferred it over all other dressings. Being a semi old coot who loves all bleu cheese;especially Roquefort I added my 2 cents. She responded by asking what it was that I liked so much about Roquefort. And you know… I really could not fully describe the flavor of bleu cheese. I did say that I thought that Roquefort cheese taste more “bleu” than the rest. But what the hell is that supposed to mean. Here is the post in question. You really ought to check it out.

http://sanceau.com/

Hey-Kerby Wilma Rudolph.


Ralston’s Tavern on Mass. Ave.

I checked out the website and menu on this place several weeks ago. It seemed a little pretentious and a lot expensive. As a matter of fact, Pat told me he and Fran stopped in there after a bike run and was turned off by the prices. Now it appears they have streamlined the menu and lowered prices. It is still a swanky joint with a lot of attention paid to fruit reductions and such. It also has a huge draft beer selection and one of the coolest wine systems I have seen. When you walk in, you are greeted by a host at a station made of beer cans.

003To the left of the host station is a large dining room and to the right is the bar and more dining room. The bar has two beautiful draft systems and the aforementioned wine pour station.

007004As I said earlier, the menu appears to been trimmed somewhat, but still leans a little to the trendy and chic. Pat ordered Caesar salad with fried chicken and dressing on the side. It was a normal amount of chopped romaine lettuce with five oddly shaped pieces of chicken. Odd because it looked like index finger sized Lincoln logs. Pat thought the chicken was a little dry. He was not a big fan. It was served with a cute little bowl of flat bread points and Parmesan cheese crisp. The only remark he had to make about the crisp, was that it was more a Parmesan cheese non-crisp. As for the dressing it was house made. Thick, creamy and rich with anchovy and Parmesan cheese.  Now Patrick is not a big fan of anchovy so he was not too thrilled. If you dig anchovy, as I do, you would probably enjoy it a lot. The first two tastes were delicious. Even with the heavy anchovy, you can definitely taste the Parmesan cheese. However, after a couple of bites you can see why it is a dressing not a dip. It needs to be tossed with lettuce. It is still a great Caesar dressing. Pat thought it was satisfactory just not worth $13.

008I was torn between their rather funky selections of flat breads and one of their unique sandwiches. Their house burgers are a mixture of shredded potato and ground beef. Interesting. They also have this one.

Bacon, mixed greens, cucumber, green tomato, red peppers with an apple butter spread on flat bread.

Now that would probably be either fantastic or dreadful. I can’t imagine it would leave an eater with no opinion. I decided on a slow roasted pulled pork with the bourbon glaze on a pretzel bun. The pork is tender and slightly sweet from the bourbon glaze.The glaze worked with the pork, allowing you to better taste it. Not mask it like some sauces do.Their selection of sides is rather unique. I chose couscous salad.

Couscous, avocado, black olives, red and yellow peppers, tossed in olive oil. The veggies were small diced and not really plentiful but it was still a very tasty salad.

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It is a swanky joint with swanky food, swanky dishes and a big selection of beer. One last picture of the last thing you’ll probably see,just before you leave.

010Ralston's DraftHouse on Urbanspoon


Dufours in Irvington

Irvington Historic District (Indianapolis, Ind...

Irvington Historic District (Indianapolis, Indiana) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pat and I normally plan our excursions well in advance. This time our decision to go to Irvington was totally spontaneous. The reason I’m putting this in is we have a friend,Jim, who lives in Irvington and works out of his home. Whenever we have lunch in that vicinity we call him and he joins us, This time, since this decision was spur of the moment and I didn’t have my phone with me, and since Pat didn’t have his number-we could not call. So now on to the food.

They have a trendy chic menu of sandwiches,salads and home-made soups. Featuring ham, turkey, different cheeses and sprouts. They also have roast beef which I avoided, thinking it was pre- sliced deli meat. I found out later it might be roasted in-house. Now that is a cow of a different color. Their SOD was creamy chicken and mushroom. We each had a cup and it was wonderful. Thick with chicken and mushrooms in a delicious real heavy cream sauce. The best I have had in quite a while.

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Pat had a combo with the aforementioned soup and half a grilled cheese. The sandwich was pretty standard. Thick toast, cheese and tomato. Pretty basic. I on the other hand ordered the most pedestrian sandwich on the menu; a sloppy Joe. What can I say, I’m a Hoosier. I can’t pass up sloppy Joe or meat loaf. The sandwich was good, but it is what it is. Ground beef browned up with peppers and onions with a sweet tomato sauce. You see a sloppy Joe sandwich is like beer. They are all good;just some are better than others.

They don’t serve chips with their sandwiches they serve something they call veggie straws. These are square little tubes in pale green,light red and beige. They don’t have a distinctive flavor. My guess is they are an extruded potato product with vegetable color. Whatever they are they are different and definitely cute. Make paste of cheese or a compound butter and you could make a funky edible log cabin. Oh,one more thing they offer pastries and locally made chocolates. They have a display case up front. I not sure why I didn’t take any pictures. At least of the chocolates. They are turtles and hearts approximately 1-1/2 – 2 inches in diameter. They are made off premise and brought in and painted. That’s right painted in pastel colors. They look like little enameled jewels. Next time I go I am both  taking pictures and biting the heads off a few turtles.

003005Dufours in Irvington on Urbanspoon


Sushi Bar Broad Ripple ( Revisit )

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Pat,Fran and I haven’t gone back yet. However my first-born son,Adam went there with me for his birthday. The food was just as good as the first time. Adam is not too adventurous. He pretty much sticks with Terriyaki and California rolls. For $15.95 he got a platter of chicken strips on a bed of slivered onion, dressed with a copious amount of Terriyaki sauce. The chicken was accompanied by a cup of rice, and both soup and salad. He also ordered a Cali roll for about 4 bucks. I stuck with the more “traditional” Sushi Bar Special # 3. That is a Cali roll,a Tuna roll and 10 pieces Nigiri ( chef’s choice ) plus soup and salad, for $25.95. The soup was as tasty as before and the salad was a bowl of plain iceberg lettuce with a house dressing that tasted a lot like a thin 1000 Island dressing,without the relish. Tossed in with the lettuce was a super thin slice of carrot and 2 equally thin slices of cucumber. I will say this. The cukes tasted like cukes. An oddity here in the winter. Regardless how tasty the soup and adequate the salad next time I am going ala carte. I had trouble cleaning my plate.

Adam really liked his chicken  and rice and roll. He too had a tough time finishing everything. As for my dinner it left me fat and sassy and smiling. The rolls were good; as to be expected and the nigiri was nice as well. The rice portion was smaller than I am accustomed to and didn’t have the same sweetly sour taste that some have. I received  5 types of fish. The salmon and tuna I recognized the rest were white and I can only guess as to their identity. One had a dab of fish roe on it, a cool touch. That is the fun about eating at a sushi bar. The rolls with the differing flavors and textures. The sashimi or nigiri with the clean taste of the fish. Altered only by the salty heat of the wasabi and soy. And the whole thing balanced by the hot astrigency of the hot sake. And when you throw in some sticky rice you can’t help but have a party in your belly.

Sushi Bar on Urbanspoon


Pure Food Eatery ( Revisit )

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Pat and his wife, Fran went to Pure Food over the weekend. There he had a Caprese Panini sandwich;and it so impressed him he “craved” more. Their Caprese is fresh mozzarella; roasted red pepper, arugula and balsamic vinaigrette all on cibatta. Now seriously. What is there not to like ? He did add andouille sausage. Which sounded like a great addition. I didn’t taste the sandwich but I did try a piece of sausage. And I was not real  thrilled;neither was Pat. It had little flavor and I thought the texture was a little too coarse. His side choice was green beans and potatoes. He thought it was good, not great ,but good. I went against my first thought and ordered a Roast Beef cibatta. Sliced beef,arugula,red onion and the ever popular lemon basil aioli. Well I hate to say it,but it was a wee bit disappointing. It was well made and it held a copious amount of beef. The trouble was it was Deli style roast beef. Overall it was flat. Average meat, no texture, no crunch, no zest. Maybe thicker onion. Maybe pickle the onions and maybe change the mayo to some sort of mustard. That’s my opinion; something everyone has. I really like this joint. One average taste experience doesn’t make for a bad “review ” Oh I nearly forgot my side. I tried their SOD; creamy potato and leek. And it was top notch.I enjoyed it very much. As for the pictures; again I screwed up. We started eating and then I remembered to take the pictures. Pretty much par;don’t you think?Pure Eatery on Urbanspoon


The Illinois Street Food Emporium Bakery & Deli

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What a big name for a rather small place. Pat and I have been meaning to try this place for a while, don’t know why we haven’t until now. They have a pretty good format. They offer a wide variety of deli and sub sandwiches; grilled or cold. Pair that up with house made soups and chili and a plethora of different salads you have a joint with lunch written all over it. If you take that marriage and add a case displaying the most decadent looking cakes and pastries this side of Bavaria you have a brand. They even have a merchandise freezer offering a selection of their products you can take home. Well now that my cheer leader routine is over let’s talk about their food.

They have a category called grilled sandwiches that are all $9.40 and come with choice of soup,salad,chili or mac & cheese. I got a Havarti Delight. Havarti cheese,avocado,sprouts and tomato on wheat bread. It was a nicely prepared and tasty sandwich. Creamy cheese, double buttery from the avocado and the buttered toast with just the right touch of acidity from the  ‘mater. Had I to do it over again I would have added bacon. Bacon is always a nice addition. I did have a bowl of chili. I had to have some meat or else my stomach would have thought I was angry with it. The chili was pretty good better than most; not as good as some. Pat had his usual default lunch; grilled cheese. It had an interesting choice of cheeses. Provolone,jack and Colby on what appeared to be sourdough bread. It was satisfactory. However Pat got a little miffed when he learned ,after the fact, he should have been offered bread choice and an option to add 2 veggies from a list of 4 . I guess he should have read the menu board. He opted for salad with oil and vinegar. Has the manufacture of oil and vinegar cruets been suspended? Once again the oil and vinegar was served in portion cups. OK end of rant. After lunch Pat had a chocolate glazed donut. I had a bite and it was really good. Trouble is it cost $1.67. As Patrick so sagely pointed out it was no better than Longs and for that price he could have gotten 3 donuts. I think you better leave your sweet tooth at home when you stop here for lunch.Illinois Street Food Emporium on Urbanspoon


Brugge…Ponte…Bridge…Puente…

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By any other name it is still a brewery or a Brasserie if you will. The Brugge Brasserie has been in Broad Ripple for a few years and has been doing quite well. So well in fact they are building a new joint just Northwest of Michigan and College. As I understand, it will house all the brewing equipment. So kudos to the small business owner. I have heard good reports about the place but honestly, I have never felt compelled to go there, until now. Pat and I had lunch there Friday before Christmas. As to why it took me this long to finish this post only the ghosts of Christmas past know. Well, in keeping with the old adage better late than never, here goes.

The place is really swanky. A “hip” interior and copper sheathed tables accented with decent artwork on the walls you have an attractive and comfy place to eat. Shucks the tables look like disproportioned  picnic tables; what with the oversized hole in the center to accommodate their signature pomme frites in their paper cones. In case you just came out of a 30 year coma pomme frites are what we colonials call fried taters, or french fries. 

Pat ordered  waterzooi,or fish stew. I decided on one of their mitraillettes. Mitraillettes are a French version of a hoagie or a grinder. My particular “gun” was a meatball and peppers, braised in beer and tomato sauce.  All their “sandwiches” come with fries,and 2 sauces (for the fries).  Lordy the thing was Huge and COVERED with pomme frites.  So much so I nearly went into carb overload just eating my way to the meat.  But when I finally made it ;it was really, really good.  Plump succulent meat balls of beef and veal smothered in a sweet tomato sauce. The fact that they added fennel seed to their mixture didn’t hurt things;since I’m a freak for anything with even a hint of licorice.  As for Pat’s stew it was spot on !  All you must do is imagine a large bowl of potato, cod and mussels  ala nage  in a luscious “soup” of fish stock,white wine,butter and cream. And yes. It is as decadent and tasty as you can imagine. Pat did allow me to taste the soup. He also was generous in sharing his mussels. So I agree with Pat that it was delicious and worth the $14.00 price. As was my $11 hoagie. On the beer tip they offer a flight of 3 for 7 bucks. Since they are in the process of growing their business, they,at this time , didn’t offer all their own brews. However they had a great guest brewery. Victory out of  St. Louis. So whether you come for the food and stay for the beer;or vice versa I don’t think you can go wrong with The Brewery.Brugge Brasserie on Urbanspoon


Putting on the Ritz…At the New Aristocrat Pub

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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.Aristocrat Pub & Restaurant on Urbanspoon


Way South of Chicago

I’m sure most foodies in Indy have heard of  South of Chicago in Fountain Square. That’s the place that serves Chicago style pizza and Italian beef sandwiches;sandwiches so authentic you can smell the lake with every bite. Well I don’t know about the lake part but ,yes Ma, the beef IS as good as everyone says it is. Pat has been there numerous times,but I had to wait until I had bone fide functional teeth before I could give it a try. Naturally we both had beef sandwiches with cheese. I took mine with hot peppers Pat without. The sandwich is huge. It probably weighs close to 2 pounds. It is most definitely not a hand-held sandwich. At least not until you eat some of the meat out first. The au jus is also the real thing,juice from the roasting meat;not just some beef base and water. That leads us to the proper way to order. You can get it wet; that’s when the bun is lightly wetted with the jus or dipped; the whole thing is submerged in the au jus. I think there is a third option;but I can’t remember what it is. Nor can I recall what else they serve beside the beef or a beef and sausage combo. Oh and pizza. What sort of  Chicago style joint would it be without pizza. The pizza might be great but on this day cow was king. A big Gonnella hoagie roll stuffed with tender,slow roasted beef just dripping with beefy goodness. And how much does such a tasty treat cost;you ask. Why 8 bucks. That’s right eight dollars. And it comes with a pack of chips,and it is big enough for two cheap people to share. It is times like this that makes you proud to be an America.South of Chicago Pizza & Beef on Urbanspoon