The last three weeks we have eaten more carbs than we probably should so we decided to try this Vietnamese Restaurant a friend had told us about. It was a good move. They offer typical dishes but their execution is unique.
All of their $6.99 lunch specials come with soup and a spring roll.
The soup and roll were excellent. The broth was rich and comforting and the roll was crisp and bright. In my experience it usually gets a peanut sauce but with this one I got a sweet chile sauce.
I was interested in noodles so I opted for stir fry pork with rice noodles.
This was a very simple and straightforward dish. It didn’t have any discernible sauce. It was simply fried pork loaded with rice noodles spiked with a bit of carrot and cilantro. I really enjoyed it and I would eat it again.
They have a nice sized menu with great prices. Most of their prices are in the $7 to $10 so it is economical. Factor in the portion size and you have a bargain. Also they have salt and pepper shakers on the table. You have to ask for soy.
This place is in a strip mall next to 3 in 1 Restaurant we reviewed some weeks back. At that time we put it on our list. I did my due diligence in research, considering Pat’s issues with onion. I told him it was doable. Fortunately he agreed. Let’s have a round of applause for the self-proclaimed “…plain kinda’ guy.” stepping out of his comfort zone and trying something different.
The space is a good size, clean and well-appointed with comfortable and attractive furnishings. If you came to be entertained by the decor or “ambience” then you came to the wrong joint.
Jiallo’s is about food, in an attractive setting, serviced in a gracious manner. Our server was just that; gracious. I neglected to ask her name but when Pat told her about his onion issue she made repeated trips to the kitchen to get all the details. She was very knowledgeable about the menu and more than happy to answer our questions.
They offer 2 different types of rice with their lunch specials. White rice or red beans and rice. The white rice is a small-grained African rice cooked down. Nothing fancy just a nice rice bed. The red beans and rice is a Jasmine rice cooked in red beans liquor with thyme, rosemary, red beans and onion added. So Pat opted for the Jerk Chicken with white rice and plaintains for $8.95.
I wanted to keep it simple so I ordered the Curry Chicken with red bean rice and plantains for $8.95.
Now this dish was crazy. If you see a little “ghost” in the pic that is the steam coming off the dish. I could see it in the view finder. In my dish they used legs. They “Frenched” the bones of the drumsticks. That means they cut away anything on the leg, below the knob of meat. Then they chopped off the bulbous end of the drum sick; in order to expose any marrow to the cooking liquid. In this case a curry sauce. The sauce was not a spectacular curry sauce it was a good curry sauce. Both sweet and slightly spicy with a wondrous aroma. The chicken appeared to have been braised in the sauce,and they were perfectly cooked. Fall off the bone tender with a great flavor. Marry that with the red rice and beans and the sweet plantains and you have a winner. Every time.
On Urban spoon this particular joint has over 200 check ins with a 90% like. The only bad comments has been about the “slowness”. I noticed that on the reviews and our Super Server said the same thing. She is the only server that works there. Lunch and dinner. So…for what it is worth. Folks take a look around any joint you enter. If it is busy and the wait staff seems light. Reevaluate.
Well all I can add is this joint has some good food. I have to go back. They have some stuff I haven’t eaten yet.
Everyone hopes to find a little “hole in the wall ” place where the food is good while the structure is ho-hum. Well,this could be one of them.
The building is an odd little A-frame type structure with white stucco walls and rust colored tile roof that gives it a distinct Southwestern air. Common in Arizona but distinctive in Indy. Sitting just east of the State Fair Grounds makes it a familiar sight to quite a few people. It has housed several different “restaurants” over the years. The latest being “Great Western”; or some kind of Western. Pat and I reviewed it last year. The closing of that unfortunate joint was definitely an improvement for the dining community of Indianapolis.
The new operator,Julia, is a retired postal worker and self-taught cook. She is a warm and charming woman who made us both feel at home. She definitely has skill in the kitchen and a tremendous passion for cooking and the history of food that shows in her meals. Whether that successfully translates into a viable business, with the fickle and often cranky public remains to be seen.
She has a very nice website. It does not show the daily specials;for that you have to look on Facebook. Although they don’t always show up in a timely fashion. Or you can always roll in and check out the chalkboard.
As you can see the prices are reasonable. June 2 started Chowdown Midtown. That is a promotion for restaurants that aren’t downtown. Joints that elect to participate offer 3 course meals at a special price. Julia’s special was 2 dinners, 2 drinks, and 2 desserts for $25, so you save a couple of bucks. It was Pat’s turn to buy and he had to be cajoled a wee bit. The deciding factor was when he discovered he could get meatloaf without onion.
As you can see I decided on roast chicken with greens and mac and cheese. Since Pat got cornbread I got a homemade roll, that way we could try both. Of course the heathen cut the roll before I could take the picture.
Normally I prefer dark meat but I opted for white meat. All the better to “evaluate” you see. The chicken was very nicely done. Moist, tender and an excellent flavor. Definitely worth repeating. The mac & cheese was very creamy and well seasoned. It may not be the best I have had but it is up there. The greens were of the Collard variety. Unless they are cooked real long they have a tendency to be a wee bit bitter. However that effects the texture. These had a great texture. I cook my greens really long. I am more interested in the complexity of pot liquor and the mellow flavor of the greens. No right or wrong. Just different. The roll was really nice. It’s a shame they don’t have a warming drawer to store them in. A hot roll and unsalted butter. That would rock.
Now for dessert. Julia makes her own custard for the banana pudding. Well, sorry Mr. Cosby but it sure beats Jello pudding. Oh before I forget. I had a glass of their dirty tea. It is ice tea with a secret ingredient. At first taste it had a hint of citrus similar to an Arnold Palmer, but more subtle. I think I know the secret. I’ll never tell. But it is good. Good enough to send you to the moon. Am I right Julia?
One thing that isn’t a secret. That’s the fact that this is nice little joint with good food. A joint that makes you feel welcome.