eating indie in indy

Posts tagged “fish and chips

Mayfair Taproom 2032 E 10th Street.

For many years this section of 10th street was home to several bars. Small one room bars of varying sophistication and reputation. One of the oldest was the Mayfair Tavern. It was characterized by the upside down sign. It had a very interesting history. This article from NUVO does a good job articulating that history and explaining the origins of the New Mayfair Taproom.

https://www.nuvo.net/beerbuzz/beer-buzz-mayfair-taproom-coming-soon/article_21e19fb0-9e88-11e8-b5aa-3b40a1930233.html

I would add charming to that description. I know the word charming and tavern don’t always go together but those lace curtains in the window just seem so damn charming. The building is old and the restoration/remodel was extensive and very well done.

The menu is quite small but it suits the space. To some degree it follows the BRBP in that it has a few Vegan options. I was intrigued by the Shepherds Pie. In was unique in two ways, The mashed potatoes were on the bottom and on top was arugula and HP sauce.

I must admit that my first impression when presented with my lunch was that it was the wrong dish. I had expected a few stems as garnish but I got a whole salad. I enjoyed my pie very much I just am not sure what the arugula brought to it. The potatoes were delicious and the seasoned ground lamb was on point as well. I like arugula. It is in the same family as mustard greens and its slight peppery flavor is always welcome to me. That taste did indeed bring another layer to the dish as did the HP sauce. I also enjoyed the crispness of the raw green. I have to go back and eat it again. I just can’t decide if the greens are best suited on top or as a side minimally dressed. Of course it is not my call and I am over analyzing. That is what I do. I just can’t help it. This is a great new place and I think the old owners of Mayfair Tavern would approve. They do not have a website but you can view their menu on their Facebook.

https://www.facebook.com/mayfairtaproom/menu/

 


Upland Brewing College Ave. 4842 N. College Ave.

Upland is a successful brewery from Bloomington. In the early days of the blog we visited it. About 10 years ago they opened up a tasting room on College. It was a place where you could have a few beers and maybe get a growler refilled. I was only there once or twice because they never seemed open when I wanted to go. A couple of years ago Open Society opened a large space next to Upland’s. When they closed Upland moved in and now they have a real restaurant/bar at a very convenient location.

When I go out to eat I try to get stuff I don’t like to make at home. Either it requires too much time or the ingredients are hard for me to get. On this day I opted for their grilled cheese.

Toasted Sour Dough Bread, Smoking Goose Ham,
Pimento Cheese, Peppadew Peppers

I love each and every one of those ingredients.

It was a messy sandwich but what should you expect? The pimento cheese was very good and the ham had been browned a bit on a flat top so it had a nice crispness. The bread was well toasted and it even had marks that it been but on a char grill. I like that because it brings another layer of flavor. The Peppadews seemed to have gotten lost but it was still a good sandwich. They offer it with fries or chips from the Broad Ripple Chip Co. I got chips. They were okay nothing extraordinary.

We knew the beer was good and now we know that their food on College is on a par as the food they serve in Bloomington and that after all is the Mothership.


Billy O’Neal’s Irish Pub 7445 W. 10th. Street

As tempted as I was by Pat’s Fish I decided on a burger. As matter of fact I ordered a double. Word of warning. Stay with a single, the double is a lot of food. They cook their burgers on a flat top so the patties are smashed and crisp; reminiscent of those greasy burgers served at drug store lunch counters.

Cheese comes with the burger but the bacon is $.99. It was an awfully good burger and the slaw was excellent as well. Creamy and sweet. I manage to eat all the meat but I didn’t eat all the bread. I was so full I couldn’t even drink a beer afterwards. I may make a point of coming back. If I do it will be to try the fish and chips.

Although that burger sure looks good. If another one of their smashed burgers is in my future it will be a single.
Billy O'Neal's Pub & Eatery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Hoosier Brewing 155 Holiday Place Franklin Indiana

We just love new Breweries. We especially love the ones open for lunch. Quite a few don’t open until 4:00 PM. This particular one has been opened for a while but I didn’t discover it until recently. It is quite the drive; 27 miles from me and 20 miles from Pat’s. Even with a map we still got lost.

Now what would be a trip to a new brewery without a flight of beers.

We opted for the flight of 8 for $10. I think only 6 of the beers offered are brewed at Hoosiers, the remaining two were guests. I was not sure which beer was which I just drank ’em. I think they may want to find a way to name the brews for the patrons without relying on the memory of the server. At least they may want to have a beer list.

They have a nice sized menu; featuring the usual stuff and a few “surprises”.

https://www.facebook.com/HoosierBrewhouse/menu/

I was intrigued by cod for the fish and chips and the  tenderloin. Both are smoked then battered and fried for service. Pat wasn’t too sure about cold smoked cod so he opted for a tenderloin sandwich for $9.99.

In addition to a sandwich they a General Tso’s Tenderloin in a bowl. That would be a bowl of rice topped with Red Flyer battered tenderloin bites with Tso sauce and green onion. Sounded good and it was.

I enjoyed the slight smokiness of the meat and the batter was a pleasant alternative to a more conventional breading. Their Tso sauce tasted a lot like Mae Ploy; a sweet Thai chile sauce. That was fine I like Mae Ploy. I usually keep a bottle on hand at home. I would have liked some sauce between the rice and meat as well as on top; or at least some soy available. Over all a pretty good lunch for $8.49.

So these guys brew some pretty good beer. A nice stout? As well as one with a coconut flavor to it. They seem to have a nice balance of hop and malt in their selections. As for the food they offer a smoked ribeye steak dinner for $19.99 in addition to a respectable lunch menu. That may be the reason for a return trip.

Hoosier Brewing Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Lord Ashley’s Pub 11703 Pendleton Pike

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Once upon a time there was 2 Lord Ashley’s. One on East Washington and one near Oaklandon. The one on Washington is no more. This location is going strong with a change of ownership 12 years ago. It is a kid friendly joint with both a full menu and a full bar.

When we can we like to start off with come fried mushrooms. They serve a generous portion for $7.99.

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Pat and I both agreed that; while good they didn’t compare with Checkered Flags. Unfortunately all subsequent fried mushrooms will be compared with the Checkered Flag.

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Usually I decide quickly on what I want to eat. Not yesterday. Our server bailed me out by suggesting a breaded pork loin.

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It was huge. It was also confusing. I have never seen one pounded out so thin. My first impression was it was a pre-breaded item. However it was full muscle meat and invariably pre breaded “fritters” are chopped and formed. Normally I would have preferred a thicker slice of meat but the more I ate the more I enjoyed it. I can see myself ordering it again. However I think I would take the owner up on his offer of a second bun. I took the loin out of the bun and cut it in half and ate the first half sans bread.

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They make their own chips and they do a good job with them. Too often “home-made” chips are either burnt or under done. I also enjoyed the added kale garnish, that is old school.

It is so far away I can’t see going there very often. I can see myself stopping in when I am in the area or even making it a destination for a Springtime lunch. They are such nice people and they give you a good product at a good price.

Lord Ashley's Pub Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


36 Degrees 36 E. Washington Street

Well another new joint opened up Downtown. The spot the owners picked has been a problematic one for previous tenants as it has seen 4 different restaurants open and close in the last 6 years. That is a high number even in the high mortality world of food and beverage. The space is very narrow, and the kitchen is downstairs, which can lead to some interesting situations.

They don’t offer draft beer; which is odd for this area; and their selections are not very spectacular. They had 3 different cocktail specials and for a food special they offered a club sandwich for $6 discounted from $7.50. I don’t usually eat clubs because they can be difficult to fit into your mouth. Unless you dis-assemble them,which can be fun.

 

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There wasn’t anything exceptional about the sandwich. It was well-built and included both ham and turkey with the bacon. Some places like to omit the turkey and add a slice of American cheese,which I don’t particularly like. The fries were exceptional tasty. They were your standard Sysco straight cut fries but they were fried and seasoned well.

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On Mondays they discount their menu to 5 bucks. Everything but steaks and an appetizer combo. Also on Tuesday they feature 25 cent tacos. A true taco Tuesday. The place is solid. No flash, no bang, no hook. In the long run that shouldn’t bother them. It is a tough gig and I wish them nothing but the best.

36 Degrees Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Blind Owl Brewery 5014 E. 62 nd Street

Well we have a new brewery in town. I think that brings the number to an even 2 dozen. Some say this influx will glut the market; I say; is it possible to have too much beer?.

Last week after lunch at Black Diamond we stopped there for beer.

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The place is a looker. Expansive with high ceilings,exposed brick and interior garage type doors to separate the different dining spaces. They also have a beautiful outdoor seating area,complete with bocce ball court, herb gardens and even bee hives for their brewery.

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The menu they are currently using is a pared down version of their opening menu. As I was told the kitchen had trouble keeping up with the huge rush of the hungry and thirsty. So they trimmed the menu down with plans on adding more options as the crew became more proficient.

Their house soup is Tomato soup with bacon and Creme Fraiche. A cup is $3.99 That is how I decided on starting my lunch.

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The soup was really good. A nice bright tomato presence with a hint of herbs and slight creaminess. The addition of bacon is always good and the slightly tart creme balanced it out nicely.

As for the entre the only thing I was sure of ,was that I wanted to try their onion rings. For that reason I ordered a grilled chicken sandwich. Normally I don’t order chicken breast out. The boneless,skinless breast can be a pretty boring piece of meat. What sold me on the Coop sandwich was that they added Gouda cheese and apple slices to the chicken and served it on a Brioche bun.The resultant sandwich was really good. The basic sandwich was $10.99 and for onion rings you pay an extra dollar. The rings were excellent. The batter they make is great and the result is crisp and tasty.

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Pat’s pizza was about $12, and you might notice that they use a cheese blend for the pies. Personally not a big fan of cheddar on pizza. I do agree with is assessment of Lisa. She was a perky delight.

The whole joint is just what you expect from a Lux restaurant. A well-trained staff and nicely crafted food. Oh and the beer is pretty great too.

Click to add a blog post for Blind Owl Brewery on Zomato


Brockway Pub

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Although a newer construction it tries to offer an air of an old-time public house. For the most part it worked well,giving a cozy feel to the place. Pat discovered it while playing with the inter net. It is located,with shops, in a new building in Carmel surrounded by several other new buildings.and it appears as if there are apartments on the upper floors as well. The building also offers a Yat’s and a Stacked Pickle,so you can have some variety.

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The lunch menu is a nice size, offering a good choice of appetizers, sandwiches and plates. They make their own fried mozzarella appetizer. They slice a fresh loaf into wheels, bread them and then deep fry them. The owner also has a brewery called Danny Boy. Now that is one that neither of has ever heard of. They offer 4 Danny Boy beers and you can get a flight of 3 for $6.75.

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They serve the flight in half pint glasses. Twenty four ounces of beer. That is a proper sampling. The beers were your typical suspects. A Witte, light with a bit of citrus and with Danny Boy a touch of ginger. A heavier Dark IPA, and a hoppier and lighter version. The beers were first-rate. I think the Witte was my favorite. As for the cheese, ho-hum. I give them props for doing it themselves but the result was bland and overcooked. I wonder if they prepared them in advance and froze them. Frying a frozen hunk of cheese that size could be a problem. The sauce provided was a type of marinara, I guess, served chilled. Again I think the idea was good but the execution was a bit off.

On their menu they mention their award-winning Fish and Chips. A 3 piece plate for $13 and a 2 piece one for $10.50. Well we all know Pat’s feelings about fried fish.

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The batter was tasty,just too thick. The batter shell was an easy quarter-inch thick. The danger with that is fish can overcook. I thought the fries were done well.

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This is the batter Pat removed from one of the pieces of fish. Too much?

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I was more moved by the Shepherd’s Pie. A lamb ragout topped with mashed potatoes and mozzarella cheese. Now how can you resist a ragout? The mere sound of it promises pure food porn. Well another swing and while not a miss not a hit. Let’s call it a foul ball.

The meat part was okay, a bit small but okay. The potatoes were good as well and spread pretty thick and the cheese was lavish as well. I just think the ragout should be the standout,with the potatoes and cheese acting as accompaniments. So decent and priced pretty well at $8.75 just not a WOW dish.

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I bought a pint of Danny Boy Keg Killer for $4. They use Nitrogen as a driver and golly it was good. Nitrogen gives a micro foam that imparts a delicious creaminess to the brew. This Keg Killer is an exciting beer. It has notes similar to a Fat Tire and yet it isn’t merely a copy cat. It brought its own personality to the taste. So to me this beer took the lunch up a notch. I would most definitely go back. From what we sampled the food is good and just a wee bit away from being exceptional.

The Brockway Public House on Urbanspoon


Sister’s Place 215 Terrace Ave.

I am sure lots of folks were disappointed when this place closed several moths ago. Well now, after a change in ownership and extensive re-modeling they have re-opened.

I have eaten there pre-blog days and have never had a bad meal. I am happy to say that trend continues.

At the old place it was typical to order pie before ordering anything else. Pie was very popular and it was not uncommon for it to be sold out during lunch. We continued that tradition today.

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That is pecan pie. Pat wanted that as a palate cleanser. I was slow in taking the shot, as you can see. I was able to get a couple of bites and it was excellent. Buttery, rich and sweet. A great pie.

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It’s at this point I would post a shot of Pat’s lunch. Well I was late once again. It has been awhile since I’ve done this. I took a shot anyway.

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I enjoy good liver and onions and I invariably order them when ever I see it on a menu. Knowing that more than likely that I will probably be disappointed. The liver is over cooked and the onions under cooked.

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Yeah I did it again. The plate looked a lot better when it first came out. The plate lunch came with potato choice and VOD and a roll with butter. They don’t have bakers until the evening, so my choices were instant mashed with mix brown gravy or french fries. The veggie was California Blend. That misnamed mix of broccoli, cauliflower and carrot that you can always find in your grocers freezer case.

My taters and gravy were adequate. Well prepared and tasty. The veggies were what you might expect, providing texture if not flavor. As for the liver and onions is was by far the best I have had in a restaurant in Indianapolis. Of course the list of joints around here that offer it is a short one. That doesn’t detract from the fact this liver was nicely done, as were the onions. They did the job they were supposed to do. A little sweet and a little crunch. The roll they offer was your everyday fluffy hunk of white bread. Good for sopping, one of my favorite things. They do provide real butter which is always a treat. All in all I would eat it again, instant potatoes,frozen veggies and all. After ordering I checked out the desert case, something Pat did upon entering.

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They offer more than pie as you can see. Any picture I took of the rest of the case didn’t work out. The glass reflected too much light. I did get a nice shot of the piece of Coconut Cream I ordered.

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This pie was really good. I am not even going to try to give any more description than that. They do not make any of the desserts in-house. I was told that they buy them from the Chicago Pie Company. When I googled it I came up with this http://www.hoosiermamapie.com/

If that’s the right place it must be destiny. The prices are excellent. Both plates were $8.95 and the pie was $3.00. So you can still get great food on Terrace Avenue, and it won’t break your budget.

Sisters' Place on Urbanspoon


The Willard Restaurant – 99 N. Main St. Franklin Indiana

 

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Thursday was the first day of spring. Of course the silly Indiana weather wasn’t co-operating, there was still a little arctic in the wind. However the sun was out and the sky was blue so we decided on a road trip. Franklin is a small town south of Indianapolis. I have been through there a few times but never really looked around too much. So I was in for surprise. It is really a lovely town, full of old houses and friendly people. A down right charming place of Victorian architecture and mom & pop businesses. It’s also home to Franklin College. Maybe I’ve seen too many Andy Griffin episodes,but I think I could really enjoy living here.

Well back to Willard’s. This joint has quite the history. It was a hotel at one time. I am including a link to their website so you can peruse the history as well as the menu. Pat and Fran went there a few weeks ago and Pat was impressed with their fish sandwich. He was also seduced by the pizza that he observed going by his table. That’s why we went. Pat for the pizza and me for the fish.

As an appetizer we ordered a basket of breaded and fried pepper jack cheese cubes with Ranch dressing. They were really pretty tasty. Melted spicy cheese with a light breaded coating. What’s not to like. Of course we ate about 2/3 of the basket before we remembered to take a picture. It was indeed a healthy portion for $3.95.

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Like a lot of taverns they offer quite a bit of fried food. I had my mouth set on an oyster platter. But our server told me they didn’t bread the oysters in house . So I opted for the fish and fries. Two 4 oz. cod loins, fries and hush puppies for $6.95. The fish was very good. Since they used cod loin, by nature a dense and rather thick hunk of flesh the batter was necessarily thicker than that which you would find on a fillet. So the result was a tasty and tender fish and a coating that stayed crunchy, even though my fish cooled because we were busy conversing with a local couple next to us.  She used to work in Indy and he is a Franklin Firefighter. Small town friendly. Back to the food. The hush puppies were great. Standard IQF fare but it has been a while for me. They served 2 (two) pups. Why not three (3)? I’ve only found 2 places that offer hush puppies and they both give up two. They probably cost six or seven cents so I don’t get the rationing.

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Pat got his pizza, but sometimes anticipation is the best part of a meal.

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If you read Urbanspoon you will see that the only negative feedback for this joint is slow service. The afternoon we went their business was rather robust and I can see trying to get in and out quickly could be problematic. I think any flaw in service is a result of the layout of the place. The dining area is a bunch of small rooms around a central bar. The bar itself is somewhat of a bottle neck. The primary access way is only wide enough for one person to walk down when patrons are sitting at the bar. That in itself can be an issue while you’re trying to wait tables. Personally I don’t see that as a deal breaker. I think Willard is definitely worth the trip. You can even reserve one of the rooms for a kids pizza party. One was going on when we got there. So that’s something to keep in mind.

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willard 447Willard Restaurant on Urbanspoon
http://thewillard.com/

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