People that go to bars realize they can be placed into 2 basic categories. Bars that make you nervous. Those bars you never even think of eating at. So you finish your drink. leave and probably never return. The second category is bars that make you feel more relaxed. Places you wouldn’t mind having a second beverage or even order a nosh.
Well I think G.G’s falls into the second category. We stopped there for a couple of beers last week and liked the whole scene. The menu has your basic bar fry food and it also has a good selection of not so basic pub grub.
I really had my eye set on the Ribeye steak. But at the last-minute I thought it might be too much food for lunch. As it turned out what I did eat was just as much.
One of the specials was a slice of New York pizza for $1.99. We decided to have that as an appetizer. They make their own crust and sauce so I wanted to try it anyway.
This is one half of the slice. My guess is it was 1/4 of a 14 inch pie. I think they only offer thin crust. The crust was pretty good, it had a nice flavor and decent mouth feel. I would have liked it a bit crisper though. As for the sauce it too had a pretty good flavor it just needed a little more pizzazz. The addition of salt would be a good start,in my opinion.
As for Pat he had planned on ordering the filet. But the allure of the big pig was too much for him.
They offered 3 lunch specials one of which was chili with grilled cheese sandwich for $ 5.95. Now that is as Hoosier as you can get.
The sandwich was what you would imagine. Buttered Texas toast and American cheese. Something I would hardly ever order out but it was a cold day and I wanted chili. What is it about grilled cheese sandwiches and soup that sound so compelling?
As for the chili it was a very good example of Indiana style chili, nothing fancy just tasty and filling. Chili is one of the many cooking things that intrigue me. All the different ways people prepare it fascinates me.
This chili was mostly ground beef with the main seasoning being chile powder. A mix of chile peppers and cumin. It had kidney beans and diced green pepper, definitely a Hoosier and “near South” thing. But the one thing that brought back the memories was the sweetness and spiciness of the soup. A job well done.
So once again we introduce to you a bar. A bar that has some very good food, very good prices and a very good bar tender/server. I believe her name is Nicole. Remember its name. G.G’s Bar & Grill.
Pat and I had lunch here in July 2013. We heard sometime back that the joint had changed owners and quite a few changes were made. I also heard that they were going to start corning their own brisket. Before they bought raw corned beef and cooked it off in-house. I haven’t heard any more about it so we decided to go today. As I understand it the fellow that originally opened the Living Room Lounge is the new owner. At the Lounge he perfected a technique to cook a burger on a griddle that makes it crispy on the outside yet tender and moist on the inside. Pat remember that and he was jonesin’ for a burger.
The last time we were here the place had a definite industrial vibe, concrete floors the whole bit. Now they have a wood floor. They also had mushrooms. The menu offered fresh breaded mushrooms both times. The last time they were out, not this time.
Now these suckers were hot, fresh and delicious. An excellent appetizer.
They had all the lunch specials typed out in the caddie on each table so you knew as soon as you sat down what the specials were. I opted for the Mahi burger. I really didn’t know what to expect. Our server wasn’t sure how to describe it. She did know they came in frozen and were good. As it turned out it was a round cutout of a fillet. It wasn’t chopped as you might expect from a sandwich called a burger. However it was a solid piece of fish and it was really pretty good. Of course this “burger” begs the question. What do they do with the rest of the fish? Don’t know. I liked this one and I really liked the sweet potato waffle fries it came with.
The special had cheese choice so I went with swiss. I probably should have gone with no cheese. The swiss was too mild to bring much to the table.
So Pat and I both think this new joint is an improvement over the old one. Better looking, interesting specials and a much friendlier atmosphere.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Now this place has been open since 2003. I first noticed it 1 year ago, and just now we visit. I guess we wanted to wait until they got all the opening bugs worked out. Well if they have any bugs in the beginning I don’t know. They certainly have a slick operation now.
I tried to take a shot of the exterior, however I couldn’t get the whole view in without stepping into the street. Since my momma always told me not to play in traffic this is the best I could get.
The place isn’t real big but it is colorful
You order from a long counter and they call you when it’s ready and you pay at the end. The counter has stools, so I guess it also serves as overflow seating. They have a few laminated menus lying around but the focal points is the huge menu chalkboard on the wall behind.
They offered a bialy as an option on the menu, so naturally I had to inquire if it was the real deal. Well the young lady behind the counter was informed enough to satisfy me that it was indeed the real thing. It is refreshing to find someone who really knows what is going on in the joint they work. So many restaurant workers are McDrones that don’t have a clue. But the people we interacted with had their stuff together.
The young lady told us that the bialy comes from Cincinnati, and the bagels come from Bagel Fair in Nora. Those folks have been making bagels in this town for more than 30 years. They have, in my estimation the best bagels in Marion County, if not the state.
Pat was happy that they had so many onion-less options. He decided on The Natty Dread.
Now that is Bacon, Colby and smoked Cheddar cheeses, lettuce,tomato and sprouts on a bialy. Since this particular bread had onion in it he subbed a whole wheat bagel. This whole thing was only $ 6.00.
When it was my turn I knew exactly what I wanted. A Tape Your Ankles, subbing bialy for an onion bagel. This tasty bite consists of ham,pepperoni, salami, provolone, red onion, banana peppers and Italian dressing. And it was only $6.95. I also ordered a cup of Santa Fe chili for $3.50.
The soup is house made. Just not in this house. I was told they buy it from, I thought she said Bagel Fair, but I am not positive. In either event it was pretty good. It tasted like a lot of chili I have had in Indiana. I don’t have any idea why it was dubbed Santa Fe. Maybe it was because of the addition of black beans and corn. Some folks think adding black beans and corn into a dish turns into a Southwest offering. Well, not anymore than adding soy sauce makes a dish Oriental. But as I said it was pretty good.
As for my sandwich it was very tasty. I could taste the salami and pepperoni as distinct and separate meats. The ham sort of blended into the background, but I think were it not there it would be missed. the cheese delivers a nice unctuosness and the peppers do what pickled peppers always do. They bring a hint of both vinegar and heat. I found it to be a great bite and a great value. So. I am sure Pat and I are one of the last to learn about this place but just in case we aren’t you should check this joint out. Great bagels,creative combinations and nice folks working there.
Oh one last thing. I don’t make a habit of taking pictures of bathrooms but I made an exception here. They offer one facility and all the walls are covered in old record albums, that’s right old school vinyl. So here you go.
Oh one last thing. This might be a clue to the deliciousness of their bagel creations, After they build them whey foil wrap them and then steam the whole damn thing. Crazy huh? Crazy good.
Okay. This joint hit Indy this summer. It’s a home-grown “chain”. Which means they started in Lafayette Indiana, expanded to West Lafayette and eventually opened another joint in Indy. They managed to secure a spot at the corner of Boardwalk and Park Place. That is to say they found a very nice location and did it proud.
The place is large and nicely appointed. You can tell they have a good idea as to how to run a business. From what I could read on the reviews the place was not received very well. Pat and Fran went there at opening and had mixed thoughts about food and prices. They have a nice presence on the Net however there are no prices listed. I find that somewhat disconcerting. What I found was a fine little pub with some decent food and competitive prices.
We ordered the goat cheese fritter appetizer. Little croquettes of breaded goat cheese on a bed of mixed greens with a raspberry vinaigrette. Actually it was not too bad. The slightly sour cheese, bitter greens and a sweet raspberry dressing made for a tasty bite. Cost: $ 8.45.
Our server, Holleh did an excellent job at service. She was on top of Pat’s onion aversion. She told him that the mashed potatoes had onion in them. Imagine that. He ordered a half order of corn beef and cabbage subbing house chips for the mashed potatoes. Their chips are thick slices of fried potato.
This is my lunch. It is a new addition to the menu. They call it a Fisherman’s Pie. A take off on a Shepherd’s Pie. It was very interesting. It came out in an 8 or 10 ounce crock. A healthy portion for $7.45. It was a blend of salmon, white fish, shrimp and veggies in a cream sauce. Covered with mashed potatoes and cheese. Well. Your first taste, naturally was tater and cheese. Then you hit the cream sauce. Tasty, but overwhelming. There was no texture in the dish. The salmon was like the white fish. Which was like the shrimp. Or the vegetables. The flavor was all about the sauce. . I thought it was tasty I just didn’t taste the fish. I probably would not get it again, the way it was prepared. The soda bread rocked.
Now this joint is noted for its Whisky, Whiskey flights. As well as their Guinness pours.
Now this is really difficult to read. That is my fault. I still have not learned the proper way to use my scanning wand. Sorry about that. Any one with suggestions; let me know.
I opted for the Lesser Know Great Flight. It had single malt, blended and pot still. All the basic whiskey ( whisky) groups. I though it was great. And a bargain at $14.
I know Shelly. I should have tried the Single Malt Scotch Flight; but I was confused. They were playing the Rover Boys. And I was drinking Guinness. I didn’t have a chance.
But for real. This is a good joint to visit. The food is good, prices are fair and the service is on point. I have to give a shout out to Holleh. Excellent job.
For all you grammarians out there Naisa is Asian, spelled backwards. Cute. When Pat suggested Naisa for lunch I was more dis-interested than excited. Not because I have any issue with Asian food it just seems more than not the food revolves around a central theme. Veggies chopped up, mixed with a protein in an oyster sauce and served with steamed or fried rice. How ever I was soon reminded that not all vegetables are cooked the same.
The place is not very big. Its biggest decor feature is its modesty and simplicity. The menu is on the small side and features lunch specials in the $7 to $9 range. Each special came with rice choice and soup choice, or you could sub egg or spring roll for the soup.
I opted for Chicken with peanuts with Sweet and Sour soup with fried rice. We were served complementary wonton chips with both duck sauce and mustard for dipping. Both sauces were pretty good. Although the mustard was not the sinus clearing hot I expect.
The soup was excellent. Full of vegetables and with a lovely broth. I would have been happy with just a big bowl and nothing else. It also helped that the weather was rainy and chilly.
The main dish was where this particular joints unique personality came through. The chicken and sauce were no strangers to my tongue, nor were the veggies unusual. Baby corn, celery, carrot and red bell pepper. The thing that impressed Pat and me both was the freshness and quality of the cooking. The vegetables had a snap and crunch to them and they still retained their natural sweetness. I think that it is cooking like this that makes eating even more fun.
So, there you have it. A cozy dining room, good prices and excellent cooking. And last but not at all least excellent service. Our server was on top of everything. Attentive and gracious, a great combination.
Well Ladies and Gentlemen, this is a bar. A bar that dates back to the 1940’s. A bar that was redone about a year ago. A spacious bar with pool tables, about a dozen beers on tap and a grand out-door seating area with a fire pit. It also is a bar with some of the best tavern food I have had. They offer blackened catfish and frog leg appetizers, as well as real deal smoked pork sandwiches. We ordered some breaded mushrooms to start. Fresh breaded ‘shrums are always a bonus and they offered theirs for $5.50, with a horseradish sauce. Nothing prepared us for the monsters we were given.
We received 5 mushrooms that were in excess of 3 inches in diameter. Each one was impeccably breaded in a thin breading reminiscent of a cornmeal breading usually reserved for catfish. The horse-radish dip that came with the mushrooms matched well; as did the one buck pints of Pabst Blue Ribbon.
As for our “entre” Pat and I were both conflicted. Pat for the “Big Ass Bacon Burger” and the “Big Pig”. Me for the catfish special and the “Big Pig”. Pat decided on the Burger. A 1/2 pound burger topped with 8 slices of bacon and cheddar cheese. He substituted pepper jack cheese and ate the whole thing. With fries the “Big Ass Bacon Burger was $7.50.
They offer a catfish sandwich for 8 bucks, choice of fried or blackened. This day the lunch special was a fried sandwich, with fries for $5. Now I love bargains. But the lure of smoked pig drew me to the porcine side. The “Big Pig” is a toasted bun with smoked ham, smoked pork and smoked bacon. Now is that not a pig tri fecta?
The bun is nicely toasted. The ham appears to be a buffet ham exposed to extra smoke and then cooked on a griddle. The bacon looked as if it were deep-fried. No matter it was still pretty good. What carried it over the top was the pulled pork. They have a large smoker out back attached to the back of the kitchen. That way you can access the product without having smoke in your joint. Of course on the down side you must go outside to load and stoke. But heck artists must suffer for their craft.
This imaginative sandwich is only $8.50, with fries. It is worth every darn dime. When Pat and I went to Squealers, Pat had the smoked pork. After tasting a piece of my pork sandwich he was ready to declare Checkered Flag better. I don’t know about you but I think that is pretty good for a Westside bar.
We don’t think you can go wrong with this joint. It is simply a neighborhood bar with some outstanding food.
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 joint is the real deal. Not only is it a premier facility for fish mongering it is also a pretty nice little place to get a fresh fish feast. In addition to a set menu of favorites they also offer the guests the option of picking from their large selection of fresh product and having it prepared for a flat $2.50 fee.
Just about any fish product you might desire I think you can find here. From whole Grouper to U 10 scallops to 4 count shrimp. Trust me that in itself is rare in Indy.
I am a very simple fellow. Show me a fish market or a sausage shop and I am a happy man. Give me the opportunity to eat some of my favorite foods at said location and my eyes become as big as a full moon. In other words I invariably over order, and subsequently over eat.
As soon as I walked in I saw a sign on the first cooler cabinet advertising Blue Point Oysters for $1.59 each. That was my mandatory “first course”- 6 fresh Blue Points; shucked for free.
After that was ordered I inquired about the sandwiches. They offer a Caplinger’s Special for $ 4.99. I thought it might be an ever-changing special but I think it is a constant Basa sandwich. For the sake of brevity when you think of Basa think bottom feeder. Think catfish. It is a sweet, and firm white fish. In addition to the sandwiches they also offer the same fish choices in a dinner. Now that comes with a bigger portion and 2 hush puppies and choice of 2 sides. I am ashamed to admit that I forgot that they offer hush puppies as a side. I wanted to try the Special sandwich.
I try not to engage in superlatives. However I do admit that when I bite into something I really enjoy I act like a 13-year-old boy who kissed his first love. That being said. My first bite into my Basa sandwich was damn near perfection. Soft, sweet and tender,with a slight hint of heat and a crisp,salty breading. Oh- the bread. To me it was an excellent accompaniment to the fish. Again the bread is from Roll With it Bakery in Irvington.
You would think that all of that food would satisfy me. But oh no. You see when I review a joint I feel compelled to try as many food items as possible. Hey. You must suffer for your craft. So I had to try the Chowder. Clams, potato and cream.
This was a delicious display of simplicity. True to their description. Great hunks of clam. Tender pieces of ‘tater and…of course cream. This is a great example of chowder. Thick, and wonderful.
By now you would think that I have consumed enough. Oh no. I had to try their “New Recipe” crab cake. A 4 oz. cake made exclusively of lump meat. That is all I can say about that. They produce a thick cake full of lump meat that is really a good buy at $6.99 for an add on.
Pat naturally opted for the cod sandwich. He couldn’t try any of the chowder; because of onion.
Well boys and girls if you like fish. If you think you like fish this is the joint you must go to. Fresh oysters, yellow fin tuna. Hell the list goes on. Even Pat; the most critical fish fiend in the city liked the cod sandwich.
Today we traveled to the west side for some El Salvadoran treats. Pat discovered this place more by happen stance than anything else. His wife, Fran, brought him a tamale she had picked up at the City Market from the 3 in 1 Restaurant,it had a stand at the Farmer’s Winter Market. Sweet corn, pig and no onions. Love at first bite for Pat.
We don’t go to the west side that often so I was curious to see what sights I have been missing. Besides. I am a freak for tamales. Also I was quite curious about the name. At each table was a laminated sheet explaining the origin of their name. I thought it was a touching story so I am posting a copy.
I wish to apologize in advance for my pictures. Normally I make up for my lack of photographic skill by taking multiple shots, and picking the best to publish. However my batteries were dying so I couldn’t.
As you can see the prices are more than reasonable. They also have a special on Pupusas, 2 for $5. A pupusa is a thick corn cake stuffed with various tasty things. Chicken or pork and cheese or loroco and cheese. Loroco is an edible flower. An item I have heard of but never tried. Both pupusa and loroco are common in El Salvador. And the closest I have been to El Salvador is Costa Rica .
We ordered Deep Fried Corn Balls and a Riqua to share. A riqua is like a unstuffed pupusa.
These bad boys were delicious. Look like hush puppies don’t they? That’s what they taste like, but sweeter due to the corn used. At the owner’s suggestion I added powdered sugar to one and it was so reminiscent of a State Fair elephant ear my mouth thought it was August. And if you added the house made tomatillo sauce the whole flavor profile changed. Instead of enhancing the sweet corn it complemented it with a note of sour and a touch of heat. I thought the tomatillo sauce was outstanding. Definitely one of the best I have had. Including my own.
This is one-fourth of a riqua. We did it again. Eating before snapping. It too was tasty. Like a Johnny cake with extra sweetness.
Pat ordered a pork tamale and a chicken and cheese pupusa. Since I ordered a locoro pupusa we shared.
As you can see their presentation is very utilitarian. In addition to the loroco pupusa, I got a plain tamale and a steak taco. They don’t add the garden to their tacos. For that they have a small cold table for the customer to add their own.
The tamale was softer and sweeter than I am used to but it was good none the less. In the future I will go with pork. I know it wouldn’t be “authentic” but I think a little bacon with the pork would be a nice little addition. The loroco had a nice flavor but I am unable to describe it. The end taste was familiar but I can’t quite put my tongue on what it is. I know that’s not much help but that’s the best I can do.The steak on my taco was tender, moist and abundant. I think the one factor that made this taco outstanding was the choices in the condiment table.
In addition to the usual taco toppings they offered green olives, banana peppers, cojita cheese and a crazy slaw. Just shredded cabbage, carrot and lemon juice. Simple and delicious. And the addition of green olives to a taco is brilliant. I can not believe I have not tried it before now.
So if you like good eats with a Latin flair then you should get to 3 in 1 Restaurant. The family that owns the joint is earnest and committed to good food. Also I noticed on a sign as we were leaving you can get the Fried Corn Balls with bacon and cheese for about a buck more. Fried corn, bacon AND cheese. The 3 main food groups.
This is a brewery. A real honest to gosh brewery, nestled in the heart of Irvington. I have wanted to visit the joint for quite some time; but never seem to find the opportunity. Their menu is like a bunch of “hip ” menus. In my opinion restaurant folk are a lot like monkeys. They see or hear of something that is popular or sells they are all over it like white on rice. Currently the hip thing is flat bread sandwiches or Panini ; especially with Smoking Goose meats. Don’t get me wrong. Smoking Goose meats are exceptional. It’s just that after a while a Smoking’ Goose Panini becomes as ubiquitous as a breaded tenderloin.
The place is not that large and for a Sunday afternoon is was full. We found a deuce in the corner and set back to watch the fun. They had two servers on and they did an outstanding job taking care of crowd. The decor of the joint was; as you can expect: Hipster Chic.
We discovered that on Sundays all they offer is a Brunch Menu; which only offers one dish. It seems they have a bartender/ server that is also a student at a local Culinary Arts Academy. So they let him do “his thing” on Sundays. His thing this Sunday was Chicken and Waffles; for $8, and added fried plantains for 2 bucks.
As our server explained to me; the chicken was soaked in maple syrup. Coated with a seasoned corn flake breading and served with the waffles. The hook was the veggie syrup. The young man took onion, kale, and fine diced carrot and cooked them in maple syrup and used that for the syrup for the dish. It really worked. Of course I think more syrup would have worked better. But then I still wonder why no one ever uses a gastrique.
No matter. This is a great place to visit. Wonderful beer, and I think good food. And since the pint price for their beer is $5 I really think it is worth checking out.http://blackacrebrewing.com/home/
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.
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.
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.
Well; Pat and I have gotten a couple of good recommendations about this joint. We had planned on going last week. And then we decided on doing some shooting so we ended up on the other side of town. In the interim I gave what information I could to Urbanspoon so they could add it to their base. That is why I am not real happy about what I have to report.
The menu isn’t too big. Which is fine. They offer 3 different varieties of fried fish and the usual home-made sides. They do have specials; but we didn’t see the dry erase board until after we had ordered. Pat ordered a pork chop dinner. That came with 2 sides and corn bread for $ 9.
Well being the meat loaf groupie that I am that is what I ordered. A dinner with mac& cheese and greens. Again $9.
The meat loaf had a nice compaction but the flavor was hard to determine. The whole portion was covered with an excessive amount of gravy. I spent most of my thoughts while eating trying to figure out the where I might have tasted the gravy before. I realized that it tasted like TV dinner gravy. Sorry; but although it might be “tasty” it ain’t real cooking. As for the greens. OK but I am the kind of guy that thinks greens need more than a couple of hours cook time to be greens. The mac and cheese, well it was macaroni in canned cheese sauce. OK only in a pinch. So now we go to the cornbread. Better to call it a sweet corn cake, from a mix.
So all I can add is this joint,like all joints has potential. Give them a chance. Small business is the life blood of our country. Oh and if the chef is reading this you might wanna’ try more baking and less deep-frying. I know I am probably out of line, but as long as I used to do this stuff. The boy can’t help it.
Well we headed back to Beech Grove today to visit our favorite range at Beech Grove Firearms. Subsequently we wanted a place close by to eat. Well, since the Grove is not quite the dining destination for Indy our choses were rather limited. This joint was recommended by one of Pat’s neighbors. And it proved to be pretty good.
It’s located in a strip mall close to an Inter-State exchange and surrounded by a plethora of fast food eateries. And judging by the speed at which out food came out Egg Roll fit right in. The interior was bright, and large. And it has the charm of a Wal-Mart. I don’t mean that in a nasty or snarky way I just mean the place is utilitarian and not at very “cozy”.
You order and pay at a counter, then sit and the staff brings you your food. I ordered an appetizer combo to share for $5.99.
It consisted of 2 crab Rangoon, 2 wonton, a beef stick ( that’s the kabob looking thing in the center ) an egg roll and 2 chicken wings. The Rangoon was unique in the fact that it wasn’t overloaded with cream cheese and you could actually detect a morsel, that I assume was crab. The wonton wasn’t as flavorful as I expected. They were actually pretty bland. The beef stick was pretty lackluster as well. Three pieces of tasty but tough beef stuck on a stick with 2 tiny pieces of green pepper and carrot. As for the wings, nothing exceptional. Now that leaves the egg roll. It wasn’t that bad, but I have had a lot better.
For my “main” course I got a soft noodle combo dish. That is a big plate of spaghetti, stir fried with beef, pork, shrimp and chicken and veggies all in a sauce of unknown ingredients. This was very tasty. I can’t say the same for the rather run of the mill rice that came with it. This dish, because it was a bigger portion than the lunch specials and it came on a real ceramic plate, not one of paper it cost $7.75.
They don’t offer menus. The food offerings are posted on the wall behind the order counter. And to the right of the counter is the obligatory pictures of the dishes.
Probably the coolest thing about this joint is the price of the lunch specials-$4.50. That includes an egg roll and a cup of soup. Pat being ever the frugal shopper ordered a lunch special.
So my friends. In summation I don’t think you can go too wrong eating here. The food is pretty good and the prices are more than reasonable. I might suggest you try the Pho; and let me know about it. I had wanted to try it but I became a deer in the head lights when it came my time to order. Maybe some other time. Egg Roll #1 Pho #1 4540 S. Emerson Ave. http://www.eggroll1.com/
- Lotus Garden Greenwood (kosherhamandcheese.com)
There are three or four Szechwan Gardens in Indianapolis. That is why I specified the one on Lafayette Road. I cannot imagine any actual foodies, that don’t like Chinese food. I recall watching a television program (on the food network. Naturally) talking about Chinese food restaurants in the United States. The commentator remarked that were more Chinese restaurants in the US than McDonald’s, Burger King and Taco Bell combined. They also showed one of the proprietors who commented. “Americans love Chinese food because they don’t know how to cook it.” Pat and I were discussing this at lunch with our server, and I remarked that I understood the technique of stir fry, etc. it was the sauces that I found mysterious because I didn’t know what was in them. To which our server replied “neither do we.” So, on that note, let’s do lunch.
As you can see from the extensive menu. This joint is the real deal. The sort of place where you go to get your Chinese food freak on. Pat likes it because he can usually find something with no onion. Still, he usually plays it safe. Today he ordered pork with garlic sauce.
I was like a kid in a candy store with all this new stuff to try. In Spain there are tapas. In China they have Dim Sum. Assorted small plates and dumplings meant to share. With dim sum , the pace and order of your dining is determined by the cook time. The dishes are brought out as they are completed. My first small plate was Short rib with Honey Sauce.
The pieces they used were small with big bone and as much cartilage as meat. You had to work at it but the slightly sweet sauce made it worthwhile. Besides, I rather enjoyed the slight “tooth” the cartilage offered. Besides, beef cartilage is supposed to be an effective pain reliever for arthritis. My next dish was Baby Cuttlefish in Curry Sauce.
I have had squid and octopus before, but this is the first time for cuttlefish. Since all three are cephalopods, I figured it would have similar flavor, fitting somewhere in between. I found it to be more assertive than octopus. That could be because of the curry sauce. The dish had a slightly odd flavor I could not quite describe. I am not even sure if I liked or disliked the dish. I would be willing to try the fish again, perhaps in a different sauce. Next one up was Chicken Feet in Special Sauce.
Admittedly, chicken feet are probably an acquired taste. as you can expect they don’t have a lot of meat, but to me it’s about the skin. If you like the skin on fried chicken you might like chicken feet. This particular chicken didn’t have real crispy feet but the sauce it was in was.. well.. special and good. Moving on to the deep-fried pork dumpling.
These were exceptional. A light and airy dough filled with shredded pork. It offered a sweetness more than that of just the pork. I think these dumplings would be right at home with any sort of barbecue sauce or hot sauce. I think they are definitely a must try. Lastly, we come to the Pan-fried Turnip cake.
Asian turnips have the flavor similar to a daikon radish. I have been eating them regularly, as a snack or raw in salads. So I was curious to see how the heat might change the flavor. these cakes had a slight sweetness; that could be due to the addition of heat or the recipe. Once again, this should really be on your list of things to try. If you go there.
So. I don’t know about the other Szechwan Gardens in town but I’m of the opinion if you want some Chinese food Lafayette Road is where you ought to go.
Eureka. 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.
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.
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.
Hey-Kerby Wilma Rudolph.
Another new joint has opened in Fountain Square;Pure Food Eatery and in this case Pure means simple.It is a lovely little place,not too artsy fartsy or too urban tavern chic;just nice.The menu is Panini Press centered.Sandwiches and wraps in simple and tasty combos.Not a single french fry or chicken wing to be found;no fryers anywhere.They did fall into the aioli trap however.That is where you flavor mayo call it (fill in the blank)mayo and “jazz”up your menu.A good emulsion sauce has its place but sometimes people stick it in the most unlikely places;like grilled cheese.Since I am still dentally challenged that is what I ordered.Actually a half sandwich and a cup of soup.All their Panini are available as 1/2 or whole.The wholes are reasonably priced,in the $7-$8 range;the 1/2’s are not as reasonable;at $6.The 3 cheese Panini was pretty good.A curious combo of Havarti,Swiss and Provolone cheeses with the obligatory slice of tomato.Their addition of Pesto mayo;although not traditional,did bring a nice additional taste to the mild cheeses;also a touch of unctiousness to the toasted sour dough bread.Patrick decided on a BLT.Nothing out of the ordinary except for the avocado spread;which Pat turned down;due to onion content.We both enjoyed our sandwiches;and more than enjoyed the SOD;Chicken and Rice. A delicious home-made stock loaded with fresh Tarragon.The stock alone was worth the 90 cent up-charge,the diced chicken and rice was a bonus.In addition to sour dough they also offer wheat and rye bread,which would go well with some of their other filling options.
The biggest deal of the day was the Thursday beer special.New Belgiums for $2.50.I discovered Shift by New Belgium.They call it a Lager but it has a definite Ale quality.Delicious;and a bargain at $2.50 for a 16 oz can.The thing about good beer is you get nutrition and you can consume regardless of the condition of your teeth.
Our lunch schedule has been erratic because I have been under going some extensive dental work (dentures).This trip to Four Seasons actually happened approximately 4 weeks ago when I still had my front teeth;only my front teeth.I guess I have just been lazy in not writing it up until now.Four Seasons is on South Meridian,real close to Greenwood.We’ve been there before,pre Blog days;so it’s not a ground breaking trip.It’s a nice little joint;along the lines of Flap Jacks.It offers pretty good food at a decent price.Pat ordered a French Dip ($6.95);with a side of apple sauce.The beef,I can see;the apple sauce?Go figure.It was your basic Kroger deli roast beef on a decent roll.Tasty but a small portion;and the au-jus was more au than jus.Overall,nothing to get worked up over.I,on the other hand,opted for a “diet plate” ($7.25).On that you got a tomato stuffed with your choice of tuna salad or turkey salad;along with cottage cheese,fresh veggie garnish and the ubiquitous diet plate inhabitant.The canned peach half.What I got was a nice 5×6 tomato stuffed with a very tasty home-made turkey salad,a full fat cottage cheese and of course the aforementioned peach.The only reason I mentioned the fat content of the cheese is that,at home,I eat 1% or 2% fat cottage cheese.And the real deal is SO much creamier and tasty.But the nicest thing about this joint was the staff.They all were friendly, and acted as if they really wanted to help us.Something you don’t always see.
Afterwards;for the refreshment part of our trip we decided to stop at the Longacre Tavern.It too is on the south side,Madison Avenue north of Southport.It has been around for quite a while;and it looks it.I don’t think I’ve in there for 30 years.They offer New Castle or Blue Moon draft for $5.50 and domestic draft for $3.Downtown prices for a joint that ain’t downtown.’Nuff said.
Well we went to Fat Dan’s Deli in broad Ripple this week.To say we were both disappointed, would be an accurate statement. This joint has been on our list ever since I learned they used a dry rub on their brisket.We would normally order difference dishes. This time we decided we both needed to try the brisket. So we got two identical sandwiches and an order of fries to share. The portions were nice size, the toasted bun was decent. However, approximately 25 to 30% of the sandwich was fat. And I’m not talking about the crisp kind that adds crunch I’m talking about the high cholesterol, flabby kind of fat that damn few people would like. I will say this the rub, the man used is one of the better ones I’ve tried.What meat there was,was quite tasty.And obviously I must have misread the menu. I thought the brisket was smoked, and yet there was not a trace of the smoke Ring or even the faintest flavor of smoke. It was much like the smokehouse in Fountain Square, more pot roast then smoked brisket.I was going to get into greater detail about how I was taught to smoke and trim and slice brisket in Texas. But I will wait until I get my recipe blog up and running.
Now we come to the french fries. They refer to them as the best fries in the universe. Well they must exist in a smaller universe than I remember; because I would consider them average. Again they were nicely seasoned, a little salty, but it didn’t appear as any attempt was made to drain any of the oil.And another thing. If you’re going to call your fries the best of the universe. You might consider double frying them. A lower temperature at first then at a higher temperature before you sell them, that way they won’t be so limp. I know it’s more work but you get to $2.75 per order.
What is interesting, we decide to go there because of a beer.Last week after lunch we went to the sinking ship for beer and they had Falls City on draft. For you younger folk out there, Falls City was a “working-class” beer from the 60s and 70s. And if I remember correctly it sucked. But Pat goaded me into trying one. And it wasn’t my daddies Falls city. It was a good IPA; naturally I knew it wasn’t the original formula. So when I got home I checked it out on the Internet and sure enough, the formula is different. First off it’s being crafted in Louisville and the formula they are using is supposed to be more reminiscent of the original from the 30s. And according to their website. You can only find it at three places in Indy. The Sinking Ship, Brothers and Fat Dan’s. Irony of ironies Fat Dan’s no longer serves it. So after lunch we decided to walk down to brothers to try it there. And guess what ?They didn’t have it either. So I guess the only place I can get my Falls City fix is at The Sinking Ship on College Ave.
OK-it’s a chain not a mom and pop joint.We did not know that until we had already started eating;mea culpa.What intriqued us about this place was the combination of beef used in their patties;sirloin,chuck and brisket.All the meat comes from a local farm,and ground and packaged locally;which is pretty cool.In either event it makes for one delicious burger.They have all the usual combos;mushroom,swiss;bbq,bacon etc.They also have a Pacific Rim;a burger topped with shrimp,pineapple,guacamole and some sort of cheese. Since we wanted to taste the burger Pat and I picked the Classic,a plain old cheeseburger;with a cold set and condiments.Among their cheese offerings they have white cheddar;rare for most burger joints but great for a mid-rare burger.Which brings me to my only “complaint”.My medium rare was more medium than rare,a very minor problem,as the hunk o meat was still delicious.They make their own ketchup as well,thinner than most and sweeter as well.It’s definitely more a dipper than a pourer.
I did discover a great new beer,a Pilsner from Fountain Square Brewery.A slight citrus start and a nice hoppy finish;great with a burger.After wards we went to Berringers;a little tavern on South Meridian.I reviewed it real early in the blog.It’s just a little bar that’s been around forever.And the beer is cheap;$2 for domestic bottles,and $1.75 for Old Style pints.All that was missing was a Cubs game on TV.
So in summation chain or not Bru Burger gives you a great hamburger.And the prices are reasonable;for downtown.I think the burgers range from $8 to $10;depending on the stuff you add to it.They also have other sandwiches on the menu;but if the joint has burger in its name why would you eat chicken?
Pizza-glorious Pizza, that ubiquitous American treat available everywhere in the USA.I tried Datsa Pizza with my eldest son quite some time ago and fell in love at first bite.This was before I started This Ain’t no Bistro;but I did post a very lauditory review on Yelp.However I am admittedly a Pizza junkie;but I think my pallet is mature enough to differentiate the quality of various pies.Now Pat,on the other hand is a Pizza epicure;a connoisseur if you will;he is very particular.That’s probably why it took me so long to get him to try it.
Guess what?Pat liked it as much as I did.He declared only one pie better;in his opinion;that being some joint in Homecroft. I believe it is some joint that was a quasi hang out when we were in highschool.
You see they make their own dough which is a great first step.I know a lot of pizzerias make their own crusts but not all brush them with garlic butter.And not all end up with the same result.A beautiful brown with a crisp exterior and soft interior.It is quite literally a hand tossed beauty.I’m sure they don’t make their own sauce but it is one of the better canned sauces I’ve tried;rich and tomato sweet.The sausage they use isn’t from Smoking Goose but it’s very good,both the sweet and the spicy.Pat would have prefered a finer grind but I enjoy either one.You won’t see duck confit or smoked salmon on the menu but you will find anchovies and all the usual suspects that most people want.The coolest thing is at lunch you can get an individual pizza for $4.75 and additional toppings are 50 cents and 75 cents.Pat and I had a small garlic bread and 2 individuals pies with 2 toppings each and spent $16.We drank water;we almost always drink water when we eat;in order to save room for beer.Speaking of which, Datsa does sell beer,$ 2.75 for domestic bottles and I think $ 3.25 for imports.However in this case we decided to “wet our whistles” at The Living Room Lounge;conveniently located across the street.No matter if you drink beer;H2O or Cola if you like Pizza you really ought to give Datsa a try.
Since yesterday was such a beautiful day. We decided it was time for an excursion into Irvington.That little part of Indy certainly has grown up. In the olden days; all that was there was a Dunkin’ Donuts and the Butler inn.Now it has some legit eateries and their own Brew Pub.Of course the pub doesn’t open until 4 pm during the week;I guess they don’t feel that there is a market for the old fart afternoon beer drinking crowd.But I digress.
The legends Café is a quaint and cozy little place. I can’t believe we haven’t been there before. We met up with a friend , Jim, who lives in the area. As a matter of fact he is the one that suggested legends. Their menu has a nice assortment of deli meats, cheeses, toppings and breads. You can order one of their preselected combos, or build your own. Any selection can be Panini grilled and is available as a half (4 $) or whole (7-9$).They also offer”hot entrées”. These are in the $7-$8 range and come with one or two sides. All of their ground beef comes from a farm in Greenfield, Indiana. And I assume that means it’s probably grass-fed. Their portions are quite rational. A quarter pound burger, 5 ounce chicken breast and meatloaf in the 5 to 6 ounce range.Their sides are as unique as they are extensive;and not one fried item among them.
Pat had a whole turkey and cheddar;grilled.I opted for the “special”;a half of a brisket san on dark pumpernickel with a side of baked mac and cheese.Jim ordered what I should have gotten,chicken breast with a side of pepperjack mac and snap peas.The chicken was lightly dusted in seasoned flour;crisped in the fry pan and finished in the oven.Crispy exterior,moist and tender interior.The pepperjack mac and cheese was “da bomb” and I haven’t seen steamed snap peas on a menu since Shaffer’s in Glendale.My regular mac and cheese was good as well it just wasn’t pepper Jacky. I’m not going to say Legends deli meats were the best I’ve ever had but I am going to say that they are first-rate and with their prideful attention to detail I don’t think you will be disappointed.I am going to say that their sides are better than good so that should show you that these folks can cook.I also think the pumpernickel they use is the best I’ve had in some time.I meant to ask Stephanie(our server) where they got it,but I forgot. Speaking of servers when I asked Stephanie if I could take her picture for this blog,she hesitated.She did acquiesce if I took it with her and Jim. I still don’t know what to think of that.One last thing on servers.The servers at Legend all wear black;a uniform if you will.I know that flies against the current trend for independents to view employee dress codes with disdain;but sometimes it’s nice to be able to tell a server from a stranger that just wandered in.
I don’t know why I haven’t posted about this place earlier. Patrick and I had gone there when they first opened up.It’s a big airy place, with a limited menu but well produced food. They offer pizza, appetizers, salads and calzones. I have heard their salads are colossal and loaded with all kinds of stuff. I know they are tossed right at tableside, or bar top as the case may be. I’ve always had their calzone, and they are first-rate. It’s not that I’m anti-greens, I just don’t know if I could get into salad and beer. And face it, the hook of this place is beer. It’s a virtual Beervana of delightful homemade brews. I’m sure by now anybody who goes to Broad Ripple knows about three wise men and I’m sure has already been. I think I’m just posting this to show off my pictures from my spiffy new Nikon camera. They may not be great photographs, they are original.