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.
We went way out of our comfort zone to go to Speedway, Indiana, in May. We have talked about going here several times but usually road construction interfered. But it was really worth it. I have not been to Speedway in years and it is really a lovely community. Dawson’s sits on the corner of Main Street and some tree-lined picturesque street that to me has no name. I don’t recall. The joint was rocking at noon, but we were still able to get seats out of doors. The menu for lunch is rather large. Several appetizers, big salads, a dozen or more sandwiches and wraps and a few lunch entrées.
One of the entrées was a breaded and fried Capensis. To non-fish groupies Capensis, also known as Cape Capensis; or poor man’s Orange Roughy is as delicious as it is hard to find. I have never seen it fried, but there is no reason why it can’t be, obviously. The fish came with french fries and coleslaw for $8.99. Since as we already know, Pat is a fried fresh freak that is what he ordered.I had to try the pot roast. It was a large portion of tender, moist braised beef smothered with sautéed mushrooms, caramelized onions and a mushroom ragout,all sitting on top of two twice baked potato cakes. It also came with steamed broccoli, but since I’m not a big broccoli fan. I traded that for Pat’s coleslaw; and everybody was happy.And that lovely lunch was only $9.99.
At first thought the pot roast dish might seem redundant with sautéed mushrooms and onions and Ragout; which is basically mushrooms and onions in a red wine cream sauce. Redundancy aside. It was a delicious lunch. As an old chef I used to work with told me a long time ago, I would be proud to serve that dish.Pat tried a piece of the pot roast and naturally loved it. I tried a piece of his fish and I can honestly say it was the best fried fish I have had in many years.According to Pat the broccoli was perfect. And according to me the potato cakes were wonderful. They were delightful cakes approximately 3 1/2 inches in diameter consisting of riced potatoes mixed with peppers, one of which had a little heat to it, and then baked, and since they were called twice baked I can assume they were baked originally.Left overs from dinner ? No matter ;left over bakers are the perfect source for baked cakes or home fries and a perfect platform for this meat.
Well I think I have said enough, it would well be worth your effort to go there for lunch or dinner. The food is that good. Just don’t wait too long, the farther May progresses the bigger the crowds will get.Oh as you probably noticed we did it again.we started eating before we took the pictures.Honestly we try not to.